After the news of Luke Perry’s passing, I really didn’t want to watch Riverdale. Perry was one of my first celebrity crushes. He was a genuinely good guy according to those who knew him. And frankly, the idea of watching him on screen felt more sadistic than fun.
But I woke up this morning and decided to get back on the saddle. It was nice to see a couple of sweet scenes with Perry’s character Fred interacting with Archie and FP. It seems a shame that his character has taken such a back seat all season. Perry’s Fred will always be the heart and soul of Riverdale that rooted it in a reality that made the show so likable.
Without Perry, this show has lost a large part of its soul. We’ll miss you, dude.
With that said, there wasn’t much to miss in these two episodes of Riverdale. Though watching them back-to-back certainly was a nice change. The storylines actually felt like they complimented each other. So instead of two separate “I’m so late I apologise” post, here’s a recap of “Chapter Forty-Nine: Fire Walk With Me” and “Chapter Fifty: American Dreams”.
After being fully initiated into the Farm, Alice Cooper becomes determined that she’s going to sell the family home. Betty does her best to deter her mother (well, mostly the potential buyers). She even sets the house on fire. But she eventually loses out to none other than Gladys Jones. Jughead tries to keep the peace by offering to let Betty stay with them, but she declines and stays with Veronica.
The Farm so far has seemed rather harmless. Sure they do stupid things, but their ‘danger’ is being shown off by children putting their hands over Bunsen burners and running over coals. Both of which I think some people do for fun anyway.
Veronica continues playing the chess match with Hiram and Gladys. She struggles back and forth to get power, but eventually wins out by deciding to hire the Pretty Poisons to be her new muscle. (Apparently the deal with the Serpents fell through?)
But the decision is a controversial one. Toni and Cheryl continue their passive-aggressive power struggle. Cheryl shows off her feathers as being a horrible person. We like that she’s a horrible person. But it’s clearly not a personality trait that makes for a good girlfriend. Toni’s character has many redeeming qualities, like being able to stand up for herself and stay strong for a cause she believes in (ie sisterhood).
The friction between the two comes to a head, and Cheryl kicks Toni out of her house.
Gangland isn’t going all that smoothly for Jughead either. He tried to exert his power over the newly-joined Gargoyles, but he’s met with animosity. He tries his best to give them all a united purpose. And eventually, he convinced FP to allow the gang to become sheriff’s deputies.
He’s seemingly winning, but poor Jughead can’t have that much go right in his life. He and Veronica overhear that someone is trying to make a go of the drug trade in Riverdale again. Jughead assumes that it is Hiram, but Veronica knows the truth.
She eventually admits Gladys’s plans to Betty, who immediately says she needs to tell Jughead. When she does deliver the news, he begins to struggle with how to handle the truth. He opts not to tell FP about it (in order to keep his dad on the straight-and-narrow) but rather decides to take his mother down by himself….with Betty’s help, of course.
In a shocking twist, Archie has the best storyline of the weeks! While working late at the boxing gym one night, Archie and Josie find a little boy hiding in the gym. He tells them that he had run away from his shelter after he was branded by a gang of men. Archie and Josie quickly realise that it is the “sacrifice” brand that Archie has.
Archie and Fred take the boy, Ricky, under their wings. They care for him and Archie even helps hunt Ricky down when he runs away. But when Archie gets a call from a social worker, who warns him that Ricky is Joaquin’s little brother. Archie begins to look for Ricky, and the little boy cuts him with a kitchen knife in an attempt to finish what his brother had started.
After the attack, Fred finds a “Kill the Red Paladin” quest card on the kitchen floor. Archie asks Hiram about it, and he admits that he made many of the cards to be distributed. To end the quest, Archie, Betty and Jughead band together to alter the quest. Hiram gives them the use of an abandoned boxing gym near the docks where they hold a “King of the Mountain”-style tournament.
The kids invite all of the G&G playing folk to fight the Red Paladin. If the Red Paladin wins the fight against every one of them, the quest to kill him is over. And after fighting each of them, including his old prison guard, Archie becomes victorious, lifting the bounty from his head.
Sounds like next week is musical week. Cheryl demands that Kevin direct Heathers, which should be fun. It would have been more fun if Kevin wasn’t a part of the Farm. But alas.
There’s a nice (perhaps unintentional) Basket Case reference in “Chapter Fifty”. I’d like to think it was intentional. Please introduce the world to the majesty of Belial.