It's a shame that Smash's ratings have significantly dipped since the pilot. The show has really picked up its game over the past few episodes, and this week's spotlight on a tumultuous tech rehearsal is no exception.
Another Opening of Another Show
We start with a pretty stellar opening sequence featuring Tom (Christian Borle) finally demonstrating his powerful pipes over a montage of the cast and crew transporting the "Bombshell" production to the Boston stage. I've gone through dozens of tech rehearsals over the years, so re-living the frustration through the hilarious filter of Derek (Jack Davenport) was quite a treat.
A Swift Solution
Everything is finally getting back to normal around the Houston residence after Julia's (Debra Messing) affair with Michael Swift (Will Chase) -- so naturally the actor playing DiMaggio backs out at the last minute, leaving Derek no choice but to bring the adulterer back to the show. Julia threatens to leave the production if Michael returns, but finally decides that she can handle it. Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts.
An Unexpected Bond
So all signs were pointing to Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman) and Derek butting heads until she inevitably quit the show. But what's this: Derek kindly advises Rebecca to use her own star power to ease into the role of Marilyn, and Rebecca sings the director a surprise "Happy Birthday, Mr. President"? Watching these two characters find a common ground is surprisingly touching -- that is, until Derek lives up to his reputation and sleeps with her.
In Tech, There Is No Time for Love
Feeling guilty for succumbing to R.J.'s (Tala Ashe) power and kissing her, Dev (Raza Jaffrey) travels to Boston and proposes to Karen (Katharine McPhee). But apparently because it's "tech" -- as she obnoxiously repeats several times -- she is incapable of saying yes, which makes absolutely no sense. Oh well, this just opens the door for Dev to run into the arms, and bed, of Ivy Lynn.
As this episode proves, when Smash focuses on the lesser-known hurdles of putting on a production (struggling with Rebecca's sweaty gloves was a hilarious highlight), the show shines. But when it resorts to the tropes of primetime TV, it's nothing more than filler.
"And that is why I love you."
-- Derek casually dropping the "L" word on Ivy.
"Michael and Julia, yeah yeah, I'm not an idiot. I just mind my own business."
-- Derek to Tom, on Michael and Julia's affair.
"It's called a spine, Tom."
-- Derek chastising Tom after he backs out of telling Julia that Michael Swift is coming back to the show.
"The leading lady doesn't sweat, dear. She glows."
-- Derek's reaction to a stagehand explaining how Julia's gloves are difficult to remove when sweaty.
"You are... my best self."
-- Tom to Sam (Leslie Odom Jr.), after Sam explains his devotion to the life of a performer.