Heathers Season 1 Episode 9 – TV Review
Get it? Because Heathers was cancelled before it even aired?
Also, a major character dies this episode.
TL;DR JD kills Heather Duke after he figures out he’s a psycho killer; Veronica is firmly back in sane, good girl territory for some reason; Prom is briefly cancelled amid inter-Heathers Prom Queen voting jealousy, but JD ensures it goes ahead so his evil plans can go ahead.
JD’s gonna give it a shot.
So the episode begins firstly with JD murdering Kurt when he stumbles upon JD poking around the school at night. It’s staged as a suicide, and Heather Duke is naturally grief-stricken. But onto more important things, and news comes out that Veronica is the front runner in the Prom Queen polling, so Chandler petitions to have Prom cancelled in retaliation (and under the guise of some SJW crap to hide the pettiness). The faculty approves, but JD can’t have his plans being messed with, so he manipulates Heather Duke into getting Prom back on, resulting in hostilities opening up (again) between the Heathers (Duke is also hot for Prom Queen thanks to sympathy votes). Later on, though, JD foolishly drops some suspicious vocab from Kurt’s staged suicide note in front of Heather Duke, and Duke realises he’s a killer. They have an actually pretty great and expensive-looking car chase scene, that sadly ends in Duke’s car crashing, and then Duke accidentally running his neck into a razor wire fence and bleeding out. Meanwhile, Veronica spends her episode brooding over JD’s strange activity, as she suspects he’s the one who killed Kurt. JD forcibly schmoozes Veronica’s parents, which aggravates her even more. But it’s when news breaks of Duke’s death that Veronica determines she’s finally done with him. Heather Chandler, too, as Veronica’s disgusted by Chandler’s joy in becoming the new Prom Queen front runner in Duke’s absence. The episode ends as our three remaining leads diverge, and Prom is on the horizon.
Say what you will about Heathers’ writing (and boy, have I), but the show certainly knows how to frame a shot.
I think outside of the context of the horrible character inconsistencies we’ve endured, this episode is probably the strongest and most cohesive yet. JD formulates a plan, encounters obstacles, and overcomes them. Heather Duke, too, finally rubs together a couple of brain cells and figures out the anarchic bad boy newcomer to town who arrived shortly before the deaths is, gasp, responsible for the deaths.
But you didn’t come here for me to praise Heathers, did you?
Why I hate this episode:
Context matters. And what the actual fuck is going on with Veronica? She’s even more bland and sanitised than she was last episode. Again, show: why did you spend all that time building her up as not only a psychopath, but a bigger psychopath than JD, only to have her settle back into boring, protagonist girl for the final run? What was it all about?
Also, fuck you, Veronica. Your pussy got wet over Ram’s murder, but you’re sad about Kurt and Duke’s? Fuck. You.
I said “fuck you” out loud to JD, too, when he killed Kurt. Heathers: all minorities must be killed. Cis white heterosexuals only for the finale, please.
The show never could decide if Heather Duke was a sympathetic character. Kurt’s death finally gives Duke the chance to show some genuine emotion, but then Heathers is too tempted to chuck in some “sassy” dialogue and undercuts it with Duke being more upset about losing the opportunity to summer in France with Kurt’s surprisingly wealthy family than he is about his boyfriend’s death. Lame.
Oh,and speaking of Kurt’s parents, Heathers trots out the “I love my dead, gay son” line again. Heathers wasn’t content to fuck it up only once, it appears.
But it’s not all bad:
At least Heather Duke’s funeral gets some semblance of emotional sincerity. He’s dressed in a boring men’s suit with no makeup on. Veronica says to him that she knows he would hate that, so she quickly applies some green eye shadow. It was nice.
And I don’t have a fundamental problem with Good Girl Veronica. If this is indeed who she is, then I admire her fearlessness towards JD, and look forward to their finale showdown. I just wish we hadn’t wasted so much time setting her up as evil if it meant nothing in the end.
But JD is plenty evil for both of them at this point. Even despite how cruel and callous Heathers has generally been, I was somewhat shocked at how swiftly Kurt was dispatched. You got me, show.
The attack on Heather Duke is the real star of the episode, though. And it’s good. I don’t know how the same network that made The Mist TV series was able to find the money to film a car chase sequence as good as this, but I am grateful.
The sequence starts when JD stupidly uses the word “myriad” to describe the condiment choices to Duke at the convenience store. JD had also used “myriad” in Kurt’s staged suicide note, and Duke recognises that Kurt wasn’t smart enough for that kind of vocabulary. Duke tries to run back outside to get into the car with Selma Blair (she’d driven him), and this leads to the best line of the episode:
Selma Blair: “Wait, so, you’re telling me that someone’s trying to kill you?”
Heather Duke: “Yes!”
Selma Blair: “And if he succeeds, you’d be dead?”
Heather Duke: “Oh my god, has all that spray tan and domestic beer rotted your brain? Yes!”
Selma Blair: “Okay. Hold on.”
And then she drives away while giving him the finger. I know that’s not technically a line, but it’s totally the best.
Duke then calls an Uber, and thankfully the driver is an over-caffeinated freak, so they have a long car chase against JD while trying to make it to the police station. This ends in tragedy after they crash into a corn field, and Duke snags his neck on a razor wire fence when trying to flag down a passing car. But they gave it a good go.
I’ll also give Duke the second best line of the episode with his final words to JD: “Tell your mum to spit out the devil’s jizz before you tongue kiss her in Hell.” He died as he lived. With horribly overwrought dialogue.
In addition to Selma Blair’s moment above, Heather Chandler also get a snappy little slice of comedic timing. When one of the nerds runs up to tell Veronica that she’s the Prom Queen front runner, we get an eye twitch from Chandler, and then a smash cut to her petitioning to cancel Prom because The Patriarchy. It works.
Oh, and I appreciate the show’s restraint with Kurt’s murder. It happens offscreen (we just get a cut from JD bumping into him, to then seeing the dead body), and the body is framed by the prom-posal he’d prepared for Duke.