‘Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies’ is a Paramount+ musical romantic comedy series that serves as a prequel to the classic 1978 film ‘Grease.’ Set about four to five years before the events of the film, the plot revolves around the foundation of the all-girl clique Pink Ladies. Cynthia Znudowski (Ari Notartomaso) is a tomboy and an outcast, preferring to spend time with the T-Birds. She wants to become a part of the greaser clique and plays a pivotal role in T-Birds gaining a certain amount of notoriety on the Rydell High campus. Ironically, because they have finally garnered some credibility, the T-Birds refuse to let a girl join their group. Cynthia eventually becomes one of the founding members of the Pink Ladies.
Cynthia and Lydia (Niamh Wilson) meet after the former has been forced to get involved in the drama club. Their relationship develops throughout the first season as Cynthia realizes certain things about herself. If you are wondering whether they end up together, we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Do Cynthia and Lydia End up Together?
Yes, Cynthia and Lydia end up together in the first season of ‘Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies.’ Because of their actions, the Pink Ladies quickly gain the notoriety of their own, infuriating Asst. Principal McGee, who runs the school in all but name. In episode 3, she begins meting out punishments to the Pink Ladies. While her friends are forced to be hall monitor or help out McGee, Cynthia is sent to the theater club to learn the craft of acting. This is especially grueling for her as she often ridicules the theater club.
Cynthia and Lydia meet each other there. Their relationship is initially quite antagonistic, as Cynthia doesn’t hide her disdain for the actors. Lydia, seemingly the best performer in the group, is the de-facto leader of the club, often performing the primary female role. But when McGee forces the theater club to perform William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ she starts to lose her affluence in the group. Buddy, the popular jock and class president, joins the club and is cast as Romeo, while Cynthia is Juliet. Lydia is relegated to one of the supporting characters and told to give Cynthia personal lessons in acting.
This leads to Cynthia and Lydia spending more and more time together. As they get over the mutual hostility, real feelings start to develop. They share a kiss under the pretext of practicing for the play. As more kisses are shared, that excuse increasingly becomes useless. Lydia doesn’t seem to have come out as a lesbian; this is the 1950s, after all, but she knows who she is.
In contrast, it’s a very new experience for Cynthia. Until recently, she wasn’t interested in any form of romance. Although Shy Guy, one of the members of the T-Birds, harbors some feelings for her, he hasn’t spoken about them, and she doesn’t seem to reciprocate. Faced with such inner turmoil, Cynthia bails on the play on the night of the performance, and Hazel has to step in as Juliet.
As the conflict raging within Cynthia becomes apparent to Lydia, the latter ends things between them. She recalls a past girlfriend of hers. They started as friends and then became more, meeting every night to converse and share kisses. When the girl stopped showing up, Lydia tried to confront her and was called “sick” and “a deviant.” Lydia refuses to go through that again and says that Cynthia is not a steady ground.
In the season finale, Cynthia grows increasingly frustrated. Nancy notices this and convinces her friend to tell her what has happened. Cynthia comes out to Nancy, writing about it on a paper and passing it to the other girl. Nancy also writes something and passes it back. Whatever it is, Cynthia breaks down crying and embraces Nancy, finding encouragement and acceptance. Nancy accompanies Cynthia as the latter goes to the local fair to speak to Lydia. Cynthia proves to Lydia that she is serious about their relationship by revealing that she told Nancy about them. This stuns Lydia, and they reconcile.