Riverdale Season 3 Episode 11: ‘The Red Dahlia’ Review

[Header Image: KJ Apa as Archie Andrews | The CW]

In the previous episode of Riverdale we saw Hiram get shot by an unknown assailant and this week’s episode was all about figuring out who did it. We see Veronica hire Jughead to investigate and find answers which we do get before the end of the episode.

Throughout the episode, we see Betty investigating Clifford Blossom’s death, refusing to believe that it was simply suicide. Her investigation leads her to find out that Penelope poisoned him. She did it because he and Hiram were using the new prison and the Blossom Maple Farms to make Fizzle Rock. The cast off from their drug making found its way into Sweetwater River which has been causing the seizures. I mean, I’m willing to believe it I guess. I always figured it would be the Farm behind the seizures but to be honest, I think the explanation was always going to be a bit outlandish no matter who was involved.

We also see that Betty has been continuing to visit Hal in prison. He does mention toward the end that he hopes she can see him in a different light at some point. She seems a little concerned but I too am curious to see if Betty’s opinion of her father will change the more she visits.

[Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper | The CW]

That being said, the biggest part of the story follows Jughead who figures out an awful lot. By the end of the episode, we discover that it was FP who shot Hiram and that he had been biding his time to get revenge after Hiram almost got Jughead killed at the hand of the Ghoulies. Hermione had hired him to do it, making him Sherrif as payment. He figured it would keep him protected from Hermione if she double-crossed him but we discover that Sheriff Minetta has been alive this whole time and he and Hermione are working together, planning to kill Hiram and frame FP for it.

To be honest, FP doing it wasn’t a total surprise. So many people could have done it and any one of them would have been satisfactory enough. I was not expecting Sherrif Minetta to be alive or for Hermione to be working with him. I was hoping after last week’s episode that Hermione was working with FP. Sometimes I really think she’s actually a good person who has just been sucked in by Hiram but then episodes like this happen and she comes across as a bad character in her own right.

Regardless, her plan doesn’t work. FP and Jughead manage to use Tall Boy’s death to their advantage. They release the news that Tall Boy shot Hiram and FP had to kill Tall Boy after he resisted arrest. I’m happy to see FP come out on top in this situation and I’m excited to see more of him as the Sherrif. I wonder if he’ll still hold that position when Jellybean and Gladys come to town (presuming that their future appearances involve them coming to Riverdale).

[Madchen Amick as Alice Cooper, and Skeet Ulrich as FP Jones | The CW]

While all of this is going on we really only see two other people: Veronica and Archie. The former is doing her best to keep things ticking on while Hiram is out of action. In the process, she discovers that Hermione created the quarantine to create a smoke screen so Hiram and Clifford could get rid of their drugs, however, that didn’t happen and the drugs were moved entirely to the prison. I mean, at this point are we surprised? It’s also not too surprising that after Veronica and Reggie burn all of the drugs and supplies, we find out that Hermione had already sold it all and spent the money to pay off the Governor meaning now the buyer doesn’t have what they paid for and Hermione has no way of paying them back. I’m interested to see where that goes from here and how Hermione handles it all but honestly, this wasn’t the most interesting episode to me.

There wasn’t an awful lot going on with Archie this episode. We mostly see him struggling until he decides to face one of his demons. This leads him to Hiram’s hospital room where he plans to shoot him before being interrupted. I was surprised to see him shake hands with Hiram and I’m honestly done guessing what this show plans to do next because I honestly have no idea.

Between that ending and Hermione being in hot water (and presumably being a villain in her own right), I found that I didn’t care. Really the only thing I cared somewhat about in this episode was FP smugly informing Hermione that it was Tall Boy that shot Hiram. For the most part, this episode was wildly disappointing. I also didn’t really like the film noir aesthetic and tropes going on. Don’t get me wrong, it was done really well but it doesn’t fit the overall vibe for me and kind of stands out. I could see an episode like this back in season 1 when there was more of a distinct 50s/60s vibe that was often given out but it just felt out of place for me especially when there were a few moments that didn’t fit in with the noir investigation.

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3 thoughts on “Riverdale Season 3 Episode 11: ‘The Red Dahlia’ Review”

  1. I was hoping FP and Hermione were working together as well!
    I wanted to see the best in them and instead…
    the noir thing was not well executed! You either go all in and commit to it but it didn’t look like a noir episode at all! aside from Veronica’s weird hat and the score!
    I wrote the exact same thing in my own review!
    Great review, by the way! I agree with a lot you’ve said! xxx

    Like

    1. Yeah, it’s such a shame about FP and Hermione, I think it would have been far more interesting to see them working together. And yes, the noir when it was there was good but it was all ruined by the fact that most of the episode just didn’t have the same aesthetic.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review and for leaving a comment 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! If the whole episode had the same aesthetic, I would have LOVED IT!
        Not that I didn’t like it! Actually, this might have been one of the more “watch-able” episodes! They tied a lot o loose ends!
        Thank you! Can’t wait to read more of your reviews!

        Like

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