“Why would the Black Hood, who was shot dead by my dad, be demanding the role of Carrie be recast?”
The cast and crew have been teasing their musical episode for weeks now, and honestly, Carrie: The Musical was a flop on Broadway, and it has done no better in Riverdale. Like an episode of Glee we see the stars of Riverdale come together for numerous musical numbers, each with a link as tenuous to their situation as the last. While the vocal performances and choreography show off a great deal of talent – though none that we haven’t seen in the musical performances every other week anyway – it seems that we have come a long way (in the wrong direction) from the show that won over audiences with mystery and intrigue as much as teen drama.
Let’s start off with a part of this episode that seems to make very little sense – why are all of the parents so involved in the school musical? Fred’s (Luke Perry) appearance can be understood, after all, with his business with the Lodges over and done with, he’s got a lot of spare time and materials on his hands, so making the sets for the show makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is why Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) is producing the show. It’s a school musical – why does it need a producer? They aren’t taking it to Broadway! Is there no drama department at the school with a teacher that can get involved? And even more confusing than this – why is Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick) playing Carrie’s mother? Most high school musicals cast other students to play the older roles, and dress them as such, they don’t cast someone’s actual mother, regardless of whether she wants to spend more time with her daughter or not.
As casting goes, the teens’ roles are pretty spot-on, as Betty (Lili Reinhart) plays the good girl, Veronica (Camila Mendes) plays the spoiled daddy’s girl, and Archie (KJ Apa) finds himself in the role of the boy torn between the two. With B and V still not seeing eye to eye, the snipes are endless, and comes to a head when Betty tells Veronica exactly what she thinks of her, and the nice-girl role she is trying to play. Don’t expect much to come of this argument however, as Archie comes to Veronica’s aid, explaining to Betty that she doesn’t know the hardships that his girlfriend is going through at home, and of course, the two make up by singing the musical’s romantic ballad. But all isn’t fine and dandy with Archie and the Lodges.
After Hiram’s insane gift of a car at the end of last episode, Archie is having a hard time keeping his gift from his father, so when he asks Veronica if he can leave it parked at her place, Hiram has found his ace in the hole to end Fred’s mayoral campaign. For a man who is running with a family man image, Fred isn’t having the best luck with his son, and when he finds that Archie has accepted Hiram’s overly extravagant gift, he is hurt. Seriously, why is everyone so awful to Fred? He’s the only parent in the show who hasn’t done anything terrible, and yet terrible things keep happening to him. At this point, he’s probably better off without Archie, who takes an entire episode to understand why his hard-working father might be hurt that his girlfriend’s dodgy dad has gifted him an expensive car. It certainly is a conundrum, Arch.
Elsewhere, leading lady Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) is seeming to feel absolutely no ramifications from her imprisonment with the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, instead throwing everything into trying to be the best Carrie Riverdale’s ever seen. Fierce though she is, when it seems that the Black Hood has returned threatening to bring the fury if Carrie isn’t recast, her role is called into question, and when her mother makes it clear that Cheryl is to have no part in this particular extracurricular activity, director Kevin (Casey Cott) is forced to use understudy Midge (Emilija Baranac) who up until this point has been conspicuously absent, and by the end of the episode, will likely not be appearing again anytime soon. All credit to Petsch, however, as she later delivers one of the episode’s few great moments, when Cheryl comes face-to-face with her mother in true Carrie style, covered head to toe in blood, as she threatens Penelope (Nathalie Boltt) in order to secure herself her freedom from the family who are working to destroy her.
It’s a difficult week for Alice Cooper, as, while she is taking part in the school musical, all the men in her life seem to be either ignoring her, creepy, or Hal (Lochlyn Munroe). After her return to the Serpent fold, it was clear that she and FP (Skeet Ulrich) were going to reunite, however this week, the elder Jones is strangely cold, brushing Alice off at every turn. Between her frosty biker, and the estranged son who won’t return calls, it is easy to see why a Cooper reconciliation is appealing to her, because Hal seems to be the only man actually trying. Once again, however, when the subject of Chic’s (Hart Denton) actual father comes up, we’re left out of the loop, so at this point the reveal has got to be big and shocking – like “surprise it’s Fred Andrews” shocking.
In a disappointing turn, this week’s focus on the musical leaves Jughead (Cole Sprouse) to only feature as Kevin’s documentarian, filming anything and everything to do with the musical – to the point when it becomes a little creepy that he’s sort of lurking in corners, filming the others’ conversations. Of course, in classic Jughead style, he is also on the lookout for whoever is pretending to be the Black Hood, because of course the Hood that the Sheriff shot is the right one. However, when the musical’s finale takes a shocking turn, it seems that Riverdale’s masked killer may still be at large.
An uninteresting departure from the season’s overarching storyline, ‘A Night to Remember’ is like watching a Riverdale-themed episode of Glee, which struggles to move the story forward, by constantly removing us from it with a song. Despite the cast’s obvious musical talent being on display, and the subtle addition of a new mystery, the episode ultimately wasn’t that entertaining. We might have all benefited from doing as FP Jones did, and leaving before the music started.