‘HSMTMTS’ Recap: Nini Leaves Salt Lake City & Ricky Breaks Up With Lily

Summer is officially on! While the crew takes over Camp Shallow Lake, a surprising reveal leads to the end of Ricky and Lily's relationship. Meanwhile, Nini makes a decision about her future.

Reading Time: 5 minutes
High School Musical
View gallery
Image Credit: Disney+

The school year is over, but that doesn’t mean the Wildcats are done performing. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is shifting gears in season 3 and heading to summer camp. EJ picks up Kourtney, Ashlyn, and Carlos for a road trip to Camp Shallow Lake. EJ is filled to the brim with dad jokes for the ride.

It’s only going to be EJ, Kourtney, Ashlyn, Carlos, and Gina going to camp. Big Red has to work, Seb has to milk, Nini’s with her moms, and Ricky is with Lily. “We don’t say her name,” a very serious EJ says. The main reason everybody’s stoked about camp is because there’s a secret celebrity coming to visit.

High School Musical
Kourtney, Carlos, Ashlyn, Gina, and EJ at Camp Shallow Lake. (Disney+)

Gina joins the camp crew and gets a sweet kiss from EJ before they head out. EJ and Gina are going strong. Honestly, a happy Gina is all we want. The group belts out “What Time Is It” from High School Musical 2 before they arrive at camp, which EJ calls his “second home.” He tells his friends, “You come to Shallow Lake one way, and you just become something else. It happens to everyone.”

Nini Leaves Salt Lake City

Maddox, one of the camp workers at Shallow Lake, has to take everyone’s phones upon arrival. Kourtney is not about leaving her beloved phone Sasha for two weeks. Let’s see what these kids get into when they have to go full Parent Trap for two weeks. Bring on the pranks!

Meanwhile, Ricky is set to go to Jackson Hole with Lily and her family. Ricky admits that he and Lily have been “hanging out a little bit,” but you can tell he feels a bit uneasy around Lily. (And rightfully so.)

Nini goes to see Miss Jenn at her house. She’s supposed to go on a road trip with her moms to Southern California, which is where she was born. There’s definitely some hesitation on Nini’s part. She’s been trying to write some new music, but she hasn’t been able to complete it just yet.

“It just feels like these last years have been leading up to something really good or big, but I can’t name it or put my finger on it,” Nini says. She’s also missing camp, which has been a huge part of her life. She’s not sure if she made the right decision and feels going to California could be “disruptive” for her. “If you’re looking for a spark, sometimes disruptive isn’t such a bad idea,” Miss Jenn tells Nini before she hits the road.

Ricky Discovers Lily’s Betrayal

Gina is beyond thrilled for her “summer of firsts.” This is the first time we’ve seen Gina really content, and we love that for her. She’s at her first camp, she’s got her first boyfriend, and this is the first time she’s really going out for the lead in a musical. She’s happy with EJ. Let’s just hope it stays that way.

Gina EJ
Gina and EJ in the ‘HSMTMTS’ season 3 premiere. (Disney+)

Ashlyn, Kourtney, and Gina are all rooming together with Maddox. This is actually the first time Ashlyn’s ever been to Camp Shallow Lake. She’s spent the last 6 summers larping in Minnesota. She has to explain live-action role-playing to the rest of the class. Ashlyn is too cool for her own good.

Just as Ricky and Lily are about to head out, the tide turns for these two. Ricky is trying to find his keys when he bumps into her closet door. His Beast harness falls onto the floor. “I can explain that,” a calm, cool, and collected Lily says. She truly thinks they can get past this. All’s fair in love and war and musicals, right? Ricky’s honestly not sure if Lily is going to kiss him or kill him, so he bolts. This gives us another great Joshua Bassett solo with “Finally Free.”

Carlos isn’t exactly thrilled about the living quarters at camp, especially when the new kid Jet shows up. Simply put, Jet is “actually good without talking.”

Now that all the arrivals are done, it’s time for the secret celebrity reveal. Maddow shows off her great vocals to the crowd. She will definitely be a contender during the auditions this season! Dewey Wood, a.k.a. Jason Earles from Hannah Montana, is the camp director. Camp Shallow Lake has been selected for a special opportunity, which the secret celebrity will explain. The secret celebrity is… drumroll, please… CORBIN BLEU!

Kourtney, Carlos, Ashlyn, and the rest of the crowd lose their minds over Corbin. Corbin announces that Camp Shallow Lake will be the first camp to premiere the Frozen musical! Carlos’ reaction to this announcement is priceless. Seriously, give Frankie A. Rodriguez an Emmy. There’s also going to be a documentary that will premiere on Disney+. “I don’t remember how to breathe,” Ashyn admits.

Corbin Bleu Is Breaking Free — For Now

Earlier, the group tried guessing the secret celebrity. Greta Gerwig and Oprah were just two of the names thrown into the mix. “It’s better than Greta Gerwig,” a tearful Carlos says about Corbin’s reveal. However, Corbin isn’t sticking around. Dewey thought Corbin would be directing the show. Corbin explains that he’s just directing, producing, and hosting the show about the show. The Corbin Bleu does not have time to direct a camp musical.

Corbin Bleu
Corbin Bleu has joined the cast of ‘HSMTMTS’ season 3. (Disney+)

Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. EJ is standing nearby after Corbin leaves. Dewey names EJ the new director of Frozen. EJ has to explain the situation to Gina, and he stresses that “nothing is going to ruin our perfect summer together.” Gina replies, “Who said anybody would?”

As if he heard them from afar, Ricky comes in between EJ and Gina at this precise moment. Impeccable timing, Ricky. Just great. “Excuse me, do you have room for one more?” he asks. EJ and Gina give each other a look. They were not expecting this.