Will Hart/NBC

Karen gets seduced by Rebecca's allure and her own brain's awesome, ridiculous, Indian-flavored fantasy


S1 E12
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April 24, 2012 at 06:14 AM EDT

Readers, if you care to find me, look toward the Eastern sky. After jamming to “A Thousand and One Nights,” I have half a mind to book a plane ticket to Mumbai — as I understand, it’s a magical land filled with bright colors, skilled dancers, amazing Anjelica Huston cameos, and (for some reason) Arabian imagery.

Sure, a Debbie Downer could point to this ridiculous production number and complain that it was totally irrelevant and mildly culturally insensitive. Still, I was 100 percent on board with it — as I’ve said before, when it comes to Smash, crazy is better than boring. A show that bounces between color-saturated Bollywood pastiche, after school special-style drama, and riveting smoothie-making is bound to feel just the teensiest bit schizophrenic… but as long as Smash keeps giving me endless rivers of ridiculata occasionally punctuated with snappy dialogue and stellar singing, I’m going to go to bed each Monday with a smile as big as Iowa.

In case you’d forgotten, Derek has had a few epiphanies: Karen should play Marilyn, and also, he should probably stop rummaging around in Ivy’s medicine cabinet. He makes a point of telling the understudy before rehearsal that she’d be brilliant as Bombshell‘s lead. If unsolicited compliments were legitimate currency, Karen would have enough savings to buy all the yoga pants in the world. Because his curls conceal a cranium that’s covered in extra ears, Ellis manages to overhear Karen and Derek’s exchange. He promptly reports the news to Rebecca’s manager. Whoa, did somebody finally realize that dirt doesn’t mean squat unless it’s shared?

Rebecca reacts to Derek’s disloyalty in a curious way: by stopping Karen after work and saying, essentially, “You’re sweet. Wanna hit the street? Wanna wail at the moon like a cat in heat?” Naive Iowa never learned to be suspicious of movie stars bearing gifts, so she agrees to go out with Rebecca that night. Before she knows it, Karen’s going to yet another club with a stage and singing yet another pop ditty to yet another crowd of immediately adoring fans. When she’s done, people fall all over themselves offering her recording contracts and orange juice commercials and their firstborn children.

Karen is having a blast hanging out with a real, live celebrity, even if the tabloids are convinced that she and Rebecca may be more than friends. The rest of Bombshell‘s cast and creative team, though, aren’t so enamored with Ms. Duvall. Tom is furious at the way she keeps insisting on cutting songs in favor of scenes. Derek is fuming at the way she keeps undermining him during rehearsals. Ivy is probably pissed that Rebecca didn’t want to be her insincere bestie.

And Julia… well, Julia’s got bigger things to worry about. Her son, Leo, has been pulling the classic “tell Mom you’re with Dad, and tell Dad you’re with Mom” trick. In reality, Leo isn’t with either of his parents. Uh-oh! Think he went to China to find his hypothetical sister? Maybe Julia should check to see if anyone’s been digging a giant hole in her backyard.

NEXT: Why’s the song set in Agrabah? Just go with it.

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