It's a challenge to direct a musical, whether it's a Broadway show or a small not-for-profit production. While creativity is necessary, it's just as much a management role.
In "The Bells and Whistles," Tom's lack of management experience threatened his ability to successfully direct Bombshell. He learned that being the director required more than just his creative vision, but the ability to make difficult decisions, manage his cast and be a leader.
In contrast, Derek was having difficulties of his own. He's always been confident and a strong, definitive leader as a director, but in his new production he needed to be open to others' ideas, especially those of his writer, Jimmy.
Tom's a naturally friendly and likable guy. He's wants those around him to be happy, but as a boss that doesn't work. Throughout rehearsals, it became obvious that Tom had never managed people before. Derek may have been a jerk to his cast, but he had a strong vision and stuck to it which is why he was so highly regarded as a director. Tom's decision to openly take feedback made him a pushover, because he didn't have the strength to tell people "no."
Sam's return put Tom's flaw front and center. I'm probably just as disappointed as Sam was on the show that he isn't joining Bombshell. I didn't realize how much I missed his character until he returned. Sam and Ivy are adorable together. And, Tom could use Sam back in his life. Though, that doesn't look like it's going to happen now.
As a new director, Tom went on a power trip and his enthusiasm got the better of him when it came to Sam. The song was good and Sam's an amazing singer, but Tom let his personal needs overshadow what was best for the show. In the end, Tom had to break Sam's heart and his spirit. I don't see that romance happening any time soon.
Julia should have talked to Tom before it got as far as it did, but at least she intervened. The idea to have Tom talk to Derek was brilliant. The conversation between the two directors on the steps was one of my favorite moments of Smash season 2. They needed each other in a way that no one else could help. Derek was able to tell Tom that respect was more important than being liked. And, Tom was able to remind Derek of his younger self. Tom had it right when he told Derek that Jimmy was not the enemy.
During that short conversation, Derek and Tom were able to look at their situations from a fresh perspective and knew what they needed to do. Tom had to take control back of his production, while oddly Derek had to do the exact opposite. Of course, they are still the same people, so we'll see how long they last before they fall back into old habits.
Jimmy's performance with Karen on the nearly bare stage with dancers instead of props was brilliantly executed. It was a relief to see that Derek finally got what the vision for the show should be. The conflicts between Derek and Jimmy are not going to go away, but two of the biggest were resolved. The new staging fits the show and Ana earned the role of the Diva with her impromptu performance at the bar.
It's more likely that the two will butt heads over Karen than about the show at this point. Derek's shown that he's not a good boyfriend and Jimmy has his issues, but Karen brings out the best personally and creatively in both of them. Derek tends to sleep with all of his leading ladies, but he hasn't made a move on Karen. Is that because she's the first woman he truly loves? Karen hasn't shown any romantic interest in him though.
Instead, she's had a crush on Jimmy since she first heard him sing. Despite his poor treatment of her at times, she still liked him. It's as if they are drawn together by an unknown force. Ana put herself out there and got the role of the Diva and Karen revealed her feelings to Jimmy. It was such a wonderfully awkward moment between the two. When she opened the door, it had to be him.
Now that Karen and Jimmy have revealed their feelings for each other it's going to get complicated. Derek won't be happy when he finds out, plus it's never easy to date a co-worker. And as co-stars of the show it will be even more difficult. In that moment when the door opened all they cared about was each other. Young, passionate love.
How do you think Derek will react when he finds out about Jimmy and Karen? Will the show go on? Did you enjoy the stoop chat between Derek and Tom? Who will have the more difficult directing job going forward? Tom or Derek?