Title Card - High School Musical The Musical The Series Season 1 Episode 8 “The Tech Rehearsal”

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Everything that could go wrong seems to, and so many characters look towards the past while dealing with an uncertain future.

Directed By Joanna Kerns
Written By Natalia Castells-Esquivel
Aired (Disney+) 12/27/2019
Introduced This Episode
Himself Lucas Grabeel

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Episode Breakdown (Recap)

I’m Not A One Trick Pony: Kourtney, EJ, Carlos

With the damage done by the fire, Carlos ends up saving the day by getting his uncle to allow them to use the El Rey theater. But, in the process of moving everything, the former walking confessional EJ steals Ms. Jenn’s notes on the auditions and learns he didn’t get Troy due to his lack of emotional connection.

After learning that, he takes advantage of the opportunities presented to show he isn’t dead in the face or the male version of an ice queen. Leading to many, especially Carlos, giving him the side-eye. But, as much as EJ draws negative attention, Kourtney draws the kind she didn’t expect.

You see, Kourtney is comfortable and used to working in costumes and makeup. But with her being asked to sing for soundcheck, she learns why Nini is so in love with the stage. Not to paint the idea Kourtney has never sung before, she has in church, but not on a stage like the El Rey has.

The Ghosts of El Rey Pasts: Miss Jenn, Lucas

Lucas Grabeel looking at Miss Jenn.
Lucas Grabeel

There was a time when Miss Jenn had hope, faith, and thought she could become an EGOT. However, with her line cut from “High School Musical,” so began her slow wind downhill. Leading to, in the El Rey, where she learned her part was cut, her accidentally knocking herself out and singing with Lucas, aka Ryan. Someone who helps her understand her role as the teacher to the kids is more important than dreams of stardom. Also, he pushes the idea her time has passed in the nicest way possible.

While Gina’s Away, Rini Will Play: Nini, Ricky

Nini and Ricky, with Gina not around, find themselves reconnecting as they rehearse alone. They talk about how Nini got her name because Ricky couldn’t say Nina and how Ricky got his name because Nini didn’t like his actual name, Richard. And it just snowballs from there, and he talks about destroying her lemonade stand, Barbie dolls, and when she said she loved him, and he did what he did.

This openness, the acknowledgement of their history, singing together, him supporting her dreams of going to the Youth Actors Conservatory, it leads to them almost kissing – until Big Red ruins the moment.

Main Things to Remember (Plot Synopsis)

  1. Nini and Ricky have known each other since kindergarten and both gave each other the names they have gone by for years
  2. Miss Jenn’s one line in “High School Musical” was cut and it has affected her confidence ever since
  3. Ashlyn has begun to flirt back with Big Red
  4. Despite Kourtney not necessarily wanting Nini to go to the Youth Actors Conservatory and leave her behind senior year, she knows Nini isn’t the best at advocating for herself so she calls them up to get her in.
  5. Gina is about to leave town due to her mom’s home office needing her to relocate.



Kourtney Sanging!

Kourtney can blow. On top of that, she does the kind of makeup which makes Seb feel seen and knows how to fit the musical and make people feel cute. So while Kourtney is still criminally underutilized, you have to appreciate the show giving her some spotlight.

Nini and Ricky

Ricky and Nini having a moment and almost kissing.

I’m still very much a Gina x Ricky fan, but there is no denying Nini and Ricky have the kind of history where you can imagine them as end game. Heck, considering they almost kissed, and Gina and Ricky aren’t official, the possibility of that kiss they will share as Gabriella and Troy could seal the deal. Also, depending on how the show wants to play it, it could be when Gina comes back and perhaps sees Ricky is not over his ex and is in love with her.

Kourtney Sanging! - 85%
Nini and Ricky - 86%


Trajectory – Plateau: The show is in a good place, and while there remains this “Will they or won’t they?” when it comes to Nini and Ricky, I think we can all agree that, as long as there is no drama and everyone is happy in the end, we’re cool where the chips may fall.

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