'Smash' Review: A New Plea To Watch The Show's Best Episode Yet

I may be the one who told you to avoid "Smash" Episode 3 at all costs and you're welcome for that; but now I've got something positive to say about the show: Episode 4, titled "The Cost of Art," is the most entertaining episode of "Smash" so far and you all can and should tune in again to see what this show is capable of (Mon., Feb. 27, 10 p.m. EST on NBC).

Of course, if you're not into the Broadway behind-the-scenes-ness of it all, then you still won't like it. And that's totally fine -- "Smash" is not for everyone. But if you are, this episode establishes a tone that I hope continues through the remainder of the first season.

The politics! The cattiness! The drama! The singing and dancing! It's all here, with just the right amount of momentum to get the story going again and a dash of over-the-top attitude. And, for the record, I'd much rather hear Broadway people call Karen "Iowa" than Iowa people call her "Broadway baby!" God, Iowa really took it out of me ... but I digress.

The episode opens with Day 1 of the "Marilyn" workshop and all the key players are in place, with sweeping camera moves around the rehearsal room to set the stage. But beyond finally looking and feeling like a show about making a musical, this episode will cement your feelings about quite a few characters, ensuring that your hatred for some will grow (ahem, Ellis) and your love for others will, too.

Here are some non-spoilery reasons to watch -- and even if they don't feel like reasons to you, trust me, they are:
  • There's an intervention.

  • There's a Jonas Brother! Nick, to be exact. And next to "Bonus Jonas" little brother Frankie, he is the best Jonas, no question.
  • It's the second episode in a row without a single mention of adopting a baby from China.
  • Eileen gets to serious scheming, and doesn't throw a single drink in anyone's face.
  • We get a few looks at the show's howl-tastic "I've Never Met A Wolf Who Didn't Love to Howl," which is a big "Marilyn" number for a USO set piece. (Although our weekly "Smash" eyeroll recap will likely tear the party performance apart -- musicians just "following along" without music; characters singing who probably shouldn't be singing; an ad-libbed song verse that fits a little too perfectly -- I got caught up in the fun of it all and loved it.)
  • Now a few promos to whet your appetite. Are you in?

    Karen is shocked to discover that Ivy and Derek are dating:

    Eileen tries to sell young hotshot Lyle (Nick Jonas) an expensive work of art:

    Karen's overpowering voice proves to be too much for the chorus:

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