'Smash' Season Finale Recap: [Spoiler] Is Cast As Marilyn

Mon, May 14, 2012 11:00pm EST by 56 Comments
Smash Season Finale

A star is born! Do you think the right girl was chosen?

Not only was the May 14 season finale of Smash the best episode since its critically acclaimed pilot, but it also served to reinforce a few truths I’ve come to accept during the course of the season: Ellis (Jaime Cepero) sucks, Dev (Raza Jaffrey) is a douche, Ivy (Megan Hilty) is chemically imbalanced, and Karen (Katharine McPhee) — well, Karen is a star!

Much to the chagrin of the rest of the creative team, Derek insisted that Karen play Marilyn in the final preview performance, adding an additional layer of stress to the cast and crew of Bombshell. As if it wasn’t enough that Tom (Christian Borle) and Julia (Debra Messing) had to pull a brand-new final number out of their collective butt, Karen had only a few hours to learn the entire show.

No one was more upset with Derek’s choice than Ivy, who decided to not-so-subtly reveal her affair with Dev at the worst possible moment, sending Karen into a Marilyn-style tizzy. After a brief nervous breakdown, she gave Dev back his engagement ring and broke up with him for good. Derek added an extra “f**k you” of his own, telling Dev, “She’s mine now.”

I’ve got to say, it felt really good watching Dev get his head handed to him. He’s been on the decline ever since the pilot, and I wouldn’t be too disappointed if he didn’t stick around for season two. Karen needs a guy who understands what she’s going through — or at the very least, she needs to be single for a while so Derek can try living out one of his little fantasies.

But it wasn’t all bad news on Broadway this week, as Eileen (Anjelica Hustonfinally fired Ellis. He told her he was the one who poisoned Rebecca’s (Uma Thurman) smoothie — bragged about it, in fact — and insinuated he was the only one doing any real producing. Like the true cartoon villain that he is, Ellis vowed revenge before sauntering out of the theater, so it looks like we can anticipate plenty of weasel sightings in season two.

The rewrite and recasting for Bombshell clearly paid off, because Karen was sensational and the crowd loved her. But while she was belting her glorious final number, Ivy was preparing for a curtain call of her own: The final scene revealed the Marilyn-hopeful downing a bottle of pills, leaving her fate in question until the show returns in 2013.

What did you think of the Smash finale? Did it restore your faith in the inconsistent series, or will you not be tuning in when it returns next year? Was Karen the right choice to play Marilyn? And what do you think will happen to Ivy, post-pill binge? Drop your thoughts and theories in the comments section below!

— Andy Swift

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Posted at 1:40 PM on February 21, 2013  

it should have been Ivrys Part she has worked hard in braodway chorus for years to finally get a good part and then spent ages learning Marilyn to have it snatched away from her! I feel really bad for her, sure she made some bad choices and treated Karen badly but I find it understandable and I don’t find Karen believable as a character or as Marilyn and she is highly annoying! I will tune into the beginning of series 2 but I am not sure if I will continue watching as I was extremely annoyed with end of series 1!

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Posted at 1:48 PM on August 14, 2012  

Karen ALL the way!!!! The only complaint that I have for the season ender is that they cut off the audience reaction at the end! And I disagree with the anyone who said it was cheezy or cornie! That is what theatre is all about! Like Eileen said – the age old broadway story, movie star goes out, and fabulous understudy goes in – and WOWs the crowd! I hope they rerun the season before they debut season 2. I also hope they pick up right where they left off. We need to hear what the critics said about Karen. And the only reason Ivy would down a bottle of pills with the bottle of champagne is to take focus off Karen and put it on her. If she really wanted to kill herself, she wouldn’t do it in a place where people would find her right away and get her to the hospital in time to save her. She would go home and do it – after telling everyone she just needed a night to get her head straight. OK, maybe I have thought about this too much, but I LOVE this show! And can anyone tell me when the plan to release Season 1 on Blu-ray?

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Posted at 10:37 PM on June 7, 2012  

Karen was the RIGHT CHOICE!
I loved this episode and Derek was absolutely on point.
I love all of their scenes together, the chemistry between Jack Davenport and Katharine Mcphee is off the charts!
Hoping for a season 2 romance between them so bad! SO writers,, get on with it. We are waiting…
Love this show so much! It´s gonna be along long wait until January.

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Posted at 12:51 AM on June 7, 2012  

I think that Karen was the best choice!!!! It would have been real bad if Ivy had won! from the beginning she did things that were not morally correct.. she also thinks she is all which she is NOT!! it would have been a disaster had she won!! come on 1st she sleeps with Derek! then she is Diva trying to muscle Karen out by using her friendships! so totally slutty… Karen was spectacular!! love the way she got stronger and dump that good for nothing cheating Dev.. Now Derrick not sure if he is that good but hope Karen doesn’t do the same mistakes as Ivy and sleeps with him that would be so WRONG!!! love Karen can’t wait till I see season 2!

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Posted at 9:34 AM on May 27, 2012  

I wish Derek and Karen will be a couple in season 2… I love Katherine McPhee!

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Posted at 3:53 AM on May 19, 2012  

I think that the wrapped the season up well. Rebecca needed to leave. Dev was an ass. Karen was the one you wanted to play it from the beginning. All the while, Ivy was just too entitled. She seemed to think that her few roles in the ensemble made her better than Karen. Yet time and again she proved she was crazy. Irony, her telling Karen about Dev, gave Karen what she needed to get the job done.
Ellis needs to be taken care of, perhaps by the bartender and I could care less about Frank and Julia. I do like that Derrek said he knew what love is in an implicative fashion, however it is yet to be seen if he knows the difference between love and lust.

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Posted at 10:46 PM on February 4, 2013  

“I could care less about Frank & Julia.”

You mean you COULDN’T care less. If you COULD care less, that would mean you actually DO care some.

Why do people keep making this grammatical error. It drives me nuts!

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Posted at 12:47 PM on May 17, 2012  

what Harold responded I’m alarmed that anybody can make $5271 in 1 month on the computer. did you look at this web page cashhuge[com]

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Posted at 12:07 AM on May 17, 2012  

Now i still like karen as marylin better, but i still feel awful for ivy (even if she was a bit of a douche). Now as for Derek…while i honestly have almost never liked him this whole season i loved it when he said “and i do understand love” before she went on for that last amazing number and during her last numer Derek’s facial expressions were adorable , he was so in awe of her awesomness. As for the demon Ellis…i always have hated him and every time i see him all the flowers in my garden die. ok that was stupid haha

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Posted at 11:56 PM on May 16, 2012  

I LOVED the final episode. Karen’s hard work paid off. It’s like in this episode, everyone’s true colors showed. Karen deserved better than Dev and I’m glad she found out about Dev and Ivy’s interesting night. I don’t know if I’m reaching but there’s a part of me that actually likes Derrick and he clearly has feelings for Karen, feelings that he DIDN’T have for the slut, Ivy. And Ellis? I’m glad he’s gone. I wonder what he’s going to conjure up next season though. It sounded like he was going to get his revenge or something. Who knows. I think Derrick made a great decision choosing Karen because he saw what others didn’t. He believed in her and gave her what she deserves. As for Ivy, I don’t necessarily like that she’s attempting suicide because that’s never the answer but I’m happy she’s miserable. She did some terrible things. She needs to be let go with Ellis. They were made for eachother.

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team karen

Posted at 12:27 AM on May 16, 2012  

I hope ivy offs herself.. ambition is fine but she is a horrible person. I also hope ellis wanders into traffic on his way out of the theater. dev and leo need to go have a seat somewhere. yea!! for Karen. she deserved it and she proved it!

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Posted at 9:37 PM on May 15, 2012  

Very simple. While Hilty is awesome, she got cast perfectly for the part (which was never going to get to star as Marilyn). McPhee has Idol cred and CBS wants to grab the Idol/Glee crowd. Mission accomplished. And by staying relatively true to the birth through previews of a Broadway musical, casting Debra Messing and Angelica Huston, they grabbed the older (me) audience. Anyone who did musical theater in high school, college, community theater can relate to feeling like a star on stage. It’s been 35 years since the lead in’Brigadoon’ at MBHS, but it still was a thrill.

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Posted at 11:46 PM on May 15, 2012  

Interesting take. You may be right, although I must say that Kat McPhee was never one of my favorites on Idol and she certainly isn’t one of my favs on Smash either.

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