Step Up: High Water Season 3 Episode 1 Review: KryptoniteDenis Kimathi at . Updated at .
It took a while, some creative changes, and a home change, but we're back!
Step Up: High Water Season 3 Episode 1 picks up a little after Sage Odom's bus is intercepted by the police, and he is taken into custody.
This effectively halts his anticipated tour, throwing everyone into chaos. Some changes happened when the series was on hiatus. There were some changes creatively and with the cast.
We will explore these changes, including new characters, the new Tal and Collette, the new opening theme, and the story.
The previous opening theme song was a bop. It sets the mood and the tone for the entire episode. The new theme is ... not bad. It takes a while to get into it, but when one hears it three-four times, it gets stuck in their head. I wish they recorded an extended version.
There were also some changes in the cast. British actor Petrice Jones previously portrayed the character of Tal. When YouTube decided to wind down the production of scripted content, effectively canceling High Water, Petrice moved on to Locke and Key on Netflix.
By the time Starz picked Step Up up, he wasn't available. Australian actor Keiynan Lonsdale was cast as Tal Baker.
The role of Collette Jones was also recast after the passing of Naya Rivera before filming for the third season began. Christina Milian was cast as Collette.
We were also introduced to a new character -- Angel. She was introduced to us in the best way possible. After traveling from London, I guess she is robbed of the only thing she has. The bag she carries is her lifeline. It contains the money she has to sustain herself as she chases the High Water dream.
It is unclear whether she is running from or towards something, so this will be interesting to watch how it unfolds.
Angel is determined, with nothing to lose except the chance at her future. She knows it will not be easy because of how different from the others she is. It is evident in her accent.
We also checked in on our couples. Step Up couples don't exactly have the easiest time. This is a world where work takes the majority of your time.
Odalie and Davis seem to be enjoying their time together in the early minutes of the episode, but this also doesn't last long. There seems always to be something that comes between them. I respect Odalie for sticking with that man because it is not easy, and he doesn't make it easy.
She is caught up in dealing with his baggage if she isn't tiptoeing around his fragile emotions. There is an upside to them because he is always there gassing her up when she suffers a fluctuation in confidence, so that's good, I guess.
Davis: Hey! Why didn't you wake me?
Odalie: Well you looked so cute all snoring. Plus, I had some moves I needed to work on.
Davis: Oh baby, you're perfect, gorgeous, sexy, and the lead dancer. Baby, you got a god damn billboard I mean shit. Come on. You made it.
Tal and Johnny One seem to be in a relatively good place. I root for them, but they seem to be hitting a snag from Tal's unexpected responsibilities.
Tal's gotta keep this man because he has done a lot for him. He left a job he liked to be closer to Tal. And this is the thanks he gets? To be shouted at like a commoner? No.
Johnny: Tal, you are incredible. When was the last time we...
Tal: ... five months ago. Or something like that I can't remember.
Johnny: Let's kiss the longest. Slowly. The longest kiss, in history, so we never forget it.
I spell doom for these two couples as they are just not emotionally and financially in a place to be together.
Poppy was left.
She is suffering, which is why she might seek refuge in Rigo. I can't say they don't have a thing going, but it's more of a dependency than genuine attraction. He needs her; she needs him. Rigo, despite being talented, is not strong in his convictions; he can't seem to make up his mind and stick to his decisions.
He needs someone to advocate for him, while Poppy needs someone to depend on for financial and emotional security. This arrangement is fragile as their situations can change anytime, and they will realize they don't love each other. Poppy will get tired of playing mommy to him.
Another ticking time bomb is that of Collette and Sage, or as I call him, narcissist number 1. Collette is hiding something major from Sage; worse, the secret is ruining his life.
Sage seems to have problems coming for him from every corner. Foremost he has a DA problem. If it wasn't clear, she is ambitious. And even worse, she wants to nail him for the crime. His problems seem related to each other. He can't catch a break from Collette lying to Rigo, believing that Sage killed his father.
Sage: Yeah, I'm good. I'm tryna watch my figure. You know I'm on tour.
DA: Right. Oh, we don't get many of you. All I'm saying is that when I look at you, I don't see a celebrity.
I, however, hold no sympathy for this man. Like many celebrities, it has gotten into his head such that he forgets that he is just but a man. He holds no respect for his employees, lover, and fans. His going off on the crowd was just one instance of how over his head he is.
If anything comes from his house arrest and the false accusation, let it be a lesson in humility.
Yo! Cut that shit. Okay. Alright. I see everybody with their faces in they damn phones so let's talk about it. Let's get into it. The reason I was late tonight is not coz I don't love y'all. Always got love for Philly. Now it's Atlanta, Georgia, my goddamn hometown, I was detained, arrested, harassed humiliated over a crime I no mother fucking way commit. Maybe it's because I'm Black. Maybe it's the black thing; that's been popular lately. Or it's because I'm goddamn rich and fucking famous and pretty and beautiful and shiny and shit.Sage
The Rigo-Sage situation is one I am excited to see unfold. Initially, I thought it would turn out to be a drag as it has been going on for two seasons but realizing that Rigo is easy to manipulate, I can't wait to see who takes this chance to put Sage in his position using Rigo as a proxy.
With the change in cast, some characters have changed.
Petrice's Tal was jovial and quite lively. His face would light up over the smallest thing. This Tal seems much more composed, less anxious, and irritable. I'm willing to grant this due to the stress he's under and the fact that every actor has their style.
The true test lies in whether he can impress with his dancing skills and earn the greyhound title properly.
It's unclear if Christina's Collette differs from Naya's, but the true test lies in the vocals. I can't wait to see what happens.
Uncle Tal is here for comedic relief, but his reaction to Sage's news is typical of fans. They are willing to excuse bad behavior from their idols without knowing the whole story.
What did you think of this premiere?
Do you like the new opening sequence?
What do you think of the new cast?
Let us know in the comments below.
Step Up: High Water airs Sundays at 10 pm on Starz.
Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on Twitter.