In this episode of Rise season 1, titled “Bring Me Stanton,” Lou’s vision for the show begin to crumble, and Lilette and Robbie feel the pressure in balancing their commitment to the show with their other responsibilities. Meanwhile, Tracey reaches out to a student in need, Simon makes some poor romantic decisions and Gordy’s attempt to stay sober is threatened by his growing connection to Gwen.

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Lou’s Vision is Brought To Life in an Unexpected Way

As the episode begins, Lou is excited to show off a set model that he and Maashous cooked up together. It’s a perfect replica of the vision that Lou had for the set, but it’s also very clearly not something they have the budget or the resources to create. Lou assures the set designer that he will come up with the money they need, but the set designer says that Lou should’ve come to him weeks ago if he wanted something so elaborate. The set designer and his team don’t have the time they need to create Lou’s dream set.

Lou comes home to complain about not being able to have his dream set, and his wife gives him a pep talk about how resourceful he can be when he puts his mind to it. This pep talk is apparently enough to lead Lou to compromise for possibly the first time in his entire life. He tells the kids that he’s giving up on the idea of a big, fancy set, but he still wants the set to reflect the world of Stanton. To that end, he tells the kids to go out and “salvage” items from around town that have meaning for them. (The kids basically steal these items, but I guess no one cares.)

While most of the kids are satisfied in finding random street signs and other small items, Lilette and Robbie show up with an old jukebox, while Simon and Annabelle bring in a stained glass window that Simon found in his church basement. Gwen, however, has much more lofty plans. Gwen has been acting out since her parents told her about the divorce, but now she’s ready to take things up a notch. She decides to break into the old steel mill to procure the mill’s giant sign to use in the set. Some of the other kids join Gwen in this illegal activity. Alas, they quickly realize that it would be impossible to move said sign, let alone steal it, so they end up just hanging out in the abandoned mill for a while.

Unfortunately, the cops interrupt their fun. Gwen stays behind to distract the cops while the others get away. Luckily for Gwen, the cops who arrive after the break-in are close with her dad, so she ends up getting away with said break-in. When Coach Strickland confronts his daughter about her newfound criminal behavior, Gwen breaks down and blames him for the divorce because of his affair with Lilette’s mom. Coach Strickland apparently decides to reward his daughter’s behavior by stealing the sign himself, with the aide of some buddies. The sign is the perfect addition to the set, and even Lou is pleased by how well it turned out.

Lilette Struggles to Balance Work and the Show

While Lilette’s mother was fired after beating up her sexual harasser/boss, Lilette still has a job at the restaurant because the boss can’t be bothered to find two new replacements. Alas, he’s reorganized Lilette’s schedule so it now interferes with rehearsals for the show. Lilette goes to Tracey and Lou in tears because she can’t make afternoon rehearsals anymore. She explains that her mother lost her job, so she needs to work in order to pay the rent. Since they only have three weeks left for rehearsals, Lilette understands if they need to recast her role. Lou assures her that they won’t recast her role and they’ll figure something out.

Lou’s solution to this problem is to push rehearsals until late at night, something no one is pleased about. During a late-night rehearsal, one of the parents shows up to take her kid home because he has a midterm in the morning. She’s angry that Lou has been keeping the kids late all week. This interruption leads to a huge argument between the kids, and Lou has to end the rehearsal in order to calm things down.

While Lilette is busy taking extra shifts, her mom is meant to be looking for a new job. Lilette even pulls up some job listings for her mom to check out. Alas, when Lilette comes home one night, her mom says she talked to a lawyer and they decided to sue her former boss for sexual harassment. While Lilette’s mom might have a solid case against her boss, the suit will be expensive, and they can barely pay their bills as it is. If her mom moves foward with the suit, Lilette would have to take double shifts, which means she would have to drop out of the show.

In the end, Lilette’s mom swallows her pride and gets a job as a cleaner at the local motel — the same motel Gwen’s father is currently staying in. Will their close proximity lead to a renewal of their relationship? I hope not, as they both have enough family drama to deal with without resuming their romantic involvement.

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Simon Chooses to Ignore His Feelings

Now that Simon is back at Stanton, Jeremy wants to talk to him about their off-stage chemistry. Simon acts like he doesn’t understand what Jeremy is talking about, but Jeremy needs to know if Simon feels what he’s feeling. To that end, Jeremy kisses Simon. Though Simon seems into the kiss, he’s clearly not ready to deal with his possible feelings for his co-star, so he breaks the kiss and rushes off.

Later, Simon decides to ignore his possible feelings for Jeremy by talking to his sort-of girlfriend, Annabelle. Simon tells Annabelle that he thinks things are going well between them and he wants to take their relationship to the next level. And by that, he’s talking about sex. Annabelle agrees, and Simon starts making plans for their big night. However, said plans are almost thrown out the window when Simon and Annabelle join Gwen in her break-in at the steel mill. Simon apparently decides that this would be the perfect place to hook up, but luckily for everyone, the cops arrive before these two engage in anything more than an awkward make-out session.

In Other News

— As the episode begins, Gordy is trying to do the right thing and follow the many rules his parents have set for him. This gets complicated by his budding relationship with Gwen. Like Simon and Annabelle, Gordy joins Gwen during her break-in at the mill. After some heavy conversation and some light flirtation with Gwen, Gordy breaks his sobriety to drink a beer. Thankfully, Gordy is starting to recognize that he has a real problem with alcohol, so he goes to his mother at the end of the episode and tells her that he needs help. I hope Lou and Gail decide to send Gordy to an actual treatment program this time, instead of merely setting some ground rules that he can easily disobey.

— After their recent loss, Coach Strickland is pushing his team hard during practice. When Robbie seems a bit unfocused and calls the wrong play, Coach Strickland benches him and puts another kid in as quarterback. Later, Coach Strickland tells Robbie that he’s starting this other kid in the game on Friday because Robbie’s focus is divided between football and the show. Coach Strickland thinks the team deserves a quarterback who is completely focused on football. Robbie turns to Lou for advice on how to handle this situation, and Lou’s sage wisdom is to call Coach Strickland’s bluff since Robbie is the best player on the team and they need him. Robbie takes Lou’s advice and tells Coach Strickland that he’s sticking with both football and the show. Alas, it seems like Robbie’s bluff falls short because it looks like he’s riding the bench during the big game at the end of the episode.

— Tracey talks to a girl named Sasha, who tells Tracey that she’s pregnant. (This girl is apparently part of the troupe, but I don’t remember seeing her prior to this episode.) According to the law in Pennsylvania, Sasha needs parental consent to see a doctor about her pregnancy because she’s under 18. Sasha is worried about how her dad will react if he finds out, so Tracey goes with her for support when she tells her father about her pregnancy.

What did you think of this episode of Rise season 1? Are you as surprised as I am that Lou finally compromised on something related to the show? Will Lou’s relationship with Gail continue to suffer as he devotes all his time and energy to the show? How will Gwen and Lilette react if they find out Lilette’s mother is working at the motel that Coach Strickland is currently residing in? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section section.

Rise airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC. Want more news? Like BuddyTV’s Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV