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Riverdale Review – Katy Keene and Veronica Lodge Take NY (4×12)

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Sometimes I wonder: does Riverdale know what it’s doing anymore?

Is there any rhyme or reason to the storylines it throws our way, or is it just throwing whatever and seeing what sticks?

Do they want to see how far they can push the fandom before the “oddities” of the series stop being a draw? I don’t have answers to any of those questions, so, if you do, please reach out and let me know.

Veronica Lodge visited New York to chat with Bradford University and to meet up with her old-pal, Katy Keene (Lucy Hale), the star of The CW’s upcoming show (premiering tomorrow, February 6).

The episode served as an unofficial backdoor pilot, as it gave us a lot of detail about Katy. For starters, she loves fashion just as much as Ronnie and works at Lacy’s, she takes V to a drag bar, she’s dating ___, and her mother is sick and the prognosis is not looking good.

These were the first scenes between Veronica and Katy (but hopefully, not the last) so they were a little stiff as Camila Mendes and Hale struggled to capitalize on that “old friends” vibe.

Hopefully, they’ll have plenty of time to get it right, especially since Veronica is officially going to Bradford in the city. That is if the whole getting accused of Jughead’s murder situation subsides. Does this mean plenty of crossovers in store?

But before Veronica heads off to college, she needs to make amends with her ailing father, Hiram.

At first, when Hiram and Hermione said they were going to New York also, I thought it was to sabotage Veronica’s chances of getting into Bradford. Hiram made it clear that Veronica needed to go to Harvard and no other school would be good enough, so it was very up his alley.

But the news of his illness caught me off guard and considering all we’ve been through with Hiram, no one can blame me for being skeptical.

If this is Hiram’s attempt at getting his daughter to throw the competition and gain back her trust, it’s a petty attempt.

And yet, Veronica didn’t question what her mother said at all. She took it at face-value and welcomed her parents back into her life.

Will she also have a change of heart about the company she’s running alongside Cheryl and Toni? That would be so disappointing.

We’ve never even seen any indication from Hiram that he was suffering from a disease that would affect his motor skills, so the announcement comes out of nowhere.

Toni held down the fort while Veronica was away and even dealt with Nick St. Clair properly, though, his reappearance was not welcome in the slightest.

After Archie was done with him, I thought we’d seen the last of him, but he still stepped foot into Riverdale to check out the new, exclusive club.

Toni was able to channel her inner badass, which sounded a lot like Cheryl’s badass, and fought her girlfriend’s demons.

Normally, I wouldn’t encourage blackmail as a way to solve problems, but when it comes to someone like Nick, he will only be stopped with the proper blackmail.

The tickle video was a nice way to bring Kevin and Fangs into the storyline, but it’s slightly concerning how nonchalant Toni and Cheryl were about the two of them making fetish videos on the side.

Then again, this is Riverdale, where a teen is accused of recording sex tapes without consent on VHS tapes and hoarding them in a secret wall compartment and none of the adults bat an eye.

Also, I know Riverdale is behind on the times — Betty and Alice were using a flashlight for goodness sakes — but there was a subplot involving VHS tapes of people’s homes being recorded and left on their doorstep. Is this a sign that Brett is to blame?

Betty and Alice’s team-up though unlikely was sweet and shows how much they’ve grown and progressed since season 1. How funny was Alice’s reaction when Betty mentioned her sex tape with Jughead. I don’t know what was better that moment or Betty telling her mom to “calm down.”

If there’s anyone that can crack this murder case, it’s the Cooper ladies with an assist from Jug, however, I can’t say I was impressed with their decision-making throughout the episode.

They severely underestimated Brett, they got caught on multiple occasions, and Betty allowed him to convince her that the tape labeled “Forsythe” was his confession during the Quill and Skull initiation.

I would have made him play the video.

Betty did manage to snatch up a tape labeled “Donna,” which revealed that she was lying about her affair with Mr. Chipping. The tape found her spewing the same exact sob story about someone named Mr. Kotter, a teacher completely erased from the school’s history.

Is Donna the real mastermind? Is she the one we should be afraid of instead of Brett who seems to thrive solely on the competition between him and Jughead.

Jughead and Brett dueled in a kickboxing match that would’ve made Archie proud and a fencing tournament a la The Parent Trap.

But at the last minute, Jughead threw the chess game giving Brett the “win” because he realized he didn’t want to be part of this secret society, Stonewall Prep, or the Baxter Brother’s.

Jughead is finally beginning to realize how toxic this school is. The competition showed him that despite being the better champion, he would never earn the respect from the other student’s at Stonewall Prep. They all worshipped the ground Brett walked on probably because he had dirt on all of them in the form of VHSextapes.

But conceding the game meant that Jughead never gave Brett the satisfaction of winning or “being better,” and the fact that it’ll torture him for eternity is enough to bring me joy.

Jughead walked away with what was important — his girl and his sanity.

There weren’t any flash-forwards to what happened to Jughead or how Betty was involved, which is a change of pace and might indicate that they were all moments from a Baxter Brothers novel that doesn’t exist anymore.

While Stonewall Prep has its insane moments, Archie was being hunted by a real-life Terminator down the halls of Riverdale High.

Kevin’s right — this school is insane.

Archie has to be more careful about whom he invites into his home. Since Fred’s passing, it’s him, his uncle Frank that he barely knew, and Frank’s friend Ted Bishop, who came to town pretending to inform him about the passing of a late friend only to switch gears and reveal himself as a hitman from the mercenary.

Seriously, what the hell, Riverdale?

You can’t just go around making up storylines that don’t make any logical sense.

Frank was never a “great guy,” but his arc alluded more to him embezzling money from Archie and the construction company, and not getting targeted by a killer… again.

Also, what is it about the Andrews house that attracts all the bad juju?

Frank left town almost as fast as he came, and hopefully, we’re done with that storyline.

What did you think of the episode? Is Riverdale losing it to outlandish plots or is it another week, another episode that doesn’t follow the rules and is great in its own 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.

Editorials

Is Moose the TBK on ‘Riverdale’?

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Riverdale loves itself a good serial killer/villain.  
 
We’ve had the Black Hood, the Gargoyle King, Edward Evernever, the Stonies, the Auteur, and season 6 ushered in the Trash Bag Killer (referred to in short as TBK). 
 
Yeah, it’s a funny name, but there’s nothing funny about his obsession with stalking and tormenting Betty Cooper. 
 
His identity was somewhat revealed as Archie’s construction worker Dennis in one of the episodes, but that was clearly a fake out. Why would a man like Dennis care about Betty and Archie? Neither of them really questioned TBK’s identity or motives either, so it stands to reason that they know the real TBK is still out there somewhere keeping his identity tucked away in his pocket. 
 
On Riverdale Season 6 Episode 12, a fog spread across the murderous town forcing people to actually talk. Betty opened up to Archie about how she escaped TBK. It wasn’t much of an escape, however, as she reveals that he let her go after she passed his test. 
 
The test? Betty was tasked with helping him dismember a dead body. She seems only mildly torn up about it — chalk it up to being the daughter of a serial killer, I guess — while Archie shrugs it off at her attempt at survival. When there’s a murderous psycho standing behind you, there isn’t anything you won’t do, which is fair. 
 
Except there’s also a clue hidden in this story. Betty reveals that TBK let her go because her actions proved that they were kindred spirits. Alike. The same. Bonded forever. He also thinks that the world would be better with her in it. 
 
One of the things that immediately stood out in these flashbacks was how buff TBK is. The dude is ripped! (Last I remember, Dennis was not that ripped!)  When does someone that deranged have time to go to the gym? Or is it from lugging all the bodies around? I hate that this show forces me to have these disturbing thoughts, and yet here we are. 
 
The point is, TBK is much younger than we expected, and he’s into physical fitness. 
 
It’s likely not a coincidence that Moose shows up in town at the same exact time looking equally as buff. If you don’t believe me, this Twitter account did a little side-by-side, and it’s hard to argue with bulging biceps. 
 
Moose’s presence seemed innocent enough as he simply wanted to reconnect with Kevin, but there were a lot of sus moments that audiences likely overlooked. 
 
For starters, how did he get to the school when everyone was sheltering in place because the fog was so thick you couldn’t see a thing outside? We know TBK was in town because Betty saw a figure lurking in front of her house, though, Archie never ventured out to confirm the lurkers identity so it could’ve been anyone. 
 
Secondly, why did Kevin suddenly start having nightmares? Did Moose spike his drink?
 
And it’s all too convenient that Moose now has a job as a PE teacher, which means he cares about physically fitness and has time to workout. 
 
Moose then goes on to inform Kevin that he was fired from his trucking job when the Lonely Highway shut down and now he’s living with his dad, who recently got out of jail. We know that only sketch people are involved with the Lonely Highway.
 
And Moose isn’t impervious to the darkness as — reminder —  his father was the Gargoyle King who interrupted Moose’s first time with Kevin in the woods. Something like that has the potential to leave a scar, especially as Marcus Mason was clearly not supportive of his son’s lifestyle. Not to mention all that he went through while at Stonewall Prep (blackmail and manipulation) and the Army, where he enlisted at the behest of Mr. Chipping. 
 
 
It’s not fair to Moose who has consistently been getting terrible character arcs and deserves some happiness, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that the timing of his return to Riverdale is all too convenient and suspicious. 
 
Then again, Moose could be a red herring considering his motives remain questionable. Why Betty? Are serial killers simply attracted to her because of the serial killer gene? Or is she an easy target?
 
Hopefully, we’ll get more insight into the TBK as the season progresses because, as of now, he’s been the least compelling villain on Riverdale.
 
At this point, the only way to make TBK a worthy serial killer is to unmask him as someone we know. Someone we’ve all trusted. And someone who has a reason to cling to Betty. Wouldn’t it be crazy if Kevin ended up being TBK. He’s been so focused on criticizing Toni and Fangs for their gang lifestyle and trying to keep baby Anthony safe, but what if the fact that he’s constantly seeking out danger means he’s actually subconsciously Riverdale’s new threat?
 
And then there’s always Percival Pickens, though, that would be kind of lame, wouldn’t it?
 
Who do you think is behind the trash bag mask? And why! Sound off in the comments! 


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Riverdale

Riverdale Review – Venomous (6×14)

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Riverdale Review Venomous Season 6 Episode 14

I have no idea where Riverdale’s crazy train express is heading, but I do know that I’m fully on board. 

Choo-choo. 

Honestly, once you embrace that mess that Riverdale is, you start enjoying the episodes for every sliver of ridiculousness. 

There were some grade-A moments on Riverdale Season 6 Episode 14 as the sad superhero squad attempted to wield their powers against Percival. A battle for Riverdale’s soul is imminent, and while they’ve all been graced with superpowers, none of them have been able to see them as a true blessing. Until now. 

The episode also reunited some old couples — and yes, there’s definitely some nostalgia about those OG romances, even if you are a present-day Barchie fan. 

Archie’s attempt at eliminating palladium as his weakness wasn’t working at first. In fact, it was killing him. He turned to Cheryl for some help in making himself immune to the palladium, but micro-dosing was actually killing him even quicker. 

Eventually, Cheryl turned to the ancient alchemists for a solution and decided that the best option was to forge Archie. I didn’t really catch onto what the plan entailed, but basically, it boiled down to Archie chanting a Latin alchemical spell while Cheryl used her powers of pyrokinesis for the foraging. 

It was — dramatic, to say the least, but it seemed to do the trick. 

Archie was forged, and he became the most powerful being in Riverdale. And hopefully, more impervious to anything that Percival could conjure up on his end. 

The decision to pan from a fiery-red, potentially deathly spell over to a product placement for Smartfood popcorn was quite hilarious. 

It was yet another subtle reminder that Riverdale can get away with anything and none of us will even question it. 

There seems to be a lot of product placement going on this season — don’t worry, Canva, we see you! — and I wonder if that’s how the series was able to secure another season at The CW amid mass cancellations. I’m not complaining in the slightest. 

Also turning to Cheryl for some wisdom was Veronica, whose “power” was the kiss of death. It definitely didn’t present as a power at first, but once she got a handle on her abilities and knew that if she kept her chill, she wouldn’t accidentally kill anyone with her venom, she was able to turn it into her power.

The Kiss of the Spiderwoman — any Katy Keene fans here?

The raven-haired goddess — as Cheryl referred to her — rocked those goth looks, and as someone who despises musicals, I quite enjoyed her dark rendition of “Toxic.” Hopefully, Britney Spears enjoyed it as much as Archie did. When have we ever seen him let loose like that? Immortality looks good on him. 

Archie’s new power was also able to help Veronica get back to her main character energy. If I’m understanding correctly, he sucked the venom out of her when he kissed her? Betty’s quip was also a subtle way of acknowledging fans who have been slightly peeved that Veronica, a former main character, was sidelined this season. They see you, they feel you. 

Since Archie and Veronica fell back into old ways, so did Betty and Jughead as they teamed up once again to solve a mystery. 

Riverdale Review Venomous Season 6 Episode 14

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred and Nine: Venomous” — Image Number: RVD614a_0226r — Pictured (L-R): Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper and Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Seeing them back in action reminded me of how much I missed these two working cases together. I love Tabitha, don’t get me wrong, but Jughead and Betty are the OG’s. 

Anyway, Betty wanted Jughead to use his powers to get into her subconscious and help her answer any lingering questions about her father. 

Jughead sifting through Betty’s mind was cleverly presented as him looking through the Betty comics — it’s always sweet to see the show acknowledge its roots. 

Upon entering the darkest abyss of her mind, he unearthed that Hal Cooper was grooming Betty to be a killer since birth. He also found out that Alice has the serial killer gene and knew all about her husband’s penchant for killing. In one specific instance, he threatened to kill her if she didn’t help him bury the body of a deputy who came to investigate his crimes. 

Admittedly, I’m not really interested in exploring Betty’s darkness anymore. I feel like most of the characters have moved on from their previous storylines, but they keep pushing this aspect of Betty down our throats. I’d love for her to fully grow into who she is now because honestly, it almost feels like two different characters and personalities sometimes. The Betty we see grabbing drinks with Vee and having a romantic night with Archie is not the same woman we see exploring this darkness. They have to pick one and stick to it. 

Throughout the episode, particularly with Jughead and Betty, flashes of previous memories kept flickering through what seemed to be the fabric of the universe. Is this proof that the memories of the characters in an alternate reality are blending with the characters of this reality?

Even Archie experienced somewhat of deja vu when Jughead said “I contain multitudes” in reference to his comics. Was the multitudes a slight nod to multiverses?

And finally, Cheryl reconnected with Heather, who blew into town in spectacular fashion. She’s a librarian in Greendale now, and from the promo, seems to be dabbling in magic of her own, which isn’t surprising considering our dear friend Sabrina Spellman also resides in Greendale. 

I know the consensus among fans is that Cheryl and Toni have to get back together, but I’m not opposed to exploring Cheryl’s past if it allows us to make a full circle and reunite the soulmates down the line. 

Other Musings

  • Cheryl has the power of pyrokinesis and yet she trusts a Magic 8 Ball to make decisions about her love life. 
  • I love the shade Cheryl and Nana continuously throw at each other. There’s love there somewhere.
  • Betty telling Jughead that he “banged around” in her subconscious had to be a bone that the writers threw Bughead fans. 
  • It almost seemed like the cast had fun with this episode and just basked in the insanity of their characters. 

What did you think of the episode? And where do you think we’re heading this season? Does the Riverdale four (+ friends) have what it takes to stop Percival now that they are fully in control of their powers?


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Riverdale

Riverdale Review – Is a Barchie Baby on the Way? (6×12)

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Riverdale Review In The Fog Season 6 Episode 12

The fog is coming, and while that line should probably be reserved for horror movies, it allowed Percival to make some key advancements on Riverdale Season 6 Episode 12. 

Before I dive into this review, I have to point out that I think the creators and writers overly enjoy teasing with fan emotions, and likely got so much pleasure by leaving us all hanging when it came to the result of Barchie’s pregnancy test. 

With how things are shaping up in the series, it’s unclear which way the series will go with this storyline. However, it’s also kind of tracking along with the events of Rivervale, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Betty and Archie were holding a positive pregnancy test in the end. 

It’s one of the more positive linings of the series as the imminent next event on everyone’s radar is the apocalypse; a showdown between the good guys of Riverdale and Percival Pickens, who is now the Mayor. 

If it walks like Hiram Lodge, and it acts like Hiram Lodge… 

Percival got word from Alice that the group was planning to stage a coup, so he used a weather disaster to distract everyone and keep them locked inside while he pulled some strings, manipulated some minds, and poof — became the town’s new Mayor. 

But while he was able to pull one over on them, I think Percival sorely underestimates the town and the people in it, especially those he can’t manipulate and who exhibit some serious powers. 

By forcing everyone to stay inside, he not only brought relationships closer but also allowed for some characters to gain some much-needed clarity. 

Archie and Betty discussed their future and possible child. They both established that they were “ride or die” for Riverdale even with all the bonkers developments lately. And Betty finally opened up about her experience escaping TBK. I couldn’t shake the feeling that she was lying somehow because if TBK really set her free because he felt as though she was a kindred spirit, why does he continue to torment her and stalk her? It doesn’t make any sense.

Veronica and Reggie fell into some old feelings — courtesy of a strip poker match — and the whole scene was an emotional rollercoaster. One moment they were talking about getting back together, the next minute they realized they had to break this toxic cycle and parted ways for good. It’s definitely for the best because there wasn’t any more love left between Ronnie and Reggie. She treated him like her lackey and, well, like second best. And it’s clear she’s not over losing Archie, though, I don’t really know what that means for the series. 

There was a lot of talk about looping in Veronica, Reggie, Toni, Fangs, Cheryl, and even Kevin into the fight against Percival, and I can’t wait for everyone to be clued in once and for all. It’s been difficult seeing Veronica pushed aside and away from the core four just because she’s no longer dating Archie. 

Tabitha and Jughead worked together to power up Pops so that it could remain a beacon of hope and light for all those that needed it. 

There were some key moments from their scenes that are definitely going to play a major role in what’s to come. 

For starters, Tabitha was using an old radio to try to gain any info on the fog/get a message out. She briefly connected with someone, and though the message was staticky, the person on the other end was definitely talking about a bomb under the bed. It sounded like a warning… from the other Jughead. This continues to lend itself to the belief that they are all stuck in yet another alternate reality. 

Later, Tabitha confessed that she attempted to use her time travel abilities to stop the bomb from going off, but the outcome would’ve had dire consequences for everyone in Riverdale. When she ran all the scenarios, without Jughead’s mind-hearing powers, they never defeat Percival. The powers are crucial to the war, particularly Jughead’s as they are the most similar to Percival’s manipulation abilities. 

The other takeaway was that they have a slim chance of winning, but in every scenario, Jughead dies. It’s a pretty bleak outlook, but again, may I remind you, he’s not the only Jughead, and my guess is that whole alternate reality situation with Jughead as the writer is going to come into play here at some point. 

Though Jughead took the news of his looming death pretty well, all things considered. 

If Tabitha can see into the past and the future, why wasn’t she able to figure out that Percival was going to beat them at their own game by becoming Mayor? It seems like that should’ve been something she picked up on!

Cheryl’s storyline continues to be absolutely ridiculous, and I’m not entirely sure what to make of it. 

Penelope returned to make amends for all the cruel things she’s done to her daughter in the past, which is fine and dandy, but she also found redemption within the Catholic church as a nun. Cheryl was hesitant about trusting anything her mother said, and when she assumed that she was going to release Abigail, she flipped a switch and showed her mother her pyrokinesis powers. 

They finally saw eye-to-eye when Penelope informed Cheryl about the letters that her old friend and lover Heather wrote her in junior high. 

She handed over all the letters she intercepted as a peace offering and promise that she had actually changed. The moment pretty much destroyed Cheryl emotionally as she’d wondered all these years why Heather abandoned her and why her mother was so cruel to her. 

I hope that after this, Cheryl is free to finally find some peace and move forward with her life. She deserves it after all the abuse she suffered because of Penelope. 

Can someone tell me why all the parents on Riverdale are so batty?

Penelope has reinvented herself several times throughout the course of the season, so it’s hard to take anything she says seriously. 

Alice is conspiring with Percival and singlehandedly acting as though her life is fine and dandy when she’s suffered so much heartache and loss in life. 

I know the show loves to embellish the characters, but they don’t even seem like real people anymore. 

And it’s shocking that the kids aren’t any loopier because of the parents. All things considered, Veronica, Archie, Betty, and Jughead all have a pretty good head on their shoulders. 

And finally, Kevin and Moose reunited in a moment that definitely seemed sus. Almost immediately after reconnecting with Kevin in the high school, Moose made a move on him that caused Kevin to miss his custody agreement talks with Toni and Fangs. 

The whole scene moved rather quickly, and it was definitely strange that Kevin saw the devil in his slumber, which made it harder for him to distinguish reality from the dream world. 

Did Percival send Moose here to keep Kevin busy?

As for Toni and Fangs, they aren’t on the same page about what’s best for baby Anthony or how to raise him, so it’s not entirely fair that they make demands of Kevin or shame him for his lifestyle. 

Honestly, Kevin’s willingness to have a lawyer-less talk about how to raise the child with Fangs and Toni was likely the best option on the board, but Fangs had to go and squash any potential of having a working relationship when he told Kevin he didn’t think he had the integrity to raise his son. Why is Fangs so hot-headed lately?

At this point, I think it would be best if Toni got sole custody and both Fangs and Kevin got visitation rights. There are too many cooks in the kitchen, and while they all love baby Anthony, it’s not going to end well for him when there’s so much coming at him from every direction,

Again, I’m really nervous for Kevin because of the whole Percival connection along with Moose’s return, so it’s possible that Toni and Fangs might have to come to his rescue sometime soon anyway. 

What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


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