This episode served to give us a proper introduction to the Blossom family. Other than Mrs. Blossom bitch-slapping Betty’s mom a couple of episodes ago, most of our experience with what is clearly a very well-adjusted family (of psychopaths) has been through Cheryl. But they’re so much more than we expected! Not only do they live in a creepy mansion on the edge of town, but they’re all evil and crazy. And that grandmother (shudder) . . . what is with Granny Blossom?! But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take a look at the other main stories first.
I fully understand that Archie is our main character but the show is truly an ensemble with no actual clear protagonist and it’ll be impossible for every story to have the same impact. For me, Archie’s story is getting a little buried under all the death, drama, and scandals. However, it’s no less heartwarming as our fave teen deals with the dilemma of football vs. music. Veronica points out that we are now living in a PG world – Post Grundy. The shockwaves felt by Grundy’s departure are all purely living inside Archie’s head, and he has a hard time coming to terms with who he is and what he wants to do now that his muse has driven off into the sunset, likely to prey on some other unsuspecting teenagers. Enter Valerie and we have a new female looking to set Archie on a particular path. That’s right, Archie has moved from a cougar to a pussycat (**that was low hanging fruit and I apologize).
This is more nitpicky, but the acting in this show is pretty solid across the board with a few people truly shining (Archie’s Dad, Veronica, Jughead) so when someone is missing the mark entirely, it stands out like a dead Jason Blossom interrupting a gay rendezvous. Oscar the college music mentor is the aforementioned metaphorical floating corpse in this episode. His performance was exceptionally wooden and I found the scenes a little jarring. But I digress . . .
Jughead and Betty are in full investigation mode this episode, seeking to hunt down Jason’s killer. I’m disheartened to have to let go of my Betty/Polly split personality theory but it appears the show has proven me wrong. While we haven’t actually seen Polly yet – but wait, what about the home video of Polly as a kid? – You mean the little blonde girl? – Yeah, that one – That could have just as easily been a young Betty! Okay, so I’m having trouble letting go of the theory. Maybe Betty and Polly aren’t the same person. Maybe Betty is just forming a Polly ‘personality’ to let out her dark side ala Norman Bates? But why can’t Betty see Polly? Why did Mr. Cooper lie about Polly attempting to kill herself when she was really engaged to Jason? It still doesn’t add up. And that brings us to what was possibly my favourite scene this week: Enter Granny Blossom!
Penelope Blossom makes Betty’s mom look like a girl scout leader. From the highly uncomfortable dinner party, to her verbally ripping Cheryl a new one, and her ulterior motive of using her son’s funeral to bring all the murder suspects into one place is downright chilling. Jughead referring to Cheryl as a Gothic Heroine is well-placed because that’s exactly what she becomes in this episode and it’s not just the creepy setting of Thornhill that cements the title for her. Cheryl has her own demons, as revealed by her eulogy, and suffers at the hands of her demented family, and all of a sudden her entire character makes perfect sense. Sadly it means we have to remove her from the list of murder suspects because it now truly makes no good logical sense that she’d have killed her brother who was clearly the only good thing in her world.
This was a great gothic episode that highlighted an even darker side of Riverdale and its nefarious maple syrup drenched murderous past. And now I have a craving for pancakes . . .
– Snakes in a Box! Someone call Samuel L Jackson. Scratch that, call Fred Andrews. Know why? Because he continually crushes it on every level. As both a father and a friend, Mr. Andrews represents something noble and hardworking in a town of misfits, thieves, and murderers. And it looks like Hermione is beginning to notice.
– Blood feud and Maple Syrup – Grandfather Blossom killed Grandfather Cooper. One of the few times anyone has been murdered over sticky sugar. Again, someone bring me pancakes. Now!
– “Yeah, KJ, listen, we’re going to need at least one scene per week where you don’t wear a shirt.”
– Zombie Jason!
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