Riverdale: Season 1 Episode 7 review – Chapter Seven: In a Lonely Place
This review contains spoilers.
KJ Apa (Archie) prefaced this episode on his Instagram story feed by stating that he feels it is “one of our strongest episodes”. Such a comment breeds weighty expectation from fans, but unfortunately this week’s episode didn’t live up to KJ’s statement. I think perhaps he was referencing the father and son interplay, between both Jughead and FP, and also Archie and Fred, but the overall result wasn’t among the best episodes that the show has delivered thus far.
Veronica may approve of Betty seeing Jughead but I personally still don’t. As explained last week, it’s too severe of a change from who Jughead is supposed to be, to the point where it’s a little insulting to fans of the comic. It looks like those opposed will have to grin and bear it for now, however, as the writers show no sign of deviating from this romantic pairing (and in a way, it’s already too late, for the simple fact that they did it at all will forever grate on the mind of the comics fan). It’s not that they don’t suit each other – they do – it’s that some comic book rules shouldn’t be broken, and that’s one of them.
It’s always charming to see Cheryl collaborate with our core characters. “We’re all on the same team now,” she explains to Betty, when talking about making sure that Polly and Jason’s baby is safe. It was a little sickening to see the elder Blossoms offer their support and false niceties. Their about swing at the end of the episode was always going to happen,
Skeet Ulrich was granted more screen time this week, which worked wonders for humanising his character. Up until this point FP has only been shown only as a bully, a criminal and a poor father. He’s still all of those things, but at least this week he did well at holding down his old job and he made a some nice comments to Jughead, including listening to him when Jughead pleaded for him not to interfere.
To use his phrasing, a snake has no reason to bite unless it’s stepped on, so perhaps there’s room for this character to slot back into being a decent member of society, or perhaps he’ll screw it all up and spiral once more (the most likely outcome). For the moment, at least, it seems like he’s really trying and Jughead refuses to give up on him, at least “lot yet”, which shows that there is a limit.
This wasn’t one of the show’s best episodes; I would actually argue that it falls within the bottom two, along with last week. It has some nice father son content but that’s about the extend of it. The writers need to drop the Jughead and Betty relationship and pretend it never happened. Now that we’re seven episodes in, it would also be nice to have some (accurate) reveals concerned the murder begin to fall firmly at our feet. Thankfully, the show was also recently picked up for a second season, with the cast showing elation at the news.
Image credits: The CW