Musical Chairs is the seventh episode of Smash's second season and the twenty-second overall. It premiered on March 19th, 2013.
The episode begins with Jimmy and Ana performing in front of Scott Nichols (Heart Shaped Wreckage). After the performance, Scott tells Derek that he will give his verdict after he has discussed it with his team. He tells Derek to come to his office in 10 minutes. Tom, who is now the director of Bombshell, is giving Karen instructions. She doesn't seem to agree with his ideas, which irritates Tom to no end. Julia tells him to not let it affect his work. The director of Ivy's play, Liaisons, is informing the cast of the changes he has made. Terry Falls can't resist giving his ridiculous inputs, which are immediately shot down by both Ivy and the director.
Jerry is watching Karen sing in rehearsals and doesn't like the new choreography (The National Pastime). Julia and Tom tell him that they can't use Derek's choreography unless he signs a contract allowing it. Tom again tells Karen something about her performance and she clearly doesn't like it. Jerry tells Eileen that he isn't impressed with how Tom is handling things. He says if Tom doesn't get his act together he might have to be fired. Eileen assures him that he will and after Jerry leaves she tells Julia that they have to somehow get Karen to respect Tom. She feels if Karen shows him respect, so will everyone else.
Scott meets Jimmy, Kyle and Derek in his office. He tells them he and his team liked the show, but feels that it's not for mature audiences because it doesn't have much in the form of a story. He says for now he can only allow them to perform in an 80-seat auditorium in the basement, but can't move them to the large auditorium upstairs. Derek isn't happy about it and says he didn't leave Broadway to work in a basement. Scott says he is meeting the board of his company in a week. He tells them to come up with something better by then. Jimmy is fine with performing in the 80-seater and seeing how it goes, but Derek tells him to think big and make some changes in his play. He gives Jimmy and Kyle one day to make a decision.
Eileen has told her daughter Katie how Jerry sabotaged Bombshell, so he could take over. She wants Eileen to do something about it and not take the whole thing lying down. Terry and the team are performing in front of an audience. At the end of his performance not even one person applauds and they all look bored. Karen tells Derek about the problems she is having with Tom. He tells her about how Jimmy is being pigheaded. She promises she will have a talk with him. Eileen tells Julia that she and Tom have to walk out because that is the only way Jerry will give in. Julia is reluctant, so Eileen reveals to her that Jerry hasn't gotten Derek to sign over the choreography yet because he wants Derek back.
Eileen shows Julia the contract that was supposed to be sent to Derek, but wasn't. Julia is angry that Jerry is betting against Tom. She takes the contract and walks away angrily. Karen tries talking to Jimmy, but he is in no mood to listen to her, mainly because he is still angry with her for not being in Hit List. Julia arrives at the café where Derek is having a chat with Scott. Scott and Julia know each other from before and exchange pleasantries. Julia hands Derek the contract and tells him to sign it. He says he will have to go over it before he signs. Before leaving, Julia tells him that if he doesn't want to return to Bombshell he shouldn't try to unnecessarily create problems for the show.
Tom hands Karen a bouquet of flowers and makes amends with her. He tells her to be his date for the premiere of Liaisons and she agrees. Terry is shocked to read all the negative reviews about the play and his performance. Ivy tells him that she wishes she was never in it and they both feel that the show will sink. Now that they are sure they are going to go down, they decide to have some fun at the premiere and give the people a show they will never forget. Derek and Jimmy again have a heated argument about Hit List. Jimmy doesn't feel anything in it needs to be changed and all Derek wants is for him to add a song at the beginning, which will give everyone an idea as to what it's all about.
Eileen, Julia and Katie find some documents from the Marilyn Monroe estate which are licensed in Eileen's name. Julia used some of it for Bombshell and she feels this would help them take down Jerry. At the premiere of Liaisons, Jerry runs into Derek and apologizes to him for earlier. Tom sees Jerry talking to Derek and immediately rushes to them. Tom and Derek get into an argument about Bombshell and Jerry, in the middle of all this, tells Derek that he can still return to Bombshell if he wants.
During the play, Terry has some fun on the stage (Ce N'Est Pas Ma Faute), just like he and Ivy had decided and it seems to work because the audience actually seems entertained. After the number is over, though, Terry falls from a prop swing flat onto the stage. Tom and Ivy have a chat after the show. Tom says her performance was great, but the rest of the show was just awful. While they are chatting, Karen notices the bond Ivy and Tom have. Karen and Tom discuss that Ivy's show is so awful that it might close, so she will be free. Karen says that is good because Ivy can now be his Marilyn. She says she and he tried to make it work, but the spark is missing. Tom is surprised to hear her say this, but agrees with her. He says it's really big of her to suggest something like this and says he will talk to Eileen about it.
Derek tells Jimmy and Kyle that he isn't going back to Bombshell and will stick with them, even though Jimmy doesn't want to make any changes. Karen arrives and tells them she just quit Bombshell and will be joining them. Jimmy is amazed to hear this and tells them he has an idea. Jerry meets Eileen, Katie and Julia at a restaurant. Julia tells him about the deal Eileen had made with Marilyn's estate. She says about 20% of the show has songs which were a part of that deal. He can't use them because they are a property of the estate and only Eileen had the right to use them. They tell Jerry to give the show back to Eileen but he refuses. Katie tells him how disappointed she is in him and threatens to cut contact with him, which eventually results in Jerry giving back the show.
The next day, Liaisons officially closes because of Terry's accident and the bad reviews, and Ivy seems happy about it. Derek hands Tom the signed contract and tells him that he can use his choreography. Eileen arrives and gives Julia and Tom the good news that Jerry gave in and that Bombshell is now hers. Tom tells them about Ivy and they both like the idea of her being replaced as Marilyn.
Jimmy has written a new song that he and Karen perform for Scott and his team (Rewrite This Story). Scott loves it and gives them the go ahead to perform in the main auditorium. Derek notices that Jimmy and Karen are getting really close. He doesn't like it and warns Jimmy to stay away from her. Jimmy is shocked, but doesn't protest. The episode ends at this point.
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