Smash recap: Parents Just Don't Understand

Ivy isn't nearly as happy to see Bernadette Peters as the rest of us are
Ep. 09 | Aired Apr 2, 2013

DON'T TELL MAMA... but she's totally ruining my liiiiiiiife. (This caption brought to you by Ivy's inner monologue.)

Will Hart/NBC

That mysterious home Jimmy broke into way back in episode 3 wasn't Mr. Bumble's orphanage after all -- it was some sort of network TV-appropriate crack den, a house of iniquity where Jimmy used to buy C and D and X and smack and horse and jugie-boogie-boy and blow. One year ago, Jimmy decided to leave the place behind for good, taking with him only his pride and 8,000 stolen dollars. Now the joint's Engineer -- a less-than-intimidating thug I'm going to call Slim Shady -- has come looking for Jimmy and his missing money. Maybe he should check that palatial Greenpoint apartment.

Drama! Intrigue! Everything that's missing from Bombshell, which hasn't actually imploded despite the simmering hostility between Ivy and her mother. Instead of going at each other's throats, the ladies have chosen to simply act like boring nicebots in their scenes together. Their toothless performances disappoint a catfight-hungry Bobby, as well as Tom. He complains to Julia that Ivy and Leigh are turning the musical into The Gilmore Girls. Doesn't he know that Gilmore Girls + theater actually = Bunheads? Julia responds by giving Tom this indelible advice: "Directors use a variety of methods to get what they want. If you're not getting the performance you want, find another way." Somehow, Tom doesn't respond by smacking his forehead and going, "Ohhh, that's what I'm supposed to be doing?"

Having finally learned how directing works, Tom returns to rehearsal determined to Derek his actresses into submission. He innocently asks Ivy and Leigh to draw on their own experiences -- instantly opening the tenuous floodgates that once held back Resentment River. Leigh tells a story about Ivy's childhood fat phase and laughs about how the producers of her Sound of Music revival wanted to cast the kid as Kurt Von Trapp. Better him than Rolf! Ivy bitterly remembers how her mother responded when she was cast as Red Riding Hood in a theater camp production of Into the Woods: "If you were born with the talent [the girl playing Cinderella] has, that could have been you. But you weren't, so you're going to have to work that much harder." Criminy, maybe they should ditch Bombshell for a musical take on Mommie Dearest. The scene ends with Ivy telling Leigh that she's all washed up, then stalking out of the rehearsal room. Bravo, Tom -- at least it wasn't boring!

The Manhattan Theatre Workshop Club is holding a fundraiser at the Angel Orensanz Center, a venue inside of an old Lower East Side synagogue. (It's a seriously cool-looking place; props to you, Smash location scout.) Another Karen performance paves the way for all sorts of minor drama -- Papa Cartwright accuses Derek of steering Karen away from Broadway. Julia tries too hard to get back into Tom Collins Scott's good graces, not knowing that all she has to do is rewire the ATM at the Food Emporium. Eileen flirts with New York Times arts editor Richard Francis, flagrantly disregarding the Times's stringent ethics policy. And Jimmy's rooting around in the partygoers' coats, looking for a pretty bauble to give to Kyle for their anniversary. Oops, my bad; he's actually looking for $8,000 worth of stuff to steal.

NEXT: Cirque du Smash

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