‘Smash’ Recap: Karen Betrays Julia + Tom in ‘The Coup’
In this week’s episode of 'Smash,’ titled 'The Coup,’ Julia (Debra Messing) confides in her husband Frank that she worries Marilyn the musical is dead. In a goofy attempt to lift her spirits, he plays 'Guitar Hero,' singing for her 'Don’t Worry be Happy.' Meanwhile Karen (Katharine McPhee) meets Derek (Jack Davenport) at a café, where he reveals to her that he is looking to bring in a new songwriter to replace Tom. He wants Karen to sing it, but Julia and Tom (Christian Borle) cannot know. Much to everyone’s surprise, Karen agrees.
Meryl Streep’s daughter Grace Gummer guest stars as the Katy, daughter of Eileen (Anjelica Houston). Katy is in town to check up on her mother and resolves issues with her father. Also in New York City, Julia meets Michael (Will Chase) in a park where he realizes that he has been fired from playing Joe DiMaggio in the production. He admits that if he weren’t fired he would have quit to save his family.
Julia and Frank discuss with a lawyer, who is also Tom’s boyfriend, about their son Leo’s summons for smoking weed in Central Park. In the court, Julia loses her cool in the court defending her son. Nonetheless, the family walks out with the charge dismissed.
Across the river Karen meets Derek at an empty warehouse, where she meets Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, who will be helping the pair with a music demo. When Karen vocalizes her guilt for hiding from Julia, Derek easily smoothes her worry. Over the next couple of days they rehearse a number, which Tedder greatly approves of.
In the meantime, Katy forces her parents to sit down to discuss the serious money issues. While Eileen and her husband argue over money once more, Katy notices Ellis standing outside and tells him to go away, saying what audiences have been thinking for months!
Ivy’s friends are at last able to get her to stop sulking about not hearing back about the musical. The group has fun while out bowling and an impromptu sing along dancing number occurs to ‘Dance to the Music.’ Here we finally see Ivy having fun, making us forgive the cheesy cliché scene. However, the next day Ellis just “happens” to run into Ivy, where he spills the beans on Derek having a secret project with Karen.
Eileen then takes Katy out to her favorite bar, where the dashing bartender serves them. The same night, Karen’s boyfriend Dev meets up with his attractive female coworker asking for all the dirt she has on the mayor’s daughter in an attempt to save his job. Karen shows up at home to all of Dev’s coworkers celebrating news that he is unable to share with her.
The following day at the Brooklyn warehouse, Derek and Karen showcase their secret number for Julia, Tom and Eileen. Ellis sneaks Ivy in through the back door where she watches in jealousy and rage. Karen performs a flashy, pop number more fit for Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj than the classic musical feel this show has been giving. We are left with a sour taste in our mouths that matches the disgust broadcasted on Julia and Tom’s faces. Afterwards Eileen and Derek ask their thoughts but they are repulsed. Katy drags her mom outside for a talk and accuses her of turning into a conniving person like her father.
Outside, Ivy confronts Karen of stabbing Julia and Tom in the back, much to Karen’s horror. Inside the warehouse Tom and Derek argue, finally hashing out the ill feelings between the two. We learn that 11 years ago, the two men did a show together which failed and afterwards Derek trashed Tom to every producer in town. In a closing meeting, Eileen meets with Derek, Julia and Tom where they decide that they need a new Marilyn.
Ivy meets with Tom, and he breaks down in tears as he reveals that Eileen wants a star for Marilyn, and not her. The episode closes with Ivy crying in bed, singing one of the songs from the musical when Derek shows up at her apartment. They rekindle their sexual relationship, promising continuing drama.
Next week’s episode, however, foreshadows a shocking turn of events where Frank finds out about Julia’s infidelity, Karen lands a national commercial and Ivy face plants on stage during a Broadway musical production. No matter what happens off stage, the show must go on!
Watch 'Smash: The Coup' Preview