Smash: We Have Our Marilyn

SMASH: 1.15 “Bombshell”

We finally found out. Who played Marilyn in Bombshell? Well, it’s been a long time coming, and if you’re like me, you thought we would spend the entire episode waiting until that final moment — the last thirty seconds of the episode, when the curtain went up and all was revealed.

But instead, we got our answers pretty early. While it was heatedly debated, Derek finally chose Karen, the girl he’s wanted to play the blonde since the start. Sure, she wasn’t quite working; she had to learn the entire musical in a day. Everyone had their doubts, and even she started to wonder whether she’d be replaced at any moment.

In the end, she came on stage, and as Derek told her, became a star. That last number gave me goosebumps, as it did every audience member, I’m sure. Based on that performance, it’s pretty clear:

Bombshell is headed to Broadway.

Well, between her performance and the show being renewed for a second season. I really enjoyed the episode. Sure, I was getting more and more annoyed as every moment brought us the question of whether Ivy would replace Karen in the leading role. Did we really go through all that for another last minute cast change?

Fortunately, we did not. And even then, I was invested. Here I was, yelling at the screen, calling Ivy a bitch for telling Karen the truth on her opening night. Here I was, appalled that even after being caught, Dev still lied to Karen. And here I was, grinning like a five-year-old with chocolate hands that Ellis finally got fired.

Sadly, I don’t think that means we’ve seen the last of him.

I was moved by Derek’s quiet moment with Karen, where we saw him, strangely enough, as someone who was actually caring, and not just looking to get the show on the road or get the pants off. Even in the final episode of the season, we still had some character development.

My only complaint? The overdramatic cliffhangers. Ivy looked like she was about to kill herself at the end of the episode, following in the footsteps of the famed Marilyn. I saw this coming from a mile away, and to be honest, I don’t think that it needed it. Along the same lines, all things point to Julia being pregnant; after all, she says she never throws up. Will this kid be Michael’s? Oh dear, I hope not. I’m so over that.

Nonetheless, it was a fun, great, splashy episode. I loved seeing Bombshell in its (almost) full glory at the end. The costumes. The dancing. The emotions. If I had been there, it would have gotten a standing ovation, at least from me.

I’m going to miss this little show that could, the show that I was sure would hit a tiny niche audience and be cancelled after four episodes. Kudos, Smash. Or should I say…


See you next year!

6 thoughts on “Smash: We Have Our Marilyn

  1. Great review. After an entire season, I still don’t understand why I’m drawn to this show.

    But anyway, I still can’t get over Karen as Marilyn. She looks nothing like her. The way she carries herself is nothing like her. She has none of Marilyn’s fire. She’s a good singer but otherwise, she’s just kind of bland. It should have been the other girl!

  2. I completely agree regarding Karen’s looks. She didn’t have any of the curves or sex appeal that Marilyn had. I think what Derek saw in her — and what the audience was supposed to see in her — that Marilyn had was that drive for fame and stardom. She was some small town girl hoping for stardom. It wasn’t until she got beaten down a bit that we got to see the whole package, the pain that Marilyn hid behind the spotlight.

  3. I hadn’t thought of it from the “small town girl hoping for stardom” angle. If that’s how the director was approaching it, it makes a lot of sense. Still, I can’t help but feel that her lack of curves and sex appeal overshadowed it for me. But I’m not a Marilyn fanatic, so maybe I’m not the right audience.

    I think I’ll still watch this next year. I don’t know why.

  4. I’m glad you’ll still watch next year. Because I will. Ha.

    Anyway, I do agree with you. Uma Thurmond — coughcough — Rebecca Duvoll, had the same problem that Karen did. They’re both sticks. Marilyn certainly wasn’t.

    Honestly, I thought Ivy was fantastic in the role. You saw my early posts: I was rooting for her.

  5. I loved this finale! The last number was fantastic. I was also surprised it was Karen who ended up as Marilyn. I definitely think Ivy deserved it more, but after what she did to Karen, I’m glad it was Karen. I knew Ivy was going to tell Karen in the hopes that she would leave and Ivy could get the part. I’m so glad that backfired!

  6. Pingback: A Belated Open Thread: How’s Finale Season Been to You? | Raked

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