Derek's concept for Ronnie's one-night-only concert is sex, sex, and more sex, all in the name of overhauling her image from Broadway's virginal sweetheart to…Velma Kelly, I guess? But Ronnie's overbearing momager, Cynthia (the original Deena from Dreamgirls! Broadway squee!), vetoes all of Derek's ideas and cautions Ronnie against doing anything differently from the pretty-pretty-princess act that won her two Tonys. Eventually Ronnie rebels, finds herself a couple of tiny, sparkly dresses, and sings an "edgy" new song that Jimmy and Kyle wrote. Five minutes later she was part of a simulated orgy at P.S. 122.
The incredible saga of Jimmy and Kyle producing one new song for Ronnie's show involves Derek shooting down everything they'd already written for Hit List, then, after they wrote the new song, Derek saying he doesn't need it because of the direction Cynthia wanted to go. So Jimmy explodes, screams at Derek and Kyle and Karen and then takes off and gets loaded. He seems like a really fun person to commit to working with for like five years while you try to get a complicated, risky, expensive artistic endeavor off the ground. Karen finds him eventually and they make out.
Peter invites Julia to come hear his acting class read Bombshell, although he's changed all the names and locations and taken out the songs, and they don't know she's the writer. They savage it, but they're right, and eventually, once Peter has gotten her all winey, Julia agrees and they actually get to work on fixing her damn show. (Although her solution is to write the entire thing from the point of view of the men in Marilyn's life, so that's sure to be original and not reductive at all.) He suggests they go to his house in the Berkshires to finish the show, which means they're going to sleep together. Oh, Peter. You can do better. Look, Ivy's single!
And over in businessland, Eileen has her deposition in the federal my-show-was-funded-with-mob-money case. Nick returns from wherever he scampered off to, turns himself in, and takes all the responsibility for the dirty money, but Eileen refuses to lie and says she didn't know where the money was coming from. So she has to bow out as a producer on Bombshell, handing it over…to Jerry. Who was working with ELLIS. ELLIS! Will we never be free of your evil?!
Previously on Smash: Jennifer Hudson showed up as Veronica Moore, and she and Derek are going to do a one-night-only show to prove that she's not Broadway's adorable sweetheart anymore. Eileen hired hot dramaturg Peter to save Bombshell, and Julia hates him because he's awesome and hot and right all the time. The feds found out about Nick's mob money. And Karen managed to get Derek to meet Jimmy and Kyle and listen to their raggedy-ass story, Hit List.
It's morning for all the characters, and aren't they bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! Ronnie is singing on a bare stage to her backup dancers, who are listening in the audience, as are Derek and stage manager Linda. Tom is playing the piano. As Ronnie finishes the song, her momager, Cynthia Moore, introduces herself to Derek (and she's played by Sheryl Lee Ralph, who was the original Deena in Dreamgirls).
Derek goes up on stage to talk to Ronnie about the song, "I Got Love," which he says doesn't really fit into the image she's trying to transition to, a bolder and more adult one. Don't people just usually leak a sex tape if they want to do that? Cynthia interrupts and says that Ronnie won two Tony awards with her current sweetie-pie image. They spar about whose name was more responsible for the concert selling out in six hours, Derek or Ronnie, and Tom tries to interrupt diplomatically to suggest a break. Derek snaps at him, because Derek dearly loves snapping at Tom, then calls a break anyway.
Linda tells Derek one of the dancers isn't coming, because her boyfriend asked her not to work with Derek any longer. He tells her to find someone who isn't scared of his penis, then turns to Tom and tells him he wanted new music, not Ronnie's old standards. Tom thinks they should give the people what they've become accustomed to hearing from her, but Derek wants "something raw." Seriously. Sex tape.
Tom's phone rings and it's Julia calling from NYU, where Peter invited her to talk to his acting class. Swell. Tom reminds her that she hates acting classes, so why is she making an exception for Peter? She says they're going to work on the book after class. Tom observes that she said "we," so maybe she doesn't hate Peter more than she hates acting classes? Boo. I liked it when they were at each other's throats.
In their hideous Greenpoint hovel, Jimmy is flipping coins at a jar like he's in Cool Hand Luke while Kyle is trying to book a live reading of their musical, but getting nowhere without Derek's name attached to it. When Jimmy mumbles sardonically into his sleeve about how Derek's not helping them at all, Kyle tells him that they're just doing what Derek told them to do: try out their material, build buzz and get people talking. Just then their precious savior, Karen Cartwright, calls to ask how fast they can get to Manhattan. I'd make a cheap joke about the G train, but I'm sure Jimmy insists on traveling by mule-drawn cart.