'Smash' Recap: 'Tech'

by Erin Strecker

If you had told me when the episode started that last night's "Smash" would end with Ivy and Dev in a bar in Boston together, presumably about to hook up, I would have said that that was one twist even Bollywood-dance-loving "Smash" wouldn’t try to pull off. But, after introducing themselves to each other (and they totally know who they are, so the show better not try to pull some weird "We had no idea!" twist next week), the two chatted at a bar and hit it off. In the preview of next week's scenes, it appeared to show Dev and Ivy in bed together, so if everything proceeds accordingly, all I can say is: WOW.

But the ender was far from the only shocking moment last night, as "Bombshell" went on the road to Boston for its out-of-city tryout and this was the drama-filled week in which the cast and crew spent teching the show. Or, at least, most of the cast. The actor playing Joe DiMaggio had to drop out, as he had booked a pilot, which left the show high and dry just days before opening night. Luckily, Tom and Derek had a replacement: Time to bring back Michael Swift. Downside: Everyone, not just Tom, totally knew Julia had an affair with him and she was none too pleased to have him back.

In fact, Julia flat-out refused, even after both Tom and Eileen tried to talk to her. I didn’t know you could just decide not to deal with parts of your job, but, Julia—happy because for the past week Frank had moved back into their home—didn’t want to mess anything up. After a tense bit of time, Frank and Leo (why is he even involved with this?) decided the whole family was going to Boston, I guess because they don’t trust Julia by herself? Road trip!

Julia and Frank weren’t the only ones dealing with relationship issues. Tom met new boyfriend Sam’s parents for dinner, and while it was nice to see a family conflict that wasn’t about the whole dating-a-guy issue, their problem wasn’t exactly riveting. Sam’s dad didn’t really want him to be a dancer because it’s very difficult to be financially successful. Tom actually agreed, which helped the two of them hit it off, but Sam was understandably upset his boyfriend was taking his father’s side. Honestly, this was a great real-life problem, but this is “Smash,” so it paled in comparison to everyone else's issues, which were as drama filled as this year’s Tony nominees.

Derek started the episode being a surprisingly good boyfriend; he even told Ivy he loved her when she helped him solve a complicated staging issue with the show. But the happiness—or whatever—certainly didn’t last long, because even before Ivy could say it back, Derek was hooking up with an insecure Rebecca Duvall. Derek’s type is a lot more specific than leading ladies: It’s Monroe Only. Whether it’s Ivy, Karen via his elaborate fantasies, or now Rebecca cooing "Happy Birthday Mr. Director," it’s obvious who he really has the hots for. Unfortunately, it was rather obvious to Ivy (and Ellis) as well, and by the end of the episode, Ivy had confirmed the worst and was singing her heart out in a packed hotel room.

A key point to note is that while Ivy was belting out her heartbreak, Dev stormed into the room for Karen, and then Karen chased him out of the hotel room. Ivy must have seen this, so she had to know who he was. Case closed. But I digress: Dev was looking for Karen because he had come up to Boston to ask her to marry him (because he kissed RJ a little bit). "I’m in tech," is not an answer to "Will you marry me?" so naturally Dev was going to follow up. My opinion on Dev has done a 180 the past couple of episodes, because he now joins the hallowed halls of TV boyfriends who can’t deal with their girlfriend’s success. (See also: Most of Carrie Bradshaw’s dudes.) He proposed right after he cheated on her, without filling her in on any of it.

So, yes, they had some problems, but Dev decided to make it infinitely worse by heading to a bar and chatting up Ivy. If they want to play handsome stranger in a bar, fine. But let the TV record show that these two totally know who each other are, and also, they both should know better. And maybe they will. The episode ended with Dev buying Ivy a drink, but the foreboding promise of what’s to come—just in time for opening night—will make me stick around for another week.

Crushers: Do you think Ivy and Dev will hook up? Once Karen is playing Marilyn, will she even care? Are you invested in any of the adults' relationship plotlines at this point? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!

Movie & TV Awards 2018