Just when you thought Riverdale couldn’t get any weirder, it proves you wrong.
Over the years, shows have largely benefitted from a time-jump that moves characters out of high school and into the college years and beyond, but Riverdale’s attempt was more bizarre than everything that transpired during their teen years. After this episode, it doesn’t seem as though the show is going to make the best of their “reset,” but I’m giving it a chance to see where it goes.
It wasn’t all bad, however. It was nice to see these familiar characters tackle new and unexpected material. Prior to Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica’s return to the small-town, it almost felt like a brand new series, so that has to count for something, right?
The past seven years have been rough on everyone, so let’s break it down individually by character!
After the trailer for the time-jump was posted, many fans pointed out that the “war scenes” were filmed on a high school football field. Strange? Yes, until you realize that they aren’t war scenes but nightmares from Archie’s post-war PTSD.
The nightmare gives audiences a glimpse into the trauma of fighting in a war for seven years and leading his men, some of who didn’t come out unscathed. We briefly meet Jackson, a man who arrives at the hospital with both his legs amputated but remains thankful to Srgt. Andrews for ensuring his survival. Archie always was a leader.
To his dismay, the army has decided to send him back to Riverdale to lead the ROTC program at his old high school, which is where we realize that the Riverdale he and his friends left behind seven years ago no longer exists thanks to Hiram Lodge.
It’s unclear why the footage of Archie returning home from war looks like he’s been fighting in the 1940s, but I guess that’s always been a part of Riverdale’s esthetic. For seasons, the show has kept the time period purposefully ambiguous so that the series remains “dreamlike” and “timeless,” but this is the first episode where Veronica confirms that it’s “2021.” And those three-camera iPhones prove it!
Upon arriving back home, Archie gets a tour of the town from Toni Topaz, who is getting a lot more screentime this season! More on this later.
Betty is living in Quantico training to be an FBI agent. After hunting down several serial killers in Riverdale, she’s pretty much destined to be a sort of serial killer hunter. Though, when we catch up with our Elizabeth, we see that she’s been benched after enduring severe trauma at the hands of the latest serial killer with a cheesy name — the Trashbag Killer also known as TBK.
From what we gather through Betty’s therapy session and the disturbing nightmares plaguing her, she hunted down TBK and found her friend and/or co-worker, Teresa, already dead in his lair. She didn’t wait for SWAT or backup before infiltrating, which ultimately led to her two-week captivity and TBK’s escape. So, there’s a serial killer on the loose that has it out for our not-so-sweet Betty.
Betty is also dating a co-worker named Glenn, and yeah, I don’t see that lasting too long.
Ronnie is a married woman living on the Upper East Side. When we catch up with her, she’s celebrating her one-year wedding anniversary with her husband, Chadwick, who keeps talking about having little “Veronica’s or Chadwick’s” in the near future and telling her she needs to cut back her hours at Lacy’s. (Ah, I love the Katy Keene callbacks… such a shame the show was canceled!)
But while Hermione Lodge is a TV housewife, Veronica has no interest in being domesticated.
She’s ambitious and wants to be the “She-Wolf” of Wall Street, and apparently, she’s good on the trading floor, which is where she met Chadwick in the first place.
We also find out that she’s been lying to Chadwick about working at Lacy’s and instead, works at some high-end jewelry store.
Her mother informs her that maybe it’s time to start thinking about having a family since the “accident” that they all keep referring to is proof that they don’t have all the time in the world. We later learn that Chadwick and Veronica were in a helicopter crash on their way to Martha’s vineyard, which put things in perspective for Chadwick about wanting to start a family.
It seems like the perfect marriage until he gifts her a Glamerge Egg, a sign that Veronica has found herself in a marriage just like Hermione and Hiram’s. There seems to be more love here, but this isn’t the life we envisioned for our girl Ronnie at all.
She pawns the Glamerge Egg off to a customer at work… could this be the first sign of her marriage ending?
Sadly, Jughead’s story is the most cliche of them all. He’s a published writer living in Alphabet City, New York who is on the verge of becoming a “one-hit wonder” due to his writer’s block. Everyone knows the block is because the true inspiration for his novels always came from the messed up town of Riverdale, but I digress.
Jughead, with a little facial hair and swooping hair, has been pouring himself into these pages and neglecting his girlfriend, Jess, so it’s not really a shocker when she ups and leaves him. Because he hasn’t written anything, there’s also eviction notices piling up and debt collectors pounding on his door.
One evening, Jughead goes to his favorite bar where a fan named Cora approaches him to get an autograph. Again, in the most cliche of ways, Jughead hooks up with Cora only to realize that she stalked him so that she could give him her novel in hopes that he’d pass it along to his agent. Shoot your shot, Cora.
After seeing Riverdale crumble, Archie reaches out to his friends to call them back home. Based on their surprised expressions, they haven’t kept in touch over the years.
Prior to their return to Riverdale and their booth at Pops (some things never change no matter how much time has passed), we learn more about the demise of the town at the hands of its constant villain.
Archie goes downstairs to what is now the Whyte Worm, a Serpent bar owned by Sweet Pea and Toni, the new Serpent Queen. Live music is still alive as a pregnant-Toni serves as the band’s lead singer. It’s definitely a different vibe from La Bonne Nuit but in a way, more fitting.
Everyone catches up over drinks and if you thought Betty, Veronica, and Jughead’s lives were strange, just wait till you hear what’s been happening on the home front.
As I mentioned, Toni is pregnant but she doesn’t reveal who the father is when Archie asks. My guess is that the series hasn’t exactly figured it out just yet and/or doesn’t want to further upset #Choni fans.
I say further because things between #Choni are, well, strange. Cheryl has been fully consumed by rehabilitating the Blossom image, but though she initially wanted to do so in order to prove to Toni’s family that she was worthy of her love, it’s since evolved into some weird “damsel in distress” situation where she hides out at Thornhill because she’s avoiding the Blossom curse.
I really hoped Cheryl would pull it together during these seven years, but alas, it seems like her character is headed down a path of continued self-destruction. She’s also into painting, but it seems as though her interest in the arts wields a greater plan as she’s “replicating” famous works of art possibly to sell dupes and make money?
The Blossom family continues to be shady. I’m not keen on the storyline already, and I don’t even know what’s fully happening.
During the tour, Toni mentions that everyone who had the money to get out did so a long time ago, which begs the question of why Toni, Kevin, and Fangs (who are the only couple still together) decided to return to Riverdale after attending prestigious colleges.
Why would Kevin choose to come back to a town with absolutely no promise to teach drama at Riverdale High? Why would Toni return if being a “woman in Riverdale” is hard these days?
None of it really makes sense.
As for Riverdale, well, it’s a town that needs saving. Everything that Hiram Lodge has touched has turned to crap, and he’s investing all his time and money into a rich neighborhood, SoDale, next door. This means Riverdale is neglected, sans job opportunities, and full of things that go bump in the night.
The most heartbreaking is that Archie’s house has now become Ghoulie’s headquarters. I can’t believe Mary allowed this to happen!
Archie is hoping that his friends can come back and restore Riverdale to all of its glory (if that was ever even a thing), but considering Jughead, Betty, and Veronica all seem uncomfortable around each other, will his plan work?
We also meet the new characters in town including Tabitha Tate, Pop Tate’s granddaughter who is taking over Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe as Pop retires!
There’s also Lynette Fields, known as “Squeaky” to her friends, who arrived in Riverdale and was leaving for California for a “fresh start.”
Jughead’s voiceover explains that she “never makes it to California,” which sounds like a new mystery for the Pop’s squad and quite possibly, the next inspiration for Jughead’s brand-new novel! As I said, he always did get his best material in the murder capital of the U.S.!
What did you think of the “new” Riverdale? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
‘Riverdale’ Co-Stars Camila Mendes and Charles Melton Are Officially A Couple Again
Camila Mendes and Charles Melton are officially giving it another go.
The Riverdale co-stars, who broke up in the fall of 2019, are dating once again, a source close to the TV show exclusively tells E! News.
“The break was nice for them and they reconnected on set of Riverdale,” the source reveals.
How did their makeup come to be? According to the insider, “Being around all of their mutual friends and hanging out together often made them realize they still have a strong connection and chemistry.”
The source adds, “They care a lot about each other and have a bond from filming together for so many hours each day.”
They’re in no rush to get serious, with the source saying, “It’s going well and they aren’t putting too much stress on the relationship.”
The cast of Riverdale reunited in Canada in the fall to resume filming after the pandemic. At the time, Camila was dating Grayson Vaughan (even kissing him goodbye on the tarmac before taking off).
However, she split with the photographer about four months ago, with a separate source noting that the travel ban did not make their long distance relationship “easy.” The second insider shared, “There was no drama at all, and they are still friends. Their relationship just ran its course.”
That breakup seems to have made room for a take two with Charles, who plays the Reggie to her Veronica.
Last week, Camila, 26, and Charles, 30, were spotted on a night out with their co-star Cole Sprouse, his brother Dylan Sprouseand model Stella Maxwell. On June 4, the group was seen dining at the French restaurant La Poubelle Bistro in L.A., where Charles had his arm around Cami. The couple left together in his car, clueing fans in to their new romance.
Cami and Charles originally started dating back in 2018, but took a break the next year. At the time, a separate source explained, “Their relationship escalated very quickly and they are taking time now to focus on their work and themselves.”
She later acted in Palm Springs, Dangerous Lies and Day by Day, while he appeared in Bad Boys For Life, Mainstream and, soon, American Horror Stories.
Their busy work schedules put “pressure” on the relationship, with lots of “ups and downs,” per the third insider.
Now, it seems, they’re older, wiser and ready to dive back in.
E! News has reached out to their reps for comment.
‘Riverdale’s KJ Apa Expecting First Child With Girlfriend Clara Berry
KJ Apa is going to be a father.
The actor, best known for playing Archie Andrews in the hit TV series Riverdale, is expecting his first child with girlfriend Clara Berry.
The 23-year-old made the announcement on Instagram with a photo showing the 27-year-old’s baby bump.
Berry then confirmed the pregnancy by sharing several maternity photos.
Apa commented: “she’s pregnant btw,” to which Berry responded, “We are ❤️.”
Apa’s co-star, Vanessa Morgan, who recently welcomed son River, commented: “Rivers soon to be bestie ♥️”
Congrats to the parents-to-be.
Riverdale Midseason Finale Review – The Pincushion Man (5×10)
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?
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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