‘Riverdale’ Season 2, Episode 18 Review: Murder on the Dancefloor

Get ready for Riverdale‘s musical episode!

As we know, Kevin is directing a school production of Carrie, and his casting choices are, well, interesting: Archie and Betty are paired up as sweethearts Tommy and Sue, Veronica is playing mean-girl bully Chris, and Cheryl is playing the “iconic” lead role of Carrie White. A few of Cheryl’s castmates make it clear they don’t think she has the chops, but she proves them wrong with a soaring rendition of “Carrie,” dressed in a pink satin prom dress. She gets a round of applause… but she also gets a sand bag falling from the rafters that narrowly misses crushing her skull. ARGH!

Kevin discovers a ransom-style letter in his locker claiming to be from the thought-to-be-dead killer, demanding that Carrie be recast. But he suspects it’s just a prank from a jealous student, and tasks Jughead (who’s shooting a documentary on the making of the musical) with finding out who wrote the note. Betty volunteers to grill Ethel, who was clearly not happy she didn’t get to audition for Carrie, but denies she’d ever try to hurt anyone.

Josie is still holding a grudge over Cheryl’s creepy stalker routine, and the tension between them is evident as they rehearse a duet about friendship called “Unsuspecting Hearts.” They mend fences, though, after Cheryl apologises, saying she was struggling with “some dark, Carrie White-like demons.” And there’s another fractured friendship in the cast: Betty and Veronica, with Betty no longer trusting a word that comes out of Veronica’s mouth. She snipes that the role of Chris is perfect for Ronnie: a “spoiled rich girl” with “major daddy issues.” But Archie asks her to ease off, and Betty eventually forgives Veronica, with the two even singing Tommy and Sue’s love duet “You Shine” together.

After another Black Hood note — this one vowing that “next time, the sand bag won’t miss” — Kevin is legitimately worried, and asks Cheryl to bow out for her own safety. She’s defiant but mummy Penelope seals the deal when she refuses to give her parental approval for Cheryl to participate. So Moose’s girlfriend Midge takes over the role of Carrie, while Toni comforts Cheryl: “You’re not done playing Carrie… by a long shot.” And she doesn’t know just how right she is.

While the cast gets ready for opening night, Cheryl transforms into a real-life Carrie, marching into Thistle House wearing that pink satin dress, drenched in blood and dramatically clutching a candelabra. She informs Penelope that “the next blood to be spilt will be yours” and demands to be emancipated, so she and Nana Rose can live in Thistle House together… without Penelope or her scheming Uncle Claudius around. And Penelope looks scared enough of her “nightmare child” that she might actually do what she says.

Back at the school, Jughead discovers magazines with letters cut out in Ethel’s dressing room; she claims it was just for her vision board. Before the musical begins, Creepy Chic ducks backstage to say hi to Betty, telling her to “break a leg.” And with the musical in full swing, a set change reveals Midge stabbed to death against a wall, with a message written behind her in blood: “I AM BACK FROM THE DEAD. ALL THOSE WHO ESCAPED ME BEFORE WILL DIE.” Yep, the Black Hood is officially back… and the town of Riverdale is back in full panic mode.

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