Okay, so I guess we’d better check in with Karen, sad-little-half-empty-bag-of-dried-out-baby-carrots-that-are-technically-still-edible-and-there’s-no-other-food-in-the-fridge Karen, who is not quite sure she can face the terrible emotional tribulation of attending the opening night of a show that she quit, and I repeat, was not fired from, but quit, entirely of her own free will, and which is now being pitched by the Arts and Leisure as in direct — and unfavorable — competition with your own. For the millionth, billionth, perhaps trillionth time, fuck off, Karen. You don’t get to be the queen of everything; only Elizabeth II does. (BTW, happy birthday, Your Madge! Do you ever think about how you’re only one away from Hitler?) Thankfully, though, everybody seems to be getting hip to Karen’s endless sense of entitled victimhood, and Jimmy takes advantage of her increasing alienation by saying, Hey, why don’t we go to opening night together, and I’m on your side, and being generally sweet and charming in a way that frankly, alarms me. Grooming, I think they call it.

Vulture’s Smash Recap: A Part Full Of Love

What does Kyle Goblinweed think? Kyle Goblinweed? Kyle Goblinweed thinks … Derek is right! Master has presented Kyle with clothes!!! Kyle is a free elf! (At least, until Jimmy strips him in the night, douses him with kerosene, and sets him on fire.) “YOU FAGGOT!!!!” Jimmy screams. “YOU INCREDIBLE TREACHEROUS FUCKFROG!!!! You’re just jealous of what Karen and I have, even though I won’t tell her my real name, or why I don’t have a social security number!!!” “It’s true,” Derek says. “To be fair, Jimmy Collins sounds made-up, like he’s some child star from the 1930s whose real name is like, Elwood Yablonsky Jr., but no social security number? That’s kind of fucked up.” And then Karen tells him he’s a jealous old man, and he’s only giving Midriff Karen’s songs because Karen wouldn’t sleep with him, and Midriff is like, “Excuse me, bitch? Because all that time I was working my ass off in conservatory I was dreaming of the day I could play the slutty, wisecracking maidservant to animate globs of moisturizer?” Midriff, congratulations, you have become my favorite character. And that’s that!

Vulture’s Smash Recap: We’re Getting A Nude Deal For Christmas

It’s pretty clear that the only character on this entire show that is truly capable of loving another being with all his heart and all his soul is Amos Hart — excuse me, Kyle Goblinweed, who has been called onto the couch of the New York Manhattan Public Workshop Theater Club so that Cousin Debbie and SJOENE can compliment him on his southwestern-style lady blazer that looks as though it should be worn by a lesbian socialite in a Truman Capote novella, and tell him that he’d better figure out how to rewrite his show so that Krysta Rodriguez is the star. Kyle Goblinweed is goblinsmacked. “Really? Index cards, for me? In all the colors of the rainbow?” “That’s right,” says Cousin Debbie, “Index cards, and bulletin boards, and chocolates and taxis, and the silk, no, the satin sheets I think, and you don’t even have to let Jimmy get his period on them first!” “But that’s impossible!” says Kyle, eyes wide. “Impossible?” Cousin Debbie says, as the strings come in, “Impossible…?” Okay, I wandered off there for a moment, although I would like to mention that “fairy godmother,” which SJOENE calls Cousin Debbie, is exactly the term my friends and I came up with as a non-misogynistic, non-homophobic alternative for “fag hag.” It’s not a neologism on par with “Everything’s coming up roses,” but it will have to do. Still, magic or no magic, I’d be careful if I were Cousin Debbie. After all, if you give a mouse an index card, he’s going to want a pencil, and if you give him a pencil, he might discover he’s an autonomous being with his own unique value and right to self-determination, which is why it was illegal in the antebellum South to teach a slave to read. He might also come up with a genius story solution that essentially writes his former master and Master’s latest consort out of the show, which pleases everyone, especially Derek. Vengeance and dramaturgy. They go together like Vera and Mame. Children and Art. “Fraulein” and “Sally Bowles.”

Vulture’s Smash Recap: All The Clouds’ll Roll Away

So yes, to the fund-raiser, which Karen, weirdly, has not thought to invite her father to, until Derek is like, “what the hell is the matter with you?” and I’ll say it again: I do not understand Gentiles or their relationships with their families. Why is this allowed? Not that Daddy Cartwright is too excited about the whole thing. I mean, why did Karen leave Bombshell to go be in this weird downtown sex cult play in a theater that only has single stall bathrooms? Could it have been Derek’s stupid leather jacket he saw disappearing over the fire escape that morning, like an erection in the face of a doll collection? For Pete’s sake, he spent two hundred dollars on that purity ring he hasn’t seen Karen wearing once since he got to this goddamn city full of Jews! He’s her father, her chastity is supposed to belong to him and him alone, until the time upon which he will surgically remove it without anaesthesia or consent and deliver it to her husband in an insulated lunch bag for safekeeping! (What if Todd Solondz had written Smash? Can we make that a hashtag?)

Vulture’s Smash Recap: The Song Of Bernadette

Believe it or not, [Derek] and Jimmy are having some disagreement as to the creative direction of Nixon’s Enemies List: The Musical! For example, Derek thinks there should be a set; Jimmy thinks all of the platforms should be made entirely out of the writhing nude bodies of Muggles, like the time Pilobolus performed at the Ministry of Magic at the late Rufus Scrimgeour’s request. Derek thinks there should be blocking; Jimmy rips open his shirt to display his suicide vest. Derek suggests they incorporate some sort of lighting plan into the show; Jimmy rips out both of Derek’s eyeballs and eats them. And then there’s the matter of casting the remaining role of “Diva,” a “Lady Gaga–like” character, according to Derek. “Lea Michele?” Jimmy roars, turning green as his clothes rip off his suddenly enormous body. “LEA MICHELE???????” and here, I’ll just refer to what I wrote in my notes: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Jimmy Collins is the closest thing to an outright sadist that we will probably ever see on network television (unless the rumors are true that the CW is planning to replace Emily Owens M.D. with Orin Scrivello D.D.S.) and even he can’t inflict Lea Michele on the public. Even Hitler was kind to animals, you know?

Vulture’s Smash Recap: The Naked And The Brave

Anyway, Jerry takes one look at the high-kicking faygeles with baseball bats and is like, “In the old neighborhood, we used those to beat guys like that. What happened to them goose-stepping manically while Marilyn simulates fellatio, like that time Richard Foreman directed Damn Yankees?” And all of them basically agree with him, but because Jerry is supposed to be a hateful, vile monster, they all are all conspiring to find some loophole to extricate him from the show, even though I am still a little confused as to what is so bad about uncovering evidence to convict a criminal some sort of financial crime, even — or perhaps especially — if said criminal was sleeping with your ex-wife. Doesn’t it bother Anjelica Huston to know that she was financing her show with stolen and/or laundered money? Couldn’t she have gone to jail for this herself had Jerry not exposed Goran the Bull? Wouldn’t she, on some level, want to distance herself and be grateful she wasn’t indicted for complicity? Has anyone gotten a comment from Anne Hathaway on this? I’m pretty sure she might have thoughts.

Vulture’s Smash Recap: On The Deck Of The Titanic

Meanwhile, the pull of Jimmy, who only hits until you cry and after that you don’t ask why, is too strong, so Karen gives up everything to go be in his show. Boy, I’d love to be a wiretap on the phone when she calls Mr. and Mrs. All-American in Iowa to tell them how she gave up her well-paying big-time Broadway starring role to do two performances of a Fringe show in a basement with the Millennial answer to Billy Bigelow. Café Orlin will always be there when you need it, I guess. And besides, it’s going to be okay, because Derek came to see it, and went into one of his space trances where the whole thing turned into Baz Luhrmann–in-Greenpoint and Katharine McPhee wore a bridesmaid’s dress and a wig with bangs (it is the “fringe” after all — tip your waiters, I’ll be here all night, except it’s already 6 a.m.) and he loved it, especially the part where Jimmy and Karen started kissing at the end and didn’t stop even when their routine was over, like that recurring dream I have where Alec Baldwin and I are pair skaters.

Vulture’s Smash Recap: May The Fringe Be With You

Obviously, everybody is thrilled by this amazing opportunity, although Karen’s joy is slightly tempered by the emergence of a freshly screwed underpants girl from Jimmy’s luxury sleeping loft (Kyle Goblinweed, obviously just sleeps inside a garbage bag in the bathroom cupboard, which is all he deserves), and Jimmy’s like, “What’s the big deal? She’s just some stupid sex slave I bought off Crutchy for a $25 gift certificate to Buffalo Exchange. Why should you care if I fuck her right in front of you, on the kitchen counter, while Kyle Goblinweed takes up the lichen-strewn mantle of Unfrozen Caveman husband and slowly chops a cucumber in sublimated fury? Are you crying? Bitch, how ‘bout I set your fucking face on fire and give you something to cry about?” Which to be fair, is exactly what Noel Coward said to Gertrude Lawrence when they first met, so these two may have a fruitful professional collaboration ahead of them. But that’s all it’s going to be, no matter how tenderly Karen fantasongzes (this is a new word I just made up, use it in a sentence) about carefully helping Jimmy into his flannel while he stares into the middle distance with the pensive, furrowed gaze of a Norfin troll who is dressed as a tiny professor, because Kyle Goblinweed — sweet, safe Kyle Goblinweed, who never says no — told him she was dating Derek! Mendacity! Lying and liars!!!

Vulture’s Smash Recap: The Baitz Motel

Jimmy has no choice but to force his way into the studio and let us know how he’s feeling by mowing down an entire reinking (“reinking” being the plural word for these things) of Nameless Muscular Chorus with a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle. “What are you doing?” Karen screams, sliding in her heeled-jazz shoes across the gore-covered floor. “Fuck you, bitch,” Jimmy sneers, and throws a cup of sulfuric acid in her face. “FOSSE!” Derek bellows, holding his hands up in the air. “You’ve passed the test!” Indeed! By killing and maiming tens of innocent bystanders, he has finally proved he cares, so now he deserves a chance to pitch his musical to Derek, even if it means Derek making a surprise visit to his log squat! See, you just have to want it bad enough! His musical is all about a kid who had been horribly abused and forced to live on the street doing drugs and selling his body to survive (we hope) until he falls in obsessive love with a rich, beautiful girl that he can’t have and probably eventually has to kill because he loves her so much, and we are meant to assume that Jimmy is really explaining some dark and horrible past that explains why he is the way he is. Anyway, Derek likes it, and Karen is so proud and happy, deferentially serving ale to the menfolk even as the acid eats her cheek down to the bone, but, whatever, it’s nothing 34 or so skin graft surgeries won’t fix enough that she can walk down the street without children screaming at her in fear. After all, the important thing is that Jimmy’s dreams come true.

Vulture’s Smash Recap: Dramaturgenev

Derek, as in the Derek of the Croydon Dereks, is taking her to see Jennifer Hudson as Veronica Moore as Rosa Parks in Rosa Parks: Werewolf Killer: The Musical. J.V.-HudMoore is a big star, and afterwards, she graciously receives Karen and Derek in her dressing room while wearing her at-home wig and is tactful enough not to point out that only one American Idol contestant in history has ever won an Oscar and it isn’t the one smugly playing with her sleeves in the corner over there.

Vulture’s Smash Recap: It Gets Better