none-too-thrilled when Ivy shows back up, but Ivy’s still playing nice—and Karen’s pretty much always nice—so it isn’t long before she sidles up to Karen. While Rebecca is doing an impressive imitation of “the sound of one thousand ticket-holders demanding their money back,” Ivy offers Karen some not-so-friendly advice. Unable to believe that Karen’s okay with Duvall as leading lady, Ivy tries to get Karen to admit that she’s “counting the minutes until [Rebecca] implodes and that part is [Karen’s].” Saintly Iowa looks like she’s about to object when the seasoned chorus girl interjects, “If you’re not, you’re in the wrong business, understudy,” and Karen lets it drop. (I think Ivy and Karen’s pseudo-friendship is going to show us the less docile side of the country mouse, and it’s about time—Karen’s character is quickly becoming boring.)
Rehearsal breaks up and Derek calls Karen over “to see if she’s okay,” but it’s pretty obvious that Derek’s the one with issues. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with him? Maybe he did have a stroke. He’s obviously starting to fall for Karen, but that still doesn’t really explain his behavior. (We’re probably all familiar with the can’t eat or sleep side-effects of lovesickness, but actual hallucinations? Come, on.) Derek’s borderline aneurism leads us into what has to be the most bizarre fantasy sequence yet. Did he space out long enough for an entire song, or are we supposed to think that it was sped up in real-time? I can’t figure out where they’re going with all this….
Then we step away from rehearsals long enough to get an update on the characters’ various personal dramas. Dev’s still lying to Karen to avoid having to talk to her. (Seriously, if you’re going to go to the trouble to invent a fictitious press conference, at least do it for something worthwhile. Sitting on a park bench eating a sandwich hardly seems worth the effort.) Meanwhile, Leo’s in trouble again—this time he’s failing two classes—so Julia and Frank meet to discuss him, but the only thing they manage to accomplish is making a scene. With the episodes subplots nicely laid out, we’re free to return to the central drama: Rebecca Duvall.
Back at the rehearsal space, it’s still all about Rebecca. In her eyes the scenes are “too short” and the song is boring. She goes to talk to Derek about