‘Smash’ Recap: Uma Thurman as ‘The Movie Star’ Who Plays Marilyn Monroe
In this week’s episode of ‘Smash,’ titled ‘The Movie Star,’ Uma Thurman barges into our characters’ world as Rebecca Duvall, the newest actress hired to play Marilyn in their Broadway musical ‘Bombshell.’ The ensemble, including Karen (Katharine McPhee), and crew eagerly wait to hear Rebecca sing. However, their big time Hollywood actress is unable to hit a single note, leaving everyone in shock. Once again it looks as though this production is falling down a slippery slope.
In a meeting, Tom (Christian Borle), Julia (Debra Messing), Eileen (Anjelica Houston) and Derek (Jack Davenport) debate if it’s worth keeping their movie star. Eileen is desperate to hold onto her while Derek suggests bringing back Ivy (Megan Hilty) to play Marilyn, despite her instability. Low and behold, the next day at rehearsal Ivy shows up, much to Karen’s fear. Has Karen lost her coveted role as Marilyn’s understudy?
Ivy is gleeful that Rebecca is unable to sing and thinks she has a shot at winning back her coveted role. Derek goes on to inform Karen that she is no longer needed because Rebecca will require all his directorial attention. However, he has another hallucination of Karen dressed as Marilyn where she sings ‘Our Day Will Come.’ He snaps out of it, but we cannot help but feel a bit of foreshadowing in the air.
Somewhere else in New York City, Julia finally meets with her husband Frank, who has left her due to her affair. She tries to discuss their son Leo, who is failing most of his classes, with Frank, but Frank is still too hurt to have a real conversation with her. The next morning the pair have a meeting with their son’s guidance counselor, where she explains their complicated living situation, claiming all responsibility.
As rehearsals carry on, Rebecca tries to convince Derek to cut back on the singing and dancing because she finds the music “boring.” Tom hears this and ends up ranting while walking to the restaurant with Sam, the back up dancer he has been flirting with. However, Tom is so distracted by work that the two go back to Tom’s place for drinks. Tom makes a move, but Sam turns him down, convincing him to take this relationship slowly.
Back at rehearsals, Rebecca once again complains about her singing and interpreting the acting on stage, much to everyone’s annoyance. Suddenly a grungy man in leather storms into the studio begging after Rebecca, causing Derek to physically throw him out of the building. When Eileen questions Rebecca about this unsavory character, Rebecca shrugs off her former lover, instead wanting to call another meeting where she can voice her changes to the musical once again.
Eileen works late one night and comes across a file her sneaky assistant made on Nick, the rugged bartender she has feelings for and kissed last week. When she finds out that he has a less than stellar past, she tries to break things off with him over the phone. Nick instead asks her out to dinner where she confesses to being afraid of getting hurt by a man again. The two kiss and this surprise romance begins to rekindle again.
When the cast of ‘Bombshell’ all meet up for a private screening of Rebecca’s newest popcorn flick, Karen’s boyfriend Dev fails to show up despite the relationship issues they’ve been having. Ivy, annoyed with the movie star’s film, grabs a solemn Karen and the two head to a bar for drinks. This unlikely pair sort of bond over the troubles of show business until Ivy jokes that Karen’s perfect man is cheating on her. Karen grabs her things and leaves the bar in a huff.
That same night, the creative team meets with Rebecca where she asks that all the keys in the songs are lowered and to cut out Tom’s main ballad since it’s “not her thing.” This annoys Tom, Julia and Derek but Eileen forcefully agrees with the famous actress, in desperate attempts to keep the show afloat.
Later that night Julia and Frank have a sit down with their son, and things remain unresolved but less angry. Karen goes home to find Dev missing and the audience sees that he is out having drinks with the same flirtatious co-worker.
The final scene of the episode is at rehearsal where Rebecca and the ensemble perform a number from the musical. The studio is transformed into a musical scene where we see Rebecca dressed in full Marilyn wardrobe and make up, performing ‘Dig Deep,’ an original song from ‘Bombshell.’
Suddenly Rebecca is able to carry a note and dance with perfection, which doesn’t make much sense considering how awful she has been thus far. The episode ends promptly after with the movie star declaring that she has “lots more notes” for the show!
Only three drama filled episodes in this season remain, and next week’s preview includes Rebecca befriending Karen, but with malicious intentions. Stay tuned next to week to see what else New York City’s most talented has in store for us next!
Watch ‘Smash': ‘The Movie Star’ Preview