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 Midseason Premiere – Yale, Spirit Week, and Maple Syrup Rum (4×10)
Riverdale did something wild on this week’s episode – it channeled high school sports as the students acted like, dare I say, high school teenagers.
It’s totally normal if you forgot that Archie still plays football or that he’s QB.
The series has been trying to return to the high-school setting for one more season, but no episode is more teen drama than “Varsity Blues.”
The championship game between Riverdale and Stonewall Prep, seemingly the only other school in the area, divides everyone.
Betty takes her assignment from Mr. Honey about the Bulldogs making the championship and elevates it by writing a riveting expose about how Stonewall Prep plays dirty. And yet, Mr. Honey nixes it because it stirs up too much trouble and he was eyeing a fluff piece, which he should’ve known is Betty’s style.
It doesn’t deter Betty, however, as she’s determined to bring down Stonewall, and Brett, in some capacity and proposes that they start a quiz team to enter the quiz show competition. What’s this new competitive nature that’s gotten into Betty? She clearly doesn’t like Brett because he’s a pompous, egotistical ass, but is there something else driving her need to beat him? Also, is it a coincidence their names are so similar? The sheer amount of times I wrote “Bretty” right now is sickening.
There’s some tension between Betty and Jughead, though, they do their best to work through it.
Despite not applying, Jughead has landed an interview with Yale, but he’s concerned it won’t sit well with Betty who didn’t get in.
Betty offers the “I wouldn’t ask you to give up this opportunity” response, which seems genuine enough.
And yet, the moment she learns Jughead has joined the Quill and Skull secret society, she can’t help but exude a little resentment.
While it seems like they smooth it over, there’s the lingering knowledge that we all have from a previous episode that showed Betty clobbering Jughead over the head and Archie pronouncing him dead.
And we cannot forget the episode where FP Jones arrests Betty, Archie, and Veronica for Jughead’s murder.
The flashforward offered on this week’s episode adds onto the mystery of what happened with Jughead, but instead of providing any clarity, it raises more questions.
A month from now, we see Betty cleaning out Jughead’s room and crying as Brett informs her that Jughead will not be attending Yale. “It’s just you and me in New Haven,” he adds, which means that Betty is now going to Yale.
Did dark Betty possess her and take Jughead’s spot? Did Jughead get her in somehow?
The reason “why” Jughead isn’t going to Yale isn’t immediately clear, but if those flash-forwards are any indication, it’s because he’s dead.
If he isn’t dead and this is some evil trick being played on us by the writers, then maybe it’s for the best because Jughead’s admission seems to be hinged on some more shady dealings with Stonewall Prep.
Everything is so cryptic with them, and I just cannot trust Brett when he tells Jughead that maybe they’ll be roomies.
Back in Riverdale, Archie is gearing up for the big game, but after Stonewall’s bullies take out the team’s best player, Mad Dog, by physically assaulting him and injuring his knee, the team loses its best player.
That’s when Archie’s uncle Frank swoops in and offers some pain killers because that’s totally normal — an adult offering a kid drugs. Actually, in Riverdale, it is.
There’s a reason why Mary is so adamant in her hatred for Frank and it’s because he smells like bad news.
Mad Dog is an adult, so he takes the pills and plays the game. Archie breathes a sigh of relief because nothing happens to him and he impressed a recruit, but it could’ve. Now, if Riverdale had better story consistency, I would say that this storyline isn’t over and Mad Dog will suffer some consequences for playing with an injury, but I doubt this will ever be brought up again.
The Lodge wars continue as Veronica and Hiram go battle it out for the best whiskey in town. I wouldn’t have pegged Riverdale for a rum town, it seems more like a draft beer town, but sure. The best part of this whole storyline is that Veronica isn’t even 21 and yet, she’s out here selling off cases of her special blend rum. Girl, you’re not even old enough to try it.
Although, I’m really digging Veronica and Cheryl’s team-up. If she’s going to make a rum, it better be a maple-syrup flavored one.
But those two are definitely not old enough to take those shots.
Cheryl spent most of the episode quibbling with the new HBIC brought on to coach the Vixens. She didn’t know what hit her when Ms. Appleyard stood up to her and wasn’t intimidated by her mean girl demeanor. Newsflash: that’s the real world Cheryl.
Of course, Cheryl staged a coup and got her Vixens back in time for the game, but maybe it would have been for the best if she let Appleyard take the wheel. The pop song they performed was cringe-worthy yet again proving that Riverdale’s strong suit isn’t musical numbers. They are really good at murders, though, if anyone is concerned.
Other Riverdale Musings
- As part of his initiation, Jughead told the Q&S society his deepest darkest secrets. Did they not learn ANYTHING from The Farm? This is how they get you – this is how cults operate!
- Brett and Donna’s deepest and darkest secrets reveal they have both endured some trauma. Hurt people hurt people, which explains their behavior towards Jughead, but it doesn’t excuse it.
- Archie got arrested again. But at least he’s brave enough to own up to the punches he throws rather than hiding under bunny masks. Cough, Brett, cough.
- A classic B&V brings us to old school Riverdale days. Too bad Jughead ruined everything.
- Veronica and Reggie keyed Hiram’s car and poured rum into his engine. What is this middle school?
- Cheryl telling Appleyard that her body is perfection is a 2020 mood.
What did you think of the Riverdale midseason premiere?
Did Betty kill Jughead?
12 Crazy Moments from the Riverdale Season 4 Fall Finale
Riverdale is known from its crazy plot twists, and given that this was the midseason finale, we were expecting the cream of the crop.
We were not disappointed.
Take a look back at the wildest moments of the night.
Caution: spoilers ahead.
You can read the full review of Riverdale Season 4 Episode 9 right here!
1. Polly Clawed off a Nurse’s Face
We haven’t seen Polly for a hot minute. If I’m being exact, I think the last time we saw her was when she tried to drown Alice as part of some Farm “rebirth” ritual. And now when we saw her, she was tied up to a bed after disfiguring a nurse at Shady Grove named Betty. Yes, disfiguring.
2. Alice Tries to Attack her Daughter with a Butcher Knife
Honestly, the headline says it all. Both Alice and Polly went full psycho after picking up a phone call that hypnotized them into attempting to kill Betty. Somehow, there’s a logical explanation.
3. Tangerine, Tangerine, Tangerine
Anyone else wondering if there’s some unrevealed backstory to the word tangerine? Does Betty hate tangerines? Did she give them to a student that was allergic? Or is the word innocent enough to hide the fact that it hypnotizes people into turning into Betty and attempting to kill her dark side aka her?
In Betty’s case, that means she’d have to kill herself, which was all part of The Farm, Edgar, and Evelyn’s plan. Seriously, how is she still getting phone privileges?
4. Cheryl Gassing Thistlehouse
While gassing the house up maybe have been a bonkers idea, it worked to snuff out the darkness hiding within the brick walls of Thistlehouse: Penelope. Cheryl figured out it was her mother who was gaslighting her in hopes that she’d lose her mind because of the Julian doll. Who knew a little roach gas was all she need to see clearly?
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Riverdale Fall Finale Review – Who Killed Jughead? (4×09)
Riverdale took a sharp turn for its midseason finale bringing the Jughead death into clear, well, clearer, view.
There were clues leading up to the killer’s identity throughout much of the episode.
Betty has always lived with Dark Betty’s shadow looming over her, and she’s been terrified of her serial killer gene ever since taking the FBI for kids (or whatever it was called) class, so her desire to eliminate this part of her wasn’t random, but the way the storyline was carried out was.
Evelyn was able to make two calls from Shankshaw Prison to Polly and Alice and hypnotized them via a trigger word that made them kill “Betty” aka the person in the vicinity that they believed was Betty.
Oh, and the trigger word was “tangerine” because apparently, Riverdale has a thing against sweet, orange, fruit.
At this point, I just shrug my shoulders and roll with it.
Betty was afraid that she’d be affected by the trigger word, though, it’s unlikely since she was never brainwashed by the Farm, right?
Then again, we don’t know what happened while she was briefly holed up inside those walls.
However, Betty tested it in front of Charles, which, knowing what we know, was a terrible idea, but Charles has made himself trustworthy so Betty figured this was fine.
She wasn’t phased by the trigger word immediately, but she was taken back to her youth, specifically, the moment Dark Betty was born. I cannot watch poor Caramel get crushed to death by a rock over and over, guys.
Betty’s logical was that if she could go back in time and prevent Dark Betty from being born, she’d fix the dark part of herself that she hated.
Again, sure. I’d be more inclined to think that was a good solution if it came from a therapist and not from Charles, who we know has ulterior motives.
But Betty did it and went to sleep thinking she was safe despite breaking her mirror with her fist and being completely unphased. Oh boy.
So, when the series flashed forward to Betty standing over Jughead holding a rock and presumably killing him the same way she’d killed Caramel before, it wasn’t surprising in the context of plot development.
However, looking at it as fans of the series and Betty and Jughead solo as well as a couple, it was outrageous.
The series would never allow Betty to kill her boyfriend unless they wanted to enrage fandoms and ensure the end of the series as we know it.
Which means that a. that isn’t Jughead, it’s an evil twin brother, b. Archie assumed he was dead when he was just knocked out, c. it’s a sequel to Jughead’s Baxter Brothers novel since the one that got him the contract drew inspiration from the murder of Jason Blossom, or d. I don’t know, and I’m packing.
What do you think the final scene means for Jughead going forward? Is he dead?
After scoring the contract to become the next Baxter Brothers ghost-writer, Jughead attempted to locate his grandfather.
And, he found him. Or someone who claimed to be Forsythe. He looked more like Santa than what I’d imagine FP’s abusive father would look like but whatever.
It was surprisingly easy for Jughead to locate a man who went missing years ago and didn’t want to be found. The fact that Charles helped him find Forsythe also doesn’t sit well with me. If Charles and Chip are working together to destroy Betty then chances are, they’d want to destroy Jughead too.
What are the odds this is an actor who was paid to tell Jughead what he wanted to hear about the Baxter Brothers novel so he would sign the contract?
Based on Jughead’s first words to the man, he didn’t know what his grandfather looked like, and FP never saw him since the man cleared out the trailer before Jughead could reunite them.
It’s too fishy.
Charles has been trusted by both Betty and Jughead so he knows everything and thus, can manipulate them with their weaknesses.
Another day, another terrible Archie idea.
Archie refuses to give up his vigilante life because he thinks he’s making a difference. He wants to follow in his father’s footsteps but really, his father would be disappointed in him handling everything with his fists and not his brain, though, he’d probably understand since thinking logically was never Archie’s strong suit.
Somehow, FP managed to get roped into Archie’s crusade, which would be fine if FP was solely a Serpent, but he’s also the damn Sheriff and shouldn’t be encouraging violence.
Nothing has ever truly been solved with a fistfight.
Archie didn’t just put himself in danger, but he caused FP to get shot at Pops again! How many times can a masked criminal shoot someone Archie cares about? This town, honestly.
FP fared better than Fred did when he took a bullet last time, but this triggered Archie to make another rash decision — beating up Dodger one last time.
He couldn’t let it go. Dodger and Darla were on their way out of town and yet, Archie had to go and pound him into the ground.
I’m sure there was satisfaction in that, but Archie’s grief anger brought him too close to killing a man.
And now, he’s going to have to make it up to the kids in the center who look up to him as a role model but saw him standing over a bloodied man and threatening to murder him. He’s no better than Dodger.
Veronica’s beef with Hiram is getting unbelievable. She tattled on him to his mom and he attempted to sabotage her chances of getting into an Ivy League college.
How old are they?
Veronica should have known that her father would have a patent on the rum. He’s a brilliant businessman!
And she also needs to just cut herself off from him completely, which means giving up this rum competition and focusing on what brings her joy outside of taking down her father.
Also, there’s no way any admissions interviewer would be impressed with that show Ronnie put on. Everything about it was so terrible.
And then there’s Cheryl who seems to be regaining some sanity despite locking her mother up in a bunker as a hostage. Look, Penelope had it coming.
After her productive chat with the therapist on the former Riverdale episode, Cheryl realized someone was gaslighting her and making her believe she was crazy.
The only logical person would be Penelope, so Cheryl snuffed her out by gassing Thistlehouse.
She then put her on trial so that Penelope would face all the horrendous things she’s done, and Penelope admitted she was fueled by jealousy over Cheryl’s relationship with dead Jason. Again, what?
The positive outcome was that Cheryl acknowledged it was time to let Jason rest even if the way she sent him away was by re-enacting his death down Sweetwater River.
You know, I’m going to let this one slide for Cheryl’s sanity.
Other Riverdale Thoughts
- Is the Farm responsible for those stalker-ish VHS tapes too? Isn’t it time to wrap up the Farm storyline? It keeps rearing its ugly head when it should have been left behind in Season 3.
- Why didn’t anyone question why Cheryl had a mummified corpse of Jason?
- Jughead was initiated into the secret society, but he should have just rejected the offer.
What did you think of the Riverdale midseason finale?
Are things getting too insane even by Riverdale standards?
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