Recap/Review – Smash – “The Coup” – 3/26/12

Oy vey. Let’s just dive right in, and I’ll explain that reaction.


After the workshops, Eileen and Derek decide to take a detour and have a new producer create a new song for the show. Derek asks Karen to sing the song and play Marilyn and urges her to keep quiet, especially to Tom and Julia.

Meanwhile Ivy, Tom, and Julia are being kept out of the loop, and it’s driving them crazy. When Tom has Ellis give Eileen a new song, Katie (played by Grace Gummer), Eileen and Jerry’s daughter, walks in.

Jump with me to read more.

It turns out Jerry put $3 million in Katie’s trust fund, so Eileen knows where all the money went. Katie gets Eileen and Jerry into the same room to see if they can resolve their issues, but it turns into a shouting match.

Karen tells Dev about what Derek asked him, and he warns her to be careful. When she mentions the plans for dinner that night, Dev tells her he’s meeting RJ to talk about Paul (the guy who might be getting Dev’s promotion). At the meeting, RJ tells Dev about some secrets Paul is trying to keep hidden, but Dev is reluctant to hear the information. When he finds out Paul will probably get promoted over him, he asks RJ to give him the information anyway.

Back at home, Tom asks Ellis what happened at Eileen’s place, and Ellis mentions Eileen getting off the phone with Derek and mentioning Karen’s name.

Karen meets Derek to rehearse the new song, “Touch Me.” Ryan Tedder (One Republic) helps produce it.

Derek calls Eileen to update him about the progress, and Ellis intercepts the call. Derek doesn’t understand why Ellis picked up but tells him to give Eileen a message.

As a result of this call, Ellis finds Ivy, and he tells her that Derek, Eileen, and Karen seem to be up to something. Ivy decides to check it out.

Derek and Eileen finally invite Tom, Julia, and Katie to see the new song performed by Karen. Ivy and Ellis manage to see the performance after sneaking in. After the song is finished, Derek explains that this song could be a new direction, a more contemporary take on Marilyn. Eileen adds that they thought Tom and Julia might be reluctant about this idea, so they decided to present it as an option. Tom and Julia are plain mad, and Karen tries to apologize for what happened.

Katie asks Eileen to step outside and tells her mother that this sort of thing is the thing her father used to pull, so she shouldn’t. Back inside, Tom and Derek are getting into it, but Eileen apologizes to everyone. Ellis steps in to propose a meeting the next day to discuss the next step to take. Julia wonders why Ellis interferes. Ryan apologizes to Tom and Julia for not knowing what was going on. Outside, Eileen invites Ellis to step in the car. Ivy goes and talk to Karen in a very nice and sarcastic tone. She tells Karen that it didn’t go as planned and that she shouldn’t feel guilty for stabbing Tom and Julia in the back.

Julia leaves the rehearsal space to go home, and Tom and Derek get left together. Derek tells Tom that he doesn’t have the balls to make this project a success. They discuss what happened 11 years ago. Tom blames Derek for the show that bombed back then. Derek mentions that a critic said his directing was good, but Tom’s songs weren’t. Tom tells Derek that this wasn’t the full story, because he visited a lot of theaters to trash the show. Tom is mad at Derek for all that because they used to be friends. And on top of that, he tells Derek that the critic that was so positive about Derek was sleeping with Derek’s father. Derek almost hits Tom, but instead says he likes the songs Tom wrote, but they’re too fun. Derek’s convinced the show focuses too much on the sweet side of Marilyn. They end the fight by both saying they won’t quit the show.

The next day, Tom, Julia, and Derek are at Eileen’s office. She again apologizes for the incident the day before and acknowledges the fact that something needs to change. She proposes casting a name for the title role and tells Tom and Julia to think of a title. As they walk out, they see Ellis. Ellis thanks Tom for the opportunity, but he accepted a job as Eileen’s assistant. Julia is glad that Tom is rid of him, but not too happy that he’s still around.

Dev learns that the information on Paul they tried to get him fired with disappeared.

Katie decorates Eileen’s house as a goodbye gift. She’s leaving for Alaska to count wild salmon.

Tom personally tells Ivy that Eileen is planning to go with a star for Marilyn. He tells her she’s a star, and she can get back to heaven on Earth whenever she is ready for it.

Back at home, Ivy is miserable when Derek knocks on the door. Derek admits that he asked Karen to do the new song as revenge for saying he was bad in bed in front of everyone. They kiss, and the episode ends.
In other story lines:

Julia tells Michael he’s fired.

Leo’s trial is finally coming, and John manages to get Leo acquitted.

The ensemble takes Ivy to a bowling alley, and it turns into a song and dance (“Dance To the Music”).

Eileen has Katie meet Nick, and Katie approves.

Ellis tells his girlfriend that he wants to be a producer.

My oh my, what a terrible episode. I think I’ll just mention the bad parts to get it over with and try to give the positive parts some more attention.

  • Brian D’Arcy James sang (yay), but it was way too short.
  • The long coat Derek wore.
  • Karen being that naïve.
  • Eileen turning into Jerry… She should know better.
  • Eileen hiring Ellis.
  • Ellis! Just…everything!
  • The song and dance at the bowling alley.
  • The scene where Karen finds out the ensemble knows about the new song didn’t add anything to the story.
  • The story about Dev got a lot of screen time, but did he get fired or quit? Or did something else happen? That last scene with him and Karen had me confused.
  • Leo’s case.

So let’s try to give the positive parts about this episode some proper attention.

First of all, I loved the clothes Dev/Raza Jaffrey wore in the bar with RJ. (This week, I’ll take any win I can get.)

I loved Grace Gummer as Katie. I loved how she tried to get her parents to talk; I loved how she was honest that the money was “not nice”; I loved how she tried to dismiss Ellis. And I like the idea of how she turned out the way she did as somewhat of a response to her father.

I liked the song “Touch Me,” but the song and dance routine didn’t fit into the existing material at all. Katherine McPhee looked hot performing the song.

The best part of the episode was, by far, the scene between Tom and Derek. It gave a proper explanation to why Tom was holding this grudge, and Borle and Davenport were amazing in the scene. Tthat one scene lifted up the episode a lot. And Borle was great in the final scene with Hilty, as well. At least Tom had the guts to tell Ivy in person about the decision “they” made.

Next week, on “Hell On Earth,” the team starts looking for a star to play Marilyn, Karen and Ivy are after the same part (in a commercial), and Frank makes an unwelcome discovery. It’s on at 10/9c on NBC, and you can watch this episode at Again, it appears there are now new songs this week.

Let me know what you thought about this episode.

– JJ

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