Season 1, Episode 15
Air date May 14, 2012
Episode Guide
On Broadway

Bombshell is the fifteenth episode of the American television series, Smash, and the finale episode of Season 1.


Tom and Julia finish writing and rush to the stage with only 15 minutes until curtain, while an unknown actress walks to the stage, with members of the cast wishing her luck.

12 hours earlier... The departure of Rebecca Duvall and the lackluster reception of Bombshell throws the production into chaos. With only twelve hours until the next preview, Tom and Julia are rushed to come up with a new ending, while the company waits for Derek's decision on who will replace Rebecca as Marilyn. Eileen tells the press that they have already made a selection, though they won't give the name. Derek looks through Marilyn's costumes, visualizing both Ivy and Karen in the role, and after seeing his recurring vision of Karen in the purple Marilyn dress, he decides to choose her. Many in the company question the decision, while Ivy and Ellis are outraged.

Julia and Tom worry about Karen's ability to remember everything. Dev is thrilled when Karen tells him about her performance. Tom and Julia continue to struggle to make an ending that isn't depressing but still conveys the tragedy of Marilyn's death. Ellis confronts Eileen, demanding that she force Derek to choose Ivy, and revealing that it was he who put peanuts in Rebecca's smoothie, claiming he was helping the production and demanding a producer credit. Eileen fires him and orders him out of the theatre, but he warns her that she hasn't heard the last of him. Karen immediately has difficulties with learning the production and with the costumes that were fit for Rebecca. After a short lighting outage, Michael talks to Julia, telling her that his wife left with their son, and Julia comforts him. Frank sees them talking and storms out, which Julia notices at the last minute and gives chase.

Frank doesn't know how they can move forward when he wants to trust her, but can't. She tries to reason that she can't undo her mistake but that the good will outnumber the bad. When Leo returns with lunch, they reconcile and return to the theatre. Tom tries to get Derek to switch in Ivy, but Derek won't listen, and Tom returns to Julia to continue writing the finale. Karen continues to struggle, this time failing a costume change, but eventually giving a perfect performance of I Never Met a Wolf Who Didn't Love to Howl. Ivy looks on in jealousy, remembering her prior performance of the song, then confronts Derek about why he chose Karen instead. Derek says simply that he can see her as Marilyn in his head, and that she has something Ivy doesn't. As she walks away, Dev, now watching the rehearsal, asks her if she found the ring. She angrily tells him no, but storms back to her dressing room and pulls it out of her bag.

Eileen confronts Derek, trying to get him to replace Karen with Ivy. When he ignores her, Eileen shouts at him while Karen listens from behind the curtain. Back in the dressing room, Karen finds the engagement ring on her table. Ivy reveals that she had the ring after Dev left it in her room. Karen claims not to believe her, but confronts Dev, who doesn't deny it. He tries to apologize but she storms backstage. Derek ignores Eileen's request again, continuing with Karen, and then snaps, telling Eileen to be quiet and let him work. Tom is disheatened and talks to Sam backstage, who consoles him. Jerry returns which further agitates Eileen, claiming that she is in too deep. Though he offers help, she rebuffs him, and he tells her he'll be watching the show. Tom plays around with a Gospel theme, which Julia hates. Just before rehearsing Wolf again, Karen removes the wig and storms off.

Lyle comes back to return the painting he bought from Eileen to fund the play, but Eileen refuses to take it back. The ensemble speculates about what happened to Karen and encourage Ivy that she'll get the part. While looking for Karen, Derek runs into Dev and tells him that although he doesn't care what is going on Dev should leave her alone, as the theatre is who Karen is and she is his now. Derek finds pieces of the costume that lead him to Karen. She tries to quit, but Derek knows that she still wants to be Marilyn. Heartbroken, she says she can't continue and that Derek doesn't understand love. He tells her that she does, and that her heartache is the last thing she needed to really become Marilyn. Eileen, Tom, and Julia call Ivy to the stage in costume, but Karen and Derek return, ready to continue. Ivy's mother returns to congratulate her, but can't believe that Ivy didn't get the part.

Back to show time, Tom and Julia rush to the stage with their finally-completed finale lyrics. Karen walks to the stage with the cast and crew encouraging her. As the curtain rises, Ivy glares at Karen, who proceeds to perform each song flawlessly. Ivy sits heartbroken backstage while Karen performs Marilyn's suicide. Derek helps Karen finish getting in costume for the finale, telling her to never doubt that she is a star, and that he does understand love. Karen sings the new song, Don't Forget Me, an inspirational piece pleading for the audience to remember her story when they know someone who needs help, while images of Marilyn flash in the background. As she performs, both Derek and Dev watch her, both smiling, while Tom, Julia and Eileen look triumphant. The crowd cheers as Karen hits a high note at the climax of the sing, while in the dressing room, Ivy pulls out the bottle of medication and dumps all the pills into her hand. As Karen's finale concludes, the crowd gives a standing ovation and the screen fades to black.

Memorable QuotesEdit

You know, I didn't get Rebecca Duvall out of your way so you could ignore me yet again... You heard me: Rebecca Duvall. Nice enough person for a movie star, but she wasn't gonna get us to Broadway, and none of you would admit it.



Main castEdit

Recurring castEdit

Guest castEdit


Song NotesEdit

Julia was supposed to sing The Right Regrets in this episode but it was cut, and used in a The Transfer, Season Two.


  • After Julia has thrown up she says she hasn't been sick since she was pregnant with Leo, despite being seen being sick in Episode 7 "The Workshop".
  • When Eileen is on the phone speaking with the reporters, if you notice she is actually holding the phone up side down.