Riverdale Season 1 Chapter Seven: A Lonely Place Recap

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This week we are in a Wes Craven movie, among other things. I really wanted Jughead’s new home to mean that he’s Harry Potter, but Wes Craven has a movie called The People Under the Stairs, so that interpretation has to win out. For now. Not giving up completely on the idea of the Blossoms as the anti-Weasleys.

Jughead starts his voiceover musing on what makes a place feel like home. Warmth, familiarity, love, safety, acceptance, an idealized version of the American Dream? While he’s speaking, we see him sitting in a “typical” mid 20th century American kitchen with the Coopers, Jason Blossom, and Veronica. Jughead looks disturbed every time he notices something new in the scenario. Everyone else is blissfully happy. The room looks like something out of a Wes Anderson movie. Hal hands Jughead the utensils to carve the turkey that’s on the table. Jughead looks over to see his dad alone in a dark, messy living room watching TV. The knife disappears and Archie comes over to ask why Jughead stabbed him in the back. Sure enough, that’s where the knife is.

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Riverdale Season 1 Chapter Six: Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill! Recap

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Get Thee to a Nunnery

This week Riverdale goes Shakespearean tragedy, except for Archie. Up until now, he’s been in separate storylines from the rest of the main cast. This week, he’s more integrated with the other characters, but he still has his own theme going. Instead of Shakespeare, he’s trying to avoid becoming part of I Was a Teenage Werewolf. He still has no clue as to what’s going on in the rest of Riverdale, even when he’s sitting at the same table with half the cast.

After they made us think that Jason and Polly were Romeo and Juliet last week, this week it’s revealed that Polly is Ophelia. What’s really scary is the Jughead/Betty-Romeo & Juliet references. Who knows where the Andrews/Lodge/McCoy storyline is going. There are elements of Othello there, or it could end up twisting around to feed into the Hamlet/Romeo and Juliet fusion that’s already happening. I’ve lost track of exactly which parents used to date or have rivalries, and they probably haven’t all been revealed, so those jealousies could go anywhere.

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Riverdale Season 1 Chapter Five: Heart of Darkness Recap

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This week, we go full on Gothic, with Cheryl Blossom as our Gothic Heroine. Cheryl and her family have lived for generations in their spooky mansion, known as Thornhill, hidden behind imposing gates, an overgrown garden, and its own graveyard. Nobody goes near the place who doesn’t have to.

No wonder Cheryl is having a nightmare as the episode begins, between the creepy atmosphere she’s been raised in, and the fact that she’s sleeping in Jason’s bed again, while she works on his eulogy. She dreams of herself in a flowing red gown, surrounded by candles, opening Jason’s casket (which is in her living room), and discovering that he’s clawed his way out of it. She’s startled awake by zombie Jason appearing behind her. Not sure what’s worse, him, or her mother lurking in the bedroom door. Mama Blossom doesn’t offer any comfort to her daughter, just criticism and humiliation. Mrs Blossom informs Cheryl that she won’t be speaking at the funeral.

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Riverdale Season 1 Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show Recap

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The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. – Edmund Burke

This quote could probably be my recap for the week, possibly for the series, possibly also for the current political situation. In all three cases, there are many people waiting and watching, thinking of themselves as the good people, telling themselves that they are following the rules, the situation isn’t all that dire, others are overreacting, and it won’t be time to act until things get “really bad.” But what does “really bad” mean? When your 15 year old is sneaking out of the house to have sex with his music teacher, who is nearly 20 years older than him? When the teenagers in your supposedly idyllic town are in mental institutions, found murdered, or made homeless, and nobody saw it coming?

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Riverdale Season 1 Chapter Three: Body Double Recap

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We are all very INTENSE this week on Riverdale as secrets are revealed. Not who the killer is, of course, don’t be ridiculous. I didn’t even entertain the idea that Cheryl was confessing to the murder at the end of Chapter Two. No, we’re getting deeper into the secrets and obsessions of this supposedly innocent small town.

We begin with Cheryl expanding on her confession. She loved Jason more than she loves herself. She lied in her original statement to the police. [I’m sure we are all shocked to hear this.] She hasn’t seen Jason since July 4th. The Sheriff tells her that Jason died July 11th. Cheryl explains that Jason wanted to leave Riverdale in a way that would allow him to start over without being looked for. They planned to use the drowning story that Cheryl gave the police. Jason was supposed check in with Cheryl within a month, but she never heard from him. She doesn’t explain why Jason wanted to fake his death and leave town. The Sheriff effectively shuts her down by being accusatory, suggesting that she’s lying now and killed Jason herself, and that their plan was cruel. Then Cheryl’s parents show up to take her home, at which point I realized they were still in the school and this questioning was extremely unethical.

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Riverdale Season 1 Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil Recap

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Jason Blossom is still dead. Jughead feels that most people hoped that he was still alive until there was irrefutable proof otherwise. That he didn’t drown on July 4th, and he would walk into school Monday morning (we see Jason in the hall with the other football players) or would be spotted sharing a booth at Pop’s with Cheryl (the twins are in their white outfits, splitting a milkshake). We also see Cheryl and her parents identifying Jason’s body at the coroner’s office.

Archie is tossing and turning in bed, remembering being with Miss Grundy and hearing the gunshot on July 4th. He texts Betty, but she doesn’t want to talk. Archie gets up and goes for a run, straight to Miss Grundy’s house. They argue again about the gunshot and whether they should come forward. He has no understanding of the fact that her career would be ruined and what that would mean for her (whether or not she deserves it is another issue).

In the morning, Fred asks Archie where he ran to in the middle of the night. Archie is surprised that his father heard him. Fred replies that he’s been hearing Archie sneak out since he was 8 years old and sneaking over to Jughead’s tree house. He tells Archie to stop going on late night runs until the murderer is caught.

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Riverdale Season 1 Chapter One: The River’s Edge

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Riverdale is the new CW Twin Peaks lite teen mystery drama from Greg Berlanti, of the DC Berlantiverse, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, writer for Glee, Big Love, Supergirl, Marvel Comics, and Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics. The adult cast is stocked with veterans of teen and science fiction shows, such as Molly Ringwald, Skeet Ulrich, Luke Perry, Robin Givens, and Tom McBeath. One, Mädchen Amick, is an actual Twin Peaks cast member. So, the show starts with a great resume and critics have given the pilot great reviews. For myself, I’m a little burned out on high school dramas after five years of The Vampire Diaries and having been one of the few who stuck with Glee until the bitter, bitter end. I loved Twin Peaks way back when, though, and I do still love a good twisted, quirky, potential cult show in the making. So, what the heck, let’s give it a shot.

They start right off with their homage to Twin Peaks. This not a coincidence:

The settings for both shows are very similar, small towns in the Pacific Northwest where nature is still rugged and wild. The rivers rush, the mist creeps, the mountains loom, and the forests are dark and dense with towering, dripping evergreens. This is not a place where man has tamed nature. The outdoors is a character, and potentially a villain.

In fact, Jughead, our narrator, begins by telling us about the mysterious death of Jason Blossom, the Laura Palmer of Riverdale. Kudos to everyone involved for not making him a blonde female. The Blossom twins, Jason and his sister Cheryl, who are both redheads, drive out to Sweet Water River dressed in white and holding hands, to take an early morning boat ride on July 4th. Nothing unusual in that, right? Before they get in the boat, Cheryl asks Jason if he’s scared. Jason shakes his head no. They get into the boat, and Jason rows them out into the middle of the water, while Cheryl sits with her gloved hands primly in her lap. Moments later, a gunshot fireworks thunder loud sound is heard.

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