Relationships and how complicated they are. After meddling with cheating in Julia’s storyline, the writing team of SMASH seems to decide they hadn’t had enough by introducing an episode where pretty much everything that happens is cheating of some sort.
Starting with a small time jump and setting us ahead to when Bombshell is about to open for a three week preview run, the whole cast has to move town for the tech rehearsals of the show. This doesn’t sit well with Karen’s boyfriend, who wants to keep her close as their relationship seems to be falling apart. Karen, however, doesn’t feel the same way, often thinking she just doesn’t want to be close to Dev for the time being, particularly when he keeps on getting between her and her dreams.
During rehearsals, things aren’t going too well either. Coupled with Rebecca’s apparent lack of professionalism, something that seems to be coming from her not feeling safe with the character – Both her nervousness and her being aware she’s not the best fit for Marilyn getting the best of herself. However, things don’t properly get worse until the actor cast to play Joe DiMaggio suddenly quits, prompting the producers to get a replacement soon, the obvious actor for it being Michael Swift. However, such a decision doesn’t sit well with Julia, who’s barely starting to get her family together after the whole affair, so a power struggle erupts with Derek and Eileen on one side, Julia on the other and Tom right in the middle of it.
Speaking of Tom, he keeps on building up his relationship with Sam. During a dinner they have in Sam’s house with his parents, however, a discussion starts between Sam and his father about how smart it is for Sam to choose dancing as his career. Tom, being absolutely mindless, sides with Sam’s father, stating that he’s seen many a career in dancing end prematurely due to an injury. Just as one would expect, Sam doesn’t quite enjoy the scene and soon enough finds himself discussing with Tom his career choice, though the issue doesn’t go any further.
Back with Karen, Dev decides to go visit her at the hotel she’s staying in after nearly spending a night with his coworker. Initially impressed and rather shocked, Karen handles him gracefully and, though not being the best of the hostesses due to her work taking up most of her time, ends up having dinner with him in a restaurant, where he proposes to her. Karen, struck by the proposal, doesn’t know what to answer since she’s under so much stress from the tech that she simply can’t consider it – And saying yes at the moment is impossible to her, something that prompts her to leave the restaurant and go to her room at the hotel. Once she arrives, she finds the ensemble in the middle of a party where they want Ivy and Karen to have a sing-off. Ivy, who is heartbroken at having just learned that Derek is cheating on her with Rebecca, sings a heartfelt version of I’m Going Down, original by Rose Royce.
Before Karen can sing anything, Dev goes into the room and finds the ensemble partying, then leaving immediately in an angered fashion and prompting Karen to run after him. They end up walking through the beach discussing over and over, with Dev eventually telling her he proposed her because he was really close to sleeping with a coworker and pulled out from it after realizing he wanted to be with Karen. Karen, acting as anyone with a brain would, tells him she can’t quite deal with him having cheated on her and leaves him on the beach stranded.
The episode ends as Eileen chats with Kevin on his bar, letting him know how she believes the musical will ultimately fail, it becoming a proof that she can’t do it alone. Dev, having been kind of dumped by Karen, goes to a bar where he meets a heartbroken Ivy and tries to pick her up for the night. It isn’t implied whether they recognize each other – Ivy probably doesn’t know Dev, though it would be expected that Dev would’ve heard about Ivy before while talking with Karen. Ivy accepts his drink as the episode comes to a close.
Dramatically, though keeping up with the narrative, Tech isn’t much of an achievement: It was an ok episode that didn’t have any major flaws but, sadly, it also didn’t have anything really important or interesting going for it besides continuing two storylines that have long overstayed their welcome (Dev and Karen’s problems and Julia’s family issues). Nevertheless, I’m glad it isn’t a terrible one – Certainly Smash has done much worse and I hope that, for the last two episodes of its first season, we’ll get something really interesting to happen.
Final Review Rating: 3/5