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Riverdale – The Red Dahlia (3×11)

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Riverdale is a wicked crime town, and no one is innocent. Not Betty, not Jughead, not Archie, and definitely not Veronica.

“The Red Dahlia,” a term Betty used on Penelope in this episode makes the point that the parents are all to blame for the dysfunction and murder.

Though the plots have become twisted and tangled that it may sometimes become a little difficult to follow along, the point being drive home is that Hermione and Penelope are working together to take over Hiram Lodge’s empire.

Penelope was revealed as not only Clifford’s killer but Daryl and Claudius’ as well. Her storyline is very straightforward — she takes out the bad men.

Clifford was responsible for Jason’s death while Claudius was responsible for poisoning Sweetwater River thus leading to seizures in the high school.

Now, how does Hermione play into all of this?

Her web of lies is a bit more complex.

As we know, Riverdale writers love playing with the structure of an episode and Jughead’s ‘who-dun-it’ film noir vibe gave this town even more, er, charm.

Jughead doesn’t strike me as the type of guy eager to find Hiram Lodge’s shooter, however, when Veronica asks sweetly, his crime-solving and investigative reporter senses began tingling and it was an offer he couldn’t pass up.

Much like the rest of us, Veronica assumed her mother was responsible for shooting her father.

And she was technically wrong.

While Hermione didn’t do the crime, she did place the order.

FP Jones confessed to killing Hermione in exchange for the Sherriff’s position.

Now, admittedly, this wasn’t much of a surprise. Much of the town has a bone to pick with Hiram, but there are two dads in particular that really want revenge for how he’s treated their sons — Fred and FP.

Fred may have threated Hiram in the last episode, but he doesn’t have the guts to carry something like that out.

But FP? Yeah, that dude has it in him.

FP believed the Sheriff position would ensure his safety is Hermione tried to double-cross him, which she definitely attempted, but Jughead was one step ahead of them all.

After meeting with Hermione, he didn’t necessarily trust her and her attempts at steering Juggy in a different direction to Hiram’s mistress didn’t absolve her of anything.

Jughead had his Serpent’s follow her and what they found out had the ability to shake Riverdale to its core: Sheriff Minetta, previously believed to have been beheaded by the Man in Black, was as alive as ever and having an affair with Hermione.

What’s worse? Hermione wanted him to go finish off her husband with a cop’s gun so she could pin the blame on FP.

Look, I underestimated Hermione — that lady is wicked.

Minetta isn’t the first person to turn up alive in Riverdale after believing to be dead, however.

Tallboy resurrected for a bit as the Gargoyle King only to end up dead again this time at the hands of the Sweet Pea and Fangs.

Jughead and FP were presented with the opportunity to frame someone that’s already dead with the attempted attack on Hiram, which evidently angered Madam Mayor.

Another hiccup in Hermione’s plan? Archie Andrews.

Archie’s hatred for the Man in Black actually ended up saving his life which is something neither she, nor we, nor he (Archie) expected.

Archie thought that killing Hiram would somehow put an end to his spiraling. I appreciate the effort, but man Archie, get it together.

Archie was never going to go through with killing Hiram, but at the very least the moment showed us that this isn’t the optimistic and doe-eyed man we met in the first season.

He’s been through a lot and that’s changed him.

However, while sneaking into Hiram’s room in a completely deserted hospital room (seriously, after they mentioned jobs Hiram rarely go unfinished, you’d think the hospital at least be staffed) he botches Minetta’s plans to off Hiram as a favor to Hermione.

Archie is back on the hero train, y’all!

Veronica was grateful, but she still had a lot to take care of.

She was basically upkeeping the family’s mafia status to prevent the vultures from taking over.

Thankfully, she had Smithers and Reggie to help her with it, and you have to admit there’s something intriguing about Reggie posing as the Man in Black. Is this a possible foreshadowing for what’s to come with Ronnie’s relationship?

The main course constituted of dealing with the Fizzle Rocks factory situation.

Both the prison and the Maple Club were pumping out the drugs, which Hermione claimed to know nothing about.

She told Veronica that the quarantine was a smokescreen to cleanly and swiftly dismantle production, however, Hiram lied to her and consolidated everything into the prison.

Hermione is interested in selling the factory off and getting a good chunk of change, but that doesn’t eliminate the problem — drugs would still continue to be pumped out into Riverdale.

Veronica has a much better idea of just destroying the drugs and the factory altogether. It’s a bold choice as it does basically burn all of Hiram’s investments, not to mention screws out a buyer. I wonder how Hiram will react once he finds out.

Outing Tallboy as the Gargoyle King was pretty lame, but I’m wondering if it was a red herring and Hermione is the real master manipulator.

After Minetta failed to kill Hiram and her plans were thwarted by Archie, FP and Jughead, Hermione ruthlessly had to cut looses ends and shot Minetta point-blank.

Who knew she had it in her?

Kelly Ripa’s appearance as Hiram’s mistress was underwhelming.

Her acting wasn’t good at all, and during her scene with Jughead, I couldn’t concentrate on anything but that.

But also adding her into the narrative simply to explain that she faked the water reports so that Hiram could continue operating his drug factory was lame.

Will see more of her?

Penelope may have inadvertently confessed to being a killer, although serial killer is pushing it, Betty isn’t any better.

In fact, lecturing Penelope was very hypocritical of her since she basically sold out Chic to the Black Hood.

And Penelope made sure to let her know if she turned her in, she would turn Betty in.

I still don’t understand the point of Hal and Betty’s meetings unless they are showing us that Betty’s beginning to understand why people become deranged in crime town.

In the end, everyone was at a stalemate.

Penelope made sure Betty wouldn’t turn her in because if she did, she’d turn Betty in for Chic’s death.

Hermione confessed to everything, but Jughead couldn’t report her because she promised to take his father down with him.

And Archie and Hiram may have made up, but where do they go from here?

Hiram was thankful, obviously, and Archie was so stunned by his own actions, he agreed to a truce.

Do I really think that Hiram would just have a change of heart? He searched near and far to get his hands on Archie so it seems unlikely that he’d just let it all go.

The only way Hiram would let his vendetta go is if he’s benefitting from it in some way.

What has Archie agreed to now?

Archie needs a sense of direction because as it stands, he himself isn’t even sure if he loves or loathes Hiram.

Maybe Josie’s interest in him and his excitement to return to “jamming” out will bring back the old Archie?

If Josie is about to be Archie’s new love interest, I’ll stan it as long as it gives her more free time.

However, she’s too sweet and innocent to corrupt so please don’t go that route!

Are we at the end of Hiram Lodge?

What happens now that Hermione has taken the reigns? And where the hell are those weirdos from The Farm?


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

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Riverdale

Riverdale Midseason Finale Review – The Pincushion Man (5×10)

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Riverdale Review The Pincushion Man Season 5 Episode 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?

Riverdale Review The Pincushion Man Season 5 Episode 10

Riverdale — “Chapter Eighty-Six: The Pincushion Man” — Image Number: RVD510fg_0065r — Pictured: Chris Mason as Chad Gekko — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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!


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Riverdale

Riverdale Review – Destroyer (5×09)

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Riverdale Review Destroyer Season 5 Episode 8

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. 

Riverdale Review Destroyer Season 5 Episode 8

Riverdale — “Chapter Eighty-Five: Destroyer” — Image Number: XXX — Pictured (L-R): Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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!


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Riverdale

Riverdale Review – Lock & Key Party (5×08)

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Riverdale Review Lock and Key Season 5 Episode 8

 

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. 

Riverdale Review Lock and Key Season 5 Episode 8

Riverdale — “Chapter Eighty-Four: Lock & Key” — Image Number: RVD508b_0122r — Pictured (L-R): Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones and Erinn Westbrook as Tabitha Tate — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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. 

Other Moments

  • 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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