Riverdale Episode 10 Review – Chapter 10: The Lost Weekend

It's Jughead's birthday, and he can be emo if he wants to. Plus, Riverdale secrets and sins revealed!

Riverdale Episode 10

This Riverdale review contains spoilers.

Riverdale Episode 10

Secrets and Sins. That game — a twist on Truth or Dare that Chuck Clayton and Cheryl Blossom hijack Jughead’s surprise birthday party to force everyone to play — also sums up the underlying theme of this week’s episode of Riverdale. There are revelations a plenty in this go round, from most of Riverdale High learning about the Archie/Ms. Grundy affair and “Dark Betty” to definitive proof that Mr. Lodge is an utter bastard who won’t think twice about exerting his considerable power to manipulate his family. (And that’s not even getting into the possible literal bad blood shed between the Lodge and Blossom family). 

Finally, we also discover that Jughead hates celebrating his birthday. Like really hates it. Moping like someone who has listened to Transatlanticism on a week-long loop, he spends most of this week’s episode spewing how he hates birthdays because they make him “feel really normal.” With his shattered family situation, he truly believes himself to be the “damaged loner outsider from the wrong side of the tracks” that he declares himself to be to Betty.

He also takes a potshot at his own trademark hat, which is the most infuriating thing this writer has yet to witness on this show. I mean, that crown is EVERYTHING.

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For her part, Betty shuns Jughead’s assertions that he is just a project for her, as she sees in him a kindred spirit who can help illuminate the inner darkness she feels sometimes. Just like the comic Betty, the TV version is a bit unhinged, but endlessly lovable. She shows her vulnerability to Jughead tonight and while he may be the one who initiated their relationship, she may be the only one in it for the long haul. Clearly these two are being set up as the tragic couple of Riverdale‘s first season, but I suspect that it isn’t tragedy that will ultimately tear them apart but rather Jughead’s apparently considerable inner demons. (His declaration that he is “not wired to be normal” is this show’s equivalent of Rebel Without a Cause‘s “you’re tearing me apart” scene).

This is a character who wears his non-conformity on his shoulder’s like Atlas’ globe. It is tough to be Jughead Jones, and no one understands him, mannnnnnn. What I think the writers are foreshadowing here is a Jughead who will want to be on his own — not asexual as in the current comics but instead a complicated loner trapped in the bleak landscape of his own mind. The Bughead shippers are going to absolutely hate it, but boy oh boy does it up the melodramatic ante for the series. And if there’s one thing I can’t get enough of on this show, it is its glorious melodrama.

Enter the Veronica Lodge storyline. A true pearl-clutcher if there ever were one, this ongoing subplot in which Veronica doesn’t know which, if either, of her parents she can trust, is continually compelling thanks largely to Camila Mendes’ excellent performance. Whether participating in a ridiculous dance-off with Cheryl Blossom or discovering the dark depths her father will sink to get his way, Mendes makes Veronica’s often larger-than-life personality seem relatable. Here, she makes viewers’ hearts burst as she goes from making a very hasty decision to sleep with (proven terrible boyfriend, Valerie, you dodged a bullet) Archie to doing what is best for her mother.

While on the subject of Archie, it’s nice to see the character finally taking a larger role in the main stories. Haunted by whether or not he made the right decision to live with his dad when his parents split, he is given a storyline that is much more universal than the Grundy theatrics that dominated the early episodes. K.J. Apa rose to the challenge tonight, and for maybe the first time all season Archie felt like a living, breathing person.

Next week: CLIFFORD BLOSSOM’S WIG ROOM. Oh yeah, and more Molly Ringwald as Archie’s mom.

Riverdale Rundown

Interesting facts revealed in tonight’s episode: The Riverdale High school day runs from 8:25 am to 3:01 pm, Archie’s mom moved out two years ago and Archie was forced to choose between living with her and his dad, Alice came from the Southside of Riverdale and it is hinted at that she used to be a Serpent. Secrets and sins indeed.

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– Hermione refers to Clifford Blossom as a “wig-wearing monster” and in the preview for next week’s episode we see that he does, in fact, have a room full of wigs. And that wig room is pretty much all I’m going to be thinking about for the next week.

– Line of the night: F.P.’s quite accurate claim that “these kids are more on the ball than the sheriff.” Ouch.

Dilton Doiley in Archie Comics

– “Dilton Doiley’s a psychopath. Everybody knows that.” Uh huh.

– The nicest moment in tonight’s episode was when Veronica asked Smithers if her father was a good man. It was a small scene, but one that spoke volumes about the Hiram Lodge character, not to mention Smithers’ unrequited feelings for Hermione.

– Joaquin is spotted wearing his Cosmo the Merry Martian shirt again. The Serpents may be from the wrong side of the tracks, but they have excellent taste in obscure Archie characters.

– Cheryl calls Tina and Ginger “stuttering sap heads,” because OF COURSE insults in the Blossom family are somehow maple syrup-related. #onbrand

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Jughead No. 123

– Tonight we saw Ethel giving Jughead a slice of his (hamburger-shaped) birthday cake. This is a sly nod to the character of Big Ethel having a massive crush on Ol’ Needlenose in the comic.

– And no, we still haven’t seen Jughead eat an actual hamburger on the show. There are three episodes left in which this most egregious of oversights can be remedied.

Did you love the crown sweater that Betty wore to Jughead’s surprise party? If so, you can own one for yourself via Saks Fifth Avenue, who is selling the Alice + Olivia layered pullover for the Veronica Lodgeian price of $237. No one ever said that dressing like your TV friends would be cheap.

– Let’s hear it for the increasingly on-the-ball Alice Cooper, who realizes that there’s something fishy about the Joaquin/Kevin relationship. I still believe that Joaquin is going to betray the Serpents in order to protect his relationship with Kevin. Also, does his lack of familiarity with Sweetwater River as a hook-up spot mean the writers are going to establish that Kevin is his first relationship? Maybe, maybe not, but that exchange was an interesting one, that I believe will mean something down the line.

– It was great that the series finally got around to showing us Chuck’s revenge, which was promised back in the third episode. I for one was thinking that this particular narrative thread was dropped.

– Also, Archie, for god sakes, never let troublemakers like Cheryl, F.P. or Chuck into your house. Party or not. Sigh.

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The Hunger No. 1

– In tonight’s episode Jughead went to see An American Werewolf in London, is this a sly nod to the recent Archie Horror one-shot Jughead: The Hunger, in which our burger-loving hero has a shocking case of lycanthropy and Betty is fated to destroy him? Almost certainly, and I for one am not complaining.

Rating:

4.5 out of 5