Finally! An Adele cover, Christian Borle in all his glory, Nick Jonas, Degas and plenty of intrigue! This episode of Smash felt … exciting and it had depth and it provoked thoughts from me other than “is that all?” This time, I’m very excited to talk about the show with you guys.


SMASH -- "The Cost of Art" Episode 104 -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Wise as Jessica, Megan Hilty as Ivy Lynn, Jenny Laroche as Sue, Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright, Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Strickland -- Photo by: Patrick Harbron/NBC

Smash Review “The Cost of Art”

My opinions on the characters keep changing, do you find that to be true for you? In the previous episodes I was Team Ivy (Megan Hilty) as the seasoned veteran who deserved the role of Marilyn Monroe. But when this episode began, she was being such a diva (though she claimed she wasn’t even pulling half a diva) that I was totally turned off. I thought for sure I was back on Team Ivy.

But then I realized that Ivy had plenty of valid reasons to be annoyed with Karen (Katharine McPhee.) It wasn’t that she was such a star that she couldn’t help but shine. No, no, no. She just wasn’t skilled in being a member of the ensemble (which is just the chorus much in the same way you would call a used car a nice “pre-owned vehicle”) because she didn’t know how to be a team player. She wanted to give it her all, and not work with the rest of the group. Well, an intervention – no, wait. It didn’t help.

The intervention was working, until Karen (yes, in a dream sequence, but I kinda don’t care) decided to take center stage and sing. The other three characters are all singers too, why wouldn’t they want to sing? More importantly, when the lesson is about how to blend in with other dancers, should you really just break out and step ahead? However… I do empathize with her. Everybody wants to be the star. And we know that Karen is unhappy not being one. But despite the big backstory we get to learn to love her, it still seems selfish to demand to rise to the top without earning it.

And Ivy is unlikeable because I see how insecure she is. She is the star, but she’s relying on the director like a clingy school child who has to follow his rules. I want to like Ivy again the way I did in the first few episodes. But let’s face it, I’ll never love any of the characters as much as Tom, as played by Christian Borle.

The character of Tom was a good template, but it’s truly Borle that makes him catch my eye. He reminds me of Justin Kirk, with that smarmy attitude and devil-may-care ‘tude. I just love him. Both of them. When is Weeds back on? Okay, getting sidetracked here. But “The Wolf Song” (“Howl”?) showed him bouncy and singing and playing the piano and just being a true joy. Borle is like Karen, even when he’s at the side of the stage his star power doesn’t dim.