It doesn’t matter what’s in your heart when you plant a seed, or in your mind when you bring water or light. The seed will grow. After it hits a certain point it will collect its own light, ingest its own water. That’s when it’ll realize you’re an evil parent who sent your sister (er, fellow plant) away because she was pregnant. Or you stole evidence. Or forged your name on a document. Goddamn, or made out with your friend’s dad while perfectly framed by a window.
There’s at least one thing that connects all the main characters in the CW’s Riverdale, and that thing is stupidity. Either the kids’ parents are acting dumb, or they did at some point, or the kids themselves are acting dumb too (cut to Veronica blaming Archie for his dad kissing her mom; cut to Jughead and Betty TOUCHING ALL THE EVIDENCE REPEATEDLY). It’s not a criticism necessarily. Conflict is, after all, the wind that tests the strength of all plants.
Aiming for complexity but hitting melodrama isn’t the worst mistake. Stories of this genre - the teen-mystery-emotions-sex-murder genre - do utilize complexity, or at the very least character models possessing plenty of contradictions. People say and do things they would never do in 90% of their lifetime, and when it just so happens these moments appear perfectly alongside revelations that push the plot forward, yeah, sometimes it feels forced. Balancing that with humor, intrigue, action, and yes also sex, is what this show has been working on since the pilot. It’s mostly succeeded too.
This episode punches the idea that the parents have history, and it’s almost as important as their current state, which is almost exclusively maniacal. Alice Cooper cackles when Veronica blatantly asks her dad if he killed Jason Blossom (she also makes sure to point out how her husband isn’t strong enough to kill someone, even with a gun); Josie’s dad Miles hates her music, her choices, and kind of everyone near him, which isn’t evil, but give the show some time; and I’m fairly sure Hermione Lodge lied when she said she’d never kissed Fred Andrews before. So far Fred Andrews is maybe the closest thing to a model for a parent. That will most likely end up changing when Molly Ringwald shows up as Archie’s mom Mary, when she’ll reveal that good ol’ Fred had a drinking problem.
The kiss finally happened (predicted here and here), and as of right now Jughead and Betty push the main plot forward more than anyone else. Hop onto #Rivertell on Twitter to join the chat, and let us know if Polly burnt the car, or if Miss Grundy did. Eventually someone is going to stumble across a torture conclave in the woods, the place Jason was held for a week, and my money is on it being Archie. That way he can engage in some good old fashioned plot revelations, the ones no one else will believe because they think he has ulterior motives. Number one will be the accusation that he is jealous of Jughead kissing Betty. Get ready kiddos, because it’s coming.