A solid hour that offered some explanation, featured a lot of drama, and brought us back to the pilot. And some news has surfaced about the second season: it will be 15 or 18 episodes, and they will be held back till mid-season.
After last week’s scene in the bar, Dev and Ivy are waking up next to each other. Dev almost picks up Ivy’s phone because Jessica is using Karen’s phone to call Ivy to ask where she is, since the final rehearsal has started. When Ivy does arrive at rehearsal, she mentions she slept in. Karen tries to be nice to Ivy, but she shoots Karen down because she’s worried she’ll fall apart.
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Before rehearsal, Eileen asks Derek what is happening with Rebecca, and he explains that he wants to make sure Rebecca has everything she needs.
Julia arrives in Boston with Leo and Frank at the same time Michael does. She tells Frank she’ll kill Tom for his decision.
Just before the first preview, Karen asks Rebecca about sleeping with Derek and tells her Ivy was seeing him. Rebecca warns Karen to get out of show business if she can’t handle a situation like this.
The first preview goes mostly as planned. During the show, Karen tries to reach Dev but can’t manage to. We also see the new song “Smash” sung by Ivy and Karen. The ending, Marilyn’s death, doesn’t get the audience to their feet. Eileen demands a new ending from Tom and Julia because the show should get standing ovations every single night.
Dev is waiting for Karen after the first preview, and they both apologize to each other. Back in their hotel room, they discuss meeting each other. As they seem to grow closer together, Karen mentions practicing “Some Like It Hot” once more, but Dev backs away. They continue discussing their relationship, and Karen tells Dev to ask her to marry him again. Dev pops the question but without the ring because it is back in New York.
Eileen, Ellis, and Nick are discussing the first preview in a bar, and Ellis suggests Rebecca isn’t the right lead. Nick tells Ellis to take a hike but follows him out to take him home. Eileen walks over to the piano player and sings “September Song.”
The next morning, Ivy is early to rehearsal, and she confronts Derek about Rebecca. He explains he was giving Rebecca the attention she needs and tells her she should understand it.
Back in Rebecca’s dressing room, Karen interrupts Rebecca’s call with her shrink to talk to her. Karen tells her she’s a star, but Rebecca turns it around and tells Karen she is. During their conversation, Rebecca is drinking her smoothie, but Karen calls for help as Rebecca is starting to suffocate.
As a result of Rebecca’s suffocation, Derek tells everyone back in the theater that the next two shows are cancelled. It turns out Rebecca’s smoothie had traces of peanut in it. The ensemble decides to go to church.
Eileen talks to Rebecca’s assistant to find out how she’s doing, and he implies someone must’ve poisoned her drink. Eileen tries to calm him down and suggests asking Rebecca when she wakes up.
Back in the theater, Eileen promises to deal with the press in Boston and New York. Tom suggests Ivy could take over the lead, but Julia wants Karen.
Dev meets with Ivy to ask about the ring because he must’ve dropped it in her hotel room. She asks if he wants to propose, and he tells her it’s none of her business.
Back in the hotel, Julia runs into Michael. He tells her he only came back to the show because he thought that being invited back meant that she wanted to start seeing him again. Julia tells him she was ready to quit the show after hearing he returned. Julia tells Michael to get lost after leaning in for a kiss.
Inside the theater, Tom and Julia talk about what happened with Michael. Julia tells him Eileen and Derek couldn’t have outvoted them if they stayed together. Tom explains she alone was responsible for putting her family at risk and that shouldn’t interfere with the show. Julia replies by saying she loves him, but they’re not a team anymore.
Everybody (except Derek) visit church, and Sam and Karen sing “Stand.” After the service, Julia tells Tom she figured out a better ending, and they both apologize for what they said.
After learning Rebecca is fine, Karen visits her in the hospital. Rebecca explains she drank the smoothie even though she tasted the peanut, and someone had to have put it there. She tells Karen she won’t return to the show, and she should take over the part. And we are left with the question if Ivy or Karen will play Marilyn.
So, we took a detour of thirteen episodes to come back to the premise of the pilot. Whom to cast as Marilyn in “Bombshell,” only now, the product is more or less finished and the lead has to learn the part in just a few days. And I’m guessing the best option would be Ivy, but with her history with Derek and the partial “audition” in singing “Stand” with Sam, Karen is a viable contender once again. I’m not sure how I feel about returning to the pilot. It partially feels like a cheat, but it also was one of the best parts of the pilot, so it might be good to revisit it.
I’m very curious to find out who poisoned Rebecca. It could be Ellis, Ivy, and Karen for obvious reasons. Rebecca could’ve done it herself. Nick could’ve done it since he’s a crook, and maybe even Derek because he was disappointed with Rebecca’s performance. I’m hoping we’ll find out this season.
The most annoying part of this episode was the way Julia and Tom made up their fight. They both had some valid points about why they were annoyed with each other. And it feels like those harsh words would not be resolved just by saying “I’m sorry.” Especially if they haven’t had fights like these before.
And Dev and Ivy slept together. I loved how they used each other to get back to their partners. And of course, Dev almost picked up Ivy’s phone, which would’ve been disastrous. And now it appears like Dev is intending to tell Karen about his indiscretion, so there might be a lot of drama coming our way.
Monday is the season finale, titled “Bombshell.” Tom and Julia fight to save the show, Derek makes a decision that changes the lives of Karen and Ivy, Ellis reveals his true colors, and a bomb goes off in Karen and Dev’s relationship. It’s on at 10/9c on NBC.