Rise, NBC’s new series about a high school drama department working on the production of the musical, Spring Awakening, has already given viewers a lot of storylines to chew on. Now, the show will take on even more in its upcoming third episode, titled “What Flowers May Bloom.”
Spoilers Guide posted the synopsis for the third Rise episode. The new episode will feature drama director Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor) describing his vision for his controversial high school show’s staging and design, while his much more-qualified assistant, Tracey (Rosie Perez), questions his decisions. In addition, fifth lead Simon Saunders (Ted Sutherland) delivers “bombshell news that forces Lou to ask himself whether picking this controversial show was worth the cost.” Rise fans may recall Simon’s devoutly Catholic parents do not approve of him playing Hanschen in Spring Awakening, a gay character who must kiss a boy in one scene.
The synopsis for “What Flowers May Bloom” also reveals that football Coach Strickland (Joe Tippett) will begin work to help rehabilitate Lou’s son, Gordy (Casey W. Johnson). But Coach also appears to have some scenes with Lilette’s (Auli’i Cravalho) mother, Vanessa (Shirley Rumierk). Lilette will also deal with her feelings for Stanton High School quarterback Robbie (Damon J. Gillespie), who has been cast opposite her in the production of Spring Awakening.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Damon J. Gillespie said his character is caught between two worlds as he tries to balance football with the school’s controversial theater project.
“He’s doing his best to do both,” the Rise star said. “He doesn’t want to let his team down, but he also doesn’t want to let the troop down. He’s trying his best not to piss everyone off.”
Rise has already been compared to a mashup of Glee and creator Jason Katims’ earlier TV project, Friday Night Lights. But the show has less singing than Glee, and when music is used, it is in the context of the show-within-a-show, Spring Awakening.
To get ready for the next Rise episode, “What Flowers May Bloom,” fans can check out some of the music that will be featured in the episode ahead of time. Atlantic Records has dropped an exclusive rendition of “Left Behind” by the Rise cast. The track is available via all DSPs and streaming services. Every Friday, Atlantic Records releases original cast recordings of the songs that will be featured in the following Tuesday’s episode of Rise.
You can see the promo for the Rise episode “What Flowers May Bloom” below.
Rise airs Tuesday, March 27 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.