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Understudy - Recap

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The episode begins, and Dev didn’t get the job and he commiserates with hot NYT reporters RJ. Paul got the job instead. Karen doesn’t know yet because she’s busy being the understudy for Ms. Duvall. Everyone (Ivy’s old friends) congratulate her, and Bobby comments to Sam that she’ll never be able to hack it. Afterwards Sam visits with Ivy but doesn’t break the good news to Ivy — he lets Derek do it. Ivy calls her a usurper and Derek says after what happened at “Heaven on Earth” he can’t even get her into the chorus. Meanwhile Karen goes to visit Dev at the office and he doesn’t tell her the bad news — but she tells him her good news. Eileen’s demands that Ellis do something to earn the co-producer title – find Rebecca Duvall and set up a meeting with the investors.

At Julia’s house she tries to bond with Leo over a grilled cheese sandwich. She pumps him for information on Frank but Leo’s not allowed to say anything. Next morning Ivy breaks out into Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway” – she pretends she’s dressed as Marilyn and walks into the rehearsal room to a standing ovation. Ivy, she’s really standing on the street watching Derek escort Karen into the rehearsal space as Eileen tells everyone that Ms. Duvall isn’t coming back any time soon because her assistant is having trouble getting her visa. Julia’s unhappy. “We need her yesterday.” Eileen guarantees that she’ll be there by the weekend. During some down time at rehearsal, apparently Julia and Tom agreed to do an interview with an NYU student – it’s their 10-year anniversary and every year they go to see “Three On A Match.”

The college kid says that the entire town is buzzing over “Bombshell” because Rebecca Duvall is in it. Julia isn’t in the mood for this interview and ends it early. Later Tom and Julia actually do go see a high school production of “Three On A Match” which is apparently “the biggest piece of junk” they’ve ever written. Tom gets up on stage to give a speech about his “enduring friendship” with Julia and presents her with a t-shirt signed by the cast and crew of the 112th show. Julia doesn’t react well and walks out. Tom tells her she was rude to the people and to him. He demands that she tell him what’s bothering her – obviously it’s Frank. “He won’t pick up, he won’t call me back.” Frank only talks to Leo.

Eileen meets with the investors saying Duvall will be back in the States by Sunday; the investors aren’t happy because they’re willing to put in $7 million – they want to meet the actress and the director. “Jerry would have never put us in this situation.” Eileen goes to cry to her bartender, Nick. Eileen says the investors are more interested in the movie star than the play. Nick gives Eileen stacks of $20s and says he doesn’t have $7 million but he does have friends. Later on he introduces her to Randy Cobra, in the flesh. He wants to know if Rebecca Duvall is related to Robert Duvall. Rehearsal isn’t going so well for Karen – he rips into her because she walks upstage instead of downstage, says she can’t remember the simplest things and asks if she can even spell downstage.

Bobby wants to take bets on how soon she’ll cry. Karen goes home and complains to Dev, who says that maybe she should not forget her pencil. Karen accidentally lets it drop that Derek made a pass at her – Dev blows up. “Being sexually harassed isn’t a big deal?” He yells because he sees it as lying, she says she didn’t tell him because she didn’t want to upset him. But since she got yelled at all day by Derek she doesn’t take it well when Dev starts yelling and instead storms out. Meanwhile Ivy tells Derek to go easy on Karen – the only directors who got anywhere with Marilyn were the ones that babied her and that there’s a lot at stake so Derek should be smart. This leads to sex. On the other side of town at the huge apartment, Karen and Dev lie in bed not speaking.

New number time! The number is based on Daryl Zanuck - it’s all the boys and it looks much better than the cheesy moves in the baseball number. Tom stands in because the guy who plays Zanuck is also M.I.A. Everyone stares at Derek’s interaction with Karen – he’s actually not screaming like a lunatic. It’s such a turnaround from the day before that Sam tells Tom that he’s seen the behavior before in stroke victims. They have a good laugh as Lawyer John pops in to bring Tom some coffee — and he sees the chemistry between Tom and Sam that’s been apparent for weeks now. John just leaves. At the bar the chorus is telling Karen about their bet when Ivy walks in.

She tells Sam that she knows exactly what she’s doing and then congratulates Karen on being Marilyn for a week – and gives her a present – sunglasses like the ones Marilyn wore in Niagara. In Times Square it’s Ivy’s turn to give Karen some advice – “you get to be her for one week, don’t waste the chance.” Dev’s getting his own advice from RJ – there’s a press opening at the White House and she can get him an interview. “It’s a good town for people like us.” He tells her that Broadway equals New York and RJ says that if Karen knew what he’s been through that she’ll support him. Problem is that Karen doesn’t know yet. New day – Julia offers to go to Leo’s wrestling match if Frank’s going to be there. Leo’s like really? Seriously? He also says that he’s been telling his dad to call. So Julia calls Frank again – from Leo’s cell.

She says she can’t take it anymore and she’ll die if he doesn’t talk to her. Sam confronts Ivy to ask why she’s being so nice to Karen. She’s playing nice to get back into the show. Tom and John are having coffee and reading the NYT, and then the sports section, to John’s surprise. He accepts that they go to the theater all the time and that Tom doesn’t like politics but does not accept Tom having feelings for someone else. “You light up like a candle whenever you look at him and you never look at me like that, you just don’t” John says and then leaves. Ellis has delved into the personal lives of the Cobra guy and Nick and once Eileen hears that Ellis has something “interesting” on Nick she gets snippy and doesn’t want to hear it – gives the folder back to Ellis.

Instead she goes to Nick’s bar and she tells him that he should get paid because he brought in a major investor. Or he should at least ask for something. He says that he will. Karen and the new DiMaggio are running the scene again and Karen says it’s stupid and actually takes Ivy’s advice and criticizes the scene — he sees Marilyn and it shakes him up a bit. Later on he knocks on Karen and Dev’s door; she’s putting on a nightie and thinks its Dev, and answers the door half naked. He wanted to tell her that Rebecca will be at rehearsals tomorrow, she did some great work and the show is better off for it. He also wanted to apologize. “For what?” she asks. “Oh I think you know, that night in my apartment.” He made some incorrect assumptions based on a hard-wired set of personal experiences which, to be fair, weren’t warranted or justified.

As he leaves he runs into Dev, who’s bringing flowers home for Karen. He loses it when he sees Derek. “What are you doing here?” “What are you a watch dog?” “No I’m a boyfriend” “Well I’m a director so keep your hands to yourself.” This goes well – punches are thrown and then get in an actual fight on the street. Dev goes to Ivy’s and she plays nurse, icing his face. “He’s lucky I held back” Derek says. Ivy makes a comment about how come Derek couldn’t be nice to Karen over the phone. He says he’s not going to shag every leading lady. “Understudy” Ivy reminds him. At Karen’s things aren’t going any better. Dev is mad that Derek came over and doesn’t want her anywhere near him. Dev wants to know if there was an opportunity for him outside of New York, would Karen quit.

She says Marilyn is everything she came to the city for, what if she asked him to give up everything he wanted…”For you?” he asks “Go ahead, ask me.” At the bar, Eileen’s investors are still demanding to meet Rebecca and see the costumes and a bunch of other things – but in a rather nice flourish Eileen (and Ellis) shows them that Randy Cobra is in and Jerry’s investors are out. Sad song time; Karen sings “Never Give All Of The Heart”- and we see Dev leaves the apartment without saying good bye to Karen, Tom is eating cereal all by herself, Eileen makes out with Nick, Ivy peeks into the rehearsal studio, Julia sits by herself at a cafe… and then here comes Rebecca Duvall “Hello, am I in the right place?” Everyone claps for her as Karen stands there sadly and Derek shoots her an understanding look. The episode ends at this point.

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