Episode 2 of NBC's Rise picks up where the Pilot left off, with the drama department continuing their production of Spring Awakening, now without funding, and with tensions rising between football and drama.
The issues presented in the previous episode continue, as Simon's (Ted Sutherland) very religious parents (Stephanie J. Block and Stephen Plunkett) bring up their concern to a priest over what their son is doing. New problems also arrive as Lou's (Josh Radnor) son Gordy (Casey Johnson) is involved in an accident and explores the family tensions among Lou and his family, which later continues between Lou's wife Gail (Marley Shelton) and Gordy. We also get to learn more about Lou's family history which allows the story to go deeper.
As previously predicted, the existing tension between Lilette (Auli'i Cravalho) and Robbie (Damon Gillespie) starts to give way to a love story as Lilette debates whether or not she should talk to him before Simon breaks the ice for her so she can ask him to run lines with her.
Also explored are the family tensions among Gwen (Amy Forsyth), her mother Denise (Jennifer Ferrin), and father Coach Strickland (Joe Tippett) as they lament Gwen not being given a lead, football being messed up, and shows the remaining tension after the affair between Coach Strickland and Lilette's mother (Shirley Rumierk).
As rehearsals for the show continue, Gwen pushes to be heard and seen as being talented while Simon struggles with the fact that he will have to kiss a boy on stage. It is an insight into both of their characters as we get to know more about them and we also learn more about Michael (Ellie Desautels) as he begins to feel more comfortable and confides in Lou.
As the episode continues with a school district meeting, there is more insight given into the tension between drama and football and the heads of the athletic department now want a jumbotron. Tracy (Rosie Perez) takes her stand, and works to fight for more money for the drama department.
This episode of Rise continues to push the envelope as the first one did. The show is good to watch and I think it will only get better as it continues.