While Rise has been consistently mediocre in its first season, there’s no denying that the show has a lot of heart.
Bring Me Stanton finally has these high school kids acting like high school kids. When it’s only three weeks until opening night of the play and Lou realizes the model set he had Maashous design is impossible to bring to life, it’s up for the rest of the team to step up. The way everyone split up into pairs of separate subplots when they all broke into Stanton Steel is a huge plot contrivance, but it finally pushes these characters to do a little more than react to what’s happening around them. If anything, that entire sequence is very reminiscent of One Tree Hill, right down to the heartwarming bring-it-all-together scene at the end, and that’s a legitimately good thing.
Forget every compliment I gave the writers for the way they handled Simon’s gay storyline last week because this episode butchers all of it. While Jeremy’s confrontation with him, followed by a kiss, outside the school is admittedly intense and long overdue, it’s hard to root for the closeted Simon anymore seeing as how he is just using Annabelle to hide his feelings. There isn’t anything we haven’t already seen here before, which will make the eventual aftermath of this subplot all the more infuriating and pointless. Fix this, writers.
– I am not sure what to make of Sasha telling Tracey she is pregnant because I could not for the life of me remember if we’ve ever met Sasha before. #SorryNotSorry
– Gordy refusing to ditch school with Gwen is such an unexpected yet delightful surprise.
– How cool is Simon and Lilette’s friendship? She definitely knows he’s gay, right?
– Coach Strickland giving Robbie an ultimatum is another cringe-worthy development. I’ve never seen Glee and yet I feel like this storyline definitely existed on that show.
Quips from the Drama Club
Lou: I wanted to make a statement. This town is a shell of what it used to be. These kids, they’re going through so much. They deserve a beautiful set. I wanted to send a message to the people of Stanton, you know, “We see you. You’re not forgotten. We see you.” I mean, that’s the point of art, right? To reflect the world? To take something raw and painful, maybe even hopeless, and make it beautiful?
Lou: This is amazing.
Tracey: It’s Stanton.
A couple of poor writing decisions, but this episode is emotional enough to be a worthwhile watch.