Karen is singing while Jimmy accompanies, something about a chest of broken hearts, which just reminds me of that Christina Perri song. She finishes and Tom says it's good, but it doesn't work for this. Jimmy suggests a song that Karen doesn't know, so he sings it himself. He breaks off in the middle of it, because Tom doesn't seem to be paying rapt enough attention to Jimmy's all-consuming brilliance as if he has somewhere else to be. Tom, impressively restrained, says since he's the musical director of this concert that's happening tomorrow and he doesn't know what songs the star will be singing, no, he's just fine right here, thanks. God, Jimmy. Stop being such an irredeemable asshole. You can't get by on my undying love of Newsies for more than three or four months while you're acting like this.
Jimmy is peevish about how this isn't the best way to listen to his pwecious songs or something, so Tom tells him that when he and Julia were starting out they were lucky to get in a room with a musical director at all. Linda calls Tom to the stage over an intercom and before leaving them, Tom tells them that their songs are good, but they're not Ronnie's voice. Kyle says they'll write something else -- something new -- and Tom says he needs it by the end of rehearsal today.
The students are discussing the play and wondering why "Jason" would stick around "Mary" at all, since she's so demanding and needy. One of them says the writer knows how to write, but something's missing. Peter asks a student named Gretchen what she'd say to the author about "Mary." Gretchen says the play is supposed to be about a strong woman, but the character isn't strong: she's defined by the powerful men around her. Julia interrupts and says that's what Marilyn was, an object to her men. Gretchen says she thought it was based on Marilyn Monroe and Julia barrels on to say they would have gotten it if Peter hadn't changed the names and the setting, "Like I did with Hedda Gabler," Peter says. Julia assumes they didn't get Hedda, either, but they did because, you know, Ibsen was a genius and Julia, um, isn't.
Jimmy is noodling his way through a new song, which he hates. Kyle says it's great, but Jimmy thinks something is wrong -- it's pretty, but it's not quite working. Kyle asks what he needs and Jimmy's answers are booze and drugs and space. Kyle shleps off to leave Jimmy to find his muse or whatever the fuck, so of course Karen shows up, because someone said the word "muse" and her tiny ears exploded. Jimmy sings a few bars for her and she suggests changes, which he likes. He's still blundering, because he says he's never written a song specifically for someone before, so he asks her to stay and it's one nice little fragile moment for his character.