This post contains spoilers for Riverdale.
Check out our last review here.
It turns out even attaching Josie McCoy to our darling Archie Andrews isn’t enough to make him interesting. With that said, “Requiem for a Welterweight” still has enough going on to hold your attention for an hour. It’s middling so far as Riverdale episodes go, but there’s some stuff to chew on with the gang situation, and the sinking ship that is the parents of Riverdale.
A quick synopsis for those who are reading this without watching the episode: Archie’s arc involves him deciding he wants to be a boxer, but not wanting to put in the work to do so. Big shock to everyone in the audience. The Keller mentorship situation he’s got going on is nice but Josie, girl, you could do so much better. Meanwhile, Alice Cooper is all in on The Farm. She’s going to be baptized, which ultimately requires Betty to save her life. The CPR isn’t enough to snap her too-far-gone mother out of the daze, and Betty closes things out with the unfortunate realization that she’s utterly alone. Sorry you got stuck in the recap paragraph, B. You’re one of the best parts of the show, but this just wasn’t your week.
So, whose week was it? The Jones and the Lodge families’, with an honorable mention to new gang The Pretty Poison. While Riverdale’s stepped away from the full-on class warfare narrative it had in season two, remnants of those arcs can still be seen as the Jones and the Lodges battle for the soul of Riverdale. The thing is, not everyone knows they’re at battle just yet.
Jughead and FP are still in the dark when it comes to Gladys and Jellybean’s schemes, and Hermione’s been shut out of the Lodge dealings for the time being. While Hiram’s back in the game, this week’s dance was between Gladys and Veronica. Ronnie was able to go toe to toe with her dad’s bigtime competition while he was in a coma, but she can’t seem to match Gladys for the time being. For now, let’s assume because she’s Jughead’s mom and because, well, Veronica Lodge is a teenager?
While she can’t quite keep up with Gladys, they do both agree that they want Hiram out of the drug business. Motives aside, the two manage to convince him to go with Veronica’s plan of focusing on the for-profit prison. Why is Veronica on board with for-profit incarceration? I’m gonna chalk that one up to being a teenager too, because none of you want to read a seven paragraph article about why that’s bad. Ronnie’s last mission of the night is to confess that it was her who burned all of the drugs. Though she did it to protect her mother when Hiram got a little too close to the truth about who shot him, it ultimately results in Ronnie being another seventy-five grand in dept to a whole new party. Yikes.
So, what’s with this whole gang situation? Questions of what is and isn’t family continue in season three of Riverdale, as Toni and Cheryl seek out to make their own. The whole Pretty Poison situation is complicated in all of the ways that the show prides itself in. On one hand, Jughead was absolutely right to throw both Cheryl and Toni out of the Serpents. Their actions endangered the entire family and, even worse, they were done for no good reason. On the other, Toni should have been the Serpent Queen. At least that was my opinion when she was still in the gang. Her willingness to turn her back on her family after she was rightfully punished for her actions makes me a little less inclined to defend her. And, while we all know Cheryl’s my girl, she’s being shady as hell. Jug’s right: this is a vanity project, and both of them are being dummies.
With that said, Fangs and Sweet Pea deserved what they got. Don’t look down your nose when you say the word “girls”. It’s bad for your health.
Gladys’ game of chess continues with the addition of the Ghoulies to the Southside Serpents. This is a bad idea for many reasons, with the most recent being that they’re all strung out on fizzle rocks and drooling over G&G boards. It’s against Jug’s wishes, but FP and his son are still in “mostly glad that their family is back together” mode. Don’t worry, the honeymoon phase is ending pretty quick.
The war continues to brew within the Riverdale city limits, but episodes like “Requiem for a Welterweight” make me wonder when we’re finally going to see more of Betty and Veronica together. The show’s best when it focuses on the friendships that help this dumb little Scooby gang take down whatever’s threatening their town. I’m always here for more spotlights on characters like Josie, Kevin, Cheryl and Toni, but those spotlights don’t have to be sacrificed to get the main four back into bestie territory.
Next week we’ll see things bubble over while all of Riverdale’s children try to clean up the messes of their respective parents. You know what to do if you had thoughts on this week’s episode in the meantime!