Riverdale ep. 3.13 “Chapter Forty-Eight: Requiem for a Welterweight”

This is a late one, kids. I’ve had a busy week going to glamorous (not really) literacy parties and generally recuperating from some health issues.

But it really feels like Riverdale has been gone for ages. There’s been a lot of breaks this season, and it isn’t for the better. The story keeps losing steam, but if it was watched in one go, I might have a different opinion on things.

Alice is being baptized into the farm. While Alice tries to shut Betty out, Jughead suggests that Betty try accepting (or pretending to) what Alice has decided.

Betty reluctantly agrees to play along, until she learns that Alice has to sign a weaver form. When Betty sees the forms, she notices that there is a possibility of death in the baptism.

She later interviews the people who have defected from the Farm. But only one woman agrees to speak to her. When Betty learns that the woman’s sister died during the baptism, Betty runs to her mother’s help. She manages to save Alice just in time before she drowns.

But when Alice comes to, she claims herself to be “reborn”. And she informs Betty that she wants to sell their house so they can all move to the farm full-time.

Meanwhile, Archie attempts to repair his broken character by trying to take up boxing. Archie overhears Elio one day, looking for someone to fight his boxer. Archie agrees to fight him. But Elio stipulates that Archie must lose the fight. While Good Archie immediately says no, he’s won over by the fact that he will receive $5,000 for his “help”.

He feels like this is a good idea until he tells Josie. She reminds him that this is a bad idea, but he’s unable to back out. Tom Keller offers to help Archie and together they nearly win the fight the fair way.

(Completely irrelevant, but Archie and Josie together is a Very Good Thing. Shame that Josie’s character has been confirmed for the Katy Keene spin-off.)

Gladys and Veronica make an unlikely pair when they form a working relationship. Gladys suggests that Veronica spy on Hiram for her. Since Veronica wants to protect her madre, who sold Hiram’s drug trade to Gladys. Veronica decides that she wants her family out of drugs, so she reluctantly agrees to help Gladys.

Together, they get Hiram to agree to focus on his prison, and forget about the “candy trade”. Hiram eventually becomes suspicious of Hermione, but it’s Veronica who takes the fall – owing her father $75,000.

Veronica tells Gladys that Hiram plans on getting the Ghoulies on his side without Penny Peabody around. So the fight begins to see who gets to the Ghoulies first: Hiram or Gladys.

There’s a lame subplot about the Pretty Poisons and the Serpents. Toni refuses to rejoin the old gang because she wants to be a leader. I will always be of the opinion that the gang storylines have always been the most cringey. This new one is one of the worst. It was probably created to pay homage to the Betty & Veronica Vixens comic and to sell some Hot Topic shirts. Otherwise, this one is pretty bad.

But Gladys suggests to Jughead that in order to get more Serpent turf, he needs to side with the Ghoulies. Jughead agrees, weirdly, and goes to FP for his help. FP agrees to claim that the Serpents get immunity from the law.

When Jughead meets the Gargoyles’ leader, Kurt, he quickly realises that the drug-riddled, G&G-obsessed gang are not the type he wants attached to the Serpents. Gladys steps in an makes her own decision without Jughead’s kindness. She enlists the help of the Ghoulies/Gargoyles, much to Jughead’s disappointment.

While this week’s episode is by no means bad, it sort of feels like the season is floundering a bit. Usually there’s a goal: finding Jason’s murderer, catching the Black Hood. But I’m really not sure what this season is doing right now. But hopefully within the next few weeks we start to feel a direction and purpose again.

And fingers crossed there are more Archie and Josie scenes. What a pair of cuties.

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