‘Smash’ Recap: Ivy’s Drug Problem Causes a Public Breakdown
Episode six of NBC’s ‘Smash,’ titled ‘Chemistry,’ skyrocketed off with Ivy (Megan Hilty) having problems with her voice. Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Eileen (Anjelica Houston) are having money issues, while Tom (Christian Borle), Derek (Jack Davenport) and Julia (Debra Messing) are at each others’ throats due to the incomplete script. During rehearsal Ivy has a hard time hitting the high notes, croaking through them painfully just in time for Eileen to walk in. Welcome to show business!
Afterwards as everyone is leaving, Karen drops her bags behind the piano and goes unnoticed as Tom, Derek and Julia discuss their options concerning Ivy’s frog voice. Derek suggests that for their big presentation the upcoming weekend they use Karen in place of Ivy as Marilyn Monroe. Tom is the only one who disagrees, leaving an unseen Karen shocked.
Back at Ivy’s apartment Derek persuades her to use the steroids the doctor subscribed, even though the horror stories of the side effects are well known. At Karen’s own apartment she goes through Marilyn’s lines, confidently realizing that she could play the part of Marilyn.
While cooking pancakes, Julia daydreams about her passionate kiss with Michael (Will Chase), her former lover and the male lead in the musical. She is oblivious to her sulking son Leo, who witnessed this kiss, unbeknownst to his mother. Suddenly her husband shows up, much to the relief of both Julia and Leo.
Ivy shows up the next day at rehearsal panicking about the medicine, complaining of cold sweats and a constant migraine. Per usual, Derek ignores her concerns, only wanting to know how her voice is doing, which she reluctantly says she is fine. Also before rehearsal, Karen’s friend asks her to cover for a bat mitzvah that pays $500, which could solve her credit card woes.
Across town, Tom’s nosy assistant Ellis visits Eileen at work again, forcing a friendship on her which she starts to accept. Michael has the same resilience with Julia, constantly begging to see her again, claiming that he cannot sleep because of her.
In her room Ivy sings ‘Who Are You’ by Jessie J in a drug induced hallucinated state, only to see Karen dressed as Marilyn Monroe staring back at her from her mirror. Ivy freaks out, causing Tom to leave the dinner party at his boyfriend’s house to console her. Meanwhile, Karen shows up late to the bat mitzvah wearing an inappropriate mini dress. She fails to win over the party guests until she performs her own version of Florence + the Machine‘s ‘Shake It Out.’ At the end of the night she is given a business card from an unknown man.
At her home, a restless Julia tells her husband she is stressed from work and leaves to go for a walk to “clear her head.” Instead she meets Michael at the dance studio and although she tries to relay the rules, he is able to win Julia over. Michael slowly begins to unbutton her shirt as she looks at him with sadness, desperation and longing. Their clothes fall away and he carries her to the bed, asking if she wants him to stop. She tells him no.
Before practice the nest day Ivy tries to gain attention from Derek, which is only dismissed. However, Michael and Julia share mischievous glances, sending enough passionate vibes throughout the studio for everyone. Karen’s friend informs her that the man who gave her the business card apparently turns out to belong to someone important, infuriating Ivy even more.
In a final number Ivy and Michael perform the ballad ‘History Is Made at Night‘ from the musical, but she comically falls down at the end, ending with everyone in laughter. Derek reprimands her, and she bursts out in at him in front of everyone, yelling “I need to stop sleeping with men who are complete narcissistic p—-s. Oh, and you’re not that good looking and you’re not that good in bed, either.” The outburst was much to the amusement of everyone, except Derek of course.
Next week’s episode promises even more drama, with Julia sneaking off to make out with Michael while Ivy has a hard time keeping her act together. Theater veteran Bernadette Peters also guest stars, in what must be an attempt to gain more ratings. It feels as though the show’s writers are having a hard time focusing, hopefully soon the story can get back on track. After all, the show must go on!