ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE: SPOILERS AHEAD
It’s Christmas in Riverdale and nothing is as it seems. In the show’s 9th episode before the mid-season break titled, “Silent Night, Deadly Night,” the core four: Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead are faced with problems bigger than their crumbling relationships.
In Episode 8, we saw how much the show just loves corrupting Betty Cooper. The “Serpent Dance” was her way into Jughead’s world, but instead, she got the boot. For her own good, of course. It would be interesting to see what this does to Betty — especially after that final callback scene with her and Archie looking at each other through their windows. Is this the end of Bughead? Are Archie and Veronica truly no more?
We watched the mid-season finale of Riverdale and found some answers — but were left with a sinking feeling in our stomachs, as one does when watching the show. This time, it’s for the show’s sake. Season 2 has been quite the drama series, even more so than the first. It’s here that it’s separated itself from the comics and turned a relatively wholesome story into dark tale starring killer-seeking teens, sinister parents, gangs and drugs. Frankly, we’re worried about it. If it tries to top the darkness of Season 2’s first half, we’re about to see things get pitch black, perhaps taking some of our beloved characters down a very messed up road. We’re eager to see what happens next, but at the same time, we’re afraid for our core four, with each of them always just on the brink of taking things too far.
What’s interesting about this episode is how much it appears to reveal without really revealing anything. Don’t expect it to be a satisfying conclusion to the Black Hood saga — it’s mid-season and there are still 12 episodes to go. They do show the Black Hood’s face (no, we’re not gonna tell you who it is; you’ll have to watch it on Thursday), but it’s all still somehow unconvincing. All we can say is… ALL YOUR THEORIES ARE WRONG. We suspect the unsatisfying reveal is the show’s way of telling us that it’s not really over — you’ll even see it on the faces of Archie, Betty, Jughead and Veronica when they do their postmortem at Pop’s. Nobody is convinced and there are more questions than answers.
Among the many questions is: Why are Jughead and Betty almost always going bad? It’s like they’re trying to break our hearts on purpose. In Episode 9, Juggy rallies the younger Serpents and convinces them to save his father, by way of “stopping” Penny the drug dealer. In the process, Jughead does something quite brutal (or does he) and frankly we are shook. How did it get this bad for the Joneses?
Betty, on the other hand, buries herself in the Black Hood’s trail and enlists Archie as her sidekick. While they discover the identity of Riverdale’s serial murderer, closure is still very much absent.
Veronica and Archie are in a weird place, but of course. How can they not be? In Episode 8, Archie said “I love you” and Ronnie didn’t say it back. It’s like Steve and Nancy all over again. While they struggle to remain friends, Veronica struggles with her parents’ usual shadiness. What are they up to this time?
Overall, the episode answer the biggest question we’ve had since Season 2 began — who — but doesn’t quite deliver a why that will allow us to sleep at night, at least until the show returns for the rest of the season on Jan. 19. We’re hoping no more corrupting Betty Cooper, but in our hearts we know that Riverdale is past that: Betty is begging to be bad. Let’s see how the rest of the season goes next year. In the meantime, enjoy Riverdale‘s mid-season finale, which streams on Netflix this Thursday.