THE "SMASH" REPORT: Season Two, Episode 13 or I Wanna Be a Producer

By Ben Rimalower
29 Apr 2013

Am I the only one who thinks it might have been prudent to hire Jimmy's understudy at some point earlier in this process, before tech (as is usually done), or even when performances began, or even, I don't know, maybe when Jimmy was cast considering that he is also the composer and also considering that he is also a raging drug addict? Really, anytime before this afternoon would have been swell, but what's done is done and now we chew our fingernails and hope Jimmy reappears at half-hour.

At first, the prospects for Jimmy coming through look alright. After the fight, he sticks around the green room talking to Kyle and even talking to Derek.

Jimmy and Derek's relationship is actually one of my favorite dynamics on the show. Despite the sometimes over-the-top melodrama of their situation, there is often a layer of humor, lending both characters a touch of humanity so frequently lacking on "Smash," and particularly lacking with Jimmy's plotline. In this scene, Derek explains that the hiring of Sam as Jimmy's understudy means the next time Jimmy goes on a bender, the show won't suffer. Jimmy responds with a touch of sass, "only the audience will," and Derek actually giggles, sort of amused, even a bit charmed by Jimmy's swagger, perhaps reminding him of his own youthful bravado. It doesn't erase everything else, including all the negativity Derek feels for Jimmy, but this little bit of levity exists along with the rest of it and it goes a long way toward making the scene more interesting and compelling.

But still, we are left to wonder what will happen. Jimmy said he'd join Kyle for dinner with Kyle's parents and Blake (who still doesn't know about Kyle's fling with Tom), and he doesn't show up. Instead Kyle's mother (played to perfection in an all-too-rare television appearance by Broadway favorite Carolee Carmello) must take time away from celebrating her precious baby boy's Off-Broadway debut to worry about Jimmy, asking, "Is he using again?"

The answer—in case anyone had any doubt at this point—is yes.

Jimmy does make it to the theatre in time for the show, albeit with ten minutes to curtain, and we see him stashing drugs in his back pocket along with his microphone pack, the sum total of what Jimmy needs to get through a performance.

Jimmy's performance is understandably somewhat erratic, from some minor blocking mess-ups only Derek would notice to a bizarre attempt to thrash around in what may look to him (or us) like a mosh pit, but is actually the fully choreographed ensemble executing the 11 o'clock number.