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Guilt, innocence. Good, evil. Life, death. As the shadows around Riverdaledeepened, the lines that separated these polar opposites blurred and distorted.
If last week’s episode focused on relationships, this week tackled Girl Power. The episode begins with Cheryl being dragged away in handcuffs with her own admission of guilt and was rather anti-climactic. So Jason decided to run away and fake an accident, how mysterious and dear old Cheryl stepped in to help. What else was anti-climactic? The gunshot that plagued Archie’s conscious was fired by the Boy Scout. So far the mysteries are boiling down to nothing more than Archie’s sordid romance with Miss Grundy.
The core storyline follows Veronica who went on a date with Chuck (Golden boy and Captain of the football team) and afterward he posts their selfie with a few edits, like maple syrup or a “sticky maple” covering most of her face. WEIRD RIGHT? It all turned in a huge slut shaming scandal as the syrup indicated certain things he allegedly managed to with her. Turns out, surprise, surprise MEN ARE TRASH and the football team had a playbook documenting their scores of various types of girls big, shy, new, etc.
The girls featuring the infamous BARB FROM “STRANGER THINGS “as Ethel (#JUSTICEFORETHEL) decide to teach the boys a lesson thanks to Veronica’s no-nonsense attitude, however, things get a little too dark for Betty.
After seeing Polly’s name in the playbook-added by Jason (much to the surprise of Cheryl) Betty goes off the rails in her pursuit of vengeance and actually channels Polly. Black wig, red lipstick(not so sneaky Covergirl promo) and mentally unhinged, Betty refers to herself as Polly and calls Chuck Jason while threatening to boil him alive in a hot-tub and pouring maple syrup on his face- and Veronica along with the audience was more than slightly disturbed. Betty has major underlying issues that will play a creepier role in the future and her mum’s overbearing nature doesn’t help.
The rest of the background plot focuses on a grounded Archie seeking help from the Pussycats with his music, which turns into a great new song and budding friendship as well a supportive Fred Andrews. Granted the support came after a weird conversation with the disgruntled Miss Grundy and her specific interests in his son. Jughead also brings his angsty narration and journalistic ventures, I hope his dynamic with Betty is further explored with Betty and the revival of the school Newspaper.
This episode reeks of the teen drama tropes but also gives us a set idea of Riverdale’s identity as a show and remains true to it while having mother’s throw around some verbal and physical punches and reaffirming positive messages and voices for female empowerment.
General observations and pop culture quips:
(This week was lacklustre)
- Thigh high boots
- Why is Josie friends with Cheryl?
- Ethel having a pool- when barb died near/in one.
- JUSTICEFOBARB-I MEAN-ETHEL
- BETTY’S MUM GETS CREEPIER WITH THE JOKER-ESQUE LIPSTICK SMUDGES
- Josie and The Pussycats schooling Archie on what it means to be a black person in the music business
- Betty’s parents are totally spreading fake new- SAD!
- I need Veronica’s sleuth cap
- Jughead eating a cherry is what I live for
Author: Faatimah Essack
Editor: Han Angus