High School Musical: The Musical: The Series started off its second season very strong and petered out a bit after, though it didn’t deliver a particularly bad episode yet. Episode 5 is a bit lighter on the plot than the others, but its sugary sweet moments will certainly give you a toothache.
The main driver of the episode is the gang throwing Carlos a Quinceañero, surprising him with a big party. Gina is once again the real scene-stealer here and her friendship with Carlos is one of the best things Season 2 has given us thus far. It’s doing wonders for both characters — and the number Gina performs is fantastic.
Sebastian and Carlos’ relationship being at the forefront of this episode is a nice change of pace. Growing up, it was hard to find a single teen drama with a gay couple as a central focus — and this is one thing that sets High School Musical: The Musical: The Series apart from older classics. It’s far more diverse — and Carlos and Sebastian are another good example of how.
Sebastian starts his speech to Carlos by talking about how they’re both fans of the “queens of power ballads” and that Carlos is his “hero” — so I totally thought he’d be singing “Hero” by Mariah Carey. What Sebastian actually ends up singing is “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, picking from Disney’s wide pantheon of songs. And honestly, he does a very good job.
There’s a bit of an undercurrent reflecting a few love triangles this episode, the first (and weirdest) of which being Mr. M/Ricky’s dad/Ms. Jenn. Ricky’s dad and Ms. Jenn is honestly…an odd pairing at best? The actors don’t really have any chemistry and the situation is absolutely going to be weird for Ricky.
Gina gets a bit frosty with Ricky when he once again cluelessly goes to her for advice on Nini, to which Gina asks him to stop. As that love triangle hits its stride, it almost seems that EJ might be crushing on Gina. Will we see the rise of EJ/Gina? Who knows?
The central plot takes a backseat for most of the episode, but at the very end, North High steals Ms. Jenn’s idea and announces their own production of Beauty and the Beast, scrapping their previous plans to do The Little Mermaid. This of course throws Miss Jenn into a frenzy, leaving her with no other option but to take Ricky up on his request and put Nini in the show somehow.
All in all, the episode is pretty good, but its enjoyment rests in its heart, rather than any overarching plot.
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