No other show is able to squeeze in two twisted mysteries into one season except Riverdale.
It’s the kind of content we’ve come to expect from them, and there’s nothing more enjoyable than Jughead sinking his teeth into yet another mystery, this time, one that benefits the whole town.
The case of the voyeuristic tapes left behind on everyone’s doorsteps took a more sinister turn when Jughead was given a tape recreating his “death” aka when Betty bludgeoned him over the head with a rock.
There’s one thing to stalkerishly film people’s front doors for hours on end, it’s another when you try to expose their deadliest secrets.
Jughead didn’t take too kindly to being this psychos new muse and jumped headfirst into the mystery.
Betty understandably decided to sit this one out because she’s met her quota of psycho mysteries but also, she couldn’t stop googling little hearts of the “i” in Archie’s name and reading her fifth grade diary. More on that in a minute.
With Betty out, Jughead teamed up with his brother Charles and found a surprising connection to Ethel Muggs.
Alright, maybe it wasn’t that surprising since Ethel has been the crux of nearly every murder mystery in Riverdale.
Except Ethel truly seemed to be in a better place after all that went down with the Gargoyle King. What went down is precisely the reason why she shouldn’t be trusted at her word, but Ethel echoed most of the senior’s sentiments: she just wants to make it out of Riverdale alive.
Sure, she’s watching some weird homemade video tapes and just so happened to have Brett’s copy of Jughead and Betty’s sextape, but she didn’t watch it so it’s all good. Honestly, what?
If you think about it, it’s a small town and people need to entertain themselves somehow, right?
Ethel may be into some weird stuff, but I don’t think she’s the one trolling (for lack of a better word) her classmates.
I’ve mentioned this before in my Riverdale reviews, but I think Charles is the one leaving the videotapes.
There’s a few things that support my theory: he’s one of the only people who knows the details of what happened the night Betty “killed” Jughead with a rock, he has the means to pull it off, and he has the perfect cover because no one will ever suspect an FBI agent. His position also ensures that he can keep tabs on how far everyone gets to solving the mystery.
We also know he’s in cahoots with Chic, and there are always two people in the deranged videos.
The second video was delivered to Cheryl’s house and disturbingly recreated Jason Blossom’s murder mere moments after Jughead found the snuff tape being sold at Blue Velvet video store’s Scarlet Suite.
Plus, the twisted filmmaker seems to be hellbent on exposing Riverdale’s sins just like Black Hood, which Chic and Charles could be pulling inspiration from.
Charles also pursued Ethel when Jughead wasn’t around and it seemed like he wanted her to be guilty of something.
Riverdale has always been good at crafting a hard-to-solve mystery, so it’s no surprise that there are more than a few suspects good for the VHS tapes. Also, could this stalker not invest in DVDs?
Mr. Honey has been a pain in every student’s side this season with his “vanilla” approach to life. He thrives on discipline and hates when anyone steps out of line. He’s been bothered by Cheryl’s sex appeal and Kevin’s desire to be understood and represented.
And frankly, he’s just creepy.
But those are the people you have to be the most wary of. Honey is so uptight because he’s suppressing that he’s a nasty freak who frequents the Scarlet Suite more times than we’d probably like to know.
The house videos are creepy because it’s as if someone is always watching you, and maybe that’s Honey’s fetish.
He seems to have it out for all of his students, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he spent his free time trolling all of them with disturbing videos for his own pleasure.
And then, there’s Terry who is straightforward in his voyeuristic hobbies of filming young men tickling each other for a buck or two.
For now, Terry doesn’t have a motive for tormenting the whole town, but we also don’t know anything about him or who he’s dealing with. For all we know, he could be in cahoots with Honey or Charles.
When it comes to a guy who is making money off some weird fetish tapes, there is always more than meets the eye.
Reggie should have known that but he let his macho, tough-guy attitude and his greed get the best of him.
His business acumen is on point because yes, technically it did make sense to cut out the middleman and post tickle videos (??) on your own, but you also have to know that it’s a very limited and niche industry, so it was bound to get back to Terry who wouldn’t take kindly to his livelihood being threatened.
Not only did Reggie cost them a lucrative gig, but now they all have a target on their backs. And in a town like Riverdale, you literally don’t want to keep pissing people off!
Not to mention, Reggie missed the point of the videos being anonymous.
There were a lot of murder motifs in the episode as Riverdale established that even when Hiram Lodge is feeling under the weather, he’s still a deliciously villain.
There’s a reason Hiram never takes a merciful approach — it costs him too much.
He learned the hard way by being “weak” and allowing himself to get jumped by a Molloy thug. It’s surprising he walked away when the man begged for his life considering Hiram said the Molloy family is the most “ruthless” one in the liquor business.
I’m surprised he was conscious after that brutal beating. Which makes me wonder if he’s lying about his deteriorating condition.
Hiram is not one that accept defeat, so he made things right by killing the Molloy father without any hesitation.
Hiram is Riverdale’s most stable villain; he never disappoints. Did he just start a maple-infused liquor war between two of the most dangerous families?
However, he kept his murderous tendencies a secret from Veronica because it put him in her good graces again. Since she lost Cheryl Blossom as a partner in the maple whiskey business, she was more likely to work with her father again if she thought he was turning over a new leaf.
Poor Veronica will never learn.
For an episode filled with gruesome murders and sex tapes, I was most disturbed by Betty and Archie’s willingness to cheat on their significant others. Thank god it didn’t go too far.
Betty and Archie’s attraction was strong and they wanted to give into that forbidden love so badly.
Hanging out, snuggling up, and thinking back on what used to be were all “gateways” to cheating.
If it wasn’t for Cheryl, I think Betty would’ve gone through with hooking up with Archie.
Cheryl may not always be the most level-headed, but she put things into perspective for Betty — she wasn’t in love with Archie, she was in love with the idea of Archie.
And while that may be true, it doesn’t exactly stop the feelings.
Betty has the perfect relationship with Jughead, but it’s also all she’s ever known. There’s nothing wrong with seeing what else is out there.
Yes, they both may be drawn to each other because things are changing at a rapid pace, the life they’re used to is being threatened, and they want to cling to what feels comfortable and safe, but it’s also not safe if you think about it.
The very idea of breaking up a stable relationship to pursue feelings for a person you’ve known your whole life and that might ruin all the friendships you’ve ever deemed important is the opposite of safe.
It’s risky, it’s bold, and it’s stepping into the unknown without a safety blanket.
Archie was never Betty’s safety blanket — it was always Jughead, which is why she agreed to put things with Archie behind her and jumped back into solving mysteries with her beau instead of having an honest conversation with him about how they should maybe see other people.
Betty used the excuse Cheryl fed her, and while she wanted to believe it, she didn’t.
It’s very clear things between #Barchie aren’t over. By burning her diaries Betty is compartmentalizing her feelings for Archie. Similarly, Archie is running away by signing up for the Naval Academy.
The feelings will eventually bubble up to the top and become impossible to repress until they explore them.
It may be nothing, it may be everything, but they’ll never know unless they try.
However, if they consciously choose to explore #Barchie, they have to do what’s right by their significant others and break up.
For Betty, breaking up with Jughead means she’s preserving the possibility of getting back together in the future.
For Archie, a life without Veronica once seemed unimaginable, but it’s clear that his feelings for her are dwindling and the spark might no longer be there. When is the last time he was inspired by his love for her to write tender and heartfelt song for her? Exactly…
What did you think of the penultimate episode of Riverdale?
Are things shaping up to end on a promising, albeit premature, season finale? Or have the writers been drinking too many White Claws, er, Maple Claws?
Let us know in the comments, Cravers!
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!
Riverdale Review – Destroyer (5×09)
And we’re back to the old Riverdale.
You know, the one where weird, unexplainable things happen as Betty and Jughead work a case together.
There was a rush of endorphins as the former couple teamed up to get some much-needed answers. In my previous Riverdale reviews, I said that it was only a matter of time before the duo’s cases crossed paths.
There’s too much overlap when it comes to the mothmen/mothman (I really can’t tell if it’s one entity or multiple anymore) and Polly’s disappearance. The main connection is the Lonely Highway, which is where the mothmen seem to be located, where Polly and other girls have gone missing, and now, where Lerman, Jughead’s student, was drawn to while sleepwalking.
Lerman’s story was very similar to what Old Man Dreyfus told Jughead previously, so while it seems unlikely that aliens would be inhabiting this small town, all signs are pointing in that direction.
He wouldn’t recount being operated on in a spaceship unless it happened… and why did Principal Weatherbee get so upset that Jughead questioned whether a student was in distress? Isn’t that a teacher’s job?
Though, I’d likely agree that these aliens are sort of like the Gargoyle King where it’s someone dressed up as supernatural entities.
It’s unfortunate that Lerman’s parents moved him out of Riverdale before Jughead and Betty had a chance to ask him any concrete questions.
I don’t think Polly is dead. She could’ve been injured, which would explain why her blood was smeared all over the telephone booth, but if she was dead, they likely would have found her body right next to it. I kept thinking Betty would walk into the house and Polly would be there with no recollection of what happened.
Betty’s decision not to tell Alice the truth about Polly was partially because she didn’t want her mom to crack, and partially because she’s holding out hope and still believes Polly is out there somewhere.
Also, who missed Dark Betty? She almost killed John for preying on these innocent girls. Thankfully, she was saved by the bell.
Now, Glen… that dude is a problem.
He didn’t care enough to get involved in the case before, but after Betty chewed him out, he took it upon himself to come to Riverdale, tell her mom, and remove Betty from the case.
He clearly doesn’t know her as well as he thinks he does.
Also, can Alice ever learn from previous mistakes of trusting “agents” over her own family?
She barely knows Glen, so why isn’t she wearier about his sudden involvement?
Betty and Jughead worked well together, even if she did think his alien-theory was a little too far out there at first. And who could blame her? In Jughead’s defense, weirder things have happened in this small town.
What’s problematic is the teaser for next week showing Jughead and Tabitha getting close as she’ll likely only be a plot device to bring Jughead and Betty back.
If that’s the case, Tabitha deserves better.
As usual, while Betty and Jughead were dealing with the oddities in Riverdale, Archie and Veronica were hoping to inspire a little town spirit in a place that had absolutely none.
The Bulldogs, despite Archie’s best attempts, weren’t winning games, which meant that the town wasn’t rallying behind them.
If they stood any chance at saving Riverdale from Hiram’s grasp, they needed the team to step it up.
Veronica did plenty to incentivize the team including offering $10,000 to the first person to score and bringing a professional football player to give them a pep-talk. She also organized a pancake breakfast at Pops. Meanwhile, Cheryl came out of retirement to entertain the masses.
I’m never a fan of musical numbers on Riverdale, but Cheryl’s still got it. Also, where was Toni? I hate when shows don’t explain a character’s absence.
With a little help from Archie’s Friday Night Lights approach, the Bulldogs managed to score once during the game, which was more than enough to inspire confidence in the team and the town.
You can just see that Archie has his students’/players’ best interests at heart, while Hiram is just out there for himself.
Archie didn’t get mad at Derek for switching to Stonewall Prep’s team because he understood that it was better for college applications. Though, you better believe Derek would’ve probably have benefitted from staying on the Bulldogs and having a coach who cares about him.
Hiram only cares about himself and his own interest. Look how quickly he turned on Reggie, who, in turn, threw in his support behind the Bulldogs.
It just goes to show how weak alliances are when they’re only superficial and surface-level.
Also, why is Hiram such a toddler? He’s a grown man who literally picks on children. Even Reggie realized there was a line he wouldn’t cross.
Kevin dealt with the fallout of calling it quits with Fangs, which meant that he had to get very honest with himself.
While he couldn’t talk about his issues with Fangs, after hitting on a man in the steam room and getting beat up, he finally confided in his father about being ashamed to be gay.
It was a heartbreaking talk, especially as he blamed his mothers’ offhand comments about his sexual orientation for his desire to cruise.
Kevin has hidden his emotions for quite some time, but until he really confronts them and deals with them, he’s probably right in putting off the wedding and having a baby.
And while I think these storylines are important to address, Kevin does feel a bit forced simply to break up a couple that was standing on solid ground.
Personally, I think it would be awesome to see Kevin, Fangs, and Toni raise a modern, unconventional family, so I’m hoping Kevin eventually arrives at a place where he feels comfortable and secure.
What did you think of tonight’s episode?
Sound off in the comments below, Cravers!
Riverdale Review – Lock & Key Party (5×08)
Cheryl was responsible for a little chaos on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 8 that put into question plenty of relationships.
While a lot can change in seven years, a lot can also stay the same.
At the top of the hour, Kevin and Fangs made a huge announcement – they were engaged. And not only that, but they were also expecting a baby with Toni as part of their nontraditional family.
The fact that Kevin and Fangs turned out to be Toni’s baby daddies was probably the least surprising thing about the episode. The trio has formed such a close-knit bond that it only makes sense.
When Cheryl found out about it, she was furious and decided to throw a “Lock and Key” party to meddle in the relationship.
And everyone was down for one last hurrah where they get a free pass to do whatever they want.
However, the party turned out to be quite the dud. Cheryl tried to make amends with Toni by showing her a nursery at Thornhill, but Toni has matured past this type of behavior.
She didn’t want to be manipulated by Cheryl again, and after so much time apart, she saw how toxic things with Cheryl were when they were younger.
Look, I’m always going to be a #Choni fan, but I have to admit, Cheryl is not okay these days. She’s cooped up in Thornhill with absolutely no sense of reality, while Toni is out there in the real world thriving. She has a career, she’s helping women, she’s running a bar, and she’s about to become a mother.
Her priority now is to protect her baby at all costs, and a life locked up in Thornhill is not the life she wants for her child.
The series has done quite an overhaul with this time jump, and I wish they would have picked a better path for Cheryl.
After being rejected by Toni, Cheryl found solace in the arms of Minerva, who is sticking around cause she wants a Cheryl Blossom original after figuring out that she’s been selling forgeries as the real deal.
Personally, I don’t trust Minerva, but I’m also not quite sure what her angle truly is.
Betty and Archie delivered a rollercoaster of emotions. As she experienced night terrors connected to the TBK, she called her hook-up buddy Archie for comfort.
But sadly, #Barchie fans had to give up on that dream by the end of the hour because Archie was developing feelings for Veronica again. And Betty was scared that the closer she and Archie got, the more her darkness would consume him.
In blatant terms: the clock was running out on being friends with benefits, and they decided it was better to just be friends.
I know it’s upsetting for many fans, but at least their short-lived romance was smoking hot while it lasted.
By the end of the hour, Ronnie and Chadwick agreed to a divorce and she was back in Archie’s arms… just like the good old days.
Does it seem too easy? Absolutely. Chadwick was a manipulative and jealous husband, so the chances of him just surrendering and agreeing to a divorce are slim.
And bringing Veronica and Archie back together feels like the show is falling back on its crutches and undoing all the progress it tried to make with a time jump.
Maybe it would’ve made sense if Archie and Ronnie remained friends for at least half a season before giving in to their feelings.
The good thing is it doesn’t seem like Betty and Jughead are going to get back together anytime soon as they’re both battling their inner demons.
Betty’s dealing with the trauma of the TBK, which she kind of pushed aside by coming back to her hometown, but it’s resurfacing as she deals with another serial killer/ kidnapper who has taken hold of Polly.
Something tells me, however, that Betty and Jughead’s paths will cross as they are dealing with the same monsters.
Polly’s frantic phone call gave Alice hope as it means her daughter is still alive, but Polly’s description of her captor and her surroundings don’t give off the vibe that she’s dealing with something human.
Firstly, she said “they’re coming” as in a plural suspect. Secondly, Alice mentioned that the place she was being held captive sounded like a spaceship.
I wouldn’t think twice of it if Jughead wasn’t seeing aliens and contemplating whether or not he’s going “crazy.”
Maybe Polly has been captured by the Mothman, the rumored legend in Riverdale.
After Jughead had his “encounter,” he’s been haunted by images of aliens. Sure, it could be repressed trauma, but where’s the fun in that?
And it would just make sense for Betty and Jughead’s paths to cross as they both investigate these eerie cases.
After all, they always did some solid detective work.
Tabitha makes for a good sidekick, but she’s no Betty. Though, I’m not opposed to Jughead pursuing a relationship with Tabitha for now because she seems good for him.
Veronica and Chadwick and Archie and Betty weren’t the only couples/friends with benefits to call it quits. Following Cheryl’s party, Kevin, who was clearly having doubts about this next step in his life, informed Fangs that he wasn’t ready to get married. As Fangs said, he basically imploded their relationship of eight years because he got cold feet. I’m not pleased with this decision considering Fangs and Kevin always made it work in a way that worked for them. Fangs was even willing to remain in an open relationship if that would make Kevin happy! What happened?
Though, I guess it’s better to be honest about your feelings than pretending everything is okay and leading someone on. Good on Kevin for doing the right thing even if it hurt like hell.
- That Reggie and Fangs kiss almost knocked me off the couch!
- We finally got a quick peek at Juniper and Dagwood!
- Katy Keene lives to see another day! While I’d rather see Lucy Hale reprise her character, it was great to hear her voice on the other end of the line!
- Are Betty and Veronica even friends anymore? I miss the B&V bond!
What did you think of the episode? Is Riverdale headed in the right direction?
Are you into the Mothman storyline?
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