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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Riverdale Season 1 Episode 10: The Lost Weekend Recap


This week is all about chaos vs control. Jughead is so discombobulated that he can’t even come up with a literary reference in his opening voice over, unless we count the numerous dystopian novels with the theme of societal control. Jughead definitely thinks he’s in a dystopian novel this week. We get the literary theme of the The Three/Four Musketeers from Betty and Archie, instead.

Jughead’s birthday is this weekend. He prefers to celebrate quietly and barely acknowledge it. The gang has other ideas.

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Riverdale Season 1 Chapter One: The River’s Edge


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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