Start of something new: Challenges reach new heights in episode 10 of ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’

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Win or lose, the East High Wildcats will be “all in this together.” With the spring musical rapidly approaching, the students at East High in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” are quickly losing confidence in their ability to defeat their rivals at North High. 

Episode 10 of the second season finds the students in their element at a “Beauty and the Beast” rehearsal, preparing for an integral component of the show — the Beast’s transformation into a prince. Though the team seems prepared with their elaborate sets and costumes, the grand finale fails miserably; Ricky (Joshua Bassett) is unable to get his mask off, leading to collapsing props and deteriorating hopes. 

Confiding in Carlos (Frankie Rodriguez), Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders) reveals that North High has obtained the technical set design plans from the Broadway production of “Beauty and the Beast,” decreasing East High’s chances of winning the Menkie Award. 

At the pizza shop, Carlos breaks the news: The Wildcats must revamp the Beast’s transformation if they want to blow the competition away. Trusting Kourtney’s (Dara Reneé) designs and Big Red’s (Larry Saperstein) prop-building prowess, the theater students divide into two groups to invent new showstopping effects. 

Ricky, Big Red, E.J. (Matt Cornett) and Carlos gather in Big Red’s basement to construct a spinning structure to aid the Beast’s transformation and, as Ricky blatantly mentions, this afternoon is sure to bring back “deja vu.” Upon his arrival, Ricky receives a call from North High’s leading actor — Lily (Olivia Rose Keegan). Though she asks for his advice regarding her likeability, her motives are suspicious; she may either be looking for inside information or seeking a showmance.

 Collectively, the boys discuss their own relationship drama. Following Carlos’ luxurious spring break vacation, his relationship with Seb (Joe Serafini) has not been smooth sailing. Meeting new people over spring break has brought insecurities into their relationship; Seb worries that their relationship has only grown because of a lack of choice. E.J. similarly admits his own insecurities in entering a relationship with Gina given his fear of failure following his rejection from Nini (Olivia Rodrigo). 

Ashlyn’s (Julia Lester) house is similarly buzzing with drama. While helping to design the Beast’s reversible cape, Gina discusses her own struggle with relationships, noting her current romantic predicament with E.J. and her prior interpretation of her relationship with Ricky. Her old feelings for Ricky are certainly news to Nini, leading to an awkward silence that plagues the Wildcats’ optimistic enthusiasm. 

Miss Jenn has similarly lost her usual fervor. Upon realizing East High’s low probability of defeating North High at the Menkies, she confides in Mr. Mazzara (Mark St. Cyr), who grants her advice regarding her students’ potential loss. However, unbeknownst to her, the Wildcats have uncovered a solution; with the help of Howie (Roman Banks), they have obtained North High’s technical plans from the Broadway production of “Beauty and the Beast.” 

Before the students can test out the suspended Beast transformation from the Broadway production, certain relationships must be mended. Carlos, in an attempt to reconcile with Seb, collaborates with Ricky on a song, “In a Heartbeat,” that dignifies the solidity of their relationship. E.J. finally solidifies his relationship with Gina as well, facing his fear of rejection by inviting her out for risotto. 

With romance restored at East High, it is finally time for the rehearsal of the Beast’s transformation. As Ricky rises in the air with the same harness and ropes used in East High’s production of “High School Musical,” the students beam with hope and confidence in their ability to outshine North High. That is, until the ropes snap and Ricky hurtles to the floor. 

Opening night of “Beauty and the Beast” is rapidly approaching; with only two episodes left in this season of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, drama is sure to surround the spring musical. Hopefully, the East High students will “break a leg,” but given the events of this episode, it seems fate may have literally imposed doom on a Wildcat.

Sarah Runyan covers television. Contact her at [email protected].