After last week's horrifically sad episode of Riverdale, the show is back and ready for the kids' (ha, adults) to start their senior year of high school. You know, the one that means EVERYTHING. It's so dramatic and life-changing. Because when they go off to college things will...NEVER BE THE SAME. (And ya know, honestly I hope so because I don't know that they want to be fighting off murderers and bears and solving crimes while trying to get degrees)
FRIENDS, IF YOU DIDN'T SPEND YOUR WEDNESDAY NIGHT WATCHING RIVERDALE, THEN I HATE TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO READ THIS POST JUST YET. CUZ IT CONTAINS SPOILERS!
The core four (Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica) spend the last night before senior year getting boozy and having sex just rooms apart. I don't mean to brag, but the day before my senior year of high school I'm pretty sure I watched a movie alone before going to bed at 9:00. Crazy, I know. Anyway, we're subjected to this very long sex scene that cuts back and forth between Varchie and Bughead and I'm just like...okay.
These sex-crazed kids are so silly that they forget to set an alarm and are late for their first day. Their new principal (his name is Honey) is not amused, and honestly, I wouldn't be either. They run to get to class and be normal teenagers for once in their life. On second thought, Principal Honey is kind of terrifying in a really subtle way.
Jughead is called to the office and approached by this guy who was a judge for a writing contest he entered. He didn't win, but this dude wants Jug to come check out a prep school so he can discuss Moby Dick with a bunch of snobby rich kids. I'm so confused because like...why didn't they contact him sooner? Why would you switch schools your senior year? Everyone is saying "Oh Jug, it'll be so good for you!" but like nothing in Riverdale is ever good for anybody so that can't possibly be true. Plus college apps aren't going to be that wowed that he attended Stonewall Prep for a semester.
Side note: The amount of times that people go meet with these characters in person instead of just calling, texting, or emailing them is mind-boggling to me. They literally will drive or walk so far to have a five minute conversation! There's no way this show is set in 2019. Prove. Me. Wrong.
In Archie news, he's ready to experience the highs and lows of high school football again, but this time with his BFF Mad Dog by his side. You know who's not too happy about that? Reggie. It's funny, because if Reggie and Archie can get over the fact that they've both dated Veronica, you'd think they could also get over a new addition to the squad. But no, this obstacle is to tough to complete.
Turns out, Reggie's dad sucks ASS. He beats the shit out of Reggie for not performing his best at practice, which just makes Reggie more angry at Mad Dog for being on the team and making him look like garbage. Archie watches as Mr. Reggie's Dad screams at his son and steps into help. Again, this adds fuel to the Reggie fire and makes Reg so mad that he lashes out at Archie instead. It's all very, very complicated. Eventually Reggie and Archie make amends, and Reggie decides to trash his dad's car to teach him a lesson. When Arch asks how that went, Reggie says, "It did what it needed to do." Which makes me think that it did not go the way Archie thinks it went. (Did Reggie pin the blame on Archie? Did something happen to Mr. Reggie's Dad? I don't know!)
Veronica's life kind of sucks right now because the paparazzi are hunting her down! (Alexa, play "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga) They want a statement about what side she's going to take in the mist of her parents' legal troubles. She tries to fight them off, but to no avail. She visits Mark Couenslos in jail and tells him that he's going down, and then holds a press conference at her Speakeasy (I know) after a really odd and sexual performance of "All That Jazz". I would elaborate on why a 17 year old needs to hold a press conference and also how in the hell she owns this Speakeasy but instead, seriously, Alexa can you just play "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga instead?
Betty is getting some bonding time in with her half-brother (hi, Wyatt Nash!) who is also an FBI agent (because of course) and is investigating this whole Edgar Evernever farm cult harvesting organs fiasco. Typing that all out was very weird for me.
Kevin approaches Betty at the Blue and Gold to make amends and to join the newspaper. Betty has some problems with this, because Kevin dragged her through a crackhouse and forced her to nearly have a lobotomy, so naturally she's a little hesitant to be BFFs again. Kevin apologizes and Charles (the half-brother) wants Betty to use him to see if he's still in contact with the farm.
She feeds him false information as a test to see if he will run to Fangs and tell him everything. He does just that, and Betty gives us a beautiful, "Really, Kevin?". I'm conflicted about the whole Kevin thing because he then explains that he only told Fangs because Fangs is the one person that he can talk to. Everyone else kinda hates him. But also, rightfully so, because he was in a cult that harvested human organs???
Betty decides not to take her brother's advice and instead tells Kevin the truth and chooses to believe that he'll keep it to himself. He has literally done nothing to prove that he is trustworthy, but okay sis. Go off.
In case you forgot, Cheryl is still keeping her dead twin brother's body in her home that she shares with her 17 year old girlfriend, Toni. It appears that Toni doesn't know about Jason just chilling and living with them. When Principal Honey cancels their welcome back dance (because at the last dance several students got murdered, hate to say it but the man has a point), they decide to throw a party at their place instead. The party gets shut down when FP says he got a call from the Honey residence (Ha!) and Cheryl is PISSED. So, of course, she fills his office with bees.
That's all I've got for this week's Riverdale. There's a lot going on so let me know your thoughts! Do we trust Kevin? Do we trust Charles? Do we trust anybody? Why is Jughead going to this new school? Why is Veronica always so extra? Was Archie the best character this week (I think so)? Let me know in the comments!
I was in my Global Ethics class when I learned that Luke Perry had a massive stroke, and I was in that same class a few days later when I learned that he passed away. My heart sunk. My eyes filled with tears. All of this sadness for a person I had never even met, but whose screen presence was so strong and honest that I felt like I knew him well.
So this episode was hard to watch, and even harder to write about. Bare with me as we discuss Season Four, Episode One of Riverdale, "In Memoriam". This is your spoiler alert warning.
Last season of Riverdale was a clusterfuck. I have no idea what happened. I think I even missed a couple episodes in the middle and then jumped back in and it was like I hadn't missed anything. There was supernatural activity going on, bear attacks, parents going to prison, other parents joining cults, Chad Michael Murray was there for a hot sec. I really cannot even begin to tell you how it ended.
Season Four starts with a clean-ish slate. The core four is about to start their senior year of high school (which is wild, because they all look like they are pushing 30). They have milkshakes at Pop's and talk about making senior year memorable and less scary and deadly. Jughead gets in a jab at Archie's bear fiasco. But then Archie gets a call. You know, THE call. The call that his father has died.
I wasn't really sure how they were going to kill Fred Andrews off. For a moment I assumed it would be the same way Luke went, but alas, Riverdale did what it does best and had Fred go out a hero. He stopped on the side of the road to help someone having car troubles. Then another car hit him.
Molly Ringwald reprises her role as Mary Andrews to comfort Archie. All of the adults give stellar performances this episode. Skeet Ulrich can barely keep it together when urging Archie to let the police handle the arrest of the guy who committed the hit and run. Molly Ringwald has tears in her eyes the entire episode. Even the brief appearances by Hermione Lodge and Alice (Smith) Cooper at the end are absolutely heartbreaking.
And I think that's what makes this episode so hard. The actors aren't acting, they're mourning. The teens sit in Archie's backyard and discuss their favorite Fred memories, and it feels like Lili Reinhart's Betty is speaking the truth. When Archie can't finish his story about his dad taking him to Sears, you believe that KJ Apa can't get the line out. It's just brutal.
The 40-minute episode keeps the story very low-key and not action packed, which is unusual for the show, but good for the subject matter. At the beginning of the episode, Madalaine Petsch's Cheryl Blossom is disgruntled that the town is ready to have a 4th of July parade given the death of her twin during the holiday years prior (the very first season, in case y'all forgot). By the episode's end, she's championing a parade for Fred and sobbing while she lays flowers on his casket.
Archie wants to transport Fred's body back to Riverdale himself, so he enlists Jughead, Betty, and Veronica to come with him to identify his body. Betty and Veronica clutch each other's hands as they verify to Archie that that is, in fact, his father. If I talk too much about the tears in this scene, I start to cry too.
Because it's Riverdale, of course some crazy shit happens, but it's kept to a minimum. Archie does go crazy and ignores FP's instructions to let the police handle the suspect who killed his father. To be fair, the police in Riverdale kinda suck. BUT Archie also has some crazy anger issues. He goes to the guy's house and attempts to beat the living shit out him, only to learn that he actually took the blame of the accident for his young son who took the car without permission. Archie realizes the limitlessness of a father's love. It's sad.
Luke Perry's forever pal, Shannen Doherty makes an guest appearance as the woman Fred stopped to help. Her tires blew out. When the oncoming car came, he pushed her out of the way. A hero. She grabs the four friends and says a prayer for Fred Andrews, and oh wow, I'm crying again.
At the funeral, Archie gives a phenomenal speech about his father, and I feel like he's talking about Luke Perry. The shots of the cast crying as they lay him to rest is hard to watch. Trying to put it into words is somehow become harder.
Betty visits her father's grave while at the graveyard, and I'm immediately confused because I totally forgot her dad met a tragic end in the very last episode of Season Three. Holy shit. It's a really tragic parallel between Fred's celebratory parade/memorial and Betty standing in front of Hal Cooper's grave, alone, with "Black Hood" spray painted across the tombstone. Chills.
That's really all I've got for this one, y'all. Hiriam Lodge pays for the transporting of the casket to Riverdale, even though he's in prison, so that's a storyline to look forward to I guess? The writers said they will be remembering Fred/Luke all season, so there may be more where this sad episode came from.
What did y'all think? What's your favorite Luke Perry role/memory? Are you excited for the rest of Season Four? Let me know in the comments.