THE "Smash" REPORT: Season Two, Episode 14 or, Without You

By Ben Rimalower
06 May 2013

Jack Davenport and Katharine McPhee
Photo by Will Hart/NBC

Well, sad as everyone is, the show must go on—or, wait, no, Hit List will be cancelled tonight, but business is business and Tom and Julia have an appointment to dissolve their partnership. Julia thinks Tom's being such a jerk until he explains they need to dissolve it so that she can acquire the rights to "The Great Gatsby" by herself and not have to run all creative decisions by him. Tom smugly concludes "today's installment of Tom the Monster," but I still think something's off. Just because he's co-owns the rights doesn't mean he can't stay silent and uninvolved, right? Or is this about her spending their joint money to acquire the rights? Can't she just buy him out of that? Why do they have to dissolve their partnership? And what does that even mean? Are they bound to work together somehow by a collaboration agreement? What am I missing? Julia seems to agree with Tom about this, though, and that's that.

Which is a good thing because Scott's job at Manhattan Theatre Workshop is on the line for Julia's Gatsby play—if she pulls it, he'll be fired. He hopes Julia and Tom work something out, but for a little insurance, he decides not to cancel tonight's performance of Hit List. Derek had originally been very opposed to the show going on (as some sort of "requiem"), but when he sees all the people lined up outside the theatre he agrees something must be put on the stage for them. Scott tells everyone it was Julia's idea to go on with the show, in her protégé Kyle's honor, while she is conveniently 40 blocks uptown trying to get the lights of Broadway dimmed for Kyle.

When Julia finds out about Scott's lie, she's livid. I can understand her fury, although I think maybe capitalizing on the moment is what a being a producer is about. And it really is a great moment for Kyle. The line wraps around the block. There's not an empty seat in the house (right down to the unfortunate mohawk in the front row). Kyle's death could catapult Hit List to fame the way Jonathan Larson's did with Rent—hey, wait a second! Rent (in the world of "Smash") originated at (and Jonathan Larson died on the eve of Rent's opening at) Manhattan Theatre Workshop. They say lightening doesn't strike twice, but now I'm suspicious of this Scott character. How many more playwrights is he gonna kill? Julia, watch your back!

It's a magical night. Ivy even calls in sick to her Broadway show that opened like a week ago so she can come down and support Tom and Derek. Sam takes the stage to play Jimmy's part for a few minutes, but then Jimmy finally shows up after Karen finds him wandering the city. He gives a truly stunning performance, full of vulnerability and all the emotion that this material surely brings up for him in relation to Kyle, and to Karen and to himself.

In swoops Jerry. With his backing, Hit List is moving to Broadway after all—starting previews at the end of the month! Everyone heads uptown to celebrate as Eileen dims the lights on Bombshell's marquee in tribute to Kyle.

Another tribute to Kyle: Jimmy's quitting drinking. Easy does it, Jimmy. One day at a time. Addictions fill our lives with pain and conflict, but they're not easy to get away from.

Just like "Smash."