In this episode of Rise, titled “We’ve Got All Our Junk,” Lou discovers that an important element of the show needs a major overhaul. Meanwhile, Robbie and Lilette’s blossoming romance is threatened by outside forces, Simon finds an unexpected ally in his quest to return to Stanton, and Lou once again tries to get through to Gordy.

Rise Recap: Robbie Throws a Party That Results in Romance and Rivalry>>>

Lilette and Robbie Work Things Out

As the episode begins, Robbie and Lilette are both excited about the kiss they shared after Robbie’s party, but their parents are quick to dim their excitement. Robbie’s dad tells him that Lilette’s “family situation” isn’t the best and he is extremely judgemental about the fact that Lilette’s mom had her at such a young age. Robbie’s dad goes on to say that Robbie can’t let anyone bring him down because he needs to focus on his future. Across town, Lilette’s mom also warns her about getting close to Robbie. She wants Lilette to be careful around Robbie and to learn from her mistakes. “Listen, girls like you and me, we don’t live in the same world as guys like him.”

Robbie gets a chance to meet Lilette’s mom, albeit briefly, when he stops by the restaurant to pick up dinner for his family. Lilette and Robbie head outside so they can talk and do a bit of hand-holding. Robbie starts asking questions about Lilette’s mom and what she wanted to be before she got pregnant in high school. Lilette gets the impression that Robbie is judging her mom, which also means he’s judging her, and she won’t have that. Lilette knows that this new judgmental side of Robbie is coming from his dad and she doesn’t think his dad is anyone to judge since he left his sick wife for a younger woman. Lilette storms off before she and Robbie can clear the air.

The off-stage tension between Robbie and Lilette makes things awkward between them on-stage, to the point where Lilette literally pushes Robbie away during a rehearsal of their love scene. Later, Lilette apologizes to Robbie for how she acted during rehearsal, but she thinks they should just be scene partners from here on out. That night, Lilette tells her mom that things aren’t moving forward with Robbie. Lilette says that her mother was right that she and Robbie are from different worlds. She also says that Robbie’s dad thinks she isn’t good enough for him. Lilette’s mom tells her not to let anyone make her feel less than because she’s not.

The next day, Lilette meets up with Robbie outside of school. He apologizes for judging her mother and says he never should’ve listened to his dad. He also tells her that he will keep things professional if that what she wants, but he needs her to know how much he likes her and that his feelings for her aren’t going away anytime soon. Lilette is moved by his apology and his honesty, so she kisses him. This kissing leads to even more kissing during rehearsal, as they now have their on-stage groove back.

After several honest conversations with her daughter about her worth, Lilette’s mom decides to stand up for herself with her boss. After he gropes her yet again, she tells him to keep his hands off her. When he moves toward her, claiming that she loves the attention, she punches him, knees him in a sensitive area and kicks him a few times for good measure. While this will undoubtedly cost her and Lilette their jobs, it’s nice to see Lilette’s mom stand up to the man who has clearly been sexually harassing her for years.

Lou Offends a Colleague … Again

Lou’s latest challenge with the show comes in the form of the school orchestra. It turns out that the orchestra isn’t so great at playing the songs from the show, despite weeks of practice. Maashous pulls Lou aside after their first rehearsal with the orchestra and tells Lou that he might have a solution to their problem. Maashous takes Lou to meet an incredible guitar player whom I believe is named Sundeep. Alas, he doesn’t want to perform in the show because he doesn’t want to be judged by his fellow students for, among other things, wearing a turban. Lou asks him to come to just one rehearsal and see how things go.

Later, Lou barges into orchestra practice and takes over for the orchestra director. He tells the kids to just let loose and go with it, and their performance improves. Lou, of course, is delighted because he thinks he’s solved the problem. However, after school, the orchestra director lays into Lou, telling him how hard it was for him to get the kids to learn some discipline and stick to the notes instead of just doing things their own way. He is upset that Lou undermined him, and he’s considering leaving the show. Lou apologizes by launching into one of his motivational speeches and begging his colleague to stay on because they need him. The man relents because I guess it’s just nice to hear an apology once in a while. (It would be even nicer if Lou stopped doing things he constantly needs to apologize for. At least he went a week without offending Tracey.)

As the episode comes to an end, Lou brings the orchestra in for another try at rehearsing with the cast. Sundeep arrives to play with the orchestra, and suddenly everything seems to come together. Things get even better when Simon joins the kids for rehearsal, as he’s now back at Stanton. (More on that later.)

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Has Lou Finally Gotten Through to His Son?

Early in the episode, Lou and Gail are still waiting up for word on Gordy’s whereabouts. It is now morning, and Gordy still hasn’t come home. Finally, they get a phone call from Coach Strickland’s wife. Apparently, Gwen found Gordy wandering around after the party and brought him back to her house. Coach Strickland and his wife didn’t realize that Gordy was there until the morning. Lou and Gail go to the coach’s house to bring Gordy home, and Gail rips into him for terrifying them by not letting them know where he was. Lou breaks up their argument and takes his family home.

The next day, Lou talks to Coach Strickland about Gordy. He wants to know what Strickland’s plan is for Gordy because it’s clearly not working. Strickland says that Gordy is a good kid who just screwed up like kids do. Lou opens up about his father’s drinking problem, and Strickland asks if Gordy is aware of his grandfather’s illness. He’s not. Strickland tells Lou to let Gordy know that his grandfather struggled with this too because it might help him to know that his drinking problem didn’t come out of nowhere.

Later on, Lou and Gail try to “lay down the law” with Gordy. They make up a rule that he must text him when he goes anywhere or does anything. They also bought a breathalyzer to check if he’s been drinking. If he fails the test even once, they’ll have to get “tougher” and send him to a program. Gordy claims that he understands their rules and promises he won’t drink again.

In a rare moment of solid decision-making, Lou decides to be honest with Gordy about his father’s alcoholism. Lou tells Gordy that he thinks he should consider getting real help, i.e. going into a treatment program. Lou also lets Gordy know that he is there for him, as is the rest of their family. I’m sure Gordy will continue to struggle with his drinking, but this is the first time it seems like he really understands that his drinking is hurting the people he loves, so I hope that helps him at least begin to acknowledge that he has a serious problem.

In Other News

— Gwen’s parents decide that their therapist’s office is the best place to drop the bombshell that they are getting a divorce. I guess it’s supposed to be a safe place for Gwen, but given her lack of a relationship with their therapist, they probably should’ve just told her at home. Throughout the episode, Gwen tries to convince her parents to stay together, but Coach Strickland tells her that their marriage was over a long time ago. Later in the episode, we see a heartbroken Gwen watch her dad pack up his things to move out.

— Early in the episode, Simon has his first day at his new school. He lies to his parents that everything was fine, but when he tries that same lie with Lilette, she calls him out on it. Lilette tells Simon not to pretend to be happy just to please his dad. Simon takes Lilette’s advice and tells his parents that he wants to go back to Stanton. Simon’s dad refuses to budge, as the decision has already been made, but Simon’s mom stands up for him. She wants to know why his dad has such a big problem with Spring Awakening. Simon’s father doesn’t answer her question, but he tells Simon to go back to Stanton if that’s what he wants. If Simon’s dad has such a problem with Simon playing a gay character, how will he react if Simon comes out?

— Despite their date going well, Tracey is avoiding Andy at school. At one point, Lou catches her spying on Andy, and Tracey claims that she can’t get involved with a co-worker because it would be unprofessional. However, it’s not long before Tracey speaks to Andy privately. She wants to know if his comment about her being “luminous” was just a line he uses to impress women, but Andy says that he’s never called anyone else “luminous.” Tracey then kisses him and runs off, so I’m not sure where they stand.

— As expected, Gordy and Gwen are slowly growing closer. At one point, Gordy overhears Gwen and Coach Strickland discussing the divorce, and Gwen asks Gordy not to say anything about it. Later, Gordy spots an upset Gwen sitting alone on a bench and leaves his sisters to their ice cream while he goes to keep Gwen company.

What did you think of this episode of Rise season 1? Can Lou go one week without offending someone? Will Robbie and Lilette move forward with their romance or will something else happen to keep them apart? How will Lou and Coach Strickland react once they learn that their children are spending time together? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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