STAR 3×09 Review: “Zion”

STAR’s inaugural festival for Rhythm & Bells will forever be cemented thanks to a larger-than-life breakthrough solo act … and a birth. After all the drama that built up through STAR’s third season, this festival was the moment we had all been waiting for. Take 3 had their shining goodbye performance and Carlotta earned her notoriety to shove it in both Maurice’s and Mateo’s faces. We as fans and viewers can now happily move forward with these characters into the next stages of their lives and careers. Though this was the mid-season finale, after all, some damage still had to be done.

Before even heading to the stage, Lil Dini showed once again why he is the worst character ever. He isn’t a love-to-hate villain–he’s just annoying all around. The drama surrounding the beat for “There For You” came off too much as a convenient plot device. Star and Maurice created the track nearly a year ago, but the copyright notice became an issue now all of a sudden? Did the person who supposedly created it not hear the song when it blew up on the charts? And the tune was still as popular as ever, so it wasn’t an old track. The believability seemed totally off.

With that song sidelined, Star still had plenty of hits to choose from for her performance. What seemed strange was her aversion to performing her new track with Noah Brooks on stage. Both artists needed a smash hit and they knew this track would be fire. They even worked on it with Jax to perfect it. So, why did it become a problem to perform it at all?

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Noah approved, Jax approved, Carlotta approved, and everyone at Gravity Records liked it. Star made it seem like it was to make sure that Jax wouldn’t be mad that she performed with her ex, but Jax didn’t mind at all. This tension was blown way out of proportion for no reason and used only for unnecessary drama. I think this subplot was included only to transition into the baby daddy drama that would ultimately tear this love triangle apart. Without the twist, Star wouldn’t have dwelled on performing her next hit song.

Now, let’s get into the big twist of “Zion,” where Noah was revealed to be the father of Star’s baby instead of Jax. Look, this twist was built up to be a shocking revelation, but it wasn’t shocking or surprising in the least. Everyone suspected (and the shippers begged) that the entire pregnancy storyline would turn into a psych-out where the father would be Noah instead of Jax. Plus, the trailer for STAR’s mid-season finale promoted a shocking baby daddy revelation. Come on, you had to put two-and-two together before she went into labor.

The twist would’ve been more shocking had Jax turned out to be the father. Suspicions held firmly in Noah’s camp, even after Star said it was Jax previously, but keeping it the same would’ve thrown us all off. Noah and Star made a great romantic pair, as did Star and Jax. On the romance front, Star’s love life is still moving along quite nicely. However, this soapy twist was too predictable and cliché.

Jax leaving wasn’t too surprising based on the development of his relationship with Star. The pair never had a secure romance that kept the momentum going for a long period of time. Star had one foot in, one foot out since Jax tried to make a relationship work and you could tell that Star didn’t want to marry Jax. She loved the idea of him and the future they could’ve had together, but finding out that he wasn’t the father was the last straw for him.

Wilford Harewood/FOX

Alex finally had her shining moment on stage. She killed it with her performance of “Shotgun” and her new blonde hair looked fabulous. She’s living the life as a solo act, while also having her reaffirmed relationship with Derek. Though, the discovery of her unreleased album answered so many questions that were brought up since the series premiere of STAR.


For instance, why she fought so hard to not work with her father, and why she was so determined to get her style on her album. Alex had her shot at such a young age and her father nearly destroyed her career. He’s a terrible person and, luckily, he stayed away to let Alex rise up from the ashes to dominate. No wonder she had a fear of failure and not succeeding.

One of the most powerful scenes of “Zion” was when Ruby got her revenge on her rapist. Throughout STAR’s season three, Ruby cowered in fear of her attacker potentially coming back to finish the job, and she had a slow journey to feel comfortable once again. Poisoning her attacker served as her moment of courage in taking back her power, even though it might come back to haunt her. Also, the moment she killed him and began singing “Silent Night” had an undercurrent of creepiness. Ruby looked so empty and hollow over what she had done, but she felt powerful in her victory.

Cassie also took back her power from Xander by stealing the flash drive. We have to give the character credit for not resorting to killing Xander when she sneaked into his home. That move was a big turning point for her; the old Cassie would’ve finished the job as revenge. But, Cotton might not forgive her for getting her son kidnapped as retaliation. Xander won’t kill a child, but he’ll raise the stakes if he doesn’t get what he wants.

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