Smash – “Tech” – Discussion Post (UPDATE: Recap Added)

Here’s your Smash discussion post.  Check out the preview videos and a show summary HERE.  Check back later for a recap!

UPDATE: “Tech” Recap Below

Are you guys as curious about this week’s episode as I am? I don’t know why, but for some reason I’ve really been thinking about all the drama that went down last week. Are Karen and Dev gonna make it through this rough patch they’re in? Because I’m thinking a lot of the commenters are right to suspect something brewing on the side between Derek and Karen. How shocking would it be for the clueless “Cartwright girl” to pull a scandelous move like that and snag the role of Marilyn in the season finale by stealing Ivy’s man–the director. Its got my expectations raised for tonight, so they better deliver! Alright, let’s get movin’ along. *play*

Wow, the writers must have read my mind, because we’re getting right into the action with an opening song. What begins as Tom and Sam singing a duet quickly turns into a big number for Tom. Hmm…the song started out really odd for me, but came together by the end. I don’t know, it just seemed…weird. I guess I’m just glad they had a really neat behind-the-scenes look at the emotions running through a performers’ mind on opening day of a show. See Smash, this is the formula you should stick to!

Oh snap! “Mr. Heartless” Derek just whipped out the “L” word on Ivy like it was no nothin’. I didn’t see that coming. Maybe my secret Karen/Derek relationship theory will never materialize?

Dev gives Karen a call and says he’s thinking about dropping in for a visit. It’s clear that Karen’s not really into the idea.

Now we’re back to Derek working on staging, lighting, and choreography, which seems to be a big focus in the episode. Hence the name, “Tech.” (DUH!) Anyway, Tom jumps in and starts talking to Derek in an unusually cheerful mood. He’s got a new song for Karen and Ivy. (YES!) But Derek is not happy about adding a song last minute. It doesn’t matter though, because they’re quickly interrupted by Ted (the dude playing Dimaggio), who’s jumping ship on the musical to film his new TV pilot. Cue the panic in Derek and the dreaded call to Michael Swift (Julia’s secret lover).

Karen and Rebecca have a little moment backstage where Rebecca admits she’s always nervous for a performance–even if she is Rebecca Duvall. 

Looks like Julia and Frank have made up, as they’re flirting like a couple of sixth-graders while Julia AMAZINGLY flips a pancake. *rolls eyes* Then bad-actor son comes down the stairs and mumbles a terrible line, and I’m reminded of how exciting season two is gonna be when they cut this crap out. Hehe. Oh yeah, and Tom calls Julia to tell her about Michael Swift possibly joining the show again, but he completely chickens out when he hears the joyous family over the phone. (Gag) Looks like it’s up to Eileen to grow a pair and tell Julia what’s up.

Rebecca flips out just as the team’s about to begin the tech version of rehearsals. She’s not completely off base either, because Derek is just mentioning Ted’s absence to her. I love how self-aware Uma’s character is sometimes. She knows she’s not strong enough to carry this show on her own, and she’s doing everything possible to make herself look good. They could’ve wrote the character off as another typical, big-shot celebrity with an ego the size of Texas.

“Umm…that’s usually my thing.” Yes–these words actually came out of Ellis’ mouth as he caught Ivy with her ear pressed against Rebecca’s dressing-room door.

Oooh boy. Dev’s work buddy/slash hottie shows up at his door unannounced with a bottle of booze. He lets her right in. Bow-chicka-wow-wooow.

We cut to Eileen’s office, where she finally tells Julia what’s up with Michael Swift. Julia flips out and insists another actor be cast in the part, but Eileen isn’t hearing it. Neither of them back down, and Julia storms out. Seriously though, in real life there is no way Julia could work with Michael again after the way they both betrayed their families.

And now we’re back to Dev and the flirtacious co-worker girl. They finally cut the crap and start making out, until Dev puts a stop to the smooching. He apologizes to co-worker, but he just can’t continue. Why is this scene/storyline even in the show again?

And to continue the relationship drama, Julia finally tells Frank that they’re trying to bring Michael back to play DiMaggio. He’s not mad, because Julia was honest and said no to Eileen, but he’s not happy either. Looks like Frank is out for now.

When we get back to the tech runs for Bombshell, Rebecca puts on an impromptu Happy-Birthday performance for Derek. Uh…sorry to sound rude, but Uma does not look pretty when she’s all “Marilyn’d up.” The weird singing doesn’t help either. Haha. That’s beside the point, because I love the character of Rebecca Duvall.

While they’re in the middle of rehearsals, Karen goes off stage to find a guilty-looking Dev with a dozen red roses. Sorry Dev, you kissed that girl, and roses won’t make up for it. Not to mention, Karen doesn’t even want you there. Poor fella. But honestly…if my girlfriend was in the dress/tech rehearsals for a broadway show, I highly doubt I’d come waltzing in unannounced hoping to get in some good bonding time.

Ugh, back to being rude again. I just don’t buy this Eileen/bartender relationship they’ve got going on. She looks like a grandma, and he just looks like an older man. Not saying Angelica Huston is ugly or anything. I just think the bartender dude is such a weird, not-believable pairing for her. I get that’s the point, but I don’t think it works.

I guess it’s already time for Tom to have dinner with and meet Sam’s entire family? Seems a little quick for that if you ask me. But I’m a commitment freak, so…yeah.

Aaaaaaand “Evil Derek” is BACK! He sneaks into Rebecca’s dressing room and really starts spreading it on thick, giving her a neck message while he seduces her. Their passion is too much to contain and they really go for it. Gosh, once again, Ivy gets screwed in this situation, and I feel pretty bad for the girl.

Back at Sam’s house, he overhears Tom and his father discussing the logic–or lack thereof–in dancing for a career. He’s pissed off at both of them.

Now we get to watch Ivy catch Derek in the act. For some reason, her and Ellis became best buds in this episode, and he promised to keep an eye on Derek and Rebecca. We see Ivy run into Ellis as she’s waiting for Derek to meet her for dinner. After some discussion, they quickly realize Derek and Rebecca were left alone, and they run up to see what’s going on. Ivy quickly realizes what’s going on, and her world comes crashing down once again.

We can quickly lighten up the mood though, because Dev just proposed to Karen over dinner. *rooooooolls eyes* One thing I will say is this: I think Katharine is getting better and better as the season goes on. As far as her acting goes. To be fair, her performance really has been a trainwreck at certain times, but I think she’s really starting to get comfortable on screen. I think her scenes–like this proposal one–are coming off as a lot more realistic in her reactions and facial expressions. (What little we can pry out of her that is.) Oh yeah, Karen said no to Dev.

Now Tom and Sam get into it over him being and dancer and blah blah. They make up and kiss and you can tell Tom is really really in looooove with Sam. I was so on board with this relationship in the beginning, and then I sorta changed my mind and thought it was a little forced. But now, I think I’m actually starting to feel the chemistry between these two. Wonder what’s in store for next season between them. Or maybe something unexpected awaits in the next two episodes.

Karen runs into the rest of the chorus, and they’re all shacked up in a hotel room drinking, singing, and just having a good time. Even though Karen’s down in the dumps, they force her to stay and enter into a sing off with Ivy. Which never happens, because it quickly becomes a solo performance for Ivy. She’s teary-eyed almost the whole way through as she sings “I’m Goin’ Down”–a song obviously meant for Derek and his cheating ways. The song stops when Dev stumbles in on the party and quickly storms off in a rage. And now cue the big fight between Karen and Dev.

The fight went about as expected. They’re both pissed and finally confront each other on all the crap that’s been bugging them about each other. Unfortunately, the scene ends with a ridiculous line from Kat about not being able to decide to get married during “tech”–particularly to someone who’s cheating on her.

Now Frank and Leo magically forget about the affair their wife/mom had with the male lead of her new musical. So why not let her go work hand-in-hand with him in another state for a few weeks? What’s that? The whole family is gonna come out with Juila? Well isn’t this all just magic and rainbows and butterflies! Maybe Frank and Michael’s wife can braid each other’s hair while they watch their spouses in rehearsals.

The last scene really really got me you guys! Dev’s sitting at the bar (expected). He’s drinking (expected). He’s about to make a huge mistake and hook up with some skank at the bar (expected). Some hot-blonde skank slides up next to him at the bar (expected). That skank is…IVY?! (UNexpected). I don’t know why this shocked me so much, because if I would’ve thought about it at all, than of course I would’ve seen it coming. But even though it’s a little desperate for the story line, I think it really works. The way I know that is because it really pisses me off! How could Dev be that stupid?! And why would Ivy cheat with someone when she was just cheated on?! I was just feeling so sympathetic for Ivy! But that’s when TV shows are good–when you disagree with the characters and find yourself torn up over something you wished they would or wouldn’t have done.

So this was a pretty decent episode people. I think the real star tonight was Derek (Jack Davenport). I thought he did such a great job of portraying the director right before a show’s launch. And that annoying scene there at the end really sucked me in for next week. BAH! We’re almost to the season’s end guys! Are you excited?! Predictions?

See you next week!


  • Brian Ly

    I wonder who that girl Dev was kissing reminds me of. =X

  • Zach Leswick

    Loved that twist at the end!

  • Jon Glass

    Such a good episode. Any word on when Season 2 starts since the finale is two weeks away.

  • Kariann Hart

    The perfect casting for Marilyn (the Bombshell) is  Katherine Jenkins.  She can dance and sing, and looks like Marilyn.  Although, DWTS wouldn’t want that!

  • Anonymous

    I got to watch the show in real time tonight. Woo hoo ;) First thoughts; come on “Karen”, “Dev” wasn’t asking you to actually walk down the aisle during tech week and he wasn’t actually cheating on you (yet). And in your career, come on, are you really that green, that you have never been through a tech week? Your first on Broadway , maybe , but no community or regional pro work? No wonder you didnt know to write down your blocking…..
    “Dev”wasn’t would be so much better off without “Karen” but that would pretty much mean Raza Jeffrey would be without a job.
    Good thing “Team Karen” didn’t have to perform after that killer number by “Team Ivy”……
    Loved the opening rift on “Another Opening of Another Show”…
    Herr Director obviously has a bad case of “Leading Lady Syndrome”

  • Anonymous

    Such a good episode. I loved all the scenes with Megan Hilty. The Ivy/Dev hookup was one of the few plot twists this show hasn’t telegraphed for weeks now. I mean everytime Rebecca talks about her peanut allergy you just know what’s coming…

    When Karen said “but I’m in tech” I laughed. Do the writers purposely make her seem semi-retarded or what? And the actor playing Messing’s son continues to bring the laughs.  Hopefully the new team worked on this episode so there’s hope for Season 2.

  • Hi!

    Katharine sings “Stand” on next week’s episode! LISTEN to it HERE:

  • Tuki

    OMG! Dev with Ivy? I never in a million years thought that coming..
    Sooo now. I really hope Karen dumps him and goes with Derek. Although he is a womanizer I think he really is smitten with Karen but can´t have her. Not yet anyways.
    I hate Dev so much! First he makes out with RJ and then he sleeps with Ivy? What a selfish prick. Karen wake up! Dump the man ASAP.

  • kirk charles


  • Kariann Hart

    I do believe SMASH is moving from DRAMA to SOAP OPERA.  Pretty soon, I won’t be able to keep up with who is sleeping with whom.  I am hanging in there because of the musical theater aspect.  I just hope there will be better writing or I won’t be around for the second season.  Love the work done on the musical numbers.

  • Nele621

    Ivy’s singing and the pain she showed made for one really amazing performance. What a singer and actress she is. I hope this show propels her career because she is so talented.

  • Anonymous

    I miss the singing in this episode. Ivy’s performance was great but I love Karen’s singing. Without her singing, it was just dragging. The only interesting part was Tom and his bf’s meet the parents. 

  • Daniel Conchie

    Really Karen? Is Tech all that consuming that you can’t make up your mind about a marriage proposal? It doesn’t seem like you’re actually doing that much other then standing on the sidelines and attending drunken parties. It’s not like Dev is asking you to walk down the aisle this very second. That’s what engagements are for dumb ass. You’re parting line is just retarded, and I think the writers are simply trying to knock you down a peg. There now that I have that off my chest. Haven’t Dev and Ivy met before, I swear they must have? Anyhow, at least they should recognize each others names. Well, Karen is going to love this. As if she doesn’t have enough reasons (retarded though they may be) to hate Dev. Derek you cad! Cheating on Ivy, really? She’d certainly be enough woman for me, and all because Miss Movie Star sang you happy birthday? Frank, you’re making a mistake. Your wife cheated on you twice with the same guy and you’re giving her permission to work with him again?! Sure you’re coming along but what are you going to do? Watch her like a hawk 24/7? You should have stuck with your wife’s original decision to leave the show. All you’re doing is inviting more heartbreak.

  • Laura Bloomingdale

    Have you ever been involved in tech week? Any theatre person knows exactly what Karen is talking about. Tech is insane.

  • larc

    I do believe SMASH is moving from DRAMA to SOAP OPERA.  Pretty soon, I won’t be able to keep up with who is sleeping with whom.

    At least Ivy and Dev doing the nasty advances the story line.  If writers would leave out the gratuitous hookups that advance absolutely nothing, the score would be easier to keep up with.

  • Anonymous

    I have been involved in lots and lots of tech weeks. It is insane, and it isn’t called “Hell Week” in some companies without reason, BUT I still think her reaction was silly. Even if she just wanted more time to think about it -which is what I asked for when my now hubby proposed to me BTW-it she could have said that without being so OTT.

    It is pretty obvious that she isn’t into this relationship like Dev is (up to this point). He said early in the season that he wanted to take care of her financially and she didnt want any part of it, he asked her to think about moving away with him, then indicated he would give up his career for her if she only asked. She freaked again. Oh and remember she never told “Dev” about dressing up in a man’s shirt and arousing her director (to get back at him, but still).

    “Karen” is totally focused on her own goals and her own career at this point. That is ok, but she needs to let “Dev” go for both their sakes. The only problem is “Karen” would have to give up that nice apartment!

  • Anonymous

    Have you ever been involved in tech week? Any theatre person knows exactly what Karen is talking about. Tech is insane.

    Exactly.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tell people, “Don’t make major relationship decisions during tech week!” :)

  • Anonymous

    Haven’t Dev and Ivy met before, I swear they must have? 

    For a second when Ivy looked at Derek, I thought she did recognize him.  Which would have been very interesting.  But when they introduced themselves, I realized that they didn’t.  But Megan Hilty is still a very good actress and Ivy has flashes of being a great character.

    But drunk hook-ups with your friend’s temporarily ex-boyfriend?  Soooo Soap Opera.

  • Daniel Conchie

    Fair enough, but the show doesn’t actually show her doing much.

  • it’s me

    liked the episode but I would rather hear Karen sing!  ivy is just poison in every way imagined!
    the writers make karen so dense. give her some feisty dialog!

  • Tinawina

    I actually understood Karen’s reaction to the proposal.  First of all, they have always portrayed this relationship as Dev pushing for more and Karen hesitating. Second, various people have been in her ear for weeks about how this relationship was doomed. And third, she’s stressed out at her first major Tech week. So no, this is not the time for her boyfriend to push for more yet again, especially if he then confesses to almost sleeping with the girl she’s been jealous of for a while. And since “almost sleeping with” means in this case “we made out and then I stopped short”, yes, that translates to cheating IMO.

    What I don’t get is this whole Ellis/Ivy alliance. That just came out of nowhere a few weeks ago. Since Ellis’ machinations had all previously been about getting as close to power as possible, I dont see why he’s suddenly decided to hitch his star to Ivy.

    I’m also not sure what the Jack/Rebecca thing was about, I never saw those 2 as having chemistry but I guess Jack is just supposed to be the kind of guy that lives to sleep with his leading ladies. Heh.

    The way they played the final scene – loved that twist BTW – was that Ivy and Dev didn’t recognize who each other was  until they heard each other’s names. Now that hookup is ssssoo wrong but it makes perfect sense why each character would be motivated to do it.

    I liked Ivy singing “I’m Going Down”, but my hubby came in the room and made an awful face. LOL. He was like “She is no Mary J OR Rose Royce, just no”. LMAO.

  • Anonymous

    So I’m also not sure what the Jack/Rebecca thing was about, I never saw those 2 as having chemistry but I guess Jack is just supposed to be the kind of guy that lives to sleep with his leading ladies. Heh.

    There is a phenomenon is theatre know as “Leading Man Syndrome” or “LMS” and “Leading Lady Syndrome” or “LLS” in which people on that level (stars, directors) tend to hook up quite easily. Its really a combination of the fact that people tend to be attracted to people in power and the fact people tend to strike up relationships with those that they spend a great amount of time.

    I get the Ellis and Ivy relationship. They are both desperate people who are willing to go after that which they want. They understand each other. Ivy is also the only person who has consistantly spoken to Ellis as a person (not a lacky) during rehearsals.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your recap and this thread!  Keep up the great work!

    Love this show!

    Why did Derek hook up with Rebecca anyway?  No chemistry between them.

    Dev and Ivy totally recognized each other after introducing themselves.  Both are getting back at Karen using each other.

    Love every scene that Tom is in!  More singing for Tom!  He should be DiMaggio, but he isn’t athletic looking enough.

  • Maureen Tarwater

    I agree… I thought Dev and Ivy knew exactly who the other was….

  • Nele621

    I would like Kat’s character better if she didn’t always have things going her way. Many times I dislike those characters even more than the mean person character. Granted, she isn’t Marilyn for these last few episodes, but it sure looks like she will be next season. It just doesn’t seem likely that Karen would get the lead in a Broadway show for her very first ever show. IRL, don’t Broadway performers have lots and lots of experience playing background parts before getting their first lead?

  • Anonymous

     It just doesn’t seem likely that Karen would get the lead in a Broadway show for her very first ever show. IRL, don’t Broadway performers have lots and lots of experience playing background parts before getting their first lead?

    I think it can happen, but only if a) you’re spectacularly good for the part or b) you’re already a star or c) you’ve written or otherwise had a hand in creating the show.

    I guess they’re going a little for all three.  Karen was supposedly amazing at portraying Marilyn’s innocence (plus she’s got pipes), Rebecca is a movie star, and Ivy was helping out Tom and Julia with the very first song (and she’s got experience and she does a pretty good Marilyn and she’s got pipes).

    But you’re playing with fire casting a complete unknown in a lead role, so Karen would have be drop dead amazing to get anything more than small role with no prior professional credits.

  • Tinawina

    Well, she’s not gotten the part. That was the whole reason Ivy got it… she was more experienced. And the only reason Karen became Rebecca’s understudy was that Ivy got herself fired with her pill-induced meltdown.

    On the show Karen is portrayed as really really talented and in possession of that “It” that everyone recognizes (now it is debatable if McPhee is really puling that off LOL) but not quite ready for prime time.

    Of course we know that there will be some twist of fate that will allow Karen to take over the role but I doubt it will be as simple as casting Karen in the lead. Next week’s coming attractions hinted as much.

  • Anonymous

    I think Dev and Ivy have heard of each other but never met each other in the series. Dev has not been at rehearsals and the only folks who have been to their apartment are the chorus folks and Derrick. The closest Dev has been otherwise was to kiss Karen goodbye at the start of one of the auditions.

    Besides, Ivy had no way of knowing Dev was in town unless Karen specifically told her, and I do not think the narrative allowed for that.

    No doubt there was some name recognition when they introduced each other and the actors portrayed that. In the characters state of mind at the moment it probably enhanced the prospect of being with each other rather than inhibited it.

  • Nele621

    On the show Karen is portrayed as really really talented and in possession of that “It” that everyone recognizes (now it is debatable if McPhee is really puling that off LOL) but not quite ready for prime time.

    I think Karen (or Kat) would have been more convincing as that really, really talented girl with the IT factor had Megan not been as talented as she is. Kat is drop dead beautiful and talented, but Megan is also quite pretty (not drop dead as Kat), has the Marilyn body and amazing, amazing vocals. Too bad they couldn’t have cast a girl who wasn’t as good a singer as Megan. Then I can see that Karen would have made the WOW impression with the director and others as it appeared.

  • Anonymous

    You are probably correct. And the casual viewer ( and outside the Idol bubble) who doesn’t know either Megan Hilty or Kat McPhee is probably picking up on it.

    I know my husband, who hasn’t watched the last couple of week’s replays yet, walked into the room during “Mr. Director” and said , “what happened? Megan Hilty plays Marilyn much better.”

    I feel Megan Hilty easily would walk away with the part if it were between the two of them in real life. but others seem to disagree ( mainly on this blog it seems) Yet I noticed in the “I’m still scared” scene between “Rebecca” and “Karen” last night how similiar Uma and Kat looked. In reality “Karen” would have been the better understudy for “Rebecca” because the height and size difference between “Rebecca” and “Ivy” could effect everything from choreography to light focus.

  • Anonymous

    Well there’s Karen the character and Kat the actress. Unfortunately Kat is not much of an actress so that figures into the equation. Even the New Yorker this week did a rereview of the show and said Kat took a one note character down half a note. ;0

  • Anonymous

    Yes jpfan2. And here is the LA Times’ reviewer’s take on last week’s episode;

    It is Ellis’ machinations that lead Ivy back to center stage, singing a tune that’s not at all subtle in its message about a broken up old thing still having a little life left in it. As Uma’s dagger eyes and self-serving suggestion proves, Ivy is on the rise again. And with good reason — after so many weeks of trying to convince us that McPhee is the star, but the moment Hilty opens her mouth, she wins effortlessly. Uma knows it, we all know it, Angelica’s weepy face knows it. And now we have four episodes left to fight against the inevitable.

  • Nele621

    Article states exactly my feelings.  I still love Kat. Never heard of Megan Hilty prior to Smash, but I feel she has overshadowed Kat in the talent department. You can’t even hate her even tho she plays the “mean girl”.