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Did You Catch The 'Black Mirror' Reference On 'Riverdale'?

By Kristy Puchko | TV | May 5, 2017 |

By Kristy Puchko | TV | May 5, 2017 |

Last night Riverdale at long last revealed who killed Jason Blossom. And we’ll get to that in this week’s official Riverdale Report. But before we do, let’s take a moment to mourn the end of a romance that—like Jason*—died too soon. *(Too soon?)

Joaquin and Kevin, the Southside Serpent and the Sheriff’s son, met at the drive-in. The only openly gay kid at Riverdale High, Kevin had finally found a hot boyfriend he didn’t have to hide. (Bye bye closeted and maybe bi Moose!) But his beau from the wrong side of the tracks carried a dark secret: Joaquin was tasked with spying on Kevin so Serpent’s leader F.P. Jones would have an inside track on the Sheriff’s investigation into the Blossom murder. We now know exactly what F.P. and Joaquin had to hide. After Joaquin gave up the only other witness to the crime scene, he had to hightail it out of Riverdale or else risk the wrath of Jason’s cold-blooded killer.

This led us to the goodbye at the dingy bus stop. Heartbroken, Kevin nonetheless saw Joaquin off. And they shared one last kiss. And then the blue-eyed bad boy tipped about one last crucial piece of evidence. And just like that, he’s gone. But to where? The bus’s destination gave a heartwarming reveal.

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San Junipero is a sunny beachside California town. But it is also the setting and title of the acclaimed Black Mirror episode where two star-crossed gay lovers get a second chance at romance. In “San Junipero,” The vivacious Kelly and the shy Yorkie fell in love in a computer-generated 1980 night club. In the VR world where the aging and dead relive their youth, the couple got a happy ending the real world denied them. Kelly had lost her husband and daughter, and was terrified to love again. Yorkie came out to her religious parents, was immediately rejected, then paralyzed in a car accident that meant she spent her life alone, her body unloved. But in San Junipero, they found each other, and heaven on Earth.


That bus destination can’t be co-incidence. For one thing, that Black Mirror ep was one of the most talked about of the season, to the point where you have to google “San Junipero -black -mirror” to get any info on the actual town. Plus, Riverdale has been full of allusions, from Veronica dramatically declaring herself the Blue Jasmine of her high school, to the Whatever Happen To Baby Jane realness of gypsy-blooded Grandma Blossom, to the fact that every episode pulls a title from a crime thriller. (This one was “Anatomy of a Murder,” named for the 1959 Otto Preminger thriller that was nominated for seven Academy Awards.) On top of all of that, Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is openly gay himself. So while Kevin and Joaquin—the only out queer characters on the show so far—can’t get a happy ending in this wicked little town, at least Aguirre-Sacasa can give us a nod that someday they might have a second chance at romance (and greater representation on this hit show).

Here’s hoping with the real killer caught, Joaquin can come back for season two, and Kevin can be upgraded from the Sassy Gay Friend, who always has a quip and fashion commentary, to a fully rounded character with an arc and everything.


Casey Cott is great! GIVE HIM MORE TO DO!

Kristy Puchko is the film editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.

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