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Riverdale – Labor Day (3×01)

Riverdale -- "Chapter Thirty-Six: Labor Day" -- Image Number: RVD301b_0217.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Molly Ringwald as Mary Andrews, KJ Apa as Archie and Robin Givens as Sierra McCoy -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Riverdale has a knack for finding an even balance of light and darkness within every episode.

Following the summer hiatus, the series picked things up with Archie’s arrest for the murder of Cassidy Bullock, the lakehouse teen we presume (cause we never saw a body) was murdered by Hiram Lodge’s lackey, Andre.

Mary returned from Chicago to defend her little boy from the monster that is Hiram Lodge. Basically, everyone in Riverdale knows that Hiram is framing boy-next-door and yet, they can’t do anything about it. Sounds like what’s happening in our country right now.

My biggest gripe is with Veronica because her father basically confessed to doing all of it to spite her because she disobeyed him and chose Archie over family. Why is she still sticking around the house? Doesn’t she own Pops? Doesn’t she have an inheritance? Can’t she move in with Betty?

Ronnie confronted her mother for staying by her father’s side and finally, Hermione admitted to what we’ve all known — she’s stuck in a loveless marriage and she’s terrified of her husband.

Hiram may be punishing Ronnie by putting Archie behind bars, but he would never hurt her; the same cannot be said for Hermione.

We knew Hiram was dangerous, but for his own wife to fear for her life is she doesn’t obey him? That’s a new level.

How long before she joins Fred, Sheriff Keller, and FP Jones in the takedown of Hiram? There’s strength in numbers.

Can we talk about how great that team-up is? The hot dads of Riverdale coming together to free Archie may be the most exciting revelation of the season. Don’t worry Mary, ya boys got this.

Archie taking the lawyer’s plea deal may have seemed stupid on the surface because, you know, he’s not actually guilty, but of all people in this town, he knows how Hiram operates.

He knows that there’s no winning against Hiram without outsmarting him. Hiram wouldn’t stop until he got what he wanted and he has the means to get away with it so taking this cop-out may have been the only way out.

Plus, his guilty admission now allows us to experience a new, edgier side of Archie in lock-up.

At least the teens spent the last few moments of Labor Day being carefree together.

Archie being framed for murder also united the Southside Serpents with the Northside. There’s nothing like going against a common enemy which in this case is Hiram and the Ghoulies.

The gang wars are intensifying but again, there is strength in numbers and the Southside Serpents are no longer the outcasts thanks to Betty becoming the Serpent Queen and Cheryl and Toni becoming the new “it couple.”

Wherever Archie is going, it has a tie-in with the new mystery enveloping Riverdale: a real-life Dungeon’s and Dragon’s game called Griffins and Gargoyles.

Jughead was immediately drawn into the new big bad when Dilton Doiley inadvertently came to him for help.

When the writers said the new season would be much darker, I didn’t expect the new mystery to be ritualistic in nature. Though after having a masked murderer terrorize the town, what else is there to explore?

Jughead followed the devilish symbols to a human sacrifice, but who is responsible for this game?

It’s only a matter of time before he loops in real-life Nancy Drew, Betty.

Does this also mean the mystery of the Black Hood is completely over? Are we to accept that her father was the masked murderer?

The devilish symbols also appeared when Archie was on the bus to lock-up so it’s to be expected that somehow, his arrest and this new town mystery are somehow connected.

And if that wasn’t enough weirdness for you — hey, at this point, it’s expected — there’s Alice’s new Farm-like outlook on life.

After finding out her husband is a serial killer, Alice has been seeking out therapy from Edgar Evernever, the man Polly credits with helping her cope with Jason Blossom’s death.

The farm hasn’t really been explored but it’s definitely some kind of cult that poison’s a person with their beliefs.

Off the bat, Betty realizes that her mother is feeding into what this cult leader is telling her and she’s having one of it.

On a certain level, Alice is right telling Betty that she has to “deal” with what happened instead of trying to pretend it didn’t which is what she’s been doing by throwing herself into Archie’s defense team and popping Adderall like it’s Smarties.

Polly has never seemed too menacing and she’s always had a sisterly bond with Betty but during this episode, it seemed like she was out to get Betty. Like the Farm taught her the “you’re either with us or against us” mentality.

Based on Polly selling her sister out for making up the therapy sessions, the Farm doesn’t appreciate when members form their own opinions.

Polly didn’t tell Alice about Betty’s lies because she worried, she wanted to strain their relationship.

It’s only a matter of time before Polly and Betty have a falling out.

However bad “not dealing” with your father’s murderous ways may be, satanic circles and human sacrifices are way worse.

Or at least that’s what Betty thought she was seeing right before she fainted.

This storyline can go one of three ways: Betty is really going overboard with the Adderall and she imagined Polly and Alice sacrificing twins Juniper and Dagwood, Alice is a witch who is tapping into her powers, or Betty is a witch whose powers enacted when she almost saw her nieces die in the fire.

Knowing Riverdale, it will probably be the more extreme version.

There have been rumors of more supernatural occurrences in Riverdale and with the addition of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in Greendale, the next town over, I wouldn’t even question it.

Riverdale is now a town that’s much more than it’s maple syrup and murders.

What are your thoughts on the premiere season 3 premiere?

Will FP save Alice from Edgar? Will Betty finally be forced to confront her inner demons? Will Archie be okay?

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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Riverdale

Riverdale Review – Hereditary (4×06)

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Riverdale Hereditary Review

Riverdale loves messing with our minds.

Everyone fought to get their power back on “Hereditary,” but not everyone was successful. Actually, most of them weren’t successful.

Archie made a deal with the devil, again. You’d think that by now he would know what happens when he trusts Hiram Lodge. Nothing is ever free with him. He took care of Archie’s Dodger problem rather drastically, although, it was nothing compared to Dodger’s goons shooting up Archie’s house. Dodger had it coming, sure, but what does this mean for Archie? Is he working with Hiram now? He may have taken care of one loose cannon by indebting himself to another. As always, Archie’s intentions were in the right place but his solutions were downright questionable. Hiram proved he’s no less of a bully than Dodger.

Veronica was also having a Hiram Lodge problem, but it was Hermione who fell for his old ways. Veronica thought she was hitting Hiram and Hermosa where it hurt them by aligning with her mom and helping her score a job to become independent, but that all went to hell when Hermione let Hiram right back into her life, her bed, and her house. Honestly, Hermione, do you have no backbone? Hermione proved that she’s never wanted to do any of the heavy lifting because she’s comfortable lying for her husband.

After all the crap that Hiram pulled and how he tried to destroy her and make her rot in prison, all it took was a graze on the shoulder and a whisper in her ear to convince Hermione to take him back.

She not only took Hiram back, but she agreed to renew her vows immediately. If I knew Hiram at all, he’s plotting something where he either needs Hermione to support him or to be his scapegoat. Either way, she doesn’t deserve Veronica’s mercy anymore. It almost seemed like Hermione was drugged into being obedient when Veronica confront her.

Hermosa cannot be trusted either. She claims there’s good in Hiram, and that may be true since he has always protected his family, but that doesn’t give him a free pass or erase the truly terrible things he’s done. Hermosa is up to something, I just cannot figure out her plan yet.

Betty made a move in an attempt to figure out who Charles really was. Mainly, she wanted to see if she was right about him being a serial killer. Sadly, her whole plan backfired. Why? Because she never stood a chance. Charles is a complete psychopath as we all suspected.

Betty questioned Chic who told her that Charles killed a man during their threesome. When Betty confronted Charles and made him do a lie detector, he blamed Chic for the murder explaining that it forced them to break up. But obviously Charles knows how to rig a lie detector test, he’s the FBI for crying out loud.

Shortly after, Charles claimed Chic reported the murder of the shady man at Alice’s house, which seemed suspicious. If he reported it, why weren’t there other FBI agents at the house? Because Charles lied to his family so that he could locate the body, move it, and then get into everyone’s good grace. And it worked. Betty felt indebted to her brother and ignored her gut feel, which has been right all along.

Charles and Chic are still in love and have some kind of plan for the Cooper family. If you weren’t interested in yet another fake brother, the fact that they’re both working together and in love makes this juicy even by Riverdale standards.

Things at Thistlehouse are getting a wee bit out of hand.

Cheryl still won’t bury Jason’s rotting corpse, she believes she’s being haunted by Julian’s unsettled spirit and attempts to drown him in a tub, oh, and she and Toni killed her Uncle Bedford after he snuck into the chapel and saw Jason’s body.

Normally, I would argue that Cheryl’s family is money-hungry and trying to undermine her to sell the not-profitable maple syrup business, but there’s some truth in Bedford pointing out that Cheryl is deranged and should seek treatment.

At this point, we have to stop hoping that Toni will be the beacon of hope because she’s just as messed up in all of this craziness as Cheryl. Though, she did have a valid point about selling Thistlehouse and all the bad luck it brings to start over somewhere fresh. Preferably somewhere where Penelope doesn’t have access. She has to be behind the torment being caused by Julian, right?

I don’t know how the ladies covered up the murder, but Aunt Crickett isn’t going to go down without a fight.

Jughead definitely had it the worst out of everyone, but maybe that’s just because I know his endgame finds him in a morgue.

There’s either two ways this plays out: either Jughead fakes his death to write the “perfect murder” for the Baxter Brothers series or someone at Stonewall Prep kills him.

Both options are looking pretty possible at this point.

Jughead completed an analysis of the Baxter Brothers text (this is why we love him) and realized that the first book had a significantly different tone than the remaining five. Therefore, he doubted that Mr. DuPont was the ghostwriter for all of them.

Needing some proof before he made his findings public, Jughead did some digging and found a very similar story in a Riverdale newsletter written by Frosty Pajamas, his grandfather’s pen name, a few years before he transferred to Stonewall Prep.

The findings were impressive and proved that Jughead was superior to everyone else in the class.

However, Mr. DuPont was not having any of it and threatened Jughead, which definitely proved he had something to hide like the fact that he’s not the actual ghostwriter of the first book.

Jughead took up his concerns with Mr. Chipping, who agreed that the situation needed to be remedied.

And then, the wildest thing to ever happen on Riverdale happened. And yes, I do remember that Edgar Everner wore an Evel Knievel suit and attempted to escape on a self-built helicopter.

Mr. Chipping walked into glass normal as can be, took a deep breath, told Jughead he tried to help and JUMPED OUT OF THE FRICKING WINDOW.

Just like that. And what’s worse is that no one in the class even flinched.

Brett later made a comment about Mr. Chipping’s “fall from grace,” as if everyone is in on something except for Jughead.

Now, this has me convinced that something truly awful happens to Jughead. He clearly hasn’t made a good name for himself at the school and Mr. DuPont, who is taking over Chipping’s class, doesn’t even think Jughead belongs there.

There’s a longstanding hatred for the Jones men and it’s unclear why, but I don’t think Jughead was brought to the school on accident.

What I cannot figure out is why the Baxter Brother’s novels are so important to Stonewall Prep. And why is keeping the secret of the first ghostwriter a life or death matter?

What is DuPont hiding?

What do you think happens to Jughead?

What’s Hiram Lodge’s next big plan?

And what are Chic and Charles plotting against the Cooper-Jones’?

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Riverdale – Witness the Prosecution (4×05)

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Riverdale Witness for the Prosecution Review

Dear Riverdale, you keep getting crazier, and I just can’t quit you.

I’m addicted to the dysfunction… that’s the only logical explanation.

Riverdale delivered another wacky episode in which Jughead almost quit Stonewall Prep (should have followed through), Betty learned a lot about serial killers (and, in turn, about herself), and Archie assumed a role as the town’s vigilante (noble but a wee-bit over the top).

Oh, and we met a second Lodge daughter. Surprise!

I’m going to start with the jaw-dropping ending in which Betty, Archie, and Veronica got pulled out of class and arrested for Jughead’s murder by his father, FP.

But let’s call it out for what it really is — a red herring.

None of them looked shocked that they were caught nor did any of them look truly guilt, which leads me to believe that this is all a hoax and they are helping Jughead fake his own death.

Why? It’s unclear, but it likely has something to do with the secrets that are buried within the confines of Stonewall Prep.

Nothing about that school is normal, and when Jughead suggested dropping out, I was hoping FP would be like “yeah, kid, do it.” Riverdale has killers and all, but the scariest thing is prep school kids with money. Shudder.

The kids at that school, specifically Bret, are hellbent on chasing Jughead away, the teachers are shady (yes, even the ghostwriter behind those Brooks Brothers novels), and Jughead’s getting in over his head with his Stonewall Four investigation.

My theory is that he either uncovered the truth about what happened to those missing students, which now include Moose.

There’s no way in hell the picture Donna showed him of Marmaduke at training was legit.

The other theory focuses on Jughead’s desire to become the next ghostwriter of his beloved mystery franchise.

Jughead’s an extreme person. That’s a quality specific to writers, but especially writers that hail from a messed up town like Riverdale.

It also cannot be a coincidence that the theme of the novel is “perfect murder.”

Faking your death in order to write the best novel is something Jughead would do.

Though, I’m not entirely convinced that there isn’t a twin twist that’ll bring Cole Sprouse’s real-life twin, Dylan Sprouse, into the fold.

There’s no denying that it was Jughead’s body in the morgue… or someone that looked strangely like Jughead.

We also have to submit that final season of Riverdale Season 3 in which Betty, Archie, and Veronica are covered in blood, burning Jughead’s beanie, and vowing to NEVER speak of this moment again.

No one could ever find out about what they did meaning how they helped Jughead “die.”

When you take that clip into consideration and what it’s alluding to, the arrest for Jughead’s murder only makes sense.

As the season goes on, we’ll be filling in all the blanks in between as we try to piece the story together and unravel what really happened to Jughead.

Still, I remain optimistic that he’s alive somewhere because the writers wouldn’t dare kill off a fan favorite.

Betty’s timing to worry about the fact that she might be a killer because of her serial killer genes and because she once put her cat out of her misery was convenient.

Having her responsible for her boyfriend’s murder in the same breath as she explored worries that she might be a murderer seemed almost too coincidental. They wanted you to believe that she was capable, but none of us believe Betty’s responsible of killing people in cold blood, not even Kevin.

The very fact that she worries about being consumed by the darkness and giving into these “darker” urges means she’s nothing like her father.

The gruesome scene of her stoning her cat isn’t even a good example because she didn’t just decide to kill her cat, she was coaxed into it by deranged father.

It’s not a reflection of her mind, it’s a reflection of his and how twisted he was to convince a little girl to do something so grim.

Not to mention there’s the aspect where killing the cat is actually the best course because she put it out of its misery; she did him a favor.

Watching Betty question herself wasn’t as exciting as her finally getting it together to ask the real question: it’s not about whether she’s a serial killer but rather is Charles?

My gut is telling me Charles started this FBI training academy to mess with Betty’s head and to convince his sister that she’s evil.

I don’t know what the motivations are behind it, but everything he’s saying aligns with Betty and he knows it would trigger her.

Charles then one-upped Betty and told her he too carried the serial killer gene, which would have made sense if they shared the same father, but they don’t.

How does he have the gene?

We’re assuming that Betty’s serial killer gene stemmed from Hal, but what if it really comes from Alice?

Regardless, there’s definitely something off about Charles and something that’s worth investigating.

Betty can now go back to her detective roots and figure it out — what does he do all day? Why is he still in Riverdale? What are his true intentions?

Archie made good on his decision to become a vigilante and protect Riverdale, but he should probably rethink the black mask. Running around town with a mask that resembles the Black Hood isn’t going to make people feel safer.  But it is a surefire way to get killed.

His dedication to eliminating Dodger and making the town a safe place for the younger generation but it’s almost too out there.

Archie loves being the hero, but the kids pose a great question: what happens when they all go away to college?

Will Archie stick around simply to babysit everyone?

There wasn’t anything on the Cheryl and Toni front, and though I love both characters, I was grateful. I need a break for Cheryl and her zombie brother, Jason.

Veronica did her best to get her mother out of jail and that included bribing Governor Dooley… again.

Oh, Riverdale — a town where high school seniors get away with blackmailing government officials. Hermione’s case kept taking wrong turns because she was constantly being framed by Hiram Lodge.

When will she and Veronica learn that they don’t stand a chance against him? He has friends in high places.

But while Veronica was in her mother’s corner, Hiram had his other daughter in his corner.

This is a turning point in the Hiram and Veronica relationship.

Up until now, Veronica always had Hiram’s backing and even when she did him wrong, she could do no wrong because she was his only child.

Now, the realization that there is another Lodge daughter means that Veronica’s upper hand is no longer as strong. Hiram has someone else that he can scheme with and use to his advantage and Hermosa is more than willing to play her father’s game; they’re like two peas in a pod.

Could she be more dangerous than Hiram?

It’s safe to assume that she isn’t Hermione’s daughter considering how much she resents both her and Veronica.

Shortly after getting out of prison, Hiram announced his biggest move yet — a run for Mayor, which proves that he’s never going to stop attempting to gain control of Riverdale.

With everything happening in town already, this storyline seems excessive, but they’ll likely find a way to tie it all in so that it makes sense.

Meeting Ronnie’s sister adds a new layer of drama and will really test Veronica’s limits. She wanted to be free of the Lodge name, but now she’s going to see what it truly means to be replaced and not have the protection that comes with that privilege. How do you think she’s going to react?

Other Musings:

  • Jughead was so cute whenever he geeked out about meeting his favorite writers!
  • His grandfather, Forsythe, is alive, right? We’re going to meet him eventually and get the truth about Stonewall Prep?
  • Bret is the biggest douchebag on the planet.
  • I didn’t need the imagery of baby Betty killing Caramel.

What did you think of the episode?

Is Jughead really dead on Riverdale?

 

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