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SmashThe fourth and fifth episodes of Smash were definitely juicy. In the rehearsal room, Karen's star power threatens Ivy, motivating her to push her former competition even farther out of her spotlight. But even though she gets Karen booted out of a number, Derek's belief in the fresh-faced star causes him to put them in an awkward position; Ivy is clearly mortified at being given lessons on how to interpret Marilyn from the Broadway newcomer. In reality, there is only room for one star in any show, and the competition is fierce. When the competition is cast in the ensemble, there are resentments and insecurities all around (which the humble Karen seems to be dealing with better than the tightly-wound Ivy). Ivy was awarded the coveted star role, but she will need understudies, and i predict that Karen will be given priority on that list, causing Ivy to become even more insecure and on-edge about her talent and job security.

Eileen's continuing money troubles have pushed her to desperation. She is willing to sell her own possessions in order to finance this show that she believes in so much. It seems that she is driven by a desire to create this amazing piece of art, but also to prove that she can have a career separate from her husband. Thankfully, she pulls it out in the end by pulling some strings with a young actor friend, Lyle West (played by Nick Jonas). In the Broadway business, as in many others, it's all about who you know, and it's the producer's job to get investors to believe in their shows (a feat easily accomplished by Ivy's impromptu performance at Lyle's birthday party). Let's just hope that Eileen doesn't get too cozy with Tom's scheming assistant, Ellis, who has weaseled his way into her good graces...

Both halves of our beloved writing team have developed romantic entanglements. Tom gets to know handsome lawyer John, who at first appears dull compared to Tom's glamorous show business life but soon reveals himself to be better than he seems. And even though things in the bedroom went over pretty badly, at least they laughed together about it. It just goes to show that it doesn't have to be love at first sight to work out. Maybe Tom needs someone who isn't in show business to ground him, much like Karen's boyfriend Dev.

And Julia. Shame on Julia, right? And Michael. Their extra-marital flirtation explodes with a late-night kiss witnessed by Julia's son Leo. Bad news in the Houston household. This indiscretion (along with Derek and Ivy's relationship) are examples of the infamous "showmance;" working in the theatre can be very intimate, and emotions often run very high. Julia did previously say how hot it is to see someone knocking a role out of the park; Derek no doubt loves to see Ivy embody Marilyn, and Ivy seems to delight in hitching herself to Derek's eminent coattails at this breakout moment in her career. This relationship conjures up comparisons to couples like writer Frank Wildhorn and his muse, actress Linda Eder (see the original production of the soon-to-be-revived Jekyll & Hyde). Will they defy the odds and end up together after more than a decade and a half like RENT co-stars Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs? I don't know, but Derek doesn't seem like the type and I think TV audiences expect a bit more drama than that...

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