Kevin Keller brings drama and music to Riverdale High with the school’s production of Carrie: The Musical. The musical episode has the stars of Riverdale singing in the streets of the town and the halls of the school, but the overwhelming feeling of warmth comes from hearing music return to The CW series. It has surely been missing for Season 2.
Much of the second season has been about the murder and mayhem in Riverdale. It started with Fred Andrew laying on a diner floor bleeding out after being shot, had a visit from an actual serial killer, and revealed, not one, but two crime bosses in the town. Gone are the days of singing during football games or performing on stage regularly, so Carrie: The Musical felt like home.
On Riverdale Episode, “Chapter Thirty-One: A Night to Remember” the musical is the main attraction. While the students put on a show, Cheryl has to deal with her mother’s latest antics, Archie starts to see how badly he’s treating his father, and another Riverdale resident is killed when the Black Hood returns.
Spending time at Riverdale High was a welcome shift because the characters actually felt like high school students. The mix of crazy murderous madness and high school hijinks worked, but this year the scales have tipped on the side of mayhem. Resolving Betty and Veronica’s fight during the rehearsal process is the perfect combination of high school awkwardness and real drama. It’s also Riverdale’s sweet spot.
Plus, it was great to hear them all singing again and enjoying it. This season we’ve seen Josie angrily stare at Veronica when she took over the Pussycats, a protest messed up another one of Veronica’s performance and we’ll never forget Betty’s vocal-performance-turned-striptease for the Serpents. There’s been less singing than viewers deserve and when it happens the fun it sucked out of it. The musical felt like the good old days.
After being sidelined on the series overall and losing her band, it was great to see Josie on stage again. Josie and The Pussycats are major characters in the Archie Comics universe, but you can’t tell that from watching Riverdale’s current season. When it began she was singing and guiding Archie, but now she’s lucky to get a scene or storyline. Let alone sing.
Speaking of her time with Archie, the show’s star was front and center during the musical episode, which is a nice reminder of earlier days. Riverdale began with Archie finding a passion for music and starting on that journey. It’s a far cry from his current stories full of crime and vigilantism. Listening to Archie sing as part of Carrie’s cast reminds the viewer of just how much Archie’s stories have changed. And, frankly not for the better.
The music doesn’t take over because in the end the Hood is back and has claimed another victim. So, our return to music seems to be just an interlude.
Riverdale airs on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern on The CW.