The fourth episode of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, “Blocking,” was released on Disney+. In last week’s episode, EJ (Matt Cornett) tried to find a way to give Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) back her cell phone without her knowing. He asked Ashlyn (Julia Lester) for help, even though she felt uncomfortable with the whole situation. Meanwhile, Nini thought that Gina (Sofia Wylie) stole her cellphone as a way to steal the role of Gabriella. Ricky (Joshua Bassett) sent a voicemail to Nini about sharing a moment when he heard her sing with Ashlyn in the previous episode. Miss Jen (Kate Reinders) was confronted by Mr. Mazzara (Mark St. Cyr) about going over-budget after purchasing Gabriella’s prop cellphone from the original High School Musical film.
In “Blocking,” Nini confronts EJ about stealing her phone in front of the entire cast of the play. Nini, obviously upset, begins to doubt whether she should even be in a relationship with EJ. Kourtney (Dara Renee) tries to help her get through this whole situation. With Ricky’s mom back in town, he gets some upsetting news about the fate of his parents’ relationship. He tries to make sense of the news but can’t see any upside to it. Meanwhile, Gina comes up with a plan to not only get her the part of Gabriella but also help EJ with getting Nini to forgive him.
I was impressed with how Nini handled the situation with EJ regardless of who was watching. The way her character rapidly evolves with each episode is fantastic. She was much more reserved during the first episode, even during the flashback scenes that showed her relationship with Ricky. Since joining the musical, she’s become more ambitious but also isn’t letting anyone take advantage of her. Such quick development could ruin a character, but it only made me root for her even more.
I was completely surprised that a Disney show would have divorce be a main element within its plot. There are many Disney animated movies in which either a parent or both parents are dead. There are also films in which what happened to the main character’s parents is never explained. The only other show that has openly talked about divorce is Raven’s Home, the continuing series of That’s So Raven. It was teased during the first episode that Ricky’s parents were having issues, but I just never imagined that the show would openly talk about it. This is obviously something serious for children of the parents, which can often be difficult to portray on screen. However, the way the show handled it and Ricky’s internal struggle with everything was handled well. It will be interesting to see how Ricky deals with this on top of being the lead in the musical.
As with the previous episodes, another original song was introduced. This week’s song was called “All I Want” and it’s sung by Nini. The song talks about her situation with EJ and how she’s unsure if he even knows who the kind of girl she is. It also talks about Ricky and how even though they’ve broken up, a part of her will always be thinking of him. It perfectly captures Nini’s emotional state, which is much more authentic since it’s conveyed through song. I was even more impressed that Rodrigo wrote some of the songs for the show, including this one.
Overall, I really enjoyed the fourth episode of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Not only is this week’s original song a huge improvement from last week’s, but the show chose to include such a heavy topic as a major plot element. The stakes were elevated in this episode, with both Ricky and Nini needing to deal with major issues. I’m looking forward to seeing how all of these developments affect the next episode.
The fourth episode of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is available now on Disney+.
‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,’ Episode 4 – "Blocking"
Not only is this week’s original song a huge improvement from last week’s, but the show chose to include such a heavy topic as a major plot element. The stakes were elevated in this episode, with both Ricky and Nini needing to deal with major issues.