Riverdale Season 3 Episode 9 – TV Review
The truth is, this post was delayed because I actually had something to do in the real world there for a while.
But I’d be equally happy to say that it was because I just don’t care about Riverdale, anymore.
Because I just don’t care about Riverdale, anymore.
TL;DR Archie has bear attack-induced evil board game hallucinations; Jughead gets into some pointless drama with Cheryl; Veronica hires the Serpents to protect her from Hiram’s Gargoyles; Betty fails to protect the freed asylum patients, and also fails in her quest to prosecute Hiram for experimenting on them.
Oh, and that whole apocalyptic quarantine thing from last episode just vanishes and Riverdale tries to pretend like it didn’t happen.
So wow, what a stinker of an episode. We’ll start with Archie, who fled to Canada (I wrongly assumed it’d be Mexico), and is promptly mauled by a bear while moonlighting as a park ranger. His injuries lead to a series of fantasy sequences wherein he encounters his fears or whatever, culminating in him realising he has to kill his old self to free himself of his weakness. Eye roll. Meanwhile in Riverdale, the quarantine was so five weeks ago. But you know what’s booming? Business at the speakeasy. Who knew that deciding to serve alcohol in a bar would be the right move? Thus, Hiram starts trying to muscle in for some protection money. But Veronica’s not having it, and hires Jughead and the Serpents to provide her with protection. More gangland intrigue. Yay. Meanwhile, Cheryl and Toni have arbitrarily become cat burglars (when Josie and the Pussycats are already in the show?) and steal a faberge egg from Hiram, going against a recent decree that the Serpents, a biker gang, stop committing crimes. Cheryl calls his bluff when Jughead finds out, and he’s forced to eject the two from the gang, along with Fangs, who we find out has been dealing Fizzle Rocks. Jughead later coerces Fangs into infiltrating the Gargoyle gang, so they’re still all good. And over in Actual Plot That Isn’t Wheel-Spinning Garbage Land, Betty has to simultaneously deal with the still-mostly-crazy asylum inmates, while also working with McCoy to get the nuns to testify against Hiram. The first problem is grimly solved when Alice gets the bright idea to just ship the kids off to The Farm. But Betty almost gets a lucky break with the nuns, whose supposed legal obfuscation of a vow of silence is cut down when Betty exposes the fact that the Sisters of Quiet Mercy were excommunicated decades ago. But oops, a mystery person bails them all out of jail, and then they all G&G themselves to death at the gargoyle statue back at the asylum.
Uh oh. Those were the arc words that eventually led to me calling it quits with Arrow.
On the plus side for Riverdale is the fact that I’ve always liked Riverdale more than I liked Arrow. But I’m fucking telling you, if this evil board game bullshit doesn’t let up soon, I’m eyeing that exit door, baby.
Get it together, Riverdale.
Why I hate this episode:
The most frustrating part of things, especially encapsulated in this episode, is that the show is now starting to pull its punches with the G&G garbage, while still pressing forward with it. Why the actual fuck did last episode end with an epic, climactic reveal of Hiram’s grand scheme to quarantine Riverdale so he can achieve his drug/mafia utopia, only to then have it vanish the very next episode? Nothing’s changed because of it as far as I can tell, and barely anybody even talks about it. Why, Riverdale?
Archie’s stay in the wilderness and on the run appears to already be over. I don’t believe for a second he’s actually died from his wounds, but I don’t see him staying out there any longer. Why bother with it in the first place?
So let me get this straight: it’s been established that the Serpents, a biker gang, don’t have any drug business going on. Yeah, that had already been a pretty stupid pill to swallow. But now they’ve been forbidden from committing any crimes at all? What’s the point of having a biker gang, then?
On that same subject, Cheryl and Toni’s evolution into cat burglars I can only assume was purely for the costuming. Who cares that they’ve been kicked out of the Serpents? Serpent laws are so inconsistent that they’ll be back soon enough. Look at Fangs.
The only thing I’m more over than Gryphons & Gargoyles is Farm Dummy Alice. Bring back Type A Bitch Alice. Dear God, please.
Can we just shoot Hiram, already?
Veronica’s rendition of Maybe This Time was embarrassing. Leave it to Josie, honey.
Oh, and does anyone care that Veronica and Reggie kissed?
But it’s not all bad:
At least Veronica is making some moves in the right direction business-wise. Yes, my love. Serving alcohol at your bar is a good idea. Glad you finally got there.
Her negotiation subplot with Hiram was tedious, but it did give Hiram the opportunity to prance around in a villainous fur. I liked it.
Betty, like she always is, is the best (and only good) thing about the episode. She’s actually out there doing the work and making things happen. I wasn’t much interested in the “what will we do with these kids from the asylum now?” stuff, but it was heartening to see Betty take responsibility.
This also leads to The Farm’s presence seeping back in. I’ll take a more garden variety cult over this evil board game shit, thank you.
Betty’s other endeavour, to get the nuns to testify against Hiram, is classic Betty resourcefulness. It felt right to watch her and McCoy get their legalese on. It’s a shame it all came to a mass suicidal halt, but Betty is always trying.
Cheryl and Toni deserve better than to just be bland Serpents, so I see their expulsion as only a good thing.
Archie’s spirit quest sees him making different choices in his Black Hood and Hiram confrontations. Who wouldn’t want to live out their shower comebacks (well, shower killings)?
Oh, and Veronica and Reggie’s kiss is certainly a whole lot of meh, but the boy does have dat jawline.