Season 2 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series continues with its 8th episode, “Most Likely To.” In the previous episode, the Wildcats infiltrated North High to get their Beast mask back after they think the competition stole it. However, they’re quickly discovered and soon find themselves in a dance battle with several North High drama club students. Meanwhile, Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders) has a face-to-face confrontation with Zack Roy (Derek Hough) in order to come up with a solution to this rivalry between their schools’ drama clubs. Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) finds herself with a surge of confidence after her original song gets attention.
In “Most Likely To,” the Wildcats are benched from rehearsing for an entire week after infiltrating North High. They all put their focus on Career Day, which raises tensions amongst themselves. Big Red (Larry Saperstein) starts to believe that Ashlyn (Julia Lester) doesn’t believe in him after finding out the results of a career aptitude test. Howie (Roman Banks) tries to get Kourtney (Dara Renee) to trust him after she finds out that he goes to North High. Things get uncomfortable for E.J. (Matt Cornett) when his dad makes a surprise appearance during Career Day. Meanwhile, Nini and Ricky’s (Joshua Bassett) relationship is put to the test after Nini gets even more attention from opening her own social media account under her real name, Nina.
One of the interesting elements from “Most Likely To” was the focus on Career Day rather than prep for the spring musical. On one hand, it’s a way to give more focus on characters that haven’t been given heavy storylines this season. E.J. getting a bigger focus on the relationship he has with his dad and the expectations that are put on to him with college is something that fans can possibly relate to. On the other, this week-long bench period puts additional pressure on the Wildcats to prepare for opening night and beat North High. It wouldn’t be hard to assume that this bench period is something that either school could fully recover from given the competitiveness that’s been established behind The Menkies. This added pressure will be an interesting development for the Wildcats to deal with.
Even though “Most Likely To” put a big focus on Career Day, this was an incredible episode for Nini. One of the big defining moments for her character is fully embracing her real name, Nina. Back in season 1, it was established that Ricky was the one who called her Nini since he couldn’t pronounce the “I” and the nickname just stuck. Making the choice to use her real name represents Nina cutting off ties with Ricky, whether she realizes it or not. It fits perfectly with the “Rose” song that she wrote and posted online in last week’s episode. It wouldn’t be hard to assume that a lot of this has to do with the rumors behind Rodrigo’s hit song, “Driver’s License,” but it makes more sense for this to be something that just corresponds to her character on the show. Regardless, this is the moment that many Nina fans will pay the most attention to. The show should definitely focus more on who Nina is now that she’s made such a major decision and gets all this attention from her social media posts.
The focus that Big Red and Ashlyn’s relationship is given in “Most Likely To” was fantastic. Their drama this episode plays out much better than last week’s episode where the show tried to force some sort of conflict between them. However, it still suffers from a lack of build-up. Ashlyn just wants what’s best for Big Red, and when he’s satisfied with the aptitude test results that he got, it makes sense for her to be disappointed. She brings up the potential that Big Red has to be so much more, but the series hasn’t really taken time to show fans what that untapped potential is. So far, all that Big Red has shown interest in is the foodservice industry, which isn’t a horrible thing since his family owns the pizzeria he works for. However, this entire fight between the two of them would make more sense if the untapped potential was more than just an end-credit scene that showed Big Red tap dancing. This sort of conflict should have been written much later, possibly after their relationship and who they are as individual characters had been fleshed out more.
Ultimately, “Most Likely To” gives fans an episode full of emotion, dilemmas, and major changes in terms of who the characters are. It’s exciting to see Nina embrace more of who she is and the music that she will be able to create from this major change. The focus on Career Day was able to give characters like E.J. a bigger focus, which is great since the cast of the show is too big for all characters to get equal focus in every episode. Even though an earlier episode of the season, “The Quinceañero,” will hold a special place in my heart, “Most Likely To” is by far the best episode of the series given everything that happens and what it’ll mean for the show moving forward.
HSMTMTS Season 2 is streaming now on Disney+ with new episodes airing Fridays.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 2, Episode 8 - "Most Likely To"
“Most Likely To” gives fans an episode full of emotion, dilemmas, and major changes in terms of who the characters are. It’s exciting to see Nina embrace more of who she is and the music that she will be able to create from this major change. The focus on Career Day was able to give characters like E.J. a bigger focus, which is great since the cast of the show is too big for all characters to get equal focus in every episode…”Most Likely To” is by far the best episode of the series given everything that happens and what it’ll mean for the show moving forward.