Derek has entered Ivy, as the show opens with them mid-coitus. As soon as they finish, Derek asks if Not-Will has sent Ivy a copy of the new song, which isn’t really my idea of pillow talk, but I’m not a big shot Broadway director. Ivy tells him that she doesn’t think the song is finished, and Derek exposits that with three weeks to go until rehearsals begin, they still only have eight songs and half the book. Ivy tells him that she’s been researching Marilyn incessantly, and she’d really like to get together with him sometime to just work on the character. “That’s what we’re doing, darling,” he tells her. That wasn’t the answer she was hoping for, so he tells her that it was just a joke, and of course they can do that. He’ll have his assistant call her and schedule a time. Rude!
Ivy and a girl friend are walking down the street, and the friend recaps the situation: she got the part, and she’s sleeping with the director. Ivy worries that she only got the part because she’s sleeping with Derek. “I can’t imagine that it hurt,” the friend says. “I’m serious!” Ivy replies. So was the friend. She tells Ivy to enjoy the sex and not worry about it, because regardless of why, Ivy got the part.
Eileenica is in a jewelry store, hawking some of her jewelry. The girl behind the counter tells her that she would make more money if she sold them on consignment, but Eileenica doesn’t want to wait. She notices a pair of earrings that were inspired by some that Marilyn Monroe wore in The Seven Year Itch. They’re knockoffs, and only $50, so she decides to buy them.
Katren is meeting Derek in a bar. He wants to talk to her about what happened. “I know what happened,” she says, “I didn’t get the part.” Derek explains that they needed someone with more experience for the role. Katren says that Ivy is lucky. Derek asks how Katren feels about being in the ensemble. “It’s a terrific opportunity,” she answers. He mocks her for giving such a polite reply and she asks, “What am I supposed to say? I’m pissed?” He tells her that she should be pissed because she has way too much talent to just be in the ensemble. “Life is long. Theater is longer,” he says. It will probably take five years for Marilyn to actually make it to the stage and a lot can happen in five years. I really hope that doesn’t mean that, if this show stays on the air, there will be five entire seasons devoted to rehearsals. I also had no idea that there was so much time involved in producing a Broadway musical.
Before Katren can respond, Brit Boy walks up to them. Katren is surprised to see him. “You told me you were having drinks with the great director, and I wanted to meet him,” he explains. He then gives her a lengthy kiss, marking his territory. Brit Boy introduces himself to Derek. “Are you from south London?” Brit Boy asks. Why yes, Henry Higgins, he is from south London. “Oh, I’d forgotten this game,” Derek snarks. “University?” Brit Boy went to Oxford, Derek went to Cambridge. Derek makes a snide comment about the pressure Brit Boy must have had to succeed, his parents being fresh “off the boat,” and Brit Boy clarifies that he’s third generation. “Of course,” smiles Derek, “I should have heard it in the O’s.”
Just whip ‘em out and do a side-by-side comparison, boys.
Back home, Katren is annoyed with Brit Boy for crashing her meeting and generally behaving like a tool. “We’re Brits, that’s what we do,” he tells her. It’s how you know where you stand in the social order. Katren asks who one, and Brit Boy says, “I got to go home with the girl.” I’m not entirely sure that’s winning.
The casting for the male roles has begun, and we see a hall full of hopeful auditioners. Derek complains that his eyes are about to start bleeding, so they take a break to discuss their top picks so far for Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, and JFK. The female assistant tells everyone that she spoke to Michael Swift’s agent, and he is available if they want to offer him the role of DiMaggio. “He did a show with you, right?” Eileenica asks the Nots. “Mm-hmm,” answers Not-Grace.
Deer, meet headlights.
“He’s terrific!” Eileenica continues. Not-Grace questions whether he is right for this role. Derek has never seen Michael Swift perform, and the assistant tells them that he is currently doing a Bruno Mars show, which Eileenica suggests that they go watch that night. I can’t even begin to understand how that is a thing. That people pay money to see. Thankfully, I’m about 96% certain that it isn’t a real thing… yet.
Michael Swift is belting out a power-ballad version of “Grenade.”
I think he’s planning on catching that grenade with his teeth.
Honestly, the best thing about this scene is when the camera pans over the audience and everybody is sitting completely still with polite little smiles on their faces, except for one guy who is gently nodding in time to the music. It’s not good, you guys. Not good at all.
Derek finds the performance “sensational,” but is Michael interested? Eileenica tells him that Michael is a huge baseball fan, which Derek points out isn’t the same thing as a yes. And who should come walking up to the table at this point but our favorite estranged spouse, Jerry. He wants to try and talk Derek into coming back to My Fair Lady, and Derek tells him that they can talk about that in the morning. Jerry tells Eileenica that she looks beautiful. He calls her new earrings quaint and asks who gave them to her.
Thrown Drink Count = 2
“I’m sorry, I don’t know why that keeps happening,” Eileenica says. “I’m such a klutz.” Hee!
Katren’s fellow waitress is trying to comfort her by saying that in their business, any job is a good one. She reminds Katren that she’s not in the chorus, she’s in the ensemble, “which is like calling garbage men sanitation workers.” Katren explains that the show is still in the workshop state, and her co-worker tells her that with a project that fresh in the making, Katren will be missing a lot of shifts at work. Plus, workshopping doesn’t pay a lot. Katren is already missing work this weekend to go to a baby shower back in Iowa, and her co-worker tells her that if she’s doing workshops, she can kiss her social life goodbye.
Not-Will is playing a song on the piano and Not-Grace wants it to be more ballady. She likes the whole Sinatra swing concept but feels that the song lacks heart. Ellis the Hot Assistant comes into the room and says that he thinks it sounds amazing. Not-Grace immediately switches her Mega-Bitch persona on, and Ellis says he’ll go pick up the dry-cleaning. How much dry-cleaning does Not-Will have? It seems like Ellis is always running off to the dry-cleaner’s. Not-Will asks Not-Grace why she doesn’t like Ellis, and Not-Grace replies that she doesn’t have to like everybody. There’s a different between not liking someone and turning into Cthulhu the second that person enters the room. “You don’t like Derek,” she reminds Not-Will. He asks if she likes Derek, and she says that she does. She thinks he’s talented. “You know what, those two tigers that ended up eating Siegfried and Roy were talented too,” Not-Will responds.
Because Not-Grace can’t stand even the hint of the possibility that she might lose an argument, she non sequiturs into the song that they’re working on, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” She says that all Joe and Marilyn wanted was to be a normal couple. Speaking of Joe… Not-Will tells Not-Grace that Eileenica and Derek went to see Michael Swift perform and they loved him. Not-Grace wonders how Michael could be available for workshops if he’s already in a show, and Not-Will tells her that the show is closing on Sunday. Not-Grace doubts the reliability of Not-Will’s source for this information, and tells him that she doesn’t want him getting his heart set on someone who isn’t available. “And I’m not sure he’s right.” Not-Will thinks Michael would be perfect. Not-Grace then says that she’s not crazy about DiMaggio as a character, maybe they can just cut him out of the musical entirely.
I knew you were a bitch, but I didn’t realize that you were insane.
“Let’s just do it without men altogether,” Not-Will suggests. After all, men were such a non-crucial part of Marilyn’s life.
I am unaccustomed to being spoken to in this manner!
In a bright, sunny living room, Michael Swift is playing trains with a little boy. A woman comes into the room and excitedly asks “When does it start?!” Michael tells her that it starts in three weeks, but it’s only a workshop. “It’s Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, and they just offered it to you!!!” He reminds her that it only pays $200 a week, and the little boy would have to go into full-time day care. But it’s a straight offer, and the Nots are writing it, and didn’t he love working with them? So if he has any questions, why doesn’t he just call them? “If I call them, it’s sort of like saying yes,” Michael says. He thinks that it might be smart to keep his options open, maybe get something in television. “Daddy’s crazy,” the woman says to the little boy.
Eileenica is meeting with two prospective investors. “What are the specs?” one of the men asks, and she hands them folders. “It’s not going to be cheap, but with Marilyn Monroe, you wouldn’t expect it to be,” she replies. And what is Jerry’s involvement with this project? Jerry is not involved at all. “Reeeallly…?” one of the men asks. “Do you really think you can raise all this money yourself?” She’s producing it herself, so why not? Because she’s never done it before and all of her assets are in escrow. Eileenica laughs. “It’s only a workshop, and all I need is $200,000.” The men look at each other incredulously.
“I can never figure out what to pack,” Katren gripes. “Maybe I should just stay home.” I don’t see how she’s survived in Manhattan for so long if she can’t even successfully pack for a three day visit home. Brit Boy reminds her that she’s been looking forward to this trip for months, and Katren points out that baby showers aren’t really that much fun. “But she’s your best friend,” he says, “and she’s holding a baby shower in a karaoke bar.” Well of course she is, how else will they fit in a song for Katren in this episode? Katren admits that she’s worried about money. She’s going to be missing a lot of work once the workshops start. Brit Boy tells her not to stay home if it’s because she’s worried about money. “I can cover us,” he tells her. Katren doesn’t know if she’s ready for that. Seriously? He is gorgeous, has a very hot accent, and a well-paying job with opportunities for promotion. She should totally give the whole kept-woman thing a try.
Ellis the Hot Assistant is drinking on a rooftop with a couple of friends. The male friend asks how Ellis landed his job as Not-Wi’s assistant, and Ellis explains that his mom knew Not-Will’s brother in college. “Slept with his brother in college,” the friend smirks. The female friend asks if they’re paying Ellis, not just for his assistant duties, but for the whole Marilyn idea. Ellis says no, and his friend insists that they should pay him for the idea.
The next morning, Ellis is washing dishes in Not-Will’s kitchen when he spots Not-Grace’s enormous purse lying open on the counter. Another idea begins to form in that beautiful cranium of his.
“What did they want?” Not-Grace asks, lying on the sofa in Not-Will’s work room. “Joe and Marilyn, what did they yearn for?” Aside from being left alone by the paparazzi, Not-Will suggests that they wanted a nice little house and a home-cooked meal. “DiMaggio loved his sister’s meatballs,” he adds. Interesting tidbit of information, but I’m not sure how you would work that into a song. “They wanted a simple life together,” Not-Grace says, “that was uncomplicated.” Somebody’s been reading a thesaurus. “Marriage is a good thing,” she says. Not-Will looks at her uncomprehendingly and she repeats herself. “Who’s arguing with you?” he asks. “Marriage is a good thing,” she says again, and starts looking for her bag. As she walks into the kitchen, Not-Will calls after her that Eileenica made an offer to Michael. “He’s not gonna do it!” Not-Grace states emphatically. She finds her bag, but the notebook that contains the first drafts of the musical isn’t in it.
I wonder where it could have gone?
Katren has arrived at her parent’s home in Iowa. She sits on a bench on their beautiful wraparound front porch that I am totally jealous of, and her parents discuss her career from just inside the screen door. “You know I can hear you!” Katren exclaims. Her dad brings her a glass of iced tea and apologetically explains that her mom was just filling him in. Katren insists that she’s fine, and very excited to be in the ensemble.
Dylan Baker’s dad radar is screaming “Bullshit!”
Katren continues explaining that she’s getting in on the ground floor, and being in the workshop is a great way to learn how Broadway works. Dad just wants to know how much she’s getting paid. “Will they hold your job for you while you do it?” he asks. Mom is still standing behind the screen, and announces her eavesdroppy presence with an exasperated, “Roger!” Katren tells her mom that she’s got it, and assures her dad that she is happy to be home, and for the next two days she’s not even going to think about Broadway.
Cut to the dressing room at Heaven on Earth. Ivy’s friend from last week’s dance rehearsals is telling Ivy that three days isn’t that long. “Not if you’re in high school and your boyfriend is an idiot,” Ivy’s female friend replies. “The theater is high school, and directors are the biggest idiots out there,” dancing friend snaps back. Ivy’s not sure if they’re trying to make her feel better or worse. When asked why she doesn’t just call Derek, Ivy answers that she doesn’t want to be pushy. “Every time Marilyn tried to be pushy, it backfired.” This over-identifying with the character of Marilyn is going to get really old, really fast. Ivy asks her friends what they think it means that they never go to Derek’s place. Instead of telling her, “It means he’s just using you for sex,” they again encourage her to call him. Speak of the devil, Derek comes into the room and hears this last bit of the conversation. Her friends excuse themselves, but listen behind the door as Derek and Ivy get frisky in the dressing room. The eavesdropping quotient on this show is out of control.
In Ellis the Hot Assistant’s apartment, he is sitting on the bed looking over Julia’s notebook. His girlfriend asks what he’s doing, and he tells her that he took the notebook after she gave him the idea that he should be paid for the Marilyn Monroe idea. Seriously, hire an attorney who deals with intellectual property rights, this whole super spy/vigilante/master thief thing is not going to end well. Ellis says that Julia has it out for him, and he’s not wrong. “I’m allowed to defend myself, right?” His girlfriend and I question whether stealing is really a form of self-defense. Ellis is going to give it back, he just wants to see if there’s anything interesting first. It’s mostly just song lyrics, but…. He sees something, but won’t tell what it is.
Michael Swift and his wife are standing in the doorway of their son’s bedroom, watching him sleep. Michael wants to be the best dad he can be, and worries about the irresponsibility that goes along with the theater. Mrs. Michael thinks that Mini-Michael would love to see his dad play Joe DiMaggio. That argument holds no water, the kid’s only like three years old. At that age, he’d be way more excited about seeing his dad play Thomas the Tank Engine, or better yet, Elmo. It’s great that Mrs. Michael is such a supportive partner, I would completely lose my shit if MisterBint decided to take a job that only paid $200 a week for who knows how long.
$200/week does not leave a lot of wiggle room in the budget for Mama’s vices.
Not-Grace steps out of the elevator outside Eileenica’s office and is surprised to find Michael standing there. She wanted to talk Eileenica through the new outline, but Eileenica isn’t in yet, so Not-Grace leaves some paperwork with the assistant and turns to leave. While waiting for the elevator to arrive, Michael tells her that the show is terrific. “It’s not really a show yet,” she says, “just a few songs and a concept.” People who can’t accept a compliment graciously are so annoying. Michael continues telling her how great he thinks it is, and finishes with, “I’m in!”
Not-Grace tells him that the assumed he wasn’t going to take the part since they hadn’t heard from him right away. He admits that he almost didn’t take it, but changed his mind. Not-Grace so obviously wants nothing more than to get away from Michael, but he keeps trying to be friendly, asking after Mr. Not-Grace and Leo, the insanely old and stupid teenage son. They’re both great, Not-Grace responds, smiling a little too brightly. Michael tells her that he’s married and has a kid, which she also thinks is great. As the elevator finally reaches Eileenica’s floor, Michael murmurs to Not-Grace, “You smell good.”
One word, two syllables: Awkward!
Eileenica is sitting alone at a table in the middle of a restaurant. A waiter brings her boxed pair of earrings from “a gentleman at the bar,” as well as a drink she did not order. It’s a Manhattan, which means Jerry must be loitering nearby. Sure enough, he slides in to the seat at Eileenica’s right. “It’s for throwing,” he says, gesturing to the drink. Hee! He may be a cheating bastard, but I can see why they got together in the first place. Jerry has sabotaged Eileenica’s meeting with a prospective investor, telling said investor that Eileenica was having dinner with him (Jerry) that night, and therefore couldn’t possibly be having dinner with him (the investor.) “I’m not having dinner with you, you’re divorcing me,” Eileenica says. “You’re divorcing me,” Jerry clarifies. Yes, she is divorcing him, and she wants him to go back to his blondes. Jerry says that the blondes are boring and they all blend together after a while. But Eileenica, she is never boring. He asks if she likes the earrings. She does, he has exquisite taste. Jerry tries to put the earrings on her. “Try touching me,” Eileenica says, glancing meaningfully at her Manhattan.
Realizing that the schmoozing approach isn’t going to work, Jerry switches tactics. “Look, Manny is interested in Marilyn,” he tells her, referencing the investor she was supposed to have dinner with. In fact, Jerry has talked Manny into coming aboard without even seeing the specs. Eileenica takes umbrage with Jerry’s interference in her fundraising, even if it does mean that he’s gathering investors rather than driving them away. Her theory is that when Jerry saw her new earrings, he assumed that someone had bought them for her, meaning that she was moving on with her life, and it pissed him off. “You know what, Jerry? I bought those earrings for myself. And this is my musical, and I am producing it myself.”
Thrown Drink Count = 3
Not-Will and Ivy’s dancing friend are seated at an outdoor cafe. Not-Will asks how things are going with Heaven on Earth, and dancing friend says they’re fine. Apparently dancing friend’s contract is coming up, and Not-Will assures him that even though he doesn’t know the first thing about salaries and raises and all that stuff, he does know that they all want him to stay with the show and he’s sure that an offer will be made that works for everyone. Dancing friend is quick to clarify that he didn’t ask Not-Will to lunch to discuss getting a raise — it’s a date. Apparently Ivy told him to go for it. Because sleeping with her boss is working out so well for her, might as well get all of her friends on the bandwagon. Oops, dancing friend actually pretty much says that last part, telling Not-Will that Ivy is dating Derek.
Not-Will’s inner Johnny Hyde has awakened. And he’s feeling cranky.
Back at his apartment, Not-Will is going off to Not-Grace about the Derek/Ivy smushing situation. “It’s highly unethical!” he rants. Not-Grace, for once the voice of calmness and reason, points out that people have sex all the time and it’s hardly unethical. “He’s taking advantage of her!” Not-Will moans. Not-Grace responds that maybe Ivy is taking advantage of Derek; after all, she did get the part. Not-Will argues that she got the part because she was fantastic as Marilyn. Not-Grace counters that sleeping with the director probably didn’t hurt. “It’s show business,” Not-Grace says. “In shows… people sleep together, it just happens!” Not-Will accuses her of not caring. “Of course I care, I just don’t judge,” she replies. Not-Will storms off, and Not-Grace follows and immediately crosses paths with Ellis. Whom she hates. Not-Grace tries to follow Not-Will into the next room, and Ellis steps in front of her, suggesting that she give Not-Will a little bit of space.
Bitch, you better step down!
Not-Grace doesn’t think that Not-Will’s assistant should be telling her how to handle Not-Will, and she tells Ellis that she wants him to go. When Ellis reminds her that he is Not-Will’s assistant, not hers. Also, she has a real problem with her temper and might want to watch what she says next. “I fired you once, I can do it again,” she threatens. Yeah, that lasted for about five minutes, so Ellis isn’t terribly concerned. Oh, by the way, he “found” her notebook under a pile of mail. You’re welcome!
Back in Iowa, Katren is carrying an enormous wrapped box down a flight of stairs. A group of girls waves excitedly at her. “Karen Cartwright, Broadway baby!” one of them calls happily. Hugs and greetings all around. Because this show can’t stick with one character for more than thirty seconds, we now join…
Eileenica, at the same restaurant she was at the night before. Her dinner companion is an elderly gentleman with a depressing mustache. She gives him a gentle chiding for standing her up the night before. “When Jerry wants something, he can be pretty persuasive,” Manny tells her. Eileenica is determined to show how persuasive she can be, and begins by talking up Ivy’s talent. “Yeah, I hear you’re going to do this without a star,” Manny responds. I don’t understand this whole needing a big name in order to make a Broadway show a success. Stunt casting (Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Radcliffe, Matthew Broderick,) is all fine and good if they are actually stage worthy performers, but the stars who can actually hold their own on both stage and screen (Neil Patrick Harris and Kristen Chenowith for example) are few and far between based on what I’ve seen. Anywhoozle. Manny tells Eileenica that Jerry already ran him through the specs for the show, and Manny is not interested in investing unless Jerry is involved. “I’m more comfortable dealing with him on the business side.”
The next Manhattan I throw is going to contain hydrochloric acid instead of vermouth.
Katren’s pregnant friend is opening the huge box, while the other girls give Katren a hard time about not wanting to let Brit Boy support her. I’m with them, since they’re already living together and he is obviously capable of contributing more financially to the household than she is, why not let him do that until she becomes a successful actress? Preggo finally ceases her struggles with the ridiculously large gift, and unveils a ridiculously large teddy bear. It’s not a gift for the baby, it’s a gift for Preggo. “You’re gonna need a friend, so you hug him and call me,” Katren says. I was a young single mother, a car seat, baby swing, or jumbo box of diapers from Costco would have been a much better gift than a freakishly large stuffed animal plus the cost of long-distance telephone calls. Preggo agrees with this philosophy. “You know nothing about having babies and you’re gonna be totally useless,” she says, hugging Katren to show that she loves her anyway. “Time for some karaoke!” one of the other girls announces. Katren protests, but her friends insist that she get up there and sing. Preggo gets to pick the song, since it’s her shower. And, God help us all, the song she chooses is Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman.”
Is it just me, or does she always look vaguely terrified when she sings?
Mercifully, the song has ended, and we join Derek and Ivy in Ivy’s bedroom. Ivy hesitantly asks why they never go to his place. “It’s ridiculous, really,” he begins, and spins her a yarn about his downstairs neighbor’s home improvements resulting in all the gas being shut off in his apartment. She starts laughing and he protests that it’s not funny. “No, it’s not that, I just thought you didn’t want me in your home or something,” Ivy says. Sweetie. He just told you that you can’t come over for sex because he doesn’t have gas in his apartment. If it’s really the earth-shatteringly huge inconvenience that he’s making it out to be, he wouldn’t even be living in the apartment right now, he would be staying in a hotel until the situation was remedied. “Darling,” Derek smarms, “I want you everywhere.”
In Not-Will’s work room, he is playing the new song on the piano as Not-Grace enters. She sings a couple of bars with him, and then apologizes for getting into a fight. She needs to tell him something, and once he stops interrupting, she finally confesses: “I had an affair with Michael Swift.”
I hypnotized him into it with the power of my crazy eyes.
It happened five years ago when they were working with him on a different show, and it lasted for a while. She didn’t tell Not-Will, in fact she didn’t tell anyone. “No one knows,” she firmly states. “It never should have happened.” Not-Will asks how it did happen, and Not-Grace takes us on a little jaunt down memory lane.
Michael was so great in their show, which was a total turn-on. She had all these lusty feelings, a “show crush,” was never going to act on it, but then one day she bumped into him on the Brooklyn Bridge. First she bumped into him with her lips, and then she bumped into him with her vagina. These things happen. Not-Will has a bit of a laugh over the corniness of the story, and hugs her. She says that it’s been over for a while, and that she needs him to help her not go back there. And no one else can ever know. Meanwhile, on the other side of the door…
On the front stoop of Mom & Dad Cartwright’s impossibly perfect Midwestern American Dream home
Seriously, it’s like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting
Katren is waiting for her ride to the airport. Dad wants to talk to her about something, but she insists that he hear what she has to say first, which is this: “I’m fine. I’m great. Do you know that even being in the chorus of a workshop is so much bigger than so many people ever get to do? This is good, what’s happening to me. It’s good. I’m good.” Dad knows all this, he just wanted to give her something. And that something is a check. He tells her that she has to let him be the dad sometimes and help out. She gives him a grateful hug and then busts him for smelling like smoke. Mom says that he missed church that morning due to a late night out. Aw, Dad snuck into the karaoke bar to watch Katren sing. Her friends arrive, and Katren hugs her parents goodbye.
Ivy and Michael are recording the new song, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” in front of the Nots and Ellis (minus cell phone.) The song is about the beauty of anonymity and being able to start a simple, normal, happy life together without the inconveniences of fame. Michael stares at Not-Grace while he sings, and based on the clips of her home life that are interspersed throughout the song, it would appear that Not-Grace is judging her own marriage and finding it lacking.
So that’s it for this episode! Sorry for the lateness, I’m still trying to get back on my timely recapping schedule. The next episode guest stars Nick Jonas, so that should be interesting. And tell me, Gasmii, does everyone listen behind doors the way all of the Lurker McSneakypants do in this show? Because I think it’s getting pretty old. See you next time!
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