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‘Smash’ Recap: Uma Thurman Gives Karen A Taste of Fame In ‘Publicity’

Smash
NBC

In this week’s episode of ‘Smash,’ titled ‘Publicity,’ Uma Thurman’s guest character Rebecca Duvall returns to cause more drama. The Hollywood actress continues to ask that musical numbers are removed in order to avoid the fact that she simply cannot sing. Julia (Debra Messing) and Tom (Christian Borle) write a new song, which would be performed by other member of the ensemble. In another twist of events, Rebecca asks Karen (Katharine McPhee) to hang out with her at a club, to which naïve Karen hastily agrees.

In a meeting, Tom and Julia confront Derek (Jack Davenport) as to why he isn’t putting his foot down with the diva actress. He fails to give a reasonable answer, and once again their Marilyn Monroe musical titled ‘Bombshell’ is close to falling to pieces.

That night Karen goes to a club with Rebecca where she performs ‘Run’ by Snow Patrol. When asked by her assistant what she’s doing, Rebecca responds that she’s simply “checking out the competition.” After the song Rebecca praises Karen, but mischief and ill intentions are obvious.

In rehearsal the next day, Rebecca recommends Karen for the new ballad, much to everyone’s surprise. The Hollywood star continues to spoil Karen, dropping off thousands of dollars worth of clothes at Karen’s apartment. There Rebecca sees a photograph of Karen’s boyfriend Dev, and warns her about jealous boyfriends dragging stars down. That night they go out club hopping again, taking tequila shots and being photographed by the paparazzi. They end up on news headlines, which infuriates Dev.

The same night at Julia’s place, Tom and her practice the new ballad.  He sings a bit of the song, showing off Christian Borle’s swooning voice, proving that this show could showcase its talent a bit better. Suddenly Julia’s husband Frank, who is separated from her due to her affair, arrives to pick up their teenage son Leo. However, Leo had told Julia that he was staying with his father, which is now apparently a lie. A cop comes over to question them and issues a missing person’s report.

When Julia and Frank talk to their son’s friends at school, nobody has any idea where Leo could be. Across town Eileen takes scruffy bartender boyfriend, Nick, out to an opera while Rebecca, Karen, and Dev are on a date of their own. But the trio date goes sour immediately when the actress picks a fight with Dev. Rebecca bluntly accuses Dev of being jealous of Karen’s rising fame.

Suddenly Karen is imagining Dev singing a Bollywood dance number titled ‘A Thousand and One Nights’ while she looks on in full themed costume. Just as quickly Karen herself is performing her own number while other members of the show watch on, dressed in full garb. In the final moments of the scene the entire cast performs in this grand number, and it becomes the most entertaining scene in the whole show so far.

After the opera, Eileen and Nick run into her ex husband and his barely legal model girlfriend. Eileen is unfazed by them and decides to leave early, clearly smitten with Nick. The following day Julia confronts one of Leo’s friends at school, demanding to know where her son is. She finds out that Leo is sleeping at this kid’s home safely. Back home Julia reveals the news to her husband, and the pair have their first close moment since he left.

However, the drama continues in full force. At rehearsal Ivy asks Ellis to do something for her, which he gleefully agrees to. Ellis asks to borrow the phone from a cast member and uses it to text Karen to not come to practice because Julia is “sick.”

In turn Karen fails to show up and Ivy is given her number. She performs, ‘Second-Hand White Baby Grand,’ a moving original for the musical about second chances for used things. The room is brought to tears as scenes cut in of Eileen and Nick lying in bed sweetly after sex as well as Julia with her broken family having a dinner together. Ivy is given a standing ovation to which Rebecca curtly responds that she wants a rewrite: that Marilyn should sing that number.

Next week’s episode brings the cast and crew of ‘Bombshell’ to the days before the show opens to preview audiences and the drama continues. Will Ivy be given the role of Marilyn? What will happen to Karen? And what will Julia do when her lover is brought back to the production, just as her family is brought back together? Tune in next week to ‘Smash’ to find out!

Watch the ‘Smash’ Cast Perform ‘One Thousand and One Nights’

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