'Smash' Recap: Welcome to Bollywood - Rolling Stone
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‘Smash’ Recap: Welcome to Bollywood

Karen and Rebecca land on Page Six


Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright on 'Smash.'

Will Hart/NBC

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Dev sings!

Wait, you mean you haven’t been hoping for this all season? Yeah, me neither. But I did call it a few weeks ago, cracking a joke in one of my previous Smash recaps about this very jumping-the-shark moment. Oh, how I wish I’d been wrong.

But I digress, as I’m sure you want to hear about everything leading up to Dev’s big scene. Something’s gotta fill the other 57 minutes, right?

Indeed. This week, director Derek calls Karen in to rehearsal early so they can privately talk about her staying on top of the Bombshell material in case movie star Rebecca Duvall doesn’t work out. Of course, “private” still means assistant Ellis is lurking around. He overhears the conversation, including Derek telling Karen she’d make a “brilliant Marilyn” right before rival Ivy walks in.

Ellis immediately uses this information to cozy back up to Rebecca’s assistant, whom he slept with then dissed, all in the name of getting ahead. Meanwhile, when Rebecca arrives late, she refuses to follow Derek’s direction. When the day’s done, Rebecca invites a giddy Karen out for the night. Welcome to the big league, Iowa.

The two women make their way to a cabaret, where Rebecca entices Karen to step onstage to sing Snow Patrol’s “Run.” The “date” lands them on Page Six, which euphemistically labels the new friends “gal pals.” Say “cheese”!

When Dev sees a photo of Karen kissing Rebecca on the cheek, he’s visibly annoyed. But he’s not really one to talk, since he’s meeting cute “friend” R.J. for breakfast.

After the whole cast hears Derek and songwriter Tom bickering about whether Rebecca has the chops to sing a new song, they hand it over to Karen, who’ll play Ms. Monroe’s “shadow self” – a.k.a. a voice in her head, so as to get around the whole Rebecca’s a Sucky Singer debacle.

Later, Rebecca brings a bunch of swag to Karen’s apartment, including a $2,000 jacket. But when Rebecca learns Dev is Karen’s live-in boyfriend, she warns he might be “a problem on the way up.” Hint: drop him like a hot potato.

With that, the ladies hit the town again for a drunken, paparazzi-filled montage. The theme of the night seems to be: Party till you land on Page Six!

A tipsy Karen is wearing the overpriced jacket after returning home from partying with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and David Bowie. Again annoyed, Dev questions who she’s turning into. Chill out, dude, it was just one night! Perhaps Rebecca is onto something?

Co-writers and BFFs Julia and Tom are practicing the new song, the tongue-twister “Second-Hand White Baby Grand,” when Julia’s estranged hubby Frank comes looking for their son, Leo. They quickly realize Leo has played them, telling each he is staying with the other. Sneaky.

In bed, Ivy plants seeds of doubt in Derek’s head about his directorial skills when she coyly reveals everyone’s talking about his “movie star problems” and how he can’t seem to steer the sinking ship to safety. The next day, Derek suddenly grows a pair when Rebecca delays rehearsal to teach someone how to make her a kale and flaxseed smoothie. Oh, Ivy, you little puppet master.

Behind every successful man, there is a woman doing his dirty work. For Derek, there’s Eileen, whom he enlists to help control Rebecca. Eileen’s solution is to put Ellis in charge of smoothie-making. A worthy cause if ever there was one.

Excited to introduce Dev and Rebecca, Karen organizes a dinner at an Indian restaurant. But there’s trouble in paradise, as Rebecca seems underwhelmed by their choice of cuisine and questions Dev about “how high up” he is at his job. He then takes the awkwardness up a notch by accusing Rebecca of pretending she and Karen are lesbian lovers in order to drum up publicity. Diplomat that she is, Karen tries to break the tension by eating faster and encouraging them to do the same.

As they bicker, Karen becomes entranced by a Bollywood musical playing on TV and envisions Dev breaking into an elaborate song-and-dance routine. Insert an unnecessarily over-the-top musical production, “A Thousand and One Nights,” that swings the spotlight on Dev and includes bit parts for everyone in the cast. Maybe Leo and R.J. are just getting their feet wet when it comes to busting into song. (Oh, how I hope I’m wrong this time.)

After Julia comically threatens her son’s stoner best friend – “I’m famous! I’ve had plays on Broadway! That sort of things means something to people in New York City!” – Leo finally comes home to find his parents acting all couple-y again while making dinner. When he breaks down and opens up about why he ran away, Julia shares these words of wisdom: “Dinner will make us all feel better.” Hey Julia, the Fifties called – they want their simplicity back.

The next day, Rebecca tells Ellis to make her and Karen smoothies while they go out to get chips, leaving the budding chef and Ivy to bitch and scheme. Their plan? To borrow someone’s cell and text Karen that she’s no longer needed at rehearsal, then tip Derek off to the fact that Rebecca has once again disappeared.

After Karen heads home with no questions asked about the mysterious text, Derek storms down to the lobby to find Rebecca signing autographs and posing for pics. He flips out, calling her a “stupid little movie star” who’s ruining the production. Rebecca seems both stunned and amused by the outburst.

When he discovers Karen is MIA, he loses it. And with that, the song “Second-Hand White Baby Grand” (say that fast three times) belongs to Ivy. Well-played. Or is it? Because once Ivy belts it out and enthralls the room, Rebecca announces that she should sing it. Yeah, good luck with that.

Last episode: Something Pitchy This Way Comes


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