[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Wednesday's episode of Riverdale. Read at your own risk!]
Riverdale delivered a musical episode for the ages with its take on Hedwig and the Angry Inch. At the center of the rebellious musical was Kevin (Casey Cott), who led his fellow students to embrace the unique, celebratory spirit of Hedwig when Principal Honey (Kerr Smith) refused to let Kevin perform a Hedwig song in the school variety show.
However, unlike the previous musical episodes, the lyrics and themes of Hedwig resonated closely with what the characters were going through in their personal lives, allowing them to break into songs from the show that served to illustrate how they were feeling in any given moment. That led to some serious tension between the core four, and a forbidden kiss between Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Archie (KJ Apa) that will surely be the topic of conversation for weeks to come.
Everyone was able to find a reason to come together at the end of the episode for a group rendition of "Midnight Radio," sung on the roof of Pop's Diner. TV Guide spoke to Casey Cott about taking on the lead in the musical for the first time, those Barchie developments, and what we can expect from the rest of the season.
How ready were you to go full Hedwig once you heard what the musical was?
I was super pumped. I heard that we were doing Hedwig. I was excited to hear what they were going to do, and then when I saw the actual script, and I saw what I was doing, I was just really excited. [I am a] huge fan of the show.
What was your favorite number in the show?
I think "Tear Me Down" was my favorite number...I really like the finale, too. It's just a really cool moment. Especially where we are in the show, it's rare that we're all shooting a scene together. So that was really fun. They were both really just a blast.
Kevin says the variety show was a bid for him to get back to pre-Farm Kevin. How close is he to that goal by the end of the episode?
Oh, he's there. I think this is kind of like a huge [step in] putting that chapter behind him, taking back his life no matter what anyone says. He's here now, and he's not going anywhere. I think it's capped off by him, you know, being a part of The Archies, singing a song with them and with all of his friends on stage, and just totally being authentically themselves.
He also is more rebellious in this episode than we've seen in a long time. Is that attitude going to be sticking around?
I think this is gonna stick. I think Kevin's gonna get much more confident, rebellious -- maybe not as rebellious but confident, a little bit of a chip on the shoulder, ready to kind of do what he wants to do. Hopefully nothing bad happens in the process of that happening.
Kevin is perhaps the OG Betty-and-Archie shipper, and they finally kiss in for real in this episode. How does he feel about that development?
I think Kevin is excited for it. Kevin is kind of friends with everybody at this point. I think he and Betty are kind of the OG pals, but he's friends with Archie. He's friends with Veronica, and he's friends with Jughead. I think he just wants them all to be happy, so whatever gets them there. To be honest, I think Kevin's a little over it because they do have quite fantastical relationship situations, while Kevin can't find a boyfriend to save his life. So I think he's probably a little over it and he doesn't really care as long as they just shut up about it. Maybe that's the way I feel.
What would you want in a boyfriend for Kevin?
It'd be fun to watch Kevin in a relationship that's exciting and normal, and see him date around. It seems like every boyfriend he's had just kind of like plops on his lap, and it's like, "Should I do this?" and then they kind of do it. It'd be nice to see him commit to something and see where that takes him.
What about this tickle fetish ring? Is that coming back?
I can tease that. It is absolutely coming back.
What can you tell us about what to expect in the episodes we have left?
All the weird things that have been happening through the season all kind of come together, and all of a sudden it gets really weird. Get excited for the insanity of particular situations, and the video situations, and all that will kind of come to light.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.