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Riverdale

Riverdale – BIG FUN (3×16)

Credit: Riverdale/ The CW

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There are a few things you’ll walk away with following Riverdale’s second musical episode.

Number one, the realization that this cast is insanely, exceptionally, wildly talented. Every single one of them. Even Jughead who refused to sing for the first musical finally but caved in and belted out those high notes. A welcome surprise, I must admit.

But secondly, you’re not going to be able to get any of these catchy songs out of your head. As you’re reading this, you’re probably humming one right now.

With how deadly and gruesome the previous musical, Carrie, ended up being, I went into this one a little bit weary.

Would it live up to the expectations? Would someone else get murdered?

I’m sad to say, it didn’t. Now, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t ‘BIG FUN,’ it just means Riverdale achieved something unique and inimitable the first time around.

And that’s okay.

Maybe it’s because Carrie was our first voyage into the land of singing Serpents and River Vixens or maybe because The Farm, and Evelyn Evernever, simply isn’t as strong of an antagonist as the elusive Black Hood was.

In fact, crafting the musical around Evernever the cult’s vision gave way to some really peculiar moments some of which were probably written to match up with the songs.

Oftentimes, they didn’t even feel real. Were they real? I guess we’ll never know.

Carrie resonated with the characters thematically, but Heathers was a more fluid interpretation offering each cast member a chance to shine and building upon already established storylines and character arcs.

The whole push-and-shove between Toni and Cheryl fell a little flat but maybe it’s because the way they got together and their breakup were so rushed.

The whole impetus for Heather’s the musical stemmed from the breakup, and for Cheryl to shine and get some validation.

When Toni encroached on her sacred stage, Cheryl just about lost it.

But why and more importantly, how, did they go from being lovers to nuclear levels of hate?

Cheryl went from being inseparable with Toni to ordering her to switch schools cause there was only room for one woman wearing red at Riverdale High?

It’s possible that I was disappointed in this storyline simply because of how much progress has made since beginning her relationship with Toni.

She regressed hard and became more vicious than we’re used to. At one point, she even said she needed a chainsaw to end the misery!

Related: Riverdale – American Dreams (3×15)

Cheryl’s known for extremes, but waging a full on war against the woman she loved was slightly ridiculous, as all things are in this town.

But the musical stage gave way to an even higher barrier for ridiculous actions such as Toni’s attempt at insinuating a threesome and ordering Sweet Pea and one of her Pretty Poison members to strip down to their tighty-whiteys via sing-song. I found myself asking ‘what is going on’ way too often.

Most upsetting of all is that the turmoil in their relationship was completely pointless as by the end of the episode, Toni extended and olive branch to Cheryl who accepted it.

And just like that, they were back to being lovers.

All of this would have been aggravating had it not been for Cheryl’s acknowledgment that her take on relationships is so extreme because her upbringing was filled with either feeling adoration or pure hate; there was no in between.

In fact, this moment clears up a lot about Cheryl Blossom.

Usually, I suspend disbelief to embrace all the oddities the Riverdale writers are feeding me, but ‘BIG FUN’ pushed those limits.

Riverdale Heathers Musical BIg Fun

Credit: Riverdale/ The CW

And that was especially true with the characters never fully accepting whatever happened in previous scenes. There were moments where the episode almost felt discombobulated because it didn’t flow gracefully.

The whole hour played out like a dream sequence of even a hallucination.

Are we sure Evelyn didn’t slip whatever she gave Kevin to the viewers? That would explain a lot.

The episode really amped up all the cult shenanigans when The Farm’s Evelyn inserted herself into the squad by co-directing the musical alongside Kevin.

Kevin said he couldn’t handle all the trauma of solely directing Carrie, but again, I think Evelyn’s drugs had a hand in that.

Evelyn used the musical as a way to recruitment tool for The Farm, and no one other than Betty seemed to be aware of her agenda. Not even Betty’s closest friends.

It’s odd that Betty is the only one gunning to bring this alleged cult down and even informing Jughead that even Principal Weatherbee is on it yet he doesn’t seem to care much at all.

Granted, they all have a lot of their plates with Jughead’s mother taking over the drug trade and Veronica’s parents separating, but how was no one suspicious of Evelyn’s relaxation techniques, her ‘in costume’ party, or Kevin and Fangs’ wedding-like initiation?

The real question is, are those two married now? Or what did I just witness?

The evidence against Evelyn has been stacking up against her and staring them all in the face. Betty tried to warn everyone, yet Evelyn’s manipulation tactics worked effortlessly on the broken souls of Riverdale. And there are a lot of broken souls.

Riverdale is filled with a lot of desperate people which is why it’s such a perfect breeding ground for the Farm. Look how quickly they were able to snatch up Polly, Alice, Kevin and even Fangs!

Throughout the whole musical, Evelyn was trying to come between all the friends and get them to tell her their deepest and darkest secrets.

That’s the oldest trick in the book when it comes to cults.

So if that final performance struck you as over-the-top and downright weird, that’s because it was supposed to.

It was supposed to be an emotional number and one that sent a message about the teens wanting to make the world a better place, but instead of gaining praise from the parents, it brought the members of The Farm to their feet.

Including cult leader Edgar Evernever who was beyond proud of his daughter.

I squealed when he stood up clapping in the audience not because I was excited to mee the elusive cult leader, but because I was thrilled to see Chad Michael Murray finally dig into this role.

It’s good to see him back on our TV screens and still looking scrumptious. I’m not surprised Alice is eating up everything he’s telling her.

Riverdale has been keeping Edgar purposefully off the radar, so I wonder what his arrival means for the town.

Will the Farm’s appeal heighten?

It’s incredible that Betty even found the time to spy on Evelyn and the Farm while helping Jughead burn down his childhood home and all of its memories.

It was deeply upsetting to see Jughead’s trailer burn; it felt like we were saying goodbye to that part of him as a character.

Though, I am concerned that their first instinct after torching a home-turned-drug-lab and all of its memories was to hook up.

Gladys needs to be handled.

Initially, Jug was going to let it all go for the sake of having his family together again, but when his father got injured on the job by some Fizzle Rocks junkie, he knew he had to put a stop to it.

Obviously, Gladys will know that her son destroyed her product and seeing how infuriated Hiram was when Ronnie pulled a similar stunt, it looks like he declared full on war.

But how is he going to keep a semblance of a normal life at home in front of his father?

He’s bound to tell FP the truth and personally, I think he should.

Gladys made Jughead believe that telling him would ruin his father and make him spiral, but finding out what was happening behind his back and facing the betrayal will do that to him.

Riverdale Heathers Musical BIg Fun

Credit: Riverdale/ The CW

Seeing Gladys brush off FP’s injury knowing damn well she was contributing to it was frustrating.

Can she take her paws off of him already?

Both Veronica and Archie found themselves in awkward places in their relationship though only one of them has a happy ending in store. For now.

Sweet Pea outed Archie and Josie as a couple which didn’t pan out as he’d expected. Josie, who was very much against a relationship with Archie because their connection stemmed from a place on loneliness, opened up to the possibility of Jarchie!

Their love ballad was surface-level cute, but they really did Archie a disservice by having him sing alongside a vocal powerhouse like Josie.

Veronica and Reggie patched things up briefly — and by patched things up I mean they had sex again — but things took a sour turn when he assumed she only ran back to him because she found out Archie moved on.

The truth was, Veronica was feeling alone and lost after her parents announced their divorce.

Veronica’s dynamic with her parents is strange. Hiram and Hermione despise each other and only work together when it’s mutually beneficial from a business standpoint. They purposefully hurt each other on a daily basis, and Veronica has even encouraged her mother to screw over her father countless times yet somehow, she’s disheartened because they’re splitting.

Is she delusional? Maybe. I believe it’s more of a false sense of security.

Her family, unconventional as they might be, gave her hope that despite all the craziness, they’d weather any storm.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

Coming from such a broken family has set Veronica up for failure. She’s never going to be able to have a normal relationship if she puts Hiram and Hermione relationship on a pedestal.

We’re seeing the effects of that already.

And especially after Hiram admitted that the reason they’re splitting is because he found out Hermione tried to have him killed not once but twice.

Veronica didn’t even stop to think that there was something deeply wrong with that narrative.

However, she rocked “Lifeboat” and really gave us all the emotions in her rendition. Great job, Cami!

Other Observations

  • Hermione being concerned about Heather’s being violent and encouraging teen suicide was laughable. Does she know who she’s married to and how much worse Hiram is for the student body than a musical?
  • Even funnier was Hermione’s legitimate question: “are you all this miserable?” Again, is she not aware of what her husband has done to these teens with his Fizzle Rocks and his game of G&G?

Heathers may have been a strange choice because of its dark subject matter, but it embodied Riverdale at its core.

The movie turned musical, is described as a “high energy dark comedy” that addresses issues of bullying, teen suicide, and violence in schools.

If you didn’t know what I was describing, Riverdale would surely come to mind.

But these teen are strong and have proven time and time again that they’ll overcome whatever is thrown their way.

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12 Crazy Moments from the Riverdale Season 4 Fall Finale

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Craziest Moments from the Riverdale Season 4 Finale

Riverdale is known from its crazy plot twists, and given that this was the midseason finale, we were expecting the cream of the crop.

We were not disappointed.

Take a look back at the wildest moments of the night.

Caution: spoilers ahead. 

You can read the full review of Riverdale Season 4 Episode 9 right here!

1. Polly Clawed off a Nurse’s Face

We haven’t seen Polly for a hot minute. If I’m being exact, I think the last time we saw her was when she tried to drown Alice as part of some Farm “rebirth” ritual. And now when we saw her, she was tied up to a bed after disfiguring a nurse at Shady Grove named Betty. Yes, disfiguring.

2. Alice Tries to Attack her Daughter with a Butcher Knife

Honestly, the headline says it all. Both Alice and Polly went full psycho after picking up a phone call that hypnotized them into attempting to kill Betty. Somehow, there’s a logical explanation.

3. Tangerine, Tangerine, Tangerine

Anyone else wondering if there’s some unrevealed backstory to the word tangerine? Does Betty hate tangerines? Did she give them to a student that was allergic? Or is the word innocent enough to hide the fact that it hypnotizes people into turning into Betty and attempting to kill her dark side aka her?

In Betty’s case, that means she’d have to kill herself, which was all part of The Farm, Edgar, and Evelyn’s plan. Seriously, how is she still getting phone privileges?

4. Cheryl Gassing Thistlehouse

While gassing the house up maybe have been a bonkers idea, it worked to snuff out the darkness hiding within the brick walls of Thistlehouse: Penelope. Cheryl figured out it was her mother who was gaslighting her in hopes that she’d lose her mind because of the Julian doll. Who knew a little roach gas was all she need to see clearly?

Read the full post at TV Fanatic! 

 

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Riverdale

Riverdale Fall Finale Review – Who Killed Jughead? (4×09)

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Riverdale Tangerine Review

Riverdale took a sharp turn for its midseason finale bringing the Jughead death into clear, well, clearer, view.

SPOILERS AHEAD

There were clues leading up to the killer’s identity throughout much of the episode.

Betty has always lived with Dark Betty’s shadow looming over her, and she’s been terrified of her serial killer gene ever since taking the FBI for kids (or whatever it was called) class, so her desire to eliminate this part of her wasn’t random, but the way the storyline was carried out was.

Evelyn was able to make two calls from Shankshaw Prison to Polly and Alice and hypnotized them via a trigger word that made them kill “Betty” aka the person in the vicinity that they believed was Betty.

Oh, and the trigger word was “tangerine” because apparently, Riverdale has a thing against sweet, orange, fruit.

At this point, I just shrug my shoulders and roll with it.

Betty was afraid that she’d be affected by the trigger word, though, it’s unlikely since she was never brainwashed by the Farm, right?

Then again, we don’t know what happened while she was briefly holed up inside those walls.

However, Betty tested it in front of Charles, which, knowing what we know, was a terrible idea, but Charles has made himself trustworthy so Betty figured this was fine.

She wasn’t phased by the trigger word immediately, but she was taken back to her youth, specifically, the moment Dark Betty was born. I cannot watch poor Caramel get crushed to death by a rock over and over, guys.

Betty’s logical was that if she could go back in time and prevent Dark Betty from being born, she’d fix the dark part of herself that she hated.

Again, sure. I’d be more inclined to think that was a good solution if it came from a therapist and not from Charles, who we know has ulterior motives.

But Betty did it and went to sleep thinking she was safe despite breaking her mirror with her fist and being completely unphased. Oh boy.

So, when the series flashed forward to Betty standing over Jughead holding a rock and presumably killing him the same way she’d killed Caramel before, it wasn’t surprising in the context of plot development.

However, looking at it as fans of the series and Betty and Jughead solo as well as a couple, it was outrageous.

The series would never allow Betty to kill her boyfriend unless they wanted to enrage fandoms and ensure the end of the series as we know it.

Which means that a. that isn’t Jughead, it’s an evil twin brother, b. Archie assumed he was dead when he was just knocked out, c. it’s a sequel to Jughead’s Baxter Brothers novel since the one that got him the contract drew inspiration from the murder of Jason Blossom, or d. I don’t know, and I’m packing.

What do you think the final scene means for Jughead going forward? Is he dead?

After scoring the contract to become the next Baxter Brothers ghost-writer, Jughead attempted to locate his grandfather.

And, he found him. Or someone who claimed to be Forsythe. He looked more like Santa than what I’d imagine FP’s abusive father would look like but whatever.

It was surprisingly easy for Jughead to locate a man who went missing years ago and didn’t want to be found. The fact that Charles helped him find Forsythe also doesn’t sit well with me. If Charles and Chip are working together to destroy Betty then chances are, they’d want to destroy Jughead too.

What are the odds this is an actor who was paid to tell Jughead what he wanted to hear about the Baxter Brothers novel so he would sign the contract?

Based on Jughead’s first words to the man, he didn’t know what his grandfather looked like, and FP never saw him since the man cleared out the trailer before Jughead could reunite them.

It’s too fishy.

Charles has been trusted by both Betty and Jughead so he knows everything and thus, can manipulate them with their weaknesses.

Another day, another terrible Archie idea.

Archie refuses to give up his vigilante life because he thinks he’s making a difference. He wants to follow in his father’s footsteps but really, his father would be disappointed in him handling everything with his fists and not his brain, though, he’d probably understand since thinking logically was never Archie’s strong suit.

Somehow, FP managed to get roped into Archie’s crusade, which would be fine if FP was solely a Serpent, but he’s also the damn Sheriff and shouldn’t be encouraging violence.

Nothing has ever truly been solved with a fistfight.

Archie didn’t just put himself in danger, but he caused FP to get shot at Pops again! How many times can a masked criminal shoot someone Archie cares about? This town, honestly.

FP fared better than Fred did when he took a bullet last time, but this triggered Archie to make another rash decision — beating up Dodger one last time.

He couldn’t let it go. Dodger and Darla were on their way out of town and yet, Archie had to go and pound him into the ground.

I’m sure there was satisfaction in that, but Archie’s grief anger brought him too close to killing a man.

And now, he’s going to have to make it up to the kids in the center who look up to him as a role model but saw him standing over a bloodied man and threatening to murder him. He’s no better than Dodger.

Veronica’s beef with Hiram is getting unbelievable. She tattled on him to his mom and he attempted to sabotage her chances of getting into an Ivy League college.

How old are they?

Veronica should have known that her father would have a patent on the rum. He’s a brilliant businessman!

And she also needs to just cut herself off from him completely, which means giving up this rum competition and focusing on what brings her joy outside of taking down her father.

Also, there’s no way any admissions interviewer would be impressed with that show Ronnie put on. Everything about it was so terrible.

And then there’s Cheryl who seems to be regaining some sanity despite locking her mother up in a bunker as a hostage. Look, Penelope had it coming.

After her productive chat with the therapist on the former Riverdale episode, Cheryl realized someone was gaslighting her and making her believe she was crazy.

The only logical person would be Penelope, so Cheryl snuffed her out by gassing Thistlehouse.

She then put her on trial so that Penelope would face all the horrendous things she’s done, and Penelope admitted she was fueled by jealousy over Cheryl’s relationship with dead Jason. Again, what?

The positive outcome was that Cheryl acknowledged it was time to let Jason rest even if the way she sent him away was by re-enacting his death down Sweetwater River.

You know, I’m going to let this one slide for Cheryl’s sanity.

Other Riverdale Thoughts

  • Is the Farm responsible for those stalker-ish VHS tapes too? Isn’t it time to wrap up the Farm storyline? It keeps rearing its ugly head when it should have been left behind in Season 3.
  • Why didn’t anyone question why Cheryl had a mummified corpse of Jason?
  • Jughead was initiated into the secret society, but he should have just rejected the offer.

What did you think of the Riverdale midseason finale?

Are things getting too insane even by Riverdale standards?

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Riverdale

Riverdale Review – You’re Just a High School Senior from Riverdale (4×08)

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Riverdale In Treatment Review

There were so many instrumental moments on tonight’s Riverdale, and we all owe a great deal to Mrs. Burble (guest star Gina Torres).

This episode was our response to us asking: “why aren’t these teens in therapy?”

Therapy in Riverdale is long overdue, and I didn’t realize just how overdue until all these teens were forced to sit down and talk about their emotional trauma.

Boy, that was a handful. And these are just the core 5 students. We haven’t even graced the surface of what Kevin, Toni, and friends are feeling.

Their introspective breakthroughs alone made this episode one of the best, strongest, and most mature in the vault.

Betty’s been scarred for life by a half-present mother who could only muster up the excuse that “she loved her too much.” Yes, there’s such a thing as smothering someone with love and overparenting.

Alice didn’t want to come to terms that she was losing her baby, but there’s no denying that Betty’s been a fully functioning adult for quite some time now.

Is Alice that naive that she didn’t know her daughter was having sex with Jughead? They sleep in the same bed.

But more importantly, the sex part is what she’s overly concerned with?

I thought I was going to have to go off at the television listing all the other situations that have probably “distracted” Betty more than having sex, but thankfully, I didn’t have to because Betty handled it herself.

Everything Betty went off about on Mrs. Burble’s couch echoed the audiences’ sentiments.

Murdering the Shady Man, saving her mother from a cult, getting locked away at the Sister’s of Quiet Mercy and drugged up to hallucinate the Gargoyle King… half of those things, Alice was responsible for. And here she is thinking sex was going to destroy Betty’s life.

Girl, please.

Archie’s diagnosis was pretty straightforward: grief-induced anger.

The worst part is that he’s aware of why he is the way that he is, but he still allows his “addiction” of helping people and blindly and stupidly putting himself at risk to take over. He cannot help his hero-complex.

Mrs. Burble mentioned that she doesn’t expect everyone to change after one session and one realization, and we should have listened because even after Archie acknowledged the problem, he went back to his old ways of handling them.

The good news is that Cheryl did NOT consume her fraternal brother in the womb, which means someone is definitely messing with her to convince her that she’s going crazy.

I can’t say I agree with Burble’s lenient take on talking to taxidermy. Maybe Cheryl wasn’t clear enough when she explained her coping mechanisms, but she’s literally talking to a mummified Jason that was dug up from the grave.

That’s not nearly the same thing as chatting with someone’s urn or their gravestone. Not in the slightest.

Personally, Cheryl should continue therapy and properly bury her brother so he can rest in peace and she can move on.

But also, who is screwing with her?

I’m inclined to believe that Toni’s responsible simply because she’s still living at Thistlehouse when every other sane human being would move far, far away.

However, that would require destroying the Choni relationship, and Riverdale doesn’t seem to be interested in messing with it. Therefore, it’s probably Cheryl’s MIA mother. There has to be some benefit to Penelope convincing her daughter that she’s lost it.

Veronica finally acknowledged her obsessive relationship with Hiram Lodge. It’s more than daddy issues at this point because the two of them love to hate each other.

Burble did a great job of highlighting the most pressing issue: Veronica has never actually wanted to walk away.

She says one thing but does another.

Despite her disgust, Veronica still respects Hiram, calls his “daddy,” and willingly lives at the house.

It’s a toxic relationship that’ll only stop once she completely severs ties with him and sticks to her guns.

Is she capable of that? Time will tell. Rejecting Harvard to go to the competition “Yale” is one thing, but it’s another to completely rid your life of the man that gave you life.

And lastly, Jughead was called out for taking the easy way out and feeding into Stonewall Prep’s beliefs about him.

They say he’s not good enough, so why should he prove them otherwise. That’s been his take on it mostly because he’s been procrastinating his writing and college applications due to his Mr. Chipping conspiracies.

But here, again, I didn’t exactly agree with Burble.

She made some valid points about Jughead getting too obsessed with the wrong thing, sabotaging himself, and idolizing a man who caused his father so much pain while ignoring his father’s self-success at becoming a better person.

All that was 100% on point.

However, Jughead’s not delusional about what’s going on at Stonewall Prep. They are hiding some secret that was responsible for Mr. Chipping’s public suicide and is also apparently now responsible for the deaths of other notorious children novelist’s from Stonewall.

In short, someone is committing murder! And the only two people still alive are DuPont and Forsythe, who we know is MIA.

But what if he isn’t?

What if Forsythe is pulling the strings on this secret society? Maybe he doesn’t want to be found and the death, DuPont’s stand-offish attitude towards Jughead, and the rest of the classmates are all protecting that.

In Riverdale, anything is possible.

His murder conspiracy also leads into his Baxter Brothers’ “perfect murder” novel, which Betty said was “really good” and “put his own spin on it.”

Is that a clue that the final scene that’s playing out is a scene from Jughead’s book.

Maybe I’m looking too much into it, but the lighting in the scene, the vibe, and the music was all off.

There’s also no way Archie, Betty, and Veronica would casually walk into a lineup like that as they were accused of killing their best friend unless it was to fool everyone into believing that was really the case.

You can read all my theories about what’s going on with Jughead right here!

Another wonderful thing about this episode was how Riverdale normalized therapy.

There is so much stigma surrounding mental health and getting help that an episode showing teens doing just that without shame goes a long way.

As does the fact that Mrs. Burble dissected every single ridiculous thing about the show psychologically that explained the madness behind the series in a sensical way.

I could almost get into the minds of the writers and how they craft story-arcs. It’s a way I’ve never looked at the narrative of this show.

But while we were all distracted with the self-reflective progress the teens were making, it was easy to gloss over the oddities about Burble.

She was great at her job, at identifying problems, and at helping them all work through them.

But how did she know everything about them? School’s don’t usually have files about everything that happens in a specific student’s life.

She knew some of their deepest and darkest secrets, and she knew exactly where to put pressure to make them talk.

All of this, paired with a very fleeting and casual mention of the VCR tapes, which the beginning of the episode emphasized again, makes me think there’s something much more sinister to the psychologist than meets the eye.

Has she been spying on everyone?

Does she want people to know they’re being watched so they attempt to be better people?

Lastly, how will Riverdale continue when they all go to college? If we’re to consider that the flashforwards are simply part of Jughead’s novel then all of them will be attending school somewhere else in the fall.

Betty didn’t get into Yale, but that’s where Veronica is going. Archie plans to stay in Riverdale and who knows where Jug applied or if he’ll even go considering his predicament.

Riverdale won’t be Riverdale if half of them aren’t in town anymore and the small town mysteries aren’t dominating their lives.

How do you think the show will carry on?

What’s happening with Jughead?

Will Veronica ever be free of her dad?

Is Archie self-destructive?

How wild is Betty and Alice’s relationship?

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