We are reaching the homestretch of the season, so what better way than to have an episode where we focus on the relationships between the main characters before the finale kicks them all up-and-down.
Hoo Boy. The biggest can of worms in this series hath returned.
Something that I didn’t mention in my earlier review, and I really should have, but it is incredibly fucked up that one of the few black dudes in this show is… well… this Chuck. Other, better qualified writers, have talked about this topic a lot more thorouhghly than I ever could. I will say one thing, he and Cheryl team up for revenge on Betty and Veronica (Ronnie essentially led a coup on the Cheerleading Squad against Cheryl and the Wheel of Cheryl’s Personality landed on “Mad Fucker” this week).
2. Archie Andrews: The Worst of Friends
So, the plot of this is Jughead’s birthday so Betty and Archie want to have a little party for him, in spite of Jughead really not liking his birthday. Still, they want to keep it small and simple: Jughead, Archie, Betty, Veronica, Kevin, his boyfriend Joaquim, and Ethel. Manageable, right? Well, Cheryl and Chuck plan out their revenge by bringing practically the whole high school to the party.
Now, in the tradition of TvTropes’s “What An Idiot” Trope:
You’d Expect: Archie would say for all of them to clear off so his best friend of his whole life practically could at least be comfortable.
Instead: “Come on it! Put the keg right over there!”
Archie Andrews, you are the worst of things. I know it’s a small detail and necessary for the plot to continue but it still ticked me off, especially later when Archie tries to be more dismissive of Jughead’s apprehension. AND THEN, when he tries to smooth things over with Val, he tries to pull the “We both made mistakes” shit. We? We?! No, man. You did.
Just… ugh! It’s like all those times when people tell me John Cena is supposed to be a Face when he’s doing Heelish shit. Although to be fair, don’t see Archie taking the championship from Rey Mysterio on the same night he wins it but give him time I guess.
3. Bughead is Love
Listen. I know. I know! Jughead really should be Aro-Ace like in the comics. I get it! I know how important it is to see that represented on a larger media format.
But I reaaaaaaaally like these two together. This Betty and this Jughead. They hit a lot of buttons for me. Both of them are insecure as hell and this episode showed that greatly. And then, they actually talk about those insecurities and come out a little better for it. There are some sad moments that are tempered by moments of finding strength in each other.
Yes, I’m a sap. Shut up.
4. F.P. is the Best Parent and Worst?
F.P. Jones is a bit of a tricky character. I wouldn’t classify him as a good guy, absolutely not. But when you compare him to the majority of parents in this show? You know, he may not be a good guy but at least he recognizes that he isn’t and probably isn’t a good influence for Jughead. He also recognizes that people like Betty, Archie (okay so his perception isn’t perfect) and Veronica are good for his son. When push comes to shove, he will be there for him like at the end of this episode when Jughead tries to get away from everyone. Credit to Skeet Ulrich, he does a real good job of selling both the gang leader and the self-aware seriously imperfect father.
5. This Was My Favorite Episode
To a degree, Jason’s murder, the Blossoms, Hiram Lodge took a backseat in this episode (even if the presence of all are felt to varying degrees) and I think I was okay with that if only because the relationships between the main characters here were so emphasized. It is essentially a Bottle Episode, the majority of it in Archie’s house, and the playing off one another and letting tension in one way or another finally come out is great. There’s only three episodes left now, and we have a break next week, but I’m glad we had this episode.