THE "SMASH" REPORT: Season Two, Episode 4, Or, Doping Out the Characters

By Kenneth Jones
27 Feb 2013

Christian Borle
Photo by Will Hart/NBC

This lack of character definition with Peter and Veronica isn't about human complexity, it's about inconsistent writing. And it creeps in with Jeremy Jordan's drug-using songwriter Jimmy, too. He's angry, he's not angry. He wants Karen's help, he doesn't want Karen's help. He wants to network, he doesn't want to network. Same thing goes for Derek. He's a bully, he's not a bully. He learns from his mistakes, he doesn't learn from his mistakes. He needs nobody's advice, he needs Ivy's advice.

The episode's organizing event is Ronnie's big reinvention concert, for which she and Derek want a "raw" new song. Karen (Katharine McPhee) has just the idea — what about something by Jimmy, from the new musical Hit List, which he's writing with boyish librettist Kyle (Andy Mientus)? Tom (Christian Borle) is the concert musical director, and he and Derek say no to Jimmy's existing songs, so Jimmy cooks up a new one (and also disappears for a while to get high because he thinks he's been rejected). The song (approved by Tom and miraculously, instantly orchestrated, staged and lighted) turns out to be Ronnie's concert-finale triumph. And what a coup for the songwriter Jimmy — the concert is being seen on TV's Bravo (an NBC Universal network, natch!), giving him exposure that will certainly goose his fortunes as a musical-theatre writer. Ronnie brings both Jimmy and Kyle (!) out for a bow.