It’s me! It’s me! It’s your boy in the trenches. I hope you enjoyed the last three weeks of completely non-canon reviews of Riverdale (seriously, thanks to Elias for his coverage). And apparently I can’t even take my eyes off this show for two bastard minutes without it introducing attempted date rape and a psycho trying to get Betty to have him kill someone instead of her sister. Fun Fun Fun! Let’s get started, shall we? As always: spoilers.
1. Cheryl’s Gonna Burn This Town Down
That’s how this show end, right? I mean what with the aftermath dealing with Mr. St. Claire and her mom doing everything in her power to ignore and sweep the problem under the rug instead of dealing with the fact that her daughter was nearly raped, something that Veronica seems to agree with. Madelaine Petsch is acting her heart out with these scenes. “I’m compartmentalizing,” she says to Betty, clearly hiding the vast amount of rage she is feeling at . . . everyone, honestly. It’s great.
It’s made even “better” when she re-encounters Nick and he tries to gaslight her. Pile up and pile up of emotions and it makes for great performances.
2. Jughead No
You are so in over your head, aren’t you? I mean, yeah I get that he’s a “born on the other side of the tracks” kid, but man alive, this has been going up into straight-up Sons of Anarchy territory. He’s trying to keep everything from falling apart from the one thing connecting him to his family and now with the Jingle-Jangle dealers (because of course that’s what Riverdale would name a drug) encroaching into the territory and forcing Mayor McCoy’s hand, on top of the drama occurring with Betty, he’s another one coming apart at the seams.
3. Veronica and Betty Are The Best
Well, I’m glad that we aren’t going to drag the subplot of Betty avoiding her friends because of the Black Hood and explained what was going on to Veronica. Other CW shows (*cough*The Flash*cough*) dragged out characters keeping secrets to the point of torture, so I’m glad this show is learning a lesson from that. And now Riverdale’s true Dynamic Duo are going after the Sugarman, Southside’s drug dealer and the Black Hood’s true target. It is good to see these two working again, Reinhardt and Mendes having such great chemistry together.
4. Fast & the Furious
Okay, I’ll be honest: when it comes to an adaptation of “Archie,” yeah I could see a drag race in that. In order to prevent the Goulies from taking full control of Southside, FP has Jughead and Archie challenge them to a drag race, which also causes theirs and Betty/Veronicas plot lines to come together. Tension is brought up again between Betty and Jughead (Juggie not knowing that the Black Hood threatened her) and things boil over between Archie and Jughead when it seems like they lose. The drag race itself is decent enough cinematography, even if most of it is taking place inside Archie and Jughead’s car.
5. House Lodge
There’s a couple scenes at the end of the episode that are setting threads up for the next part of the season: the arrest of the Sugarman drug dealer, Betty telling the Black Hood that he’s next, and Betty and Jughead getting back together. But there was a scene that stood out for me: Veronica learning from her parents that the St. Claire’s got into a car accident, Nick being the only survivor, albeit very injured. The thing is: Veronica told her parents earlier that Nick tried to date rape her, so this is clearly implying the Lodge parents had something to do with this “accident”. The small smirk Camilla Mendes gives at this, pulling another character deeper into the darkness that is surrounding Riverdale is just so sweet. Veronica has always had a difficult relationship with her parents, like pretty much everyone except Archie, but there is something fascinating in seeing Veronica take a little control here.
But it appears that we are taking a hiatus next week. I know. I know. You missed me. But we are left with some tasty preview for when we return, with a hint to who the Black Hood may be. See you in two weeks.