We only see Karen's final audition with the full "20th Century Fox" number, and it's staged as rehearsal-into-imagined-production much like "National Pastime" was last week. You'll recall that THAT number was all Ivy -- there's a determined balance to the show's treatment of Karen and Ivy that can make the show feel overly engineered, but I appreciate it nonetheless. This episode definitely shifts things much more to a Karen-sympathetic place, which gets underlined when both women show up for the official callback. Ivy is surrounded by well-wishers -- Tom and Dennis -- to the point where Julia has to take pity on poor, waifish Karen. Ivy's got the friends, the chops, the career, and now the sexual relationship with the director. She's the girl with all the advantages. Meanwhile, Karen's the one working overtime to get the routine right -- to the point where she flakes on an Important City Hall Business Dinner with Dev that leads to the first big fight of many on the road to their inevitable breakup.
But Karen really nails "20th Century Fox." Maybe it's giving the show a smidge too much credit, but she manages to come alive much, much more when she's in the fantasy sequence, all dolled up in Marilyn drag. Foreshadowing that Karen will continue to grow into her talents? Or just a moment where Introducing Katharine McPhee still looks pretty timid while performing?
So what's been up with Eileen this week? Glad you asked! She's still played by Anjelica Huston, and wondering when and in what capacity the show will realize this and start giving her more to do besides grin knowingly at Derek and proclaim Karen a "star." We do get a restaurant scene where she runs into Jerry, who tries to twist the knife about how he's holding My Fair Lady hostage. Which is all well and good, but once Jerry starts disparaging the idea of a Marilyn musical, that's when Eileen throws her Manhattan in his face. Do NOT step to Marilyn on this show!