‘Smash’ Recap: Hearts Shattered + Trust Broken in ‘Hell On Earth’
In this week’s episode of ‘Smash,’ titled ‘Hell on Earth’, our characters are faced with their downward spiraling ‘Marilyn’ musical. Karen (Katherine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty) both prepare for auditions, while Tom (Christian Borle) finds out that his lawyer boyfriend is a Republican and Julia’s (Debra Messing) husband finds provocative lyrics she wrote. More importantly, the musical still doesn’t have a title or a leading star to play the blonde bombshell, leaving everyone in a state of chaos. Welcome back to show business!
Eileen (Anjelica Houston), Tom, Derek (Jack Davenport), Julia and Ellis debate celebrities who can replace Ivy as the lead in the Marilyn musical. Across town, Ivy rushes to an audition, which she is late for, and literally runs into Karen. Karen sincerely wishes her luck as she leaves, however the studio room door is shut in Ivy’s face as a man remarks about Karen, “She was perfect!”
Later that day Karen finds out at work that she lands gig, which turns out to be an orange juice commercial.
That night Julia comes home to hear her husband Frank singing the sheet music he found that morning, a song about a secret love affair. Frank confronts her, knowing the song is about Michael Swift, the former Joe DiMaggio in the Marilyn musical. Frank refuses to discuss the matter, storming out of their apartment leaving Julia sobbing hysterically.
On set of the commercial, Karen is forced to wear a full body green jumpsuit and act ridiculously against a green screen. Elsewhere in New York City, Frank confronts Michael on the street outside of his work. Michael tries to explain that “It happened a long time ago, it was over a long time ago. It shouldn’t have happened again.” The realization comes across Frank that this affair has happened numerous times, and he punches Michael in the face.
Eileen goes to have dinner with a business partner who turns out to be a potential director for their musical, as Derek’s commitment to the show seems to waning thin. A reporter from the New York Post sees the pair at dinner, foreboding much trouble.
Meanwhile, Ivy hears from her friends at dinner that Karen landed the commercial and once again leaves in tears. Derek is waiting at her apartment, where he receives a call about an article in the newspaper. Ivy is drawn to swallowing more pills from her increasing anxiety.
The next day Derek storms into Eileen’s office, yelling about the article that showcases rumors about his position as director being replaced. Eileen tells him to ignore the gossip and focus more on the musical. He angrily agrees but demands that she find him a star.
In an attempt to gain producer credits Ellis seduces the male assistant of a movie star in order to put the Marilyn musical at the top of her list. In the meantime, Ivy performs in Julia and Tom’s previous Broadway musical, ‘Heaven On Earth’, completely drugged up — and crashes to the ground during her number. Karen shows up the show in order to return Ivy’s sunglasses she accidentally took and witnesses Ivy’s fall.
Karen runs after a mortified Ivy who has darted into Times Square. The girls argue amongst tourists and bright lights over the shared jealously and the evils of show business. Karen then follows Ivy, who is still wearing her elaborate angel costume, into a liquor store where Karen lends her money to buy alcohol. Drunk, the pair wanders around Times Square in the middle of the night. They find a street performer and sing a duet of Rihanna’s ‘Cheers’ and consequentially form an unlikely friendship.
After Frank leaves their apartment for good, Julia meets up with Michael in the middle of the night. She sees the bruise Frank left and apologies profusely. Michael doesn’t provide the comfort she looks for and she walks away, transitioning us to Julia, now with Tom. We are shown the cover of the script, which finally has a titled: “Bombshell.” Tom loves it, and Julia watches the rain, knocking back a glass of wine in agreement.
Next week is the arrival of the movie star to play Marilyn, guest star Uma Thurman. How will Julia cope with her broken marriages? What will happen to Ivy’s continuing disastrous condition? And will the Marilyn musical ever make it the stage? Tune it next week to see what other surprises Broadway has in store for us!
Watch Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty Perform ‘Cheers (I’ll Drink to That)’ on ‘Smash’