Everyone is reeling from the untimely death of resident cutie Kyle (Andy Mientus). And when I say everyone, I mean everyone, including me. As one of the only characters that I actually cared for this season, it was a bitter pill to swallow after last week’s final scene. At least they honored him with a Kyle-centric episode. Let’s review.
Who knew Kyle touched so many people. Up until now he was only a supporting character that was used to motivate Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan) and pull his storyline forward. Unfortunately in death it seems to be the same. What’s good about this episode is that we get some flashbacks with Kyle and a few of the other characters that give us a bit more information about him. A ploy to amp up the emotion? Totally. And effective.
The first flashback involves Julia (Debra Messing), where we see her working relationship with Kyle as they work on Hit List. The show has always had this way of referencing itself in its storyline. Season two has practically been riddled with veiled references to their train wreck of a first season. Here we get a moment of reflection on the character of Kyle and his importance to the show as they discuss Hit List and the death of Amanda. It’s also a nice moment that shows us how Kyle helped create and structure the show, something that hasn’t been very clear from the beginning.
My favorite moment of the episode has to be the flashback between Kyle and Tom (Christian Borle), if only because I thought they were so cute together long before they hooked up. Seeing Tom serenade Kyle is a sweet moment, and one of the few truly genuine moments the show has had this season. I have to hand it to Borle he made me misty eyed more than once during this episode. When he breaks the news to Derek (Jack Davenport) and Karen (Katharine McPhee), it really show us what a terrific actor he really is.
And speaking of Karen, she gets her own flashback as well, although surprise, surprise, it’s my least favorite. But it’s not Karen’s fault…this time. We revisit the opening of Bombshell as they meet during the intermission. Of course this scene doesn’t have anything to do with Kyle and more to do with Karen and Jimmy’s relationship. Like I said, in death Kyle is still used as a plot device for Jimmy’s arc. It does give some closure to the jealousy Kyle had over Karen and Jimmy’s relationship that was hinted at earlier in the season. Unfortunately the whole scene feels a little too forced and obvious.
Of course it all leads up to the flashback with Jimmy, his best friend/brother. As much as Jimmy annoys me, their flashback is sweet. And yes Amanda/Kyle must die so that Jimmy can learn something. Hopefully this means we get a bit more character growth from Jimmy. I will give props to Jordan who gives us two songs this week. Although I can’t say I was a fan of the Radiohead cover, mostly because I think no one is able to match the brilliance of Thom Yorke. We do get a new song from Hit List, and while it’s a bit of a slow number, it’s a good song and Jordan’s delivery gives the moment some emotional resonance.
Of course the episode wasn’t all sad faces and kumbayas. There were a few more developments, including Jerry (Michael Cristofer) deciding to take Hit List to Broadway. And here I thought I was done with the big bad Jerry. It’s a strange twist because while I want to see the show succeed, having Jerry produce it makes me automatically want it to fail. Maybe Eileen (Angelica Huston) will work her magic and take the show away from him like she did Bombshell.
And speaking of sleazy, Scott (Jesse L. Martin) shows some truly unflattering colours himself when he uses Julia to uncancel the performance of Hit List following the death of Kyle. Julia sure is having issues with men this season. Choosing Scott over Tom? Seems like you might want to rethink that decision. Looks like Gatsby might be a musical after all.
- I loved how they “dimmed” the opening credits. I guess it would have been jarring to have the drums come in after such a sad scene. This one’s for you Kyle!
- How cheesy was the scene between Ana (Krysta Rodriguez) and Kyle’s ex? So they go call the parents, together. How about you go work out a better scene, together.
- I enjoyed Ivy (Megan Hilty) and Derek this week, mostly because Ivy stood up for herself and broke things off with Derek, for good. He ain’t good enough for you honey and it’s high time you realized it.
- I love me some Angelica Huston, but I wish her character was more interesting. I am getting tired of her throwing drinks in Jerry’s face. The first time was fun, but every time after I winced out how obvious it had become.
- Karen finally telling Jimmy she loves him: groan inducing.
- And while Karen and Derek didn’t officially hook up, we were subjected to a scene of them making out on the couch. Shudder. I wish I could unwatch that.
What did you guys think? Are you sad about Kyle’s death? Did you think it was a proper send off for his character? Did you get misty eyed or did you groan your way through this episode? Sound off below.
Smash airs at 9pm EST, Saturdays on NBC.
Smash airs Saturdays at 8pm on NBC.