High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 3: 5 Major Questions I Have After The Finale

The main cast of High School Musical: the Musical: The Series.
(Image credit: Disney+)

As a zillennial, I live for the nostalgic days of old Disney Channel like a millennial, and I love the new self-aware programming that's been released on Disney+ like a Gen Z. Which makes High School Musical: The Musical: The Series the perfect show for me. Now, with Season 3 over and Season 4 on its way, I’m left with lots of questions about what might happen next, and how Season 4 could call back to the original High School Musical

Season 3 took the students and viewers to Camp Shallow Lake, where the cast put on a production of Frozen while Corbin Bleu came back to HSM to make a documentary about the summer. Chaos ensued and left me with five big questions going into Season 4.  

Joshua Bassett as Ricky and Corbin Bleu in the HSMTMTS finale looking shocked after the documentary premier.

(Image credit: Disney/Anne Marie Fox)

How Will The Documentary Impact Things Moving Forward?

While all the kids were excited about the documentary, they soon found out it portrayed them as terrible, dramatic people. The love triangle between Ricky, Gina and EJ looked a lot more dramatic than it is. They made it look like Gina and Kourtney are rivals. And Jet professed his love for Kourtney. To quote Ashlyn: 

Oh god, we should not have signed that release.

The episode promptly ends with everyone leaving the theater and not addressing their problems. Leaving the door open for lots, and lots, and lots of drama in Season 4.

Joshua Bassett as Rickey sitting on the left and Sofia Wylie as Gina on the right. Sitting together outside at Camp Shallow Lake.

(Image credit: Disney/Anne Marie Fox)

Which Relationships Will Survive?

The season ended with the state of many romantic relationships up in the air. 

The big news was that Gina broke up with EJ and professed her love for Ricky at the end of the season. They kissed and now we’ll just have to wait and see if it works out. Both Ricky and Gina haven’t been able to make relationships last more than a season, so I’m not sure if they will work out in Season 4. 

There are two other couples I'm curious about. Ashlyn came out as bisexual in Season 3 and had a crush on one of the girls at camp. She wasn’t feeling so sure about her boyfriend Big Red, but at the end of the season we found out he’s bi too, and she seemed super happy about that. 

I have hope for these two for sure! As for Carlos and Seb, things might be a little murkier. Carlos was a major instigator of drama in Season 3 and after the documentary makes him look like he cheated on Seb, he immediately got out of his chair to call his boyfriend. Leaving things up in the air. 

From left to right: an extra, Ashlyn, an extra, Carlos, an extra and Kourtney singing "Fabulous" by the pool in HSMTMTS.

(Image credit: Disney/Anne Marie Fox)

How Much High School Musical Music Will Actually Be In Season 4?

The reason I love HSMTMTS is the music. It’s filled with fun original songs, some of which are written by actors on the show like Joshua Bassett, Olivia Rodrigo and Dara Reneé. The music also pulls at my nostalgic heartstrings by incorporating songs from High School Musical, HSM 2, Camp Rock, and Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast and Frozen. While all these originals and non-HSM songs are fine and dandy, I personally think there should be way more music from the Disney Channel movies that started it all. I’m feeling good about our odds to see this in Season 4 because the showrunner Tim Federle told People:

[It's] the real return to why the show got greenlit in the first place, which is real theater kids singing at this iconic location, aka East High.

We haven’t heard any songs from High School Musical 3 yet, and some of the classics from the sequel of the HSM trilogy have not been used (I’m looking at you “I Don’t Dance” and “Work This Out”). So fingers crossed we get even more of the throwback hits come Season 4.

Olivia Rodrigo as Nini talking to Ms. Jenn in the finale of HSMTMTS.

(Image credit: Disney/Anne Marie Fox)

Will Olivia Rodrigo Ever Return?

At the end of Season 2, I felt certain Olivia Rodrigo would not return for Season 3 of HSMTMTS. As one of the biggest pop stars at the moment, I assumed she wouldn’t have the time. I was surprised when I saw her in the promo for the newest season. However, she only appeared in a few episodes in a very minor role. At the end of the season, it felt like her character Nini got a meaningful send-off as she left for LA to pursue a songwriter career. While this all feels confirmed, it’s not. Federle recently told EW:

The door is always going to be open to Olivia Rodrigo, because she is a massive element to the success of the show and the success for me as a beginning TV writer when she was first cast. But, yeah, no formal discussions on that one right now. Olivia knows the door is always open.

So while it feels like she’s gone, I don’t think we can leave her out of the equation. Maybe Rodrigo will for Season 4, even if it’s just a 'lil cameo...

Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel in High School Musical shoot for promotion

(Image credit: Disney Channel)

Will We See Troy, Gabriella And Sharpay Back At East High?

Lastly, and what I would consider most important, there have been rumors swirling around the two leads High School Musical, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, returning for Season 4. From what Federle told EW (in the article we linked to previously), while there is no solid answer as to if the duo will be back, there will be cameos in Season 4. 

There’s a lot of busy people whose lives are all over the map, and we're trying really hard to engage as many as possible. I wish I had a firmer answer, but the reality is the High School Musical 4 concept is new enough to the show that we're still working really hard on guest casting.

Toward the beginning of the latest season original HSM cast members posted that they were at the real East High in Utah; Troy Bolton himself, Zac Efron posted on July 22 and our Gabriella, Vanessa Hudgens, posted a video on June 26. In August, Ashley Tisdale posted a fun video to the HSM 3 bop “I Want It All.” Efron has also said he would happily come back to the franchise, saying his “heart is still there.”

So all signs seem to point toward Tory, Gabriella and maybe Sharpay possibly returning for Season 4. Especially with the announcement that Season 4 is set to follow the students back at East High in the midst of the filming of High School Musical 4: The Reunion. However, nothing has been confirmed for an appearance by Efron, Hudgens or Tisdale. 

Disney+ announced that the season is confirmed to feature OG HSM cast members: Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Lucas Grabeel, Bart Johnson, Alyson Reed and Kaycee Stroh. They will be playing themselves, like how Bleu did in Season 3. 

As for, HSM4, the movie within the show, the actors will reprise their roles as Chad Danforth, Taylor McKessie, Ryan Evans, Coach Jack Bolton, Ms. Darbus and Martha Cox, respectively.  With the confirmed return of just about everyone except Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale, it seems inevitable that the three would join the cast somehow, even if it's a little cameo. 

In summary, there are a lot of question marks going into Season 4 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. But after Season 3 it seems like they have set the stage for something massive next season between the relationships, documentary fallout, and the possibility of a historic reunion. Season 4 is still a ways away but for now, you can check out the first three seasons of HSMTMTS with a Disney+ subscription.

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.