Slutshaming , Betty gets weird and Archie befriends the Pussycats. Riverdale finds its groove as a show outside of its murder mystery plot.
Last episode saw Cheryl Blossom confessing she was guilty and being taken away, this episode quickly flips it around as she instantly clarifies she’s not guilty of her brother’s murder. Which I think we all knew, it’d be a weird if the central plot of the story was exposed in just a few episodes. But instead Cheryl and Jason were planning on running away, Jason faking his death so their parents wouldn’t come after them.
Neither the Principal or the Sheriff press on Cheryl as to why two sixteen year olds would go to such extremes in order to run away, instead what they take from her is the elusive gun shot heard on the 4th of July weekend as an attempt on Jason’s life.
And the only way that is believed is because Archie corroborates the story saying he was there on July 4th as well only then he gets in trouble or some bullshit I don’t know, Archie was very much a non entity this episode.
Chuck and Veronica go on a date that looks right at home in a Hallmark movie but the next day at school the Jock has announced Veronica did a ‘sticky maple.’ Implied to be a sexual act and one of those quirks from a small town Chuck is unrepentant in his accusations.
Just on a sidenote: Fans of this show have pointed out that heterosexual relationships are written to be skeevy or abusive. This episode does nothing to dispel this theory or that maybe Betty and Veronica do belong together.
The rumour-mill untrue slut shaming is a staple of the high school drama but in the days of Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill there wasn’t a name for it. And these girls aren’t about too let it stand, in a post Steubenville world the large group of girls all apart of this ranking system doesn’t seem all that unbelievable and neither does their sense of moral outrage.
Cheryl Blossom is in the background of this episode, granting Archie wishes and being the voice of Bitch America when the girls are breaking into the high school at night. But as she realises her brother isn’t who she thought he was, we see a side too Cheryl that wasn’t there before. And in that sense I think Madelaine Petsch might be the breakout star of Riverdale, she’s got the hair, the acting chops and is bringing in a decent mix of drama and comedy.
As the slut-shaming continues Betty is emboldened too restart the Blue & Gold, the schools paper believing it is the only way too get their story out there. She assigns the story about the gunshot too Jughead giving him a bigger role in the episode. As Jughead tracks down and gets a confession out of the scoutmaster for the gun shot it feels like we’re one more layer away from finding out who killed Jason.
Grounded and apparently nowhere to be found at school Archie doesn’t seem to know what is going on at school. Instead spending his time with the Pussycats and a girl named Josie and in a refreshing change of pace when Josie tells him why she doesn’t want too sing his song there isn’t a white saviour moment and instead Archie shuts up, offering small suggestions when necessary. But seriously Archie, your girl is being slutshamed up and down the school and you’re just at band practice #notcool.
B + V take matters into their own hands in a B movie revenge plot which involves almost boiling Chuck until he admits he made it up. The glimmer of this scene is watching Betty as she calls Chuck Jason and tells him too apologise for what he did too her. With her black wig and low cut bra it looks like she’s having a dissociative state which is confirmed when she doesn’t remember what she said the next day.
Overall I think this was the strongest episode so far, story is worked out in a fast and interesting manner. The shows creepy and ominous factor still lies there and there are still mysteries too be solved meaning I’ll probably be watching the next episode of Riverdale.