Hello, Riverdale fans. Here is my review of the latest episode. I personally found this episode very liberating, and will probably have a lot of comments at the end. Let’s get to it.
The episode starts off with the mysterious watcher leaving more videotapes of hours of footage of everyone’s houses, but this time the view is much closer. Riverdale seniors are starting to get their letters from the colleges they applied to, so there is added stress. Mr. Honey (Kerr Smith) has offered extra guidance counseling with Mrs. Burble (Gina Torres).
Betty (Lili Reinhart) finds out via Alice (Madchen Amick) that she has gotten rejected by Yale. Alice was also snooping in Betty’s room and found her stash of birth control pills. Betty is quite angry about this. Betty goes to see Mrs. Burble, and Alice walks in on their session. Mrs. Burble sits the pair of them down and lets them hash things out. We get a sense of how crazy things have actually been when we hear Betty talk about all the things that have happened to her in the past few years.
She brings up everything from the farm, to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Alice reveals that she reads Betty’s diaries because she is worried about her. Betty tries to set boundaries with her mother, but nothing seems to work. There are many revelations during their session. Through Mrs. Burble, Alice realizes that she doesn’t want Betty to grow up. She also reveals that she loves Betty more than her other siblings.
Archie (KJ Apa) is caught sleeping in class. He is sent to Mrs. Burble. Archie explains that he is not going to college, as he wants to stay in Riverdale. He feels like his good deeds are not enough. Naturally, Mrs. Burble is concerned about him. Archie tells her about his masked vigilante missions. She explains he is experiencing grief-induced anger about his father’s death. Archie does admit that he’s angry and hurt. He feels helpless and doesn’t know what to do. Mrs. Burble suggests his behavior is compulsive and addicting.
Afterward, Archie goes to Mary (Molly Ringwald) and tells her he is moving into the centre until things settle down. He sets up a hotline at the centre for people to call in and report things. He throws away his vigilante mask.
Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) gets called in to see Mr. Honey. He tells her that he is going to have someone else take over the Vixens unless she talks with Mrs. Burble. So Cheryl reluctantly goes to see her.
At first, Cheryl is very resistant and hostile. But as Mrs. Burble brings up all her past traumas, Cheryl starts opening up. Cheryl talks to her about Jason. She also questions her own sanity. Burble says that she is not crazy. When Cheryl talks about the doll and Julian, she suggests that Cheryl is being haunted by grief. Burble also believes that someone could be gaslighting her and trying to scare her. Burble also explains there is a chimerism test to see if she did indeed absorb Julian in the womb. At the end of the session, Mrs. Burble regrets to say that the Vixens are getting a new coach. She encourages Cheryl to take the time to start her journey of healing.
Hiram (Mark Consuelos) shows Veronica (Camilla Mendes) his very first bottle of rum he produced. Veronica brushes him off and goes to school. She gets a call in class from the Dean of admissions at Harvard. She got accepted. Veronica finds out that her father had somehow made it happen. Veronica goes for her session with Mrs. Bubrble. She says that her father is punishing her.
Veronica brings up her past issues with him. Burble suggests that their relationship is far beyond that of a normal father-daughter one. It’s a very primal relationship. Veronica sees her father as an ideal version of her future self. There is also an Oedipus type complex mixed in there. Burble tells Veronica to completely cut ties with him. But does she really want to walk away? They are locked in a dance of death, but who is leading, Hiram or Veronica?
At Stonewall, Mr. DuPont (Malcolm Stewart) tells Jughead (Cole Sprouse) he has completely squandered his opportunity at Stonewall. He says that he should get his letters of recommendation from the teachers at Riverdale High. Jughead goes to see Mrs. Bubrble. He speaks of his grandfather and how he wrote the first Baxter Brothers novel. Burble thinks that he has a persecution complex. He wants to expose others. She explains that his father came from nothing and worked hard so Jughead could succeed. Burble asks Jughead to see his grandfather from FP’s (Skeet Ulrich) point of view. She also advises Jughead not to fall back on old habits and to move forward.
Jughead goes to see his dad and tells him how much he appreciates him. Betty receives a check from her mother. At the community centre, Archie receives a call on his hotline. There is a call for help with domestic violence. Archie goes off to see what he can do to help. Cheryl gets her chimera test results back. She tested negative. Now Cheryl turns her attention to whoever is gaslighting her and vows to destroy them.
Veronica tells Hiram that she turned down Harvard and is going to Yale instead. She informs her father she is done with him. Veronica is going to make her own rum business and destroy him. She leaves the study and Hiram notices that she had drunk his precious bottle of rum. Naturally, he is angry and out for blood. Jughead discovers that his grandfather and Dupont are the only surviving members of their Quill and Skull society from long ago. The others died in various ‘accidents’.
The episode ends with a flash-forward. FP asks Bret (Sean Depner) and Donna (Sarah Desjardins) to confirm the identities of Betty, Veronica, and Archie, the ones they say killed Jughead.
This episode felt like a great release. I found it quite interesting to see the subtle changes as the characters unloaded their burdens. It also gave me a sense of hope that things will get better for everyone. Honestly, I almost feel like this episode was an attempt by the writers to bring back a sense of normalcy to the characters to make them more relatable.
I really loved Mrs. Burble. Hopefully, we will see her in more episodes. Her frankness and the way she cut through everyone’s defenses were nothing short of inspiring. This was definitely one of the better episodes in my opinion.
Catch a new episode of Riverdale on Wednesday, December 11 on The CW
Thanks for reading my review!