Someone left a batch of new VHS tapes around town, Mr. Honey nearly canceled the prom, and Hiram collapsed from his illness on Riverdale Season 4 Episode 17.
Below, TV Fanatics Meaghan Frey, Becca Newton, and Justin Carreiro debate the highlights from the "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" musical numbers, Kevin's opportunity for a spotlight episode, and the blooming romance between Betty and Archie.
The cast of Riverdale performed songs from "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Which performance was your favorite?
Meaghan: Kevin strutting his stuff through the halls in full get up in protest against being held down. I loved Kevin so much at that moment! He straight up killed it!
Becca: Unlike Carrie: The Musical and Heathers: The Musical, I was familiar with Hedwig’s songs prior to this episode, and it did influence my feelings on the performances, so picking a favorite isn’t easy. That said, I guess I’ll go with “Tear Me Down.”
Kevin: What’s up, Riverdale?! Are you trying to tear me down?
Betty: That’s … wait… that’s not…
Kevin: Well, sorry, I’m the new Berlin Wall, baby. Now get your a**** to the music room!
Justin: I guess we're all in agreement here! My favorite musical number has to be "Tear Me Down."
Kevin thrived in his first appearance as Hedwig. The wig, the makeup, the outfit ... he shined in the persona and had so much fun with it. The cast also looked like they were having a blast too.
Kevin finally got the spotlight in his own character-centric chapter. Did you love this episode for the character or did it fail to give him justice?
Meaghan: I will take any chance to give Kevin a bit of the spotlight. He is one of my favorite characters and has been done dirty for far too long.
I do wish that for a Kevin-focused episode, there was a tad bit more focus on him rather than the drama of the other characters. But, I still loved getting to see him shine when he did.
Becca: I think Kevin’s story got lost in the midst of the couple drama and with everyone taking up the cause.
Justin: I'm happy that Kevin got the focus for once. He's been overlooked the last four years, and whenever he did get a plot, it usually involved his romantic life. This plot was all about him and his wants.
However, as I discussed during the review, I don't think it was a strong enough plot overall. The focus was one dimensional and only pertained to him wanting to sing a song.
We need more character development for Kevin.
The Riverdale High students tried multiple times to convince Mr. Honey to allow the Hedwig song, but their attempts failed each time. Would anything have changed his mind?
Meaghan: Absolutely nothing. He is so close-minded and stubborn. Even if he did change his mind internally, he would fight against it just to go against what they all wanted.
Cheryl: On behalf of Kevin Keller and the entire student body, we urge you to hear our plea. Hedwig is not some fringed downbeat musical.
Toni: It’s fun! It’s an old fashioned red-blooded American musical comedy with something for everyone.
Cheryl: Including those of us who are more … strait-laced.
Becca: No. This is, what, the third time Riverdale had Mr. Honey make a decision?
The teens protest the decision, Mr. Honey doesn’t change his mind, so then the teens go around Mr. Honey's back. It’s a formula now.
Justin: Nope. Nothing. Nada.
Unless Mr. Honey himself wanted to change his stance or he was getting a greater benefit in return, he was going to stick to his position at all costs. Going back on his decision would be a sign of weakness that he would never admit to doing.
Betty/Jughead and Archie/Veronica fought over secrets during the song of "Exquisite Corpse." Which issue frustrated you the most: Jughead not focusing on his studies/watching VHS tapes or Veronica getting mad at Archie over Hiram working out?
Meaghan: Veronica. I am actually really over all the Hiram drama. I would much prefer that he be killed off at this point.
Becca: Both. I thought both arguments were weak in themselves and as a setup for what came afterward.
Archie: When I saw that signup sheet, I flashed back to sophomore year. I was on stage, freezing up from stage fright. Until I saw my dad, and suddenly I could just play. He gave me the biggest huge afterwards.
Betty: He was so proud of you. He was always so happy whenever you played. Look, just because Veronica and Jughead aren’t here, that doesn’t mean we can’t rehearse?
Justin: Surprisingly, the Betty/Jughead drama frustrated me the most.
After following Jughead's story during the Stonewall Prep arc, I couldn't believe that he couldn't care less about graduating or the work his girlfriend put in to ensure he'd graduate. All that effort was going to go to waste because, what, he was tired of having to put the work in?
Jughead's a high school student; he would have to put in the work to graduate regardless! He came off looking so entitled and frustrating.
Betty and Archie kissed, and they shared longing looks from their windows. React!
Meaghan: I really need them to see this one through. I have loved Bughead in the past, but I always supported the idea of Barchie giving it a go.
Bughead has been pretty boring for a while now, to be honest. It is time to shake things up a bit.
Betty: Does this band have a name?
Archie: It’s … The Archies,
Jughead: What? Was the Me, Me, Mes taken?!
Archie: We can change the name.
Veronica: No! The Archies … I like it.
Becca: I hated it for several reasons. The writers derailed Betty’s character, brought back to the surface what I loathe about Archie, rendered much of the series meaningless, and it will undermine what comes next regardless of the direction this goes in.
Justin: As much as the characters had moved past their initial flirtation, I want to see where this develops.
Betty spent many years in love with Archie pre-series; those feelings don't completely go away. The couple never got together because they delved into new romances and Archie rejected Betty since he didn't feel worthy of her. She is too good for him, but that soapy reason felt like a flimsy excuse.
I want them together so that the plot can be explored and determined if they're supposed to be together or not.
No more ambiguity! Are they endgame or just a blip in Riverdale's romantic history?
Jughead discovered a VHS tape with someone wearing a Betty mask killing someone with a rock wearing a Jughead mask. What's your theory for why this video was created and sent?
Meaghan: This feels like a sign that the Stonewall Prep drama is far from over, which I'm not sure how I feel about it.
Riverdale tends to drag storylines out to death. They really should have just let this one die.
Becca: It’s Charles and Chic doing it for revenge against the Coopers and the Joneses.
Justin: I agree with Becca! This twist is totally going to reveal Chic and Charles behind the masks.
They're doing it as revenge, and then during their villain monologues, it's going to be revealed how they've hindered the group along the way. (I still think Charles tipped off the quiz show people about Alice's cheating on Riverdale Season 4 Episode 11.)
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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.