This week on Smash, Ivy plays nice to get back into Marilyn’s shoes, but it’s Karen who gets the understudy role, and none of it matters anyway when Uma Thurman waltzes in at the very end to give Bombshell some real movie star power. It was a significant improvement over last week, but there’s still a tad too much Frank and Leo involvement (i.e.: they are still part of this show).

The Players:

  • Director: Adam Bernstein
  • Writer: Jerome Hairston
  • Cast: Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Megan Hilty, Anjelica Huston, Christian Borle, Jaime Cepero, Raza Jaffrey, Brian d’Arcy James, Uma Thurman.

The Plot:

Rebecca Duvall (Thurman) is stuck in Cuba on a “goodwill mission” with Sean Penn, so Karen understudies, while simultaneously dealing with a grouchy Dev. He hasn’t told her that he didn’t get the promotion at work, but she finally tells him (accidentally) about that birthday gift Derek asked for way back in the pilot. He freaks and gets in a fight with Derek later, after Derek comes by to tell Karen that Uma is on her way.

Tom and Julia have a little tradition where they go see a production of Three On A Match on the anniversary of its opening. This would be sweet except it ends in yet more Debra Messing tears when she admits to Tom that Frank left. She also waits for him in a coffee shop after stealing Leo’s phone to call him, but gets stood up.

Eileen gets her bartender boyfriend to introduce her to a new backer AND gets a real kiss. Uma Thurman makes her grand entrance but doesn’t do anything except that for now.

The Good:

  • Anjelica Huston’s Spanish: Terribly, terribly good.
  • Anjelica Huston’s Bartender: Anyone who plops a giant pile of money on anything is impressive. Anyone who then leads Eileen to another giant pile of money (in the form of a rock star investor) and doesn’t want his finder’s fee is a real gentleman. Then he caps it all off by burning up the contracts of the old investors as they watch. Watch out, Sam. New favorite characters, on the horizon.
  • Anjelica Huston, Reprimand Machine: This week, she puts Ellis in his place again, because really, of course she isn’t actually talking to one of the Castros, you idiot.
  • Sam and Tom: These dudes continue on their path to love. Tom even starts reading the sports page, which is the final warning sign the BF needs to justify ending things.
  • The Music: Ivy sings “Breakaway” and it’s nice to hear a Kelly Clarkson song that isn’t “Stronger” for once.
  • Tom As Stand-In: He subs in for this week’s original Bombshell number which conveniently gives him an opportunity to snap a towel at Sam. He also seems to have a lot of fun with it which is nice since he spent a lot of this week watching Debra Messing cry.

The Bad:

  • Dev Isn’t Promoted: This is bad for a number of reasons. It causes fights with Karen, strengthens his bond with RJ, and might lead to him wanting to move to DC. Which would mean Dev and Karen break up. That would just be too sad. It also leads to a shot of Raza Jaffrey gazing pensively out a window as the sun comes in through the blinds, which is about as cliché as anything can get.
  • Derek’s Laugh: There might be some places where it was genuine but the fake stuff was just horrendous.
  • Julia and Leo: Please, please make it stop. Leo’s voice somehow got even more annoying this week, there were a slew of terrible shots, and the more viewers are told to care about this family, the more quickly they will skyrocket to the top of everyone’s “Most Hated TV Families” lists.
  • The Backers: Surely Uma Thurman ate up a lot of the guest star budget, but the lady and gentlemen that they found to play the possible backers were just awful. Little to no acting skill between the three of them.

The Quotable:

  • “Okay, so I talk loud!” – Julia
  • “So according to Wikipedia you guys have been writing partners for ten years!” – NYU Student interviewer
  • “Cuba’s complicated!” – Eileen
  • “That’s the biggest piece of junk we’ve ever written.” – Julia, at Three On A Match
  • “Well, many people in the theater are insane. I, however, am not one of them.” – Eileen
  • “It’s not like I have to shag every leading lady.” – Derek


It’s been said eighty million times at this point, but the sooner the Houston family is out of the picture, the better. Everything else this week worked well and Anjelica Huston just keeps outdoing herself. The drama between Dev and Karen was believable and it was good to see Karen finally tell him about the Derek situation (it had to come out eventually). The idea of Bombshell’s new rock star backer is interesting as well. So in the end, a decent episode, as long as we all pretend that Leo and Frank don’t exist and that Julia sleeps in the rehearsal room and has no home life.

Rating: 7.5/10

Smash airs Monday nights at 10 PM on NBC.

Written by Guest Writer Amy Lindorff