Previously on Smash – the workshop for Marilyn: The Musical did not receive the rave reviews expected. Derek, unhappy with Tom and Julia’s decision to fire Michael, and to replace Ivy with a ‘name’ star, determined to save the show. Julia and Michael broke up.
It’s been a few days since the workshop, and Ivy and the cast have not heard when or if they’ll be continuing to work on the musical. Even Tom and Julia have not heard from Eileen, who is ignoring their calls. Frank attempts to cheer up Julia, who is depressed and afraid the musical’s future is in jeopardy, by serenading her with a Guitar Hero version of Bob Marley’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.”
Eileen’s got her own problems. Clearly out of money; she’s in her new apartment with only a folding card table and a laptop for furnishings. Evil Ellis, the “Where’s Waldo” of the show, comes by with her mail. Great job he has – when Tom was busy with the workshop, Ellis had free time, and now that the workshop is on hold, Tom still doesn’t need him. So Ellis volunteers to help Eileen with anything she might need, like moving her furniture into the new place. Nope, Eileen doesn’t want her old stuff.
But Eileen has another visitor – her daughter Katie. Katie’s been doing something good for the world in India, but had a feeling her mother needed her. Mahatma Katie, as her family calls her for her saintly missions, produces a wall tapestry from her voluminous backpack, and tries to brighten up Eileen’s empty apartment. Apparently, Jerry’s dumped $3 million into Katie’s trust fund, which alerted Katie that Jerry’s trying to play with Eileen’s mind by denying her cash.
In a secluded coffee shop, Derek meets with Karen, and cryptically informs her that the show is taking a new direction, and he wants her to help. Tom and Julia can’t hear about this change.
Tom quizzes Ellis about Eileen’s reaction to the papers he sent via Ellis. Ellis says she said nothing, but mentions that Eileen was on the phone with Derek when he arrived, and Karen’s name was mentioned. Also, Katie is in town. Tom is overjoyed. He loves Katie and her saintly ways.
Julia meets Michael in a park. Before she can tell him he’s fired, he informs her that his wife and son are in the playground nearby, and that he would have quit had he not been fired. He’s realized how precious his family is to him, and won’t put them in jeopardy again. Julia has mixed emotions as he leaves.
Karen tells Dev about the sneaky moves Derek’s making, and Dev tells her about his own problems. He has to keep the details confidential, but he’s having dinner with RJ to discuss his competitor for the Press Secretary position. She’s got some dirt on the fellow, who apparently tried to impress the Mayor of DC’s young and underage daughter with some “Anthony Wiener” style photos. Dev doesn’t want to be involved in a smear campaign.
Ivy’s fellow cast from “Heaven on Earth” are worried about her. She’s not answering her phone or responding to messages. We see that she’s spending her time and energy at the gym, hiding from reality.
Frank and Julia meet with lawyer John to discuss the charge against son Leo. Apparently he walked on the grass, although he says he didn’t, contrary to posted signage. Frank’s all for paying the fine, but John tells them they need to get the record expunged, or it will have to be admitted on his college applications. He assures them that he’ll handle the process, and make it all go away. There’s almost a problem when Julia takes offense at the judge calling Leo an ‘ungrateful, over privileged kid who thinks they can get away with murder in a public park,” but in the end, all is well. Leaving the court, Julia tells Leo and Frank that she is very grateful for both of them.
Later, Tom cooks dinner for John, and John tells him about the court date, saying that Julia’s a lot of fun when she’s lit up. John says Tom really does need to keep a lawyer around, and the two kiss.
Karen meets with Derek, who’s wearing the most gorgeous, outrageously long trench coat, outside of a waterfront warehouse. She’s not happy with keeping Julia and Tom in the dark about his plans. He tells her it’s best to keep the writers in the dark, so that they are not worried, and brings her into the warehouse, where a band, led by Ryan Tedder, of OneRepublic, is practicing. Karen is duly impressed to hear she’ll be working with him on the new song, “Touch Me.” Ryan overrules one of Derek’s musical notes, saying that Karen sounds great.
Katie instigates a meeting between her parents, Eileen and Jerry, and tries to mediate between the warring spouses. Jerry is clearly using money to punish Eileen for not wanting his help with the musical, while also poisoning other backer’s minds on Eileen’s abilities. As the two yell at each other, Katie notices Ellis’ shadow against the door as he eavesdrop on the conversation, and summarily sends him off, slamming the door in his face.
Ellis answers when Derek calls for Eileen, and tells Ellis to give her the message that they’re on for tomorrow. Ellis asks if this is about this ‘thing’ they’re doing with Karen, and Derek says, “just give her the message.”
Ivy’s friends, led by Sam, take her out bowling to take her mind off her worries. She’s pretty stiff at first, but loosens up when they all start singing and dancing to Sly and the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music."
Dev is confronted by competitor Paul, and asked to hand over a speech he’s been developing. Apparently Dev’s boss, Andrew, thinks that Dev’s Oxford accent isn’t cutting it in the colonies, and he asked Paul to take over the speech. Dev calls RJ and asks for more information on Paul’s Washington scandal. RJ is more than happy to meet with Dev and a few colleagues at Dev’s apartment and get the scandal material sent to his boss at City Hall.
Ellis contrives to bump into Ivy, who tells him that she and Derek are on a ‘break.’ He hints that she may be being replaced by Karen, which sends Ivy into a panic. She could handle being replaced by a ‘name’ star, but not by Karen.