This week on Smash, Uma Thurman comes into her own (and tries to rewrite the show while she’s at it), Tom and Sam make out, and things aren’t looking good for Karen and Dev. Viewers rejoice as Ellis gets what he deserves for the second week in a row and there might be a Battlestar Galactica reference. Jury’s still out on that.

The Players:

  • Director: Tricia Brock
  • Writer: Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky
  • Cast: Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Raza Jaffrey, Brian d’Arcy James, Jaime Cepero, Anjelica Huston, Leslie Odom Jr., Uma Thurman.

The Plot:

Uma Thurman’s Rebecca Duvall can’t sing, so Derek suggests that they need to bring Ivy back to the show for the “shadow selves.” Tom overhears Rebecca telling Derek that the songs are “boring” but by the end of the episode she has relaxed a little, admitted her shortcomings, and puts on a great musical number. Meanwhile, Tom puts the moves on Sam, Ivy upsets Karen, Eileen lets Nick convince her he isn’t such a bad guy and Ellis screws everything up for himself.

The Good:

  • Tom and Sam: Julia grows a pair on their behalf (channeling some leftover Grace Adler while she’s at it) getting them a dinner reservation, which they ditch in exchange for drinks and making out at Tom’, until Sam slows things down because he’s religious. He proves to be the handsome, romantic voice of reason Tom (and every girl who is wishing this character is straight and real and she could date him instead) needs to hear.
  • Julia Sans Family: The blessed first 7 minutes this week were all writer-Julia and it was delightful fun, reminiscent of her Grace Adler days. Let’s focus on that and pretend Frank didn’t show up later to chat about Leo’s failing grades. That’d be the worst.
  • Ellis’ Bowtie: Literally the only thing I will ever like about this character. Too bad it isn’t enough to teach him how to use his iPhone. He can’t deal with multiple calls (which should be no biggie for a producer’s assistant who likely spends a lot of his day rolling calls) and accidentally tells Rebecca’s assistant that he’s a loser who he’s sucking up to. Good for viewers who hate Ellis, bad for Ellis.
  • Eileen’s Female Empowerment Moment: Lady busted out her mace like it was nothing to keep Rebecca’s drunk ex-lover out of the rehearsal room.
  • Uma Thurman: She’s great and charismatic and perfect as the self-important movie star. A welcome edition to the show, which seemed to have been running out of steam in previous weeks.

The Bad:

  • Show Open: The “everyone showing up to rehearsal” opening is fun, but every week? Maybe just one time they could come up with something a little bit different.
  • Rebecca Duvall’s singing: Home-girl-big-movie-star can’t sing worth a damn. Thanks for nothing, Ellis. She does turn it around and admit her shortcomings, agreeing to hire a vocal coach by the end, but those early scenes are brutal.
  • Derek’s Dream Marilyn: Well, Battlestar Galactica fans now know what it would have been like if Gaius Baltar’s “Head Six” was just Tricia Helfer singing show tunes at him. It’s a weird little sequence that has shown up a couple of times now and will hopefully be explained/resolved soon. If not I’m going to pretend it is just a BSG nod, which will make me loyal to this show for LIFE.
  • Dev The Liar: Sweet Dev continues his transformation into Sneak Dev. Of course Karen drops in on work to learn about Dev’s new cubicle and flirtation with RJ. I want these two to stay together but they did a lot of chatting about being “on the same page” which is unfortunate. He’s a no show for a screening of Rebecca’s new movie Casual Friday 2. Can’t really blame him for that. It is very easy to blame him for spending the evening with RJ instead though. Hey Karen, as Michael Bluth once said, “you’ve gotta lock that down.”
  • Julia Plus Family: Frank lies to Leo’s principal, Julia admits the truth, blah blah blah blah nothing new here except I got a quick nap in.

The Quotable:

  • “Okay you guys have been flirting for like a week so would you please just go on a real date? Preferably one where I’m not there?” – Julia the sourpuss to the adorable Tom and Sam
  • “I admire your patience – I never wait for tables.” – Eileen
  • “Yes, yes, I’m boring you. I’m such a pain in the ass.” – Rebecca Duvall
  • “Republicans don’t own God.” – Sam
  • “Keep your enemies close, celebrities closer, and their assistants closer yet.” – Eileen


Uma Thurman gives Smash an added dimension this week that has been missing and it’s nice to have a new kind of plot line, instead of just Ivy vs. Karen. Uma gets her first Stage Marilyn musical number and since it’s at the end of the episode, Tom has changed the key for her and the singing improves. The episode is decent (once again, it’s even better if you forget about Frank and Leo) and the show seems to be back to moving in a good direction, rather than a ridiculous one.

Rating: 8/10

Smash airs Monday nights at 10 PM on NBC.

What did you think of the episode?

Written by Guest Writer Amy Lindorff