REVIEW: Riverdale – “A Touch of Evil”

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The second episode of Riverdale was met with much of my own excitement and anticipation as we ventured further into the Blossom mystery and the lives of our darling characters. Jughead’s narration is continuing with the poetry laden noir insights into their lives and still proves very effective and engaging.

This episode mainly tackles the friendships and relationships of the integral four characters, Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead Jones the Third. Archie is wracked with guilt after Jason’s body is found and he has relevant information regarding the morning of July 4th, as well as his now disintegrating relationship with ever the best friend Betty. He, of course, deals with Betty’s rejection in the most CW way ever, having a sweaty, shirtless midnight run to his teacher/lover’s house. Throughout the episode, Archie wrestles his conscious and Mrs. Grundy perpetuates this Ezria type relationship and manipulates him into keeping both their relationship and the gunshot noise a secret under the rouse of having feelings for him. I seriously despise their entire plot point.

Jughead, the sardonic voice of reason is an objective onlooker and very much like an average twitter intellectual with a soft spot for his ex-best pal. He provides the comic relief, but the biting truth with a side of much-needed sarcasm, excellently portrayed by Sprouse. Jughead finds out about Archie and creepy Grundy and confronts him as a friend should, and after first meeting a sour audience, the talk prompts Archie to finally grow a pair and starts reweaving the bonds of friendship- solidified by the douchey nod, reeking of surprised emotions. Reggie also factors in with his need to taunt Jughead for his differences and Archie proves his loyalty by fighting on his behalf.

On the other hand, Archie and Veronica don’t seem to acknowledge the last minute of those 7 in heaven and the detriment to Betty is being most ardently rectified by a very apologetic Veronica. Betty although receptive at first is grappling with her new found situation and her controlling mother doesn’t help. She snubs Veronica in favour of the prying Cheryl who never stops being creepy and twisted (until she grieves like an actual human at the pep rally later on). The iconic girls who are being shipped together by most of the internet, eventually rekindle the friendship and make a vow to never let a boy come between them.

The murder mystery plot takes the biggest plot twist right at the end. The body is found and autopsied- only for the conclusion to be drawn that Jason did not die on July 4th but an entire week later and Cheryl the professed guilty one is being carted away by the Sherriff making us all leap to the edge of seats in anticipation.

The show is steadily racking up fans of many ages and proving to be delightfully fun and addictive for even the diehard, staunch fans of the original comics.

General observations and pop culture quips

  • “He’s got more demons than the exorcist”
  • Midge is mentioned as Moose’s girlfriend- like the comics
  • Veronica says bitch way too many times
  • Kevin being the Sheriff’s son isn’t something I saw coming
  • Hermione actually being a waitress and earning an honest wage… wonder where the bag of the cast went to
  • “Romeo and Juliet are the exceptions, not the rule”
  • Josie’s Mum being powerful black women and the Mayor of a white town
  • Donnie Darko
  • Jughead calling Miss Grundy a cougar
  • Betty’s Mum saying the Blossom’s sacrificed Jason to some dark pagan god
  • A stronger, more real Betty
  • The Pussycat’s music is gimmicky and coupled with the cringe-worthy cheer routine didn’t feel soulful.

Author: Faatimah Essack

Editor: Han Angus

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