Smash, over its fifteen episode run, has had its ups and downs. It is not only easy to state that, but it is also probably easier to pinpoint its downs than its ups as it fits fine with a general TV season that’s been overall lackluster, filled with bad drama and terrible writing coming from the studios. However, every now and then it managed to shine enough to make the show interesting, particularly since its premise was one so far unique, building up on the musical success of Glee and attempting to actually create something new both dramatically and musically.
With Bombshell, Smash finally did it. On its final episode of the season, the show delivered an amazing display of both drama and music that did just enough to make it the standout episode of the TV season for me and an example of how, sometimes, good season finales can be written as opposed to your standard finale episode that’s used simply to tie up existing plotlines and let everyone know people are fine, with the occasional hint at what will happen next season if the show has been renewed.
Instead of closing all plot lines, however, Smash barely resolved one of them – leaving the rest up in the air while also opening a few new ones over the episode. Though a bold choice for a series, I loved seeing a finale where I didn’t really know exactly what went on with everything and everyone. The only thing the Smash finale clears is who got chosen as Marilyn – The choice is, of course, the obvious one – while everything else is left up in the air, the viewer having but a clue of how the rest of the storyline went on.
As for what the episode was about, I can gladly let you guys know it wasn’t about who’d play Marilyn. With that choice being taken during the first five minutes of it, the real meat of the episode is the rush to get Karen to learn the whole play in roughly twelve hours while Tom and Julia also rush to write the new finale during that time.
The amount of drama thrown in, which includes Ellis attempting to take control of the show, Eileen doubting Derek’s ability to cast and, of course, Ivy’s way of dealing with not being chosen along with quite a bit of couples drama make for an episode that, when coupled with the terribly fast pacing it had, is nothing but excellent. The way how the writers found a way to put all of this in the episode while also making the episode never lose its focus on the race to get the show ready on time is simply beautiful, making up for the best episode of the series so far and an example of how most series should handle drama: Make it fast, don’t put situations that aren’t needed, get away from filler and if you need to make your season be only twelve episodes instead of the standard twenty three, do it.
The way in which the season ends (that is, how most questions are left up in the air) also works perfectly and coupled with the last few minutes of the episode help it rise above the rest of the episodes of the series: Bombshell is an example of how every episode in the series should’ve been, properly dealing with how fast-paced and sudden the life on stage can be.
Put this together with the music in the episode and not only does Bombshell become an excellent TV episode, but a cornerstone for musical TV: Though most of the music was made up of rehashes of songs sung in previous episodes the finale, consisting of a new song (The new closing number for Bombshell) and the video edition done to it, showing pieces of both Karen singing it and what was going on off-stage worked to create a dramatic height – One that was cut off abruptly as the song and the episode ended at the same time.
However, it’s that abrupt ending that made me love it since it gives both the audience and the producers lots to expect for season two. The only let down I have is the confirmation that season two will indeed continue with the storyline rather than have a revamped cast and setting, something I was hoping for. However, the way in which the finale set the stage for season two and the chance that there might be a time leap between both seasons means there’s a good chance Smash might come back stronger than ever come January.
Final Review Rating: 5/5