Last week on Smash – Ivy’s problems and prescription pill dependency caused her to make a fool of herself in the chorus of “Heaven on Earth.” Karen was there to help Ivy through. Julia’s husband Frank walked out after discovering Julia’s affair with Michael. Evil Ellis tried to weasel himself a co-producer title.
It’s a full house at the Rehearsal Space, as cast, chorus, production and prospective investors await the arrival of their star for a design presentation. Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman) is stuck in Cuba, and the investors are getting restless. Eileen is given two days to get her presentation together.
Derek says they have to start working, with or without Rebecca, and asks Karen to understudy ‘Marilyn.’ She’s thrilled.
Meanwhile, Ivy’s having a bevvy with Sam. How could Rebecca just not show up for the biggest part on Broadway? Sam leaves when Derek arrives, leaving Derek to tell Ivy that Karen is understudying ‘Marilyn.’ Ivy wants to know why Karen is understudy, when Ivy already knows the part. Derek tells her that after what happened at “Heaven on Earth,” he can’t even get Ivy a job in a chorus.
Tom and Sam talk about Ivy, and Sam lets Tom know that Derek has his own key to Ivy’s apartment. They also discuss Ivy’s work predicament. “Schadenfreude as art form,” says Sam. John, who’s been ignored by the two, points out that they’re at the entrance door to the play they’re seeing. Sam says he heard the play’s a train wreck, and John asks why they’re going to see it, then. Tom and Sam simultaneously answer, “Because it’s a train wreck!” Sam leaves them to their play.
In his office, Dev has just found out that his rival, Paul, got the job, which makes him Dev’s boss. RJ is there to sympathize; she can’t believe that the dirt they found on Paul never made it past the Chief of Staff. Dev hasn’t told Karen the news yet.
Speak of the devil – Karen pops by Dev’s office to give him her news about the understudy part. Their kiss is interrupted by Paul, who remembers Karen from a cocktail party, and asks Dev to come by his office. Again, Dev doesn’t tell Karen about Paul’s getting the top job.
Eileen tells Ellis that he had better find Rebecca if he still has any illusions of being a co-producer. She also asks him to set up a meeting with the investors.
Julia asks son Leo if he’s seen Frank. Leo says he’s been told not to say, and doesn’t want to be the one in the middle.
Ivy wanders Broadway, singing Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway," while still picturing herself as ‘Marilyn.’ She imagines herself in full ‘Marilyn’ drag, making a triumphant return to the rehearsal space. But it’s only in her dreams.
Eileen tells Derek that Rebecca’s assistant is having trouble getting her visa. The assistant is Cuban, it’s political, and Rebecca won’t leave the girl behind. So they’ll be using Karen for staging for now. Julia worries that Rebecca is a movie star who’s never done live theatre, and they need her yesterday. Eileen assures her that she’ll be there by the weekend. Tom and Julia have an interview to do with an NYU student. The student reminds them that they’ve been writing partners for 10 years, and that they have a ritual they perform every year on their anniversary; they find a production of “Three On A Match” and go to see it. The student wonders if Frank ever gets jealous of Julia and Tom’s relationship.
Derek’s tough on Karen as she works on the blocking. At home, Karen complains about Derek to Dev, but he’s not very sympathetic. And he’s angry when Karen drops that Derek ‘sexually harassed’ her when she was auditioning for the part. She says she handled it, and wonders why Dev is yelling at her. He says it’s because she lied to him by not telling him about the incident before. (Oh, like Dev’s not telling her about his job situation?) She returns to work, telling him to yell at someone else.
Eileen meets with the investors, who tell her they must meet with Rebecca and her representatives as soon as possible; there’s 7 million dollars involved. They also want to speak with Derek. They’re getting worried about the unpredictability of the BOMBSHELL production, and say that Eileen’s ex, Jerry, would never have put them in this situation.
Well, what would you do? Eileen heads for the Bushwhack, and her sexy bartender friend Nick, to drown her sorrows. She pours out her troubles to Nick about the investors, and Nick pulls out an enormous brick of money. It’s his emergency fund, and it’s hers if she needs it. He doesn’t have 7 million, but he has an ex-rock star friend who might be interested.
Ivy and Derek spend a quiet evening together. He’s working on the blocking for a scene that doesn’t involve ‘Marilyn,’ because Karen’s like a scared rabbit; she’s completely useless. Rather than be ecstatic at Derek’s words, ivy tells him to take it easy on her; the only directors who were ever successful with ‘Marilyn’ were the ones who babied her. Derek says he never babied Ivy, and she tells him that he did fire her. She’s okay with that, but he’s got to be smart, since there’s a lot on the line.
Derek and the male cast work on a Daryl Zanuck number set in a steam room, where Zanuck held all of his meetings. The chorus wears towels over their workout clothing. The actor playing Zanuck is unavailable, so Tom stands in. He sings "Don't Say Yes Until I Finish Talking," a new original song, and nails the fast paced lyrics.