There were so many instrumental moments on tonight’s Riverdale, and we all owe a great deal to Mrs. Burble (guest star Gina Torres).
This episode was our response to us asking: “why aren’t these teens in therapy?”
Therapy in Riverdale is long overdue, and I didn’t realize just how overdue until all these teens were forced to sit down and talk about their emotional trauma.
Boy, that was a handful. And these are just the core 5 students. We haven’t even graced the surface of what Kevin, Toni, and friends are feeling.
Their introspective breakthroughs alone made this episode one of the best, strongest, and most mature in the vault.
Betty’s been scarred for life by a half-present mother who could only muster up the excuse that “she loved her too much.” Yes, there’s such a thing as smothering someone with love and overparenting.
Alice didn’t want to come to terms that she was losing her baby, but there’s no denying that Betty’s been a fully functioning adult for quite some time now.
Is Alice that naive that she didn’t know her daughter was having sex with Jughead? They sleep in the same bed.
But more importantly, the sex part is what she’s overly concerned with?
I thought I was going to have to go off at the television listing all the other situations that have probably “distracted” Betty more than having sex, but thankfully, I didn’t have to because Betty handled it herself.
Everything Betty went off about on Mrs. Burble’s couch echoed the audiences’ sentiments.
Murdering the Shady Man, saving her mother from a cult, getting locked away at the Sister’s of Quiet Mercy and drugged up to hallucinate the Gargoyle King… half of those things, Alice was responsible for. And here she is thinking sex was going to destroy Betty’s life.
Archie’s diagnosis was pretty straightforward: grief-induced anger.
The worst part is that he’s aware of why he is the way that he is, but he still allows his “addiction” of helping people and blindly and stupidly putting himself at risk to take over. He cannot help his hero-complex.
Mrs. Burble mentioned that she doesn’t expect everyone to change after one session and one realization, and we should have listened because even after Archie acknowledged the problem, he went back to his old ways of handling them.
The good news is that Cheryl did NOT consume her fraternal brother in the womb, which means someone is definitely messing with her to convince her that she’s going crazy.
I can’t say I agree with Burble’s lenient take on talking to taxidermy. Maybe Cheryl wasn’t clear enough when she explained her coping mechanisms, but she’s literally talking to a mummified Jason that was dug up from the grave.
That’s not nearly the same thing as chatting with someone’s urn or their gravestone. Not in the slightest.
Personally, Cheryl should continue therapy and properly bury her brother so he can rest in peace and she can move on.
But also, who is screwing with her?
I’m inclined to believe that Toni’s responsible simply because she’s still living at Thistlehouse when every other sane human being would move far, far away.
However, that would require destroying the Choni relationship, and Riverdale doesn’t seem to be interested in messing with it. Therefore, it’s probably Cheryl’s MIA mother. There has to be some benefit to Penelope convincing her daughter that she’s lost it.
Veronica finally acknowledged her obsessive relationship with Hiram Lodge. It’s more than daddy issues at this point because the two of them love to hate each other.
Burble did a great job of highlighting the most pressing issue: Veronica has never actually wanted to walk away.
She says one thing but does another.
Despite her disgust, Veronica still respects Hiram, calls his “daddy,” and willingly lives at the house.
It’s a toxic relationship that’ll only stop once she completely severs ties with him and sticks to her guns.
Is she capable of that? Time will tell. Rejecting Harvard to go to the competition “Yale” is one thing, but it’s another to completely rid your life of the man that gave you life.
And lastly, Jughead was called out for taking the easy way out and feeding into Stonewall Prep’s beliefs about him.
They say he’s not good enough, so why should he prove them otherwise. That’s been his take on it mostly because he’s been procrastinating his writing and college applications due to his Mr. Chipping conspiracies.
But here, again, I didn’t exactly agree with Burble.
She made some valid points about Jughead getting too obsessed with the wrong thing, sabotaging himself, and idolizing a man who caused his father so much pain while ignoring his father’s self-success at becoming a better person.
All that was 100% on point.
However, Jughead’s not delusional about what’s going on at Stonewall Prep. They are hiding some secret that was responsible for Mr. Chipping’s public suicide and is also apparently now responsible for the deaths of other notorious children novelist’s from Stonewall.
In short, someone is committing murder! And the only two people still alive are DuPont and Forsythe, who we know is MIA.
But what if he isn’t?
What if Forsythe is pulling the strings on this secret society? Maybe he doesn’t want to be found and the death, DuPont’s stand-offish attitude towards Jughead, and the rest of the classmates are all protecting that.
In Riverdale, anything is possible.
His murder conspiracy also leads into his Baxter Brothers’ “perfect murder” novel, which Betty said was “really good” and “put his own spin on it.”
Is that a clue that the final scene that’s playing out is a scene from Jughead’s book.
Maybe I’m looking too much into it, but the lighting in the scene, the vibe, and the music was all off.
There’s also no way Archie, Betty, and Veronica would casually walk into a lineup like that as they were accused of killing their best friend unless it was to fool everyone into believing that was really the case.
You can read all my theories about what’s going on with Jughead right here!
Another wonderful thing about this episode was how Riverdale normalized therapy.
There is so much stigma surrounding mental health and getting help that an episode showing teens doing just that without shame goes a long way.
As does the fact that Mrs. Burble dissected every single ridiculous thing about the show psychologically that explained the madness behind the series in a sensical way.
I could almost get into the minds of the writers and how they craft story-arcs. It’s a way I’ve never looked at the narrative of this show.
But while we were all distracted with the self-reflective progress the teens were making, it was easy to gloss over the oddities about Burble.
She was great at her job, at identifying problems, and at helping them all work through them.
But how did she know everything about them? School’s don’t usually have files about everything that happens in a specific student’s life.
She knew some of their deepest and darkest secrets, and she knew exactly where to put pressure to make them talk.
All of this, paired with a very fleeting and casual mention of the VCR tapes, which the beginning of the episode emphasized again, makes me think there’s something much more sinister to the psychologist than meets the eye.
Has she been spying on everyone?
Does she want people to know they’re being watched so they attempt to be better people?
Lastly, how will Riverdale continue when they all go to college? If we’re to consider that the flashforwards are simply part of Jughead’s novel then all of them will be attending school somewhere else in the fall.
Betty didn’t get into Yale, but that’s where Veronica is going. Archie plans to stay in Riverdale and who knows where Jug applied or if he’ll even go considering his predicament.
Riverdale won’t be Riverdale if half of them aren’t in town anymore and the small town mysteries aren’t dominating their lives.
How do you think the show will carry on?
What’s happening with Jughead?
Will Veronica ever be free of her dad?
Is Archie self-destructive?
How wild is Betty and Alice’s relationship?
Riverdale Review – Dance of Death (5×17)
The mystery of the Mothmen finally came to an end, along with the mystery of what happened to Polly Cooper.
Jughead, Betty, and Tabitha closed in on the truth on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 17 as another young girl named Britta went missing while Lynette Fields aka Squeaky was confirmed dead.
Is anyone else a bit bummed that the Squeaky mystery didn’t have too much meat to it?
The Mothmen mystery also wasn’t supernatural in the slightest, which isn’t exactly shocking when it comes to Riverdale.
The series always hints at the supernatural before elaborating on a story of serial killers.
In this case, the serial killers picked up women on the Lonely Highway because they enjoyed the hunt.
When compared to all the previous mysteries, this one was definitely the weakest.
Jughead’s former student, the sleepwalker who turned up after a week, is the one who clued them into the location of the Mothmen’s lair.
Turns out, it was none other than old man Dreyfuss, the one who told Jughead all about the Mothmen in the first place.
Dreyfuss was a Starkweather, a member of a family of Blossom offspring that were given away and raised in the woods. Yes, this is a true story straight from Nana’s mouth.
Another Starkweather brother included the man Betty captured that bit off his own tongue.
They were all in cahoots working the Lonely Highway and protecting each other.
They assumed they were preying on women that no one cared about — that is until Polly came along.
Eventually, Betty was able to get the location of Polly’s body out of Dreyfuss, and while it provided her family with some closure, it was far from the outcome Betty wanted for her sister.
And it was even more disturbing that it was an act of crime on Betty’s family by her own family.
On the plus side, it was nice to see Betty and Jughead team up for yet another mystery. There hasn’t been one that these couldn’t solve.
Toni was back, and she joined the crusade along with Fangs, who is helping her raise baby Anthony.
There hasn’t been much of a storyline for Toni, but it was sweet that she went to bat for Britta, a student who confided in her about being gay and asked her to be there to come out to her parents.
But all of this was maple syrup under the bridge because the most shocking moment came when Veronica killed Chadwick and turned on Hiram Lodge.
I know she’s turned on her father plenty of times before, but this time felt different.
This time, she took Archie’s side 100%.
And she didn’t even seem phased to shoot Chad as she zenned out in a tub with Archie just hours after.
This whole show is bonkers.
Chad deserved everything that came his way after he plotted to kill Archie and then attacked Veronica in her own home.
Clearly, taking advice from Hiram Lodge wasn’t a sound solution.
Veronica also realized she could never forgive her father for drumming up a mine explosion to kill Archie.
It’s honestly insane that this adult is still so hung up over a man half his age.
Archie may have been collateral damage in Veronica’s beef with Hiram over the palladium, but it was still very a very childish decision on his part.
Will this be the final straw in Veronica’s relationship with Hiram?
I feel like after all that has transpired, she either abandons her father or faces the consequences of losing Archie.
Will she pay to price for what happened to Chad? Or will self-defense hold up considering he tried to ambush her?
Cheryl may have found her calling as the divine.
Though her friends, including Kevin, had little faith in her religion, Cheryl seemed to believe in herself after seeing her prayers to Mother Earth aka Gaia answered as Archie emerged from the mines.
Will Kevin return to stand by Cheryl’s side?
And am I the only one completely annoyed with this church storyline?
What did you think of Riverdale? Are you enjoying the fact that it gets crazier by the week?
Let us know in the comments below!
Riverdale Review – Band of Brothers (5×16)
Riverdale is slowly trudging along toward some kind of resolution for the varying stories it introduced throughout season 6, including the Moth Men, TBK (Trash Bag Killer), the Trucker Killer on the Lonely Highway, the Church of Cheryl, and Hiram’s obsession with palladium.
As of right now, none of these things seem to intersect, but we’re all still watching hoping that it all feeds into some bigger picture.
Otherwise, this may go down as the most random season of Riverdale to date.
Archie continued to deal with the ghosts of his past by attempting to get justice for his men and putting General Taylor in his place. Seeing how Taylor threatened Archie, I anticipated that we would see Archie and Eric testify at the tribunal. At the very least, I expected to see some form of retaliation from Taylor, but the storyline wrapped up almost as quickly as it ended.
Are we to believe that Archie finally found peace? And that Taylor went down without a fight?
Jughead was making amends with an apology tour. Mr. Weatherbee made the cut, as did Tabitha, and, eventually, Betty.
He needed to apologize for the voicemail he left the night of his book release.
But for Betty, it was all under the bridge as she admitted to willingly choosing her obsession with serial killers over him.
I’m glad Betty and Jughead worked it out and found themselves on good terms, but I’m even happier that Jughead came clean about the fact that he submitted Cora’s novel as his own.
While he may have found himself in a tough spot with his writing career hanging in the balance, it’s never okay to pass someone else’s work off as your own.
Not meeting deadlines is bad, but plagiarism will get you canceled.
Thankfully, he knew better and took the hit.
Jughead’s first novel was born from spontaneity, and clearly, forcing another best-seller isn’t how it works.
Though, if he really wanted to, I’m sure he could find plenty of inspiration right in Riverdale.
He could always take inspiration from Betty, who admitted that she would rather investigate serial killers than socialize with other people.
It’s weird, yes, but Betty has always had a darkness about her that made her different from everyone else. It’s not exactly surprising.
Her work on the Lonely Highway is proving to be fruitless, and that’s probably because word of the truckers disappearance got around.
Unfortunately, the episode ended with an ominous warning from Jughead about something bad happening to both Betty and Tabitha.
Cheryl has gone off the deep end, I’m convinced of it.
She teamed up with Kevin to gain authority over the church, but while he thought they were simply punking the general public, Cheryl seemed to believe that she was really a gift sent from the divine.
Kevin’s face when he realized what he’d gotten into was priceless.
I don’t really understand the storyline with Cheryl, and to be honest, I feel like it’s a wasted character.
And finally, no one messes with Veronica Lodge.
In one fell swoop, she freed herself from Chad’s grasp and undermined Hiram Lodge. Win-win!
I’d expect plenty of retaliation from both parties, but when Chad sent the SEC on her company, she pushed back by stealing the palladium from Hiram Lodge, auctioning it off for a hefty price, and paying back all the investors he screwed over.
And then, as he celebrated his company going public, she tanked his stocks to ensure that no one ever messed with her again.
Petty Veronica is my favorite Veronica.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below!
Riverdale Review – The Return of the Pussycats (5×15)
As the title of the episode revealed, Josie and the Pussycats returned to Riverdale.
Well, to be honest, I have no idea where Val and Melody have been this whole time, so it’s possible they’ve been thriving in Riverdale and it was just Josie who rolled back into town.
Regardless, Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15 saw their overdue reunion of the girl group and even sparked a reconciliation.
If memory serves me, Riverdale takes place roughly two years after the events of the now-canceled Katy Keene, which is when fans last saw Josie living in New York as a struggling artist.
It’s safe to say that her efforts paid off; By the time she arrives back in her hometown, she’s a global superstar!
Josie the pop icon has a nice ring to it, even if it does feel slightly forced.
Her return to Riverdale is personal as we find out that she ditched a show in Berlin after finding out that her father died of a heart attack unexpectedly.
It doesn’t take long for Josie to be reminded that Riverdale is a dark place when a man named Mr. Sweets approaches her and her mother to inform them that her father was mixed up in some bad stuff in New Orleans and may have been murdered.
Normally, one would question such an accusation made by a random man, but again, this is Riverdale; Josie and her mom simply get on the tour bus and decide to make NOLA their first stop in order to investigate.
The whole episode basically felt like a backdoor pilot to yet another spinoff, which should’ve happened long ago.
While I love Josie and I love that she finally got the recognition she deserved throughout most of the series, I don’t see this working simply because Katy Keene failed.
And what would it even be? A musical series hinged on a murder mystery? The CW sure loves those, so I’m not putting it past them.
Everyone on that tour bus would surely appear on the spinoff, including Sweet Pea (Josie’s new-again lover) and Alan Mayberry, Val’s boyfriend. Yes, Alan Mayberry, just like character from the comics who also appears in Scooby-Doo. Now, I’m convinced there’s going to be a murder mystery, detective-aspect to the spinoff!
The only way I’ll be fully behind a Josie spinoff is if they cast a live-action Scooby-Doo, too!
While Val and Melody were even more sidelined on Riverdale than Josie, the episode tapped into their backstories, and it turns out, they’ve both been pretty successful.
Val is an artist and a political activist, while Melody wrote a book that was optioned by Tyler Perry.
Both of their trajectories make me think that they were able to get far, far away from Riverdale considering the rest of their peers haven’t seen even a sliver of their success.
As Josie navigated her old stomping grounds, she made it clear that she wasn’t someone to be messed with.
When Hiram Lodge tried to file a noise complaint, Josie proved that she had way more pull than he did, and it was the icing on the cake that she called him out for still being a “little b****.” Don’t mess with Josie!
However, the episode felt very disconnected from what’s been happening on Riverdale this season, which, in its own right, has been all over the place. There was no mention of Archie’s PTSD, Betty was somehow totally over the fact that she’s been hunting down creeps on The Lonely Highway, and Jughead’s Rat King story seemed like a very faint, faint, faint memory.
It almost seemed normal…. almost.
Coincidentally, Alexandra Cabot also happened to be in Riverdale at the same time Josie returned. A little refresher: Josie dated Alexandra’s brother, Alexander, on the brief spinoff, so the two are rivals.
Alexandra confronted Veronica in hopes of getting back the money she invested with Ronnie’s husband, Chadwick, whom we know put her in a really tight financial situation.
Instead of paying out, Veronica took the opportunity to present Alexandra with an investment into Pop’s as Tabitha explained that she wanted to franchise the business.
Small town vibe at a diner with delicious food? Alexandra would be a fool to pass up on this opportunity!
Since Riverdale can’t pass up on a musical number, Alexandra, Tabitha, and Toni joined forces up for a little choreographed performance to sweeten the deal.
Was anyone else as surprised to see Toni as I was? I thought the show forgot about her!.
Thankfully, her presence was felt as she went into labor during Josie’s set, once again upstaging the Pussycats.
In true small-town fashion, everyone stuck around to be there for the birth, which happened in a backroom of Pops’…. I can’t imagine that’s sanitary!
Cheryl and Fangs teamed up to deliver the baby, which is also strange. I wouldn’t want my ex to deliver a baby, but weirder things have happened in Riverdale.
And finally, Toni, Fangs, and Kevin introduced their baby boy, Anthony a.k.a. Tony, to the world. Yep, Toni and Tony. That’s bound to get confusing.
Tony’s birth was a glimmer of hope and light in an otherwise dark and twisted town!
What did you think of the episode? Would you watch a Josie-centered spinoff?
It takes courage for a series to acknowledge the missteps it made with characters, particularly characters of color, Riverdale did more than acknowledge as it seemingly tried to make amends. Let’s hope the sentiment is extended to Toni as she was promised so much screen time but hasn’t had much of a storyline all season!
Sound-off with your thoughts in the comments below!
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