Chapter Ten of the first season of The CW’s Riverdale airs tonight (April 13) at 9PM ET/PT, and while there’s not a lot of development in finding out about Jason Blossom’s killer — that activity is saved for next week — it’s still a great character exploration for several parts of the show’s cast.
Anyone who has been a fan of Archie Comics usually has a fondness for the Jughead Jones character; here, he’s played by Cole Sprouse, and seems to be equally as popular in his TV version. “Bughead” – the relationship between Jughead and Lili Reinhart’s Betty – has been an unexpected surprise in this first season, and I’m also glad as a reader of the comics that it hasn’t really ruled out the asexuality of Jughead’s current comic book canon. In this episode, Archie’s dad Fred (Luke Perry) is out of town to finalize divorce materials with Mary (80s teen icon Molly Ringwald)… Archie’s house is free… so Betty decides to throw Jughead a birthday party among his closest friends.
There are some problems with that. One, Jughead sees himself as damaged goods, and associates birthdays with bad memories, when his family would pretend things are okay when they’re not. Two, noted chaos bringer Cheryl Blossom teams up with Chuck Clayton to cause some mayhem and turns this small gathering into a bigger one.
There are a lot of parallels at play in this episode. While Jughead feels damaged, Archie seems to come to the realization that things aren’t as great as he thinks for himself, that his parents may not get back together after all. Veronica is also a kindred spirit to Archie, finding out about the recent revelations about the Blossoms possibly framing her father but unable to do anything about it. An added wrinkle from Hiram leaves Veronica even more unsure how to proceed.
We also see here that Betty might be even more like her mother Alice than we might think. She sets up a party for Jughead, wanting to give him a perfect time, when really, it might be her quest to be “the perfect girlfriend.” Shades of Alice trying to make everything perfect in her own home?
Without spoiling, more secrets come out and things are said that we’ve been waiting for a while to hear people say. This episode was a favorite of much of the cast and it’s easy to see why. Everything is unraveling and it will spiral the series toward those final three episodes of Season 1. I, for one, can’t wait to see more.
Riverdale airs Thursdays at 9PM on The CW. Be sure to give Archie Digest: A Riverdale Podcast a listen if you want more opinions about the show, and while we’re talking about parallels, here’s KJ Apa and Camila Mendes talking about how alike Archie and the actor who plays him may be: