|“||Heathers: The Musical? Now, how, in God's name, is a play about teen violence and suicide a good idea in Riverdale, especially after last year's musical?||”|
RIVERDALE HIGH PRESENTS "HEATHERS: THE MUSICAL" — As rehearsals for this year's musical "Heathers: The Musical" get underway, Cheryl, as queen bee Heather Chandler, channels her own HBIC to deal with a recent fallout. Meanwhile, Betty grows increasingly annoyed by Evelyn's involvement with the musical – as well as the lives of her friends. Elsewhere, Veronica learns some devastating news about her family, and Archie and Josie make a decision about their future. Lastly, Jughead makes a surprising move against Gladys.
As mayor, Hermione goes straight to Principal Weatherbee after discovering that this year’s musical is Heathers, which focuses on teen violence and suicide. Hermione explains that this is a terrible idea given the tragedy of last year’s musical. Kevin and Evelyn are there to maintain their stance and see to it that the play goes on. While Heathers deals with teen alienation and desperation, it’s characters however long for simpler and more innocent times. Its ultimate message is a rejection to nihilism. Kevin and Evelyn then proceed to sing the lyrics of the first song in hopes of convincing Hermione that the musical is in everyone’s best interest.
Meanwhile, at the Jones house, formerly known as the Cooper house, Jughead shares with Betty that he had a dream of him searching for a needle in a haystack. Betty assures Jughead that his plan is a good one. His mom can’t start dealing drugs without a lab to make them in. So, all he has to do is find the lab and shut it down to stop her from getting a toehold. Betty and Jughead then start singing.
Back at Riverdale High, Kevin reveals to Hermione and Weatherbee just how clueless they are in regards to what the students are dealing with. In the classroom sits Josie, Archie, Reggie, Sweet Pea, Fangs, and Evelyn, who all proceeds to break out in song and dance, leading Hermione to questions if they’re all truly this miserable. Kevin explains that there’s also Cheryl, who’s floating above it all as Heather Chandler. Aside Cheryl stands Betty and Veronica, who join her in song. Cheryl was distraught after her break up with Toni, but then she gave herself the role of HBIC. Veronica and Betty are playing the other Heathers, Heather McNamara and Heather Duke. Cheryl, Veronica, and Betty resume their act, that is until Toni, Peaches 'N Cream, and the Pretty Poisons arrive at school. Reggie, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Archie, Josie, Peaches, and Evelyn then come down the hall to join in and make their way to the auditorium. Kevin, Cheryl, Veronica, Betty, Reggie, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Archie, Josie, Peaches, and Evelyn get on stage, where they conclude their performance.
Afterward, Kevin announces that there’s been a slight change to their creative team. While Evelyn has been helping him produce the musical, he’s recently asked her to step up and be his co-director, much to Betty’s disdain, as she points out that Kevin has always directed the musical alone, which Kevin reveals has always been incredibly stressful, especially after last year’s incident, with Midge being killed by the Black Hood, which Fangs would prefer they not speak of. Kevin then asks for a rundown of everybody’s role. Josie’s playing Veronica Sawyer, outcast turned Heather turned outcast again. Sweet Pea plays JD, Veronica Sawyer’s bad boy love interest. Reggie’s playing Ram Sweeney while Archie plays Kurt Kelly. Just two straight dudes doing some theater, Reggie says. Given how much dancing there is in Heathers, Kevin and Evelyn figured they should bring in a choreographer, that being Toni, which comes as an unwelcome surprise to Cheryl.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, Toni, Josie, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Reggie, and Peaches lay on their backs in the student lounge as Evelyn tells them that everything in their lives matter. There are universal truths within each of their experiences. In rehearsal, they’re going to explore their own personal traumas and experiences and exercise them through their art. Kevin interrupts to inform Cheryl, Veronica, and Betty that "Candy Store" set and costumes are ready.
Once in the auditorium, Kevin explains to Cheryl, Veronica, and Betty that this number is about the Heathers undeniable power that each of them can get at any given time. Toni, Peaches, and the Poisons are also on stage. Toni, as choreographer, wants to start with some simple steps, but Cheryl, still upset over their breakup, doesn’t want to hear it, telling both Toni and Kevin that she, Betty, and Veronica have already worked out their own choreography. Toni’s attempt at being professional is undermined by Cheryl, who along with Betty and Veronica, begin their musical number. Toni, Peaches, and the Poisons join in on the number, which upsets Cheryl, leading to a showdown between the two, who go back and forth on stage. Cheryl stops in the middle of their performance to tell Toni to shut up, though Toni persists, and so Cheryl shoves her and concludes the song.
Betty confronts Evelyn on her suspicions of Evelyn’s less than pure motives with joining Kevin in directing the musical. Betty suspects that Evelyn’s using the musical as a recruitment drive for the Farm, who are sponsoring the play. Betty came to this conclusion after Evelyn strong-armed her way into directing the musical. Also, her warm-up sermons and exercising trauma through art screams cult recruitment to Betty. Evelyn wants to dissect Betty’s trust issues. Evelyn claims that the Farm is producing and she’s co-directing the musical for one simply reason. To have big fun. In fact, Evelyn makes an announcement, inviting everyone to a cast party at the former Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Also, while it may seem weird, Evelyn tells everyone to come in costume.
At the sheriff station, FP and Jughead discuss a string of pharmacy break-ins along with the ransacking of Tent City. The Jones’ old trailer was stolen. Jughead suspects that it’s the making of a mobile drug lab. He wants to get the Serpents involved to help look for the trailer, but FP doesn’t believe it’s worth the effort as the trailer was worthless. However, it wasn’t worthless to Jughead. That was their home for many years. Too many years as far as his father is concerned.
Veronica returns home to find her mother and father awaiting her arrival. Veronica tells them that she’s just popping in to change as she’s attending a cast party, but they have something important to tell her. Hiram and Hermione reveal that they’re separating. Veronica takes this as a joke initially, but it is anything but. Hiram in fact will be staying at the Five Seasons indefinitely. Veronica can’t believe that it has come to this. Whatever has happened, she wants to figure it out as family. When she asks to be clued in, Hermione reveals that Hiram knows the truth. That she sold the drugs out from under him while he was in the hospital. Realizing that this could mean that her father may retaliate, Veronica asks her mother what she is planning to do, to which Hermione replies that she’s going to take a bath.
The cast meets up at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy compound as planned. Given the night she’s had, Veronica could use a liberation and she decides to take a shot, as do Reggie, Sweet Pea, and Fangs. Betty continues her investigation of Evelyn. She wonders what Evelyn’s father would say about all this. Evelyn replies that there is no need to wonder as her father’s approving of their get together. She, Reggie, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Kevin, Cheryl, Veronica, Josie, and Archie then start to sing and dance. Reggie and Veronica break off from the others to perform a duet and make out. While singing with Fangs, Sweet Pea stumbles upon Archie and Josie having an intimate moment. Just then, Toni, Peaches 'N Cream, and the Pretty Poisons join in, which upsets Cheryl, as she was hoping that Toni wouldn’t come. Evelyn notices Cheryl’s troubles and tells her to let everything go and to follow her lead. With the exception of Betty, who watches from afar, everyone comes back together to finish the musical number.
Veronica and Reggie return to the Pembrooke, where they hookup. Afterward, Reggie reveals to Veronica that he was afraid that the two of them were never going to get together again. But maybe the two of them are meant to be together. Veronica calls out Reggie’s name as if to tell him something, but she kisses him instead.
Back at the party, Evelyn offers Kevin an organic brownie with farm-grown maple mushrooms baked in. She claims they’re transformative. Shortly after eating the brownie, Kevin starts to hallucinate. Just down the hall, he sees Midge pinned to the walls with knives and a message written in blood that says "All Your Fault. You Killed Me, Kevin".
Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, Toni, Josie, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Reggie, Peaches, Evelyn, and Kevin meet back up in the auditorium the following day. They’re each going to share something they’ve never told anyone before. Kevin reveals that he’s being haunted by Midge’s ghost. He’s been thinking about her all the time since rehearsal started as he feels guilty. Fangs has been seeing her as well, but in his nightmares. Evelyn sees this as a beautiful experience. Through revealing their truth, they’ve found an unexpected connection. Sweet Pea reveals that it hurt him to see Archie and Josie getting cozy last night. This is the first of Betty hearing about this, and so she looks to Archie and asks if he and Josie are dating, but he doesn’t answer. Under the suspicion that he may have been nothing more than a rebound, Reggie asks Veronica if she knew of Archie and Josie’s relationship. Veronica had no idea, she claims. Evelyn then asks if Veronica has anything to share. She tells the group that her parents are separating. Admittedly, her family is unconventional, but she always thought no matter what that they’d stay together. Hearing this, Betty goes over to comfort Veronica.
Archie approaches Josie in the music room to discuss their relationship. Josie is quite upset that Sweet Pea exposed them, though Archie is happy that it is now out in the open. He wants to make them official, but Josie is against it. The other day, when Archie asked how they got together, Josie explains that they were lonely. It’s not a strong bedrock. Josie sees them as nothing more than lonely souls filling a void.
Reggie now realizes that the real reason Veronica wanted to get back together is because her parents are separating. Veronica wanted to ignore it and feel better, so she kept it to herself. Reggie also makes her feel better. She knows how this may seem, which is why she would understand him not wanting to talk to her again, however, that’s not what Reggie’s saying. While what’s happening in Veronica’s home life is tragic, he doesn’t think that he and Veronica should be together at the moment.
Evelyn approaches Cheryl in the restroom to inform her of Toni’s arrival just outside. Cheryl exits the restroom to find Toni in an all-red outfit. Cheryl is enraged, immediately confronting Toni and informing her that she’s wearing Cheryl’s signature color. Toni states that Cheryl doesn’t own the color red and that it existed before her. Cheryl retorts that it didn’t at Riverdale High. Here, she invented red. Cheryl tells Toni that the school isn’t big enough for the two of them. Cheryl recommends Centerville High or Westerberg. Nevertheless, she gives Toni until first bell Monday to clear every trace of herself from the school. Toni breaks out in song. She sings through the halls of Riverdale High, eventually finding herself in the student lounge, where she finds Peaches 'N Cream and Sweet Pea, both of whom she wishes to get intimate with. Toni takes them both to the auditorium and tells them to get undressed. Unbeknownst to Toni, Cheryl sits off by the window. She decides to join in on the song. Toni caves at the last moment and tells both Sweet Pea and Peaches who are nearly naked that she’s sorry as she can’t go through with it.
With Sweet Pea and Fangs on musical detail, Jughead calls in the rest of the Serpents to the bunker, where he has put them in groups and tasked them with finding his old family trailer. If he’s right, the trailer is being used for a drug lab, and they need to shut it down. As the Serpents head out, Jughead asks Betty if she wants to go hunting with him, but she can’t as Evelyn’s called a closed rehearsal for select cast members in the Gargoyle Chamber, and Betty wants to investigate, asking Jughead to borrow his camera.
Betty sneaks into the Sisters of Quiet Mercy compound. She peeks through the doors of the chamber to the sight of Evelyn standing before Kevin and Fangs, who are down on their knees singing. Betty takes photos of the rehearsal as Kevin and Fangs rise to their feet and kiss, and Evelyn leads the rehearsal.
Josie finds Archie boxing at the gym. They both have something to say to the other. Archie goes first. If Josie doesn’t want to be in a relationship because she’s not into him, then he’s fine with that, but if she does like him then he wants to start figuring out what they are and what they can be to each other. Archie wants to fight for their relationship and it seems like Josie is willing. The two of them then start to sing and dance.
Betty goes to Weatherbee with the photos she took from the Gargoyle Chamber of Evelyn, Kevin, and Fangs surrounded by members of the Farm. Betty claims that the musical is being used to indoctrinate students into a cult. From Weatherbee’s perspective, it looks like they’re simply rehearsing. Betty insists that the photos capture some kind of ritualistic ceremony. However, Weatherbee would beg to differ. The Farm is a fully sanctioned club, approved by Weatherbee after he read Edgar’s doctrine. Which Weatherbee found to be fascinating. After being dismissed by Weatherbee, Betty calls Jughead as she suspects that he’s a part of the Farm. Jughead has news as well and asks Betty to meet him at Junkyard Steve’s.
Toni visits Cheryl at Thistlehouse to extend an olive branch. Cheryl surmises that Toni’s there to beg for clemency, but she’s not. Toni’s there for them. She doesn’t even know what they’re fighting about. Toni then asks what love was like in Cheryl’s family. It was all or nothing. Pure adoration or distilled hate. Thornhill was a den of shadows, and Jason was her only light. And then he died, and it was dark again until Cheryl met Toni. Then it felt like Toni was disappearing on her too. Toni insists that she isn’t going anywhere and that maybe there’s still a chance for them.
Jughead gets word from one of the Serpents that they’ve found his trailer, and so he and Betty decide to investigate. As Jughead suspected, inside the trailer, they find all the makings of a drug lab. Jughead is distraught as his own mother destroyed his childhood home. He looks around the trailer in disgust at what it’s become. He wonders at what point did their lives get so crazy to the point where they have to worry about drug lord mothers and serial killer fathers.
They’ve now reached the emotional climax of the musical. "Seventeen" captures the longing all the characters feel for what they’ve lost, their teen innocence, Kevin tells Sweet Pea and Josie.
At the trailer, Jughead is stressing out as he has no idea what his next move will be. Betty starts to sing "Seventeen", suggesting that they just be normal, like seeing bad movies, sneaking beers, and watching TV. She comforts a wallowing Jughead, offering nothing but to bring him happiness. The two then proceed to dance and kiss in the trailer.
At Thistlehouse, Toni and Cheryl are also singing "Seventeen". They sing to one another in bed before sharing a kiss.
Jughead and Betty head to Pop’s to discuss their next course of action. Jughead wants to steal the trailer back while everyone’s at the play. He can get the keys from Archie’s dad’s truck and move it to get it out of his mom’s hands. Betty points out how this idea is more emotional than practical. She would rather Jughead just let it go.
Veronica goes to the Five Seasons hotel hoping to convince her father to come home. Hiram reveals the real reason that he and Hermione are getting a divorce is because he found out that she tried to have him killed twice. While Veronica claims to have had no knowledge of this, he believes that at least part of her already knew. Veronica reminds her father that he always says "Family is the most important thing." However, as Hiram points out, family’s trust. Veronica and Hermione betrayed him, so there isn’t a family anymore.
It’s time for Veronica’s solo in the auditorium. Kevin was going to talk about the devastating loneliness that Veronica’s character feels at this moment, but it seems like Veronica’s already there. Veronica then starts to sing on stage. Afterward, she calls her parents to ask them to meet her at La Bonne Nuit. While she recognizes their irreconcilable differences, she has one request to make. She wants them to come to opening night of Heathers: The Musical. To make one last happy memory.
FP returns home from an incident at work to find Gladys, Jughead, Betty, and Jellybean eating pizza by the fireplace. He’s bleeding from being scratched and asks Jellybean to get him a clean shirt. FP reveals that some tweaked-out Fizzle-head was playing Gryphons and Gargoyles in the middle of the road. The candy store is definitely back open and FP intends to find whoever is cooking the Fizzle Rocks. As Gladys cleans FP’s wounds, Jughead and Betty get ready to leave. He claims that they need to make a quick stop before heading to the play. A little pre-show tradition.
Backstage, just ten minutes out, Evelyn and Kevin get everything in order in preparation for the musical to begin. Veronica peaks out from behind the curtain to see her parents sitting next to each other, though Hiram and Hermione do not speak. Meanwhile, in the dressing room, the rest of the cast is preparing. Archie and Josie are kissing, as are Toni and Cheryl. Betty and Jughead arrive with dirt all on their face, just short of opening. Kevin and Evelyn instructs them to get to make up and to make sure that Jughead knows his line and choreography for the finale. Jughead questions when he received a line as he isn’t part of the cast. Betty explains that it’s kind of a big statement song that Kevin wants everyone in on. She assures and tells Jughead to follow her lead as it’s basically just a costume change.
The musical ends with Sweet Pea, Toni, Reggie, Josie, Archie, Veronica, Cheryl, Betty, Jughead, Kevin, Evelyn, and Fangs on stage singing "Seventeen". Many are in attendance, including FP, Gladys, and Jellybean. Betty takes an uneasy Jughead’s hand. As it turns out, when the two of them left the house for their pre-show transition, they actually burned down his childhood home. As the trailer goes up in flames, Betty asks Jughead if he’s okay. He replies that he’s surviving, because Betty’s there with him. The two of them proceed to make out in the car as the trailer burns. Penelope also attends the musical, watching from the audience along with Hiram and Hermione. As the musical concludes, Edgar Evernever rises from the audience, clapping slowly and very dramatic-like. He is joined by over a dozen members of the Farm, who are all wearing white and join in on the slow clap. From the stage, Evelyn states that she knew her dad would like it. Weatherbee and Mrs. Klump appear to be one with the Farm as they too are wearing white and applauding the performance.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Casey Cott, Madelaine Petsch, Camila Mendes, Ashleigh Murray, KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, Charles Melton, Jordan Connor, Drew Ray Tanner, Zoé de Grand'Maison, and Bernadette Beck - Beautiful
- Riverdale Cast feat. Madelaine Petsch, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Bernadette Beck, and Vanessa Morgan - Candy Store
- Riverdale Cast feat. Zoé De Grand Maison, Casey Cott, Charles Melton, Madelaine Petsch, Vanessa Morgan, Bernadette Beck, KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, Ashleigh Murray, Jordan Connor, Drew Ray Tanner, and Lili Reinhart - Big Fun
- Warm Drag - Cave Crawl
- Scene: Evelyn gives Kevin a brownie.
- David Newman - Poor Little Heather
- Scene: Cheryl confronts Toni for wearing her signature color.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Vanessa Morgan, Bernadette Beck, Jordan Connor, and Madelaine Petsch - Dead Girl Walking
- Scene: Toni attempts to have a threesome with Sweet Pea and Peaches 'N Cream.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Zoé de Grand'Maison, Casey Cott, and Drew Ray Tanner - Our Love Is God]
- Riverdale Cast feat. KJ Apa and Ashleigh Murray - Fight for Me
- Scene: Archie and Josie decide to start dating.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, Vanessa Morgan, and Madelaine Petsch - Seventeen
- Scene: Betty suggests to Jughead they just be normal. / Cheryl and Toni make up.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Camila Mendes - Lifeboat
- Scene: After Veronica's solo, she asks her parents to come together so they can both see her perform at opening night.
- David Newman - J.D. Blows Up
- Scene: Jughead and Betty leave out ahead of the rest of Jughead's family for a pre-show tradition. / Evelyn and Kevin prepare the others as the play is about to start. / Cheryl and Toni do their make up.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Lili Reinhart, Madelaine Petsch, Camila Mendes, Ashleigh Murray, Cole Sprouse, Vanessa Morgan, KJ Apa, Jordan Connor, Casey Cott, Charles Melton, Zoé de Grand'Maison, and Drew Ray Tanner - Seventeen (Reprise)
- Scene: The entire cast ends the musical.
- The episode title comes from the Heathers song of the same name.
- Although credited, Martin Cummins (Tom Keller) is absent from this episode.
- This episode marks the second musical episode of the series; the first episode being Chapter Thirty-One: A Night to Remember.