All things must come to an end. It is a bittersweet thing that we never anticipated.
The High Water chapter closes on Step Up: High Water Season 3 Episode 10. Angel makes a choice, Rigo, and Marquise solve their issues, and Collette gets a better ending than one would have thought for her.
More than one person realizes their dreams. For Sage, High Water is a success; now, he can rest easy. For Tal, Davis, and Poppy, the school saved them from their highly uncertain futures. Even Odalie and Rigo benefited from the experience.
Sage dipped his toes into the world of politics. This was a decision I wasn’t too thrilled about because nine times out of ten, it ends badly for celebrities when they mix politics and entertainment.
It often can’t be avoided, especially when politics infringe on artistic liberty, but it’s advisable to hold it until the fight comes to you.
We will never see how this plays out and affects his life, but so far, so good.
The episode set an even bigger stage for a showdown between two brothers who would rather feed and massage their egos than admit that they need each other. All the good drama happens on the Grammys with a couple of million people watching.
♪ Hold on, wait a minute ♪
♪ You a disrespectful Motherfucker ♪
♪ Must have lost your mind ♪
♪ You out here fucking up thinking you got it ♪
♪ But I really doubt it ’cause I won’t allow it ♪
♪ And I wrote about it you know that I did ♪
♪ Motherfucker I wrote all of your shit ♪
♪ So run me that Grammy and run me that pay ♪
♪ And after that solo, bitch run me my fame ♪
♪ ‘Cause all of that time took on that rhyme book ♪
♪ Yo, that’s my life and them my hooks ♪
♪ I have bills doing this bitch ♪
♪ And you still spitting my shit ♪
♪ Hold up in there ♪
♪ You a fraud, nigga you bitch-made ♪
♪ I should introduce you to my switchblade ♪
♪ But that karma coming ♪
♪ You’ll get yours and I’ma get mine ♪
♪ ‘Cause I been waiting it’s on ♪
Honestly, I didn’t believe Rigo and Marquise hated each other for a minute. They are brothers who had to rely on each other growing up on account of having an all-time bad dude for a father. They might have taken different paths in life, but I don’t think any love was lost between them.
Before Rigo plays thug when he confronts Marquise in the penthouse, one feels the relief in his voice on discovering that Marquise is still alive. No matter how much he hates to admit it, he loves Marquise more than he lets on.
Marquise: Yo, how the fuck did you find me?
Rigo: Your, uh, performance with Sage. That was just a small hint. Dumbass. Here I am wondering if you dead or alive, and you out here living like the motherfucking Fresh Prince?
Marquise: And why the fuck do you care?
Who cried like a baby when he thought Marquise had been killed? Who drowned himself in liquor and weed in the days that followed?
I found myself rooting for Marquise in the later episodes of the season. Since the first season, I couldn’t stand him. He and East-O were the big bad of the show, and I dreaded seeing him on screen, especially after what he did to Tal.
He, however, got a redemption arc that turned him into a not-so-awful guy that we thought he was. Then, it turns out that he has great talent. The only thing I regret about this series finale is that we didn’t see him develop as an artist and go places.
All this is thanks to Terayle Hill, who portrays Marquise. After the first couple of episodes of the season, I sought out the soundtrack and listened to all the tracks, especially ones by Marquise.
This then led me to Terayle’s Spotify, and he gained a fan.
That versus between Marquise and Rigo was one of the stand-out moments of the hour.
Marquise: ♪ I have you laying with your father in a ditch ♪
♪ And I never met your mother ♪
♪ But I’m sure that youse a son of a bitch, pussy ♪
Rigo: ♪ You wanna be me so bad ♪
♪ But you can’t share this stage ♪
♪ Always wanted to be somebody you couldn’t but couldn’t ♪
♪ ‘Cause East-O had you locked in that fairy cage ♪
♪ That’s right I see you, Marquise ♪
♪ Come on out, little bitch ♪
♪ I’m the one that moved you in when you got locked up ♪
♪ And blessed you with them fresh outfits ♪
♪ Boy, you got me fucked up ♪
♪ When you had no bread and you was out shit ♪
♪ Can’t name three people in the city to fuck with ♪
♪ You jealous, you’re insecure ♪
♪ And your name is whack ♪
♪ And all that talking big don’t change the facts ♪
♪ You the only nigga who don’t know who you are ♪
♪ So why don’t you take off that mask? ♪
Speaking of stand-out moments, Angel’s brother came to visit. JJ was the villain we never knew we needed and one we’ll miss.
Despite my newly developed soft spot for Marquise, I couldn’t ignore the fact that he can be ugly if he wants. And also, Marquise stole Angel from Odalie. Yes, I’m not over that.
In less than a minute, JJ put Marquise in the right place. This reminded me of a Swahili saying that says: pwagu humpata pwaguzi. A direct translation would mean a thief meets a bigger thief. It means no one is at the top of any system because there is always someone better or worse than them.
If we thought JJ and Marquise are bad separately, London is in trouble with them united.
The biggest loser — and someone I felt for — is Odalie. She was dealt the worst hand in the whole show. In ten episodes, she lost her boyfriend and girlfriend, injured her leg, and had an extremely bad gay crisis.
Losing Davis was good for her. That dude was a loser. The rest of it is terrible. Her first relationship with a woman is her biggest heartbreak. Admittedly, this relationship was also not the epitome of healthy.
In my early reviews of the season, I remember mentioning that Angel had ulterior motives for befriending Angel. Still, another thing that didn’t occur to me was that Odalie was also looking to blow up her life and get away from Davis.
Watching both of them nearly throw hands over the simple fact that Odalie mentioned Marquise might be a thief was comical.
Collette, on the other hand, emerged as a winner. She got the school, a baby, and remained free as a bird. On the surface, it might look like she didn’t deserve it, but she did.
Sage: Hey, ‘Lette. So listen, I thought about it, and, um… you should have High Water.
Sage: It’s yours. Always has been. And inside, I’ve always known that. So take care of it.
She has done terrible things for the sake of High Water. It’s only fair she gets it. She spends nights on end taking care of High Water affairs.
The baby was an unforeseen perk.
I am skeptical of the future of High Water with the changes she has introduced. Foremost, suits.
Suits ruin everything. When starting the school, Sage wasn’t looking for a payout. He genuinely wanted to serve the underserved artists in Atlanta. Spartika is a profit-driven enterprise that doesn’t usually bode well with a not-for-profit establishment.
Poppy also got a great ending with a tall, handsome, unartistic guy. She is also in a better place financially and career-wise, so there is no over-reliance on him. Taking care of Rigo or playing Dondre’s unending games must have been exhausting.
Welcome to our housewarming party, everybody!
The plan to fake kill Marquise was well orchestrated. I’m not sure whether he or Angel had any idea what JJ would do because they seemed very surprised when they saw him. But they also hesitated to get in the car with him.
Then some guy came and rushed him into his car. Usually, people wait for first responders to show up and handle it.
No one went down for East-O’s murder which for an outsider appears sad, but that’s what you reap from living a certain lifestyle. The guy was awful even to his sons. I doubt anyone will miss him.
In London, Angel, Marquise, and JJ bought the club they had always wanted using the money Sage had given Marquise.
Tal and Gunnar came to London to visit them. It was sweet to see Tal and Marquise excited to see one another. Forgiving Marquise might be Tal’s beginning of healing. Being with Gunnar, I’m not excited about it.
As I mentioned in my review of Step Up: High Water Season 3 Episode 1, I will always be team Tal and Johnny, and in my mind, Tal and Gunnar broke up that same day after Gunnar asked him to move to London.
And then Tal and Johnny ran into each other in the streets of London on the same day like the universe had been pushing them together. They got back together and lived happily ever after.
See? It’s possible. Just manifest it.
The end of the hour saw Marquise fall back into his old life of killing without restraint. Now in a new city, with a danger-seeking love of his life and an unhinged brother-in-law, it all seems like a perfect setup to own London.
After killing the guys in the alley, he dazedly stares at the scene around him, and I could swear I heard him say, “Oh shit! Here we go again.”
This is where you go off about what you thought about the series finale and share some alternative endings that would have made you happy.
Was the finale satisfying for you, or did it leave more questions than it offered answers?
Do you think Marquise was ever able to leave the thug life?
What do you think happened to Odalie and Rigo?
Will High Water thrive under Collette?
Let us know in the comments below, and thank you for being with us here at TV Fanatic this season.
It has been fun reviewing these episodes every week.
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.