When the fourth episode of ‘Smash’ titled ‘The Cost of Art’ begins, Karen (Katherine McPhee) walks into the first day of workshop. The other chorus members, who all happen to be friends with Ivy (Megan Hilty), continually ostracize her. Julia (Debra Messing) is a nervous wreck when the production’s Joe DiMaggio, Michael Swift (Will Chase) arrives, due to the affair she had with him previously. Everyone wonders where Eileen (Anjelica Houston) is and the scene cuts to her arguing with an employee over more money issues connected to her divorce.

Ivy and the ensembles perform a number from ‘Marilyn’ in the workshop, but she stops it short, insinuating that Karen’s performance was bothering her. During the break director Derek (Jack Davenport) invites Ivy to a party that weekend for a child actor named Lyle (Nick Jonas). Out of earshot the other members reveal to Karen that Ivy is sleeping with whom they call “Sauron himself, Darth Derek.”

Meanwhile Eileen decides to sell one of her paintings to fund the musical production. As workshop continues Ivy is making it obvious that Karen is still bothering her, causing Derek to pull Karen out of the number indefinitely. After practice Karen relays the day’s events to her boyfriend Dev, while Tom (Christian Borle) tells Julia about a date he has instead of going to Derek’s party.

Once again Ivy calls out Karen out for singing too loudly during practice, so Derek and Tom agree and ask Karen to sit this number out. Banished to the hallway, Karen confides in another actress in tears, saying she could have gotten the part if she had slept with Derek. As a result, three fellow chorus members take her out shopping for proper clothes.

Afterwards her new friends come over an intervention to clean out Karen’s closet and teach her how to blend into the chorus. Across town at Derek’s apartment Ivy enters the acclaimed party during Lyle performance of Michael Buble’s ‘Haven’t Met You Yet.’

At Tom’s dinner, his date is a handsome lawyer and the two appear to hit it off. In the meantime, Eileen tries to sell Lyle her painting. Instead the young star agrees to put money into ‘Marilyn’ but only if he is shown how good the show is. As a result Eileen rushes to tell Julia to call Tom and Michael to the party. Once they all have arrived, Ivy performs a song from the musical for the guests.

The number is brilliant and invigorating as we finally get to see more of our characters become involved. Julia and Michael loosen up as they sing and dance, Tom plays the piano while even Lyle jumps in at the end, grabbing a guitar to play along.

However, after the performance Ivy sees Derek slide his hand seductively down the back of another female guest. Lyle then jumps in front of her, praising her performance. Coyly she asks Lyle if he would still like to show her those bedrooms he mentioned. They stumble into a room where Eileen is tearfully admiring her painting. Lyle tells her he will be at her office on Monday.

As Ivy goes to leave the party, she confronts Derek about his mischievous behaviors. He defends himself saying that everyone in the room is a potential investor for ‘Marilyn.' Ivy pleads that the show means everything to her, but she wants security. Derek replies that if she wants safety she should return to the chorus. However, he offers to take Ivy to the bedrooms himself, smoothing out hurt feelings.

Now at a bar, Dev treats Karen’s new friends to drinks before the performers go up on stage to show off the routine they were practicing before. Towards the end of the number Karen breaks out in solo, belting the lyrics to Adele’s ‘Rumor Has It.’

The show has marketed Karen as the leading starlet, but lately we are lacking McPhee, leaving us feeling as though her storyline is just a filler. Next week’s episode promises us more drama as Derek contemplates replacing Ivy with Karen in the lead role of Marilyn Monroe.