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Riverdale - Fortune and Men's Eyes - Review: Jailhouse Rock

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Our lovely writer, Francesco, normally does our Riverdale reviews but she is unable to this week and I offered to step in as it is one of my absolute favorite shows right now.


Season three is off to a crazy, absurd start this year. We’re already immersed in a brand new mystery involving the sinister Gargoyle King, a possible cult, ritualistic murders, juvie conspiracies, and a brewing storm for the serpents. There is a lot going on this season, needless to say. Not much makes sense but you know what? That’s why I find this show so darn enjoyable, it’s just mindless, campy, fun.

We start off this week in the aftermath of Betty’s seizure. The doctor claims it was brought on by stress, I’m not buying it and it doesn’t seem like Betty is either. I had to laugh when Alice claimed Betty hallucinated the fire-roasted twins scene and that they were just “making skewers with friends on the hibachi.” Yeah right, Alice. Maybe shish ke-babies were on the menu but that was no ordinary bonfire.

Unfortunately, we don’t get any clarification on what exactly Alice and Polly were doing or their creepy friends on the “Farm”. I’m guessing the cult storyline is going to take more of a backseat to the Gargoyle King, who we actually get a glimpse of this episode when Jughead and Betty decide to go sleuthing for a missing boy scout and to try and uncover what happened to Dilton, who survived - for now, and the other murdered boy.

The actual scene where they come face to face with the Gargoyle King in the dark woods was quite chilling. I think because it was so unexpected. Its face a blood-soaked mask, its body tall and spindly, its distinct supernatural and otherworldly aura, not sure how Betty came up with "Ethel on stilts" as her first guess but you gotta start somewhere I suppose.

Personally, I’m getting the sense Riverdale is erring towards the supernatural. Maybe with Sabrina coming up they want to ensure those crossover doors remain open but I always felt like Riverdale was going to end up on the supernatural side of things eventually, and I’m not mad about it. However, if the Gargoyle King is not supernatural then I would guess he’s something more like puppetry than an elaborate stilts set up. It’s hard to say right now though since our first look is so brief.

Also, even though there is literally a board game gone awry circa Stranger Things (and I can’t be the only one making Barb/demogorgon jokes and comparisons here either), I think Archie’s storyline is actually the most nonsensical, albeit still so ludicrous it circles back to entertaining (as I feel is the whole basis of the show and why I find it such a fun watch).

His time in juvie is not going great. He gets beat up and has his shoes stolen within his first few days, gets rejected by the Serpents for refusing to shiv a ghoulie, and by the end of the episode, has been tapped to become some strange lap dog to the warden. Based on the preview for the next episode, it’s going to involve an underground fighting ring.

I am surprised they didn’t go for an easy fix of getting Archie out of prison immediately, I expected him to be out by at least episode two or three but looks like he’s in there for the long haul so far. (Side note: Seems like everyone is in jail on the CW this season, doesn't it?)

Hiram, who apparently has nothing better to do with his time than torment teenagers (I mean seriously doesn’t the guy have a company to run or something?) gets the warden and his team to ambush Archie and the other inmates during a harmless football game.

The rudest thing, in my opinion, is this “riot” interrupted a fabulous performance of “Jailhouse Rock” by the River Vixens. Cheryl finally had a solo! Not cool SWAT team.

Hiram’s actions push Veronica even further away and by the look she gives him after their confrontation, I’d say it looks like Veronica is planning to wage a war on Daddy Dearest.

And yes I’m aware the “Jailhouse Rock” sequence was a strange and out there addition to the episode but come on, this show has pushed all the boundaries of ridiculousness by now, time to let your expectations go because Riverdale is best enjoyed when you don’t think but just sit back and enjoy the ride and pretty people.


- Loved the Cheryl and Veronica moments this week. That is a friendship I would love to see more of, though I missed Toni! I know she’s a regular this season so can’t wait to see more of her.

- The end of that episode with all the parents together in one room looked like the staging for a new rendition of Clue. But also ooh, intrigue! The parents are all hiding some terrible secret, it’s like Pretty Little Liars: Wine Moms and Hot Dads edition. I’m guessing it has to do with this Gargoyle King. But maybe not, what do you think they’re hiding?

- Glad we’re getting more Casey, wondering how things are going to play out with him and Moose though. Looks like they’re headed for choppy waters.

- The lack of Josie is seriously ridiculous how hard is it to give the girl a storyline with 22 episodes to spare! She deserves better and always has.


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