In light of the mixed success of the workshop Derek (Jack Davenport) recruits an unsuspecting Karen (Katharine McPhee) to help him steal the musical from Tom (Christian Borle) and Julia (Debra Messing) by offering the Broadway newbie her own musical number in the show. The fallout from which leaves the show with a director at war with the writers and a play without a Marilyn Monroe.
Although the main plot involves the holding pattern of the play there are several smaller stories. Sam (Leslie Odom Jr.), Sue (Jenny Laroche), Bobby (Wesley Taylor), Jessica (Savannah Wise), and Dennis (Phillip Spaeth) take Ivy (Megan Hilty) bowling to calm her nerves about not getting any notes after the workshop. Juliet breaks the news to Michael (Will Chase) that he’s fired, which he takes remarkably well. Dev (Raza Jaffrey) is presented with dirt on his main competition, and, much like Karen, must decide whether how far he’s willing to go to get what he wants.
Eileen (Anjelica Huston) is surprised by the unexpected visit of her daughter Katie (Grace Gummer) who tries to broker a peace between her mother and father (Michael Cristofer) as well as getting her mother to put the show back on the right track. Meanwhile, Ellis (Jaime Cepero) uses the chaos of the situation to his advantage and finds himself with a cushy new job when the smoke clears.
Songs from this week include Frank’s (Brian d’Arcy James) performance of Bob Marley & the Wailers‘ “Three Little Birds,” Ivy’s performance of Sly & the Family Stone‘s “Dance to the Music,” and Karen’s performance of the original song “Touch Me.” None of the performances stand out, and Karen’s big number may be the least impressive original number yet. After stepping up a bit last week the show seems determined to take a step back with another mediocre episode where the play (you know, what the show is supposedly about) is once again put on hold in favor of thinly written soap opera plotlines.