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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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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

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Riverdale

Riverdale Review – Dance of Death (5×17)

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Riverdale Review Dance of Death Season 5 Episode 17

The mystery of the Mothmen finally came to an end, along with the mystery of what happened to Polly Cooper. 

Jughead, Betty, and Tabitha closed in on the truth on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 17 as another young girl named Britta went missing while Lynette Fields aka Squeaky was confirmed dead. 

Is anyone else a bit bummed that the Squeaky mystery didn’t have too much meat to it?

The Mothmen mystery also wasn’t supernatural in the slightest, which isn’t exactly shocking when it comes to Riverdale.

The series always hints at the supernatural before elaborating on a story of serial killers. 

In this case, the serial killers picked up women on the Lonely Highway because they enjoyed the hunt. 

When compared to all the previous mysteries, this one was definitely the weakest. 

Jughead’s former student, the sleepwalker who turned up after a week, is the one who clued them into the location of the Mothmen’s lair. 

Turns out, it was none other than old man Dreyfuss, the one who told Jughead all about the Mothmen in the first place.

Dreyfuss was a Starkweather, a member of a family of Blossom offspring that were given away and raised in the woods. Yes, this is a true story straight from Nana’s mouth. 

Another Starkweather brother included the man Betty captured that bit off his own tongue. 

They were all in cahoots working the Lonely Highway and protecting each other. 

They assumed they were preying on women that no one cared about — that is until Polly came along. 

Eventually, Betty was able to get the location of Polly’s body out of Dreyfuss, and while it provided her family with some closure, it was far from the outcome Betty wanted for her sister. 

Riverdale Review Dance of Death Season 5 Episode 17

Riverdale — “Chapter Ninety-Three: Dance of Death” — Image Number: RVD517fg_0018r — Pictured (L – R): Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones and Erinn Westbrook as Tabitha Tate — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

And it was even more disturbing that it was an act of crime on Betty’s family by her own family.

On the plus side, it was nice to see Betty and Jughead team up for yet another mystery. There hasn’t been one that these couldn’t solve. 

Toni was back, and she joined the crusade along with Fangs, who is helping her raise baby Anthony. 

There hasn’t been much of a storyline for Toni, but it was sweet that she went to bat for Britta, a student who confided in her about being gay and asked her to be there to come out to her parents. 

But all of this was maple syrup under the bridge because the most shocking moment came when Veronica killed Chadwick and turned on Hiram Lodge. 

I know she’s turned on her father plenty of times before, but this time felt different. 

This time, she took Archie’s side 100%. 

And she didn’t even seem phased to shoot Chad as she zenned out in a tub with Archie just hours after. 

This whole show is bonkers. 

Chad deserved everything that came his way after he plotted to kill Archie and then attacked Veronica in her own home.

Clearly, taking advice from Hiram Lodge wasn’t a sound solution. 

Veronica also realized she could never forgive her father for drumming up a mine explosion to kill Archie. 

It’s honestly insane that this adult is still so hung up over a man half his age. 

Archie may have been collateral damage in Veronica’s beef with Hiram over the palladium, but it was still very a very childish decision on his part. 

Will this be the final straw in Veronica’s relationship with Hiram?

I feel like after all that has transpired, she either abandons her father or faces the consequences of losing Archie. 

Will she pay to price for what happened to Chad? Or will self-defense hold up considering he tried to ambush her?

Cheryl may have found her calling as the divine. 

Though her friends, including Kevin, had little faith in her religion, Cheryl seemed to believe in herself after seeing her prayers to Mother Earth aka Gaia answered as Archie emerged from the mines. 

Will Kevin return to stand by Cheryl’s side?

And am I the only one completely annoyed with this church storyline?

What did you think of Riverdale? Are you enjoying the fact that it gets crazier by the week?

Let us know in the comments below!


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Riverdale Review – Band of Brothers (5×16)

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Riverdale Review Band of Brothers Season 5 Episode 16

Riverdale is slowly trudging along toward some kind of resolution for the varying stories it introduced throughout season 6, including the Moth Men, TBK (Trash Bag Killer), the Trucker Killer on the Lonely Highway, the Church of Cheryl, and Hiram’s obsession with palladium. 

As of right now, none of these things seem to intersect, but we’re all still watching hoping that it all feeds into some bigger picture. 

Otherwise, this may go down as the most random season of Riverdale to date. 

Archie continued to deal with the ghosts of his past by attempting to get justice for his men and putting General Taylor in his place. Seeing how Taylor threatened Archie, I anticipated that we would see Archie and Eric testify at the tribunal. At the very least, I expected to see some form of retaliation from Taylor, but the storyline wrapped up almost as quickly as it ended. 

Are we to believe that Archie finally found peace? And that Taylor went down without a fight?

Jughead was making amends with an apology tour. Mr. Weatherbee made the cut, as did Tabitha, and, eventually, Betty. 

He needed to apologize for the voicemail he left the night of his book release. 

But for Betty, it was all under the bridge as she admitted to willingly choosing her obsession with serial killers over him. 

I’m glad Betty and Jughead worked it out and found themselves on good terms, but I’m even happier that Jughead came clean about the fact that he submitted Cora’s novel as his own. 

While he may have found himself in a tough spot with his writing career hanging in the balance, it’s never okay to pass someone else’s work off as your own. 

Not meeting deadlines is bad, but plagiarism will get you canceled. 

Thankfully, he knew better and took the hit. 

Jughead’s first novel was born from spontaneity, and clearly, forcing another best-seller isn’t how it works. 

Though, if he really wanted to, I’m sure he could find plenty of inspiration right in Riverdale. 

He could always take inspiration from Betty, who admitted that she would rather investigate serial killers than socialize with other people. 

It’s weird, yes, but Betty has always had a darkness about her that made her different from everyone else. It’s not exactly surprising. 

Her work on the Lonely Highway is proving to be fruitless, and that’s probably because word of the truckers disappearance got around. 

Unfortunately, the episode ended with an ominous warning from Jughead about something bad happening to both Betty and Tabitha. 

Cheryl has gone off the deep end, I’m convinced of it. 

Riverdale Review Band of Brothers Season 5 Episode 16

Riverdale — “Chapter Ninety-Two: Band of Brothers” — Image Number: RVD516fg_0047r — Pictured: Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

She teamed up with Kevin to gain authority over the church, but while he thought they were simply punking the general public, Cheryl seemed to believe that she was really a gift sent from the divine. 

Kevin’s face when he realized what he’d gotten into was priceless. 

I don’t really understand the storyline with Cheryl, and to be honest, I feel like it’s a wasted character. 

And finally, no one messes with Veronica Lodge. 

In one fell swoop, she freed herself from Chad’s grasp and undermined Hiram Lodge. Win-win! 

I’d expect plenty of retaliation from both parties, but when Chad sent the SEC on her company, she pushed back by stealing the palladium from Hiram Lodge, auctioning it off for a hefty price, and paying back all the investors he screwed over. 

And then, as he celebrated his company going public, she tanked his stocks to ensure that no one ever messed with her again. 

Petty Veronica is my favorite Veronica. 

What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below! 


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Riverdale Review – The Return of the Pussycats (5×15)

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Riverdale Review The Return of The Pussycats Season 5 Episode 15

As the title of the episode revealed, Josie and the Pussycats returned to Riverdale. 

Well, to be honest, I have no idea where Val and Melody have been this whole time, so it’s possible they’ve been thriving in Riverdale and it was just Josie who rolled back into town.  

Regardless, Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15 saw their overdue reunion of the girl group and even sparked a reconciliation. 

If memory serves me, Riverdale takes place roughly two years after the events of the now-canceled Katy Keene, which is when fans last saw Josie living in New York as a struggling artist. 

It’s safe to say that her efforts paid off; By the time she arrives back in her hometown, she’s a global superstar!

Josie the pop icon has a nice ring to it, even if it does feel slightly forced. 

Her return to Riverdale is personal as we find out that she ditched a show in Berlin after finding out that her father died of a heart attack unexpectedly.

It doesn’t take long for Josie to be reminded that Riverdale is a dark place when a man named Mr. Sweets approaches her and her mother to inform them that her father was mixed up in some bad stuff in New Orleans and may have been murdered. 

Normally, one would question such an accusation made by a random man, but again, this is Riverdale; Josie and her mom simply get on the tour bus and decide to make NOLA their first stop in order to investigate.

The whole episode basically felt like a backdoor pilot to yet another spinoff, which should’ve happened long ago. 

While I love Josie and I love that she finally got the recognition she deserved throughout most of the series, I don’t see this working simply because Katy Keene failed. 

And what would it even be? A musical series hinged on a murder mystery? The CW sure loves those, so I’m not putting it past them.

Everyone on that tour bus would surely appear on the spinoff, including Sweet Pea (Josie’s new-again lover) and Alan Mayberry, Val’s boyfriend. Yes, Alan Mayberry, just like character from the comics who also appears in Scooby-Doo. Now, I’m convinced there’s going to be a murder mystery, detective-aspect to the spinoff! 

The only way I’ll be fully behind a Josie spinoff is if they cast a live-action Scooby-Doo, too! 

While Val and Melody were even more sidelined on Riverdale than Josie, the episode tapped into their backstories, and it turns out, they’ve both been pretty successful. 

Val is an artist and a political activist, while Melody wrote a book that was optioned by Tyler Perry. 

Both of their trajectories make me think that they were able to get far, far away from Riverdale considering the rest of their peers haven’t seen even a sliver of their success. 

As Josie navigated her old stomping grounds, she made it clear that she wasn’t someone to be messed with. 

When Hiram Lodge tried to file a noise complaint, Josie proved that she had way more pull than he did, and it was the icing on the cake that she called him out for still being a “little b****.” Don’t mess with Josie! 

However, the episode felt very disconnected from what’s been happening on Riverdale this season, which, in its own right, has been all over the place. There was no mention of Archie’s PTSD, Betty was somehow totally over the fact that she’s been hunting down creeps on The Lonely Highway, and Jughead’s Rat King story seemed like a very faint, faint, faint memory.

It almost seemed normal…. almost.

Riverdale Review The Return of The Pussycats Season 5 Episode 15

Riverdale — “Chapter Ninety-One: The Return of The Pussycats” — Image Number: RVD515fg_0026r — Pictured (L-R): Erinn Westbrook as Tabitha Tate and Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Coincidentally, Alexandra Cabot also happened to be in Riverdale at the same time Josie returned. A little refresher: Josie dated Alexandra’s brother, Alexander, on the brief spinoff, so the two are rivals. 

Alexandra confronted Veronica in hopes of getting back the money she invested with Ronnie’s husband, Chadwick, whom we know put her in a really tight financial situation. 

Instead of paying out, Veronica took the opportunity to present Alexandra with an investment into Pop’s as Tabitha explained that she wanted to franchise the business. 

Small town vibe at a diner with delicious food? Alexandra would be a fool to pass up on this opportunity!

Since Riverdale can’t pass up on a musical number, Alexandra, Tabitha, and Toni joined forces up for a little choreographed performance to sweeten the deal. 

Was anyone else as surprised to see Toni as I was? I thought the show forgot about her!.

Thankfully, her presence was felt as she went into labor during Josie’s set, once again upstaging the Pussycats. 

In true small-town fashion, everyone stuck around to be there for the birth, which happened in a backroom of Pops’…. I can’t imagine that’s sanitary! 

Cheryl and Fangs teamed up to deliver the baby, which is also strange. I wouldn’t want my ex to deliver a baby, but weirder things have happened in Riverdale. 

And finally, Toni, Fangs, and Kevin introduced their baby boy, Anthony a.k.a. Tony, to the world. Yep, Toni and Tony. That’s bound to get confusing. 

Tony’s birth was a glimmer of hope and light in an otherwise dark and twisted town!

What did you think of the episode? Would you watch a Josie-centered spinoff?

It takes courage for a series to acknowledge the missteps it made with characters, particularly characters of color, Riverdale did more than acknowledge as it seemingly tried to make amends. Let’s hope the sentiment is extended to Toni as she was promised so much screen time but hasn’t had much of a storyline all season!

Sound-off with your thoughts in the comments below! 


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