The season finale is here and it’s the big opening night of “Bombshell” – but the bigger issue is who is playing Marilyn? Well, as the episode opens, Julia and Tom are going over the new song they need for the new ending of the musical. As the finally figure it out, with 15 minutes to spare before the curtains open, they present it backstage as our Marilyn walks out on stage before the story jumps back to 12 hours earlier that day.
As the day begins to roll out, our merry band of four (Tom, Julia, Derek and Eileen) are still arguing over who is going to play Marilyn: Ivy or Karen. The tension isn’t any better for either of the girls or the ensemble as they wait outside the theatre for an answer. Then both of their phones ring, but for Karen it is Dev calling and Ivy receives a call from her mother (returning guest star Bernadette Peters). Not exactly the call either of them was hoping for, right?
While Eileen wards off a nosy reporter from The Post, Derek is backstage going through each Marilyn costume, seeing each girl in his mind playing the lead role. Seconds later he comes out on stage, as everyone from the ensemble and the creative team comes back into the theatre, and he announced that Marilyn will be played by Karen. Everyone is taken aback by that decision; no one more so than Ivy.
The rest of the day plays out with Julia and Tom feverishly working on the final number that for hours just isn’t working. They need something that is not gospel or religious, but something that is better than Marilyn just dying in her bed – since that worked so well (NOT!) the last time; Ellis going to Eileen to bitch that Ivy should have the part of Marilyn, especially since he was the only one who made sure to get rid of Rebecca – Gasp! – (he was the one who poisoned Rebecca’s smoothie with the dreaded peanuts for which the movie star is allergic) allowing to make room for Ivy to take over – the moron should’ve kept his mouth shut and ended up (FINALLY!) being fired by an irate Eileen; Julia and Michael having a ‘moment’ on stage where he reveals that his wife left him and then Frank sees them together, which could have ended badly, but Julia convinces him that they need to focus on the good in their relationship not the mistakes (which actually helps inspire her where the lyrics on the new song is concerned); and Karen frantically trying to learn the entire musical in less than half a day (no easy feat that).
Eventually Ivy goes to Derek to ask him why he chose Karen over him and he tells her, point-blank, that he sees something in Karen that he doesn’t see Ivy. That fact pushes Ivy to pout even more backstage and dig out the engagement ring that Dev inadvertently left behind in her hotel room the night they had drunken sex together. Ivy, of course, leaves the ring box on Karen’s dressing room table, which just creates even more problems because the ugly truth of Ivy and Dev sleeping together comes out, pissing Karen off and, of course, she breaks it off with Dev; which just adds to the heavy stress she is already under.
A few hours before they need to go on stage for the big opening night, though, Karen goes “missing” because all the pressure has simply gotten to be too much and for a brief time it looks like Ivy will get her chance; but Derek tracks Karen down, gives her his version of a pep talk (which thankfully doesn’t include him having sex with her) and gets her back in costume to rehearse more.
Soon enough, the timeline catches back up and Karen takes the stage as Marilyn, wowing the audience – which includes Eileen’s ex-husband Jerry, who actually seems to be impressed with the musical and young, hot star Lyle West (returning guest star Nick Jonas) – and we see bits and pieces of “Bombshell” including the new ending, which is Marilyn is a beautiful gold gown singing in a spotlight with shadow box images lit up in the background, as she sings the new song by Julia and Tom entitled “Don’t Forget Me” that ends on a triumphant note and a spotlight on a beautiful picture of the real Marilyn in the background.
“Bombshell” is the series finale of the new series Smash on NBC. The second season of Smash is expected to be back on NBC later in the 2012-2013 TV season.
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