Riverdale Season 4 Episode 5 – TV Review
I gotta tell ya, it was a close call this week as to whether I would finally throw in the Riverdale towel. With all the non-Betty subplots this episode sinking to shocking new lows, it was so tempting.
But let’s give it one more shot, eh? For Season 1’s sake.
TL;DR Betty and Kevin join that FBI youth training program run by Charles; Betty has concerns that she could be a potential serial killer; but she overcomes, and finds renewed purpose in investigating Charles.
Because he, too, could be a serial killer or something. Those rascally Coopers.
So yes, this episode brings back one of the more eye-rolling things from last season (of which, dear God, there were many): Betty’s serial killer genes. The topic comes up during FBI youth training, with Betty eventually revealing to Kevin that she killed her cat when she was a child. But it turns out that Hal is the one who basically forced her to do it, and Betty decides to refocus her trauma away from her concerns about herself to instead begin investigating Charles. As he reveals that he has the serial killer genes, too. And then the episode ends with a lazy and incongruous flash forward of Skeet arresting Archie, Veronica, and Betty for Jughead’s murder.
You would think the fact that Betty spent the whole episode thinking she could be a serial killer would have been written to somehow tie into that stinger. But nah.
So there you have it: Week 3 of The Betty-only Report. And let me tell you, the other subplots this episode are definitely ones to skip, baby. They. Are. Shit.
And honestly, at this point, “shit” is probably one of the kinder things you could call Riverdale. So fucking disappointing.
Why I hate this episode:
Goddamn, remember how good Season 1 was? Like… just damn, man.
The FBI class thing is kind of arbitrary and lame. It’s only here to service Betty remembering about her serial killer genes. And was anyone begging for that to come back up? Because I’m fuckin’ sick of all this Cooper family serial killer bullshit. It’s so two seasons ago.
Oh, and Kevin brings up his crush on Charles multiple times this episode, but doesn’t do anything about it. What happened to the confidence of the Kevin who would go nighttime cruising in Murder Forest while the Black Hood was out and about?
But it’s not all bad:
Betty does admit that she doesn’t know what Charles’ sexuality is. So by gum, I think Kevin’s in with a chance.
Despite the rubbish serial killer crap that plagues Betty this episode, Betty herself (as ever. I’ll always keep saying it) shines among the muck. Lili Reinhart gives an earnest, emotive performance throughout her absurd character beats that poor KJ or Camila could only dream of. Riverdale has made it clear that it will never be shifting back to any semblance of quality, so get out at the first opportunity, Lili. You’re better than this.
Betty does her due diligence and has a doctor confirm that she does have the serial killer genes. So I’m glad that she just didn’t take Alice’s word for it while she was in The Farm last season.
Oh, and speaking of Alice, she looks great now that she’s dumped the hippie cardigans. I wonder what that flash forward arrest will do for her and Skeet’s relationship?