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TV Review: Riverdale (Season 3, Episode 2)


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'Fortune and Men's Eyes' ups the stakes in the third season of Riverdale, after a rather lacklustre premiere episode. We follow Archie into jail, while Jughead and Betty start their investigations into the Gargoyle King. 

If the first episode of this season was much about playing the waiting game, the second episode definitely ramped up the action. It is more the kind of episode that we have become used to seeing in Riverdale - with lots of twists and turns, and slightly outlandish plots.

Image credit: Dean Buscher // 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Despite the previous episode ending with Betty having a seizure, that is fairly glossed over at the start of the episode, with Betty having completely bounced back and only a brief mention of her hospitalization. 

Her mother and sister deny all of the weird stuff Betty saw before her seizure, claiming that they were simply having a campfire cookout with their "Farm" friends.

Whilst I'm sure that the event was somewhat exaggerated by Betty's Adderall medication, I highly doubt that the Coopers were doing anything as innocent as a simple campfire. We'll have to wait and see whether that is the case or not.

Jughead and Betty are back to what they do best this week, solving crime. Ironically, despite Archie's storyline being the less outlandish one this week, it was Jughead and Betty's subplot that felt more grounded and true to the show. I have clearly been watching this show too long when the weird supernatural-esque plotline feels more normal but there we go!

Anyway, we don't get much in the way of answers this week, but what starts as a teenage roleplaying game seemingly gone wrong turns into a much bigger mystery as we learn that the parents of Riverdale have something to do with the current Gargoyle King mystery.

I have to admit, the Gargoyle King itself was a bit of a letdown, as it was definitely not scary at all (its basically a pile of twigs) but the mystery certainly seems to have a lot more legs in it, which is great.

Archie's jail storyline is far less entertaining, but it seems as if the writers have got the message that no one really cares about him as he is demoted to the B-story this week.

As expected, Archie does not do well in jail, in his first few days alone, he manages to make enemies of both the Serpents and Ghoulies, lose his fancy sneakers (there is no way that an actual prison lets you keep your fancy shoes, but there we go with Riverdale logic again) and get beaten up.

Archie reaches peak white privilege, when he suggests in a rather cringy motivational speech that football will solve all their problems. However, in all fairness, it does give us the hilarious moment of the River Vixens performing jail house rock and all the guys slathering over them so I might be able to at least slightly forgive him.

It also seems as if the Farm and the whole Gargoyle King mystery might be related, as we briefly meet the cult leader's daughter, though only for long enough to learn that she is super creepy.

Then later on in the episode, Ethel Muggs (remember her? Nope neither did I, but she is involved in the whole Gargoyle King plot this week ) has a very similar seizure to the one Betty had last episode. That can't be pure coincidence, and hopefully in the next few episodes, this connection will be explored more.

One thing I will say about this episode, much as I enjoyed it, is that the plotlines feel very disjointed at the moment.

It's hard to see how the Archie jail storyline is connected to the Gargoyle King and though there are hints that the Farm is connected, at the moment, it feels like the show is telling three different stories. Hopefully as we get further through the season, the narrative will become more cohesive. 

Everyone's least favourite Riverdale resident just gets more and more unlikeable every week, with Hiram Lodge showing up to interrupt Archie's football game and causing a riot in order to keep Veronica and Archie apart and making life harder for Archie. I'm kind of hoping they find a way to write Hiram Lodge out, because he just seems to be around to be creepy and nothing else! 

Overall, the second episode of this season of Riverdale was much better than the first, there was a lot more going on, the Gargoyle King story seems to be picking up steam, we got Jughead and Betty back to investigating crime and a weird out of context musical number, so basically, it's back to business as usual in the world of Riverdale!

Riverdale Season 3 is streaming on Netflix with new episodes available every Thursday. 

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