Smash Season 2 Review “The Transfer”

Smash Season 2 Episode 15 The Transfer (12)

This is the first episode to air after the official cancellation of Smash on NBC and I’m not sure ‘The Transfer’ did the job of making fans regret that decision. Throughout this second season, the show has tried hard to change its fate through major changes to structure, casting and character direction, but nothing has worked and it feels like time for Smash to now bow out gracefully.

‘The Transfer’ encapsulates the major problems the series has had, with the relatively compelling Broadway action jarring with the soap opera-style plot lines that now feel utterly tired. Karen and Ivy are fighting? Karen is judging Derek for some new crime against women? Same old, same old. To have this penultimate evening of Smash end on such a depressingly familiar note is a sign that NBC were too kind, not too cruel to this once critically adored drama.

‘Hit List’ has now moved over to Broadway, and the most interesting parts of the episode were the structural changes that Jimmy and Julia concocted in order to transfer the previously intimate show onto a bigger stage. Derek, meanwhile, is slightly less committed to making the show work when he’s faced with an old enemy. Daisy, the redhead we met a couple of weeks ago, is blackmailing her old director for a part in the show, and Ana is unceremoniously ousted from the role of the Diva. Karen’s annoyed, of course.

As has been the trend all year, Ivy has a much better night, discovering her inner Marilyn in the face of damning press. While I enjoy any storyline that involves Ivy winning at life, those comparisons to Norma Jean and her much more fabulous alter ego felt very heavy when you think back to how subtly both Ivy and Karen were compared to Marilyn in the past. The strip tease was good fun, however, and was just one of the good song and dance numbers of the night (the other being Karen and Daisy’s ‘Hit List’ performance).

The Tonys through line is turning into the only legible aspect of Smash season two, and this week Eileen worked her PR magic by turning a disastrous Tom/Julia split saga into a bitter-sweet last hurrah for the beloved writing duo. The Tonys love a story, she says near the beginning of the episode, and now they have one. I can’t see her spinning Ivy’s surprise pregnancy (presumably by Derek?!?) so successfully, however, so let’s hope the press don’t get hold of that one before awards night.

What did you think of the episode? Will Derek now finish out the series as a villain? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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