Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 218, "A Night to Remember"

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Riverdale A Night To Remember

It's time for CARRIE: THE MUSICAL, and this episode of RIVERDALE delivers on its titular promise. Believe us, readers, this isn't just "A Night to Remember" -- it's a night you won't be able to forget!

Director JASON STONE  and writers ARABELLA ANDERSON and TESSA WILLIAMS have done a great job of paralleling the classic CARRIE storie elements against the backdrop of the twisted gothic horror that RIVERDALE has become, with Betty (LILI REINHART) as good-girl Sue Snell, Archie (KJ APA) as her boyfriend Tommy Ross, Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) as bad-girl Chris Hargensen and trying-to-reform Chuck Clayton (JORDAN CALLOWAY) as her boyfriend, Billy Nolan.

The musical, directed by Kevin Keller (CASEY COTT) is the focus of the episode, but it has an interesting way of bleeding over. It's not just that there are character and plot parallels, but the songs tend to break the fourth wall of the stage and out into the "real" world of Riverdale, such as the moment when Betty's song to Archie leaves the stage so she can pursue Veronica and apologize, sealing their friendship while performing the rest of the ballad, or when Alice Cooper (MADCHEN AMICK) is trying to keep Carrie at home and the lyrics turn from "Carrie don't leave me" to "Betty don't leave me," prompting Kevin to ask the question: "Am I directing a train wreck?"


RIVERDALE: A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. L-R: KJ APA as Archie Andrews, LILI REINHART as Betty Cooper, CAMILA MENDES as Veronica Lodge, JORDAN CALLOWAY as Chuck Clayton.

The musical is cathartic in more ways than one, as it's also providing Cheryl Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH), who has been cast as the leading role of Carrie White, the opportunity to seek forgiveness from Josie (ASHLEIGH MURRAY) during a number about friendship. But the drama goes beyond the stage when Cheryl's mother, Penelope NATHALIE BOLTT) pulls the plug on Cheryl's participation in the program. The role gets recast with Midge Klump (EMILIJA BARANAC), whom Kevin appointed as understudy right after a near-accident on stage almost injured Cheryl.

But it may have been no accident. Kevin's been getting threat letters, first about casting Cheryl as Carrie, from someone signing them "The Black Hood." He shows the letters to Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) as part of the behind-the-scenes documentary of the musical, but keeps them secret from everyone else. Is it really the Black Hood returned? Is it just a prank? Or could it be a jealous Ethel Muggs (SHANNON PURSER) who feels she was the perfect analog to play the title role?


RIVERDALE: A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. L-R: CAMILA MENDES as Veronica Lodge, MADELAINE PETSCH as Cheryl Blossom, ASHLEIGH MURRAY as Josie McCoy

Whoever it is, they don't stop just because Cheryl is out of the action. And when the curtain rises on CARRIE: THE MUSICAL, the scene of horror exceeds that of the story as things take a disastrous and bloody detour off script! Believe us, the climax of this episode will leave your heart pounding! (See: Riverdale Confirms Death of Major Character.)

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0