‘Riverdale’ Chapter Fifty-One Recap: Gladys Goes Up in Flames

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Last week on Riverdale, we finally learned why Gladys (Gina Gershon) returned to the Town with Pep. (Two words: Fizzle Rocks.)

And now, the teens dropped everything to bring us a revamped version of Heathers: The Musical, and yes, it’s just as delightful as it sounds. Here’s what went down in Chapter Fifty-One of The CW series, titled “BIG FUN.”

kevin heathers the musical riverdale
Katie Yu/The CW


The episode opens on Hermione (Marisol Nichols) scolding Principal Weatherbee (Peter Bryant) for allowing the students to recreate Heathers: The Musical.

Right on cue, the teens break into song, performing “Beautiful” as they dance in the school hallway. We see a montage featuring Veronica (Camila Mendes) alone at Pops, Archie (KJ Apa) spending time with Josie (Ashleigh Murray), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) enlisting Betty (Lili Reinhart) to help run his mom, Gladys, out of town.

For the first time ever, Kevin (Casey Cott) is naming a co-director for the school musical: Evelyn (Zoé De Grand Maison). While Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) is set to play the “HBIC,” Heather Chandler, Veronica and Betty are rounding out the cast as Heather McNamara and Heather Duke, respectively.

Since the musical requires ample dance numbers, Kevin hired Toni (Vanessa Morgan) as the choreographer, and Cheryl is pissed beyond belief. So, when Toni tries to choreograph “Candy Store,” Cheryl reveals that she’s one step ahead and breaks into a well-rehearsed number with the entire cast.

cast heathers the musical riverdale
Dean Buscher/The CW


After rehearsal, Betty confronts Evelyn for having ulterior motives. She thinks Evelyn is using the play to recruit people to The Farm, considering they’re sponsoring the production.

Betty couldn’t be more wrong, according to Evelyn. Not only does The Farm want the musical to be “Big Fun,” but they’re also throwing a cast party, which is admittedly uneventful.

The next day, Betty overhears Evelyn talking about a “closed rehearsal” for select cast members. After borrowing Jughead’s camera, she discovers a ritual similar to the one that Alice (Mädchen Amick) endured back in Chapter Forty-Eight. (White attire included.)

When she brings the photos to Principal Weatherbee, he couldn’t care less. “It appears these students were simply rehearsing,” he says, refusing to hear Betty’s side of the story.

veronica heathers the musical riverdale
Dean Buscher/The CW


When Veronica returns home, she’s confronted by Hermione and Hiram (Mark Consuelos), who waste no time cutting to the chase: They’re separating.  

“Can someone please tell me what’s going on?” Veronica asks.

Hiram’s response? “Ask your mother.”

As it turns out, Hiram knows the truth. And by “the truth,” we mean that Hermione sold the drugs to Gladys while he was in the hospital.

The next day, Veronica visits Hiram and begs him to come home. When she mentions the drugs, Hiram says that’s not the reason they’re getting a divorce. In fact, Hermione tried to have him killed…twice.

“You and your mother betrayed me, so there is no family anymore,” Hiram says.

Just then, Veronica dives into a performance of “Lifeboat.”

heathers the musical riverdale
Dean Buscher/The CW

The Conclusion

The episode concludes with a montage set to “Seventeen.” Here are the key takeaways:

  • F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) is on a mission to bust Riverdale’s drug lord. 
  • Betty and Jughead found Gladys’s lab…and set it on fire.
  • When the Heathers performance ends, Evelyn’s dad (Chad Michael Murray) rises to his feet and begins ominously clapping while the rest of The Farm joins in.

Who is Evelyn’s dad and what is he doing in Riverdale? Guess we’ll have to wait until the series returns to The CW next Wednesday, March 27, at 8 p.m.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...