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Riverdale Review – Welcome to the New Riverdale (5×04)

Riverdale -- “Chapter Eighty: Purgatorio” -- Image Number: RVD504fg_0096r -- Pictured (L-R): Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz and KJ Apa as Archie Andrews -- Photo: The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.



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! 


Archie Andrews

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. 

What Year Is ‘Riverdale’ Set In?

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 Cooper

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. 

Riverdale Review Purgatorio Season 5 Episode 4

Riverdale — “Chapter Eighty: Purgatorio” — Image Number: RVD504fg_0039r — Pictured: Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Veronica Lodge

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?

Riverdale Review Purgatorio Season 5 Episode 4

Riverdale — “Chapter Eighty: Purgatorio” — Image Number: RVD504fg_0062r — Pictured: Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Jughead Jones

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.

Riverdale Review Purgatorio Season 5 Episode 4

Riverdale — “Chapter Eighty: Purgatorio” — Image Number: RVD504b_0131r — Pictured: Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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!

Who Is Lynette Fields AKA Squeaky on ‘Riverdale’

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!

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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 Review – La Llorona (6×02)



    Riverdale Review Ghost Stories Season 6 Episode 2

    Did I just watch an episode of Nancy Drew on Riverdale?

    It almost felt like “Ghost Stories” was the perfect crossover opportunity to bring our favorite supernatural Horsehoe Bay detective to Rivervale. 

    But don’t be fooled — Betty, Toni, and Cheryl did a fine job handling La Llorona. 

    You have to give it up for the series for embracing Latin American culture for this one, while also making a poignant point about the sacrifices of motherhood. 

    La Llorona was summoned by Darla, a Ghoulie, whose son was accidentally killed by Toni. 

    The ghostly spirit, who was drowned in Sweetwater River along with her babes, was coming for the soul of Baby Anthony, however, Toni didn’t think her innocent son should pay the price for her mistakes, so she sacrificed herself by taking on La Llorona’s suffering. 

    As she descended underwater, she handed baby Anthony to Betty and urged her to protect him, which is fitting considering La Llorona erased Betty’s pregnancy. 

    It’s funny that these women are devoted to finding a murderer when just last week, they willingly sacrificed Archie to make the maple trees more fruitful. 

    Honestly, this show gets weirder and weirder. 

    And since it’s set in Rivervale, which I’m guessing is simply an alternative universe of Riverdale, it’s hard to really get invested in any of the storylines. 

    It seems like a cheat to introduce and get away with the wackiest storylines. 

    Admittedly, it did feel weird watching an episode without Archie, but the hour was so jam-packed, he was barely missed. 

    The series claimed its second victim with Toni, so it doesn’t seem like many of our favorites will live to see another day by the time the five-episode event is finished. 

    Tabitha and Jughead dealt with their own relationship woes as they found out that they were living in the apartment plagued by a couple’s murder-suicide. 

    When they discovered a hidden room, they seemingly unleashed the couple’s spirits and began turning on each other. Tabitha wanted to bash Jughead’s head in on a few occasions, but thankfully, she stopped herself and realized that their relationship was stronger than murder. 

    Good for them, I guess?

    As for Ronnie and Reggie, well, their storyline felt pretty forced. Reggie bought back the car he had in high school in hopes of reliving the glory days. 

    That was fine and dandy until Veronica realized that Bella was a tribute to his driver’s ed teacher who was fired for having inappropriate relations with students. 

    Reggie denied the whole thing, and Ronnie felt terrible for smashing his car considering his father just died. 

    However, it turns out Reggie lied about the abusive relationship? Or, at least, it seems like it.

    It’s unclear why this was such an important storyline to tell, but I’m also at the point where it doesn’t seem like any of these storylines hold any merit at all. 

    Did Riverdale sell you on its ghost stories? Or do you think it should be left to the professionals?

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    Riverdale Season Premiere Review – Welcome to Rivervale (6×01)



    Riverdale Season 6 Premiere Review Chapter Ninety-Six: Welcome to Rivervale

    Curses, babies, and a shadow town — that’s how Riverdale Season 6 kicked off. 

    Or should I say Rivervale

    Embracing the vibe of the Twilight Zone influence, the season tapped into some folklore horror for the first of its five-episode event that promises to do what Riverdale does best — deliver the most outrageous and outlandish storylines. 

    We’ve seen it all on this show, and admittedly, I’ve grown to be pretty fond of not knowing how crazy things will get when I tune into an episode. 

    However, the episode was weird, even by Riverdale standards. 

    The “shadow world” of Rivervale seems far removed from Riverdale, but the plot also echoes what we’ve already seen set up in Riverdale Season 5.

    Jughead kicked things off with a tour that set the scene. 

    He and Tabitha are taking the next step in their relationship by moving in together, Ronnie and Reggie are the town’s power couple as they plan for the build of their casino, and Betty and Archie are planning to start a family. 

    Like Betty couldn’t help but emphasize just how much she wanted to have Archie’s baby. 

    And by the end of the hour, she was, as she put it, “with child.”

    Unfortunately, it was all part of Cheryl’s plan to crown Archie as the Maple King and then sacrifice him to appease the ancestor Abigail Blossom so that the maple trees would be fruitful. 

    Yes, I said sacrifice.

    Riverdale Season 6 Premiere Review Chapter Ninety-Six: Welcome to Rivervale

    Riverdale — “Chapter Ninety-Six: Welcome to Rivervale” — Image Number: RVD601a_0427r — Pictured (L – R): KJ Apa as Archie Andrews and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper — Photo: Kailey Schwerman/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

    Cheryl somehow managed to convince everyone in town to join in on the ritual by giving them what they wanted.

    Baby Anthony has colic and is driving Toni and Fangs bonkers? Cheryl has some herbs for that.

    Fred and Alice can’t get to the next step in their relationship? She has a remedy.

    And so on, and so forth. 

    It almost seemed as though Cheryl cursed everyone just so she could swoop in and be the savior.

    And in turn, everyone gave her their loyalty. 

    Archie has always had everyone’s best interests at heart, but in one weak moment, everyone in town turned against him and let him die a grim death as a human sacrifice. 

    In what may be Riverdale’s craziest scene to date (and again, the series has explored aliens), Cheryl stabbed Archie, who was clad in an antler crown, before pulling out his still-beating heart and holding it up for the town to see.

    Rest in peace, Archie. You truly didn’t deserve any of that. 

    Archie will seemingly remain dead for the remainder of the five episodes, which kind of puts a dent in my theory that Rivervale is just a terrible nightmare he’s having while in a coma following the explosion at his house. 

    After all, the fifth season ended with Hiram Lodge’s planted bomb exploding under Archie’s bed as he lay with Betty. 

    The fact that Archie referenced the ticking and the bomb as part of a bad dream makes me think that this is all just part of his imagination while he recovers. 

    Therefore, it makes sense that the plot echoes what’s already been established — Cheryl’s wrath and removal from Riverdale, the casino, Jughead and Tabitha’s relationship, etc. Archie’s mind is taking what he already knows and exaggerating it as many nightmares tend to do in a way that doesn’t really make sense but leaves you scarred regardless. 

    It’s also an interesting move on Riverdale’s part to kill off the main character and explore the next few episodes without Archie as the anchor. 

    Will the other characters thrive without Archie around?

    And who else will be added to the body count as the series continues to draw inspiration from classic horror?

    Let us know what you about the premiere in the comments below!

    Are you digging the revamped Riverdale? Or do you think the series has gone totally off the rails?

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    Riverdale Season Finale Review – To Cursed New Beginnings (5×19)



    Riverdale Review RIP (?) Season 5 Finale Episode 19

    Now, that’s how you do a season finale. 

    Riverdale has been all over the map with its storylines this season, and just when I’d given up hope, the series proved that it can deliver a solid episode when it really wants to. 

    Riverdale Season 5 Episode 19 brought the wrath of Cheryl, the wrath of Abigail, and the wrath of Hiram Lodge proving that while the small town can turn over a new leaf, it can never escape the sins of its past. 

    At this point, is the town even worth saving anymore?

    The episode kicked off with the final straw in the Hiram Lodge saga. Everyone has turned a blind eye through all of his devious and malicious actions, but setting fire to Pops’ Chocklit Shoppe was the point of no return. 

    After Toni (who is finally getting her much-deserved storyline) and Fangs got confirmation from a Ghoulie that he was carrying out Hiram’s orders, Ronnie, Archie, and Betty snooped around his office and found out that his plan was to phase out Riverdale with his newly incorporated SoDale. 

    It took the attack on Pop’s for everyone to realize that they needed to step up to Hiram once and for all. 

    The exile was a pretty solid plan, I’m not going to lie, but it required some follow-through that they didn’t think of. 

    Pushing Hiram Lodge out of town is one thing, but when he has so many lackeys to do his dirty work, there’s no guaranteeing he’ll go down without a fight. 

    And he didn’t. In what seemed like one of his last acts in Riverdale, he decided to plant a bomb under Archie’s bed. 

    What is it this guy and Archie? At this point, it’s just a weird obsession.

    Riverdale Review RIP (?) Season 5 Finale Episode 19

    Riverdale — “Chapter Ninety-Five: RIVERDALE: RIP (?)” — Image Number: RVD519fg_0050r — Pictured: Madelaine Patsch as Cheryl Blossom — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    It’s a bold move on Hiram’s part considering there was a 50/50 chance Veronica would be at Archie’s at the time. 

    I guess his vendetta against Archie is so strong, he doesn’t care if it brings down his own mija. 

    I’m sure it hurt when she turned her back on him, but what did Hiram expect? He’s pushed everyone in this town so far that they were bound to push back. 

    Though you have to admit, Hiram did look good walking away! 

    It’s unclear if there were any casualties from the bomb, but it wasn’t looking good for Archie or Betty, who came back to his place to give their relationship another try. 

    Will the Barchie fandom’s happiness be short-lived? I haven’t heard of any of the core cast members wanting to leave the series, so maybe they were able to make a run for it after all?

    It wouldn’t be fair to toy with Barchie fans so blatantly. But also, is Archie a serial dater? That man cannot be single for a second!

    We know the bomb was Hiram’s doing, but it was conveniently timed just as Cheryl enacted the curse to avenge her ancestor Abigail, who was burned at the sake by the descendants of Archie, Betty, and Jughead. 

    I was not a fan of Cheryl’s parish storyline, but I’m definitely interested in exploring a plot filled with magic. After all, Riverdale borders Greendale, which served as the backdrop for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Magic must run through Riverdale’s veins, and there’s no one better to be involved than the Blossom’s. 

    The only thing that is troubling about the storyline is that it really pushes Cheryl away from all of her peers even more. 

    She’s always so caught up in her witchy woo that she has no connection to anyone else. 

    Also, Archie made a good point — why did they have to atone for the sins of their past when they were trying to move forward and build a better Riverdale?

    No one has held the sins of Cheryl’s ancestors against her more than she has. She’s been trying to atone because she thought she was cured, not because anyone actually blamed her for anything. 

    And well, her direct family members have caused their fair share of havoc in town, so maybe that’s why the Blossom name remains tarnished. 

    Archie, Jughead, and Betty had nothing to do with their descendant’s decisions in the 1800s! 

    Even so, they could’ve addressed it at the next town hall. Plus, it didn’t call for a curse to be placed on them. Do they really need any more bad luck coming their way? As Jughead noted at the beginning of the episode, they aren’t thriving, they are simply surviving. 

    I’d argue that they’ve had curses placed on them this whole time. Archie lost his whole family and came back from a war with severe PTSD. Jughead spiraled into alcoholism after his writing career hit a snag. Veronica has dealt with Hiram Lodge her whole life, plus, she put up with a controlling husband that she ended up killing in self-defense. And Betty spent the whole season working the Lonely Highway to avenge her sister’s death only to be tracked down by the Trash Bag Killer upon graduation from Quantico. 

    I mean, how much worse can their lives get?

    Oh yeah… the bomb. Turns out, they can get worse. 

    Alice seems to have forgotten all about her anger towards Betty, which is fine, I guess. Not much came of the Trash Bag Killer’s call, but he made it certain that he hasn’t forgotten about “Pretty Betty.” I don’t know what’s to come of this storyline, but he looked scarier than all of Riverdale’s villains and serial killers combined. 

    Alice will likely be investing all her time in rehabbing Riverdale as part of the City Council, where she’ll work alongside potential future bf Uncle Frank (why does she always go for the men related to Betty’s bfs?), Tabitha Tate, and Toni. Yay, for diversity finally being embraced. 

    Somehow, the season finale managed to squeeze quite a lot into one hour, so I’ll just bullet point some other notable moments:

    • Archie isn’t the only one moving on from his relationship. Veronica seems to have realized that her ambitions and goals align more with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Reggie, so the two are 100% on-again and opening up a casino in Riverdale… illegally, I think? 
    • Her dreams of returning to NYC were shot down when she was informed she’s no longer the She-Wolf of Wall Street but rather The Black Widow of Wall Street. Rough. 
    • Tabitha called Pop Tate to inform him about the fire, and he came back rocking his very best “I retired in FL” look. He also realized retirement is pretty boring (and likely missed the thrill of the small-town drama), so he asked her to come back and work at Pops! Pop is back! 
    • Jughead and Tabitha are dating, and they burned down Hiram’s fake news magazine “Lodge Ledger” with a Molotov cocktail. Who said the Serpents were boring?!
    • Jughead also revived and renamed the “Blue & Gold” to “Free Press.”
    • Poor Britta has been sucked into Cheryl’s whole situation. 
    • Fangs and Toni are oddly cute. She’s one bad momma, and at least they have a plan for the Serpents! 
    • I couldn’t help but laugh at how quickly Reggie confirmed that he was the one that gave them footage of Hiram killing his father’s killer. 

    What did you think of the season finale of Riverdale?

    Did it remind you that much like the small-town, the series has what it takes to be great again? 

    Sound off in the comments, and see you on November 16 for the 5-episode event! 

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