La Grande Illusion
Teen angst, depression and suicide are rampant in television series of late. Isn’t there one small American town that has happy people? And it seems little ol’ Riverdale is taking its own part in creating awareness in mental health in this weeks chapter as the web of deceit spreads by the hand of the Lodges.
This is another chapter where it feels like the time is being stretched just to get you to the final episode. What you get is a back-story to the characters so you can build on why you relate to whichever character. But while that is all fine and dandy, what it feels like is it’s lost its sense of adventure. The show is just caught up in the drama between all the feuds going on in this small town of Riverdale. Rather than go on adventures to figure out who really killed Jason Blossom.
The Blossoms have their annual Maple tapping ceremony and the board of the Blossom’s business are in town. What with the next in line to head the wealthy Maple Syrup business, Jason Blossom, now out of the picture the board are swarming ready to overturn at any moment. Or it’s more than likely they are waiting for Cheryl, the rightful heir to the Blossom business, to crash and burn. As Cheryl would normally accompany her brother, Jason, to the annual tree-tapping event, she invites Archie in his place. As anyone in his or her right mind would, he says no. In steps Cheryl’s Mother, Penelope, to convince Archie. Though Archie was still hesitant Penelope bribes him with a place in the countries best music academy for the summer. Archie obliges and does so well holding a bucket he’s invited by Cheryl’s Dad, Clifford, to a fancy banquet despite his hesitancy.
It doesn’t stop there however as the secrecy for Archie’s involvement is still confusing, maybe something to do with how similar they looked. Archie uses the new relationship with the Blossom’s to his advantage and asks Clifford to help his Dad’s company, Andrews Construction, rather than the prestigious music course. Clifford is impressed and decides to help out though its doubtful Fred would want to have any part of such a handout. In true Archie fashion, he sticks up for Cheryl in an argument leading her to think things might be a little more serious that they are. Cheryl kisses him causing him to walk out mid banquet. That’s not before he hears Clifford gossiping with Penelope that he was the one that sent Veronica’s Dad to jail. Archie runs home to tell the press gang ,which results in another name being added to the murderer board. Did Veronica’s Dad kill Jason as payback? It’s now well known he is a little bit of a wheeler and dealer.
On the topic of Veronica, the Large’s are preparing to go to court to testify for Veronica’s Dad. Hermione tells Veronica that they may have to “shave the truth”, to help save him. But as the show develops Veronica finds one of her now close friends Ethel Muggs has been greatly affected by Veronica’s father’s dodgy dealings. So much so Ethel’s Dad tries to take his own life as their family financial situation had become dire. While Ethel’s mother tries to stop the two from being friends Veronica’s good will triumphs and they continue on in their merry friendship.
With Polly Cooper now living with the Blossoms, Betty and her mother Alice are going mad not having any contact. But with Archie now part of the Blossom’s inner circle, even if it was only for a week, Polly get’s a message back to Betty. She fine and she’s doing a little of her own digging into the Blossoms to see if they had a hand in Jason’s murder.
Fred Andrews is now the proud owner of the knowledge that his little business venture is built on lies and deceit. Not to mention being funded by a man who lives in jail. Fred mans up and tells Hermione straight. First up he’s taking a larger stake in the business and secondly he’s keeping their relationship, professional. Ouch Fred.
And in true Riverdale style the episode ends with a twist and turn. The show ends with Cheryl Blossom scrubbing out the faces in a photo of Archie and Polly taken from the tree tapping ceremony. What ever will she do next?
The Lost Weekend
It’s so close you can taste it. Not that you’d want to taste a dead body, but the taste of knowing who killed Jason Blossom. But not just yet, there are still chapters to fill in the spaces and not really offer anything further to the investigation. However, Veronica says at the end of this chapter that she wants to help the investigation to find out who killed Jason Blossom. More so, did her father, Hiram Lodge have something to do with the murder as payback to the Blossoms. So much drama you could think this was a reality show.
It’s Jughead’s birthday and Betty didn’t know until Archie told him. That has something to do with the fact that Jughead hates celebrating his birthday. Some dark story about his childhood and family life might have something to do with it. But Betty gets to organising a massive party for him anyway. And on top of the “inner circle” of friends, Betty has invited his Dad, FP, to join the fun. Jughead’s expecting to see a double feature at the cinema with his besty Archie. But this year, he’ll be taking his girlfriend, Betty.
Archies Dad, Fred, is heading out of town to finalise the divorce. Archie isn’t so keen on the idea and can’t manage to talk his Dad out of it. She has been gone two years but there seems to a little hope that she might come home one day. There’s been little talk of the relationship Archie has with his mother, except for when it’s convenient to the script. However this chapter we finally get to put a face to the name. Ladies and Gentlemen without further ado. A lady who needs no introduction. 1980s superstar, Molly Ringwald who you will probably but maybe not if you’re not a fan of Director John Hughes films, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and for good measure Not Another Teen Movie. Molly Ringwald will be playing the part of Archies Mum, Fred’s wife and soon to be ex wife, Mary Andrews. Will she stay, will she go or will she just add another famous face to the show and be forgotten.
On the point of forgetting, you’ll be excused for forgetting Chuck Clayton, but he’s is back after his suspension. And he’s pissed for being kicked off the football team and looks like he’s going to get his revenge. Betty can’t handle his return and tries to confront him at school but manages to make a scene for herself. We also see the dark side of Betty come back as she starts to break her skin with her nails as she pulls a tight fist to stop herself from going crazy. Much like the time when Cheryl Blossom was interrogating her at the Vixens tryouts.
Veronica’s annoyed at the Blossom’s for putting her father away and decides to take it out on Cheryl in the form of a cheer battle. They go head to head to win the team over and become the centre of the performances, not the back of the stage where Cheryl tries to put Veronica. Veronica manages to out dance her and the team vote for her to take centre stage. Cheryl isn’t happy and not only fires two of the Vixens but also seeks her revenge. She visits the newly returned Chuck and hatch a plan to bring the truth out about some of the goody two shoes in town, Veronica and Betty, at Jugheads surprise birthday party. Which was supposed to be “inner circle” and ends up being the entire school.
The party is off to a good start until the entire school turns up and Jughead isn’t happy. Jughead’s Dad, FP turns up and has a chat with Joaquin, Kevin’s boyfriend who was very intimate with Kevin in Archies Kitchen. But as they talk in Archies bedroom across the yard in the house next door holding a pair of binoculars is Betty’s Mum, Alice Cooper. She isn’t convinced a Serpent would be involved with the Sheriffs son and starts to questions what’s really going on. Also watching FP is Veronica who finally realises FP is Jugheads Dad and starts to piece things together.
Jughead tries to leave the party but Chuck and Cheryl have a different idea and lock the door so no one can leave to start their revenge game. The game is just truth or dare without the dare part to which all the secrets of Riverdale’s goody two shoes are revealed. Veronica is first up and Cheryl is out for revenge bringing up her father’s dodgy dealings and jail time. But Veronica is quick to respond putting the spot light back onto Cheryl by suggesting Cheryl and her twin brother no less, might have had a secret incestuous relationship. And when he didn’t want to continue the relationship anymore, Cheryl killed him. Not a believable story, but humorous to watch her squirm non-the-less. Archie is next up and his relationship with music teacher Miss Grundy is revealed as is the fact they were together near the murder location of Jason Blossom. Chuck also throws Betty under the buss and it’s revealed about her weird dark side dressing as a hooker and almost drowning Chuck.
Seeing his Dad and having a party thrown in his honour is too much for Jughead, so much so he tries to break up with Betty. After a big altercation ending with punching Chuck in the face, Jughead tries to leave the party once again. This time FP stands up as a Father and convinces him to fix things with Betty and his friends before he regrets it. After a milkshake at the diner Betty and Jughead manage to sort their differences and go about their business.
Veronica spends the night with Archie and tells her mum she stayed at Betty’s. But don’t worry Archie was a gentleman and slept on the floor and gave Veronica his bed. She sneaks off in the morning and quickly makes her way to see her lawyer as a character reference for her father Hiram, despite not being totally convinced of his innocence. But she does it to help keep her mothers name clean. Veronica unconvinced wants to get to the bottom of the Jason Blossom murder and joins Betty and Jughead in the investigation for the newspaper.
This episode was all about bringing everyone up to speed. Now all the school knows of everyone’s secrets, it’s time to get to the bottom of the investigation and give some juicy details. Details that will finally tell who killed Jason Blossom. And with only three more chapters, it’s only a matter of time before we can finally move on to the next investigation with Archie and his gang. Which can be revealed that season two has been green lit by Netflix.
To Riverdale and Back Again
Just when you think you finally know exactly what’s going on, twist. This episode we find out who killed Jason Blossom. Excuse the lack of enthusiasm, because just as this chapter closes they throw the “Riverdale twist” in your face. At the end of every chapter the scriptwriters give a little bit more information, or twist the information you thought you knew already. Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a very good show if they didn’t. But after 11 chapters you can hear the screams across the city “just tell me who killed Jason Blossom”. So now the anxious wait continues as the final chapters make their way to your viewing device in the coming weeks.
It’s homecoming and aside from the big football game and the Vixens big cheer it’s all about the dance. Old and new Riverdale come together for the dance in what, like all good drama, will end in scandal. Archie’s Dad, Fred takes two ladies to the dance, Hermione and his wife Mary Andrews. Archie sings a song at the dance with Veronica and nails it. And here’s the drama. The Sheriff turns up and tells Jughead his Dad has been arrested for the Murder of Jason Blossom. But just before that happened Betty confronted Veronica and Archie on what they had been up to and why they are being so secretive. They confess they’ve been helping Betty’s Mum, Alice, to investigate FP.
While Alice had invited Jughead and FP over for dinner before the dance, she also organised Veronica and Archie to snoop around FP’s trailer to find some incriminating evidence. Once Betty knew about this she cut Archie and Veronica off refusing to talk to either of them. But they do manage to tell her one part of the story, the “Riverdale twist”. They turned the trailer up searching for something and never saw the evidence used to lock FP up, a toolbox with the gun that killed Jason Blossom. Someone set him up. Which is hard to believe because FP has been working so hard to change his life around. He’s always at work on time, he stopped drinking and his trailer is clean and tidy. Or is this part of his plan to make them think he’s not involved.
Further to the twist Cheryl and Polly were due to go to the dance together and so decided to raid her mums jewellery. What they find is the wedding ring Jason gave to Polly, despite it being assumed lost. So Cheryl’s Mum, Penelope, gives Polly the story of how Jason threw it at them when he walked out on the Blossom name. And then Penelope drugs Polly so she missed the dance. Not a hundred per cent clear why, but perhaps to get back at Cheryl in some way. So in true Blossom fashion, Cheryl pretends she threw the ring away to cover themselves should Polly go to the police. But in actual fact, she kept it. The question is what ever will she do with it?
Jughead has a big chat with his Dad about how well things are going, this was before he was carted off to the lockup. And they decide maybe the whole family should leave Riverdale and be together once again. But Jughead is in love with Betty and decides to hang around. FP also read Jughead’s manuscript he’s been writing since chapter 1 about the murder of Jason Blossom and the town that seems to be full of a whole lot of hate. But FP has some very interesting and direct questions about the murderer and who Jughead things killed Jason. FP encourages Jughead to move onto something different. Seems FP is a little worried these kids might figure something out before the Sheriff does. But then he went and got arrested anyway.
With all the parents asking their children to move Archie got one of those chats as well. His Mum, Mary, asked him to move to Chiago with her. She didn’t want him to be in a dangerous little town like Riverdale. Surly Chicago is much safer. Fred overheard the discussion and despite Archie telling his Mum how much closer they have become he still looked a little worried he might leave him. But if there’s a season 2, this wouldn’t be possible.
You can catch the full first season of Riverdale streaming now on Netflix
Recap by Jay Cook