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  • Writer's pictureNicole Grace

HSMTMTS Season 3: Episodes 5&6 Reactions!

SO MUCH has happened recently in Season 3 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series! With the penultimate episode out in the world and the finale rapidly advancing, let’s break down all the excitement and drama from HSMTMTS Season 3 Episode 5: The Real Campers of Shallow Lake and Episode 6: Color War (light spoilers ahead).

(cover photo for this post from @DisneyBrandTVPR on Twitter)

You can catch up on my thoughts on the third and fourth episodes of Season 3 here.

You can catch up on my thoughts on the first and second episodes of Season 3 here.

If you haven’t seen Season 1, here are some reasons to watch.

If you haven’t seen Season 2, here are some reasons to watch.


  • A Little Bit of You (E5)-I only listened to the Frozen Broadway cast recording recently, and I think this song is an excellent addition to the stage version. It makes clear what may not be obvious to viewers of the Frozen film: Olaf the snowman is more than a comic relief sidekick; he is a symbol representing Elsa and Anna’s relationship. The young actresses performing A Little Bit of You this episode did a wonderful job.

  • What Do You Know About Love (E5)-If you’re in HSMTMTS social media circles AT ALL, you’ve seen Rina shippers reacting to Ricky and Gina (playing Kristoff and Anna respectively) performing this number from the Frozen Broadway soundtrack. The performance was executed with…chemistry…to say the least. However, my anti-Rina argument is that Gina is a character who throws herself into everything that she attempts, and she has a part to play. Before Gina and Ricky ran this number, they were prepped for the camera with the backstory that they are exes with lingering chemistry. Knowing the way Gina strives to excel at everything she does, I interpreted her performance as her playing her role, as Anna and as a prospective documentary subject, to the best of her ability, and using her real-life frustrations with EJ as a motivator.

  • Right Place (E5)-This song was so sweet, and I’m sure it will become more poignant upon rewatching with more knowledge of the childhood pains Jet and Maddox are still reeling from.

  • Different Way to Dance (E6)-AMAZING. NO NOTES. Corbin Bleu must have had so much fun being on the show.

  • It’s On (E6)-I loved this number, it was so fun. Everyone killed it.


  • Ricky-I’ve been preaching my “Let Ricky Bowen be single message” for a while. Alas…Ricky admitted to having feelings for Gina. He was finally breaking free (see what I did there?) of his angst from the past two seasons, and what does he do? He starts pining for a girl who has a boyfriend. Sigh. I love his friendship with Jet, though.

  • Gina-Sofia, the actress who portrays Gina, is definitely a star. No matter what, I am always on Gina’s side. I want her to be HAPPY!

  • EJ-EJ is still stressed, unfortunately. If you ask me, the way that he’s under immense pressure about his future, to the point where he’s neglecting his girlfriend that he adores, feels SO MUCH like Troy and Gabriella in High School Musical 2.

  • Kourtney-Kourtney is still struggling with her anxiety, and it looks like she is closer to confiding in and seeking support from her friends.

  • Ashlyn-Ashlyn is officially experiencing what one would call a gay awakening. I don’t understand why she is written to have a crush on Val, when she clearly has an incredible amount of chemistry with Maddox.

What’s happened?

  • Gina found out about EJ’s father’s desire to ship him off to St. Louis before he got the chance to tell her himself, and she’s pissed.

  • After Corbin and his camera man confessed that the campers of Shallow Lake may not be exciting enough for reality TV, the Wildcats are determined to step up their game with manufactured drama. I found their preparation and subsequent performances for the cameras to be HILARIOUS.

  • Looooooooooots of heavy-handed content for the Rina shippers.

  • Everyone found out Maddox and Jet’s big secret: they are siblings on barely-speaking terms. They air (what I suppose is a fraction of) their dirty laundry in front of everyone, as soon as Corbin and his cameras leave.

  • The campers of Shallow Lake participate in a day-long sports competition called the “Color War.” Jet and Maddox are both on the Yellow team, with Maddox captaining. Ricky gives Jet the advice to take the Color War as seriously as possible as a way to show Maddox how serious he is about reconciling with her. Ricky, of course, feels qualified to give this advice after he successfully won Nini back after he started participating in something she loves: theatre. I really love how Ricky’s advice and Jet’s implementation of it feels different than the standard “like what she likes” sitcom trope. For Ricky and Jet, it’s not about changing themselves to be what someone else wants; it’s about respecting what a person is passionate about to show their respect for them.

  • EJ is missing for most of the Color War, because, surprise, Miss Jenn made an appearance! EJ was still overwhelmed by his directing responsibilities, so he called Miss Jenn for some emergency mentorship. Their meeting was fun and cute.

  • A forthcoming “camp prom” was mentioned. Gina sets up a thoughtful, cutesy promposal for EJ, which he declines, saying that it’s against camp tradition to have dates for the dance. Something seemed a bit off when he was explaining that, though.

What comes next?

  • I feel for both Maddox and Jet, and hope they can take more steps towards reconciliation.

  • Camp prom! I’ve seen the teaser for the next episode, and it looks like there will be some exciting guests!

  • Episode 6 ends with Ricky declaring, “You just gave me a big idea…” Richard…WHAT IS YOUR IDEA?!

Now, I'm off to watch today's new episode. I'll be back soon with more reactions!

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