Riverdale Review 1×03: Full Dark, No Stars

There’s a stark contrast between Archie’s story and Betty and Veronica’s revenge plot on this week’s episode of Riverdale, titled “Body Double” (a creepy name, given Betty’s chilling blackout wherein she called Chuck “Jason” and herself “Polly”).

Last week, we got a glimpse of Betty’s instability when she, literally, threatened to kill Cheryl (honestly, I have no idea why Cheryl is still hanging out with that girl). This week, we saw this incredible dark side of Betty rear its ugly head in full force when Betty and Veronica sought revenge against Chuck.

Betty, when pushed, is really and truly dangerous. It seems as though she completely leaves her body, detaches herself from the situation, and blacks out in fits of rage. Honestly, it’s entirely possible that Betty blacked out and tortured and killed Jason, you guys. We just saw that she is absolutely capable of it – and she certainly has a motive.

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But, then again, that’s probably exactly what the show wants us to think. Could it really be that simple? That obvious?

While Betty and Veronica are dealing with some seriously dark business, Archie is grounded and just wants to write some darn music, man.

It seems so trivial compared to what everyone else is dealing with. Why should we care that Archie wants to be a musician? Why should we care about his teen drama plotlines?

Lemme tell you.

Here’s the thing with Archie: he is getting a lot of flack for being dull compared to the other characters. Granted, maybe the boy next door pales in comparison to the dark, edgy characters who walk the halls next to him – but hear me out.

Maybe, Archie is meant to stand out in this way. Perhaps Archie is meant to stand out as being pure, naive, and good, in a town that seems almost entirely tainted by darkness. Archie is, maybe, quite literally, too good for this world. His naivety keeps him from seeing things as they are, because he lives as any other teenager does, for the most part. He’s living in a bubble of pseudo-normalcy. The most important thing right now, to him, is music, whilst others are struggling with death, destruction, abuse and, in some cases, insanity.

Archie is innocent in every sense of the word – yes, even when it comes to his relationship with Ms. Grundy.




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Actually, especially when it comes to that relationship, because Archie is the victim in that scenario. He is a boy, a child, who was seduced and manipulated by an older woman in a position of power over him. She is charged with taking care of him, in a sense, by being his teacher. She is meant to be someone he can trust – which is why he got in the car with her that day in the summer. He went with her because she was his teacher, and he trusted her, and she took advantage of that trust, and is continuing to take advantage of the naivety of her student.

What she is doing is illegal. I would be surprised if she turned out to have any genuine (icky) feelings for Archie. I’m absolutely convinced that she is just continuing to manipulate him with sex and promises of love just to keep him quiet – to keep him promising to protect her – so that she won’t end up losing her job and going to jail.

She can’t afford to have Archie get over her.

But it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out.

We’re on to you, Missy.

Check out the trailer for next week’s episode of Riverdale titled “Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show,” wherein, hopefully, Grundy gets what’s coming to her.

Riverdale airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.



Becky

Becky is a television, literature, and pop culture enthusiast who spends more of her time exploring fictional worlds than she does living in the real one. Post-apocalyptic and dystopian settings are her kryptonite, and she has a strange soft spot for anything that involves the walking dead (the creatures themselves, not the show -- but the show is good, too). You can usually find her engrossed in shows like Preacher, The Walking Dead, Sense8, or any one of the many other series that tickle her fancy.

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