DISNEY+ REVIEW: “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” Dives Into Teenage Emotions and Petty Theft in Episode 3

It’s another day at East High as we pick up with Episode 3 of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”. This episode covers all the range of teenage emotions as we deal with the mess of relationships, tension in the cast, and uncovering secrets.

If you need a quick recap, check out our reviews on Episode 1, “The Audition” , and Episode 2, “The Read-Thru”, then get’cha head in the game for episode 3, “The Wonderstudies”.

"High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" Dives Into Teenage Emotions and Petty Theft

With EJ still having Nini’s phone at the start of this episode, we first join him and Ashlyn discussing how EJ found the video Nini posted on Instagram about how much she loved Ricky. Even though this was four months ago, EJ is still upset. While Ashlyn advises him to return the phone to Nini, Ricky calls but EJ lets it go to voicemail. Ricky spills out all of his feelings for Nini in this voicemail, which EJ ends up listening to later on.

The next day, Nini happened to find her phone in the school’s lost and found, but missed hearing about an earlier rehearsal time for Nini and Gina to work on a new choreography for “Stick to the Status Quo” number for Gabriella and Taylor. Because of this, Nini believes that Gina stole her phone in order for Gina to steal the spotlight. This leads Nini to stealing Gina’s shoes later in the rehearsal. After confiding in Kourtney, Nini’s best friend, we find that Kourtney has also started stealing things from Gina as a form of retaliation.

After the guilt of this, Nini decides to return the shoes the next day, she overhears Gina talking to the costume designer about making Gabriella’s outfit pop a bit more since Nini is “bland as an actress”. This leads Nini to stealing Gina’s water bottle as well, instead of returning anything. Meanwhile, EJ is trying to a find a way to apologize to Nini about stealing her phone in a way that is unique to her, and writes a song with Ashlyn’s help called “A Billion Sorrys”.

"High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" Dives Into Teenage Emotions and Petty Theft

The next day, EJ and Ricky are having a rehearsal for Troy and Chad, but Ricky is falling a bit flat with his enthusiasm. In order to boost the energy, Miss Jenn has them work on passing the basketball around while saying positive things about each other. This in turn ends up with Ricky accidentally throwing the ball in EJ’s face and busting his lip. When Ricky goes to apologize later, EJ tells Ricky to stay away from him and Nini and admits to listening to the voicemail.

Nini finally returns all of Gina’s stuff, saying that she wants to move on from any tension between them, but that she won’t be treated poorly just because Gina wants the lead. Gina agrees, accepts the apology, and then tells Nini that she wasn’t the one who stole her phone. As they leave school, Ricky goes to confront Nini about sharing something that that was only meant for her to hear. When Nini is confused, she starts to put it together that it was EJ who stole her phone after all.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mazzara has found a receipt from Miss Jenn in the workplace lounge’s printer that describes how much she has paid for the prop phone that Vanessa Hudgens used in the film, but claims was given to her since they were friends. The revelation also leads to Mr. Mazzara realizing that Miss Jenn has lied her way into getting the job as the drama teacher, and when wanting to tell the students, Mr. Mazzara realizes that the group of misfit students have finally found a place in the musical.

Again, for only being a half hour long, there is a lot of drama packed in these episodes. They really feel a lot longer than the thirty minutes because of how much is happening within such a short time, but viewers don’t feel overwhelmed with all of the action. Although the complicated relationship between Ricky, Nini, and EJ still take the center stage, this episode featured more of Ashlyn and the faculty, Mr. Mazzara and Miss Jenn, allowing us to learn more about them amidst all the other drama. With there only being 10 episodes total in this series, we’re already covering a lot of ground and character development just within three episodes.

Still with us, Wildcats? Check back next week when we see more drama unfold in Episode 4!

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