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Riverdale Buries Jason Blossom but the Mystery Remains

first_imgStay on target ‘Riverdale’ Season 4 Trailer Toasts to a Mysterious Senior YearSDCC 2019: ‘Riverdale’ Cast Spills Details on Core ‘Mystery’ for Season 4 This week, Riverdale finally got around to burying Jason Blossom. It seems like it’s been a little long since his body washed up in the river, but I guess a murder mystery will delay a memorial a bit. As the episode began, we learned that it would take place at the Blossom mansion, which Jughead describes as the creepy old house the kids stay away from.Though it appears that the scariest thing about it might be how the Blossom family treats each other. Cheryl is in Jason’s old room, having fallen asleep writing his eulogy. After a particularly terrifying dream where Jason comes back from the dead to haunt her, Cheryl awakens to an even scarier sight. Her mother. After telling Cheryl not to sleep in her brother’s old room, Penelope Blossom then refuses to let Cheryl speak at Jason’s funeral. She might say something to embarrass the family. So maybe there’s a reason she treats other people the way she does.Things aren’t going well for anyone in Riverdale, despite the town ridding itself of a child molester last week. Archie still blames himself for Grundy’s departure and is burying all his feelings in football. In his mind, football will lead to scholarships, which will allow him to study music. That’s what he’s telling himself anyway. As it has been with most weeks, Archie’s storyline was the weakest subplot this week. There are so many interesting things going on in Riverdale; it’s hard to care about the guitar-playing football star’s problems.KJ Apa as Archie Andrews (Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW)Alright, let’s get through this. Val sets Archie up with a very strict music teacher who isn’t all that impressed with Archie’s music. That makes Archie doubt himself until Val reminds him he doesn’t need any permission to play. The coach sets up a competition between Archie and Reggie to see who gets to be captain. They both play hard, but ultimately, Archie’s decision to retire Jason Blossom’s number and give his Jersey to the family seals it. Archie is made captain but turns it down because he needs to focus on his music. The end. Can we give this kid something interesting to do now? The only decent part of this arc was the budding relationship between Archie and Val. They actually have decent chemistry together, and after the Grundy business, it’s nice to see him with someone his own age.Over at the more interesting part of the show, Veronica is still one of the few decent people in town. Realizing that Cheryl may be acting especially mean because she’s burying her brother at the end of the week, Veronica makes a peace offering. In return, Cheryl invites her for a sleepover the night before the memorial. Cheryl says she doesn’t want to be alone that night. Given what we learn about her parents this episode, I wouldn’t blame her for not wanting to be alone with them ever. One of the many creepy things about them: Everyone they’ve invited to the memorial is someone they see as a murder suspect.Speaking of murder suspects, remember how someone trashed the sheriff’s investigation board last week? Kevin has done his best to recreate it in the school newspaper office. He, Betty and Jughead decide they’re going to use their journalistic powers to figure out what exactly happened to Jason. On a date with one of his old friends, Betty asks some probing questions about what Jason was like in the weeks leading up to his death. She learns Jason started blowing off plans and started selling drugs, trying to get as much money together as possible. All this started just a few weeks after Jason and Polly began dating. To answer the question of why a rich kid would need so much money, Jughead suggests they sneak into Jason’s room during the memorial.Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge (Photo: Diyah Pera /The CW)The night before the memorial arrives, and Cheryl’s sleepover is just about as awkward as you could imagine. Veronica, it turns out, is the only one Cheryl invited. She tries to focus on her dinner while Cheryl’s parents make passive aggressive comments towards their daughter. It’s probably the most uncomfortable the show has made me so far, so congrats on that, I guess. After dinner, though, Veronica and Cheryl begin to form something like a real friendship. After hearing that Cheryl is forbidden from giving a Eulogy, Veronica vows to help Cheryl no matter what consequences it brings.The next day, we get to see the strangest, most tense funeral in history. When Archie gives Jason’s old jersey to Penelope, she talks about how much Archie looks like Jason. Then, she caresses his face, which might be the creepiest moment in this episode. Penelope is taken aback when Cheryl gives her eulogy, but Veronica reminds her that stopping Cheryl will only make things worse. The eulogy isn’t accusatory or embarrassing. It’s pretty much what you’d expect someone who lost a teenage brother to say. Still, Penelope drags Cheryl off and slaps her, threatening to send her to a boarding school somewhere.Betty and Jughead break off from the funeral to explore Jason’s room. They don’t get too far before Jason’s grandmother appears behind them. She was just sitting alone in the shadows, apparently. Can anyone in this family not be creepy? Thinking Betty is her sister, Polly, Grandma Blossom asks Betty about the engagement ring Jason gave her. That news is enough to make Betty drag her father home from the memorial and ask a few questions. It turns out her dad knew about Polly and Jason’s engagement but wasn’t happy about his daughter becoming a Blossom.Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper (Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW)He reveals, in the most serious of monologues, that Betty’s great grandfather used to be in business with Jason and Cheryl’s great-grandfather. What business is that? Maple syrup. Apparently, the maple syrup business was so good the Blossoms’ great grandfather was willing to kill the Coopers’ great grandfather for the profits. That’s why the Blossoms live in a mansion, and the Coopers live in a… still very nice house. Ever since then, the Coopers have hated the Blossoms, and Betty’s dad wasn’t about to let the Blossom’s take one of his daughters too. All that over maple syrup. It’s this kind of pure, distilled, unadulterated melodrama that makes Riverdale so special. As Betty brings everything she’s learned back to Jughead and Kevin, she figures out who must have destroyed Sheriff Keller’s investigation board. It was her dad.After last week’s episode ended with a dud, this week felt like the show was getting back to the weirdness that made us love it in the first place. There is something seriously wrong with the Blossom family, and I don’t think we’ll find out what that is for a while. Maybe it’s a constant sugar crash from all that maple syrup? This is the kind of thing I’d like to see more of from Riverdale. This melodramatic, unabashed strangeness that separates it the teen soap operas of the past. We also have a new murder suspect in Betty’s father, but I’d be surprised if it actually turned out to be him. It’s a little early in the show’s run to reveal the real culprit. Something is definitely going on, though. Sooner or later, we’ll have to see what really happened to Polly, and I don’t think it’s going to match up with the story the Coopers are telling.last_img read more

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