2 Marilyns of Smash Smash has a Marilyn

Karen (McPhee) and Ivy (Hilty) dressed as Marilyn Monroe. Photo credit/NBC Network

[J]ust a week ago, ‘Smash’ introduced us to the vivacious Ivy and sweet, but naive Karen as they competed for the lead role in a Broadway production of Marilyn Monroe. It seemed like the epic battle between the two would unfold throughout the season. But an episode later, we now have a Marilyn.

We admit, we we’re a bit  disappointed on how quickly we found out Ivy would be Marilyn.  Since all promos seem to hype up all the drama surrounding who would win the role, we expected the casting process to last a bit more. Turns out, all it took was someone sleeping with a certain naughty director.

The funny thing is we should have expected something like this to happen, especially given Derek’s failed attempt to lure Karen for a midnight rendezvous. It was a matter of time, before someone was sleeping with someone. It’s not that surprising that Ivy would be the one, since she seems to really need and want this part.

But poor Karen, after all her futile attempts to snag the role. She definitely has a very dulcet, innocence about her. Although, the role would have eventually went to Ivy. She’s oozes Marilyn.

In this week’s episode, we’re right back in Karen’s head as she’s imagining singing Blondie’s “Call Me” to Derek, Eileen, and the rest of the company. Katharine McPhee’s sounds great and we can really start to see some more confidence in her. But like every daydream, Karen is shaken back to reality Karen back to reality.

Back at the studio, Derek, Eileen and the others are debating which of the girls should get the Marilyn gig. Derek raves about Karen’s “innocence” and “freshness” with also Eileen and Julia praising her singing chops. But Tom is on Ivy’s side, as he stresses on how well she fits the part. At the end, they decide more callbacks are in order.

As Karen meets Dev for a quick lunch, Frank and Julia meet with their social worker, Rene, who tells them they’re up for a long process before they can legally adopt a baby. We know some might not be too interested in the subplots, but Julia and Frank’s story is definitely touching.

Karen struggles to get into the grove at dance rehearsals, and Derek’s quick temper don’t help at all. He ends up slamming the door in her face. McPhee is really great keeping the vulnerability in her persona throughout the rehearsals.

Over a couple of hot dogs, Karen lets out some steam to Dev about Derek and the rehearsals. He let’s her know they’ve been invited to dinner by a deputy mayor that could lead to a potential promotion. The problem is it’s on the same night as Karen’s rehearsal. This already spells trouble.

The rehearsal night comes, and as expected Karen’s good intentions of being with Dev on his special night goes south when Derek schedules a last minute session. Poor Dev is obviously worried when she fails to show up or call. And when she does arrive, everyone has left except Dev. He’a upset with her, and rightfully so. And Karen’s weak excuse does not help. But as the understanding boyfriend, Dev gets quickly forgives her.

Next is Ivy’s session with Derek. After a bit of a rocky start, he’s able to get Ivy to show a vulnerable side of herself. And as she gets into the scene, Derek takes the opportunity to let’s her hair down. Next you know it, we’re watching a rendezvous between the two.

After the team deliberates, Tom goes to see Ivy to deliver the news that she got the part. We love her reaction (and her gorgeous performance at the end), it goes to show how much this role really meant for her. We just wish she would have received it on pure merit. But it’s Tv, so it’s not too surprising.

 

While ‘Smash’ is going strong, it’ll be interesting to see what’s in store for this season now that some of the Karen vs Ivy drama has diffused.