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Ready for a grim final year

KJ Apa (left), Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse
Photo: Dean Buscher (The CW)
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Aaron Sorkin has a small habit of making "What Kind Of Day Have It Been?" In his various TV series. To label the final episodes of the first season. He takes every stop as an opportunity to take stock and look back. Take a look at what's in front of you and see what's coming. Although Riverdale chained himself to the duty to act, the typing staff embeds the reflection of this nature in the story that they must complete in "Chapter Fifty-Seven"

. Above all, what enables our central quartet to join Grouping pop with milkshakes after all the different dangers this season promotes that sense of summation. They all giggle at the overwhelming amount of trauma they had to deal with this year alone – the organ harvest cult, not one, but two masked lunatics, the revelation that their boyfriend's mother is a criminal mastermind, death in every direction as far as the eye can see – and the vow to return to normalcy. There are probably many fans who repeat these feelings and are anxious to return to the classroom routine.


Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has other plans. You get the feeling that he's considering a return to first season's stints as a shift that the show can not return to its brighter and simpler self. How else can you explain the shocking flash forward that announces that all hopes for high school innocence are out of place? This coda, which would have been a "watercooler moment" when we were still discussing watercoolers or a monoculture, is a slap in the face for anyone hoping that the show would break out of the grim phase of this season. Archie, Veronica, and Betty stand around their blazing fire around a blazing campfire, burning their clothes, and finally throwing in the unwary-looking Jughead hat. The juxtaposition of what appears to be a bad blood pact with the careless happiness of the four characters in their presence is a sign of cruelty. The kids are wrong when they think that from now on they only have to worry about pop quizzes. So we are too.

This scene suggests that the madness of "Chapter Fifty-Seven" will be the order of the day, and we should all get used to it better. Determined to end with a bang and not a whimper, the writing team stages more intense showdowns that can be counted on the one hand until the forty-two minutes. That too is not an approximate language. The exhausting feeling of this episode can be attributed to the fact that six different scenes had the flattening emotional weight to end the episode, but only one did. Mastermind Penelope Blossom has launched a sadistic scavenger hunt for her teenage nemes, with one life-changing horror after another aimed at her. "It happens a bunch of crazy shit" could quite well describe most of Riverdale episodes, but they all have the solemn allusion that this episode – except for a time-mismatched confrontation between a reunited Archie and Veronica – There is no chance poison is pouring through her veins. It is not allowed to pedal gently, not this week.

Archie has to kill a bear man! Jughead has to kill Chick! Betty has to kill her father! Veronica has to kill herself (or how she thinks)! Aguirre-Sacasa and his authors have finally come up with a way to have too much in a show that promises too much on its own. The four life or death calculations face each character with their innermost agony – the bear was a recurring symbol of Archie's ability to force and gave him the excuse of saying, "Oh, crap, not yet again" that Jughead turns to Betty's portrayal of the danger in the form of chic dissolves Veronica's alleged guilt of bringing Riverdale so much danger as she tries to take a Russian roulette ball for her pals, and Betty stands by her father's own shadow side. Everything makes sense on paper, but that's just the problem. It's more fun to discuss these scenes than to look at them, the usual stock value that is spoiled by the sincerity of the sound.

Two teenagers who now own significant lands in Riverdale are quite meaningful in the series' crazy internal logic. as well as a scene that opens on a craniotomy. We have been trained not to keep an eye on this for the past three years, but we have no idea what to do when this show demands that we take their emotional stakes seriously. It's no wonder that the episode's best scene is also the silly one in which the Pretty Poisons mini archer army arrives just in time to fight back the Gargoyle threat. Of course, nobody will die here (a phenomenon I've learned to know as "Plot Armor"), but that's not even a problem if we just enjoy participating in this show. In the event that the scriptures suddenly insist that these murder cases will be much more annoying than the previous murders with lesser use, the U-turn.

But even when Riverdale stumbles in trying to get into a sprint – here it becomes dangerous American Horror Story though Cheryl Blossom is friends with her brother's parched corpse – it It is only a matter of time before the show starts again his feet. Mama Jones will be around for a while, as long as the authors prevent Fred's death and she delivers her own son. Charles has re-entered the Cooper family universe, confused the pedigrees, and prepared the show for a decidedly different dynamic between Betty and Jughead next year. Not to mention Alice's new partnership with the FBI, another topic of great potential in the third season.

But the heart and soul of this show live in Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica. The last scene leaves a sour taste and mocks the kind of high school melodrama that originally brought the show into hit. The highlights of this season are reached when the show comes closest to their former self. Fear testing, school games, prom night. Getting away from it could be a slippery slope, giving the authors the wrong idea of ​​what it means to excel themselves. This is the constant mandate in animated TV shows to return bigger, darker and more intense every year. However, this is not the criterion of Riverdale . For this show, no other cliffhanger or gruesome gores are needed to beat the previous year.

Balance was the name of the game from the first season, when the show figured out how much it wanted to be Twin Peaks compared to what it wanted to be An Invitation to Love ]. The third season has learned more about the former (though it has moved from Lynch Land towards True Detective ), and it looks like the fourth season will continue the trend. Maybe it's just that these storylines have largely kept the main characters away from each other, but they're pulling the mood down. Even if this season has become bleak, an effort is made to maintain a sense of ease. Take a look at the big organ harvest revelation. Having a good time is what Riverdale is all about and losing touch with is the biggest threat to the show's continued success. Easy, all together! The killers have been disposed of, it's summer and a new school year is up. They tell the students who start the first year of school that they should enjoy every moment because it will be over before they know it. I would give the same advice to the cast of Riverdale: Appreciate every moment when you become flawed, accessible, sympathetic children. It's only a matter of time before it's blood again.

Scattering Observations

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