Riverdale: Season 1 Episode 10 review – Chapter Ten: The Lost Weekend
This review contains spoilers.
This week felt like somewhat of a return to form for the show. While by no means poor, the four prior episodes felt slightly below par (7/10, across all four), when considering how the season started out. This was mostly due to their laid back approach, minimal impact and Jughead/Betty humdrum.
This week changed all of that, draping strong drama over a core plot about Jughead’s disdain for his birthday. Betty decided to ignore Archie’s warning’s about Jughead’s wishes and went ahead and organised Jughead a party anyway; one which Cheryl and Chuck co-opted into a larger shindig.
Along the way, Betty put in a great deal of effort; from contacting FP twice, to get him to show, to wearing an adorable sweater that looks certain to be a celebration of Jughead’s crown-like hat, showing that although she might have done it a tiny bit for herself – as Jughead later accused her of – she certainly did the majority of it for Jughead. And it was rather unfair of him to call her out on the contrary.
Jughead’s harsh words almost caused him and Betty to separate – with him claiming they are simply too different – but before the episode closed out we were given a scene in which everything seems fully repaired. Perhaps the hardest-hitting of Jughead’s accusations was that Betty is only with him “until Archie changes his mind and says he wants to be with you.”
As good-intentioned as Betty is, I think there might be more than a little truth to this, even if it is just from a writing point of view. This makes more sense as to why they would create such an unlikely pairing as Betty and Jughead if their intent is to tear it down later in a barrage of Archie-adoring chaos. As this week showed, there is certainly a lot hidden under Betty’s surface – even hidden from herself – so one of those things being lingering love for Archie wouldn’t be a surprise.
This brings me onto “Dark Betty” – one of the more interesting explorations this week. There is certainly a deeper, more volcanic personality to Betty, which is probably the result of a build up of her listening to everyone all her life (particularly her mother). This week Chuck called that out (“I saw the real you”) and Betty began to acknowledge that darkness herself, stating: “I’m all about the beast within,” and “I don’t know where it comes from.”
If it isn’t the result of years of pressure, then I think it might just be genetic, which means that Alice probably had it too, but had learned to control it over the years (apart from when she hurls bricks through windows). Polly might even have it also, underneath her kind exterior. This means the women in the Cooper family have a propensity to erupt, when pushed, which in my eyes makes any one of them candidates for being Jason’s killer.
Even in her calmer moment of gently singing to Jughead, Betty came across as somewhat of a psychopath and he stated as much (“that was haunting, Betty”). I think he probably meant that more as a “you’re taking me back to my horrible childhood”, perhaps, but I think the writers intended us – the viewer – to view that more as: “look how Norman Bates Betty can be.”
This week also gave us a really superb dance-off between Veronica and Cheryl, in which the former obliterated the latter. This was one of a handful of scenes (including her tearful moment) that made Ronnie shine, as she does most weeks on this show. Even the perfectly normal conversation and hug between her and Archie in the kitchen made me think – in that exact moment – ‘these two would better together than any other couple on this show.’
Then – lo and behold – the writers made that happen. I think it was a good move, as long as they intend to see it through and not have Veronica or Archie discard it as a “mistake.” While Archie does seem a little all over the place – with interest in a variety of women (which is true to the comics) – I would like to see him stick with Veronica, who has more than shown that she is great person.
Except for, perhaps, the little closet kiss at the start of the season, but if that was simply down to her being this into Archie, then I think we the audience can forgive her that slip-up (Betty already has). The biggest mistake now – from a writing point of view – would be to have Veronica act maliciously in any way (I really hope she isn’t the killer). It’s nice to see her deciding to be active in the low-key investigation, which could turn the quirky duo into a dynamic trio, but don’t forget that this is exactly what the killer would do – get close to the case.
We only have three episodes left and I would like to see Veronica’s halo firmly held in place, I would like to see Dark Betty come out to play more, and I would like to have the killer revealed this season (hopefully, the writers learned their lessons from observing The Killing Season 1). This week impressed me. Let’s hope the final three episodes can do the same.
Image credits: The CW