TOWER PREP “The Rooks” Review

TOWER PREP "The Rooks"

TOWER PREP “The Rooks” Episode 5 – It seems like almost every private school has a secret society and Tower Prep is no exception as we discover in this week’s episode “The Rooks.” Rumors abound on campus about an ultra secret fraternity that chooses the best and brightest for membership in its mysterious ranks. Gabe dreams of joining, wanting to be part of the group more than anything. And… You knew the “and” was coming, didn’t you? He and Ian are both tapped to be initiated by the group.

Gabe jumps in with both feet, while Ian approaches the whole question with more caution, wanting as always, to get to the bottom of the groups mysteries. The Rooks seem to be able to make people’s abilities more powerful, and that sets off a warning bell for Ian and he makes it a mission to discover what’s going on. Along the way he uncovers the fact that Coach was involved with the Rooks at one time and was part of a program involving a substance known as “Corvis”.

As a sub-story, CJ attempts to organize a dance. A difficult endeavor at Tower Prep on a good day. When she unwittingly gets on the wrong side of Jeremy, the head of the Rooks, her dance is targeted to be destroyed by the group.

Once again, the plot is pretty much from the stock pot of plots. In fact it has cropped up in varying ways on nearly every school (high school or college) program ever aired. The thing about Tower Prep is they are continually using these standard plots and making them fresh again. It dealt with many issues facing students in school-acceptance, popularity and drug use and handled them in a way that made it enjoyable and entertaining to watch. There was no “preachy” factor at all with this episode, in fact, I was well into the show before I ever caught onto the undercurrent of the performance enhancing drugs. It was remarkably well handled, as were the other aspects of the show.

The one thing that might have been cheesy, but wasn’t, was the obvious “who does Ian choose, the Rooks or his friend.” They really didn’t beat you over the head with it, nor did they overly emphasize Ian’s initial disdain for the Rooks and Gabe’s fascination with the group. It played off naturally, which is hard to do.

With this episode of Tower Prep, I was sucked into the story and when the final confrontation came along I was happily surprised with the twist, and was cheering Gabe and Ian as they revealed the dark secrets of the Rooks.

For me, they could have completely left out the dance storyline. It did strike me as a little too typical. Too Buffy, “didn’t they do that on the Simpsons?” It would have been nice to see the girls involved with the story at a different level, pledged into the Rooks as well or offering something more than organizing a school dance. It did play into the plot, and moved the story along, but I just wish they had done something a little different.

Overall, The Rooks is the best episode yet of this series, and if they continue in this vein, Tower Prep is quickly going to become the show to watch.

(Photos: Courtesy of Cartoon Network/James Dittiger)