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‘Smash’ Recap: Who Will Be Marilyn After The ‘Previews’?


In the second to last episode of this season’s ‘Smash’ titled ‘Previews’, the cast and crew of the Marilyn Monroe musical ‘Bombshell’ prepare for their week of previews where audience members watch the show for the very first time.


It starts with Karen’s (Katharine McPhee) boyfriend waking up naked in bed with an equally naked Ivy (Megan Hilty). Meanwhile, Julia (Debra Messing) arrives at the theatre in Boston with her husband Frank and son Leo, just as her ex lover Michael Swift arrives. It’s not even 10 AM and the tension is thick in the theater.

Inside, Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman), the movie star playing Marilyn Monroe in the musical, calls in director Derek and the two share a passionate kiss. When Derek (Jack Davenport) leaves her room looking smug, he runs into head producer Eileen (Anjelica Houston) who confronts him about his affair. Derek explains that he is giving the actress what she needs to be a good star for the musical, despite his relationship with Ivy.

As the cats gather, Karen tries to comfort Ivy about Derek openly cheating on her, but Ivy pushes her away, overcome with guilt for sleeping with Dev. Karen thinks Ivy is broken up over Derek and confronts Rebecca about sleeping with their director. The movie star admits it to be truth and holds no remorse, for this is an ugly business.

That night the cast performs the musical in front of an audience and we are shown numbers previously unseen such as ‘Smash!’, where Ivy and Karen play actresses begging to be turned into a star. During the musical Karen keeps trying to reach Dev on his cell phone but no luck. Little problems also occur, such as blocking and issues with lighting.

The last number of the play features Marilyn committing suicide, which makes the audience not applaud right away. For the next few days Julia and Tom scramble to write a new ending and rumors whisper that it was Rebecca’s poor acting at fault.

In an awkward situation, Karen introduces Ivy to Dev, unaware that the two have previously “met.” Eileen takes her boyfriend to a lounge where she performs ‘September Song’ and we are finally given an Anjelica Huston number.

The next morning Karen asks Dev if he still wants to marry her. He says he left the ring in New York, but he asks her again if she would marry him. Karen says yes. However, not all lovers are in good spirits, for when Ivy confronts Derek about how he hasn’t paid any attention to her since he told her he loved her, he simply says he is doing what is best for the musical.

Backstage at the theater Karen goes to see Rebecca, who is having much anxiety over the failure of the first performance. Rebecca rambles about how there is always someone else there to replace you when suddenly chokes on her smoothie and Karen calls for help. Turns out there were peanuts in the drink, which the movie star is deathly allergic to.

During notes Derek explains that Rebecca will be in the hospital for a few days and that previews are postponed. This gives Tom and Julia to write up a new ending, however, she is still not speaking to Tom because of how he agreed to have Michael back even though she deliberately was against it.

Derek, Eileen, Julia and Tom discuss that the peanuts were placed there intentionally by someone, however they need to have a back up plan just in case. Karen and Ivy are discussed once again. As Julia enters the theater, Michael confronts her in the lobby. He tells her that he came back to the production for her and tries to kiss her. She tearfully rejects him and throws a fit at Tom for choosing the well being of the production over her family life.

In an effort to regroup and regain some faith, most of the cast and crew attend Sam’s church where he and Karen perform ‘Stand.’ Their performance inspire everyone, including Tom and Julia who finally make up.

Afterwards, Karen visits Rebecca at the hospital, where she admits that she knew someone had snuck peanuts into her smoothie but she drank it anyway to get out of being in the show. When Karen relays this information to her fellow cast mates, the question on everyone’s mind (as well as ours) is: Who will play Marilyn after all?

Tune in next week for the season final of ‘Smash’ where we find out once and for all if it’s going to be Karen or Ivy that gets to be the blonde Bombshell.

Watch ‘Chorus’ Time to Shine’ from ‘Smash’

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