Heathers was one of my favorite movies in my youth, so I was excited to see Riverdale take up Heathers: The Musical in this week’s episode. Unfortunately, for fans of the movie, none of the story elements from the film are actually incorporated into the series (Boo!). On the other hand, if you are a fan of the musical, this week’s Riverdale does offer viewers the opportunity to hear the cast of the CW series perform soulless, autotuned renditions of the songs.
The songs themselves are kind of shoehorned into the existing storylines on the show, but because much of the episode is devoted to musical numbers, there aren’t a lot of plot developments. There’s a showdown between Toni and Cheryl, which is aborted near the end of the episode when Cheryl and Toni decide to reconcile. Archie and Josie finally decide to make their relationship public, and Veronica and Reggie also reconcile, but mostly because Veronica is in free-fall after her parents tell her that they’re getting a divorce (there are plenty of grounds for that divorce, but Hiram ultimately cites the fact that Hermione tried to have him killed. Twice. Fair enough.) Meanwhile, Jughead learns that his Mom Gladys has turned his childhood home/trailer into a drug lab to manufacture fizzle rock, and by episode’s end, he and Betty have burned it down.
The storylines are mostly inconsequential, save for one: Evelyn, the kid leader of The Farm, acts as co-director for the high school’s production of Heathers: The Musical and mostly uses it as an opportunity to recruit new members — including Principal Weatherbee — into the cult. She also draws Kevin further into it. At the end of the episode, after the reprise of “Seventeen” (which is actually pretty good), select members of the audience give the performers a creepy, staccato standing ovation, led by Evelyn’s father and the adult leader of The Farm, Edgar Evernever, played ever-so-creepily by Chad Michael Murray. Yes, children of the ’90s: All your childhood crushes now play Hot Dads, most of them on Riverdale. (Go to the 1:50 moment to see the Chad Michael Murray intro).
I didn’t particularly care for the episode, but I’m willing to concede that it’s largely because I’m not familiar with the music from Heathers: The Musical. However, I did enjoy that surprise ending, as well as the Twitter reaction to it:
HOLY CRAP WAY TO INTRODUCE CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY #Riverdale— Jennifer Noble (@brightasarose) March 21, 2019
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