Everyone is beginning to lose their way on Rise. In “Bring Me Stanton,” everyone within the Stanton High troupe is being put to the test. For Robbie, it’s his battle between football and the performance. You can also throw balancing his relationship with Lilette in there as well. After a not-too-great practice following his losing football game track record, Coach Strickland benches him.
It’s beginning to become the same storyline with Robbie. He wants to do what he loves but someone is always in his way trying to make him choose one path. In life, we all have multiple paths to follow. Why do TV characters only get one?
Coach Strickland is forcing Robbie to choose. Before him, it’s been his father and some of his friends. Thankfully, Robbie has Lou is his corner. When Coach Strickland, once again, forces Robbie to choose between football and the theater troupe, Lou tells Robbie to call the bluff.
Like the real world, ultimatums are typically just bluffs. Lou points out that Coach Strickland needs Robbie just as much as Robbie needs the football team. Thankfully for Robbie, that’s true. With a little help from Gwen, she was able to show her father that the theater actually means something to these kids.
Instead of staying strong with regards to his threats, Coach Strickland actually extends an olive branch to not just Robbie, but to the entire troupe. With Lou’s crazy set ideas, they were going to fall short in design. But after the kids, led by Gwen, broke into an old steel mill her dad worked at to get authentic set pieces, he sees the light and puts forth an effort to make sure the play is as grand as Lou’s vision.
But while everyone else is coming together for the good of the performance, Lilette is having to shoulder all the adult responsibilities in her household. Her boss at the diner is punishing her after her mother assaulted him, for good reason. Instead of allowing Lilette to work after practice, he is scheduling her during practice, which leads to her almost quitting the performance.
It doesn’t help that Lilette’s mother isn’t thinking rationally and getting another job. She tells Lilette that she wants to sue their boss, putting the poor high school sophomore between a rock and a hard place.
In the last episode, I praised Lilette’s mother for being strong for her daughter. But in “Bring Me Staton,” she was anything but. She just kept making excuses for herself, which is something we typically do, and doesn’t put in the effort to relieve the stress she has put on her daughter.
For the sake of Lilette’s character arc, I hope her mother’s actions don’t come back and tarnish her drive and determination because Lilette is the driving force of this show, both in Stanton High drama and Rise in general.