Wednesday, October 17, 2018

REVIEW: 'Riverdale' - Betty and Jughead Team Up for a New Investigation in 'Chapter Thirty-Seven: Fortune and Men's Eyes'

The CW's Riverdale - Episode 3.02 "Chapter Thirty-Seven: Fortune and Men's Eyes"

After a gruesome discovery is made in the forest, Jughead and Betty team up to investigate Riverdale's latest mystery. As Archie navigates his new surroundings, Veronica devises a plan to bring a bit of home to him. When Moose decides to join the RROTC, Kevin worries he may be pulling away from him.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of The CW's Riverdale.

"Chapter Thirty-Seven: Fortune and Men's Eyes" was written by Michael Grassi and directed by Jeff Woolnough

Right now, there are two major storylines happening - Archie going to prison and Jughead & Betty's investigation of the Gargoyle King. Archie navigating his new environment is the show functioning as it always has. Of course, it's ridiculously over-the-top and forces the audience to question just how grounded it will remain in this new place. There is truly an attempt made to showcase the abuses of the criminal justice system. But the show is also positioning Archie to still receive sympathy even though he's the one who decided this fate for his life. On the one hand, it's still meaningful that he is dealing with the consequences of his actions from last season. On the other hand though, he's not really reflecting on the way he was so easily manipulated by Hiram into doing whatever he wanted and thinking it was for a righteous cause. Instead, it mostly feels like the show is thrusting Archie into this new environment for him to once again be seen as the hero. He's the one trying to bring the gang's together with the rousing power of football. He's the one being victimized by the warden who is out to make the inmates act like wild animals in order to survive here. This doesn't feel like an environment where he will come away with a new perspective on his life. Instead, it's mostly a place where a bunch of big and crazy things continue to happen to him with the understanding of some kind of social commentary also being addressed. That's weird and threatens to breeze past any of the repercussions this action should be having in Archie's life. It puts the focus mostly on Veronica needing to find a way to exonerate him. That's the way she will be seen as a hero as well. Of course, she doesn't make much progress here because she just has to get the Vixens to put on a performance of "Jailhouse Rock" on the sidelines of the football game. Elsewhere, the show continues to tease the audience with the introduction of the mystical with the Gargoyle King investigation. It finds a way to seemingly connect Betty's sudden stroke, the cult that Polly and Alice have joined and Jughead's discovery of Dilton Doiley and Ben Buttons. It seems like there is some kind of hysteria now ripping through Riverdale. In fact, it is something that the parents have all experienced before as well. That means this story has the potential to unite all of the parents despite the different sides they are on. That should be fascinating because Fred, F.P. and Tom are battling the Lodges in order to get Archie out of prison. Meanwhile, F.P. and Alice are trying to keep their children safe and stress free. So whatever is going on has to be big to bring all of these different personalities together. But again, it's jarring to see them all together in that location for that ominous tease that this has happened before and will happen again. Right now though, it's an investigation that doesn't make a whole lot of sense because the players of the game are mostly talking in cryptic clues while Jughead and Betty are confused about what's going on. The show points out that newcomer Evelyn Evernever may have something to do with Betty and Ethel having strokes. And yet, the sooner the show starts to reveal what is physically possible regarding this storyline the better. It just seems like a fantastical element being teased too slowly. If that's not it, then there needs to be some other explanation introduced soon.