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TV Review: Riverdale (Season 3, Episode 15)


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The title of this episode, "American Dreams", seems somewhat ironic given that pretty much everything falls apart for everyone and it's somewhat of a nightmare to watch, given that nothing much really happens.

riverdale 3x15

Image Credit: © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Riverdale has an annoying habit of setting up something to be super exciting at the end of one episode, and then immediately in the next episode letting it fall completely flat without following up on any of the tension it has built. This happened again at the beginning of "American Dreams", where following the last episode showing the Cooper House on fire, it turns out that it was just a curtain fire and the house is still standing.

Now don't get me wrong, it's probably a good thing that Betty's arson attempt didn't involve the whole house burning down, but I feel kind of cheated that they were setting up for this really explosive thing to happen and then it turned out to be nothing. 

That's not to say that the drama with the Cooper house is over though: it turns out that the anonymous buyer of the house was none other than Riverdale's newest resident, Gladys Jones. Jughead is naturally unsettled by the idea of moving into Betty's old house, and makes her a slightly awkward offer, which she thankfully turns down. 

Meanwhile everything is not okay with Cheryl and Toni, after escalating tensions for the last few weeks, things finally come to a head in this episode. I mean Toni could have done much worse than what she actually did, but Cheryl's feeling left out and lonely so I get why she's hurt. Things don't exactly improve later in the episode either. (Also, is it wrong that until this moment I totally forgot they lived with Cheryl's grandma?)

Gladys buying the Cooper house has also thrown a spanner in the works between FP and Alice. FP's decision might be the right thing to do, but it's clear that neither of them are very happy about it.

Archie is still on a mission to find out who is plotting to kill him, and with some help from Hiram decides to run a quest of his own, bringing the fight to him: literally. The plan works, as Archie manages to beat a parade of guys dressed in increasingly eclectic outfits. The boxing matches are jarringly interspersed with Cheryl and Toni having sex, which is a strange directional choice. 

Things don't imptove for Cheryl and Toni in this episode, though - but they are one of the better couples in Riverdale, so fingers crossed that they resolve their issues soon.

At FP's 50th birthday party, Jughead gives a very sweet speech about his dad's journey from Serpent to Sheriff, and it's a nice touch that they showed FP's 50th birthday in the 50th episode. Things aren't quite as happy as they would appear though, as Jughead confides in Betty about his plans to deal with his mother.

Cheryl is taking her breakup in a way that only Cheryl could, by playing croquet?! All of this leads into the set up for next week's episode, as she demands that Kevin changes the musical this year from Godspell to Heathers so that she can be Heather Chandler. 

This week's episode was a bit of a damp squib, but things are definitely looking up with the musical episode next week!

Riverdale Season 3 is available for streaming on Netflix, wth new episodes every Thursday. 


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