Step Up: High Water Season 3 Episode 4 Review: Cell Therapy


Nothing stays the same. At one point, bubbles burst.

Step Up: High Water Season 3 Episode 4 is proof of that. From Sage landing in prison to Tal’s safe space in High Water and Marquise and Rigo’s co-dependent relationship, their illusion of normality has been shattered.

Although this show is primarily about storytelling, the characters are its heart and soul. This episode delved deeply into the relationships between the characters.

Sage’s stunt after the BMT fiasco landed him straight to jail. Honestly, I accepted that Sage isn’t a bad man. He is innocent in this. All the charges against him are false.

His biggest flaw is his superiority complex. But there is no law against complexes.

Suit Guy - Step Up: High Water Season 3 Episode 4

This ordeal he’s going through should be a huge learning opportunity for him, and I’m starting to see him start to realize that. He realizes that apart from the millions of adoring fans, he is nothing; without them screaming his name and making him feel larger than life, he’s just a man.

What matters most are the interpersonal relationships between people. At the beginning, he is not receptive to the gesture offered to him by his fellow inmate.

While this has something to do with him not trusting people due to his celebrity status, it also has something to do with his complex.

He feels that being the god he sees himself, he doesn’t deserve to live with commoners.

Rigo 4 - Step Up: High Water season 3 episode 4

Let this experience be a sweet pie on humility. If he emerges on the other side like the man, I hope he does, he’ll be better off.

Marquise’s free roaming of the streets invites more trouble.

Almost everything that happens to the other characters this season can be attributed to him. Is it too early to call the angel of death on him?

Few people experience hate crimes, and Tal was one of the few. He believed that if he secured a place in High Water, he would escape the life that awaited him. His landing at High Water was a mix of good and bad.

Tal: Marquise is the asshole who beat me up.
Poppy: What?
Tal: When I ran away from that school, when I got angry, when I… when I almost fucking died, it was because of him.

Marquise - Step Up: High Water season 3 episode 4

Seeing this man roam free in High Water, which is supposed to be his safe space, was naturally triggering.

He never told Uncle Al what happened, which is why Al didn’t understand.

I wish we had more Al. The show can get very dramatic at times, and these comedic Uncle Al bits are needed to calm us down a bit.

Don’t you have a big tour you’re supposed to prepare for? What’s going on? Is Sage killing all the biracial dancers?

Uncle Al

Rigo also felt Marquise’s presence and, at times, her absence.

Rigo 5 - Step Up: High Water Season 3 Episode 4

On Step Up: High Water Season 3 Episode 3, Marquise was comfortable making moves in the shadows. Now, not so much.

Like most creatives, not being recognized for your work is a dealbreaker, and understandably so.

He feels used. So far, we’ve had no reason to believe Marquise felt any different about Rigo. He considered him his brother, just like their father had said they were. It was a blow to hear Rigo questioning their brotherhood.

This shit got me wondering, nigga, are you even my bro? ‘Cause we ain’t got no bullshit in this family, nigga. Nigga, life was easier when you were locked up, homie.


I would understand if he decided to do his own thing. He has the talent.

Rigo 3 - Step Up: High Water season 3 episode 4

Rigo was shaken. He didn’t think Marquise would be wise. And now this nigga asking about his contract and asking to perform?

How do you feel about me rocking with you tonight?


No matter how much he hates Sage, Rigo is like his mini-version. They are two sides of the same coin, one being younger.

He considers Marquise lesser. Like a guy who can write raps but doesn’t have enough clout to pull it off. And he might be right about the weight thing. Due to her street code and general asshole, Marquise cannot become a star.

Poppy has watched this unfold in real time and feels helpless. Marquise even went to take her job without even trying. He made his way into Rigo’s life in such a way that they can’t go anywhere without each other.

Poppy 3 - Step Up: High Water season 3 episode 4

Remember, Poppy is homeless. Rigo is his last card; if she lets him go, she has nothing. Sage won’t want her on his tour after what she and Rigo did in Step Up: High Water Season 3 Episode 1.

However, she doesn’t seem to have any control over him. It was strongly insinuated that something could start again between Collette and Rigo, and if that had happened, she would have lost it. Collette is arguably more powerful than Poppy. Did she bet on the wrong horse?

Some things that didn’t take center stage in this episode included the whole thing of Angel and Odalie. Odalie was crushing hard, and Angel was making a few moves. Hopefully we can see how this develops in future episodes.

Man, it was good not to see Davis in this one. I hope wherever he is; he grows up. It seems, however, that we’ve traded one man-child for another because Poppy has also started playing Rigo’s mom.

Poppy 2 - Step Up: High Water season 3 episode 4

I was also excited to see Erin go to town on Sage. I wanted to see her put him back in his place, but that didn’t happen. Guess we’ll have to settle for the lawyer because Sage desperately needs someone to tell him things.

It was a big one; the best is yet to come as we head into the middle of the season.

I’m curious to know; do you think Marquise is justified in her quest for recognition? Do you think he and Rigo will settle their issues amicably?

Did you miss Erin?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Watch new episodes of Step Up: High Water Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Starz.

Denis Kimathi is an editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.


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