Title Card - High School Musical The Musical The Series Season 1 Episode 9 “Opening Night”

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It’s Act One of “High School Musical,” and while there are stumbles, it was all going good – until unexpected guests show up.

Directed By Kabir Akhtar
Written By Oliver Goldstick
Aired (Disney+) 1/3/2020
Introduced This Episode
Dana Michelle Noh
Kalyani Patel Deepti Gupta

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Episode Recap

Quit Playing Games With My Heart: Ricky, Nini

Both Nini and Ricky recognize they almost kissed and what that means. However, while Ricky writes a song to Nini, and Nini gets a dog tag for Ricky, nothing happens between them. Ricky downplays what happened, thus throwing Nini off, and leaves her once again confused about how Ricky feels. Yet, not at the point, where she decides she is through with him.

It Was All Good: Kourtney, Ricky, Nini, Miss Jenn, Mr. Mazzara, Big Red, Ashlyn, Mike, Lynne

At first, things were a little bit shaky. Not because of the Nini and Ricky situation, but because Big Red still didn’t know how to work the boards, that he was doing to Ashlyn, in his own way, what Ricky has done to Nini, and then there was Miss Jenn seeing Mike with Lynne. This combination throws some off, but not enough for it to be an issue.

Hence why the first act does rather well, including Kourtney handling Gina’s part of Taylor until “Keep To The Status Quo.”

Until It Wasn’t: Gina, EJ, Ricky, Nini, Kourtney, Kalyani Patel, Lynne

Gina smiling while talking to Ricky.

However, then Gina shows up with cupcakes, noting a friend bought her a plane ticket. Which we are left to assume was EJ since he is on his phone for most of the episode, and he seems devious enough to get Gina back for nefarious reasons. What reasons did you say? Well, for one, being that Gina and Ricky connected, those two having a proper goodbye in front of everyone, maybe even a kiss, could make it where Nini sees Ricky moved on.

Also, there is the possibility he wanted the production to be perfect, so he brought Gina back – but that is a bit too nice of the often selfish Ricky. However, while Gina doesn’t get her wish to be Gabriella, EJ does get his to be Troy. You see, due to Lynne deciding to bring her Chicago boyfriend, Ricky gets upset to the point of not wanting to do act two. Not because he wants to be a brat, but more so, seeing his mom with someone else throws him off so much that he finds it hard to continue.

This, as you can imagine, is all EJ could want, for this means he can prove he should have been the lead and might get a chance to kiss Nini one last time. However, with Kourtney inviting the Youth Actors Conservatory Dean: Kalyani Patel, there is a good chance Gina may need to step in. At least if Nini gets stage fright.

Plot Synopsis (The Too Long, Didn’t Read Recap)

  1. Ricky, once again, seems unable to express his feelings, leaving Nini confused, and with Gina’s return, if for just for the show, it might complicate things further.
    1. Also, it is likely EJ got Gina the flight to make sure he could kiss Nini one last time.
  2. Despite how much Mr. Mazzara doesn’t support the arts, he has come to an understanding with Miss Jenn and helps during the musical.
  3. On top of Lynne, Ricky’s mom, bringing her new boyfriend, Kourtney invited the deal of the Youth Actors Conservatory, Kalyani Patel, which leads to Nini and Ricky freaking out. Also, in terms of Miss Jenn, seeing Lynne with Mike throws her off a bit too.
  4. Briefly, we see Nini’s mom Dana.

Comment Down Below

  1. Are Nini’s moms still together, or is her other mom just working?
  2. What did Gina’s mom think about someone paying hundreds of dollars to fly out her daughter?

Review/ Commentary


Gina’s Return

I really hope this show isn’t doing what “Andi Mack” did and presenting a fake-out in which we think Sofia Wylie was leaving the show but ends up sticking around. That’s mad disrespectful. Plus, as much as I can get behind Nini and Ricky, Gina and Ricky just have something more to it. I’d say it is the difference between childhood sweethearts and high school sweethearts. Both are innocent, in their own way, but because Ricky entered their lives at different times, the connection and chemistry is notably different.

On The Fence

Can Big Red and Ashlyn Not Become Like Nini and Ricky?

Ashlyn downplaying her feelings.
Ashlyn: I don’t need some great romance to be complete or whatever.

Yes, Ashlyn did give us a “I don’t need no man” speech, but I’d still love for her and Big Red to become something. Mainly to just step out of the shadow. For with Big Red making it sound like he lives vicariously through Ricky and Ashlyn is neglected and passed over in her family, especially if EJ is around, them having each other would melt my heart.

EJ Is Such A Butthead – Yet I Respect His Long Game

By no means do I support EJ if he did likely use his or his parents’ credit card to get Gina a flight from the east coast, yet there is a part of me that respects his determination. Granted, I want it all to backfire on him, but while this show doesn’t have villains, EJ is undisputedly selfish and him continuing to exhibit that is a nice contrast to everyone else who, at worse, are indecisive.


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Gina’s Return - 85%
Can Big Red and Ashlyn Not Become Like Nini and Ricky? - 75%
EJ Is Such A Butthead – Yet I Respect His Long Game - 76%


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