Riverdale takes on "Heathers" tonight. Now, in itself, you may go, "Oh a musical. How nice!" For those of us who remember the 80s version, we know "Heathers" is a dark and sinister movie that takes High school to an extreme. When the top clique starts to get infiltrated by the bad boy, strange things start happening. Deaths start racking up. Now would "Riverdale" kill anyone this year after the murder of Midge at last year’s musical? Of course, they could but the question remains: will they kill someone tonight?
It’s going to be hard to sort the story out tonight in regard to characters so I’ll do it by song. Since I’m not familiar with titles, I’m going to identify them by their location in the show. I think it ties it together better because I do believe they are already changing the words and meanings behind the song.
Big Production #1
Kevin is trying to convince Hermione and Mr. Weatherbee that the play, "Heathers," is not as dark as they fear. Riverdale will be safe if it is performed. Besides, "The Farm" Is sponsoring it. Oh, no! I didn’t need "The Farm" tonight. It’s been a hard day at my real job. Kevin hits the music and starts to sing. As he does, Hermione gets worried that the things the students are singing about (you know depression, popularity, teen angst) is really how they feel. Of course, Hermione, it is. This is Riverdale after all where murder happens all the time. Oh my! Cole is singing – whoops, Jughead is singing and is good.
Evelyn arrives on the scene as co-director. Kevin needs her due to his guilt over Midge’s death last year (remember Carrie). Evelyn is spreading the love of “The Farm” in her pre-rehearsal pep talks which doesn’t sit well with Betty. Hey, I’m with Betty. Evelyn creeps me out! Cheryl, of course, is more accepting until Evelyn mentions that Toni is doing the choreography for the show. Somehow I think Evelyn plans to cause trouble the two.
Production Number #2
As the Heathers introduce themselves, we actually get a great performance of a sing/dance off. Cheryl and Toni have their own squads which square off. This production is better than if it was only one set of "Heathers." Of course, Evelyn feels pride in this. Betty immediately lets her know that she is trying to convert people to “The Farm.” Evelyn tells her she only wants to have fun (yeah, right). In fact, she’s throwing an early cast party that night at her place and all must wear their costumes.
FP meanwhile has a new Riverdale problem. His trailer has disappeared and the drug stores have had drugs stolen. Jughead decides the Serpents can investigate. And let’s not forget the Lodge family. Veronica comes home to change and learns that Hiram and Hermione are divorcing because he knows what happened while he was in the hospital. Does Hiram mean that Hermione tried to sale his drug business or that she attempted to kill him twice?
Production Number #3
Evelyn has really gone all out of the cast party. She’s having it with no parent supervision but the interesting thing is what she is serving. Just what is that drink in the cups? Has she laced those brownies with some kind of drug? While the production number continues, poor Kevin has “a vision” of Midge on the wall (like last year). The next day, we learn Sweet Pea is seeing her in his nightmares. The night had other strange things happen. Reggie and Ron appear to get back together but it is "divorce driven" and Reg isn’t happy. Well, he thought he had the girl, didn’t he?
Production Numbers #4 and #5
As the rehearsals go on, we learn a few more things. Archie is taking full advantage of his new gym and Josie arrives to talk to Archie. They make up while singing about fighting for each other. When Ron and Reggie talk, it is he that wants to wait (say what)? When Betty shows the pictures to Mr. Weatherbee, he doesn’t see anything wrong with the way the location looks and the cult feel. Has he gone to “The Farm” and been converted? Later, Toni talks about her relationship with Cheryl in song and ends up getting back with her in a scene reminiscent of the “death” scene of Heather Chandler. At least the drink Toni gives her wasn’t poison.
Production Number #6 (first version of "Seventeen")
The big production number in this musical is "Seventeen." In rehearsals, Sweet Pea and Josie are to sing it but we never see their version. Instead, we get Jughead and Betty and yes, Cole (Jughead) sings! I don’t know why he wouldn’t last year. His voice is good. We also see that the song has meaning for Toni and Cheryl as the scenes cut between the two couples.
Maybe inspired by the song, Betty and Jughead try to figure out what to do about their drug lab problem and Veronica tries to convince her dad to come home. While Betty and Jug appear to put it on hold, Ronnie learns that Hiram knows that Hermione tried to kill him twice and suspects that Ronnie knew about it. He has lost faith in his family. (Wow! Hiram must be planning something big to get even.) When the action switches back to Jughead and Betty at the Cooper/Jones’s home, FP arrives showing signs of a fight. G and G is back and Fizzle Rock is worse than ever. Jughead realizes he has to do something and in a scene reminiscent of the movie, he and Betty go to the trailer. This time Jug does what JD wants to do in the movie, he destroys the trailer and Jug and Betty have an interlude before heading for the play. Now, I can see Jughead as a non-destructive rebel, JD.
Production Number #7 ("Seventeen" reprise)
When Betty and Jug arrive at the theater, everyone is getting ready for the show. Veronica checks and sees her parents sitting together. Toni and Cheryl and Archie and Josie are back together. When Jug learns that Kevin wants all of them out there for the big production number, he tries to get out of it but Betty tells him to follow her lead. I’ll be honest, this number was superb. The voices blended well and the way it was performed made us see that being “Seventeen” can be hard. We do see parents in the audience. Wonder if Gladys knew the trailer was burning? As the song ends, the audience seems stunned and suddenly someone starts to clap. It’s none other than the head of “the Farm”, Evelyn’s dad. Could we finally be getting some information on that soon?
The musical episodes are always questionable as to whether it advances the story or not. Congratulations to the writers of "Riverdale" who managed to do this with this episode featuring the music of "Heathers." I can’t wait for the next musical episode but I fear we will not have Josie as she is scheduled to star in a new spin-off called Katy Keene.
So my questions are:
Will Hermione and Hiram reunite and run Gladys out of town?
Will Gladys know that Jughead burned her trailer down?
Has Evelyn managed to make any new cult/members for "The Farm?" Will we finally get details about this place?
Guess we will have to keep watching to find out. And with that, I’m out of this long post for the night. See you next week!