On Riverdale,The Corpse's Twin Wore White
Jason Blossom's memorial service is a gothic delight, and provides Betty and Jug much-needed snooping opportunities. Meanwhile, Archie is good at everything, some more.
This week's episode is a stark division between the gothic-horror fun times of Jason Blossom's memorial service, held at the Blossoms' Thornhill Manor, which is more than a little reminiscent of the big scary castle at the end of the cul-de-sac in Edward Scissorhands. There, the Blossom parents get to glare at literally everyone, while Cheryl humps the casket and Betty and Jughead sneak off to do some snooping. Great fun had by all!
Meanwhile, there's Archie, moping about in the wake of Miss Grundy's dismissal. He's once again torn between two activities he's great at: football and music. What's a Golden Boy to do?! Clearly, Riverdale's answer is "Get a mentor in the form of Ritchie from Looking and have him win the football captain's job only to selflessly give it to Reggie." Some boys have all the luck.
Kev's kind of an interesting-every-other-week kind of character, it seems.
- Fred (Archie's Dad)
They really crank up the dial on Fred wanting to date Hermione Lodge, huh? It seems ill-advised that, after Hermione turns him down, he instead offers her that bookkeeping job she was after. Not super-profesh there, Fred. That said, now that Archie is maybe dating Valerie from the Pussycats, we get to hear Luke Perry say "Val" again, which takes me back.
More of Veronica sassing Archie with quips like "You're back to being boring" and less of Veronica and Archie fruitlessly trying to force a connection that I'm just not seeing there. Also? Veronica's blossoming (pardon the pun) frenemy-ship with Cheryl is only furthering her raven-haired-Jen-Lindley vibe, since Cheryl is totally her Abby.
- Hermione (Veronica's mom)
Hermione is in some real shit. Her husband's shady financial dealings have half of Riverdale sneering at her; she owes money to the Hell's Serpents or whatever that biker gang is called; she gets a special delivery of a box with a rattlesnake in it; her new boss Fred Andrews is trying to date her. She's putting Mildred Pierce to shame, tbh.
The show often seems to be as aware as we are that Archie is a handsome dunderhead, but this week not so much. It's still incredibly funny every time we find out a new thing Archie does extraordinarily well. Did you know he has a heavy bag in the house so that he can work through his pain by punching things? Did you know that he's good enough at football to be talking scholarship? While it's great that this is a Grundy-free episode -- and that Archie and Val might be sparking up some new, sexy romance -- watching him burn the candle at both ends with music lessons and football still feels like we're being asked to care about the plight of the kid who is too good at everything.
- Hot Archie
If you need to box your way through the pain of a recent breakup...
...try to look at least half this good.
Don't get too excited about Betty flirting with/possibly dating this cute, nerdy boy named Trev. She's only fishing for information about Jason Blossom. I continue to like Betty and Jughead as a pair of snoopy teen reporters, and I like that the story is moving forward now that they've learned, from the Blossoms' creepy dowager grandma, that Polly and Jason had gotten engaged. Next stop: meeting actual Polly!
- Hal (Betty's Dad)
So with Ma Cooper on the shelf this week (maybe Mädchen Amick was off filming the new Twin Peaks?), it's Dad's time to shine. And by "shine," we mean "tell Betty all about the generations-long blood feud the Coopers have with the Blossoms over the lucrative Riverdale maple trade." (Goddamn it, I love this show.) It also turns out Hal is the one who stole Sherriff Keller's investigation materials; looks like he's trying to solve Jason Blossom's murder himself.
- Penelope (Cheryl's Mom)
Lady Blossom also shows up in a major way this week, as the family prepares for Jason's memorial service. We see she's a pretty terrible mother to Cheryl, seeming to blame her for Jason's demise. And she's holding some kind of grudge against Hermione and Hiram Lodge that we're sure to find out about soon enough.
Jughead whispering "the horror!" to Betty as they were confronted with Grandma Death in the Blossoms' attic is the kind of nerdy-film-kid thing I find very charming. Speaking of charming: how handsome our lil' Juggie looks in a suit!
Also? That look Betty gives him?
I'm not saying I'm pressing a line of "Bughead 2017" t-shirts, but those two dorks might be kind of perfectly suited for each other.
Cheryl basically alternates between two personalities: bitchy Mean Girl scream queen head cheerleader who sneers at Veronica 24/7 and addresses our gang as "sad Breakfast Club"; and gothic heroine whose Thornhill Mansion is her own personal Crimson Peak, where she sleeps in Jason's bed and wears the bright white July 4th dress to Jason's memorial service. Both Cheryls are pretty compelling, but it's been funny to watch her backhand Veronica in one scene and then rest a ghostly head on her shoulder the next.