Riverdale Review – Betty & Veronica Double Digest (709)

Reviews

Love and marriage were two hot topics of Riverdale Season 7 Episode 4. 

And the good news, for many reasons, is that Archie and Cheryl are not getting married, and the experience helped guide Cheryl to a moment of clarity and acceptance. 

Cheryl lied about sleeping with Archie because she knew that it would spark the marriage conversation, which she saw as her only way of escaping her family and living a more authentic life. This is the ’50s, so having sex before marriage was not as openly accepted. It also involved families getting together and talking through the next steps since a man was required to take responsibility for his actions after taking the girl’s honor and potentially ruining her reputation. 

Archie wasn’t comfortable lying about “going all the way” with Cheryl, but when he realized that she was in trouble, he was willing to do anything to help her. 

Of course, agreeing to marry into the Blossom family is crazy in any time period, and soon, it became evident that Cheryl wouldn’t be getting free of her family, she would be trapping Archie instead.

He realized he couldn’t go through with the plan after chatting with her dad—who had Archie’s whole future planned out—but he was still willing to help Cheryl out so he suggested eloping and going out West. His plan would solve Cheryl’s family problem, but it wouldn’t actually do anything to help with the root of the problem—her feelings for Toni. 

At the core of the issue was Chery’s attempt to outrun her feelings. And as Toni explained, she’d eventually have to face herself. So, Cheryl turned down Archie’s very generous offer and left him with a little parting gift—advice to write a poem for the girl next door. It’s incredible how blind both Archie and Betty are to the feelings they have for each other—everyone seems to realize that they are meant to be except for the two of them. 

Archie put pen to paper and began writing his poem, melting hearts along the way as he stared at Betty through the window, but sadly, he never got to deliver it because Uncle Frank blew into town to knock some sense into him… whatever that means. 

Archie is having a bit of an identity crisis in that he doesn’t know who he is, who he wants, or what his purpose is. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this issue come up for Archie’s character—it’s previously led him to do some very questionable things—but he needs to stop listening to others and focus solely on what his heart is telling him. From the outside looking it, it’s to make his way out to California… and maybe take Betty, who I can totally see looking for an escape from her overbearing mother. 

Betty’s mom Alice doesn’t seem to see any value in Betty other than molding her into the perfect little housewife—her happiness be damned. It’s seemingly how Alice is living her life, but Betty is realizing that it doesn’t have to be that way, nor does she have to listen to her mother’s advice, which is genuinely quite concerning. 

Betty may still be discovering a lot about herself, but she knows who she is, and that’s always been her strength. When Kevin informs Betty that he wants to wait till marriage, she immediately breaks up with him because she knows that’s just not going to fly for her. She confides in Toni, who tells her not to be ashamed of her desires, and honestly, Toni might be the season’s best character. She’s the one everyone turns to when they run into a problem, and she always has the solution. It’s inspiring to see how much power she yields and how she always knows how to say just the right thing. 

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Twenty-One: Love & Marriage” — Image Number: RVD704fg_0025r — Pictured (L – R): Casey Cott as Kevin Keller and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper — Photo: The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Betty also comes through with some sound advice for Archie when she realizes he’s sacrificing his future for Cheryl, but most importantly, she throws herself fully into Kevin’s corner when she sees him slow dancing with Clay and realizes that his sexual orientation was the reason that their relationship didn’t work out. She doesn’t accept her mother’s explanation for Kevin’s feelings being just a “phase,” nor does she care to be trapped in a loveless marriage.

Kevin may have still been confused by the changes in his life, but he found an ally in Betty just like fans knew he would. 

Surprisingly, one of the most exciting and electric relationships has been between Veronica and Jughead. They never made sense in other timelines, but in the ’50s they are two outcasts who find themselves truly thriving in each other’s orbit. And honestly, maybe what’s so exciting about this is that it’s a team-up we haven’t gotten to see yet. If we’re hitting reset, we may as well play with the possibilities. 

Veronica becomes Jughead’s new partner-in-crime, going the extra mile to get him out of jail and then helping him deliver a get-out-of-jail-free card to Ethel, who had an alibi for the night her parents were murdered in Jason Blossom. Turns out, Jason Blossom offered her a ride to the dance and then tried to get super handsy, which is when she left and walked back home. 

She kept quiet about Jason because he threatened to make up lies about her if she told anyone the truth, but Jughead’s fist fixed that rather quickly. And man, it was refreshing to see.

Ethel has been innocent this whole time, but apparently, the thing that got her sent away from the Cooper household was being in possession of a sex book. Alice is so unhinged and living in denial—I’m convinced Hal is either secretly gay (which would explain why she was so calm about Kevin) and living a lie or he’s a serial killer. 

Alice sent Ethel to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy of all places, so you know that this isn’t going to end well considering all of our past experiences with the nuns. 

I don’t understand why she couldn’t just live with Jughead. If he can live alone, why can’t she?

Also, Veronica gave Jughead’s train car a very Pembrooke-esque makeover, and then the duo made out, surprising each other—and fans—with their chemistry. 

I didn’t anticipate being a Vughead (is that the name we’re going with) shipper, but this is where the road has taken me!

Who do you think killed Ethel’s parents? Was it Hal? Mr. Blossom? Or some other deranged lunatic in Riverdale?

The series is also bringing things full circle with the return of so many original characters, including Cheryl’s father and Midge Klump, who is back as Reggie’s now-pregnant girlfriend. Seriously, how many people googled to see if the frog pregnancy test was a real thing?

The ’50s were such a trip!

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