Heathers Season 1 Episode 5 – TV Review
I was ready to jump all over Heathers for inserting a first person view gimmick episode into the mix when things are already so messy.
But amid the distraction of said gimmick, the story actually finds some thankful clarity.
And some explosives.
TL;DR Veronica really is the baddest bitch, and proves her psychosis by manipulating JD and blowing up his car; Betty isn’t believed about last episode’s events and is put on a bus; as is Replacement Black; Heather Duke sits on the sidelines as our still last remaining hope for a heroic character; Selma Blair gets some more screentime.
Let’s hope it continues.
So the gimmick of the episode is that it’s all through JD’s first person view. We start with him being interviewed by the police alongside Betty about their tussle last episode. Betty gets aggressively victim-blamed by the police and by her parents, and ends up not being believed and getting shipped off to military school. Meanwhile, Heather Chandler gets her blackmail on and forces JD to do something about Replacement Black. He visits Selma Blair, who is a working stripper, to get a contact to buy a gun, and when put under anaesthetic gas (the contact is also a dentist), he has a pointless, but nice vision of his dead mum. He plants the gun on Replacement Black at school, leading to her expulsion. Meanwhile, JD is also preparing to blow up the school statue with some explosives, and he also starts receiving A-esque texts with evidence of what he and Veronica did to Heather Chandler. Veronica shows that she’s getting them, too, so he assumes it’s Chandler doing it, and they have a pretty great knock-down, drag-out brawl inside her house’s shrine room dedicated to her child pageant career. But psych, it turns out A is actually Veronica (and also the Croquet Killer), who is filthy as hell about him kissing Betty last episode. Oh, and she moves the statue bomb to his car and blows it up in front of him.
This bitch just likes wrecking cars, okay?
I didn’t think that an episode with JD in every scene would be the most competent yet of the show’s run. But here we are.
Keeping things simple has never seemed to be on Heathers’ agenda. And to be fair, the show has been at its best in the earlier episodes when it was balls out, bonkers banana-pants. But hey, there could be room for both.
Why I hate this episode:
Sadly, keeping things simple means that Heather Duke is largely excised from the episode. His only contribution is to accost JD and accuse him of fucking Selma Blair, and this is making Duke upset because he thinks JD’s cheating on Veronica. If everyone else is going to keep being awful, we need to hang onto whatever wholesomeness we can get from Heather Duke, baby. And we need much more of it.
Having said that, I am intrigued that this version of Heathers seems to be switching the roles of JD and Veronica. Because Veronica now is one crazy, cuckoo cunt. But then you remember that JD, too, is also a murder-happy, irredeemable scumbag. Who do we root for?
It’s not Betty, because she’s been conveniently kicked out of the show. Nor is it Replacement Black, who was quickly succumbing to her newfound fame, and has also now been removed from the show.
Also, way to marginalise your other black character, show. And your Asian character.
While I’m digging the fact that we at least now know Veronica is evil, it’s a shame that her rampage was predicated entirely on JD’s stupid kiss with Betty, which only happened because that random jogger came past. It’s weak.
Oh, and the pageant shrine room gave me shades of Insatiable. Which unlike the Gossip Girl comparison I made last week, isn’t a good thing.
But it’s not all bad:
The scene in the pageant shrine room is goddamn magical, though. He breaks in to go after Heather Chandler because he thinks she’s A, but she has not a shred of chill and immediately gets their fight underway by clobbering him with a giant trophy.
Much prop damage ensues, with the highlight of the battle being when Chandler locks JD inside a tanning bed. She was serving Final Destination 3 realness, honey.
The dynamic between JD and Chandler is also brought into a surprising focus this episode. I whinged at her last episode for not enacting her blackmail enough, so this episode she does. But JD hits right back at her, saying that it was easy enough for him to kill her once, so what’s to stop him from doing it again? The usually unflappably haughty Chandler gives pause at this, and as we know JD is a killer, she definitely has reason to. Spicy.
Veronica makes her long-awaited mark this episode by finally, irrevocably falling into the villain category. And I am ready to see Miss Vanilla Girl Next Door evolve into the homicidal cunt we deserve. And it’s confirmed that she’s the Croquet Killer who killed her childhood friend, so we know she’s had practice.
Our lone holdout for goodness and light, Heather Duke, mostly sits the episode out. But the fact that the show has purposely reinforced that Duke does actually value her friendship with Veronica gives me hope that he will become our hero. And Heather Chandler still hasn’t crossed the moral event horizon, so maybe she can join him?
Betty won’t be joining them, though, as she gets obliterated (much to JD’s surprise) by a torrent of victim-blaming in the police interview. They even bring up “asking for it” verbatim. Heathers has been fun when its sociopolitical commentary has had zero subtlety, and this episode is no exception.
The solution for getting rid of Replacement Black is pretty low-tech, but it works. Her character didn’t make a lot of sense, so I won’t miss her.
Shannen Doherty is back to not really achieve anything. But I won’t say no to more obnoxious cameo-ing.
Oh, and speaking of, even after seventeen years, Selma Blair can still give an effortless Vivian Kensington ick face.