Previously on Smash: Rebecca Duvall stole director Derek from under Ivy’s nose; Dev got the wrong answer when he proposed to Karen, and somehow ended up flirting drunkenly with Ivy; Michael Swift has been brought back to the show, despite Julia’s frantic pleas.
Welcome to Preview Week. Dev wakes up beside Ivy. Karen’s frantically trying to reach Dev, who stormed off after she turned down his proposal. Meanwhile, Jessica’s worried about Ivy, who confessed the previous night that she’d found out that Derek was sleeping with Rebecca. In Ivy’s bedroom, two phones ring – and Dev very nearly answers Ivy’s phone. Both Dev and Ivy sheepishly say they’re not telling anyone about their tryst.
Julia, escorted by Frank and Leo, arrives at the theatre. As they say goodbye, Michael Swift pulls up in a cab. Everyone stares at each other, but no one speaks. Leo wonders if he was the only one who enjoyed the moment. Frank says he probably was. Julia says she’ll be fine, as soon as she’s killed Tom.
Eileen’s happy to see Julia, as is Tom, but Julia immediately announces that she’s not speaking to Tom. Rebecca has Derek come to her room for a ‘few notes’ and a little nooky. Eileen catches him leaving Rebecca’s dressing room, and warns him that if things blow up, she’ll strangle him.
Ivy arrives to rehearsal, and is saddened to hear that Derek’s gone backstage. Karen assures ivy that she had no idea about Derek and Rebecca’s affair. Derek addresses the cast, saying that he thinks they’re in pretty good shape for the night’s preview, and welcoming Michael back to the show.
Karen asks Rebecca if she’s sleeping with Derek, letting her know that Ivy and Derek have been together for a while. Karen says she just doesn’t want anyone to get hurt. Rebecca replies, “well then let’s just get out of showbiz.”
As everyone prepares for opening night, Karen tries frantically to reach Dev, believing he’s gone back to New York. The audience files in. Eileen meets up with Nick, who has a broken arm, but no explanation other than ‘a bit of an altercation.’ She and Nick head for the mezzanine to watch the show.
From the opening song, it’s clear that Rebecca does not have the voice to sell ‘Marilyn’ in “Bombshell.” She also isn’t hitting her mark in some numbers, causing the lighting to be off. And she’s blaming Michael for some of her own missed cues.
In one highly entertaining song, Marc Kudisch plays Darryl Zanuck with all of the dastardly panache and bravado the part deserves. He calls for his minions to bring on the ‘tomatoes’ (an old fashioned word for good looking women) “heirloom, cherry, plum.” Karen and Ivy play fame seeking babes willing to do anything to be a “Smash.” Afterwards, Karen and Ivy congratulate each other on how well they did.
The show’s last number shows ‘Marilyn’ on her deathbed, calling someone, begging them to come over. And then she dies. The audience is speechless, but not in a good way. “You can’t end a musical with a suicide,” says Tom. Eileen, determined that “Bombshell” will run forever, needs a new ending for the show, immediately. So get on it, Tom and Julia!
As Karen and company leave, she finds Dev lurking by the stage door. She apologizes, saying she was a jerk and overreacted. Ivy comes by, and she and Dev pretend to meet for the first time.
Sam and Tom have a post-show meal. Sam invites Tom to join him at his church on the weekend. Tom says he’s Jewish; Jews don’t sing and pray, they complain and eat. “Well complain and eat with God on Sunday,” says Sam.
Eileen, Nick and Evil Ellis fret over the show. Ellis says the real problem is Rebecca; she’s just not landing any of her numbers. When Eileen asks him if he’s directing now, he says, “or producing. Somebody has to,” earning him a sharp rebuke from Nick. Eileen says Ellis had better leave; he clearly needs some rest. Eileen tells Nick that she used to be like Ellis, before she met him. Nick leaves to make sure Ellis has a ride home. A pianist (Marc Shaiman) begins playing “September Song,” and Eileen sings. Nick returns, and she seems to be aiming the words at him. “These precious days, I’ll spend with you.”
We see Dev and Karen make up in her bedroom, and Julia and Frank snubbing Tom.
The next morning, Dev and Karen talk about when they met, in a pub in London. He feels he should never have come to Boston. She says she loves him, and asks him to propose again. He does, but can’t find the ring. He wonders if he left it in Ivy’s bedroom.
Ivy arrives at the theatre several hours earlier than required. She finds Derek, and asks him what is going on. “Three days ago you said you loved me, and that was the last time you spoke to me, other than to say, “places please” and “stay out of my way, I’m about to have sex with a movie star.” He says that Rebecca needs his attention, and he’s giving it to her. They’re opening a show, and he and Ivy are professionals. That’s why they do well together. Apparently that’s all the explanation or apology Ivy will receive.
Rebecca’s on the phone to her shrink in her dressing room when Karen walks in. She’s telling him that no one applauded; she’s alone in Boston, dying. Karen says it wasn’t Rebecca’s fault that they didn’t applaud, but Rebecca says, as the star, it’s all her fault. Rebecca is drinking one of her kelp smoothies, but it’s not going down well. She can immediately tell that there are nuts in her drink, but continues to drink nonetheless. Rebecca goes into an allergic reaction, and Karen calls for help.