Riverdale Season 3 Episode 13 – TV Review
They say thirteen is unlucky for some.
But Riverdale’s out of its damn mind if it thinks it can blame bad luck on what a colossal turd this episode is.
You made this bed yourself, bitch. You did this.
TL;DR Oh so much more gangland bullshit occurs and I (shocker, I know) don’t care; Veronica tries to convince Hiram not to be a drug kingpin; Gina saddles Jughead with usurping the Gargoyles (for powah!); Cheryl and Toni squabble over what the Pretty Poisons are actually about; Archie has some tired boxing match drama; Betty squeezes the only sincere emotion out of the episode when she tries to knock some sense into Alice.
It seems that, sadly, the only part of Type A Bitch Alice still in there is the stubborn part.
So Riverdale’s been gone for almost a month, and did you really miss it? This episode helps solidify your answer by being almost wholly about Riverdale’s gangland nonsense. We’ll start with Veronica, who is trying to keep Hiram from finding out what really happened to his Fizzle Rocks operation, while also trying to appease Gina Gershon (who would have no problem spilling the beans to Hiram). She agrees to spy on Hiram for Gina, but lucks out when she realises that she can manipulate Hiram into abandoning his drug kingpin aspirations so Gina can do that instead (which is certainly what Gina wants). Everyone’s happy! Except the viewer. Meanwhile, Jughead loses a bunch of Serpents to Cheryl and Toni’s new gang, the Pretty Poisons. He fails to bring Toni back over, but then sets his sights on maybe rallying the Ghoulies to Serpenthood now that their leaders are absent. But oops, most of them have already joined the Gargoyles and turned into insane, evil board game players. But yay (?), Gina convinces their cuckoo bonkers pants leader offscreen to join up with the Serpents, and dumps the responsibility of keeping them in line on Jughead. Who cares? Meanwhile, Toni bickers with Cheryl over whether the Pretty Poisons are just some arbitrary vanity project to her (yes. Yes they are). Meanwhile, Archie becomes obsessed with getting into a competitive boxing match, against Keller’s advice. Elio is still skulking around and offers Archie some cash to join a bout against a fighter of his, but only if he promises to take a dive. Archie agrees, but then Josie makes a good point about Archie not valuing himself, so he reneges and fights back. He loses the boxing match, but wins Josie’s heart. Aww. And over in the only subplot that isn’t a complete wank, Alice’s descent into The Farm amps up with an impending baptism. Betty finally decides to do something about it, and learns from a former Farm member that the baptism involves a near death experience as a way to ascend (G&G alarm bells, baby!). Betty saves Alice from drowning just in the nick of time, but Alice’s takeaway from the situation is, predictably, to praise her enlightenment, and resolve to sell the house.
That’s it. We need to just release Hal-libal Lecter and get this over with. I’ve had it.
Like. who the fuck cares, Riverdale? Who the fuck actually cares?
I’m writing Season 3 off, bitch. I’m going to try my best not to be too fazed by anything else that comes our way this season.
If it wasn’t for the fact that this is only one of two shows I’m currently covering, then I’d dump it. But given the lightness of my workload, and the (dwindling) goodwill I still have from my Season 1 nostalgia, I’ll keep on.
What happened, Riverdale?
Why I hate this episode:
Should I be grateful that Riverdale kind of addressed my criticism about there being too many gangs in this small town by making the Ghoulies disappear? Nah. Because now they’re all just Gargoyles. At least the Ghoulies had bling and billowing, open shirts.
There’s a lot of whingeing about Serpent numbers and Pretty Poison defections, but, like, what do these gangs actually do? What’s the point of being in these gangs? They don’t have any drug involvement; we never see them riding motorcycles; and when Cheryl has the Pretty Poisons beat up Fangs and Sweet Pea, Toni says they’re not about that, either. Why be in a gang in Riverdale right now? What was the Pretty Poisons sales pitch, really?
Toni shows her true cuntishness this episode, and it is not flattering. It turns out all her posturing about the importance of gang family was actually all lies. Her only requirement for wanting to be in a gang is if she can be the leader. She makes it clear she would happily leave the Pretty Poisons in the dust if Jughead were to offer her the Serpent Queen position. So if gangs aren’t about drugs, or motorcycles, or fighting other gangs, or even community, then what the actual fuck are they about?
This also seems like the most ridiculous way to introduce conflict between Cheryl and Toni.
We already got our fill of boxing Archie, thanks. That’s enough. And some very tepid, cliched conflict about throwing a match? FFS. Riverdale didn’t used to think so little of its audience.
Betty asks Kevin for help investigating The Farm, and he reveals that Farm Girl has been in his ear since Moose left, and he thinks they’re pretty swell. Jesus Christ. Riverdale didn’t used to think so little of its characters, either.
I was not impressed with Veronica telling Hiram the truth about destroying the Fizzle Rocks so she’d save Hermione. Hermione has had enough chances. Let the bitch burn. Maybe a little rage from Hiram might (finally!) be the wake up call she needs.
Oh, and why isn’t the Farm King at the baptism?
But it’s not all bad:
Can you imagine if the reason the Farm King reveal has been held off for so long is because it’s actually someone we already know? The gag of it would almost be worth how terrible it would be.
Speaking of terrible, despite some pretty bland costuming, Gina Gershon lights up any of the gang bullshit scenes she’s in. Maybe Riverdale could limp through the back half of this season with some fun stunt casting, after all? I’ll keep holding my candle for an Elizabeth Berkley appearance. Can. You. Imagine.
We get one tasty little morsel of casting goodness when we meet the Gargoyles’ new leader (RIP Tall Boy), who is that hot gay guy who vanished from The 100 (and baby Hercules from OUaT). So if we’re doing CW shilling, could we get Rachel Bloom over here for the next musical episode?
I’m not bored of saying that Betty is the best thing about the episode. She is Riverdale’s only hope, and we better be building to some kind of culmination with G&G and The Farm. Because that means more Betty screentime, which is exactly what we need.
Her anguished reaction to Alice’s increased fanaticism post-drowning is the only true moment in the episode.
And as jaded and dead as I am to this evil board game bullshit, I will concede I got excited at the mention of “ascension” being part of The Farm’s beliefs.
Josie almost get a true moment when she tells Archie that he’s worth more than the $5,000 he’s getting for taking the dive. So points for effort. But do you really think the Josie/Archie romance is going to go anywhere?
Elio’s pretty, so his unnecessary, lingering presence isn’t all that bad.
Oh, and with Gina escalating the gang war situation so quickly, maybe Riverdale is setting the stage for a big self-destruct, and the show can actually get back to being the teen soap we fell in love with?