Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Julie and the Phantoms 1x04 Review: “I Got the Music” (The Haunting of Trevor) [Contributor: Jenn]

“I Got the Music”
Original Airdate: September 10, 2020

Even though they’re ghosts who’ve been dead for 25 years, Luke, Alex, and Reggie are still teenage boys at heart. That means they often get easily distracted or fixated on things that are less important or pressing than others. “I Got the Music” isn’t really a two-parter, but it functions like one since we’ll see the fallout of their choices in “The Other Side of Hollywood” shortly. 

In the meantime, let’s talk about how this episode is a plot-building one and that it also helps us get to know Alex Mercer a little bit better.


Alex and Willie’s connection is undeniable and it continues to develop in this episode. I love that Willie is this very chill, very relaxed skater who loves skateboarding in museums and screaming to get his energy out. Alex, however, is not relaxed. As he accurately points out, he struggled with anxiety the whole time he was alive and dying didn’t help. Especially because he can’t seem to control what’s happening to and around him. That’s a hallmark trait of someone with anxiety: the desire for control and the frustration when life doesn’t work the way you want it to.

One thing that does frustrate and almost defeat Alex is the inability to hold objects. When Willie asks him to move a bench in the museum, Alex says that he’s unable. And after one try, he all but gives up. But Willie encourages him to focus — another thing that Alex’s anxiety prevents him from doing. Instead of wandering thoughts and aimless emotions, Alex follows Willie’s advice and channels his thoughts into a singular focus. And it works! He’s able to actually pick up the bench and move it. Later on, Luke and Reggie are surprised when Alex is able to touch and hold things and it makes me happy that he’s continuing to practice mindfulness. 

In addition to this episode being a great one for us to learn more about Alex’s character, we also get a glimpse into the burgeoning relationship between Willie and Alex. I love that their relationship is so pure, supportive, and open. They don’t know each other that well but Willie is a safe, calming space for Alex. At the same time, he also pushes and challenges Alex to step beyond what’s comfortable and into what’s possible. Alex loves his bandmates, I have no doubt about that. But I love getting the chance to see Alex vulnerable with someone outside of the group, and for him to be able to learn that it’s okay to let go of control and exist in the ambiguity. Willie lives his life with freedom and we all want Alex to do the same.


The most important plot of “I Got the Music” is that the boys learn that their former bandmate, Bobby, now goes by the name Trevor. But there’s something even worse than him changing his name: he stole their songs. Julie reveals to the boys that Trevor’s music is what inspired her and her mom to be songwriters; Alex then tells Julie that as it turns out, Luke was really the one who introduced her to music. All the songs that made Trevor famous were ones that Luke had written. The boys are furious, understandably so. And I think one of the most heartbreaking but small things they mention is that their parents will never know how great they truly were; Trevor took sole credit and he could’ve at least shared some of that fortune with Luke, Alex, and Reggie’s families to make sure they were okay after the boys were gone.

Now, we don’t know much about how or why Bobby changed his name and image. I suspect that after all his bandmates died tragically, he endured trauma. Perhaps changing his name and image was a way to disassociate from the pitying glances or concerned fans — a chance to have a fresh start. And we don’t know why Trevor took the songs and passed them off as his own. Maybe it was an accident at first and then the fame and success got away from him. We also don’t know much about how Rose and Trevor became so close. She knew him from Sunset Curve, so did she know that he was stealing Luke’s songs or did she assume he’d written them himself? There’s a LOT I hope that the show unpacks in season two in regards to Trevor/Bobby, but suffice it to say that the boys haunting him seemed on brand for their teenaged ghost selves.

Julie, however, is insistent that the boys let the past be in the past and focus on the present — the fact that Flynn got them a gig playing at the school dance. Unfortunately for Julie, even though the boys promise that they won’t let revenge color their judgement, they really do. We’ll see the fallout in the next episode. But it makes sense: these are teenagers who’ve been scorned and they can’t see the forest for the trees. To them, it doesn’t matter if Trevor stole their songs 25 years ago or 25 seconds ago — they want revenge. So they haunt him and scare him off, but it’s not enough. Revenge is a drug and they needed another hit. So they enlist the help of Willie to try and do more damage. Willie points them in the direction of the Hollywood Ghost Club where we learn that Caleb (Cheyenne Jackson) is already waiting for them.

Be careful what you wish for, boys. You might just get it.

Hitting the right notes:

  • While “I Got the Music” ranks a bit low on my list of Julie and the Phantoms favorites, I can definitely sense the nod to the show’s musical predecessor, High School Musical, in both the music and choreography. That’s one, big, show-stopping number!
  • I love that originally Owen, Charlie, and Jeremy were supposed to be in this number (Madison mentioned this in a live and the boys rehearsed it) and just imagine how much MORE fun it would have been if they were dancing against the lockers.
  • “How’s the band? Still hot? Still talented? Still dead?”
  • “Just remember, he’s made of air.” “Cute air.”
  • “I’ve always been a little anxious and then I died. Which did NOT calm me down.”
  • “Oh… he looks like a substitute teacher.”
  • “... It’s a little bit about the money though.” “A little bit about the money.”
  • “This place is creepy.” “Well, so are we.”

What did you all think of “I Got the Music”? Sound off in the comments below!


Post a Comment