High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 2 Episode 7 ups the ante with a little friendly — and unfriendly — competition between East High and North High.
Kourtney really gets a chance to shine this episode, between designing all the costumes and her relationship with Howie turning a bit of a dark corner with the reveal that he’s a North High student. Kourtney’s breakout role from being “Nini’s friend” to finally getting her own character arc in Season 2 is one of the best things about the show’s sophomore season. And the ending of this episode promises more Kourtney-centric drama in the future, which is a win.
Ricky and Nini hit another roadblock when he grows increasingly insecure over Nini’s “The Rose Song”. One thing about High School Musical‘s second season is that they are really taking advantage of Olivia Rodrigo’s star power, giving her more chances to shine solo with original music this season. The Ricky and Nini drama gets a bit tiring when the two haven’t had a chance to just sit down and be happy for one minute. It makes Season 1 feel like a waste of time since the show was essentially their journey to getting back together. Breaking them up would be a mistake, but continuing down this path of awkwardness for them is also a mistake.
Whether or not Nini’s “The Rose Song” will be used in the final play, the show is certainly eyeing the potential for more Olivia solo numbers through Nini’s plot of posting her own music online. That much is exciting alone.
Gina and EJ are surprisingly cute, a pairing that seemed to come out of nowhere but really works in Episode 7. The co-hosts of the morning show have some pretty good chemistry and Season 2 really leans into writing EJ as this lovable doof, which really works for him. The pairing really gets sold during the scenes in North High where the two pretend to be dating — it’s a classic “fake dating” trope and it works really well on them. If this is the tone the two will continue with, they could turn out to be really sweet.
The main plot of the episode revolves around North High and East High facing off in a dance competition after East High accuses North of stealing their Beast mask. As the kids face off in a unique rendition of the “Mob Song” from Beauty and the Beast, Miss Jenn and Zack have their own dance-off as well. The Mob Song is actually one of the show’s weaker numbers, putting a new twist on a classic Disney song that ultimately just doesn’t work. Miss Jenn and Zack’s dance-off gives more rewarding results plot-wise, as it’s revealed that Zack was the one who stole East High’s Beast mask.
The most interesting bits of this episode are by far Gina/EJ, the competition heating up, and Kourtney’s plot. The Ricky/Nini bits, which were the main attraction of Season 1 now fall flat in comparison, but the show has the opportunity to steer that ship in the right direction if they play their moves carefully.
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