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I’m so happy that they didn’t drag out Cheryl being at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy for too long, and although it was mainly this episode, they managed to put in quite a lot of content without rushing it. Seeing Cheryl imagining her friends in the videos was pretty cool and made it even more powerful later on when she hears Toni’s voice and assumes that she’s simply hearing things.
Seeing Cheryl throughout most of this episode with no make-up and often crying and/or looking defeated was incredibly impactful. We’ve seen her broken before, but she’s normally in a situation in which she has her friends around her or she quickly goes back to being her usual self but being stuck at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy means that she has to deal with it all by herself. It really gave us a chance to see how vulnerable she can be.
I also loved that when Cheryl was told that she’s the way she is because her Nana mixed her and Jason up a lot as kids and would often dress her as a boy, only for Cheryl to say that it wasn’t down to that, it was down to the abuse she suffered at the hands of her parents.
Going back to Toni. I love that she never gave up on Cheryl. First, we see her recruiting Josie and Veronica to help. The three of them go to Thornhill and the drawings of Cheryl and Josie are shown. I don’t know if I believe the pig heart was Cheryl. That does seem really extreme so I’ll be curious to know if that’s ever touched up on again.
The whole recuse mission was such a pleasure to watch. I love that Kevin got involved too. Seeing Toni and Veronica go door to door looking for Cheryl in the Sisters of Quiet Mercy was fantastic. The way that Cheryl can’t believe that Toni came to save her was so beautiful and they finally got their chance to admit their feelings for each other. It’s so clear that they care about each other. It’s shown in big ways this episode, like with Toni searching the whole of the Sisters of Quiet Mercy for Cheryl, or in small ways, like how Cheryl stops to hold Toni’s hand while they’re running away through the woods.
Also, can we talk about Nana Rose dragging herself across the floor just to reach the phone? She used every ounce of strength she had just to call Toni and tell her where Cheryl was. I hope she’s okay, there’s clearly going to be repercussions for her actions. There also begs the question of, where will Cheryl go? She could go back to Thornhill so she can be with Nana Rose and protect her, I doubt Penelope will try to send her away again, at least not yet. Part of me does hope that maybe Cheryl will move in with Toni for a bit though, get away from Thornhill.
It was really interesting hearing that Alice was Serpent enemy number one, and how she turned her back on them and kept firing shots over the years, because it’s never really felt like that. When FP gets out of prison he invites her to his party at the Whyte Wyrm and when she goes, she seems to be accepted back. There’s definitely a lot of backstory with Alice and her South Side/Serpent past and we really do need to see more of it. If she really was that much of an enemy of the Serpents, how did it happen and why didn’t they go after her for it?
We also need more backstory because by the end of this episode she ends up accepting her South Side/Serpent self once again. Later in the episode, she goes to thank the Serpents for helping her out with Darla, and then afterward goes to personally thank FP. It’ll be interesting to see where she goes from here. Will she dress more like a Serpent? Will she show off her tattoo? Will she let Betty get one? How much are things going to change? I do hope it’s still a bit of a slow burn.
It also seems like we might be getting closer to finding out more about Chic. I really do love him as a character but I genuinely can’t make him out. We don’t really know much about him. It was interesting that he offered to move out of the house so that Betty could go home. I get the feeling that he does genuinely care about Alice, or that he’s grown to care about her.
He really did mess up big time this episode when he brought Darla back to the house. It was finally the sort of move that Alice needed to realise that Betty was somewhat right. She was clearly heartbroken to ask him to leave, but it really did need to be done.
I did love that after Betty came back home, Jughead and the other young Serpents bursting through the door to save the day. This episode was ripe with the Coopers and the Serpents working together, and I loved that it ended with them truly coming together. I hope that it’s going to last.
I couldn’t take Lenny and Carl seriously. I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who thought of the Simpsons throughout that entire episode. It also doesn’t help that the whole Hirma/Lodge family storyline is getting kind of boring now. It does have its moments but for the most part, I’ll be happy when it finally comes to an end. The most interesting part was probably when Archie, Reggie, and the others warned Lenny and Carl to back off. It reminded me of the Black Hood days when Archie had a decent storyline.
The Black Hood content was good, in fact, Archie was a really great character to watch at the beginning of this season but now he’s become kind of annoying. Mary even calls him out on it, noting how much he’s changed lately. There are moments where it seems like Archie might finally go against Hiram. He does hesitate when he’s given the keys to his new car, but every time it seems like he might finally come to his senses, he doesn’t.
Some other things:
- Fred announced that he’s running for Mayor! It was also nice to see him and Jughead working together, and also how Fred complimented Jug as being the best writer he knows.
- The fact that the Lodge vs Andrews is going to be somewhat legit will be interesting. This is Riverdale so I honestly can’t decide who is going to win. I want it to be Fred of course, but it really could go either way.
- Alice smiling during the Q&A when Reggie said that he and Josie were chill, unlike Veronica and Archie. We all know that Mama Cooper is supporting Betty and Jughead, but we can all assume that if they don’t win, she’d rather see Josie and Reggie win over Veronica and Archie.
- Alice and FP out in the hallway afterward. I love that he and Jughead were sharing a bed so that Betty could have her own one. Alice and FP team up so well when it comes to their kids, and it was actually nice to see FP giving out parental advice for once.
- It was also nice to see Alice, FP, Jughead, and Betty back in the booth together again.
- Andre has to be one of my favourite minor characters in Riverdale. I really do hope that he’s okay and we see him again. It’s implied that he’s going to be in the hospital for a while and I really don’t want him to just be forgotten about.