Welcome back to Riverdale Roundtable: a recap series where we chat about all the drama and sexy intrigue from last week’s Riverdale — just in time to get you up-to-speed for tonight’s episode. Today we’re talking about Season 2 Episode 18: “A Night to Remember.” Reconciliations! Murders!! Reckless driving!!! THESPIAN TERRORISM??? That’s right, y’all: settle in for some shouting about Riverdale’s Very Special Musical Episode.
Please note: this recap includes Extreme Spoilers for this episode, as well as the entirety of Season One. We warned you!!
Jenny: what an episode
can i just say — did not know what i was getting into this week
Jenny: this was 100% my face when i realized this was the musical episode
CC: I had no idea til you told me the other day
Rachel: I’m so glad they did it
it was honestly my favorite episode in a long time!
CC: this was the most extra musical episode I’ve ever seen in any show
almost as extra as any given episode of glee
Jenny: i did have some of the songs stuck in my head for a few days after watching this
they really went all out
Jenny: like, all this chair work?? in the opening number?
who is that for?
the audience can’t see that
it only works w an overhead camera and i know my high school sure as shit didn’t have the budget for that
CC: i mean it’s for the documentary obvz
hotdog is up there with a camera
strapped to a sandbag getting the shot
the best boy
CC: hotdog or a drone literally named hotdog 2
Rachel: y’all this episode made me cry 3 separate times
Jenny: music is a powerful thing
CC: yeah there were so so so many Feelings in this episode!
so much reconciliation!
Jenny: it was truly an ep for reconciliation
Jenny: i also liked that the songs that these scenes were set to — josie/cheryl was about “two unsuspecting hearts” and b/v was literally the love song the blonde sings with her goodboy boyfriend
— they were all about the romance
but set on top of women who love and support and forgive each other
CC: yeah I agree!
I have a lot of Opinions about these conflicts
but I think the musical scenes were pretty well acted as far as expressing the emotional complexity between the characters
I mean, for riverdale lol
Rachel: I def cried during the B & V scene!
the other 2 scenes I cried at were:
1. Alice breaking down during her rehearsal
Rachel: that was so intense and emotional!
I have never been more pro-madchen
I just want to protect her
CC: welcome 2 the dark side
mad 4 madchen
Jenny: i will say that madchen did a good job this ep — i feel like it helped that betty finally started treating her mother’s emotions with respect and sympathy
she’s in a tough spot and i don’t think anything is playing out like she (or we) would like
Jenny: this cold and emotionally distant sodajerk
Rachel: YEAH WHAT THE HELL FP
I BELIEVED IN YOU
CC: FP of all people should know that Alice Cooper doesn’t do casual relationships
she is either poisoning your chocolate malt or getting you to help her hide a body
there is no in between with madchen!
Rachel: I’m just, so so bummed
especially because this means the return of Hal
CC: W O O F
ok that actually got me peeved at betty
like betty girl why are you still meddling in your mom’s life
Jenny: fuckin hal; fucking shit up
Rachel: what happened to Penelope Blossom and him being in looovveee
CC: I feel like the number one lesson betty needs to learn is that sometimes you can support and love someone through support and not a grand gesture
finding their hidden children or getting their shitty ex to show up with a half-assed sweet gesture
Jenny: yeah maybe too far
maybe not what she actually needs rn
esp bc she took on the musical to spend more time w betty! like, betty! just spend more time w her!
betty!!! all you need to do is say
hey mom, you want to just hang out and watch a movie tonight???
that would make alice’s whole year!!!!
CC: alice just wants somebody to make an effort to be around her
and somebody she can share things with without scaring them off
is my read on the situation
bringing more unstable randos into alice’s life isn’t gonna , uh,
accomplish that goal
Jenny: speaking of unstable randos
but in a good way
was SO GOOD THIS EP
SUCH A SWEET BOY
Rachel: oh man I love him, but I don’t get that weird scene with him and Midge at the end?
Jenny: i mean — yes
maybe he was outing moose
Rachel: oh and that’s why Moose was mad?
Jenny: that’s my theory
Rachel: hmm that’s a good theory
CC: oh dang jenny I forgot to say
i’m so sorry for your loss
i know how much you loved midge
Jenny: thank you
it’s a trying time
Jenny: just like — goddammit
what did she ever do to anybody
Rachel: ok do we really think she’s….
I mean, idk
CC: i watched the trailer for the next ep and there’s a funeral
but when has that ever meant anything in a soap opera like this???
the body is actually that of midge’s secret twin, caesar augustus
Rachel: this is just such a way to go
like, way more intense than I expected
CC: idk as soon as that song started repeating the chorus of WOW LOVE HOW NOBODY IS DEAD AND WE’RE ALL HAPPY AND YOUNG AND ALIVE i started to wonder
i mean I am kidding but also
that song was v
Rachel: I mean, we all knew the black hood was gonna come back
that they didn’t catch the right guy
and I LOVED
the way they handled this
Jenny: brought the black hood back in style
CC: do y’all think the black hood is actually ethel
i do not
i feel like it’s the most obvious red herring of all red herrings
Jenny: i kind of think it might be ethel’s dad?
but also idk
that would be bad writing
bc we’ve never met ethel’s dad
but the bad writing honestly kind of supports my theory
CC: i mean idk, I still think it could be hal
Jenny: i mean
hal is still v much a suspect
CC: you know how penelope doesn’t want cheryl in the play, so maybe that’s??? sorta?? a motive??
Rachel: if it’s not Ethel, then I super want to see her vision board
Jenny: yeah — what a sweet girl
making a vision board
CC: it’s fucked up that kevin didn’t even let her audition tho!!!
Jenny: i know!
kev was weird this ep
mean to fang
Jenny: but also
what the fuck is this???
if you’re swearing the documentarian to secrecy then why make a documentary at all?
like presumably this doc was made to be later shown??
CC: what does kevin think documentaries are?? vision boards???
idk — i think he was maybe injecting a little drama
not sure if i’m saying he’s the black hood — i don’t think i’m saying that — but def he is taking this situation and running w it
CC: ok so one thing I wanna get back to is the conflicts between the ladies that got resolved this ep
jenny, I think you mentioned that these resolutions didn’t necessarily feel earned and while i agree
i have such mixed up feelings about both scenes
I feel like josie forgave cheryl on the basis that yeah, it probably is extremely hard to be both penelope blossom’s daughter and also gay while being penelope blossom’s daughter
so I felt like josie was kinda like, ok I’m still mad but I see u cheryl
Jenny: oh yeah i am fine w the josie/cheryl reconciliation
CC: but for b and v
i just want them to be friends but i have not understood their interactions in so so long
Jenny: yeah! same!
the talk that archie had w betty that is supposed to have prompted this reconciliation??
Jenny: he was SO VAGUE
betty came at him w receipts and he was just like — things are hard at home but i can’t talk about it bc of secrets
but remember when she was forgiving of you when you were being emotionally manipulated by a serial killer??
that one time
so maybe YOU have more in common w the spoiled dad-problems rich girl character archetype
is all i’m saying. the end by archie andrews
CC: imo betty is giving archie more benefit of the doubt than he deserves lol
i feel like v has not lied to archie! he has been all about lodge crimes for really confusing reasons!
Rachel: yeah that’s the real mystery I want solved
i have no idea what that kid has been thinking for fully the past season
Jenny: i’m glad he’s standing up to hiram at least a little bit?
why is he even in this situation for real?
other than the fact that he CLEARLY has NO PROBLEM committing CRIMES
Jenny: driving without a licensed driver in the car!
CC: TAKE THOSE EARBUDS OUT KID
YOU CANT EVEN DRIVE WTF
CC: good lord
yelling at a teen for driving with earbuds in makes me feel more elderly than any other part of this roundtable has ngl
oh! so rachel
for your Big Cries
we got Madchen
we got b & v
what was the third Big Cry?
Rachel: the third big cry was when Fred was tearing up when he saw that Archie got that old car ;-;
I can’t handle Fred crying!!
he just wants to be a good dad and he doesn’t know what’s going on but he’s trying!!
Jenny: that was really nice
CC: yeah the best thing archie has done in a while
fred is the number one dad in this show rn
holding in strong at #1 too imo
Rachel: yes def
CC: I really thought he was getting back with molly ringwald tho ;___;
Jenny: me too!
Jenny: this was 100% my face when i heard molly was gone
CC: if the CW crowdfunded molly ringwald’s salary to be a series regular I’d pledge
in a heartbeat
CC: even though they are a large and wealthy corporation and should need crowdfunding dollars
so great is my need
Rachel: the lodges are getting less and less redeemable for me
V too, honestly
hiram is a grade a bitch
Jenny: and veronica has been weird for a while now
Jenny: really bugged me
like who even are you
the arbiter of pariahship???
CC: “””””victorian gentleman”””””””
fucking victorian gentleman
same chuck (‘what does that mean?’)
CC: I wish this show put just a little more effort into characterization
Jenny: consistent characterization
CC: nobody feels Solid so nothing feels significant :S
Rachel: yes!!! exactly!!!
I think, except certain parental figures
like Alice and Fred
the bedrocks of this show
Jenny: maybe the riverdale writers room is just like
ok but I DID love that
Jenny: loved toni’s sympathetic “sure you are”
like she’s not horrified/hearing this for the first time
CC: i feel like after meeting penelope, toni’s like “i mean lol same”
let they who WOULDN’T burn down thornhill cast the first stone u know
but toni this ep
she was really supportive?
maybe to a fault
Jenny: this is one side of the line
and the other side of the line is
your mother is in charge
CC: on the other hand, penelope sure is bold for a woman who was clinging to life after her daughter recently almost burned her to death
maybe her burned hand has healed and she’s forgotten how powerless she was then
maybe this fake twin brother has made her feel like a woman again
this ep did not really do anything to further explain wtf is going on w all that
but maybe that’s unfair of me bc this ep did a lot
CC: i mean it’s a plot point that just gets weirder and weirder all the time
but speaking of weird
what did y’all think of the actual theme of the musical itself
have y’all seen Carrie?
I haven’t so idk if a lot of it went over my head
Rachel: ok truth time: I have not
Jenny: i’ve seen the two movies but i haven’t read the book
Rachel: I know about the blood and the pyrokinesis
I know the general story
if there were things specific to the movies / book then I def missed it
sorry and apologies to all our dedicated readers
CC: i mean same
but then again I have famously claimed to have never seen any movies except fury road soo o o oo o
Jenny: ok i mostly remember what happens
if we’re interested
i think p much it’s just Carrie is like 16 when she gets her first period, and her mom freaks out bc that means carrie’s becoming a woman. carrie’s mom was teen pregnant (in like, the 1950s) and then she fell hard into religion and doesn’t trust men. carrie is a weird kid bc her mom has raised her p weird (v religious; actively not social), and one girl at school is trying to be nice/give carrie a normal teen night of wholesome romance so she campaigns for carrie to be prom queen, and she convinces her boyfriend to ask carrie to prom and treat her in a gentlemanly way; BUT there’s this other girl who wanted to be prom queen, and she gets HER boyfriend to get a bucket of pigs blood and dump it on carrie when she’s on stage accepting the crown.
carrie, alongside this, can set things on fire w her mind
she doesn’t respond well to the pigs blood — her mom warned her that people are terrible; but also her mom thinks she’s kind of a demon? bc of the fire thing?
i think there was also something about a kindly neighbor but idk for sure
mostly i remember the opening scene is the gym class shower period scene and the closing scene is a dream the neighbor has of a hand reaching out of the ground where carrie’s house used to be (before it burned down the night of the prom stuff)
CC: everything happens so much!!!
I def feel like not knowing the refs didn’t take away from the experience but it does make me wonder why kev picked Carrie for his musical debut
Jenny: maybe it was a decision made before Sabrina got sold to netflix, and they were laying the groundwork for Cheryl, the Teenage Witch
CC: i mean like, I can see wanting Cheryl for the role but i don’t see NEEDING midge for understudy without auditions
Jenny: yeah that seemed real weird
Rachel: I mean good for Midge but still
not in the long run
I am very curious why the black hood targeted her
Jenny: so the message said
that he was going after those who had escaped him
and midge was originally a target
CC: oh shit you’re right
Jenny: bc of the jingle jangle and the fornication
Rachel: oh dang I forgot!!
CC: are we gonna get more jingle jangle
I hope not
Jenny: lol you mean you DON’T want that half-assed commentary on the opioid epidemic to come back??
you know what i REALLY don’t want coming back
Jenny: this shit
CC: i like that jug was even like lol archie shut up
Rachel: yeah nobody is interested in this storyline!!!
CC: the riverdale version of fetch is archie/betty shipping
are we ready for final thoughts?
tl;dr this episode
Rachel: ok mine is, CHICK why are you such a WEIRDO
like, you can’t even be supportive in a normal way!!
Jenny: yo that guy sucks
CC: it’s bc the black hood is two Chicks standing on each others’ shoulders in a trench coat
nothing turns boys to men like musical theater
CC: horny for choir scholarships
def a new take on high school musical theater, I’ll give them that
Jenny: hs musical theater is a dangerous world
rife w thespian terrorism
Rachel: that’s what the CW has taught me for sure
CC: i guess the real lesson is that the town from dirty dancing was right all along
yall know i’ve never seen a movie