Heathers Season 1 Episode 7 – TV Review
So remember how Veronica was being built up to be an evil bigger villain psychopath than JD?
Yeah, she’s over it, now.
TL;DR After gleefully spending the episode lynching that molesting teacher, Veronica now decides killing time is over; JD does not seem to agree; Heather Chandler has an epiphany that she’s been a cunt and sets out to make amends; with mixed results; Heather Duke continues to be largely innocuous.
And, sadly, therefore irrelevant.
So we’ll start with Heather Chandler, who actually shows growth and promise this episode. After her humiliation following the musical she is visited by a vision of herself that sets her on an apology tour to help make amends for the general cruelty she’s dealt out. It’s a bit of a non-starter, but luckily Trailer Parker accepts her, and Chandler invites her out for dinner at Heather McNamara’s favourite restaurant to celebrate McNamara’s birthday. Chandler fights back many urges to snark at the impoverished, basic, pro life Trailer, but a combination of doing something nice, and Trailer’s admiration seem to be putting Chandler on the right track. Even when Trailer shows her a video of a child Duke acting in a commercial for gay conversion therapy. Meanwhile, Heather Duke and Veronica celebrate McNamara’s birthday by going to a bar to get drunk. While there, they spot the teacher who statutorily raped McNamara buttering up a new victim. Duke gets blackout drunk, but Veronica springs into vigilante action to shoo the new victim away, and then go after Teacher. She ropes in JD, and they end up attacking Teacher at his home, ultimately killing him in a staged suicide. This also dovetails nicely with developments around the Croquet Killer case being dredged back up, so Veronica includes a confession in Teacher’s suicide note. But then Veronica lays down the “no more killing from now on” rule, which doesn’t sit well with JD and his hidden school bombing plans. Oh, and a drunken Duke bitchily texts something nasty to Chandler (see above), so the formerly magnanimous Chandler sends his little video right back to him.
Play bitchy games, win bitchy prizes.
I think it’s fair to say Heathers has been a little choppy when it comes to actually moving forward. Indecision about its identity is pretty much the only consistent thing about the show so far.
So it pleases me to see this episode take Chandler on a path that makes sense and moves her character in a direction that could result in some true growth, or some kind of statement. Veronica, too, embraces her killer side, but uses it for good, making for a grey moral lesson.
But then they both snap right on back to close the episode out.
Why I hate this episode:
Why take us down the vigilante murder road with Veronica (and let’s not forget the previous episodes where she almost blew up her boyfriend, and also kept him on a psychiatric hold while playing mind games with her crazy self) to then have her spin all the way back around to “no more killing thnx babe?” Fucking do something, show! You’re past halfway. What are you trying to say? Who are your characters?
As an extension of the problems with Veronica, JD also swings back around to being more faithful to his movie self, as we see that he actually does want to keep killing, and has his while school bombing/siege plans hidden away. Why bother going to all that effort over multiple episodes to show us Veronica is the bigger psycho (and let’s not forget, the Croquet Killer) to then reveal that jk, JD is still also a crazy killer.
Heather Chandler’s snapback at the end of the episode may not pay off, as I guess all she did was send the video to Duke. She didn’t publish it. But why have her sequestered all episode to learn a valuable lesson about herself, to then have nothing change in the status quo? For fuck’s sake, her vision-based epiphany is self-motivated. Nobody else pressures her into wanting to be a better person; she realises her mistakes and wants to improve. Why do all of this if she’s just going to revert to Fat Bitch again?
It looks like we’re not going to get any clarification on Veronica’s parents’ apprehension about her being the Croquet Killer.
Duke’s “blackout drunk” acting isn’t convincing enough. As a seasoned blackout drinker, I must object.
Oh, and in an episode about Heather McNamara’s birthday, we didn’t get any dream sequence cameos or anything from her. Rude.
But it’s not all bad:
We do get a different dream sequence with four versions of Heather Chandler, though. And it’s the most sincere effort at building her character the show has had so far. She meets the version of her in the merch shirt, the version of her that was poisoned, the version before the poisoning in the first episode, and a genial old lady version of herself. They speak surprisingly honestly about her faults, with the conclusion that she needs to go out and stop being such a cunt. Agreed.
She does this with an apology tour for some humorous transgressions (her list when she comes to Heather Duke includes a sight gag of her having to extend out a long page from her notebook), but the only real acceptance comes from Trailer Parker. Sadly, this subplot gets stuck in a messy in-between state where Trailer eventually vindicates Chandler’s past of acting better than everyone because she believes Chandler actually is better than everyone, but Chandler at least seems to learn a bit of humility from the pairing.
She also gets the best line of the episode when Trailer says she at-first thought Chandler invited her out to Carrie her: “I’m a fucking good person, you bitch.” I say this on the reg, too.
Chandler’s physical revulsion when Trailer takes off her jacket to reveal a pro life shirt (and a janky, homemade one at that. Keeping on brand) is delicious.
And although I’m mad that it spells the aforementioned snapback for Chandler, I do kind of love that this subplot culminates in Trailer innocently revealing that Heather Duke joined her on a Christian mission to Guatemala one time because Duke was filming a gay conversion advertisement. In the PC, tumblr world Heathers has established, this is the best ammo you could hope for.
Heather Duke doesn’t add much to the episode himself, but we get more reinforcement that he genuinely is friends with Veronica. With Veronica’s choice to abandon killing at the end of the episode, maybe the Heathers will also join with Veronica to oppose JD in the finale?
Veronica makes what time she does have on the Yes side of murder count, and it made me happy watching her take down Teacher. It doesn’t hurt that she got to sweep her Croquet Killer problem away at the same time.
Speaking of, Casey Wilson’s TV host makes a return, as she’s the one pushing for an investigation to find out the Croquet Killer’s identity. News of Teacher’s “confession” breaks just as they’re exhuming the dead girl’s body and puts the story to rest.
I think it’s fair to say “Die you evil cunt” deserves to get second best line of the episode, even if it was only by text.
Interestingly, a drunken Duke moans to Veronica about how much he hates Chandler, but Veronica claims she doesn’t feel the same way. Hmm.
Oh, and although Veronica does put the khybosh on killing, the final scene this episode is of her startling her parents, and then driving her car as an animated bird flies in as part of an allusion she made to Disney princesses earlier. So I wouldn’t close the book on her still being a psychotic mass murderer just yet.