If TV Tropes is to be believed and EJ really was supposed to have chronic panic disorder but it was dropped, that makes me really sad. It would’ve meant a lot to me to see that onscreen, idk. There’s a lot of displays of anxiety and mental health issues but none of them are ever named and I just feel like it could’ve done so much more.
Just some of my thoughts and speculation on Portwell in S3 to counter some of the more negative speculation I've seen on here. This covers whether or not I think they'll break up, two potential storylines I could see the writers giving them, and a moment I really want for Gina.
Will they break up? Will EJ leave for college?
Based on what we've seen so far, how the writers have written their ships over S1 and 2, and how the writers ended Portwell's story in season 3, I can only see Portwell breaking up in S3 in one scenario: if the writers decide to write EJ off the show. And while that's certainly a possibility, I'm cautiously optimistic that it won't happen. Not now, at least.
I think it's more likely that EJ will go to a college nearby (the state school he mentioned) and that he'll find a new passion there while still helping out with the musicals at East High. Given that S2 introduced filmmaking as a new hobby for EJ, I could see him becoming more interested in directing. He was quite good at it in 2x05 when he made that video for Carlos, and he's always had an appreciation and eye for talent in other people, so I could see him really pursuing that. And what better way for him to get experience in that than by helping Miss Jenn co-direct the next musical? That could be a good way to keep him involved in the main storyline and still develop him as an individual. I just don't see the writers sending him to a college far away while keeping him on the show, cause that would be a repeat of the Nini storyline and would involve new sets, characters and separate storylines, all for one character. It just creates too many issues. So either EJ stays on the show and nearby, or he'll be written off.
Based on the ending of S2, I don't see Portwell breaking up any time soon. Rini ended S1 on a good note, sure, but the finale already set up a new conflict for them in the form of Nini's application being accepted. Plus, they never worked through the issue of Ricky hating change while Nini wanted to find herself outside of her relationships, which was set up way back in 1x01. Portwell has no such issues in place or conflict already set up. Their miscommunication was the only conflict they faced, and that has already been resolved. So I think that any conflict that will come up between them in S3 will be resolved within that season, and I don't really see them breaking up by the end of it. Anything that could've been an issue was addressed in 2x10 and set aside as non-issues, so I can't imagine that the writers will bring any of those things back as relationship-ending issues.
What stories may we see for Portwell?
Based on EJ and Gina's arcs so far and Tim Federle's interviews, I could see two storylines happening for Portwell this season.
1) I think this interview gives us a hint at a potential first storyline for Portwell:
Tim saying he's not sure if Portwell are a couple yet indicates to me that they're considering giving Portwell a similar storyline as Redlyn, where after their kiss they're still not sure if that means they're boyfriend and girlfriend. I could see EJ and/or Gina wondering about that for one or two episodes. Especially Gina, since this would be her first real relationship and because she really wants to know where she stands with the boys she likes. She needs clarity. Whether they're both wondering what they are or if it's just Gina, I would love for Gina to be the one to ask for clarity. She didn't do so with Ricky and instead just suffered in silence, so it would be such a huge moment of growth for her if she asked EJ what they are now.
2) This is a storyline that doesn't have to happen in S3, but just something that I can see happening at some point. If it does happen in S3, I imagine it'll likely be towards the end. At some point, EJ and Gina will realise they love each other. Given how EJ's last confession of love went (with Nini), I could see him being really hesitant about telling Gina once he realises he's in love with her. What if she doesn't feel the same way? What if it's too soon and he ruins everything?
Gina, on the other hand, I can see struggling with the question "how do you know that what you feel is love?". This is her first relationship, after all. So how can she be sure that she's in love? And when should she say it? When is the right time and place?
In my ideal scenario for this storyline, EJ would talk about his insecurities to Nini, while Gina does the same with Ricky. This could give them both some (additional) closure on their past crushes, and Nini and Ricky could give them some meaningful advice. Nini could tell EJ why she didn't feel the same way about him and that it had nothing to do with how and when he said he loved her. And Ricky could tell Gina about the moment he realised he was in love with Nini, as a way to repay her for all the times she gave him advice about his relationship with Nini. I think this could be such a meaningful thing for all four of them and really solidify these two friendships while at the same time giving us good Portwell and even Rini moments.
I'm not sure who I would like to say "I love you" first. EJ deciding to be vulnerable like that and take the risk and then hearing Gina say it back would be a beautiful full circle moment. But Gina saying it first would also be so meaningful for him. And there's even potential in them saying it at the same time. However the writers choose to do it, I think it'll be a very important and healing moment for both of them.
Closure for Gina and Ricky
Speaking of Gina going to Ricky for advice, I would just really like to see Gina talk to Ricky about how much it hurt that he didn't give her an answer to her confession and that it wasn't fair to leave her hanging like that. Tim Federle has said that he sees Gina and Ricky's story as not quite finished, and I think a scene like this could be what he's referring to. It would allow Ricky to voice why he didn't tell her he didn't feel the same way about her anymore (if I had to guess, I'd say he values her as a friend and didn't want to hurt her by rejecting her, but he ended up doing so through his silence anyways). And Gina actually opening up about how hurt she was and voicing that while she doesn't feel that way about him anymore, she can't just continue to be friends while pretending all of that didn't happen would be huge growth for her. Getting it all out there and talking about their feelings (and Ricky apologising to Gina) could give Gina and Ricky the closure they (mostly Gina) need and allow them to start fresh as friends. They do have a meaningful relationship and it'd be a shame to waste that, but they need to get this out of the way before they can truly be friends, if you ask me. Hopefully the writers agree and will actually address all of this in S3.
#hsmtmts#ej caswell#gina porter#portwell#hsmtmts speculation#my post #this is a bit long and rambly but hopefully it all still makes sense #i had a lot of thoughts #and i felt like sharing them mostly because i've seen so many other portwell shippers spiralling into negative thinking #or listen too much to r*na shippers #so i wanna offer my more optimistic speculation as a counter voice to all of that
Title: sometimes we have to get lost in order to meet us again
Fandom: High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
Prompt: Leave Me Alone
Character(s): Ricky Bowen
Warnings: Bad Parenting, Gender Dysphoria, Gender Stereotypes and Misgendering (both accidental and not)
Summary: R. always knew there was something about them that makes them different from the rest. But they could never indulge in it until now: "I don't feel like a girl," they breathed out all at once, and it was as if Atlas was taking the world off their shoulders.
Quick note of that flashlight scene in HSMTMTS 01x01 gets me every single time. I want someone to be like that for me (not the new clingy Ricky but the independent beginning of the show Ricky who cared so much about Nini and did the show for her. I don’t know how to end posts so idk wtvr
my favourite thing about portwell is how they literally found themselves through finding each other.
so s1 ej was obviously very selfish and didn't care how his actions effected others. we saw him acknowledge his flaws and try to repent, but he was still only doing it to make himself feel better and to improve his image. as soon as he develops feelings for gina, we can see him find the joy in doing things for other people just because you want them to be happy. he discovers his huge heart and realises that he would embarrass himself, go out of his way and change his plans to help gina.
s1 gina was so closed off and cold because she refused to get attached to anything and risk leaving it behind. she also always put herself first and didn't care about others. ej being so kind to her, but never expecting anything in return, slowly allowed her to open up and trust people again. she is being shown unconditional love for the first time in her life and it's allowed to become her most authentic self. by the end of s2 gina is so much more confident and sure in who she is. she's learned that she does not have to perfect to be worthy of love and she doesn't have to compete for it either.
the way they treat each other has allowed them both to trust people again, and be comfortable enough to be fully themselves.