"R+J: A Romeo and Juliet Tale" is a rock opera musical based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It was written by Brandon and Mat for their senior class project. It's introduced in Mixed Messages and serves as a focal plot point for season S3B, with nearly every character having a plot tie, in one way or another, to the show or it's production.
Brandon initially comes up with the idea for the musical as something to pour his heartbreak over Callie into. He asks for Mat to do it with him so he can do the same with his heartbreak over Mariana. Throughout the course of 3B, an open audition takes place, controversy over if the production can be held at kids' high school occurs, and set production and rehearsals go down. The production finally takes place in The Show. The consequences the show has on the characters are felt and dealt with in the beginning of season 4.
The show opens with Friar Lawrence (played by Brandon) setting the stage by giving away the story ("Prologue"). He explains the setting of Verona, a family feud between the Montagues and the Capulets, the love shared by the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, and how their deaths led to the feud's demise.
Immediately following, the Montagues and the Capulets approach one another. Declaring that they are each superior, it's stated that they must be unbreakable, as it's the only way to keep control, and the two sides end up brawling ("Unbreakable"). Multiple fights take place, including one between Romeo (played by Mat) and Tybalt, one between Benvolio (played by Lou) and Juliet (played by Mariana), one between Paris (played by Chase) and Mercutio, and one between Mother Montague and Father Capulet. Among all of this, Romeo and Juliet cross paths, but do not fight, only return to each other's respective sides while staring at one another. Their fighting eventually comes to an end, with no victor.
Benvolio comes across a moping Romeo ("I Miss You"). Benvolio questions who it is Romeo is in love with. Romeo is lovesick over Rosaline, a girl he loves that doesn't love him. Benvolio advises to stop thinking about her, and to find other beautiful girls to think of, much to Romeo's uncertainty. Mercutio and Benvolio surprise Romeo by taking him with them to crash a Capulet party ("Masquerade"). Upon realizing it is a Capulet party, Romeo is hesitant to go, but is persuaded by Benvolio. At the party, Paris approaches Juliet and discusses their expected, upcoming wedding on Thursday. Juliet is disinterested, claiming she'll only be his only after they marry, and only if they do. Paris is insistent it'll happen, while Juliet remains disinterested, going so far as to pull away from him when he attempts to kiss her. A frustrated Paris walks off. Romeo, watching Juliet from a distance, is instantly smitten with her, and asks Benvolio who she is. Saying he doesn't know, he pushes an awe-struck Romeo to go to her. Romeo approaches, but hesitates and walks away when he almost reaches her. Juliet spots him as he leaves and follows before getting his attention. The two smile and share a dance. Sharing an instant connection, they profess their mutual interest, before sharing a kiss. After their kiss, they remove each other's masks, only to be shocked to find out each other's identity. Recognizing Romeo, Tybalt is immediately furious, and calls out the Montague, causing everyone at the party to turn and stare. He says it wouldn't be a crime for him to kill Romeo, but is held back by by Father Capulet.
After the party, Romeo visits Juliet while she is talking to herself on her balcony. He listens to her talk about how she loves Romeo, and how she'll stop being a Capulet if he swears to love her. Revealing himself, Romeo professes his love to Juliet ("Love Will Light the Day"). She is initially hopeful, though hesitant, but comes around to Romeo, professing her own love. They decide their love is more important than their family's feud. They share a passionate kiss, that is later interrupted by Juliet's Nurse (played by Zoe). Juliet attempts to persuade the Nurse to accompany Romeo and herself to Friar Lawrence's cell, where they will be married. However, the Nurse instead tries to reason with Juliet by claiming that Romeo is her family's sworn enemy, and their relationship won't work ("Never Gonna Do"). Her persuasion nearly works, as she and Juliet begin to walk off, but Romeo stops them by restating his love for Juliet. He and Juliet then run off together to Friar Lawrence's, where they get married ("Forever").
Later, Tybalt comes across Benvolio and Mercutio, and requests to speak to them. Mercutio teases his request. Romeo appears, and Tybalt immediately approaches him, calling him a villain. Romeo protests his insults, claiming he has a new reason to love Tybalt that allows him to set aside his rage. But Tybalt is persistent, and demands that Romeo draws his sword. Mercutio steps up in Romeo's place. Tybalt and Mercutio fight, while Benvolio holds back Romeo from interfering ("Unbreakable [Reprise]"). Mercutio gets the upper-hand on Tybalt, but before he can stab Tybalt, Romeo breaks free from Benvolio's hold and prevents his friend from doing so. Tybalt takes advantage of this and stabs Mercutio, killing him. Enraged, Romeo kills Tybalt. Benvolio urges Romeo to leave Verona, or Paris will sentence him to death for the death of Tybalt. Romeo reluctantly leaves.
Juliet seeks advice from Friar Lawrence, telling him that Romeo's been banished, her cousin killed, and that marrying Paris would not make her happy. Friar Lawrence gives Juliet a vial, explaining to her that she should return home and give her consent to marry Paris. He advises her to drink the liquid in the vial the night before her wedding. It'll put her in a death-state for 42 hours, making her family believe she is dead. Friar Lawrence will send letters to Romeo so he knows of the plan, and he'll come to save her once she awakens. Juliet bids farewell to the Friar. Upon returning home, Juliet find that her wedding has been pushed up to right when she returned home. Dressed by her Nurse and Father Capulet into a wedding dress, Juliet calls upon her love for Romeo to giver her strength ("Be Brave"). She takes the potion before she walks down the isle. At the end of the isle, she passes out. Later, Friar Lawrence finds out that his letters did not reach Romeo. He writes a new letter and gives it to Benvolio, urging him to hurry and make sure the letter gets to Romeo, as Juliet will be awake in a few hours and will be upset if Romeo isn't there.
Having already heard of Juliet's death, Romeo sneaks back into Verona and into the Capulet's tomb. He cries over Juliet, and decides to kill himself to be with her ("Bleed As One: Part One"). Lying beside her, he looks at, holds, and kisses Juliet one last time before he removes his dagger and stabs himself, killing himself. Moments later, Juliet slowly awakens. Initially happy to see Romeo beside her, Juliet cries upon realizing that he is dead. Wishing him a peaceful passing, Juliet decides to kill herself as well in order to be with him ("Bleed As One: Part Two"). Taking his dagger from him, she stabs herself and dies. The Montagues and the Capulets come together at the tomb and grieve over their lost loved ones together. They agree to end their feud after what it's cost them ("Bleed As One: Part Three"). Friar Lawrence comes out and speaks of how Romeo and Juliet were the sacrifices of their family's rivalries, and how there is no other story of such woe like that of Juliet and Romeo.
In the beginning of the episode, Jude is seen reading a used copy of Romeo and Juliet. He reads a quote to the family at breakfast, asking what it means. Brandon answers his question, saying the quote he read means that being apart from the one you love is hard. Jude asks Lena if they have to take Shakespeare, and she says it's a requirement, along with the senior projects, which she then asks Brandon and Callie how they are going with those. At lunch, Brandon and Mat talk about Mat's heartbreak over Mariana. Brandon tries to redirect the conversation towards their senior projects, and asks Mat if they want to work on something together, but Mat continues on with his rant. After surfing with Cortney, Brandon talks to her about his heartbreak, and she suggests pouring his energy into his music to get his mind off it.
Later that afternoon, Brandon sings the first verse of "Prologue" to Mat with his keyboard. He presents the worn copy of Romeo and Juliet to Mat, and asks what he thinks of a rock opera musical based on it for their senior project. Mat is initially hesitant, claiming that Shakespeare is intense, and it'll be a lot of work. Brandon counters that they could just narrow it to basic plot points with modern English, and that'll it be a fun, catharsis way for Mat to pour away his heartbreak, citing that as the reason he came up with the play (and not saying how it'll also help him channel his own heartbreak with Callie). Mat then agrees to do the play with him.
Mat and Brandon are doing a run through the song "Love Will Light the Day," with Mat singing and Brandon on keyboard. While Mat sings, Brandon's eyes light up. After the song, Brandon says they just found their Romeo. Mat quickly disagrees, saying he's not an actor. Brandon says they are all acting all the time. Mat says then Brandon can do it, but Brandon says he's composing, and Mat says so is he. Brandon argues that he's also directing, and then says that Mat has to do it because his singing was amazing. A slightly surprised Mat asks really, and Brandon says to trust him. After a moment, Mat agrees to be Romeo. They then discuss finding Juliet, with Mat suggesting Talya, as she is a good actress and has the best voice in drama club. Brandon is completely against the idea, saying that she's his ex, and even though he's not hung up on her, their relationship didn't end well. They question the idea of holding auditions, which Mat is against, but Brandon doesn't see the big deal about. Mat argues that sitting through the performances of everyone in their school who thinks they can sing would be insufferable, and Brandon can see his point. Mat again pushes for Talya, but Brandon is insistent that Talya hates his guts and wouldn't want to be in his show anyways.
At school, Talya approaches Brandon. She says Mat told her about their senior project, and says she'd happily play their Juliet. An uncomfortable Brandon quickly lies and says that they are having open auditions because his mama, Lena, is forcing them too. He says she can come audition if she's interested. She says it's no problem, and tells him to prepare to be blown away. As she walks off, Mariana, who was a few feet away from them handing out Junior Class President buttons, turns and looks back at them.
Later that day, Mat barges into Brandon's garage asking about the open auditions they agreed not to do. Brandon admits to panicking when Talya came to talk to him, and Mat says it's good that she wants to be Juliet because that means she doesn't hate Brandon. Brandon argues back, claiming she still does, but she's ambitious and loves drama. Mat interrupts him to tell him he gets that it's awkward, but asks if he really wants to do all the work they are doing just to cast a Juliet who can't sing. Brandon can't respond, but then says that they have to hold the auditions anyways or else she'll know he lied. Mat relents, but says that when Talya auditions and is the best Juliet, Brandon will have to suck it up. Brandon reluctantly agrees. At breakfast the next day, Mariana asks Brandon about the auditions he's having for R+J. Brandon hesitantly tells her about it, and says that Mat is playing Romeo, so she shouldn't audition. Mariana tells him not to worry, she won't have time to be in his stupid musical once she wins class president.
At school, Mat and Brandon are holding auditions for Juliet, with Brandon at keyboard and the potential candidates singing the chorus from "Be Brave." Talya has a good audition. Mat stares at her approvingly, while Brandon sighs and barely makes eye contact with her. Once she's done, Mat claps and tells her she was awesome, while an uninterested Brandon nods along and says it was great. When Talya leaves, Mat tells Brandon that they've found their Juliet, and that he'll have to suck it up and do the right thing. As they talk, Mariana walks in, and they both do double takes when she enters. Brandon questions why she's there, and Mariana says it's open auditions. Brandon asks her about class president, and she admits that Lena told her in advance that she didn't win. She asks for just a shot at being in their show. Brandon and Mat share a look, and then Brandon tells her okay. Mariana sings well, and during her performance, Brandon's eyes light up, while Mat seems emotionally affected by her singing. After she's done, Brandon and Mat look on speechless for a moment, Brandon in awe and Mat looking conflicted. Brandon tells her it was really good, causing her to smile, but Mat then sternly tells her they'll get back to her, causing her to leave the room a bit dejected. After she leaves, Mat immediately rejects the idea of Mariana being Juliet, but then Brandon repeats Mat's words back to him, telling him that he has to suck it up and do the right thing. Mat follows Mariana outside, and she tells him it's okay if he doesn't want her in his musical, and he can say it. Mat tells her he doesn't want her in his musical, which hurts Mariana. But then he says that she was the best Juliet, and asks if she would be in his musical. She smiles and accepts.
Brandon, Mat, Mariana, and Zoe are all at school rehearsing. Mariana and Mat are running through a scene about satisfaction. When it's time to kiss, Mariana leans in, but Mat pulls back and asks Brandon if it's alright to save the kiss for the performance, which Brandon says is fine. They then move on to Zoe rehearing her song, and when she gets into place, she compliments Mat on his iambic pentameter, and asks if they can get together later so he can help her with hers, which he accepts. Overhearing this, Mariana goes to Brandon and requests he put in place a no dating policy between cast and crew, so they can save the drama for the stage. Brandon, seeing through her request, tells her if she can't handle working with Mat, they can just cast Talya as Juliet, but Mariana cuts him off saying there's no need to get crazy, saying she's fine. Zoe then practices her song "Never Gonna Do," with the lyrics bothering Mariana.
Brandon and Callie argue over using the car after school the next day. When Brandon makes a remark about Callie needing it to visit her boyfriend in juvie, Callie tells him he's supposed to be moving on. When he says he is, Callie then asks oh yeah, and asks if that's why he's doing Romeo + Juliet as his senior project. Brandon asks what's that supposed to mean, but Callie just asks for the keys, which Brandon ends up giving her.
At breakfast, Brandon shows the family the new poster for R+J, which they all express their love for. He tells them Mat designed it. Mariana comments how it must have been hard for him to find time to do that with Zoe's tongue down his throat, which surprises her family to learn. Mariana complains, calling it unprofessional, but that their director rejected the no dating policy. Brandon just says she doesn't want to see Mat with anyone else. Lena tells Brandon she's proud of how hard he is working on his senior project. He says he didn't realize how much time it'd take. He asks Lena if it's okay for them to practice on the gym stage since the art room is becoming small now that the show is casting it's other parts. Lena says she has to talk to Monte first, but she doesn't see a problem with it. When the kids leave, Callie tells the moms that she and AJ are dating, which Brandon overhears as he had returned to retrieve the R+J poster he left behind.
Mariana puts up a poster for R+J in the halls. Nick approaches her while she does it, and tries to persuade her to go out with him again. Lena talks to Monte about using the gym for rehearsal space, and Monte says sure. She then brings up that some students have expressed that they don't feel the play, Romeo and Juliet, is appropriate. At home after school, Brandon is furious after Lena tells him what Monte told her. She tells him how some students feel it could be a trigger to teen suicide. Brandon argues, saying Shakespeare isn't endorsing suicide, as the play is a tragedy. Lena agrees, and says she is going to fight it. Brandon expresses his frustrations, as this is his senior project, and how he can't graduate if he can't get it done. Brandon wants to know who the students are, and Lena tells him she can't tell him that. She tells him to not take matters into his own hands, and to let her handle it.
Mariana complains to Callie about the issue, saying that school's putting trigger warnings on everything, students won't be able to think for themselves. Callie comforts her by saying mom won't let them kill R+J. When Nick brings a drunk Jesus home minutes later, Callie and AJ help him upstairs, while Mariana distracts their parents by talking about how if she should go back to being blonde, because there have been so many past famous blonde Juliets. She goes on about this until Callie signals that they are good, to which Mariana proclaims she'll remain a brunette Juliet before leaving.
At school, Brandon sees Sally put up a petition against R+J on the wall entitled "Suicide Isn't Sexy". He confronts her about it, and tears up the petition, claiming no one is saying suicide is sexy. She says his play is glamorizing teen suicide. He says it's Shakespeare's play, and it's the most performed play in schools in history. She says that doesn't make it okay, and tells him how she knew someone who killed themselves after their boyfriend broke up with her. She says this isn't over just because he tore up her petition. Brandon is later in the principal's office, where Lena is scolding him for tearing up the petition. Brandon defends himself, but Monte tells him she expects him to apologize to Sally. Lena then sides with Brandon to Monte, saying that a few student's objections preventing Brandon from completing his senior project is extreme. Monte says it's out of their hands, as the students will have to decide, with Brandon and Sally presenting their cases to the honor board.
At the honor board meeting, Sally explains how she and Mariana's votes will be void, as she's against the play while Mariana is in it. She presents her case first, explaining how teen suicide is one of the leading causes of deaths for adolescents, and how Shakespeare romanticizes it as a way for teenagers to be together for eternity. Brandon then presents his case, explaining that forbidding the play is a form of censorship not a far step away from banning books. He goes on to state that Shakespeare isn't romanticizing suicide, as he isn't even romanticizing the relationship between Romeo and Juliet. He calls the suicide pact a tragic act, not a romantic one, which is why the play ends by calling their story a woeful one. After some applause, Sally comes out and asks for the honor board's votes. Two go for Sally, and one for Brandon, therefore banning the play from being performed at the school. After the class clears out, Brandon, Mat, Mariana, and Nick stick behind. Lena apologizes to Brandon for the loss. He asks if they can do it off-campus, and she says they could. Mariana questions where. Mat comments that they'd need a big space with lights and a soundboard, which they don't have the money for, making it impossible. Mat leaves, frustrated, with Brandon following and Lena leaving. When Mariana tries to leave, Nick apologizes for their loss, and proposes to take her out to cheer her up. He takes her to one of his father's warehouse, where they play around with hoverboards. He prompts her to sing something from R+J to check on the acoustics of the warehouse. After she does, Nick suggests they do R+J at his father's warehouse. She calls him her hero and kisses him. The next day at school, Brandon puts up the R+J poster with the new location, when he spots Sally walking by. He tells her not to worry as they are doing it off campus, and she doesn't have to come.
At breakfast, Nick comes over to drive Mariana to school. Upon hearing Jesus pout over how he can't rent out a skate park for his 16th birthday, Nick offers him the warehouse to make into a skate park, where they can build ramps out of plywood. Brandon is immediately against it, as they are using the warehouse to rehearse R+J and already have the downstairs taped off. When Mariana complains about wanting a dance party, Nick compromises, saying they can make the first floor a skate park, and the second floor a dance party. Brandon objects, saying the sets for the play are upstairs. Nick and the twins continue to ignore Brandon when they agree to the idea. Brandon sighs and says he'll allow it, but everyone's gotta be careful around the sets.
Lena tells Monte how Sally came to see her the day before, to which Monte says if she's upset with R+J happening off-campus, she'll have to get over it. At Mariana's birthday party, Brandon sees Sally there. Confused, he asks why Mariana why she invited Sally after she got R+J thrown off campus. Mariana explains that she still has to work with Sally on the honor board, and that, because Sally's so popular, if she didn't invite her, none of the senior girls would have shown up to her party.
At rehearsals for the play at the warehouse, Mariana enters and passes a kissing Mat and Zoe. Telling them to get a room, she walks to Nick and proceeds to make out with him until Jesus breaks it up. Mariana teases Jesus as he blindly continues to build sets for the production until Brandon interrupts them. He pulls her away to rehearse, but not before the set Jesus was building collapses underneath him, causing him to fall through. Mariana worriedly warns Brandon about Jesus' lack of construction skills, but Brandon instead says he's worried about the fact that the leads for his play aren't killing it like the rest of his cast. Mariana gets defensive and says it's because Mat is too busy making out with Zoe all the time, and pushes once again for the no dating rule. Mat hears this and says that he's fine with the rule, but it'd mean Mariana can't date Nick either. They insult each other's significant others before Brandon interrupts, saying they are supposed to be in love. Mat says it might be the songs and the lyrics that's the problem, but Brandon then questions if it's his words or Shakespeare's Mat has the problem with. Mat remarks it might be the fact that their Juliet is supposed to a virgin, taking a dig at Mariana. His words hurt her, and she excuses herself for a bathroom break. Mat defends himself to Brandon when she leaves, saying he was giving her constructive criticism. Nick, having seen that Mariana was hurt, confronts Mat. He says Mat's the one who broke up with her, implying he doesn't get to hurt her. Mat asks how it's his business. Nick says Mariana's his girlfriend, and it's his warehouse. Mat says it's his dad's warehouse. Brandon interrupts their heated stare down, saying Nick is letting them use the warehouse, so Mat has to walk away. He then pulls Mat away with them. Zoe, who was with Mat during the altercation, informs Nick that Mat had a good reason to break up with Mariana, because she cheated on him.
Cortney surprises Brandon at the warehouse, claiming she wanted to check out the sets before work. Brandon says the sets aren't much to check out right now, and Jesus complains that he can hear him, which Brandon says he's aware of. Steph then comes in with Gabe. She tells Brandon and Jesus that she brought Gabe to help build sets for the show. He asks if it's cool with Jesus, which he says it is. Jesus walks off with Gabe. Brandon asks Steph if it's okay for him to be here, and she says it is, so long as she's there to supervise. Steph introduces herself to Cortney, who Brandon then introduces to Steph, not mentioning that she's his girlfriend. Catching on, Cortney plays it like she's visiting to check out the space and decide how many bar areas they can include in it for opening night. Brandon walks her out. At her car, Brandon kisses Cortney goodbye, which Steph sees from inside the warehouse.
Gabe reviews the sets Jesus has already built, and gives his advice on where things need to be fixed up. Gabe asks about Jesus' relationship with Mariana, before Jesus asks Gabe about his relationship with his sister. He explains that he's not close to his sister, and that his family wrote him off after he went to prison. He can't even go see her anyways, because she has kids now. As Gabe continues to go over the construction of the sets, Jesus questions if that's why he never came to see him and Mariana, but Gabe explains that it's not. He was 18 and in prison when he found out Ana was pregnant, and he told her to get rid of the baby, as she was 15 and he didn't think she could do it on her own. He mindlessly continues on by explaining that being with Ana, and the choices he made back then, ruined his life, and nothing good came out of it all. Jesus is clearly hurt by the words. Steph comes by telling Jesus it's time to go home, but he protests, saying he has more stuff that he needs to do. Gabe says he can stay behind and keep working on the sets, as he has nothing better to do. Steph thanks Gabe for his offer. Jesus tells him that the alarm for the warehouse alarms itself at 6, and tells Gabe the code.
When Steph and Lena confront Brandon about his relationship with Cortney later that day, he gets defensive. They explain they just want him to be careful and focus his time on school and Julliard, to which Brandon argues he is focused, as he has written music to an entire play, and is probably one of the only seniors to be almost done with their senior project. That night, Mariana complains to Callie about Mat's attitude towards her at rehearsals until she realizes Callie isn't listening. During this, she gets a text from Nick asking her to call him, but Mariana ignores it. Meanwhile, Mat and Brandon are rehearsing "Love Will Light the Day" in the garage. Mariana soon barges in and sarcastically thanks Mat for telling Zoe she cheated on him. Mat says he didn't. Mariana says then how does she know about Wyatt, which comes as a surprise to Brandon. Mat says maybe Wyatt's talking, because he's not. Mariana emotionally says Zoe told Nick, and now he's probably going to break up with her, so he can thank Zoe for slut-shaming her. Mat tells her he didn't tell as she leaves, before turning to Brandon and insisting he didn't blab. Brandon sternly tells Mat to tell Zoe to keep her mouth shut then.
At rehearsal's the next day, Mariana approaches Nick while he is painting a set. She explains that cheating on Mat was the worst thing she's ever done, and it's a mistake she'll never make again. Mariana says she'll understand if he doesn't want to see her any more. Nick says he was just surprised, and he doesn't like surprises. He asks that if she's ever not feeling their relationship anymore, she just tell him, as he'd rather be hurt than surprised. She agrees, before telling him she doesn't think he has anything to worry about and kissing him. Callie later arrives with Cortney, telling her how she's there to take pictures. Brandon notices them together and somewhat awkwardly greets them, giving Cortney a side hug rather than a kiss as a greeting. Brandon then tells Callie that the whole cast isn't at the warehouse yet, which she says isn't a problem. She asks what vibe he's going for. He explains he's going for a post-modern steam punk look, with Callie finishing his sentence with a knowing smile and nod. Cortney notices this and gives them a look before asking what it is she can do. Brandon says she can paint, and leads her away to some sets. As Callie sets down her camera equipment, she notices Cortney's key-chain has an Everything BabyStore rewards card on it, and looks back at Cortney with Brandon questioningly.
Jesus and Gabe are working on sets again. Gabe thanks Jesus for the letters he and his sister wrote for him, telling him it meant a lot. Jesus tells him not to worry about. Gabe asks if he's okay. He's usually more chatty. Jesus moodily says that Gabe doesn't like chatty, and that's he pretty sure he doesn't even like him, so why is he doing this. Confused, Gabe asks why Jesus thinks he doesn't like him. Jesus says it's because he thinks nothing good came from him and Ana, like he said the day before. Gabe quickly explains that that wasn't what he meant. He says he's not good at this, and that's he's there because he can't be his dad, but he wants to get to know Jesus and Mariana, and he wants to give them something from him. He'll probably say or do the wrong thing a lot, but Jesus will have to tell him when he does, instead of getting all pent up inside. Jesus agrees. Steph interrupts them to tell Jesus it's time to go home. Gabe says he'll go grab some food and come back later when nobody's at the warehouse. They'll get the sets done. Gabe walks off. Steph asks if everything was going alright, and Jesus says yeah, before thanking her for allowing Gabe to work on the sets with them, and giving him the opportunity to get to know his birth father.
Mat approaches Mariana while she is going over her lines. He explains that Zoe told him that Wyatt told Talya, who told Zoe. He apologizes. Mariana says it's not his fault, but thanks him anyways. Brandon then comes to the keyboard behind them and asks if they are ready to rehearse. They agree. Putting away their scripts, they stare at one another as Brandon begins to play "Love Will Light the Day." They sing the chorus while looking into each other's eyes, and at the end of their lines, there is a brief, small pause before Mat leans in and kisses Mariana. After they pull away, they appear caught up in each other, and seem surprised when Brandon starts clapping from his position behind the keyboard at them. He tells them that was it, and he finally believes that they are desperately in love. Mat and Mariana share conflicting looks, the lyrics and the kiss having clearly emotionally affected each of them, while Brandon is oblivious. He asks for them to go through it again. Later, Lena asks Steph how the set building was going while Lena is doing the dishes. Steph has they still have a lot to do, and time is short, hinting at her newly cut short hair that she wants Lena to turn and look and see.
That night, Gabe is working at sets alone at the warehouse when he hears the warehouse doors open. He turns to see Mariana entering. She apologizes and says she only came to get the script she forgot. Gabe greets her. After retrieving her script, she stops to thank Gabe for helping them out. He saved their asses, especially Jesus'. He tells her to be nice to her brother, before saying Jesus did a great job with the sets. Mariana says she hopes to see him opening night, before asking if he's allowed to after seeing his reaction. He says there would be enough adults, so he would be, but he didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable. She asks like who. He says Ana and her parents. Mariana says they wrote letters for him. He says so did she, and thanks him for it. Mariana says she'd like him to come. He says he'll be there. She smiles and turns to leave, but he stops her by saying that he's heard her singing the past couple of days, and compliments her voice. She thanks him. He says his mom, her birth-grandmother, had a beautiful voice too. She asks about it, but their conversation is cut short by the cops. The silent alarm from the warehouse triggered after Mariana came to get her script. Gabe and Mariana tells the cops that they have the code and they know the owners, but the cops insistent that they'll still need to see their ID. Mariana asks if it's really necessary, but the cops are insistent, much to Gabe and Mariana's regret.
Meanwhile, Brandon is reviewing the photos Callie took of the cast, calling them fantastic. He comments that Mariana is going full diva in the photos, but says it's not Callie's fault, to which they both share a laugh. Back at the warehouse, Gabe is arrested for being in proximity to an unaccompanied minor. Mariana is immediately defensive, and starts trying to explain that she's his birth daughter and that her mom's a cop, while the cop tells her to step away, and Gabe telling her it'll be okay, and to call Steph before he is hauled away while Mariana watches.
It's opening night for R+J, and the cast is backstage huddled together. Brandon tells them that they made it, and that Mat and him couldn't have done it without the rest of them. They can now coast for the rest of the year, now that their senior project is done. Mercutio's actor comments he still has a paper to write, while Brandon states he guesses it only matters if they go to Anchor Beach. Chase says he wishes he thought of this when he was a senior. Brandon thanks them all for being there and making it possible, to which Lou says that he owes her big time. Mat just hugs Lou as everyone laughs. Brandon reminds them to talk loud and tell the truth. They put their hands together and yell "Unbreakable" on 3 before parting ways before curtain. Nick calls for Mariana, and gives her flowers. She thanks him. They share a hug. While she hugs Nick, she sees Zoe and Mat exchanging gifts, which causes her to lose her smile. While Brandon is going over some lines last minute, Cortney approaches him. He tells her she didn't think he was going to come. She says she wasn't going to miss his show, before gifting him with some animal crackers. She says she bought them before, but cuts herself short as they stare knowingly at each other, hinting at some past conflict. Callie then calls out to Brandon that she's going to open the house, and asks if it's okay. Brandon and Cortney both look back at her before Brandon says sure, and she leaves. Courtney then looks away from Callie to Brandon. Lena is in the crowd. She texts Stef asking where she is, as the show's about to start. Steph texts back that she's on a domestic violence call and might not be able to make it, and asks Lena to send her love to Mariana and Brandon. Steph's partner apologizes to Steph that she'll have to miss the show, to which she says she's sorry to.
Lena, Callie, Jude, Mike, and Ana clap along with the rest of the audience as the lights go down and the play starts. Brandon performs "Prologue" as his character Friar Lawrence. Backstage, on one side, Mariana, Zoe, Chase, the the rest of the Capulet actors are on one side, while Mat, Lou, and the Montague actors are on the other side of the stage. Zoe and Chase are talking, while Mariana is staring at Mat across the stage, who turns to stare back at her, causing her to smile. Noticing their staring, Zoe frowns and turns to tell Mariana that it's kind of ironic that she's playing the Nurse, when she's really Mat's Juliet, while Mariana is more like his Rosaline. Zoe turns away. This dampens Mariana's mood, and she looks back at Mat, who then turns away and looks back to the stage. Cortney, meanwhile, spares a look back at Callie thoughtfully as Brandon sings about star crossed lovers, before looking back at the stage. As Brandon continues to sing, Callie smiles proudly before staring back at Lena and sharing a smile with her over the performance before looking back at the stage. The song's ending triggers a flashback to earlier during rehearsals for Callie.
Mariana is reading through the script on her bed when she shares with Callie that she thinks Romeo and Juliet is dumb. Callie humorously asks what she means from her spot on her bed. Mariana explains that if Romeo and Juliet had told someone they had already gotten married and were in love, maybe they could have worked it out, and it wouldn't have been so tragic. It would have been hard on the families, but they would have had to figure it out. She goes on to say that secrets are the worst, and that they didn't have to die. Her commentary effects Callie, as she is clearly thinking back to her experiences and secrets with Brandon.
The cast then performs "Unbreakable," which impresses Mike, Ana, Callie, Jude, and Lena. The song causes Jude to reflect back on when he was crying in his sleep earlier that week. Jack, who is fostering with the Fosters until a new foster home can be found for him, sits up and apologizes about Connor, and they both say they are happy that Jack is there with him and the Fosters. Back at the play, Mat is performing "I Miss You." As he sings, Mariana is watching him off-stage, taken by his performance. Zoe notices again, and looks concerned. As he sings the last lines of the song, Mat looks directly off-stage at Mariana, causing her to smile. The following scene between Lou and Mat, where Benvolio (played by Lou) gives Romeo advise to get over Rosaline by examining other beauties causes Brandon to look at Cortney in audience, who feels his gaze and looks back at him. He smiles sadly before looking away, and thinks back to their earlier argument. Backstage at the warehouse earlier that week, Brandon and Cortney argue over if Brandon can handle her having a kid, and if Brandon is ready to get over Callie. She tells him she can't be with him if he's not truly done with Callie.
The cast performs "Masquerade," the dance sequence causing Callie and Lena to smile. The show moves on to the famous balcony scene, which includes the number "Love Will Light the Day." Callie and Brandon watch, but their minds are elsewhere. Earlier in the week, Brandon is practicing the song in the shed late at night when Callie comes in. He tells her he isn't sure if the harmonies are alright, and asks if she can go wake up Mariana so she could come sing with him. He asks him if he really wants her to unleash the beast that is Mariana when people try to wake her up. Brandon laughs, and asks if she could sing with him instead then. She says no, but eventually agrees when he pleads with her. She tells him she doesn't need to review Juliet's part, as she's heard Mariana sing it so many times. They then sing the song together. The scene inter-cuts with Mariana and Mat perform it on stage on opening night, with Callie and Brandon sharing a look as they watch Mat and Mariana. Back in the shed, after they perform, Brandon is satisfied with the harmonies. Callie then tells Brandon what Mariana told her earlier, and asks if he thinks about what might have happened if they had just told their mom's about their feelings/hooking up.
On stage, Zoe looks on apprehensively as Mat and Mariana passionately kiss on stage before she comes on stage to perform her scene and number "Never Gonna Do." As she performs and watches Mat and Mariana act lovingly towards each other, it's likely that her annoyance and worry over their love is more than just her acting. Her song triggers a flashback for Jude, to when he and Jack were raging to rock music to help him get over Connor. The encounter ends with Jude crying, and Jack kissing Jude to make him feel better. As Jude watches on, Mariana looks concerned by the lyrics as well, and it is also likely her concern is more than just acting. They go on to perform "Forever." In the audience, Mike looks over at Ana with heart eyes as they perform. Off-stage, Nick watches Mat and Mariana bitterly. Brandon watches them perform, and daydreams himself as Romeo singing to Cortney as Juliet. But his dream shifts, and he's no longer singing to Cortney, but to Callie, who is singing back to him. On stage, Mariana and Mat finish their song. The emotions of the number proves to be too much for Mariana, as she runs off stage once their number is done, with Mat following and Brandon watching concerned.
Backstage, Mariana sits with tears in her eyes on the couch. Mat asks if she's okay, and when he sees she's crying, asks whats wrong and sits beside her, telling her she's doing great out there. Mariana tells him she knows, and that this it's all just really hard for her. Mat asks why. She confesses that, while she knows she shouldn't say it, it's because she still loves him. Mat looks taken aback before asking her why she didn't answer his letter then. Mariana is confused, and asks what letter. A flashback reveals Brandon, Mariana, Mat, Lou, and Mercutio's actor backstage hanging out one day. When Mariana gets up to get some water, Mat watches her and then gets up to sneak a letter into her backpack. In the present, Mat tells her of this. She says she never got it, and asks what it says. He says that it said that he still loves her too. Mariana looks somewhat hopeful by his confession, but Nick comes backstage then and interrupts them. He tells her that she's killing it, then pulls her off the couch to kiss and hug her. When he hugs her, she stares down at Mat, who is staring at her, both with emotional and conflicted eyes.
Later on-stage, the cast is performing a scene preluding the "Unbreakable (Reprise)" number. Backstage, Mariana is reapplying her make up when Zoe joins her. She tells her it's going great, then suggests that maybe they rewrite the show, where Juliet chooses Paris instead. Mariana says Brandon nor Shakespeare would like that very much. Zoe says it's good they died then, as Romeo and Juliet would have never made it as a couple. She doubts they've even had sex, which Zoe says is where the real bonding happens. Just like her and Mat. Sex brought them to the next level, and she knew she could trust him, as he isn't the kind of guy who'd have sex with a girl then dump her. She then tells Mariana she'll see her on-stage. Mariana sits back at the make-up chair saddened and unsure over the new information. As the cast performs the reprise, Lena looks on seemingly impressed over the fighting sequence, but the scene causes her to text Steph asking for an update, as she's worried about her. The number continues with the knife fight, causing Jude, Callie, and Lena to look on worriedly. The knife fight, along with Mercutio's death, is paralleled with Steph shooting Jim on her domestic abuse call. Watching Benvolio warn Romeo away from Verona, Callie looks at Jude, and thinks back to when Jack told her how he only kissed Jude because he wanted him to feel better, not because he was gay.
Brandon and Mariana share a scene on-stage before she performs "Be Brave" with the Capulet cast members. Lena looks on proudly as Mariana performs. While singing, Mariana looks off-stage, where both Nick and Mat are. She first sees Nick, who smiles at her, but her gaze focuses on Mat, who is behind him and is staring at her, apparently emotionally affected by her and her singing. Jude smiles as she performs, and is brought back to the memory of Jack packing and giving him a new phone so they can stay at contact at his new foster home. It causes him to send a text to Jack asking how he is, and if he's settled in. As Mariana performs the last verse of the song, Callie has tears in her eyes, and shares a look with Brandon. A flashback to the shed shows Brandon is surprised by Callie's questioning. He asks if she wants to tell, before pulling her with him to go tell moms. Callie stops him, and they briefly argue before they both realize that it's too late to tell.
On stage, Mat is approaching Mariana to begin the infamous suicide scene. Nick watches off-stage with seemingly somewhat watery eyes and the same bitter and mad expression as before. He reflects on how he saw Mat place the letter in Mariana's backpack backstage earlier that week, and it's implied that he's the reason why Mariana never got the letter. In the audience, Ana cries while watching Mat, as Romeo, say his goodbyes to Mariana's Juliet. Mike notices. Callie also looks on with teary eyes, and Jude also watches sadly. As Mariana performs "Bleed As One: Part Two," Mike reaches out and holds Ana's hand. Ana smiles as she cries. After Mariana performs Juliet's death, Callie stares blankly ahead at the stage, tears in her eyes. The rest of the cast comes on stage to perform "Bleed As One: Part Three" over Mariana and Mat. In the audience, Callie and Jude both have tears in their eyes, Lena watches, and Mike shares glances back at Ana. Brandon looks at Cortney in the audience, who smiles at him, and he smiles back at her. As they perform, Mat and Mariana subtly break character to hold hands. After the number, the audience claps and hollers as Callie, Jude, Lena, and Cortney grin at the stage. Brandon leaves the piano to walk to the front of the stage, where he recited the closing lines. As he states how there never was a story of more woe, Callie stares at him.
Mariana and Mat are discussing him having sex with Zoe, and the missing letter, in the shed. He says he doesn't want to hurt Zoe. Mariana says she doesn't want to hurt Nick, as he's been sweet to her and he saved the play, his play. Mat says the play is over now. He questions if it's worst to be with someone when you love someone else. Brandon interrupts them by entering the shed, and says he didn't know they were in there. Mariana makes up the excuse that they were waiting for Brandon, so they could go strike the sets. Brandon asks what if they didn't. He says he talked to Nick, who is going to talk to his dad about keeping the show at the warehouse so they can have a real run. They could charge admission, as there is a lot of buzz about their play, and there are papers that want to review them. Mariana and Mat share a concerned glance as he talks. They reluctantly agree.
Jesus questions Steph about Gabe. She tells him he's been put on bail, pending his hearing. Jesus said it's not his fault, as he didn't know Mariana would show up at the warehouse. She said she's sure he'll tell that to the judge. Meanwhile, Mariana and Nick are in Nick's care. Mariana asks if his dad will say yes to letting them keep running R+J out of the warehouse, and Nick says yeah, as he's got his dad in the palm of his hand. Nick asks if she's excited. Mariana is unenthusiastic when she says she is. Nick says Brandon said there are reporters who want to review them, and says what if she gets discovered and blows up. She says yeah right. At Callie's launch party, Brandon confronts Mariana about her and Mat, telling her Mat told him that they are getting back together. She says they might be. He bitterly asks then what about the play. Is she gonna blow it up? What about Nick? She says that he knows how much she loves Mat. He says just because she love someone doesn't mean it's okay for her to hurt other people. He tells her she's a terrible person if she goes through with breaking up with Nick for Mat. That night, Callie gifts Brandon with a black-and-white photograph she took of the cast of R+J posing in character in the background, with Brandon's Friar Lawrence stationed in the foreground at the piano. He tells her he loves it. At Brandon's birthday party that night, Mat and Mariana and talk. They don't know what they are going to do. Meanwhile, at the warehouse, Nick is showing his father the sets. His father says he has no idea what kind of liability he put him through by doing this, and asks what the hell is wrong with him. Nick says his girlfriend's in the play. He wanted to impress her by showing her how successful his dad is. He says she's smart. His dad ask what's she doing with him then. He says she likes him for him. He says apparently not, if he has to give her a warehouse, and he hopes he's getting laid. Nick says it's not like that. His dad says it always is. His dad says Nick's not all that special, and that he better make something out of himself, as his gravy train ends after college. Nick says he can use the opportunity of giving R+J a run to be an entrepreneur. His dad laughs at the idea, but tells him okay.
Nick comes by the party, and tells Jesus that his dad said yes about allowing the use of the warehouse for the play. Jesus directs him outback when he asks about Mariana. He sees her in the shed with Mat, and watches them kiss and hug. Hurt, Nick leaves. Gabe later shows up, and asks Steph if he talked to his probation officer. Steph says she didn't. He asks how did he know then that he was building sets for a school play. Jesus comes in and says he told him. He thought explaining what would happen with Mariana would help. Gabe gets mad and tells him it didn't help. He didn't tell his parole officer what he was doing, which is a violation. Now he's probably going back to jail. At the warehouse, Nick has some of sets up and spotlights on, with the main lights off. He stands staring at the sets, before he pulls out the letter Mat wrote to Mariana from his back pocket. He unwraps it, glances at it, crushes it, and burns it. Crying, he drops the burned letter in front of him on the ground, where it catches on the gasoline he spread all over the sets, setting the sets on fire as he watches. At the education board meeting the next day, the board members say it's been brought to their attention that Lena allowed a registered sex offender to build sets for a school play, causing Lena to look on worriedly. Brandon comes to Mat and tells him how Mariana told him that they aren't getting back together. He thanks them for not tanking the play. Mat says it wasn't all about the play, before leaving with Zoe. In the hallways, Mariana asks Jesus if he's seen Nick. Jesus says not since last night. He tells Mariana how he came over wanting to tell Mariana about how his dad gave them permission to use the warehouse for R+J. Agitated by the night before's events, Nick comes to school with a gun.}}
Stef and Lena allow Gabe to help build sets, with Stef on duty monitoring. He bonds with the twins while there.
Callie takes photos of the show for Brandon.
The play intensifies Mat and Mariana's feelings for one another, with their closeness making their significant others, Nick and Zoe, jealous.
The play is a source of heartache for Brandon and Callie, as they parallel their relationship to that of Romeo and Juliet. Their relationship also stirs uncertainty to Brandon's significant other, Cortney.
Gabe is arrested after building sets one night, because Mariana had unexpectedly come by to pick up a script she left behind, and he is caught alone with a minor by the police.
Mike and Ana get together during the show's opening night.
After the show, Mat and Mariana contemplate getting back together. They are dismayed by Brandon, who wants to continue production of the show, and give the musical a real run after it's successful opening night.
A kiss shared between Mat and Mariana causes an unstable Nick to burn down the warehouse and the sets of R+J, as well as bring a gun to school.
A flyer for the show is vandalized and left in Mariana's locker. It is used to slut shame Mariana.
Lena's job is put in jeopardy after the education board finds out she knowingly allowed a registered sex offender to build sets for the show.
R+J was promoted for many weeks as a Fosters Musical Event, boasting 12 original songs.
It's soundtrack is available for purchase on iTunes.
A full, 20 minute, uninterrupted presentation of the musical can be viewed on FreeForm's app.
Jude is the only character of the main cast to not have a link to the musical.
According to an R+J flyer, the location of Nick's father's warehouse is 4350 Market Street, San Diego.
The flyer also reveals that the play is a one-night only play, taking place Saturday, October 20th. This is a goof, as the last time it was Saturday on that date was in 2012, which would have made the twins 14 instead of 15.
The auditorium at the school is called the ABCC Auditorium
Corbin Bleu, Jameson Moss, Michael Thomas Grant, and Aylin Bayramoglu all only appear in one episode to play parts in R+J. How Brandon or Mat knows them or how they are cast is not explained, though they potentially know each other through school connections.
Garrett Clayton returns in The Show to play Paris in R+J. He is not referred to as Chase, and any bad blood between him and Mariana is nonexistent in his return. Him getting the part suggests his acting skills have improved.