“Enter Mr. DiMaggio.” As the title of this week’s episode suggests, it’s time for some new blood to join the cast of Smash as Michael Swift – played by Will Chase, a real-life Broadway vet – lands the role of Joltin’ Joe in Marilyn: The Musical.
But before he makes his first appearance, we’re treated to rising star Ivy Lynn and charmingly scuzzy director Derek getting frisky between the sheets. While doing the walk of shame afterwards, Ivy has an a-ha moment: Did Derek give her the part because she slept with him? Gasp! Seems hard to believe that such an “experienced” actress is just connecting the dots. I’d insert a “dumb blonde” joke here, but it’s too obvious. Feel free to come up with your own.
Over in good-girl land, Karen Cartwright meets Derek at a bar, where we learn she scored a spot in the ensemble. Despite being the one who put her there, Derek says Karen has “too much talent” to be just a chorus girl and suggests “a lot can happen” before the curtain actually goes up. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
Just then, Karen’s boyfriend Dev crashes the get-together, readily admitting he’s there to check out the competition. The two Brits wind up in a pissing contest, which Dev wins since he “got to go home with the girl.”
When an open casting call for Mr. DiMaggio yields nothing but eye-rolls, Michael Swift’s name is dropped, since he has worked with Julia and Tom in the past. But Julia doesn’t seem too thrilled with the idea of him playing Marilyn’s short-lived spouse, and Michael isn’t sure it’s in the best interest of his young family to take on the role.
The next day, Julia and Tom are working on new songs when Michael’s name comes up again, and Julia gets all weird. First she claims he’s “not right for the part,” then she tries to convince Tom to scrap the DiMaggio character altogether. Hmm, something fishy is going on . . .
Insert unnecessary storyline of the week here: Karen goes home to Iowa to see her parents and attend her best friend’s baby shower. The trip is basically one big set-up for Karen to sing a karaoke rendition of Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman” while gawkily dancing barefoot in a honky-tonk bar. Hey, at least it’s not Julia’s mind-numbing adoption quest, which is thankfully absent this week.
Back in NYC, Tom’s assistant Ellis – a.k.a. Creepy McCreepster – decides Julia and Tom should pay him for coming up with the idea of Marilyn: The Musical. So he steals Julia’s songbook and rifles through it. Why? Who knows. Did he find anything interesting? Unclear. What was the point of stealing it? Beats me!
Despite having officially landed the role of Marilyn, Ivy is nervous that she hasn’t heard from Derek in three days. Then, ta-da! He shows up at her Heaven on Earth dressing room—and they hook up as her cast mates press their ears up against the door. (Do people actually do that in real life?! ’Cause it sure happens a lot on this show.)
Cut to Julia and Michael running into each other at Eileen’s office, where the most awkward It Takes Two People To Push an Elevator Button moment happens. After learning Michael’s taking the part of DiMaggio, Karen makes a beeline for the lift, where she seemingly needs help choosing between “up” and “down.” This gives Michael the opportunity to lean in, take a weirdo whiff and whisper that she “smells good.” Game on.
At a restaurant, Eileen runs into her soon-to-be ex-husband, who gifts her with a pair of diamond earrings. He wants her back – and he wants in on Marilyn: The Musical. But she’s having none of it, refusing his advances and dousing him with a drink, a la last week. (The drink-toss was awesomely campy the first time, somewhat funny the second and just plain lame the third go-round. Time for a new move, Eileen.)
Across town, Tom is on a lunch date with a cast member of Heaven on Earth, who tells him that Ivy is sleeping with Derek. Tom flips out, immediately running to BFF Julia to commisserate about how the director is acting like a total d-bag. But to his surprise, she defends Derek, barking there’s no reason to be so judgmental. Those pesky glass houses!
When Tom storms off in disgust, Julia chases after him, only to run into annoying Ellis. The two get into a spat when the World’s Worst Assistant blocks her path. She lays into him, but he puts her in her place with his newfound cockiness before handing over the notebook, which he claims he found under a pile of mail. Riiight.
After apologizing to Tom, Julia reveals a deep, dark, yet oh-so-obvious secret – she and Michael had a passionate affair, and her hubby of 18 years has no clue. But you know who does? Ellis, who’s been hanging out in the hallway eavesdropping. Didn’t see that coming. Oh, wait, yes I did – because that’s all he ever does.
Later, at an intimate rehearsal, Ivy and Michael sing a romantic original song, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” as Michael and Julia make eyes at each other while Ellis skulks and schemes. Dun dun dun. Looks like things are getting interesting . . .
Last episode: The Final Callback