This post contains spoilers for Riverdale.
Check out our last review here.
Riverdale’s always been painted as the perfect picture of the American dream. Whether in the supremely horny Riverdale or in the perfectly prude Archie comics of old, the town’s practically perfect nature is always the first thing on display. Then we get down to the murder, lies, conspiracies and all the other shady shit that goes down within the city limits. Pretty standard, so far as apparently picture-perfect towns go.
Nothing’s ever black and white in Riverdale. The millionaire who was trying to kill you last summer could hand you the keys to your very own gym with no ulterior motives the next. Just as quickly, the town’s resident low-life can become the sheriff. Amidst all of that change, the scrappy little town has one constant: the friendship of the main four.
After months of keeping most of them separated for one reason or another, we finally got some time with Betty, Veronica, Archie and Jughead. They never all appear together at the same time, but the moments they spend together are an important reminder of what Riverdale’s foundation is made of. B and V’s much overdue interaction kicks the Gladys Jones storyline into high gear, while Archie, Jughead, and Betty’s plan helps finally put an end to the “Defeat The Red Paladin” quest. So much gets done when we all work together and communicate!
FP’s birthday celebration is the shining moment of “American Dream”, but we’ve got some couples drama to touch on first. First up is Veronica and Reggie. Reg wants more, while Veronica wants to take things slow. The girl did just get out of a really complicated relationship, after all. Reggie’s doe eyes and mostly well-reasoned plea to become V’s partner plays off well, right up until he says that she owes him. Pay attention to Veronica, ladies. You don’t owe him anything.
Veggie might be down for the count. Tragically, Choni might not be far behind. Toni and Cheryl have always been deeply different, but up until now it’s played to their strengths. Now that the Poisons are involved, and Cheryl’s not the center of attention, there’s some friction. And I’m not just talking about the fun kind that went down in the Speakeasy. Toni’s moving out, and Cheryl’s preparing for her next role.
Now, FP Jones. He’s fifty this week, and all the big dope wants is for his family to be together and happy. He’s fought his whole adult life to put a roof over he and his family’s heads, and he finally has some semblance of a grasp on things. Now, part of that grasp on things might involve moving into his ex’s (and potential future daughter’s) house, but hey, so far as the guy knows things are looking up. Too bad he’s being played by his no good wife who is also manipulating his daughter to grow up just like her.
FP will be the first to tell you that he was a bad father, but watching him grow has been one of Riverdale’s greatest gifts. His relationship with his son and the young Serpents and his fierce desire to do right by them has been the cornerstone of his character, and he deserves great things, damnit! Honestly, he has great things; he has his son, a great job, and a long-time best friend who’s always low key been in his corner. The only thing threatening that right now is his lying apparently-not-so-ex-wife.
Fred and FP’s interaction tonight was the first time it’s really hit me that Luke Perry’s gone. There’s so much history there, and we finally had the opportunity to see that relationship grow now that the two were to be neighbors. Fred would have been an invaluable friendship for FP when all of this Gladys nonsense hits the fan, and to know that won’t be there brings incredible heartache for the character, and for all of Luke’s fans.
The “American Dream” MVP moment goes to a speech by one Jughead Jones. As much as I’ve waxed poetical about FP’s love for his son, Jug returns that love in kind. Their relationship is such a gift, and I have a feeling we’re going to see it take center stage more often over the remainder of the season. Jug decides not to out his mom at his father’s birthday, but he’s ready to save his dad and his sister, and to make his mom regret ever trying to bring the drug trade back in his town.
Next week the show must go on! At Cheryl’s insistence, Riverdale’s next musical episode will be Heathers. The HBIC needs to get some rage out, and we get what will hopefully be another tremendous musical episode. You know what to do if you had thoughts on this week!