Rise 1×9 Totally Hosed

Compromise is essential in life, but often times we can find ourselves compromising bits and pieces of ourselves until we have nothing left.  This week’s episode of Rise had this thread engrained into the storyline.

Tracey’s trouble

Last week, Principle Ward asked Tracey to help him reel the show back in.  Tracey was at first reluctant, but then she was offered the chance to be the drama teacher again if she succeeded in changing the show.

tracey and Ward

Photo Source: NBC.com

At the beginning of this episode, she approaches Principle Ward and says she is up for the task and will get Lou on board with her.  Right before she leaves she mentions that they can talk about the “other part” of the deal after the show is over.

Tracey tells Lou the news and he loses it, but he falls in line after barging into Principle Ward’s office. He comes to a realization that he needs to compromise in order for the show to go on.  They run through the play and clean it up (much to the protest of the cast) so that they can have the stamp of approval from Principle Ward, which will be on the day before the show opens (Thursday).

Thursday arrives, and they are running through the play.  Every scene is scrutinized and in the end, Principle Ward is extremely happy and relieved.  He has one last request and then on his way out he thanks Tracey and touches her elbow.  Lou catches it and after Ward leaves, he questions her motives.  Her compromise is out in the open.  She shifts blame and points out how she has supported him throughout, but she did take the bait that Ward offered her.

Lou, in turn, has compromised his creative license. I understand the struggle of having to give up a battle to win the war, but at some point when you continue to give in, you are left losing the battle, much as Lou is finding himself at a loss by the end of the episode.

Simon’s Struggle

Simon’s storyline continues to deepen.  Last week his family was a mess when his mom confronted his father regarding their failing marriage.  There were even hints that his dad might struggle with his sexuality as Simon does.

The first scene with Simon in this week’s episode, Simon’s family is a picturesque view of an American breakfast. French toast, the father playing with Simon’s sister at the table and the mom cheerfully greeting Simon as he enters.  Simon is bewildered.

The special needs sister feels somethings up and later runs to Simon crying, asking if the parents are going to get a divorce. Simon, being the caring older brother, comforts her by saying that he would never let that happen (caution: using the word never in life will often time result in situations that test your resolve).

Simon and Dad

Photo Source: NBC.com

He finds his dad praying in his office, so he asks him if they are getting a divorce.  The father reassures him that the one thing he cares about most is his family and that he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the family priority number one, but also hints that he has had struggles in the past.

The show is slowly morphing into a PG-13 version, and Simon blows up.  He believes in the show, and to watch the compromises that Lou is taking sends him to a tipping point.  His family is self-destructing. The show is a mess. He storms off the stage due to the inner turmoil.

After the blow-up, Jeremy seeks him out. Simon shares that since the show has begun, it’s opened him up to his sexual struggles.  At the same time, he loves his family and is committed to them. He is in the classic “rock and hard place” dilemma. Which way will he go? Does he compromise his desire to be a family for his true self, or does he compromise his true self to keep the family together?

Robbie and Lillette

Lillette starts the episode off calling her mom to find out where she has been.  She leaves her house and the property manager arrives to collect rent since it’s already late.  Lillette tells him that her mom is out of town, but it will be paid soon.  Robbie comes up and tells the manager to back up.

Robbie then goes into the classic savior role.  He offers to pay her rent or let her stay with his family.  Lillette continually refuses the assistance but gives no indication as to why.  She is firm about her decision and resolves to solve this herself, but we are left wondering why? If I were in that situation, my pride would not allow me to accept the help either.

Robbie doesn’t leave it alone and continues to push.  Lillette tells him that she has seen her mom go from relationship to relationship, where she NEEDS the man in her life.   Lillette is working hard to break that cycle and she never wants to NEED a man, but wants to WANT a man.

But as any good story goes, the hero cannot stay a hero.  Robbie’s mom is in the hospital and we find out it’s a terminal diagnosis.  Robbie is trying to stay strong for his mom but unexpectantly shows up at Lillette’s house.  He tells her that he understands that she wants to want him, but that he NEEDS her.


Photo Source: NBC.com

Having gone through various relationships, I understand where Lillette is coming from.  Being needed is hard and can lead to deep codependency, but there are times when we are going through hell that we NEED people to be around us.

Lillette’s struggle to not compromise is actually hurting her, so we see that compromise can be a good thing and by not compromising, you actually hurt yourself in the end.

Wrapping it up

Unlike last week, which felt like an in-between episode, I really enjoyed this week.  There were some nice twists by Robbie “needing” Lillette and the dilemma that Simon is believable and something that I’ve personally dealt with.

Consequences are good to a point and I think this episode did a great job of highlighting the good, bad and ugly of how they can play out.

The show in the show is still in shambles, but next week we finally see the season finale and are left wondering, if the show will be good.  How will they resolve to meet the demands of the PTA police but still get the message across to the audience? Stay tuned and we will see.