THE "SMASH" REPORT: Season 2, Episode 11, or The Un-Dress Rehearsal

By Ben Rimalower
15 Apr 2013

Jack Davenport
Photo by Will Hart/NBC

And then Derek is off. "Bring up the cue for act two, scene 11." "No, a capella, a capella."

It looks great. There's a smattering of applause, just for the quick blocking rehearsal Derek gives Karen's roommate for her new opening number.

Like Stan Gable in "Revenge of the Nerds," wiping whipped cream off the bottom of a pie tin to reveal his girlfriend Betty Child's bare image, Karen can only sit on the sidelines and mutter, "That's my pie," as her big song, her anthem, is given to her roommate for a new opening number.

Jimmy freaks out. "Damnit, Derek. I've worked my ass off for 72 hours so that you wouldn't do this. I didn't sleep!"

"Yeah, obviously," snorts Derek. "When you come down off whatever it is you're on, you'll see this really works," adding in his best Alex McCord on "Real Housewives of New York City" impression, "I should be at my first preview right now, but instead I am back in high school with you!"

The artistic director questions whether tonight's stumble-through for Richard Francis of the New York Times is the right moment to make structural changes. He leaves it to Kyle to decide.

Kyle says Derek is right!

Jimmy is PISSED!!!! "We're supposed to be a team."

"Except you don't listen to anything I say," Kyle points out, adding that Derek sees the show more clearly.

Jimmy spits back, "I see the show perfectly. I see Derek changing it because he is jealous of me and Karen," and then, in a soap operatic bastardization of what was once brilliant dialogue in Fosse's film of Cabaret ("Screw Maximilian." "I do." "So do I."), Jimmy tops it off, "which if we're gonna be really honest here, so are you."

Kyle is cool and confident and walks out.

Meanwhile, Karen calls Derek a "jealous old man," accusing him of being angry at her and Jimmy and taking it out on the show.

In a rare moment of complexity on "Smash," we see Derek, happy to punish Karen and enjoying telling her about Jimmy's dark past and concealed identity, and yet coolly confident he has in fact done what's best for the show.

Also confident, but infinitely less cool, Karen condescendingly assures her roommate, "He only gave you that song because he was pissed at me." And thus commences such an annoying, stupid, soap opera fight. Nobody's talking about the same thing. It's like if I say the sky is blue and you say it tastes like chicken. To think I once rolled my eyes about the competition between Karen and Ivy—how I long for those blissfully innocent days of the Bombshell auditions. I cannot be bothered with this crap at this late date. Whatever, be friends, don't be friends. I'm checking my Instagram.