We are gathered tonight for endings and beginnings. Riverdale is bringing to an end its first story-arc and setting up some interesting paths for the future. Let’s take a look.
“It sounds like “jail time” to me!”
With that one sentence to Archie, Betty Cooper became Supreme Empress. Finally calling out the incredibly skeevy nature of her friends relationship with his teacher. But that’s not all. On top of seeing some pretty good detective/B&E skills, we finally see her call out her mother on trying to separate her from Archie and in general assuming she is the same as Polly. It’s a bit of a relief after Alice Cooper being so pent up.
2. Pick a Personality Cheryl
Yeah, this is something that bugs me. Over these last four episodes, Cheryl has gone so many ways and I am coming to a conclusion that it’s not because the writing is trying to depict her as a multi-faceted character, but because it’s what the plot requires. Because here, all her antagonism directed at Hermione and Veronica Lodge is solely to move plotlines forward. Be antagonistic or be sympathetic, Cheryl. I don’t care. Just pick one and stick with it for a couple of episodes, kay?
So, Riverdale has now brought the mini-arc about Ms. Grundy to a close and I have to say… yeah, it’s for the best. Apart from just the squicky factor, her being a suspect in the murder of Jason Blossom always felt like an obvious red herring and we are proven right. My problem with the way her removal is handled is the writing doesn’t excuse what she did, they also try to paint her as very sympathetic. And I’m sorry, but she’s not. The very last scene with her just proves that. But with that in mind, I am glad that this plot is over and Archie can now actually have some more impact in the other threads.
4. The Lodges
So, there has been an Archie character that has been missing, even if he has been alluded to: Hiram Lodge. We’ve seen the status of the Lodge family mostly through the relationship between Hermoine and Veronica, but this is where Hiram really has a presence, even if he has yet to make an appearance. And as we see with Hermione, the Lodge family is not exactly a squeaky clean one, as the plans to acquire old land in Riverdale show that the Lodge’s are willing to go to some nefarious places to maintain their influence. It’s some nice seeds for when Hiram no doubt makes his debut.
Also, hey Smithers!
5. Where We Were and Where We’re Going
“Change” is a big theme in this episode. There is a discussion of the “Old” Riverdale dying to make way for the new. There is the change of Ms. Grundy leaving. The changing relationship between Veronica and her mother. But the big change here happens to Jughead. I’ll be honest, he’s been the most subtle of the main characters so far and we finally do learn about some of his background and some of his… for lack of better term…“home” life. This information is given around the plot of the old Drive-In Movie Theater, where Jughead works, is being bought and demolished. There is a discussion about the old, about the memories we leave behind, and whether change is cyclical. On top of that, there is a last minute reveal involving Juggie and is surely going to come back.