With the musical workshop in a week, the pressure’s on everyone to perform to perfection. It seems that the stress is getting the best of Ivy; during rehearsal, she finds herself gasping for air when trying to belt the high notes – something’s wrong with her voice!
Ivy immediately goes to the doctor to get her vocal chords checked out. In the meantime, the team wonders if Karen can fill in if need be – the show must go on, after all. Karen overhears and rushes home to prep for the part; there’s so much to learn in so little time!
The doctor prescribes Ivy prednisone, a medication that is supposed to work wonders for vocal problems. The only issue is that Ivy’s highly sensitive to drugs and it comes with a slew of side effects: hallucinations, weight gain and insomnia to name a few. Ivy opts for a night of vocal rest before resorting to the drugs, but Derek pushes her to take them anyway. He drops a not-so-subtle threat, telling Ivy that if she takes the day off, “the Cartwright girl” will be filling in for her. After Derek leaves, Ivy sucks it up and takes the pills, willing to do whatever it takes for the role.
After Julia’s passionate sidewalk kiss with Michael (which her son Leo witnessed, unbeknownst to her), Julia’s overwhelmed with guilt and distracted to say the least. When her husband Frank returns from his business trip, she rushes into his arms, begging him never to leave town again. Leo looks on, quietly upset with his mother’s deceitful behavior.
The following day Ivy makes it to rehearsal, drugged up and ready to go. Karen, naturally, is bummed out that she went through all that preparation for nothing. Jessica offers Karen a bar mitzvah gig she can no longer make, knowing that Karen’s strapped for cash. Karen first laughs at the offer, until she learns that there’s $500 in it for her. Count her in!
Racked with guilt, Julia confesses her passionate sidewalk kiss with Michael to Tom, who’s supportive but also stern. Julia has a family and so does Michael; they need to put all of this behind them! Julia knows he’s right, but avoiding Michael is easier said than done. He continues to call her and make inappropriate advances during rehearsal despite her cold and distant behavior.
Ellis lends Eileen a helping hand; trying to finance a musical, get her personal finances in order and find a new apartment is overwhelming to say the least. Eileen reaches her breaking point and decides just to let loose, enjoying a trip to a dive bar where she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone. Eileen decides that maybe the Lower East Side is more her scene, opting for a less glamorous apartment and re-evaluating her lifestyle.
At home, Ivy’s thrilled to find that the drugs are doing the trick, as she rediscovers her voice in a performance of “Who You Are.” But her excitement is quickly dashed by a strange hallucination… of Karen as Marilyn. Are these horrific side effects worth the benefits?
In her time of need, Sam and Tom come to Ivy’s aid and help Ivy get a grip on reality. These two best friends of Ivy’s couldn’t be any more different, and Tom still refuses to believe that sports-loving macho man Sam is a chorus guy, let alone a gay.
Karen finds herself a little lost at the bar mitzvah, completely in the dark about any Jewish traditions. But as the party loses steam, she’s able to turn the mood around with her own rendition of Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out.” Partygoers crowd the dance floor and Karen gives it her all. As the night comes to a close, a man gives Karen his business card with instructions to call her the following day.
Michael calls Julia, asking her to meet him at the rehearsal hall so they can at least discuss what happened. Julia turns down his offer, but she can’t resist showing up that night anyway. She tells Michael that she’s only here so they can straighten this out, but clearly his intentions are much more sinister. Julia’s unable to resist the power he has over her; the two give in to their emotions and make love.
Karen rehashes the details of the bar mitzvah to Jessica and shows her the business card she was given. Karen’s shocked to learn that the card belongs to a big-timer in the music industry, Bobby Raskin! She calls his office right away, excited by what opportunity he might have in store.
The gang gets down to rehearsing their latest musical number “History Is Made at Night,” during which Michael and Julia make sultry eye contact. The number’s still fresh, and Ivy and Michael flub a scene and fall down laughing. Derek doesn’t think it’s so funny and angrily reprimands Ivy and Michael for their complete lack of professionalism. This sets Ivy off, and she tears Derek a new one about the incessant abuse and harsh criticism she gets during rehearsal. It’s clear to everyone though that this is about bigger issues between the two. As Ivy storms out, Derek attributes her behavior to the side effects of the prednisone, casually brushing off her outburst.
Is Ivy on a downward spiral?