'Smash' Recap: Tech It Out - Rolling Stone
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‘Smash’ Recap: Tech It Out

Cast and crew head to Boston to prepare for opening night


Jack Davenport as Derek Wills and Uma Thurman as Rebecca Duvall on 'Smash.'

Will Hart/NBC

After last week’s oddball Bollywood number, Smash continues along the path of camp with an awkward song-and-dance routine taking place in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

Karen and the chorus line giddily overact as they board a train to Boston for a tech rehearsal. Note to show writers and transportation enthusiasts everywhere: The Metro-North commuter rail does not travel that far north. Just sayin’ . . .

After a two-second train ride, the entire cast and crew arrive in Beantown to set up shop in a real theater. Well, everyone but Julia, who’s back home staring at her once-estranged husband Frank while he sleeps. Creepy.

After a long night of trying to get the staging right, Ivy delivers coffee to Derek, and she quickly solves a problem that’s had him stumped. She sings! She dances! She directs! So when she refers to herself as a “woman of many talents” (ahem), he kisses her on the forehead and responds, “That’s why I love you.” The words leave Ivy a little shocked and a lot smiley.

The next day, the actor playing Joe DiMaggio up and quits because he got a better gig, leaving the production high and dry two days before curtain. Instead of panicking, a pissed-off Derek decides to rehire Michael Swift. When Tom objects, Derek admits he already knows Michael and Julia had an affair – and he doesn’t care.

Back at Chateau Reconciliation, Julia is overseeing a stack of burnt pancakes while Frank coaches her on how to cook the perfect flapjack. As they share a victory kiss after she successfully flips one, their son Leo asks when they’re going to “make it official” that they’re back together. What I wanna know is: Does it really take a normal person 20 tries to produce an edible pancake?

Just then, Tom calls to deliver the news about Michael. But when BFF Julia tells him Frank’s back and things are good, he chickens out. This does not sit well with Derek or producer Eileen, who heads back to New York to deliver the news in person. Take no prisoners!

In the dressing room, Rebecca admits to Derek that she’s nervous and knows everyone thinks she’s a joke, so he gives her a pep talk. Outside, Ivy’s eavesdropping, which is usually Ellis‘ job. Indeed, she asks him to keep an eye on Derek and Rebecca. That’s code for make sure they don’t do the nasty, basically.

Back in New York, cute journalist R.J. shows up at Karen’s apartment to help a “sick” Dev nurse a bottle of bourbon. What a pal! After doing some daytime drinking, R.J. leans in for a kiss, and Dev passionately reciprocates. But before things go too far, he comes to his senses and stops. Too little, too late?

Meanwhile, Eileen blindsides Julia with the news of Michael’s return. Julia begs for an alternative because she’s afraid she’ll lose her family. But Eileen is afraid of losing millions. There’s too much at stake on both sides, so the women reach an impasse. Julia flies into near-hysterics, threatening to quit the show if Michael returns. Welcome back, distracting pop-eyes!

In Boston, Derek asks Tom to rework a song intro so Rebecca can wear a costume she really likes. Then they hit another snag – it’s taking way too long to remove Rebecca’s gloves backstage, so he tells Karen and Ivy to remove the gloves while onstage. Hmm, why’s Derek being so nice?

To celebrate Derek’s birthday, Rebecca gets dolled up as Marilyn Monroe and breathily sings “Happy Birthday” as her assistant wheels out a ginormous cake. Ivy is less than thrilled, and she becomes downright territorial when she spots Rebecca feeding Derek with her fork. The gloves are really off now.

Still trying to get Julia on board with rehiring Michael, Eileen confronts her at her house, saying it’s unfair to hold a multimillion-dollar production hostage because of one person’s poor judgment. Just as things get heated, Frank and Leo come home. Busted!

At the same time, Dev unexpectedly shows up in Boston to bring Karen flowers. While she seems pleasantly surprised, she has to blow him off because she’s in the middle of rehearsal. When they finally meet up for a romantic dinner, Dev is visibly nervous. As he stutters and stammers, it seems like he’s going to admit to his make-out session with R.J. But instead he pulls out an engagement ring and proposes. Ah, the old bait-and-switch. When she struggles to find an answer, he gets pissy, causing her to leave in a huff.

While Derek is supposed to be celebrating his birthday with Ivy, he’s actually hooking up with Rebecca. When Ivy comes looking for him, she can hear giggling through the dressing room door but is blocked from barging in by Rebecca’s assistant. With tears in her eyes, she turns away. Now the question becomes: Is this the first time they’ve hooked up, or has it been going on behind our backs?

At a party, a drunken Ivy accuses Karen of knowing about the affair before sadly singing “I’m Goin’ Down” as she recalls all the women she’s caught Derek flirting with. Then, when Karen spots Dev, she chases after him. He immediately starts screaming about how much he sacrificed for her, saying he could be working in D.C. but chose to stay in New York for her “stupid show” and now his career is ruined. He soon throws up the fact that he almost slept with R.J. but stopped himself because he realized he only wanted to be with Karen. Aw, what a guy!

Enter a bunch of bananas and a jar of peanut butter. Come again? Yes, in the messiest combo to ever be eaten in bed, Julia is drowning her sorrows in the aforementioned snack. What happened to an easy-peasy pint of ice cream?

Anyway, as she’s smearing PB all over her ‘nanas, Frank and Leo come in to tell her they’re not gonna let her “quit life” so they should all go to Boston. Julia plus Frank plus Leo plus Michael equals one big happy family, right? Sure!

Also drowning his sorrows is Dev, who’s drinking alone in a bar when a blonde pulls up next to him. He offers to buy her a drink. When they exchange names, they realize they know each other. Dev meet Ivy. Still, they clink glasses and make passes. Bottoms up!

Last episode: Welcome to Bollywood


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