This post contains spoilers for Riverdale.
Check out our previous review here.
Four teenagers from a murder town in a lake house all on their own. What could possibly go wrong? Even setting that aside, these kids have more drama than the cast of Days of our Lives, so at least one of them had to have suspected that this little weekend away was going to end terribly. This is, of course, a group “led” by Archie Andrews, so perhaps a bit of self-awareness is out of their depth. What kind of dad suggests a romantic getaway for his teenager, you wonder? The kind that wants his daughter out of town while he has a meeting with major New York players. Or at least that’s what he tells Archie.
Instead, it seems Hiram’s weekend business is more of the local variety. While the kids are all of doing exactly what you’d expect teenagers to do when you let them run free in a house of their own with free access to alcohol, the Lodges buy Sunnyside trailer park. FP Jones and the rest of the Serpents are delighted that they can now stay, but they aren’t as smart as Jughead. He immediately turns his attention on Veronica and her family’s lies, but the rest of the honeymooners all tell him to take the win.
That is, until Hiram buys up the Register as well.
When Betty and Jughead interrogate Archie and Veronica on her father’s misdeeds, the two immediately take the defensive. They insist that Hiram is a good man with noble intentions, but neither of them can name a good thing he’s done when prompted. Hiram’s clearly shady, so even had they had all the time in the world it’s doubtful that either Archie or Ronnie could come up with something positive to say outside of their personal affections, but they aren’t given the opportunity.
Dumb rich kids waiving their misadventures in the face of the locals who work in the town they’re visiting is rarely smart, and all of the eyelash batting in the world can’t keep Veronica and her friends safe when said locals take it upon themselves to break in and rob them. Ronnie makes it to the panic button, and all of her friends make it out unscathed, but the boy from the town is now very much dead thanks to Andre’s handiwork.
With their umpteenth near-death experience this year under their belts, the gang returns to Riverdale and heads to Pop’s. It seems their little explosion prior to the robbery is forgotten for the time being, but you can bet that will be rearing its ugly head again once Hiram starts moving more chess pieces. That’s enough about the main cast for now, though. It’s time to talk about the rest of children of Riverdale High.
When Riverdale moved from a thirteen to twenty three episode season arc, it was announced that part of the reason was so they could have more time to play with the tertiary characters. Up until now, that’s rarely been seen, but it appears “The Hills Have Eyes” is finally leaning in the direction of that trend.
The episode has two side-stories playing alongside the main arc. The first is the affair between Mayor McCoy and Sheriff Keller. When Josie finds out that her mother is leaving her (admittedly awful) father, she’s furious. Finding out that Kevin and his mother don’t know yet doesn’t help that rage, so she takes things into her own hands and lets Kevin in on the secret. He takes it exactly as well as you’d expect, but as it often goes in Riverdale, the teenagers end up being the bigger people by the end of the episode. Josie and Kevin sit down with their parents and have an adult conversation about what’s going on. With Kevin’s musical on the horizon, one can only hope that we’ll get to see more of him and Josie playing off of each other in the future.
The second offshoot goes to the unlikely duo of Cheryl Blossom and Toni Topaz. Toni finds Cheryl being the heartless monster that she always plays early in, but instead of reacting with scorn, she tries to make friends. Cheryl isn’t having it in the beginning, but softens by the end when she’s desperate enough for someone to talk to. The ladies watch Love, Simon together and then head off to Pop’s for some girl time. Something about Toni clearly makes Cheryl feel safer than she has with anyone else, because for the first time she reveals that she isn’t a loveless monster. She met her first love in middle school, and that first love happened to have been a lady, causing her mother to shut things down immediately.
With Mother Blossom turning their home into a literal red lamp district, we’ll undoubtedly be seeing a moral clash between her and Cheryl in the near future. It seems Toni will be playing an active part of that, but it’s still up in the air as to whether it will be as girlfriend or bestie. This is Riverdale, so a romance angle seems obvious, but Ms. Topaz doesn’t seem too into that whole commitment thing. Then again, maybe she just wasn’t into it when it involved Jug.
There you have it, boys and girls. Riverdale returns after a month hiatus with every single thing you missed about it. Murder, romance, drama, and by god it even gave us a few moments with the beloved Kevin Keller. Things in the picture perfect yet bloody town will continue to unravel next week, but you know what to do if you had thoughts on the episode in the meantime!