This week’s episode of Riverdale was not particularly good — they rarely are these days — but I will give credit to the series for this much: They know how to film a kiss scene. There is a steamy, lip-biting sequence between Toni and Cheryl this week that is one of the most sensual things you’ll see on network television.
It was intercut, meanwhile, with yet another sequence of shirtless Archie beating the teeth out of a group of men, which is to say: There was something for everyone, except for those tuning in to Riverdale for story, or character development, or nuance. There was none of that.
The A-(for Archie) plot this week dealt with the Red Paladin cards still out in the ether. There were a number of Griffins and Gargoyles players hopped up on fizzle rock and ready to assassinate Archie in order to satisfy the Gargoyle King, which is still a thing on Riverdale. Hiram had put out the cards when he was trying to have Archie killed, but now that they’re in a truce, Hiram was kind enough to tell Archie who might have them. But instead of locating all ten cards, Jughead decides to write a quest into the game: Everyone who had a Red Paladin card is invited to take their shot at Archie in a boxing ring, one at a time. They are given three minutes to take him out, and inexplicably, all the Griffins and Gargoyles who step up are massive, muscular men, just like we all remember from our role-playing board game days. Archie takes them all out, and after doing so, Hiram gives Archie his boxing ring, no strings attached (for now). The entire series has apparently put aside the fact that Hiram is a mass murderer who had a number of people killed (including cops) and falsely imprisoned Archie and tried to have him killed. No biggie! Hiram and Archie are buddy-buddy now.
Meanwhile, Jughead has problems of his own, namely that he finds out this week that his mom, Gladys (Gina Gershon), is trying to take over the fizzle rock market in Riverdale. This is a serious bummer for Jughead, because it appeared to him as though Gladys had only returned in order to make their family whole again. Gladys buys a house (not knowing that it is Betty’s), and FP is so enamored with this new family life that he breaks it off with Alice, much to her chagrin. Also, FP celebrates his 50th birthday, which I thought was insane because there’s no way that Skeet Ulrich … oh, yep. He’s 49 years old. Damn. He also gave Luke Perry’s Fred a hug at his birthday party that damn near broke my heart (RIP, Luke Perry).
The C-plot goes to Veronica and Reggie, the latter of whom is feeling used by Veronica. He wants a piece of the club — to be Veronica’s business partner — but Veronica is not having it. “No one walks on water in my place, except me.” Reggie’s nice and all, but good hair and nice eyes hardly qualify one to run a business. Then again, Veronica is a 17-year-old mobster’s daughter, so what do I know? The long and short of it is this: Ronnie and Reggie are kaput, both as business partners and as lovers.
Finally, in the D-plot, Cheryl and Toni are having problems, too. Toni spends too much time with the Pretty Poisons, and not enough time with Cheryl, so Cheryl tries to break into the safe at Toni’s place of employment as a cry for attention. It works! They have one last steamy fling, because Toni realizes that they’re more serious than she wants to be now, so they are also kaput. The good news is that an angry Cheryl goes to Kevin and insists that he put on a Heathers musical next week. It’s one of my favorite movies, and next week’s episode actually looks kind of fun, mostly because seeing Cheryl as HBIC looks like a blast.
Header Image Source: The CW