REVIEW: ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ Season 2, Episode 5 – “The Quinceañero”

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High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' Season 2, Episode 5 - The Quinceañero

Season 2 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series continues with its fifth episode, “The Quinceañero.” In last week’s episode, a strong blizzard barrels through Salt Lake City, which forces several of the Wildcats to take shelter in the school. Things start to get unsettling as the students aren’t used to being in a situation like this. Nini (Olivia Rodrigo), having come back to visit her friends, is worried about not making it back to school. Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders) offers to drive her, which leads to Nini making a major change in her life. Gina (Sofia Wyliedeals with the miscommunications from “Valentine’s Day” while also arguing with Carlos (Frankie A. Rodriguez) about who gets to be the choreographer.

In “The Quinceañero,” Seb (Joe Serafini) and Gina rally their friends to throw Carlos the quinceañero party that he’s always dreamed of since he was a kid. The party is hosted at Seb’s family farm and everyone pitches in to make this a truly special party. Meanwhile, Ricky (Joshua Bassett) mistakenly oversteps when he asks others for advice. Nini is trying to look on the bright side of not being involved in the musical after transferring back to East High. After a shocking revelation, Miss Jenn is more determined to find a way to get Nini involved in the spring musical.

It’s always a pleasant surprise to see Carlos getting a prominent role in any episode, and “The Quinceañero” is no exception. The episode gives him the most development and backstory that his character has gotten since season 1. Learning more about who he was will surely help viewers understand his character more and what he values most. This also marks a pivotal moment for his character since a quiceañera is normally a party for Latina women when they turn 15. Having the party for Carlos, a Latinx character subverts gender norms. It’s a big step in normalizing this sort of practice if other men would want to have a party like this.

Watching Gina continue to be given a big part in season 2 has been incredible. “The Quinceañero” focuses on Gina dealing with her feelings for Ricki not being reciprocated while trying to throw Carlos the party. There’s no doubt that she wasn’t hurting the entire time but still managed to make sure Carlos was able to get the party he’s dreamed of. It’s fantastic to see her being such an incredible friend, but it would help to see her get time to deal with it. Last week’s episode had a small moment where Gina confessed what was going on by talking to Carlos but nothing else came from that. A scene of her discussing her feelings much further could possibly help her move on.

The musical performances throughout “The Quinceañero” were possibly the best that HSMTMTS has ever seen. The first was Gina performing a song that Carlos had once performed when he was younger as an homage to her friend. The choreography and costume designs for the entire performance were immensely captivating. The song perfectly captured the friendship that Gina and Carlos have in such a way that people who haven’t watched the show could tell they were the best of friends. The other performance saw Seb take center stage. The song was rather simple but full of so much emotion and love that Seb has for Carlos. This moment they shared together is something that the show should definitely include more of.

Ultimately, “The Quinceañero” is one of the best episodes that HSMTMTS has aired so far. With it subverting gender norms, focusing more on Carlos and Gina through separate storylines, and the musical numbers, fans of the series will truly enjoy the episode. If there were any worries about how season 2 of the show would measure up, they certainly don’t exist now.

HSMTMTS Season 2  is streaming now on Disney+ with new episodes airing Fridays.

 

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 2 Episode 5 - "The Quinceañero"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Ultimately, “The Quinceañero” is one of the best episodes that HSMTMTS has aired so far. With it subverting gender norms, focusing more on Carlos and Gina through separate storylines, and the musical numbers, fans of the series will truly enjoy the episode. If there were any worries about how season 2 of the show would measure up, they certainly don’t exist now.