‘Cyrus’ Bash-Mitzvah!’ is a very well done conclusion to the first half of the second season of ‘Andi Mack’


Photo from The Walt Disney Company, used with permission under fair use

Terri Minsky’s “Andi Mack” is one of Disney Channel’s newest shows, and easily one of its most progressive. It deals with themes that, to my knowledge, have never been touched upon on the network before. Andi (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) is the daughter of Bex (Lilan Bowden), who was pregnant with her as a teen. Cyrus (Joshua Rush) is more or less coming to terms with the fact that he has feelings for Jonah (Asher Angel), another guy. Additionally, Bex and Andi are in a family of mixed race. I personally think that all of these are handled very well.

Season 1 mostly focused on Andi’s discovery that who she thought was her sister was actually her mom and the arrival of Andi’s father, Bowie (Trent Garrett). Season 2 continued the plot line of Bex and Bowie repairing their relationship, as well as introducing a new conflict in the form of Andi and Jonah’s misunderstandings with each other while “dating.” Finally, an ultimatum of sorts was introduced: Cyrus’s Bar Mitzvah.

The newest episode is set at at this celebration. Several events and plot points introduced in the previous episodes are touched upon and resolved in this double-length episode, and a few new ones are introduced. So without much further ado, here are my thoughts on “Cyrus’ Bash-Mitzvah!”

The first main part of the episode is the religious part of Cyrus’ Bar Mitzvah. It was dealt with very respectfully and, I assume, accurately. During the “Mack Chat” reaction-type extra at the end of the episode, Joshua Rush said that the part of the Torah that he had read as Cyrus was the same part that he had read during his own Bar Mitzvah in real life. I really liked the layer of authenticity this added.

After this, the setting changes to the site of Cyrus’ huge Bar Mitzvah party. All of the main characters are there, making for the perfect opportunity to lay to rest old issues.

First is Bex and Bowie’s plot line, which is the one that takes a bit of a backseat to the others, which is a shame. First of all, a bit of background information is needed to understand the context. At the start of the season, Bowie proposed to Bex. Despite loving him, she declined because of a toxic ex-boyfriend who ruined serious relationships for her. The two maintain a good friendship anyway, albeit with a few painful reminders that that’s all they are. However, in recent episodes Bowie started to date another woman. Bex and Andi felt betrayed, but I didn’t think they were justified. After all, Bex did turn him down. Now back to the episode. Bex confronts Bowie about his date, asking him how he felt about her. Bowie is unable to answer, and the two leave to different parts of the party. Bowie evidently thinks about his relationships, and towards the end of the episode he gives Bex a note. The note reads about how much he cares about her and Andi, and how he still wants to be with her. Bex has mixed feelings about this, mirroring my own. On one hand, I kind of wish Bowie had chosen the other woman. Bex had her chance, and it would’ve been good for her if she’d moved on, like Bowie did. But on the other hand, I do like the chemistry the two have with each other, and I’m kind of glad that that plot point hasn’t been entirely resolved yet.

The next subplot has to do with Andi and Cyrus’ other friend, Buffy (Sofia Wylie). Buffy and another character, TJ (Luke Mullen), have been at odds with each other. TJ won’t let Buffy have the ball in basketball and has shown to be a bit manipulative. Buffy recently has had to tutor TJ, much to the chagrin of both of them. Matters only become worse when Buffy discovers that TJ probably has a learning disability, something that TJ refuses to accept. Finally, Buffy’s mom, who is in the military, has recently come home, and Buffy is overjoyed. Buffy and TJ, as friends of Cyrus, are both at his party. Buffy’s plot begins at a fortune teller’s tent at the party. Buffy, Andi, and Cyrus go in to get their fortunes told. All goes well until Buffy is told that her mother isn’t home for good. Buffy begins to panic, but her friends convince her that the fortune was fake, and the trio return to the party. But as the day goes on, Buffy finds more and more evidence of the fortune’s validity, and eventually calls her mom. Her mom reassures her, saying that she won’t be leaving anytime soon. Mollified but now enraged, Buffy goes to the fortune teller to complain about how much she scared her with her misleading fortune. The fortune teller remains adamant that the prediction was true, and reiterates how she said that Buffy wouldn’t stay home for good either. Buffy realizes that she’s moving.

I really like how this plot ends. It’s logical, and it opens up potential for future situations, since Buffy is the center of a few ongoing plot lines. TJ just learned that Buffy can help him with his disability. Cyrus and Andi are really close to her. For her to suddenly exit the plot will be very interesting. I feel like there are a lot of things that could come out of this, and I’m excited to see what happens next.

Finally, the main plot of the episode, following Andi. Andi has believed that she and Jonah have been dating all throughout the season. However, in the previous episode Jonah explains how he doesn’t like labels, meaning that Jonah and Andi were never boyfriend and girlfriend. This was a crushing moment for Andi who tried so hard to get him in season 1. Jonah doesn’t think this will change their friendship, since that’s all he ever thought it was in the first place. The fortune that the fortune teller predicted for Andi was that she would soon get a real boyfriend. She later encounters Jonah, and calmly tells him that she’s over him. Jonah is surprised by this, and apparently upset. Soon after, Andi meets another guy, Walker (Darius Marcell), who she immediately hits it off with. Jonah, uncharacteristically jealous, leaves Andi and evidently rethinks his relationships, creating a nice parallel to Bex and Bowie’s plot.

However, next comes easily the worst part of the episode. Jonah begins to have a panic attack, apparently at the thought of not being with Andi. This comes completely out of nowhere, and feels really forced. Up to this point, Jonah did seem to want to be with Andi, but this feels like a big leap. At the end of the episode there’s a part where the cast talk about how panic attacks are scary and how people should get help if they experience one. Don’t get me wrong, this is an important message, especially with all the stigma about getting help, but it also confirms to me that Jonah’s episode was completely forced in.

Andi and Bex return home after the party, Bex having previously mentioned mixed feelings and Andi feeling lighter than ever after getting over Jonah and meeting someone new. However, there’s someone at the door. Andi opens the door to find Jonah standing there. He says that he wants Andi to be his girlfriend, putting aside his apprehension of labels. Andi’s response is absolutely perfect. “Umm.” This is exactly what Bex said when Bowie proposed to her at the start of the season. The two plot lines have always paralleled each other, and this was a great way to end the episode. It’s also nice and ambiguous. Will Andi forgive Jonah? What about Walker? Only time will tell.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode. As a whole, I haven’t enjoyed Season 2 as much as Season 1, but there was still a lot to like here, and only a few scenes to really dislike. There was a nice balance of resolution and introduction of new conflict. I’m really excited for the second half of Season 2, which should air in June.