Smash, Season 2, Episode 4: “The Song”
Written by: Bathsheba Doran
Directed by: Michael Morris
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm (ET) on NBC
Welcome to the Jennifer Hudson hour. Oops, I totally meant Smash. It is difficult not to pick on the news kids in class, and Jennifer Hudson does it make it easy because she is essentially the same character in everything she does. But finally, (FINALLY) we get a quality episode of Smash, something we haven’t seen since midway through the first season. There still exist a few kinks to be worked out, but it seems all those hopes and dreams we had for a better season are finally coming to fruition. There was a delightful balance of new and old characters- newer characters were allowed to shine alongside older characters who continued to preform those loving quirks- combined with some of the show’s best songs. Tonight’s episode was a hit!
“The Song” revolved around the creation and production of Veronica Moore’s one woman show which is being directed by Derek, who surprises everyone when he announces the show will be taped for a broadcast on Bravo. Both Karen and Ivy have been invited to be in Veronica’s show, which turns out to not be as problematic as one would have thought. But still it begs the question: If Ivy is so good to sing with Veronica, why was she fired from Bombshell? (It’s obvious that is was a tactic to move plot forward, but still, it’s bothersome.)
Kyle and Jimmy have been invited to write a song for Veronica’s show, which is tricky to buy into, especially after Veronica’s mom makes an authoritarian visit to the set. Really, she is going to let her daughter sing the songs of amateurs? I’m sure that pretty handbag she was toting is worth more than Jimmy and Kyle’s rent. What the audience can see in the ridiculousness of Kyle and Jimmy’s situation is apparently transparent to the two of them because they take the time to be aggressive and nasty towards those who are trying to give them a break. It sure is time for them to be thankful for their opportunities and listen to Derek when he says, “…wait your turn and earn it.” Those words have been the best bit of script Derek has had all season.
The downside of this episode comes from a dwindling play out of a possibly thrilling storyline concerning Eileen and Nick. Nick has been missing in action since a tiny appearance in the first episode of this season when he revealed to Eileen that the source of money for Bombshell had been exposed. Nick has been one of the more interesting characters for Smash and it’s a shame that they have reduced his role to almost nothing. It could have been intense to watch Eileen and Nick engage in some legal drama. For goodness sake you have Anjelica Huston the least you could do is give her something challenging to work with. Although she might get her chance because as it turns out her ex-husband, Jerry, has been getting his information from the dreaded Ellis. Hopefully that is the last time any of us have to hear about Ellis.
Bombshell is finally free from legal trouble, leaving Jerry to take over producing credit for Eileen. During this whole fiasco Jimmy does some drugs, kisses Karen and writes a song. So hey kids remember if you do drugs you can accomplish a lot in a day! In the end Veronica decides to do the show Derek’s way, which is really the Bob Fosse way. Even after her mother says she shouldn’t change what she’s been doing all these years on Broadway. Perhaps the best moment for Jennifer Hudson is her performing the final number “I Can’t Let Go” which hopefully is a self-referential moment for the show and NBC will never let Smash go (despite the terrible ratings). If Smash keeps up the momentum this episode has catapulted hopefully we can expect Smash to be around for a couple more seasons.