After months of hype, Riverdale‘s musical episode is finally here – and fans have freaked the flip out.

The show’s had a bit of a mid-season break, meaning that groundswell for “A Night To Remember” was extra fierce, especially considering the season only has five more episodes to wrap up the murder mystery surrounding the ‘Black Hood’, the yet-unidentified serial killer preying on this somewhat small (??) all-American town.

But why was everyone singing their way through this episode? Unlike Buffy The Vampire‘s or Grey’s Anatomy‘s equally iconic musical episodes, there isn’t a paranormal or medical explanation: the students of Riverdale High are putting on a Kevin-directed production of Carrie: The Musical, so the whole thing was diegetic/actually happened in the characters lives, except when the writers gave up and just went full fantasy.

When it was announced, the pairing felt pretty perfect. The horror-revenge story of bullying and parental abuse was relevant when Stephen King wrote the novel in 1974 and when Sissy Spacek had pig’s blood spilt all over her in the 1976 film – and in 2018, it’s a pretty fit for the Riverdale characters, themselves a bit of a rag-tag clan of teenage angst and trauma.

Of course, Cheryl is all set at the episode’s start to star as Carrie, who develops telekinetic powers and wreaks havoc at on prom night.

For some reason, Alice Cooper is involved playing Carrie’s abusive mother. Betty played Carrie’s lone friendly classmate; Veronica played the bully. Helloooooo. And if you thought the parallels aren’t clear, it’s evident you haven’t seen Cheryl go full-method this ep, when a couple of things don’t quite go her way.

While the musical was a bit of a Broadway flop when it premiered in the late ’90s, it’s since been reclaimed by theatre and musical theatre geeks alike – like Kevin. Add in the fact that Riverdale series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa  actually wrote the screenplay of the 2013 film remake of Carrie with Chlöe Grace-Moretz, and you’ve got a recipe for a musical ep for the history books. Which is exactly what fans thought.

We’re not going to spoil anything in case you haven’t caught it yet (it streams on Netflix in Aus, fyi), but whoa.

First up: the musical numbers. The choreography was flashy, particularly in some of the larger numbers. You could tell the cast had doubled-down with rehearsals: it was pretty flawless. Everyone sounded pretty good too – obviously some people are better singers than others, but it was so enjoyable to watch we didn’t even really care.

Then, on the plot side, it ended with a MURDER, proving the Black Hood never left the building. A lot of fans are eyeing off Ethel, who I am gradually convinced is actually Shannon Purser‘s Stranger Things character Barb, spat out in the future and to another town with no fucks to give and a lotta demogorgon anger to let out.

TBH, Riverdale’s lost me recently, but thankfully this ep was a return to the eerie ‘Twin Peaks-meets-Dawson’s Creek‘ vibe that drew most of us in when the show premiered. Also, this happened:

Still, you can’t please them all:

Image: Riverdale