This week Riverdale season 3 introduced its second plotline about Archie Andrews participating in underground boxing. This time it’s of his own accord.
For the most part this episode of Riverdale season 3 was more of the same. Veronica Lodge got involved with Hiram Lodge’s business, Betty Cooper worried about Alice Cooper joining a cult, Jughead Jones learned more about Griffins & Gargoyles and Archie decided he has to resort to boxing because he walked out of the SATs. It was all pretty in line with the season in general.
The most unique and refreshing aspect was the relationship between Archie and Josie McCoy. This relationship felt very genuine. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t immediately overshadowed by melodrama and circuitous plot points like most Riverdale relationships. I hope this lasts at least a few episodes.
Meanwhile, Toni Topaz was still running her new gang, the Pretty Poisons. Jughead tried to get Toni back. She said that she would only do this if she could be the Serpent Queen. Jughead refused and said it had to be Betty. But, why? Couldn’t he at least ask Betty if the title even means that much to her?
When Jughead belittled the group, Cheryl Blossom felt the need to step in. She had the Pretty Poisons corner Fangs Fogarty and Sweet Pea and pelt them. Riverdale insisting on gang war plots instead of allowing these characters to develop real friendships— or even real rivalries— is extremely frustrating. It’s more frustrating that every single time a girl wants to stand up for herself and feel empowered on this show, she orchestrates a physical assault.
Betty became increasingly worried about The Farm. When she tried to talk to Kevin Keller, she found out that he’s considering joining. This is a lot for a subplot. It feels like they either need to lay off the cult stuff or make it the main season plot.
As is usually the case, the biggest issue with this episode was that characters don’t talk to each other any more. Aside from Betty and Jughead, the core four didn’t talk at all. It’s frustrating watching these kids go through major things like their parents threatening them or family members joining a cult and seeing them completely on their own. Kids on Riverdale act like strong independent adults. It makes watching the show a largely emotionless experience.