It's about the work on this episode of Smash, for everyone involved. Finally!
Tom is learning the hard way that being in charge isn't all coffee and croissants from Balthazar. You don't get to be everyone's friend—you have to make tough calls that will upset people for the greater good. Too bad he doesn't realize that until after he's giddily promised a returned Leslie Odom Jr. that he can have a new character and song in Bombshell! He'll play Nat King Cole, and sing a Houston-Levitt trunk song. Except, oops, Eileen wasn't informed and she explodes at Tom in front of "the most powerful arts and entertainment editor in town." No, not the Playbill editor-in-chief, the New York Times arts editor. So LEslie Odom Jr. is banished from Bombshell, and Tom learns a Lesson.
Downtown, Jimmy and Derek are fighting again while working on Hit List. This time, about the sets. (Subtext: It's about Karen.) Derek envisions a high tech, LED-centric production design, and Jimmy yells about now overwhelming the show. "This isn't Broadway," he snarls at Derek, who points out that Jimmy doesn't actually know anything about Broadway. The decision becomes Karen's—she's his muse, that's what they do—and she sides with Jimmy. We need to realize what a tough choice that was for her, choosing between the two emotionally abusive men in her life!
Eileen and Daphne Rubin-Vega, her publicist, are trying to wrestle damage control on Bombshell, but the show has been ripped apart by the tabloids and a positive angle is hard to come by. While poring over photos, they marvel at Ivy's bone structure. "She has her mother's face," Eileen says. "And her rack," Daphne Rubin-Vega adds. While they're working to make Bombshell a success, Julia is... pursuing a man. This time, its Jesse L. Martin, with whoms he had a falling out 15 years before when she opted to use Micke Nichols as director her play at Lincoln Center, rather than fulfilling her promise to Jesse L. Martin that he could direct at the Vineyard. He's still not over the betrayal, but even Julia for once is like, "Seriously?" Eventually she apologizes and Jesse L. Martin tells her he's sorry about her and Frank. Maybe not the time to bring up her divorce, dude.
When Jimmy and Derek aren't participating in pissing contests together, they're... fighting over casting. "Lea Michele?" Jimmy demands. "Lea. Michele?!" Derek thinks she might be right for The Diva, the world;s biggest pop star in the world of Hit List. Jimmy and Karen disagree—Karen, for one, thinks that Ana should land it. And Ana promptly belts out "If I Were a Boy" at a crowded bar for Derek. Did it land her the role? It did! And by the end of the night, Karen has landed Jimmy in her apartment.
Back at a Bombshell run through (which apparently still has not cast the role of Marilyn's mother?), Eileen has landed on a solution to a myriad of problems: Cast Ivy's mother, Bernadette Peters, to play Marilyn's mother! Will this upset Ivy? she asks Tom. Tom knows it will, but gives the OK. Oh, Ivy is not going to appreciate this wrench in the proceedings. But we get more Bernadette Peters, so who's complaining?