This week Rebecca decides Karen is her best friend in the whole wide world, giving her clothes, taking her to events, and generally making both Dev and Ivy green and cranky. It also makes everyone in Iowa think Karen is a lesbian, for some reason beyond my capacity to understand. When all three of them go out to dinner, Dev and Rebecca squabble over Karen, and her tiny little mind is overwhelmed with trying to make peace between her boyfriend and The Movie Star Who is Being Nice to Her. So she hallucinates a giant Bollywood dance number, which encompasses the entire cast and includes Ellis dressed as Aladdin, which is the first time he's ever made me smile.
Over at the Brooklyn Brownstone of Dour Moping, Dull Leo runs away from home, which brings Julia and Shrek back together so that they can wail and rend their garments and not do anything productive, like check to see if he's secretly hiding out in his best friend's bedroom, which he is. But when he comes home, his parents reunite for the moment, so the message here is clearly that any children whose parents are going through an ugly split should definitely run away from home.
Julia and Tom's new number for Bombshell is a ballad called "Secondhand White Baby Grand," and the plan right now is for Marilyn's shadow self -- played by Karen -- to sing it. But Ellis and Ivy collude on some trickery so Ivy gets to sing it, and she's awesome. So of course Rebecca thinks she should sing it. Let's just try to not remember that Rebecca can't sing.
Eileen takes a break from trying to get her movie star to be less like a movie star and more like a Broadway musical actress, and lets Nick escort her to a shmancy art thing at BAM. They run into Jerry, Eileen's ferrety ex-husband, and Jerry's new arm candy, who is very young and has a very tiny skirt. Practically infinitesimal, that skirt. Nick is very dignified and doesn't indulge Jerry's awfulness, and as a reward gets to take Eileen to his handsome bachelor apartment and have carnal knowledge of her.
Also, Derek shouts and stomps around a lot, and Tom and Sam make out.
Previously on Smash: Rebecca Duvall joined the musical and was terrible at musical-ing. Derek kept hallucinating that Karen was Marilyn. Tom and Sam went on a date, but Sam basically called Tom a big commitmentphobic ho-bag. Karen and Dev fought about Dev's job and the Shrek family bemoaned Dull Leo's dullness.
At the rehearsal hall, Derek has called Karen in early. He apologizes for not working with her more and she explains (for us and not Derek, because this is his job) that it will actually be Stage Manager Linda's job to work with the understudies to ensure that they're ready to go on if they need to. "Which I'm sure I won't," Karen finishes. (Don't be so sure, honey. That's how we got Shirley MacLaine.) They don't notice when Ellis comes in behind them. Derek husks that Karen would make a brilliant Marilyn and the Soft Piano of Derek Losing His Mind starts up as he says, "I see it, you know? In my head." And then the rest of the company arrives -- including Ivy, who does some world-class glaring in this episode. The push-pull between Ivy and Karen would all be so much more compelling if Karen didn't have all the personality and sex appeal of a Zwieback cracker.
Rebecca's assistants, Randall and Cuba Libre, enter bitching about how Rebecca's coming directly from the gym. Because everyone loves a movie star who smells like a sweat sock! Ellis approaches and says he needs to talk with Randall, who, if you'll remember, he recently offended mightily. Randall sends Cuba Libre to inform Linda that Rebecca will be late, although at this point we should just assume she's running on Movie Star Time. Ellis pulls him outside, saying he's heard something Rebecca needs to know. And apparently he didn't overhear everyone I know seething, "We HATE YOU, Ellis."
Rehearsal. Replacement DiMaggio, whose name is Ted and who -- although he looks nothing like the actual DiMaggio -- appears as if he could actually swing a baseball bat (ROWR, replacement DiMaggio!) is running through "Lexington and 52nd Street" (which I just now realize is the intersection where that scene from The Seven Year Itch was filmed. You nerds know the one). Tom asks Derek if he wants to go over any of the other not-Marilyn numbers while they wait, but Rebecca has actually arrived. You can see how they would have missed it, because Randall was off fiddling with Ellis and neglected the cymbal crash that heralds Rebecca's every appearance. Derek wants to start with "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," but Rebecca doesn't like that idea. She wants Julia to rewrite "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" -- which means "get rid of all the horrible music and let me EMOTE!"