This episode is called Chemistry, in some elaborate play on words referencing Julia’s science teacher husband and her secret affair with her leading man. It should have been called ‘Workshop! Workshop! Aaaaaaaaargh, Workshop!’ with a photo of a load of sheets of paper being thrown into the air. Because that’s probably how they wrote it.
Speaking of writing things, Julia hasn’t. Tom nailed all the melody weeks ago, obviously. Despite being made out to be a diva in the pilot, he’s actually the sensible one of the writing duo. Julia is far too busy burning pancakes and daydreaming about her illicit dalliance to worry about song words! None of that mattered previously, but now there’s some kind of Workshop performance planned (to investors, presumably, not just people off the street). So suddenly it’s not ok that they’re all just dancing around humming ‘Marilyn, la la la, Joe DiMaggio, la la la’. They actually need a fully functioning routine.
To add to the high drama, Ivy’s voice has gone. Because that never happened to a leading lady before, ever. Luckily there are these really intense mega steroids which will totally fix her throat, but also turn her into a hormonal monster. And that’s before you even consider the fact that she has a hypersensitivity to drugs. (Of course she does, she’s that much of a drama queen.) Obviously Derek has no interest in anything other than the show, and the upcoming Workshop performance, so just guilts her into taking the drugs by threatening to replace her. He’s a keeper.
Meanwhile Julia & Michael continue their secret affair. If you thought last week’s secret kissing after secretly singing really loudly in a really quiet street was stealthy, wait until you see how they hide their love this week. First Julia over-reacts entirely to her husband’s return from science camp, ‘You’re home! I missed you so much! Look how handsome you are!’ before getting up in the middle of the night to go for a walk. In her pyjamas. Off she trots to meet Michael, who’s conned his way into the studio under the guise of ‘work, not sex, honest!’ and they proceed to do the dirty right there on the rehearsal room sofa. ‘No one has to know’ whispers Michael. Except the security guard who let you in. And anyone else who can see you through the phenomenon known as windows.
Ivy pops the pills, and then starts having crazy hallucinations where Karen as Marilyn speaks to her through the mirror. (Incidentally, I know we’re supposed to be rooting for the underdog, but Karen did not look great as the blonde bombshell.) Sadly we don’t get to see the follow-up side effects of the drugs, which lead you to ‘bloat up and grow hair, like a wolf man!’ which was kind of a missed opportunity. Nonetheless, Tom and Sam (ensemble member/BFF of Ivy’s/gay but likes sports) are on hand to sit in bed with her, stroking her hair and making her tea. It’s like some kind of reverse cold turkey situation. But it works, and she is cured sufficiently to stomp into rehearsal the next morning screaming ‘I need to stop sleeping with men who are complete narcissist pricks.’ That’ll be Derek then, most probably.
Bizarre storyline of the week goes to Anjelica Houston hanging around with Evil Ellis (I promise, his comeuppance is coming!) and his mate in a grubby bar, drinking martinis, playing video games and saying things like ‘I didn’t even know people played darts anymore.’ It’s really weird. Oh, and Karen gets ‘discovered’ after doing an inappropriate Florence & the Machine cover at a Bar Mitzvah. She’s getting to be really annoying. I preferred it when she worked for the Mayor’s Office.