FADE IN, ON A GIRL WITH A HUNGER FOR FAME: So that wasn't nearly as awful as it could have been -- no rousing Marilyn's Post-Mortem Gospel Anthem, Derek didn't find someone else to have sex with backstage, Leo was barely present -- and give credit to creator Theresa Rebeck for pulling a reverse-Sorkin on her way out and cleaning up some messes by giving Dev and Ellis a clear path to Mandyville, rather than bollixing up the works unnecessarily. (Let's hope the pregnancy scare will be dismissed and forgotten.)
But the season was premised on a fundamental flaw: Karen Cartwright, as played by Katharine McPhee, has no business being the lead in a Broadway show, and certainly not in a show about Marilyn Monroe for which Megan Hilty is available. The rivalry did not work because the winner (to viewers and critics) was always clear, but as Matt wrote last week the creative team proceeded without that necessary feedback loop.
So where do we go from here? Honestly, I'd rather not have had the Debra Messing post-ending plug where she promises that next season we'll see the show make it to Broadway; I'd rather they decide that Bombshell couldn't make it, and start from scratch with a new concept. I think the only way to keep Karen and Ivy now (within the context of Bombshell) is to have Karen go bad, showing her path to cynicism, while making Ivy the star. I'd get rid of Dev, Ellis, and Michael, give more space for Tom, and find some way to get Norbert Leo Butz there more often. And, of course, send Leo to China to find his sister. She's waiting.