Smash
The Cost of Art

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B | Grade It Now!
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Own Us, Jonas!

Anyway, later, Jessica rallies the reluctant troops to come to the aid of Karen. Jessica, heretofore bitchy gay Bobby, and Some Other Girl approach Karen with an olive branch, some pity friendship, and an offer to makeover the Iowa milkmaid or however they see her. They take her shopping and tells her they'll get her enrolled in their dance class. I don't love that Karen got the bitches on her side by whining, BUT it makes her seem less weird to have friends and this closet intervention is proving to be sadly necessary. This is actually a thing that should happen to a person upon moving to New York for the first time. Better late than never, right?

After fixing her sad, country wardrobe, Karen's new group of bitches give her an intervention about being part of the ensemble. Okay, this is even better than the makeover thing. This is good. This is necessary. They actually tell her some important shit about how being in the ensemble means everybody's in synch and nobody stands out or pulls focus. Basic shit? Sure. But I signed on for a show about a newbie, so I'm prepared to deal with a newbie. I'm just glad there's value being placed on being a goddamned pro on the job. And it's fun watching this group of bitches coalesce around Karen like this. Best scene of the episode, easily.

Of course, the impact of that scene is dulled somewhat when Team Not Exactly NOT Karen heads out to the bar for some shots and impromptu performing. I love this vision of a Midtown terrorized by Broadway ensemble performers, just hopping from bar to bar, seeking out unsuspecting open mics. Problem is, Karen still stands out in front of the group as they get up and perform "Rumor Has It." What lessons are these?? At first I think this is one of those "Karen imagines herself as a superstar" numbers, but I actually don't think so. She just steps to the front and takes the lead (and a LITERAL spotlight!), in utter defiance of everything her team just taught her. And nobody has a problem with it! Two steps forward, one back.

While all this is going on, Eileen is suffering through Rich Person's Poverty, where the hundreds of thousands of dollars she's worth have been frozen in the divorce proceedings. After some wistful moments with Julia that serve as our What Would Marilyn Do moment of the week, Eileen decides to look into selling her Degas in order to raise some quick cash. But she runs into a problem that even a Manhattan splashed in her husband's face can't cure: the Degas is actually in Jerry's name, even though A) he gave it to her, and B) he doesn't care about art. But if she tries to get ownership of it transferred to her, Jerry's sure to block her. So Eileen's still up a creek, until a conversation with Julia turns up the subject of Lyle West.

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