In the fourth episode of Rise season 1, titled “Victory Party,” two worlds collide when Robbie’s football teammates face off against the drama kids during Robbie’s party. Meanwhile, Tracey explores a potential new romance, and Gordy causes problems when he runs off during a family road trip to visit Gail’s sister.

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Robbie Invites Lilette to a Party

As the episode begins, Robbie is preparing for the big game. His dad is putting pressure on him to perform because scouts will be there, but Robbie’s still only a sophomore, so he doesn’t take his dad’s concerns too seriously. At school, Robbie invites Lilette to a victory party he’s having at his house after the game. Robbie says she can bring someone, and Lilette decides to bring Simon because Simon can give her a ride.

When Lilette tells Simon about the party invite, he asks her if it’s a date. Lilette isn’t sure, so Simon decides to play the protective best friend. He confronts Robbie about the party and how Robbie’s been treating Lilette. Simon threatens to “kill” Robbie if he hurts Lilette, and Robbie is nice enough not to laugh at Simon’s “threat.” However, Robbie does listen to Simon’s concerns, so he breaks things off with the cheerleader he’s been seeing. He also asks Lilette to come to the party alone, presumably so she’ll know it’s a date.

Sadly, Robbie does not perform well in the game and the team ends up losing. (I’m not sure that the loss is entirely Robbie’s fault, but I like the way he takes responsibility for it.) Later, Robbie gives a speech to his teammates to get them excited for their next game so the kids are in a good mood as the party gets underway. Alas, when Simon mentions the party to the girl he’s kind of dating, she misinterprets what he’s saying and all of the theatre kids end up going to Robbie’s party. Some of them even bring their instruments because I guess they’ve never been to a non-theatre department party before.

Robbie and Lilette Grow Closer

When Lilette arrives at the party, she apologizes for accidentally inviting the whole troupe, but Robbie says he’s just happy she’s there. Robbie’s dad observes their interaction, and he pulls Lilette aside to tell her that Robbie could have a great future if he just stays focused on football. Robbie’s dad claims that a good friend wouldn’t distract Robbie from his purpose. (Aside from Tracey, most of the adults on this show are awful.)

Later, the theatre kids end up having a little sing-along during the party, and the football players are not amused. Robbie and his dad try to smooth things over, but everything comes to a head when some of the football players start giving Michael a hard time about being transgender. They end up saying some very transphobic things, and their fight starts to turn physical before Robbie intervenes. He stands up for Michael, and his teammates get angry with him for picking a side. Robbie decides to end the party and send everyone home. While Robbie storms off, his dad attempts to arrange a ride for everyone so none of the kids drive home drunk. (Robbie’s dad is a jerk, but given how self-involved the adults on this show tend to be, I’m somewhat impressed that he makes an effort to get everyone a safe ride home.)

As everyone is leaving, Lilette goes to speak to Robbie privately. She says she was impressed by how he stood up for Michael. Instead of thanking her, Robbie lashes out at her. He tells her that she has no idea what it cost him to stand up for Michael. Lilette leaves, leaving Robbie to brood on his own.

Later, Robbie pays Lilette a visit at home to apologize for his behavior. He tells her that in the last 48 hours, the only good thing that happened to him was her. (It’s not bad as far as pick-up lines go.) They end up sharing their very first kiss, and Lilette heads inside with a big smile on her face. The Robbie/Lilette romance is one of the few storylines the show has done well so far this season, and I hope that continues.

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A New Romance Blooms

Early in the episode, Lou once again ignores the advice of everyone around him when he tries to push for more lighting during rehearsal. Both Maashous and Tracey warn Lou that their lighting board cannot handle his lighting request, but Lou pushes forward and they lose the lights all together thanks to a blow-out. One of the teachers, Andy Kranepool, comes to assist with the board. He ends up awkwardly flirting with Tracey before she heads off to teach a class.

Once Tracey departs, Andy admits to Lou that he’s interested in Tracey, and Lou suggests that he ask Tracey out for coffee because she’s “very single.” (Lou has decided to play matchmaker here because he’s annoyed by Tracey’s constant text messages. Lou apparently finds it inconvenient that Tracey has ideas to help them actually make the show work on their limited budget.)

Later that day, Andy asks Tracey out, but she says they should keep things professional. However, when Andy brings in his brother to fix the lighting board, Tracey decides to take a chance on Andy, and they arrange a date for that very night.

At dinner, Andy lets it slip that Lou encouraged him to ask Tracey out, and Tracey is pissed. She calls Lou to yell at him for interfering in her life (rightly so), but Lou has his own problems to deal with, so he hangs up on her.

Andy comes to check on Tracey, and she winds up opening up to him about how frustrating it is that she’s dedicated her life to her work and all she has to show for it is a reputation of being too “intense.” Tracey is about done with this “pity date,” but Andy ends up turning things around when he genuinely compliments her and lets her know how excited he is to be out with her. (I was on the fence about Andy until he acknowledges the impact Tracey has on her students’ lives and then calls her “luminous.” I am now fully on board with this new romance.)

After dinner, Andy walks Tracey to her door and, despite Tracey’s hesitations about this new romance, they end up sharing a sweet kiss. (If the show turns Andy into a jerk somewhere down the line, I am going to be very disappointed. Tracey is the best part of this show, and she deserves only good things.)

Gordy Acts Out Again

Early in the episode, we learn that Lou and Gail are heading to Pittsburgh to visit Gail’s sister. They decide to bring Gordy with them because they don’t trust him to stay home alone. Once they arrive at their destination, we learn that the family is supposed to go to a play together that night, but Gordy asks Lou if he can stay behind and hang out with his cousin. Of course, when the family returns home after the play, Lou and Gail learn that Gordy left with some of his friends. Gail and Lou head out in search of Gordy, worried that he’ll get in trouble with his drinking again.

Lou and Gail end up tracking Gordy all the way back home, as he decided to attend Robbie’s party with the rest of the football team. When Lou confronts Gordy about lying so he could sneak off, their argument actually turns physical as Lou tries to drag Gordy into the car. Gail ends up diffusing the situation by letting Gordy head back into the party, while she and Lou head home.

Lou and Gail end up staying up all night waiting for Gordy to come home. The episode ends with Gordy still MIA, so I hope he simply went to a friend’s house rather than going off somewhere drunk. If Robbie’s father really did take his chaperoning seriously, he likely made sure Gordy left with a sober companion.

In Other News

— After Simon and his sort-of girlfriend get too drunk at the party, Jeremy gives them a ride home. When Jeremy drops Simon off, he says that Simon is such a great actor that there were times when they were rehearsing that the scenes felt real. Jeremy says he’s going to miss Simon, and Simon echoes that sentiment before getting out of the car. Once Simon heads inside, he ends up getting sick in the bathroom, but that’s likely more from the alcohol than from his conversation with Jeremy. Given that Simon is drunk, do you think he realizes that Jeremy is trying to let him know that he has feelings for him? Will Simon figure out his own feelings before things get even more complicated with the girl he is possibly dating?

— Simon’s parents are still planning to send him to another school, but Simon’s mother has noticed how that decision is hurting Simon. She tells Simon’s dad that they need to revisit their decision, but Simon’s dad is firm in his choice to send Simon to another school.

What did you think of this episode of Rise season 1? Where do you think Gordy went after the party? Why didn’t Lou and Gail take Maashous along on their family road trip? Did Maashous make it home after the party or was he also MIA? Should Tracey give Andy a chance? Were you happy that Robbie and Lilette finally kissed? 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