Television: Smash, "The Phenomenon"

Jimmy's singing to himself. That's a sure sign of psychosis.

And then he goes and knocks on Karen's window. Except Derek stayed the night (but nothing happened, not that Jimmy knows that). Awkward.

Tom phones Kyle because they were supposed to meet up. The police return his call, letting Tom know Kyle was hit by a car . . . And has died. Time to call the crisis and grief counselors! (Isn't that what they do when it's a classmate?)

I've concluded the actor who plays Jimmy is a wanna-be Chris Pine. He turns up as the cast of Hit List is hanging around mourning, Jimmy still unaware of Kyle's death, gives one of his usual diatribes that includes "Kyle can go screw himself," and the cast takes the opportunity to tell him where Kyle is. As in, the morgue. So of course Jimmy takes off and Karen goes after him.

I dislike the attempt at weight in this episode. I always feel when a show does this kind of thing, it's unnatural. Then again, I often find people's reactions to death in real life unnatural . . . Grief as an obligation, or an opportunity for drama. But that's another discussion.

Despite plans to cancel Hit List for the night, ticketholders turn up demanding the show. "For Kyle!" becomes the rallying cry. But Karen has to hunt down Jimmy. And declare her love.

I so totally don't feel any chemistry between Karen and Jimmy. I don't know if it's the actors, or the way the show is written or what, but it falls flat. Maybe they're just trying too hard. That's been a problem for Smash this season, a manufactured urgency. The show has been trying too hard.

Turns out that Scott was the one to tell the ticketholders the show would go on after all. He tries to package it as a way to honor Kyle, but Julia calls him on it. It's really about Scott wanting the show to do well, about his need for success, about wanting to tap into that "death drama" and use it for gain.

The show does go on—as a stage reading—until Jimmy shows up and says he wants to perform. One supposes the whole end of the show, what with the death of Karen's character (named Amanda, I might add), now takes on a special poignancy, every song doubling as a funeral hymn for Kyle. And I have to say: It was well done. It was touching. Possibly the best moment of the season. And since I've been reliably informed I have a heart of stone, it's pretty telling that I felt something.

The Kyle flashbacks, on the other hand . . . Meh. Not a great device.

But hey! On the up side, Jerry is moving Hit List to Broadway! What a nice gesture . . . It's all for Kyle, right? Right?

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