The Women of Riverdale: Character Analysis


Penelope Blossom

Penelope is cunning, devious, calculating, and cruel, a true Blossom through and through. She also was a loving mother toward Jason and a loyal wife to Clifford, as far as we can tell, until he was revealed as the murderer. Even then, she seemed to have divided loyalties between Jason and Clifford.

Jason’s death broke her, but was she broken before that? Why is she so abusive toward Cheryl? Projected self-hatred? Why didn’t she suspect Clifford of Jason’s murder? Did she know about the drugs? It would seem that she did, because she knew that Cliff arranged for Hiram’s arrest.

Cheryl is the only family member she completely despises, which suggests that Cheryl may not actually be her child. The possibility remains that one or both twins were born using a surrogate’s eggs, with Mary Andrews being the most likely candidate. Alternatively, Cheryl may be Clifford’s child from an affair, born around the same time as Jason, and brought home by Cliff to be raised with Jason as his twin. That would explain Penelope’s hatred.

I’m still half convinced that everyone in town is a distant Blossom relation. It would explain a lot. Only the favored branches still own a piece of the syrup/drug business, and there are resentments about old and new slights all over the place. Given that the Blossom men do seem to be cursed to early deaths, the women have to be the ones in the family with the real power. That would leave Penelope at the center of that extended family web, as the new head of the syrup business. I suspect that she has some connection to every Blossom feud, curse, and scandal ever.

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Sense8 Season 2 Episode 3: Obligate Mutualisms Recap


The world of the sensates is broadening rapidly this season, and within this episode. Will finally breaks through the barrier of Whispers to reach a BPO executive and manages a meeting with Jonas, both of which prove very informative. Wolfgang meets a sensate from outside the cluster. But the new information comes with new dangers, and traps within traps are a major theme for this season.

Will and Whispers/Gibbons/Milton/Matheson/Brandt (How many aliases does this guy have?) are meeting in the nondescript room in London that they’ve talked in before. Whispers concedes that Will has compromised him, and tries to convince Will that they have more in common as two Homo sensorium than Will thinks. Will doesn’t buy the ruse. He wants to talk to Croome, the BPO executive in charge. Nomi feeds Will Croome’s personal information until Croome comes into the room. Whispers starts out relaying Will’s demands for a meeting, but balks when Will says that he wants Whispers out of his head. Nomi texts the message to Croome’s personal number, and also asks for a meeting with Jonas. Croome calls in guards who inject Whispers with a drug that renders him unconscious, and Will is finally free from Whispers’ surveillance.

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Sense8 Season 2 Episode 2: Who Am I? Recap


The sensates are back, and the wait has been as hard for them as it has for us. Will’s heroin addiction is reaching a critical state as he and Riley continue to hide from Whispers. Nomi and Amanita are also still in hiding from Whispers’ people. Lito is facing new consequences of coming out, while Sun, Wolfgang, Capheus and Jonas all continue to be threatened by forces similar to those that threatened them last season. The difference this season is that they’ve learned to quickly jump in and give support, or take over to help each other, which makes them an effective team. But Whispers is relentless, and knows what he’s doing.

We open on Will and Riley asleep in their latest squat, a church somewhere in Europe, by the looks of it. Angelica, their cluster mother, sits nearby and watches Will. He transitions into “visiting” with Whispers as Whispers controls the mind of another sensate. Whispers sends the man to murder someone else, as a demonstration for others who stand in the room and watch. The mind-controlled sensate has had a neural graft procedure performed on his brain which Angelica helped to develop, working with Whispers. Will’s also experiencing Angelica’s memory of Whispers tricking her about the purpose of the procedure, then he experiences the murder itself as if he’s the perpetrator.  Whispers and Angelica were a couple in her memory. Angelica is filled with guilt in the present day. She tells Will he has to stop it.

Will startles awake, terrified that he’s actually killed someone. Riley comforts him back into reality.

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Riverdale Season 1 Analysis and Review and Season 2 Speculation


Overall, this has been a great season on Riverdale, with a complex overarching plot and characters. I’ve enjoyed recapping it and keeping up with all of the literary references, which added a fun depth to the show. I now jump every time someone makes a reference on any show I watch, and assume it will have importance that spans the rest of the season. This doesn’t always pan out.

The cast are all amazing, especially Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, Mädchen Amick, Skeet Ulrich, Madeleine Petsch, Marisol Nichols, and Luke Perry. They all dominate the scenes they are in. Even though Fred Andrews is one of my least favorite characters, Luke Perry is still a great actor. All of these actors, and many of the others, have given their characters mystery and nuance, even if they didn’t necessarily get much screen time, in the case of some that I didn’t list, like Ashleigh Murray, the actress who plays Josie McCoy.

The Gothic strand of the show’s story seems to be over, but I hope they keep the Noir aspect for the entirety of their run, and add in other genres to explore. This show would be so much less interesting if it was just about a group of small town high school kids. The creepy otherworldly atmosphere, the dark, seedy Noir lighting, Jughead’s voiceovers, read as if from a murder mystery novel that’s steeped in his existential alienation, and the costumes and sets that seem to be from someplace frozen in time, are all what make this show feel so unique.

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The 100 Season 4 Episode 13: Praimfaya Recap Plus Season 4 Review and Season 5 Speculation


What’s that in the sky? Not a bird, and not Superman, that’s for sure. It could be several other things, depending on where we are in this week’s season finale of The 100. Maybe it’s Clarke playing with a satellite dish, maybe it’s Becca’s rocket, maybe it’s a mysterious prison transport ship or maybe it’s the Death Wave. The 100 ends a chapter with this episode, and sets up its next era. Our babies are growing up.

Bellamy gets his goodbye with Octavia, finally, as they talk over the radio between Becca’s lab and the bunker. He shores up her confidence so that she can face leading Oneclan for the next five years, and she tells him that she loves him. The radio dies before he can say it back, and before Clarke gets to say goodbye to Abby, but Octavia knows how Bellamy feels, and Abby made sure that she and Clarke said goodbye before Clarke left for the island. Octavia and Bellamy were the ones who needed to talk, and he needed to hear that he’s forgiven and still loved. Bellamy’s reference to Octavia as Prometheus is disturbing, since, as she points out, Prometheus ends up being punished and living in perpetual torment until he’s rescued by Hercules. Foreshadowing?

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The 100 Season 4 Episode 9: DNR Recap


In a season which has largely been meant to set up the end of the season and season 5, this episode is even more guilty of mainly functioning as set up for the events of the rest of the season. Octavia and Ilian try being farmers, but Octavia still manages to kill people. Murphy and Emori try being part of Skaikru, but Emori can’t bring herself to trust them. Raven’s brain has a mind of its own. Roan and Echo outsmart Clarke and Indra, forcing them to give other clans a chance at the bunker. As with the rest of the season up until now, nobody’s plans play out exactly as they expect, and some seem like outright failures.

Murphy, Emori, and Raven are packing up essentials from Becca’s lab to bring to the Polis bunker. Emori doesn’t trust that someone will be back to pick them up. Raven assures her that, while Murphy and Emori are indeed expendable, Skaikru wouldn’t leave Raven herself behind, so Murphy and Emori will get to tag along. That’s not as reassuring to Emori as Raven probably thinks it will be, especially since Raven starts to go into another Grand Mal seizure immediately after she says it. The seizures form a new round of narrative dreamlike hallucinations, starring Becca the aeronautical engineer.

Skyripa as farm wife has arrived! She enjoys it about as much as expected. Ilian’s justification for Octavia’s field work, and the seeds he’s planting, is that the fields will be ready for whoever comes along after Praimfaya. He seems to still be missing some important facts about Praimfaya, like that it will destroy all life on Earth, and the ground will be too radioactive to grow things for years. At least he’s cute.

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Agents of Shield Season 4 Episode 22: World’s End/ Season Finale Recap


Is it Halloween? No, it’s time for the return of Ghost Rider, back from the other dimensions to help with Aida! This week, we wrap up the season, tying up some dangling loose ends, but pulling a few new threads loose at the same time. What would be the fun in having a neat, tidy ending, anyway? We know we’re getting a 22 episode season 5, probably starting in November, so let’s enjoy this one and make it last all summer.

Robbie has found his way from the portal in the base to his haunted Charger, and is on the road again. May is not letting her lost bottle of Haig go. She’ll be interrogating Coulson about LMD May over the next bottle. For now, she’s got the Zephyr on automatic pilot, frequently switching altitude and thruster speed.

Jemma and Fitz discuss Ophelia’s inhuman powers, how she got them, and what they do to people. He’s a bit dramatic and self-loathing about it, and Jemma tells him that she doesn’t need his innocence, she needs his solutions that kill people, right now. He’s still uncertain and unenthusiastic, which leads Jemma to ask him if he even wants to kill Aida.

The Framework is beginning to shut down. Daisy and Coulson try to find ways to convince Mack and Yo-Yo to leave, while watching it disappear around them. Daisy feels guilty for leaving Mack behind her, but Coulson comforts her. He feels she made the best call she could, given the situation. It’s so nice to see them working together again, supportive and like a father and daughter team.

Daisy leads Radcliffe to the Triskelion, where Elena is locked up and under attack, by leaving a trail of yo-yo’s through the city. He finds her just in time. The building is disappearing around them. That building just isn’t safe in any reality.

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The 100 Season 4 Episode 12: The Chosen Recap


It’s time for Culling number 4,652 on The 100. This time, Octavia is in charge, and, while it would be going too far to say she’s enjoying rubbing the irony of it all in to the Arkadians, she’s not pulling her punches, either. Clarke, Bellamy, and most of the rest of the younger generation of (still-living) named characters are on a time-sensitive quest of their own that takes them far from the bunker, as the Death Wave approaches. What could possibly go wrong?

The Grounders are herding the Arkadians out of their dorms and into the central meeting area. The Arkadians are clueless as to why, but Emori, ever the sharp survivor, picks up on the fact that only 100 spots are reserved for them, according to Octavia’s plan. Everyone who overhears her is stunned. Jaha takes a moment to guilt Bellamy about all of the people he’ll be murdering because he opened the door, since Jaha can’t do the math or open his eyes enough to look around and notice how much more crowded the bunker is suddenly. Pretty sure Bellamy just saved a net 800 lives. They just aren’t people who will listen to Jaha when he tries to play God.

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Riverdale Season 1 Chapter 11: To Riverdale and Back Again Recap


It’s Homecoming weekend in Riverdale. The Riverdale Bulldogs will be playing their archrivals, the Baxter High Ravens, Poe’s symbol of loss and desperation. Riverdale still wants to appear like an idyllic little town, but the battle with its darker side continues. The overall themes of the episode are homecoming, reunion, nostalgia, and commitment. Home is a place of love and family, but it can also be a dangerous place, where people get hurt and evidence of the family’s crimes gets hidden.


Betty is stretched thin between her commitments, and has tried to hand off decorating for the homecoming dance to Ethel so that she can focus on her writing. Principal Weatherbee suspiciously forces her to drop her writing in favor of decorating.

Hiram’s lawyer informs Hermione that the judge was impressed by Veronica and Hermione’s statements. He’s inclined to let Hiram off with a sentence of time served. I’m not surprised. Embezzlers don’t actually get long sentences. Veronica is shocked, since she seems to think her father is an ax murderer, and is still on her witch hunt against him. Hermione tells her, again, to stop looking for trouble where it doesn’t exist. Veronica doesn’t understand the difference between having a motive and actually committing a crime.

Jughead brings breakfast to FP, and discovers that he’s cleaned up his act. The trailer is neat and clean, and so is FP. FP has read Jughead’s book draft, and wants to talk about it. He’s impressed, but he thinks that Jughead shouldn’t get too involved. He should move on to another story instead of obsessing about this one. Jughead isn’t sure what to make of his dad’s suggestion.

Archie and Veronica discuss their night together. Veronica doesn’t want to start a relationship, since she’s consumed with pinning Jason’s murder on her father, even though she considers Archie boyfriend-worthy. Archie agrees, and wants to help with her investigation. Veronica says they have to pretend that they didn’t spend the night together. Archie wants to try the Bughead method of dating by investigating.

Alice calls Veronica and Betty to the Blue and Gold office to discuss the murder investigation. Alice has decided to take over the kids’ investigation. She considers everyone but the three of them a suspect. How did Veronica make the cut? Doesn’t Alice hate her? She must need the manpower. Even the Pussycats are suspects. Maybe Jason hated music.

Alice asks Veronica about Hiram as a suspect. Veronica is happy to share her unfounded suspicions about Hiram and FP with Alice. Then we move on to “that gay greaser Serpent,” who could be an accomplice. Alice needs to know what FP and Joaquin were “conspiring” about in Archie’s bedroom, so she’s prepared a list of questions for Betty to ask Jughead about them without seeming like she’s actually performing an interrogation. Betty refuses and walks out. Veronica follows, but clearly doesn’t share Betty’s opinions.

Polly is continuing her own investigation of Thornhill. She snoops into Clifford’s dressing room while he getting ready, and sees him preparing to put on one of dozens of red haired wigs. His own hair is white. We’re all as SHOCKED as Polly, right? Thought so. Those were the most obvious wigs, ever. Using the Veronica standard of evidence, let’s assume that Jason probably discovered that his father isn’t a redhead, then tried to get Cliff kicked out of the family, but Clifford killed him instead. Lying about your true hair color must mean something evil!!

Veronica slips back into the Blue and Gold office to tell Alice that she doesn’t have the same loyalty to anyone the Jones family that Betty does, so she doesn’t mind investigating them. She can potentially throw her own family and Betty’s boyfriend’s under the bus with one gesture. Why waste the potential for that kind of betrayal? 

At lunch, Cheryl announces to the gang that she and Polly will be attending the Homecoming Dance together and running for the Homecoming Court. Archie asks Betty if he can sing some songs, since his mom will be there. Betty is not enthusiastic, since all of Archie’s songs are depressing. Veronica jumps in and says that she and Archie will be singing some upbeat covers together.

Archie pulls Veronica aside later, and asks her what’s going on, since she’d turned him down when he asked her to sing with him earlier. She tells him that she’s hoping he’ll help her investigate the murder in return. Veronica explains her theory about FP and Hiram. Archie explains that it’s a big leap to go from vandalism to murder. Honey, when even Archie Andrews can see the flaws in your logic, you really need to rethink your conspiracy theories. Your dress game is flawless in this episode. Please stick to that, and leave the investigating to Betty and Jughead.

Veronica is undaunted. She wants Archie to help her search FP’s trailer. After all, her mother is in denial, and Jughead could be lying. She and her suddenly good friend Alice have cooked up this plot to protect Jughead from getting dragged into something very messy and dangerous. More messy and dangerous than being homeless for months, which Veronica didn’t care about at all. And she thinks Hermione has no idea who her own husband is. Veronica wants to protect Hermione from herself, even though Hiram told Veronica last week that he’d take Hermione down with him. I know Veronica has a lot of fans, but I just can’t. She’s Archie, with better clothes and hair.

Mary Andrews visits Hermione in the construction trailer. She invites Hermione to go to the Homecoming dance with her and Fred. Later she and Fred tell Archie that they’re going to the dance together, but Archie doesn’t care. He’s stopped believing that they’ll get back together.


Penelope brings Polly her daily milkshake from Pop’s and tells her that she’s forbidden from entering the East Wing, where their bedroom is.

Jughead tells Betty that Alice invited him and his father over for dinner so that the families can get to know each other better. Betty realizes that Alice is up to something, but Jughead is so excited about the dinner that she doesn’t say anything. She confronts Alice about it later. Alice manipulates Betty into continued silence.

Jughead tells Archie about his dad’s new attempts to get his life together, and interest in Jughead’s manuscript. To Archie, these are clear signs of potential guilt, not of a husband and parent trying to do right by his family, or a man who can feel the town looking for a scapegoat. He rushes over to Veronica’s to let her know that he’s in for whatever investigating she wants to do. Maybe starting right then in her bedroom.

Polly and Cheryl prepare for the dance. They decide to raid Penelope’s closet for some bling. Cheryl finds Nana Blossom’s engagement ring, last seen with Jason and Polly. They argue about how Penelope could have acquired the ring. Cheryl also mentions that Clifford tried to dye his hair back to red, but the color wouldn’t take.

Penelope later explains that Clifford and Jason argued just before Jason tried to leave town. Jason gave the ring back to Cliff, who gave it to Penelope for safe keeping. Penelope reminds Polly to drink her milkshake.

At the get-to-know-you dinner, Alice tries to subtly go down her list of not-an -interrogation questions. It becomes more and more clear to everyone that it’s an interrogation. Then Hal shows uphaving been invited by Betty, without Alice’s knowledge.

Hal turns the spotlight on Alice. He apparently hasn’t replaced the glass in the door at the newspaper office yet, so he’s getting a bit cold sleeping there.

FP brings up their long ago Homecoming dance, where Alice and Hal were King and Queen. The theme was Castles in the Clouds, a song sung by an orphaned child from the musical Les Miserables. Fred and FP were setting up for their band to play at the dance when FP overheard Alice and Hal arguing about…something that sounded like life and death. He takes a long look at Betty.


Alice tells FP to shut up. FP says that he’s happy to, if she will. He doesn’t care what she thinks of him, but he doesn’t want to be jerked around. Not in front of his son. Hal is quiet through the entire exchange.

Betty suggests that it’s time to leave for the dance.

Penelope spiked Polly’s milkshake so that’s she’s safely passed out until morning. Cheryl asks if the ring story they told Polly was true. Clifford tells her it was, and he can see that Cheryl is his true heir. Penelope asks where the ring is. Cheryl says she flushed it down the drain, so that it can’t be used as evidence against them, now that Polly’s seen it.

Archie and Veronica use the hidden spare key to get into FP’s trailer and search it. Archie is momentarily confused by mirrored sliding closet doors, but he figures it out. They’re mirrors! But they move! How can this be? They don’t find any evidence. Veronica can’t handle this, since she was sure they’d find something to incriminate her father and FP. How can she go on, without definitive proof, right this very minute? She’s breathless with fear and anxiety. Archie grabs her and assures her that not finding anything is a win for the home team. Veronica rewrites a Psalm in Archie’s honor: “Yeah though I walk through the valley of darkness, and Archie Andrews is there with a sports metaphor.” Then they kiss. It’s all very dramatic.

FP drops Betty and Jughead off at the dance. Jughead stays behind in the truck for a moment to tell his dad that he’s ready to move back home. FP suggests that they should move to Toledo to be with his mom and Jelly Bean. There’s work there, the whole family could be together, and they wouldn’t have to deal with the bad treatment they endure in Riverdale. Jughead isn’t sure he wants to leave Betty, but he’ll think about it.

Fred, Mary and Hermione arrive at the dance. Mary, or Molly Ringwald, former teen star, says to Fred, or Luke Perry, former teen star, “Remember when this was our lives?”

Alice finds Mary in the ladies room to make sure that she knows about Fred and Hermione’s dalliance. Or are the three of them polyamorous, Alice wonders? Mary just rolls with it. Like we’ll get an actual healthy polyamorous relationship on primetime network TV anytime soon. Please, CW, prove me wrong.

Betty sees Alice conspiring with Veronica and Archie. The reason for the dinner starts to become more clear. Weatherbee and Mayor McCoy come up to talk to Betty. Mayor McCoy is offering her an internship, but Betty tunes her out. She excuses herself to confront Veronica and Archie. But it’s time for them to sing, so they avoid her questions for now.


They sing Kids in America. Here’s the thing. I really like KJ Apa and Camila Mendes, despite my ambivalence about their characters. They do a fabulous job with this song. I’m completely here for them to become a singing duo next year, as long as Veronica is in charge of the setlists. Her love of the dramatic would come in handy in this instance.

As they sing, the sheriff arrives at FP’s trailer with a search warrant. The police ransack his home, and discover a gun hidden in a metal lock box in the back of a closet. FP looks surprised to see it.

Fred and Mary share a dance. She asks about Archie and Veronica. He says that he thinks they’re dating. Mary says that the Andrews men are such players. What playing has Fred done?

Kevin and Joaquin are also dancing, as Kevin tells Joaquin about his romantic past. Joaquin looks surprised. He always seems surprised by how experienced Kevin is. Jughead asks them where Betty is. Then Kevin spots the sheriff talking to the mayor.

Jughead finds Betty in the hall arguing with Veronica and Archie about their search of FP’s house. He can tell something’s wrong. Archie and Veronica confess. Betty tells him that her mother sent them while they were having dinner. He assumes Betty was a part of it. Betty says she didn’t know what her mother was up to, but Jughead gets her to admit that she knew her mother was up to something. He’s very hurt and lashing out at all three, especially Betty. He tells her he can’t believe he considered not moving to Toledo with his family for her.


They are interrupted when Kevin and their parents find them to tell Jughead that his father was just arrested for the murder of Jason Blossom. Jughead runs out of the school and down the street. He goes back to the trailer to have his reaction in private.

Betty asks Alice if she was the one who tipped off the sheriff about the gun. Alice denies it, but says she’s glad that Betty will be done with Jughead now. Betty says that she loves Jughead. He’s her family, too. She’s going to find him whether her mother wants her to or not.

Hermione and Veronica sit side by side on their couch. Hermione is worried that FP will confess and reveal all of the Lodges’ secrets. Veronica asks what they’ll do if it turns out that Hiram hired FP to kill Jason. Hermione says that then they’ll cut their ties with Hiram. He’ll be dead to them. Finally, Veronica gets the answer she’s been looking for.

Mary Andrews wants Archie to reconsider moving to Chicago with her. Fred overhears and isn’t happy.

Cheryl checks to make sure that Polly is still breathing. Penelope is crying over Jason’s death and hating on FP. Clifford is comforting her. Cheryl looks at Nana Rose’s engagement ring, still in her hand.

Betty goes to Pop’s looking for Jughead. He’s not there, but Archie and Veronica are. They stop Betty, to say that Kevin called to tell them about the gun the sheriff found. It wasn’t there when they searched the trailer. The gun must have been planted after they left. FP is being framed.


Hermione spends a lot of time doing damage control between Hiram and Veronica, and trying to get Veronica to understand the potential consequences of her actions. Hermione has proved over and over again that her ultimate loyalty is to keeping herself and Veronica safe and together. She wants to work things out with Hiram, because he offers the safest, most financially stable life at the moment, but Veronica keeps threatening that.

Hal and Alice’s fight the night of their Homecoming dance must have been about her pregnancy, and whether or not she should have an abortion. What’s interesting is the way FP sounds like an ex-boyfriend in that conversation and in the conversation outside the party in the previous episode, and the way that Alice is so fascinated by him. Was the baby FP’s? Is that why he remembers the fight, and why Hal stayed quiet through the whole conversation at the table?

The mayor and Weatherbee were very interested in Betty this episode. Why were they so invested in having her be in charge of the dance, then offering her an internship during the dance, and wanting her to escort the mayor to the stage? Is she their new mascot, or are they trying to distract her?

Just what are Cliff and Penelope putting in those milkshakes on a regular basis, never mind the occasional sedatives?

The 100 Season 4 Episode 8: God Complex Recap


It’s 10 days until Praimfaya. Desperation is setting in, causing some to become more ruthless, some to become more calculating, and some to party like it’s 1999.

It’s time to test out Luna’s bone marrow in the radiation chamber. Baylis is placed inside, still sedated, and the radiation is slowly turned up to 11 until it’s higher than the level of the Black Rain. Baylis survives Black Rain level radiation, but when the levels continue to increase, he writhes in pain as the radiation consumes him. He dies a horrible, painful death while the others watch.

The Ark lost 18 people to the Black Rain. They are holding funerals and burials by fire for the dead. Jaha gives the eulogies and lights the funeral pyres. He’s very comfortable being the prophet of the apocalypse after recruiting for ALIE for months. He’s also aware of the power that even appearing to be an authority figure holds.

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