Catch up on Smash every night with Playbill! It's available to stream with commercials on NBC, and available for purchase on Amazon. Episode 11 recap here.
We haven't even opened yet, and Julia is already pitching their next project to Tom. Her ideas are... oh, Julia. A musical built around the poetry of Ezra Pound? I went to Sarah Lawrence and even I think that's too pretentious. (She'll ultimately top herself later, when she decides to pursue a Great Gatsby musical.)
Eileen is disappointed in yet another man in her life—if she didn't need a face for those martinis, I'd tell her to swear off them for good! While she struggles with whether or not she should tell Richard Francis she's not wearing underwear (as suggested by her publicist, Daphne Rubin-Vega), Hit List is celebrating a sold-out run downtown by planning a group excursion to opening night of Bombshell. Count Karen out!
Count Tom in for a proposed revival of City of Angels, which he thinks could be great if a director leaned into the dark, gritty aspects of the noir plot. Well, if the Bombshell reviews are good enough to warrant hiring him.
Jimmy's past rears its ugly head when his brother befriends Ana and spills the beans. Ana promptly tells her roommate Karen all. And Jimmy had been planning to reveal all later that night, at the opening of the musical Karen was once the lead of!
Bombshell opening night! Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are in attendance‚they've also purchased the last two available tickets to Hit List!—and after a quick pep talk from her mother, the show whizzes by until the final song, "Don't Forget Me." Reader, I will never forget screaming in delight when I realized we'd get a full Megan Hilty version of this when first this episode aired in 2013. And then promptly rewinding the DVR (look it up) to watch it again.)
The moment when Ivy banishes the men in her life with that glorious note—and Ivy banishes the people who stood in her way with that same note—is one of the great parts of the series.
At the opening night party (hilariously held at the Hotel Carter, once one of New York City's most revolting roach motels), Derek and Jesse L. Martin are plotting to transfer Hit List to Broadway; Eileen and Daphne Rubin-Vega are in a war room collecting pull quotes from reviews; Julia is inappropriately melting down during a work event after discovering that Tom wants to direct City of Angels rather than adapt Gatsby. Why does she need to write another musical? Why can't she go back to her plays about Amelia Earhart? Also, is it that surprising that Tom is leery of teaming up again after you absenteeism this whole project?
As the usual bickering occurs—including a tussle between Jimmy and his brother that comes to a halt when Eileen dumps a bucket of ice on them with the disdainful nonchalance of Marlene Dietrich facing the firing squad in Dishonored), Karen and Ivy have a heat-to-heart in the ladies room (where bottles of Chanel No. 5 are strewn about for the guests to use), during which Karen comes out as Team Ivy. Surprise. As Karen says, even Marilyn Monroe herself couldn't have done a better job. They cap off this happy reunion by singing "That's Life" together at the party. I've been to some opening night parties in my day, but I've never seen talent perform for partygoers. Yet. Everything in life is a yet, remember that.
And then... ruh-roh! Daisy the dancer who accused Derek of sexual harassment, admits she just did it for attention. This was problematic in 2013 but wow, I am watching it unfold out of one eye, squinted.
At least we have Eileen to bring us home, shouting screw the Times and demanding that Bombshell run longer than The Lion King and sweep the Tony Awards. Oh Eileen, 2020 needs you desperately! Come back?