Episode 2.05 : The Read-Through

  • Smash
    • Episode Premiere : March 05, 2013
    • Distributor : NBC
    • Genre : Drama, Musical
    • Seasons : 2
    • Show Period : 2012 - 2013
    • Production Company: DreamWorks TV, Universal Media Studios
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

Eileen is not at all happy to discover she can't legally attend the read-through of Julia's new "Bombshell" script, because of the Feds ruling. She doesn't think anyone will notice her presence, especially since the cast won't attend. Jerry seems to be enjoying it all too much, claiming it's all Eileen's fault for telling the Feds the truth. Eileen decides it's a great time to go see Nick.

Derek and Tom meet up at the new home of "Bombshell," the Belasco Theater. Tom hopes it's big enough to fit a plane onstage for "Public Relations." He imagines the number with himself in every part except Marilyn. The truth is he's not sure the song made it into Julia's new draft - because he hasn't read it! That's when Julia and Peter whoosh in, all bubbly and excited, notably finishing each other's sentences. Tom is suspicious: usually, Julia's a wreck right before a read-through. When Peter insists Julia has no cause to be nervous, Derek tightens the thumbscrews. She suggests postponing the afternoon's read-through - maybe they should put the Liz Taylor sequence back in? - but Peter insists the new book will exceed everyone's expectations, and he stands behind her work kickboxing class, Ana teases Karen: she can call Jimmy if she wants to. Karen is just insisting she can't call without a good reason when Derek calls to check in. People have been asking about Jimmy and Kyle since Ronnie's concert, so Derek has arranged a couple of performances at the Fringe Festival for "Hit List." He tasks Karen with letting them know - now she has her reason to call Jimmy! Meanwhile, Ivy is rehearsing for "Liaisons" when the director, Timothy Little, announces their star; Terry Falls has finally arrived. While Terry is a big movie star, most of the cast is dubious about his Broadway chops. Having him play Valmont is like hiring Jim Carrey to play King Lear.

Terry is raring to go, having already memorized his lines. Unfortunately, the concept of stage right sends him into a tailspin; his accent is abhorrent, and he's playing Valmont as broad, bawdy comedy. Blocks away, Tom and Julia walk through Times Square, as she gushes about her collaboration with Peter. It was just so easy and wonderful! When Tom spots Jon Robin Baitz, aka Robbie, walking towards them, he runs off. Robbie wants to gossip; he heard Julia's been working with Peter. Robbie warns her that Peter isn't a writer's friend. When he worked with their mutual friend Leslie, he led her in the wrong direction, and then when she crashed and burned, Peter was waiting in the wings with his own draft of her script.

Ana and Karen head out to Greenpoint to give Jimmy and Kyle the good news about the Fringe. Karen was thinking they should have a reading of "Hit List" today, and she's arranged for several of her friends to help out. Everyone's really excited... until a half-naked girl stumbles out of Jimmy's sleeping loft, and Karen's face falls. Back in Manhattan, Ivy tells Tom all about rehearsal with Terry Falls - it's pretty much like "Spamalot." Tom thinks it's probably never occurred to Terry to play Valmont straight, and now no one will tell him the truth since he's such a big star. Tom tells Ivy he has yet to see the "Bombshell" book, and Julia's way too calm; he'd kill for a tiny iota of irrationality. When his phone rings, he gets his wish...

After picking up snacks for the read-through, Ana and Karen gossip about Jimmy. If he's sleeping around, why did he kiss Karen? And why does she like him so much? Ana reminds her that Jimmy's a player - is "Hit List" worth it? Karen admits she'll only know for sure after the read-through - that's when she'll decide what kind of boundaries to set. After being turned away from the prison, Eileen makes an angry call to a potent city official - Nick would never refuse to see her, and she needs to see him! She's surprised to find Derek lying on the couch in her office. What happens if the "Bombshell" book isn't up to snuff? Eileen reminds him she can't talk about it, then asks what he would do if he suddenly lost everything he cared about. Derek knows he wouldn't be sitting on his ass feeling sorry for himself. Eileen Rand is a woman who takes what she wants, damn it!

Tom and a distraught Julia meet up by the Flatiron Building. Has Peter been playing Julia? When Tom points out Peter has lied to them several times, Julia insists they tell Jerry immediately. Tom's just relieved that his partner, the neurotic Julia, is back. Having finally finished the first act of "Hit List," Kyle runs out to make copies with Ana, leaving Karen and Jimmy alone. Trying to work up the nerve to tell Jimmy her feelings, Karen sings Death Cab for Cutie's "Some Boys." But just when she's worked up her courage, the doorbell rings. It's time for the reading.

Spying Terry on the street, Ivy runs up for a proper introduction. When Terry jokes about how funny the show is, Ivy reminds him that it's a drama - maybe even a tragedy - and is surprised to learn Terry had no idea. Terry thanks Ivy for telling him the truth; no one else would have had the guts. Jerry steps away from his office, leaving his new assistant Margot to deal with Julia and Tom. She tells them both she and Jerry love the new draft of "Bombshell" - especially the Liz Taylor sequence. Knowing she left this scene out of her draft, Julia fears the worst, especially when Margot asks why they're not calling the play "Bombshell" anymore.

Everyone's gathered at the loft when Ana rushes in with fresh copies of "Hit List." She pulls Karen aside with a concern: she read some of the script, and it was pretty rough. Karen doesn't get the hint, and Jimmy starts the reading, as Eileen charges into the "Bombshell" reading, which is also about to get underway. Jerry tries to stop her, but she's not having it. Ivy tells her "Liaisons" co-star Stephanie that she talked to Terry, and everything's going to be fine. That's when Timothy and Terry walk into rehearsal with an announcement: the cast should all try to match Terry's tone. "Liaisons" can - and should - be hilarious. It's time to find the funny!

Peter's about to enter Jerry's office for the "Bombshell" reading when Julia boldly steps in his path to accuse him of writing another draft of "Bombshell." She's canceling the reading and getting him fired right now. Peter claims he has no idea what she's talking about. Julia's written one of the best scripts he's ever seen. And Leslie Rogers was an alcoholic; he had no choice but to finish her script. If Jerry has another script, it's not Peter's. Peter tells Julia to trust her gut, just as Tom steps into the hallway to ask if they're good. If her new script sucks, "Bombshell" is all over. All Julia knows is that she has to hear it to know for sure whether or not it's good.

Kyle is happy and hopeful when the read-through of the first act of "Hit List" concludes, but all the oxygen has gone out of the room. Karen's friends make a beeline for the door. When Kyle prevails upon them for comment, Bobby comes forward to say "Hit List" is simply not good. Kyle tries to defend his work, then turns to Jimmy, who's been telling him the work is good all along. When Jimmy backpedals, Kyle says, "Screw all of you" and runs out. In Manhattan, the reading of "Bombshell" concludes. Eileen leaves the room to take a call, and the room stays silent. Julia's fearful, but Derek pronounces her new draft a brilliant. Julia tearfully apologizes to Peter for doubting herself.

Back at the "Liaisons" rehearsal, everyone's trying to follow Terry's lead, but Ivy just can't. When it's time for her to make a powerful speech calling Valmont a monster for his cruel wit, she gives it all she's got. The depth of her emotion shows Terry's performance for what it really is: shoddy. Stunned, Terry's jaw drops, and he runs out of the room. Meanwhile, Derek calls Karen to report on the new "Bombshell" - a revelation that will win Karen every award in town. "Hit List" can wait; it's time to focus on "Bombshell." Jimmy and Kyle's bad day just got worse...

Ivy finds Terry sitting on the floor in the hallway. Terry admits her acting blows him away - how does she do it? Ivy confesses that she does it because she's scared, and if he's not scared, his work will never be good. Terry realizes that he's never scared about anything... Karen finds Kyle on the roof and offers to let him blame her for pushing him too hard. Kyle doesn't understand how he can be so bad at something he loves so much. He doesn't have "it" the way Jimmy and Karen do. Karen reminds him that she's had to work hard for everything she has. Downstairs, Ana gives Jimmy a clear message: don't toy with Karen. And in Manhattan, Terry runs up to Ivy, claiming he's had a major breakthrough. After talking to her, he's decided to go off his meds, of which there are plenty. They've been cutting him off from his feelings!

Eileen returns to the prison to visit Nick, who apparently asked that she not be allowed to visit him ever again. They're moving him upstate next week, and he doesn't want Eileen to spend any more time on him. This is goodbye. Meanwhile, Jerry calls Derek, Julia, Peter and Tom into his office. Julia's new script is an artistic triumph; however, Jerry's not going to produce it. While Julia's version is award-worthy, it's not going to fill seats for years, so he's going to produce the workshop version from seven months ago, which Tom sent him last week.

Tom insists he wasn't trying to do anything malicious; when Jerry requested a draft, he just sent him the one he liked best. Julia wants Tom to join with her and Derek to force Jerry to produce her latest draft, but Tom says he can't. The story he wants to tell about Marylin is in the script he gave Jerry. Claiming they need a final decision, Derek proposes they solicit Eileen's opinion and whatever she says, goes. Jimmy and Ana join Karen on the roof to talk about the Fringe. Together, they cook up an idea: just like "Rent," they'll make "Hit List" all songs - no dialogue. Then Jimmy tells Karen that since they're working together they should just be friends. After shaking hands, Jimmy asks Kyle if he's sure Karen's dating Derek? Kyle tells Jimmy that Derek dates all his leading ladies.

Jerry, Julia, Derek and Tom gather in Eileen's office, all talking at once. Eileen finally demands silence to learn the foursome has agreed to abide by whichever version of "Bombshell" she chooses. Eileen takes a moment, then prepares to drop her own bombshell... but you'll have to tune in next week to find out her decision!

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