Over the course of Rise’s freshman season, Coach Strickland has been trying to put an end to the theater troupe’s performance of Spring Awakening. In “The Petition,” the entire town has jumped on the bandwagon to help shut down the performance, making the outcome for the theater department look grim.
After benching Robbie because he was becoming more involved in the musical than in football, the team has started to suffer. Lou hears the radio blasting Coach Strickland and citing Robbie’s participation in the play as the reason for the team potentially not making it to the playoffs.
To not look like the bad guy, Lou gives Robbie the week off nine days before opening night to get his head right and figure out what he wants. At the same time, Coach Strickland gives Robbie 48 hours to prove that he still cares about the team.
With all the pressure on Robbie, he stays late for practice running drills. It is actually dark and stormy Gordy who helps him. They share a special moment running the drills that make you realize there is more to Gordy. His potential as a strong character is there and the writers are slowly allowing the audience to see it.
In the beginning, he was Lou’s troubled alcoholic son. Then he became the sober kid falling for Gwen. Now that Gwen has dumped him, he’s finally starting to become Gordy, the kid people take chances on.
After seeing his work ethic, Coach Strickland allows Robbie to start in the big game that would send the team to the playoffs. But when everything is on the line and he’s down a player, Strickland looks to Gordy instead, who hasn’t played once this season. Whether it was the connection the two made while practicing late at night or the fact that the two finally got a chance to shine, Robbie is able to get a last-minute touchdown to get Stanton into the playoffs.
It was a moment to prove that Robbie can do both the musical and football and that Gordy is more than meets the eye. While Robbie and Gordy had a huge episode, others did not.
After a raunchy video was created showing the sexual side of Spring Awakening, people in the community began to take notice. While ticket sales spiked, the approval of the community did not. With his job on the line, the principal tells the troupe it must be taken down and something needs to be done.
After thinking the video was the only thing to worry about, Lou learns from the head of the PTA that there is a petition going around to shut down the production. She tells him they are going against him and that there was no way the show will go on.
One person who signs the petition is Simon’s dad. However, not only did he sign it but he signed his wife’s name too without her knowledge. Because she supports Simon and has shown she will do anything to protect him, she confronts her husband.
Simon’s mom tells his dad that by signing the petition, she won’t hide who their son is. She gets deep and says that because their marriage is no longer intimate or even real, that’s why he’s scared of the play. He hits back telling her he will not stop fighting for their family, meaning that he will do what it takes to end this performance.
The last person to put the final nail in Spring Awakening’s coffin is once again the principal. He becomes shady and tells Tracey to fix the entire show so it’s school appropriate since his job is now on the line.
It’s sad to see adults not focusing on what the children want, but what they find is best for them. It has been an uphill battle for Lou this entire season and honestly, it looks like he’s barely made it.