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Riverdale, Season 1 Episode 11 Review

by TalkNerdy2Me on April 28, 2017

I know this show has its share of goofy crazy - leans into it, even - and is sometimes dismissed in the “serious” press as just a silly CW teen soap. I know it’s aimed at folks half my age and designed to help reinvigorate Archie Comics as a bona fide entertainment juggernaut like Marvel and DC. I know it’s filled with ridiculously good-looking people being extremely overdramatic on purpose. And yet I adore it. Not as a guilty pleasure, but as a real, live thing that is very good and makes me feel things I never anticipated. 


Last night the honors for emotional standard-bearers went to Jughead and his dad. FP Jones is still clearly up to his eyeballs in some sketchy business, and he’s probably mostly going through the motions of cleaning up his act, but damn if he isn’t earnest while he’s doing it. He’s absolutely selling Jughead the idea that they can be a family again, along with Jughead’s mom and sister. It’s a lovely fantasy, and Skeet Ulrich’s performance makes it clear that he’s really trying, but ultimately doomed to fail. He and Cole Sprouse also look legitimately enough alike to be believable as father and son no matter what, which helps both their performances immensely. Nice casting there, show; well done!


We also got see some more emotional fireworks from Betty and the rest of the Cooper clan. Alice is still desperate for reasons that aren’t entirely transparent to find out what happened to Jason Blossom. And if she has to ruin her daughters’ lives and friendships along the way to do it, oh well. I’m starting to think she’s just as nutty as Cheryl’s mom, and only slightly more charming. And speaking of charm, how hilarious was that dinner party from Hell with Jughead and his dad, and Hal dropping in unannounced just for fun? If I were any of those guys, I’d be testing my slice of peach pie for arsenic.


I also enjoyed seeing Archie step up for his friends again, even if it was in a misguided way. A poorly-thought-out plan that backfires but had the best of intentions is just about the most “Archie” thing ever, and it was good to see here. I didn’t anticipate him trying to be the voice of reason standing up to Veronica about her harebrained scheme, though. I also never in a million years imagined I’d live in a world where Veronica Lodge turns down an offer from Archie Andrews to be her boyfriend! But that’s the amazing thing about these characters - they’ve been around so long and are so sturdy that creators can throw them into just about any conceivable situation and get an entertaining result. 


Like I said last time, I won’t spoil anything for folks who haven’t seen the episode already (go watch already; shoo!) but many chickens are beginning to come home to roost. There’s an arrest for Jason’s murder, a gun, a drugged milkshake from Pop’s, and roomful of creepy wigs in the Blossom mansion! Next week looks to be even more intense and I am just counting the days.

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