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That 50’s style comic book opening scene with Jughead wearing his crown and Archie in the sweater with the bowtie was beautifully shot, iconically accurate, and all sorts of creepy. This is something that Riverdale does well, I’ve seen it since episode one and they’ve managed to maintain it almost every single week so far: they commit to the weekly theme and they hit it hard right on the offset. Sure, they’ve only got 42(ish) minutes to work with so there’s no time to beat around the bush, but major props have to go to the producers, writers, and showrunners for consistently hitting the right notes in what’s become an almost perfect symphony of characters and story arcs. This week’s themes of ‘home’ and ‘hope’ are driven like a knife through Archie’s back during that opening sequence that narratively asks the question as to what a home truly is. We’ve seen so many different homes in Riverdale already, it’s easy to see why that particular theme probably gets revisited more than most but it was especially poignant this week with Jughead’s story. So let’s get to it . . .

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I feel Archie redeemed himself a little this week after last week’s severe dip in his collective IQ. While he doesn’t shine through as being incredibly intuitive (he managed to ignore the fact that Jughead was homeless for how long?) he grabs some major points for having a heart of gold. He feels bad that he wasn’t there for Betty during her time of need and he fights to help Jughead by arranging for Mr. Jones to go back to work even though he doesn’t even have the full back story yet, he just wants to help his hurting friend. His dedication as a friend despite differences or awkwardness actually gave him a few moments to shine. Yes, he’s completely overshadowed by everyone else on the show but I still feel he gained a little ground this week.

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After Polly’s magical escape from the mental institution, she sneaks (like a ninja) into her parent’s attic only to be found by Betty. All the characters in Riverdale have such strong personalities and stories, I’m having a little trouble getting behind Polly though. While she’s obviously not the ‘party girl’ that the Blossoms paint her to be, there’s something not quite right about that girl, and her continuing to cling to wanting to go live on a farm somewhere just doesn’t seem grounded in reality.