'Smash': Do Julia and Michael really have 'Chemistry'?

julia-michael-smash-nbc.jpgWho needs WebMD when we have NBC's "Smash" to teach us the side effects of prednisone use, which may include cold sweats, headaches, singing Jessie J songs in the mirror, hallucinations of Katharine McPhee as Marilyn Monroe and telling your boyfriend/director that he's not that attractive and that he's bad in bed. And Ivy ( Megan Hilty) got to experience the whole gamut of adverse reactions to the drug on Monday's (March 12) episode, "Chemistry," when she lost her voice.

Much like the periodic table, the episode was filled with elements, none of which are intrinsically good or bad but simply harmful if used inappropriately (plutonium -- or Julia and Michael's relationship -- for example) and ones that are generally accepted as being all around positive for everyone (oxygen -- or Karen's rendition of "Shake It Out" -- let's say). But all of the elements together made for a cohesive -- if at times confusing -- episode.

First, the Smashing elements:

Karen working the bar mitzvah. I don't think I've ever heard such a rousing rendition of "Hava Nagila," and like I said before, I was a huge fan of her take on Florence and the Machine. Plus, a posse of 13-year-olds mimicking her "Shake It Out" dance sufficiently awkward -- just like a posse of 13-year-olds should be. But the business card that she gets at the end of the night from what turns out to be the Tommy Mottola-esque Bobby Raskin -- did Karen really have no inkling that it could be a potential business offering?

Tom (Christian Borle) and Ivy. These two are possibly the show's best couple, romantic or otherwise. And the green-eyed monster rearing its head when Sam ( Leslie Odom Jr.) steps on the scene to help nurse drugged Ivy back to health is sweet. But seriously, is Sam just pretending to be gay? He did say he was gay in a previous episode, but the peck on the cheek he gave her near the end of Monday's episode felt a little more than friendly.

Ivy finally telling off Derek (Jack Davenport). Obviously this has been several episodes in the making, and the timing was spot on; but does this mean that Derek and Ivy are done? Probably not, as it's doubtful her self-esteem has done a sudden 180 and unless Derek has become suddenly not hot.

Eileen (Anjelica Huston) discovering dive bars and Big Buck Hunter. Because watching Anjelica Huston drinking a martini while armed with a big plastic shotgun is my idea of a good time.

And now for the confusing elements:

Julia (Debra Messing) and Michael (Will Chase) -- still. They slept together now?! Ugh and a half. I fear this coupling will not only overshadow the "Marilyn" production, but perhaps the other relationships on the show as well -- and yes, a large part of this is knowing that Messing and Chase became involved off-camera while filming. The whole art-imitating-life-imitating-art-imitating-life thing is a bit too much for me in this case.

Ellis (Jaime Cepero) being Eileen's right-hand lackey. I feel like the show can't find a place for Ellis yet feels like it can't just drop him at this point. Having him spy on rehearsals for Eileen and following her around feels odd, but perhaps "Smash" has a bigger plan for him?

What did you think of "Chemistry"? 
Photo/Video credit: NBC
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