It seems like every new Riverdale episode, the show slowly slips from genre to genre. First time around, we were treated to another Pretty Little Liars-esque murder mystery, then a teen drama, A Shadow Over Innsmouth-like suburban thriller, and then another murder mystery.
In the newest episode, Riverdale has become a family crime drama, and in more ways than one. The previous episode ended with Betty coming home (after a steamy makeout session with Jughead Jones, no less) to find her brother Chic trembling in the corner and her mother, Alice, cleaning up a bloodied corpse.
Things go well for the most part: the body is dumped, the mess is cleaned up and no one is none the wiser. But when Alice and Chic continue on as if nothing happened and Betty begins going through the dead man’s phone, things get a little eerie.
Further unease is added onto Archie as his ‘alliance’ with Special Agent Adams. Following the sudden murder of the gangster Papa Poutine in the last episode, Adams begins pressuring Archie for more information on Hiram’s dealings. And to expedite the process, the agent threatens to place bogus charges on Archie’s father, Fred.
Will Archie stand by Veronica and her family? Or is his love for his family stronger?
Perhaps the best way to round up this review is by asking what happened to the Riverdale of the past; where all that sweet teen angst and dark mystery went to be changed into an Empire and Sopranos crime drama? And while this article may be unjustly mistaken for bias, it’s simply an observation on a plot point being met with mixed reception. Since the anti-climactic end to the Black Hood mystery (and lukewarm attempts to add further suspense to the reveal) the Lodge Crime Family subplot has been one of the only cohesive plot points in the show right now.
But regardless of genre-jumping, this episode proved to be quite entertaining and kept the suspense going from start to finish. The ‘proposition’ given to the Mayor, Archie’s decision making regarding Hiram’s dealings and who can forget the spine-tingling ‘Hide The Stranger’s Corpse’ game the Coopers played? As mentioned, the last plot point provided an excellent amount of suspense, which made up for the lack of characterisation and somewhat hollow pay-off.
The same can’t be said for the Agent Adams VS Archie subplot, the resolution of which provided an excellent twist and neat ending to an otherwise clunky and boring subplot. No spoilers here, but let’s just say the ending of this episode has left Archie’s character with a good launching point for the rest of the foreseeable season.
Riverdale still has a way to go if it can regain its former glory, but so far, it’s on the right track.
I give this episode 4/5 Capos