with Rebecca were “I love you.” (Actually, they were “that’s why I love you,” but let’s not nitpick.) Derek looks astonished at her accusations. “Rebecca needs my attention and I’m giving it to her. […] You and I are professionals; that’s why we do well together.” Really Derek? That’s worse than Julia’s claims that her affair “didn’t mean anything.” Ivy should drop the bastard. Naturally—considering that next week’s the finale—these couples aren’t the only ones with problems.
Tom and Julia’s relationship is on the rocks as well. She arrives in Boston, with Frank and Leo in tow, around the same time that Michael shows up. He wastes no time letting Julia know that he came back because of her, but she pushes him away when he tries to kiss her. After their encounter, Julia storms into the theatre where Tom is working on an alternate ending. She’s furious with him for allowing the show to come before the friendship. He points out—rightfully so—that he tried to talk her out of rekindling the affair from the beginning. Julia claims that if they’d stuck together, things would have turned out differently. The two go back and forth, and Julia ultimately gives up when she realizes that Tom, like everyone else—including her—puts the show before everything else. “We’re not a team.” It looks like the two may be at a genuine impasse, but luckily everyone, except Derek—he’d burst into flames—goes to church with Sam, (hello, TV tropes) and Tom and Julia ultimately apologize to one another after the service. I think it’ll be a while before things really get back to normal, but they’re on speaking terms, at least.
Meanwhile, while all hell is breaking loose in cast and production team members’ personal lives, the show actually looks pretty good—even Derek agrees. Most of the first preview goes well—Michael definitely makes a better DiMaggio, but I think I preferred Tom’s rendition of ‘Don’t Say Yes until I Finish Talking.’ The songs and scenes work well and have the audience laughing and clapping, right up until the last scene. The show’s over and no one applauds. (Shit, that’s not good.) It turns out that ending a musical with a suicide—even if that’s what really happened—leaves the audience with a bad taste in their mouths. So, the production team is left to come up with another ending, in order to save the show.
Unfortunately, no applause isn’t the show’s only problem, though; a day later, someone spikes Rebecca’s smoothie with peanuts, and she is rushed to the hospital with an allergic reaction. The production team and cast are left wondering who’s responsible for essentially attempting to poison their star, (I have my suspicions—cough, Ellis, cough) but Ms. Duvall doesn’t even want to know. She tells Karen—whom she evidently doesn’t suspect at all—that she could taste the peanuts, but drank the smoothie anyway, supposedly because the previous night’s less-than-successful curtain call left her scared. (Personally, I find that claim specious—not to mention totally unrealistic. Nut allergies are very serious. Would she honestly risk killing herself over a bruised ego? It seems out of character.) Rebecca states that she’ll be leaving the show anyway, leaving Karen with the parting advice to take hold of her ambition, or find another career path. And with that, my friends, just before the season finale, we find ourselves back almost exactly where we started: with Ivy and Karen competing for the lead in Bombshell.