Surprise! Eileen plumped for the touristy/Tom and Jerry-preferred version of Bombshell, complete with giant plane in "Public Relations." Derek and Julia are, surprisingly, behaving really well having made the deal that they'd go with whatever Eileen says. Or wait... not, they both sulk and pout during rehearsal.
"It isn't art," Julia huffs and, not to be that person but, Julia? You know that we've seen pieces of Heaven on Earth, right? Spend a weekend with The Dramaturg and now you're above populist entertainment? Worse, Eileen keeps agreeing with Jerry on all his calls, including cutting "Never Give All Your Heart" because (he rightly points out!) there are too many songs in the show!
Tom briskly saves the song by restaging the number to make Marilyn empowered, and weave in and out among the men in her life making the song about them rather than wistful her. This quickly prompts another huge battle between Tom and Derek, with the added flavor of Jerry this round. It's enough to drive a territorial Derek to quit the show!
You can't get more populist than what Sean Hayes is doing over at Liaisons.He's adding real sheep! The peacocks will be stuffed, though. "They're notoriously difficult to work with," he says on the Peacock Network. All of this is in preparation for the Liaisons press day, which is... a new concept in which the cast perform the show in a rehearsal studio for reporters? Regardless, Ivy steals the show with her mock-operetta song, which Sean Hayes promptly demands to be cut because no one can be funnier than a male star. As a special side note, this is very true! All of the professionally funny men I have ever interviewed have gone out of their ways to make sure I didn't get a laugh, either from them or someone else.
Jerry too is notoriously difficult to work with, even as he remains mostly correct. As when he tells Karen she can't appear in a two-night run in the Fringe Festival if she's starring on Broadway and the marketing campaign is built around introducing her. If she does Hit List, she'll get fired from Bombshell. Jimmy, as usual, blames her and Derek. To quote another Christian Borle song, he's got a real chip on his shoulder.
Outside the Fringe theatre, Karen runs into Ellis ex-girlfriend, who spills the beans on his deal with Jerry. Karen runs off, which means (I believe) that she misses the disastrous Hit List performance that earns the review #60MinutesCloserToDeath. But with Derek out of the show, Karen is free to run down to Hit List to take more emotional abuse from Jimmy, who sneers at her for showing up to do one performance of the first act of his musical.
I'm sure he apologizes after Jesse L. Martin sees it and is taken by the material! Oh no, he reminds Karen she has "rehearsal" in the morning, so she probably shouldn't come out to celebrate.
That one-night-only performance could easily get her fired, and the book is a disaster and there's no second act, so she's taking a real chance. Ivy is too, when she tells off Sean Hayes for being a bad, hammy actor. He's so delighted with her moxie that he gives her back her song! Then he asks for feedback from everyone, and Veanne Cox says she's never been so embarrassed by her work—including a stint in Urban Cowboy. (Reader, I saw it.)
And in Chinatown, Julia and Eileen decide that Tom should be the new director. That's the first easy decision that team has made on the show yet!