Riverdale season 3, episode 16 review: BIG FUN


Riverdale delivers “big fun,” teen angst and powerhouse vocals in its high-energy, over-the-top, and heartfelt take on Heathers: The Musical.

Riverdale‘s flawlessly sung and angsty, yet upbeat second-annual musical episode tops its Carrie-inspired predecessor by giving all of its character an opportunity to shine. As is the case with most high school productions, everyone survives this time around. But not everyone makes it to the curtain call unscathed.

While the episode doesn’t incorporate much plot from Heathers: The Musical, the featured numbers do fit in surprisingly well with Riverdale‘s current plot lines. Here’s a look at what went down in “BIG FUN.”

What’s your damage?

Still reeling from the knowledge that Gladys is Riverdale’s new drug lord, Jughead is determined to cripple her fledgling business by finding and shutting down her base of operations. But he’s in for a bitter surprise when he discovers that her lab is none other than his childhood home, the Jones’ old trailer.

Speaking of family drama, Veronica is shocked and devastated when Hiram announces that he and Hermione are separating, and that he is moving out. Ostensibly, they’re splitting up because he knows Hermione tried to cut him out of his own drug business.

However, as he later reveals to Veronica, he also knows Hermione tried to have him killed twice. Since “family is trust,” he doesn’t see how they can be a family anymore. In other words, Hiram really knows how to get up on that high horse when it’s convenient.

Meanwhile, Cheryl goes method and embraces her inner HBIC as Heather Chandler, especially after Toni joins the crew as choreographer. “Candy Store” becomes a vicious yet very fun dance/sing-off between Choni, backed by the Heathers (Betty and Veronica) and the Poisons, respectively.

Tensions between Cheryl and Toni reach a boiling point when Toni dares…to wear red to school. Cheryl “invented red,” and she’s not about to take Toni’s fashion statement lightly. In fact, she tries to kick Toni out of school.

Distraught, Toni decides to blow off some steam. Breaking out into the musical’s sex song, “Dead Girl Walking,” she tries to get a threesome going with Sweet Pea and her Poisions’ buddy Peaches… onstage in the auditorium.

However, after envisioning Cheryl singing to her, Toni can’t go through with the hook-up and leaves Sweet Pea and Peaches hanging… in their underwear. (Yes, this scene was as absurd and awkward as it sounds, but Vanessa Morgan’s vocals were awesome.)

Let’s make this beautiful

After Betty unsuccessfully tries to shut down The Farm’s school club (Weatherbee is a Farmie) and Jug discovers the trailer, the dejected duo decide to put stress on the back burner and break into the musical’s iconic love duet about just wanting to be a carefree kid, “Seventeen.”

Cole Sprouse’s musical debut was perhaps the most anticipated aspect of tonight’s episode… and it did not disappoint. He can sing, y’all!

Meanwhile, Cheryl admits she was worried about Toni “disappearing” on her, and Toni assures Cheryl that she’s “not gone” and doesn’t want to give up them. They repair their relationship with their own simultaneous rendition of “Seventeen.”

It’s great to see Choni happy again, and Cheryl’s fear of abandonment is understandable. However, it doesn’t excuse Cheryl’s treatment of Toni, for which she still has not apologized. Toni should be allowed to have friends and a life outside of Thistlehouse.

If you were wondering whether Archie and Josie are officially a couple, you weren’t the only one. Archosie are forced to get real about where they stand after a jealous Sweet Pea exposes their relationship at a rehearsal. While Josie fears that a relationship built on loneliness can’t last, Archie wants to “fight” for it. As the two rock an adorable duet, Josie decides that she wants to fight for their future, too.

More from TV

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the episode is Kangs becoming canon! After bonding over being “haunted” by Midge, the duo sings “Our Love is God” and share a kiss in an almost wedding-like Farm ceremony. It’ll be interesting to see how their relationship progresses. Hopefully, they both wise up and ditch the cult.

The sinking ship after tonight’s episode is Veggie. Reggie is thrilled when Veronica rekindles their relationship at the cast party, but he’s then devastated when he realizes Veronica only did so to cope with her parents’ split.

In a surprisingly mature move, Reggie decides not to take a page out of the Varchie playbook and instead asserts that he and Veronica shouldn’t hook up just to avoid dealing with their issues. He wants to be Veronica’s boyfriend, not her happy pill.

Welcome to… Chad Michael Murray!

The mysterious Edgar Evernever makes his Riverdale debut at the very end of tonight’s episode. After the cast of Heathers wraps their opening night performance, Edgar stands up and starts a dramatic slow clap. Soon, almost the entire audience is on their feet cheering because almost the entire audience is white-clad Farmies. (Oh, snap!)

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Riverdale Randomness

  • Can Casey Cott sing in every episode?
  • If you needed more proof that Bughead are perfect for each other, they have now both set their houses on fire.
  • Okay, but what exactly was in that brownie that Evelyn gave Kevin? Fizzle Rocks?
  • Ugh, Jug finding out that JB is well aware of Gladys’ day job is going to be so painful.