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 Review – Mothman (5×06)
You never truly get over the first day of school jitters, even seven years after you’ve graduated.
Veronica, Betty, Archie, and Jughead returned to Riverdale High on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 6, but this time, they weren’t students, they were teachers.
Archie was spearheading the RROTC, Jughead was teaching English, Veronica tackled Economics, while Betty handled Shop Class, which personally, I found to be the most interesting. I would’ve never pegged our sweet FBI recruit for a car gal.
Everyone was there to restore Riverdale to the great town that it once was, well, aside from all the murder.
But in a weird way, it’s almost as though they’ve never really grown up.
This criticism is specific to Cheryl, who still seems way overly invested and possessive over the Vixens.
It’s a bit strange that she would get upset and jealous over Toni reviving the cheerleading squad when she had seven years to manage the team and hid out in Thornhill.
But it’s obvious that this is how the show aims to bring back Cheryl to some sense of reality, and it’s better that she’s at least involved in the school functions rather than hiding in her mansion afraid of some made-up Blossom curse.
If everyone is going to get a gig at the high school, it only makes sense that Cheryl and Toni return as co-HBIC’s.
Riverdale’s success went against Hiram’s plans to destroy the small-town, so he sent his goons from the Stonewall Prep football team to start a fire at the school and send a little message.
But since Archie is never one to back down without a fight, he decided to revive Riverdale’s football team, the Bulldogs.
I’ll admit that it was sad to see that the team, which has brought so much pride to town, was a “thing of the past.” However, with the right coach, it could be the town’s pride and joy once again.
Hope can go a long way. Hiram knows that, which is why he’ll do anything to see Riverdale fail.
Interestingly, we’ve yet again returned to the Hiram versus Archie Andrews dynamic. Archie will forever remain a thorn in his side.
It’s also upsetting to see Reggie side with Hiram; he’s lost sight of everything that’s important.
Archie runs into a bit of trouble securing funding for the football team. He tries to play to “dead brother” card to Cheryl, but it doesn’t go well.
Why do they think Cheryl has the money to singlehandedly fund the town? Even if she is selling fake art and passing it off as the original, it’s not her responsibility to dole out mounds of cash for the local high school.
He eventually resorts to asking Veronica for help, and if you thought it was weird asking your ex for $20K (even though she was more than happy to contribute to her beloved Bulldogs), just imagine how weird it is to get pushback from her overly jealous husband.
There were some cute moments between Ronnie and Chadwick, but ultimately, he’s a snake that’s controlling and doesn’t have Veronica’s best interests at heart.
He brought up doing nice things for her like singing karaoke and being nice to her friends as if they were some kind of chore or like he was doing her a favor to keep her happy. In a normal relationship, those are acts of love.
It was the final straw – well, that and finding out that he’s been secretly chatting with Hiram – that convinced Veronica that they needed to take a break.
Veronica was living a fake life in New York, but by returning to Riverdale, she once again remembered who she was and what mattered to her.
She and Chadwick simply aren’t on the same wavelength.
However, I don’t want her and Archie to get back together in the near future either.
Archie’s relationship with Betty is really growing on me; it’s refreshing and fun to watch. (More of my thoughts on that here!)
Of course, sneaking around when you’re in your mid-twenties should be a lot easier, but I’m not going to complain about that Titanic re-enactment in the car either.
Things between them are steamy.
And if we were just to revert to the previous couples, hitting reset on the show would all be for nothing.
Plus, there are definitely some sparks flying between Jughead and Tabitha Tate.
While the show never established how old Tabitha was, the fact that she made six-figures in Chicago and could have taken a CEO job at any point alludes to her being around the same age as Jughead.
Initially, Tabitha was a little weary of Jughead, but he seems to have grown on her as she’s even offering to help him work on his story!
Aside from his brief interactions with Archie, Jughead spent much of the episode secluded from his old friend group and getting more familiar with his new boss.
He interviewed Tabitha for his small-town story, but she did him a solid and set him up with Dreyfus, a local who told him his story of the Mothman, who kidnapped his friends working the mines and took them abroad some kind of ship.
Yes, it sounds like folklore, but may I remind you that the mines are near Greendale, and we know that supernatural entities are in abundance there. (It’s a Chilling Adventures of Sabrina reference.)
Jughead’s investigation led him to the realization that all of Dreyfus’ friends that went on the ship passed away from cancer. Coincidence or is there something more awry at play?
He also mentioned that the ship was in the woods in a cave off the Lonely Highway… and you know what else was last seen on the Lonely Highway? Polly… three days ago.
Is there a chance the mothman is connected to Polly’s (and Freaky’s) disappearance? My gut instinct tells me there is.
Betty put her FBI training to use as she investigated what happened to Polly. She learned that Polly would frequent truck stops to sell Jingle Jangle and hook up with truckers (boy, did her life really take a turn!) using Nedlist (lol) to set up meetings.
Betty tracked down the last trucker Polly arranged a meeting with (Truckerboy69… really?!), but he informed her that Polly ran off that night in a panic.
Betty then turned to Alice for help and together, the sleuthing mom-and-daughter duo located a bunch of Polly’s things on the side of the road. She eventually decided to ping Polly’s phone, which likely should have been her first move. Betty, Kevin, and Alice then took look around the marsh area at night (because waiting till morning would have been too logical) and stumbled upon a corpse’s hand sticking out from the ground. Does it belong to Polly? We’ll have to wait to find out.
In addition to that cliffhanger, Hiram also sent Archie yet another message by setting a fire all around the perimeter of his home. I guess the message was “don’t play with fire,” and look, I get that Hiram goes to extremes to get what he wants, but almost killing someone is a bit much, don’t you think?
Overall, it was an interesting episode that set up plenty of new mysteries for audiences while also taking a sentimental trip down memory lane by focusing most of its events around Riverdale High.
Other Small Town Musings
- Hiram loves Doritos… who knew?
- It’s hard to do justice by “Shallow” but Veronica and Chadwick killed it!
- Nana has really upped her fashion game! Also, how is she still alive?
- There was a brief Chilling of Adventures crossover when Dorcas made an appearance as Cheryl’s art appraiser Minerva Marble.
- Doris Bell is one little snitch! Keeping Cheryl informed about what happens at Riverdale High is one thing, but giving intel to Hiram? Not cute.
What did you think of tonight’s episode of Riverdale? Are you enjoying the post-time jump reality?
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New Couple Alert: ‘Katy Keene’s Lucy Hale and ‘Riverdale’s Skeet Ulrich Spotted Kissing
This is one couple you didn’t see coming! Who would’ve thought we’d ever see a liar dating a serpent?
Pretty Little Liars and Katy Keene alum Lucy Hale was spotted packing on the PDA with Riverdale star Skeet Ulrich on Sunday, February 21!
Photos of their romantic outing were captured by Page Six.
You can see the 31-year-old star leaning in for a kiss with the 51-year-old actor.
The duo were also spotted holding hands at the table.
Once they finished their meal, they put on their masks and the “Scream” alum embraced the actress from behind.
Ulrich previously dated Megan Blake Irwin and were criticized for their 20-year-age difference, which she defended.
While Ulrich and Hale starred in sister-show’s on the CW, they never crossed paths. Ulrich recently wrapped up his five-season arc as Forsythe Pendleton Jones II (FP Jones) on Riverdale, while Hale starred in the Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene as the titular character for one season before it got canceled.
Neither Ulrich or Hale have commented on the relationship.
Let’s Talk About What #Barchie’s Steamy Shower Scene on ‘Riverdale’ Means for the Ship
It finally happened, #Barchie fans!
If you’re a #Bughead fan, you might want to stop reading at this point because this is a full post dedicated to the Betty and Archie hook-up!
After several seasons, Riverdale finally gave fans the Betty and Archie moment they’ve been waiting for.
This moment has been a long time coming.
There were some close calls through the years, though mainly, fans were left disappointed and wondering if the pairing would ever see the light of day.
At the end of season 4, the duo shared a romantic kiss but ultimately decided to bury their feelings out of respect for their significant others.
But you don’t just write a love ballad for someone and forget about them!
The long-awaited and highly-anticipated moment finally came via a steamy shower sex scene following a seven-year time-jump. It was so hot, I found myself wondering if this is even allowed on The CW. That steam wasn’t from the hot shower, that’s all I’m going to say!
Archie, who survived a war, and Betty, who has been catching serial killers while training to be an FBI agent at Quantico, reunited and fell right back into their old feelings without even realizing it.
Post hook-up, when Archie questioned what just happened between them, Betty informed him that it’s something “we’ve been wanting to do since high school but never got around to it.” And you have to appreciate her honesty here.
Since they’re both mature and single adults — Archie’s ex Veronica is “happily” married, while Betty hasn’t been with Jughead for years — they decided to keep the moment of passion under wraps.
Riverdale can be a bit ridiculous at times, but this was the smartest decision these two ever made. They don’t owe anyone, including Veronica and Jughead, anything.
This moment singlehandedly changed the Betty and Archie relationship forever.
And when I tell you fans were thrilled, I mean they were straight geeking out on Twitter.
“Something we’ve been wanting to do since high school but never got around too.”
— Barchiedaily (@Barchiedaily) February 18, 2021
— Barchiedaily (@Barchiedaily) February 18, 2021
But what does this mean for #Barchie moving forward? Was it a one-time thing that they needed to get out of their system?
Based on the glowing aftermath, methinks not. The chemistry and sexual tension is there, and they’re clearly into each other. And for the first time, they’re both in a place where they can pursue a relationship.
Well, there is the small issue of Betty’s boyfriend, Glen, back in Virginia, but I doubt that will pose much of a problem since she seemed to forget all about him. She didn’t even call him to inform him she decided to stick around for a while and teach at her old high school, which tells you everything you need to know!
And while Archie and Jughead’s new roomie situation may make things a bit more complicated and awkward, I think Archie and Betty owe it to each other to explore these longtime feelings.
They’ve never been given the opportunity to figure what these feelings truly mean — is it love or is it just lust? — because they’ve always repressed them out of respect for others.
There’s no better time like the present to put them to the test.
Though, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t see it lasting long. I’d love the idea of #Barchie babies, but with the core four back in each other’s orbits, they’re bound to fall into old habits.
Jughead and Betty don’t seem like they’re going to get back together anytime soon, but based on their conversation, they never got closure following their abrupt breakup. With a new mystery in tow, I see their paths merging again, though, I am really digging that Betty and Archie have been working together on the “Polly mystery.”
As for Ronnie, she may be married, but it’s not going to last long. She and Chadwick are already having marital issues that stem mainly from his insecurities and jealousy. I wouldn’t rule out a post-divorce reunion for Archie and Veronica.
She’s always wanted someone who can handle her Lodge independence, and Archie has always been that man.
So, while Betty and Archie might not be able to keep their hands to themselves in the short-term, I don’t think that there’s potential for them in the long run. And that’s okay too.
Sometimes the best thing before settling down is the fling you’ve always fantasized about!
At the end of the day, I’m rooting for the ships that will bring each other happiness — whoever that may be!
Don’t forget to check out our full review of Riverdale Season 5 Episode 5 now!
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