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Riverdale Review – Nighthawks (2×02)

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Riverdale saw a small, molecule-sized win for the good guys this week, but that was immediately tainted by darkness, death and shady deals.

Riverdale is a small town and everyone seems to be in each other’s business. That business tends to circulate through Pops, which is why Betty and friends were devastated to find that someone had written “Death Diner” on the outside and Pop was closing up shop. I get that someone was almost killed in there, but really, this isn’t the first murder this town has seen!

Betty released her inner “stone cold bitch” as Cheryl put it in order to save her BFs dad and the local milkshake shop that was home to memories, traditions and first kisses. Not to mention milkshakes – does this town really need a liquor store to influence bad decisions?

Since Betty isn’t really dealing with any family drama – I mean, who knows where Polly and Hal are at this point – she’s focused more on charitable efforts.

She organizes a retro night at Pops and the milkshakes bring the River Vixens, Pussycat Dolls, Southside Serpents, and the local Scarface aka Hiram Lodge to the yard. Seriously, how incredible was that sultry rendition of Kelis’ “Milkshake” performed ON THE ROOF of Pops’. Like, is that even considered safe? If I was Mayor, I’d be more upset my daughter was shaking it up the roof and less concerned that she was trying to save a diner.

The event turned out to be a success, or so Betty thought. According to her mother, it was filled with illegal drug deals of Jingle Jangle (the best drug name on the market, to be honest) and a shady business deal from Hiram. But if that’s the least of their problems, I’d say it’s a good day.

Veronica, who has been pretty skeptical of everything concerning her father lately, finally gave him the benefit of the doubt when he offered to make a charitable donation to save Pops. What she didn’t know is that he actually purchased the family-owned business and allowed Pop to stay on in exchange for silence. He’s literally been out from prison for less than 48 hours and he’s already being a snake.

Hermione couldn’t be more pleased to have him back; anything that was redeemable within her is long gone. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to move back to New York pretty soon.

Archie is really starting to lose it – he looks like he hasn’t slept in a few days – and he thinks that passing around fliers with a drawing of a dude in a ski mask is going to help the cops find his fathers’ shooter. You have to give him credit for trying right?

He’s even more floored when he hears that Ms. Grundy, his teacher friend, was murdered on the other side of Sweetwater River the night after the shooting. After Alice finds out that the murder weapon was a cello, he’s convinced both the killers are the same person. We know he’s definitely onto something but the cops inform him that the murder was one of passion and thus, there’s a slim chance these two events are related.

Archie hits his breaking point when he attacks Reggie, who stupidly comes to his house wearing a ski mask as a “prank” (high school boys are so dumb). “You don’t bring a baseball bat to a gunfight,” Reggie tells him, which probably isn’t the best idea to put into a paranoid kids head.

Of course, Archie goes and illegally buys a gun so he can protect his whole family but like, can he even shoot it? I’m just concerned about his course of action when the masked killer actually comes back.

Meanwhile, Jughead is slowly creeping into Serpent territory after desperately looking for a way to help his father cut down his 20-year sentence. He’s pointed in the direction of Penny Peabody, a fellow Serpent and lawyer, who tells him to convince the victims to forgive his father. Jughead shakes on the “deal” promising to return a favor next time she needs it, which just screams bad news.

After failing to convince Cheryl and her mother, Jughead almost gives up all hope. But Betty comes back fighting and threatens to release the video of Cheryl’s dad shooting Jason to the public if she doesn’t testify in favor of FP. Cheryl finally agrees, impressed by Betty’s new attitude and when the judge says it isn’t enough, swears that she overheard her father threaten to hurt Jughead. It’s a win for Team Juggy as his father’s case is delayed. Seriously, not only are the police terrible in this town but so are the lawyers.

Unfortunately, the win isn’t something FP is eager to celebrate after he finds out that Jughead made a deal with the snake charmer. Look, I’m not exactly sure what a snake charmer is but it doesn’t sound good. Especially if FP is terrified.

And if all Riverdale wasn’t haunted enough, the masked killer targeted Moose and Midge, two characters we really didn’t care about.

This changes up the whole concept of “motive.” At first, it seemed like the killer was going after Archie and his loved ones – as he was led to believe. But these two, they are just some randos that go to the same high school. It seems like this guy is killing just for the sake of it.

Other Thoughts

  • Hiram may be good to look at but he legit got rid of Smither’s because he was turning Veronica against her dad. And probably because he knew too much. So upsetting. When people call your dad the devil incarnate, you should probably believe them.
  • Alice Cooper is the definition of helicopter parents and then some.
  • I still cannot figure out Cheryl’s character. And since when can she even sing?
  • Dark Betty is fun. I need more dark Betty.
  • Does Archie remind anyone else of Lucas Scott? He makes all that brooding look so damn good.
  • There was a moment in the beginning of the episode where Archie and Juggy left Bee and Vee to go to the police station. I made the observation that Archie kissed his girl, but Jughead didn’t even acknowledge Betty. It may be nothing, but it may be a whole lot of something. Are they headed towards splitsville?

Thoughts on this week’s episode? Who do you think is going on a killing spree and why? Are Bughead safe? Will Archie eventually crack unleashing some superpowers?

 


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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.

Riverdale

Riverdale Midseason Finale Review – The Pincushion Man (5×10)

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Riverdale Review The Pincushion Man Season 5 Episode 10

I wish I had some maple mushrooms cause maybe then I’d be able to make sense of what transpired on the midseason finale of Riverdale

Things just keep getting weirder and weirder on this series for absolutely no reason, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t tune in solely to see how absurd things get.

Everyone made some pretty questionable choices during “The Pincushion Man,” which, much to my surprise, is not the name of a new serial killer in town. 

Honestly, the only one who made any reasonable decisions was Archie, who stood up against his General and refused to follow a direct order opting to go with his instinct instead. 

It helped that a reporter for the New York Times made him aware that the mission, which General Taylor wanted to celebrate him for, may have been dirty. 

Once he informed Taylor that he would not accept the Silver Eagle medal, Taylor’s true colors came to the surface as he threatened to make Archie a scapegoat.

Archie stood his ground and said that he was at peace with his decision, even if it meant he had to go in front of a judge and relive the experience.

Archie has faced off against Hiram Lodge on several occasions, so he’s definitely not intimidated by a General. 

In fact, they’re still dealing with Hiram’s wrath as he purposefully freed all of his inmates to cause havoc in Riverdale. He really just cannot let it go. 

At least now we know why Hiram is so hellbent on destroying his former hometown (aside from the fact that he just enjoys it) — he’s after palladium, a precious rare metal that’s more than gold. 

Releasing the inmates interrupted parent-teacher night, and it’s shocking that Riverdale High still has any students enrolled. Then again, Professor Weatherbee said wanted to show the parents that they could protect the kids, and Archie delivered by singlehandedly taking on the inmates.

Two unexpected visitors from the prison — Charles and Chic — also crashed Juniper and Dagwood’s birthday party for absolutely no reason, and the whole thing was kind of bizarre.

Betty and Alice didn’t call the police because, in case you forgot, Riverdale only has a Sheriff who was nowhere to be found while the town was being overrun by criminals, but that’s beside the point. 

The weirdest part was that Alice was accommodating of her guests and still seems to care about Charles despite all the pain he’s caused the family. Plus, she was devastated when she shot him in self-defense. Why? I understand that he’s her son, but stop being naive and putting your family in danger, Alice! What a blindspot! 

I think Chic is finally dead, but I can’t confirm that. 

And the twins definitely have some kind of serial killer gene coursing through their veins. They didn’t even feel remorse for hurting their classmate. The smiles on their faces were beyond creepy. 

I’m glad Betty stood up for them and didn’t allow Juniper to stab Glen because it could’ve triggered something. 

I don’t really understand why Betty gave Glen another chance, almost as much as I can’t comprehend why Veronica would allow herself to get wooed by Chad one last time, but I guess the heart wants what it wants?

Riverdale Review The Pincushion Man Season 5 Episode 10

Riverdale — “Chapter Eighty-Six: The Pincushion Man” — Image Number: RVD510fg_0065r — Pictured: Chris Mason as Chad Gekko — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

They both realized the error of their ways almost immediately. Glen revealed that he was more into examining Betty’s family and their predisposition to murder than actually solving Polly’s disappearance and the case of the missing girls along the Lonely Highway. 

This man didn’t see an issue with using his girlfriend’s toxic family for his dissertation! 

I hope this is the last we’ve seen of him.

Betty connected her father Hal aka the Black Hood to “Nedslist,” which is how women and truckers get hooked up on the Lonely Highway. Do the murders have something to do with him? Or was that just Glen’s attempt at learning more about her family history?

As for Veronica, she fell into the “one last night” magic when she visited Chad only to learn the next morning that he wasn’t interested in giving her a divorce and used her jewelry business for some bad investments that caused them to go into debt. 

Additionally, he threatened to testify against her if they divorced and blame her for all the dirty deals, which basically backed Veronica into a corner. 

Again, why would Veronica trust a man who openly blackmailed her with photos of her and Archie? He’s clearly a master manipulator and was never going to let her off the hook that easily. 

Ladies, get it together!

Even worse than hooking up with the husband that you plan on divorcing is cheating on your current boyfriend.

And Jughead… well, he was on quite a trip with those psychedelic mushrooms.

Though Tabitha was initially hesitant to babysit him while he took them, she eventually agreed to do it when she realized he wouldn’t change his mind.

However, she probably should’ve stuck around the whole time. 

Jughead successfully wrote his novel, which was the goal all along, but everything that transpired while he was high was quite a mess.

He hallucinated his ex Jess before having an intense experience with Betty who kept apologizing for the pain she caused him senior year. That paired with Jughead’s confession to Tabitha that he isn’t ready for a relationship cause he never moved on from his breakup with Betty was definitely enough to give Bughead fans hope for the future. And I can’t say I’m not happy that the series won’t be using Tabitha as a tool to reunite Jughead and Betty.

That is if Jughead survives. When Tabitha returned at some point during his drug-induced trip, she found the bunker covered in blood and Jughead nowhere to be found.

It’s unclear what, if anything, Jughead hallucinated was real, but there was a whirring sound that indicated he had an encounter with the mothmen.

Did they abduct him? Did he try to search for them?

Moral of the story: drugs are bad kids.

Hiram didn’t just stir up trouble at Riverdale High, he also tasked Reggie with getting the maple groves from the Blossom family. Apparently, the palladium is nestled right under the trees. 

Nana Rose was all too willing to sell because of the Blossom curse, but Cheryl basically said: “over my dead body.”

So, Reggie went to the extremes and set the groves on fire. We thought Reggie was on the right path when he turned on Hiram and supported the Bulldogs in the previous episode, but he’s right back at being Hiram’s lackey again. 

Penelope, who also broke out of prison, explained that they needed to call upon the wind to redirect the fire, and after they prayed to their satanic altar, a windstorm appeared and spared at least half of the groves. 

Riverdale always does this weird thing where it tries to dabble in the supernatural but never fully crosses the line into that world. It’s annoying. Either you’re embracing the magic or you aren’t. You can’t have it both ways! 

Other Midseason Musings

  • Min-Min and Cheryl are definitely over, right? Minerva had the right idea when she made a break for it because I have no doubt Nana Blossom would try to sacrifice her. 
  • Kevin Keller with a blade? It was a look. 
  • Toni’s absence was explained as bed rest due to pregnancy. I’ll let it slide simply because the series has made it a priority to integrate her into more episodes, and we know she was actually pregnant so maybe she really needed the break. 
  • Betty is now taking Polly’s case into her own hands, but what’s her plan? Is she going to drive the truck and look for clues?

What did you think of the midseason finale of Riverdale? Let us know in the comments below!


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Riverdale

Riverdale Review – Destroyer (5×09)

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Riverdale Review Destroyer Season 5 Episode 8

And we’re back to the old Riverdale.

You know, the one where weird, unexplainable things happen as Betty and Jughead work a case together.

There was a rush of endorphins as the former couple teamed up to get some much-needed answers. In my previous Riverdale reviews, I said that it was only a matter of time before the duo’s cases crossed paths. 

There’s too much overlap when it comes to the mothmen/mothman (I really can’t tell if it’s one entity or multiple anymore) and Polly’s disappearance. The main connection is the Lonely Highway, which is where the mothmen seem to be located, where Polly and other girls have gone missing, and now, where Lerman, Jughead’s student, was drawn to while sleepwalking. 

Lerman’s story was very similar to what Old Man Dreyfus told Jughead previously, so while it seems unlikely that aliens would be inhabiting this small town, all signs are pointing in that direction.

He wouldn’t recount being operated on in a spaceship unless it happened… and why did Principal Weatherbee get so upset that Jughead questioned whether a student was in distress? Isn’t that a teacher’s job? 

Though, I’d likely agree that these aliens are sort of like the Gargoyle King where it’s someone dressed up as supernatural entities. 

It’s unfortunate that Lerman’s parents moved him out of Riverdale before Jughead and Betty had a chance to ask him any concrete questions. 

I don’t think Polly is dead. She could’ve been injured, which would explain why her blood was smeared all over the telephone booth, but if she was dead, they likely would have found her body right next to it. I kept thinking Betty would walk into the house and Polly would be there with no recollection of what happened. 

Betty’s decision not to tell Alice the truth about Polly was partially because she didn’t want her mom to crack, and partially because she’s holding out hope and still believes Polly is out there somewhere. 

Riverdale Review Destroyer Season 5 Episode 8

Riverdale — “Chapter Eighty-Five: Destroyer” — Image Number: XXX — Pictured (L-R): Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Also, who missed Dark Betty? She almost killed John for preying on these innocent girls. Thankfully, she was saved by the bell. 

Now, Glen… that dude is a problem. 

He didn’t care enough to get involved in the case before, but after Betty chewed him out, he took it upon himself to come to Riverdale, tell her mom, and remove Betty from the case. 

He clearly doesn’t know her as well as he thinks he does. 

Also, can Alice ever learn from previous mistakes of trusting “agents” over her own family?

She barely knows Glen, so why isn’t she wearier about his sudden involvement?

Betty and Jughead worked well together, even if she did think his alien-theory was a little too far out there at first. And who could blame her? In Jughead’s defense, weirder things have happened in this small town. 

What’s problematic is the teaser for next week showing Jughead and Tabitha getting close as she’ll likely only be a plot device to bring Jughead and Betty back.

If that’s the case, Tabitha deserves better. 

As usual, while Betty and Jughead were dealing with the oddities in Riverdale, Archie and Veronica were hoping to inspire a little town spirit in a place that had absolutely none. 

The Bulldogs, despite Archie’s best attempts, weren’t winning games, which meant that the town wasn’t rallying behind them. 

If they stood any chance at saving Riverdale from Hiram’s grasp, they needed the team to step it up. 

Veronica did plenty to incentivize the team including offering $10,000 to the first person to score and bringing a professional football player to give them a pep-talk. She also organized a pancake breakfast at Pops. Meanwhile, Cheryl came out of retirement to entertain the masses. 

I’m never a fan of musical numbers on Riverdale, but Cheryl’s still got it. Also, where was Toni? I hate when shows don’t explain a character’s absence. 

With a little help from Archie’s Friday Night Lights approach, the Bulldogs managed to score once during the game, which was more than enough to inspire confidence in the team and the town. 

You can just see that Archie has his students’/players’ best interests at heart, while Hiram is just out there for himself. 

Archie didn’t get mad at Derek for switching to Stonewall Prep’s team because he understood that it was better for college applications. Though, you better believe Derek would’ve probably have benefitted from staying on the Bulldogs and having a coach who cares about him. 

Hiram only cares about himself and his own interest. Look how quickly he turned on Reggie, who, in turn, threw in his support behind the Bulldogs. 

It just goes to show how weak alliances are when they’re only superficial and surface-level. 

Also, why is Hiram such a toddler? He’s a grown man who literally picks on children. Even Reggie realized there was a line he wouldn’t cross. 

Kevin dealt with the fallout of calling it quits with Fangs, which meant that he had to get very honest with himself. 

While he couldn’t talk about his issues with Fangs, after hitting on a man in the steam room and getting beat up, he finally confided in his father about being ashamed to be gay. 

It was a heartbreaking talk, especially as he blamed his mothers’ offhand comments about his sexual orientation for his desire to cruise. 

Kevin has hidden his emotions for quite some time, but until he really confronts them and deals with them, he’s probably right in putting off the wedding and having a baby. 

And while I think these storylines are important to address, Kevin does feel a bit forced simply to break up a couple that was standing on solid ground. 

Personally, I think it would be awesome to see Kevin, Fangs, and Toni raise a modern, unconventional family, so I’m hoping Kevin eventually arrives at a place where he feels comfortable and secure. 

What did you think of tonight’s episode?

Sound off in the comments below, Cravers!


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Riverdale

Riverdale Review – Lock & Key Party (5×08)

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Riverdale Review Lock and Key Season 5 Episode 8

 

Cheryl was responsible for a little chaos on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 8 that put into question plenty of relationships. 

While a lot can change in seven years, a lot can also stay the same. 

At the top of the hour, Kevin and Fangs made a huge announcement – they were engaged. And not only that, but they were also expecting a baby with Toni as part of their nontraditional family. 

The fact that Kevin and Fangs turned out to be Toni’s baby daddies was probably the least surprising thing about the episode. The trio has formed such a close-knit bond that it only makes sense. 

When Cheryl found out about it, she was furious and decided to throw a “Lock and Key” party to meddle in the relationship. 

And everyone was down for one last hurrah where they get a free pass to do whatever they want. 

However, the party turned out to be quite the dud. Cheryl tried to make amends with Toni by showing her a nursery at Thornhill, but Toni has matured past this type of behavior. 

She didn’t want to be manipulated by Cheryl again, and after so much time apart, she saw how toxic things with Cheryl were when they were younger. 

Look, I’m always going to be a #Choni fan, but I have to admit, Cheryl is not okay these days. She’s cooped up in Thornhill with absolutely no sense of reality, while Toni is out there in the real world thriving. She has a career, she’s helping women, she’s running a bar, and she’s about to become a mother. 

Her priority now is to protect her baby at all costs, and a life locked up in Thornhill is not the life she wants for her child. 

The series has done quite an overhaul with this time jump, and I wish they would have picked a better path for Cheryl. 

After being rejected by Toni, Cheryl found solace in the arms of Minerva, who is sticking around cause she wants a Cheryl Blossom original after figuring out that she’s been selling forgeries as the real deal. 

Personally, I don’t trust Minerva, but I’m also not quite sure what her angle truly is. 

Betty and Archie delivered a rollercoaster of emotions. As she experienced night terrors connected to the TBK, she called her hook-up buddy Archie for comfort. 

But sadly, #Barchie fans had to give up on that dream by the end of the hour because Archie was developing feelings for Veronica again. And Betty was scared that the closer she and Archie got, the more her darkness would consume him. 

In blatant terms: the clock was running out on being friends with benefits, and they decided it was better to just be friends. 

I know it’s upsetting for many fans, but at least their short-lived romance was smoking hot while it lasted. 

By the end of the hour, Ronnie and Chadwick agreed to a divorce and she was back in Archie’s arms… just like the good old days. 

Does it seem too easy? Absolutely. Chadwick was a manipulative and jealous husband, so the chances of him just surrendering and agreeing to a divorce are slim. 

And bringing Veronica and Archie back together feels like the show is falling back on its crutches and undoing all the progress it tried to make with a time jump. 

Maybe it would’ve made sense if Archie and Ronnie remained friends for at least half a season before giving in to their feelings. 

The good thing is it doesn’t seem like Betty and Jughead are going to get back together anytime soon as they’re both battling their inner demons. 

Riverdale Review Lock and Key Season 5 Episode 8

Riverdale — “Chapter Eighty-Four: Lock & Key” — Image Number: RVD508b_0122r — Pictured (L-R): Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones and Erinn Westbrook as Tabitha Tate — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Betty’s dealing with the trauma of the TBK, which she kind of pushed aside by coming back to her hometown, but it’s resurfacing as she deals with another serial killer/ kidnapper who has taken hold of Polly.

Something tells me, however, that Betty and Jughead’s paths will cross as they are dealing with the same monsters. 

Polly’s frantic phone call gave Alice hope as it means her daughter is still alive, but Polly’s description of her captor and her surroundings don’t give off the vibe that she’s dealing with something human. 

Firstly, she said “they’re coming” as in a plural suspect. Secondly, Alice mentioned that the place she was being held captive sounded like a spaceship.

I wouldn’t think twice of it if Jughead wasn’t seeing aliens and contemplating whether or not he’s going “crazy.”

Maybe Polly has been captured by the Mothman, the rumored legend in Riverdale. 

After Jughead had his “encounter,” he’s been haunted by images of aliens. Sure, it could be repressed trauma, but where’s the fun in that?

And it would just make sense for Betty and Jughead’s paths to cross as they both investigate these eerie cases. 

After all, they always did some solid detective work. 

Tabitha makes for a good sidekick, but she’s no Betty. Though, I’m not opposed to Jughead pursuing a relationship with Tabitha for now because she seems good for him. 

Veronica and Chadwick and Archie and Betty weren’t the only couples/friends with benefits to call it quits. Following Cheryl’s party, Kevin, who was clearly having doubts about this next step in his life, informed Fangs that he wasn’t ready to get married. As Fangs said, he basically imploded their relationship of eight years because he got cold feet. I’m not pleased with this decision considering Fangs and Kevin always made it work in a way that worked for them. Fangs was even willing to remain in an open relationship if that would make Kevin happy! What happened?

Though, I guess it’s better to be honest about your feelings than pretending everything is okay and leading someone on. Good on Kevin for doing the right thing even if it hurt like hell. 

Other Moments

  • That Reggie and Fangs kiss almost knocked me off the couch!
  • We finally got a quick peek at Juniper and Dagwood! 
  • Katy Keene lives to see another day! While I’d rather see Lucy Hale reprise her character, it was great to hear her voice on the other end of the line!
  • Are Betty and Veronica even friends anymore? I miss the B&V bond!

What did you think of the episode? Is Riverdale headed in the right direction?

Are you into the Mothman storyline?

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