Smash season premiere recap: Another Op'nin', Another Show

With Karen and Ivy Lynn, her foe / Can Safran save it, or will it blow? / It's season 2 now so come on, let's go!
Ep. 01 | Aired Feb 5, 2013

YOUR MOMENT OF JEN A revamped season 2? Who cares -- all we really need is more J. Hud retro pastiche numbers.

Will Hart/NBC

Before more work on Bombshell can begin, both we and Karen are treated to another musical number starring one of season 2's  biggest guest stars: Jennifer Hudson, on board for a multi-episode arc as multiple Tony winner Veronica Moore. Ronnie is currently starring in Beautiful, a period musical about a "sweet, 1950s Aretha/Etta James type" and her overbearing mother. This is what we call "foreshadowing." The song, "Mama Makes Three," is a delightful retro pastiche with gospel undertones that Hudson really sells the hell out of. Genius idea: Why can't Ronnie just play Marilyn?

Backstage, Ronnie gives Karen some showbiz advice as Derek takes a few swigs from the crystal decanter he carries with him at all times. (So that's the source of his swagger; it's tough to walk with that thing in your pants. I was talking about the decanter!) Then the star steps outside, where a crowd of adoring paparazzi are thronged and waiting. Replace "adoring paparazzi" with "mouth-breathing tourists," and you might get closer to the true Broadway experience.

Eileen, meanwhile, is enjoying her third dinner engagement of the evening when her eeeevil ex-husband Jerry swoops in out of nowhere. He's come to gloat about Bombshell's financial troubles, as per usual; and, as per usual, there's a martini sitting right in front of Eileen, tantalizingly close to Jerry's suspiciously dry face. But this time, Eileen resists the urge to give Jerry an alcohol facial -- even making a little joke about that lame running gag -- and takes the high road when her dining partner, Smash veteran Jordan Roth, shows up.

Her success makes Jerry itch. And the only way to scratch that itch is to take out his phone and type the following text while somehow keeping a straight face: "Time to more forward with the plan." The unnamed person he's texting -- the number hasn't been saved in his phone, for reasons of drama -- immediately writes back, "DONE." Remember that thing I said about Smash not being as good-bad this season? It may have been premature. (Also, show of hands: Anyone else think Jerry's mysterious contact is Terrible Ellis, who's actually standing just in the restaurant's kitchen and adding peanuts to dishes all willy-nilly?)

Karen and a crew of chorus gals are rehearsing "Let Me Be Your Star" for an upcoming event, where Eileen plans to announce that Bombshell has secured the spacious St. James Theatre. But when Karen discovers that Ivy's going to be singing a number at the party as well, the room's temperature drops several degrees. (Right about now, they wish they had kept the scarves.) Ivy, despondent, seeks guidance from the only screw-up bigger than her. Julia advises her to try another apology -- not only for what she did, but why she did it. Yes, please do -- just so that we can put the whole Groveling Ivy plot to rest.

NEXT: Well hello, Jeremy Jordan

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