Wednesday, November 14, 2018

REVIEW: 'Riverdale' - Veronica and Her Friends Plot a Prison Break to Save Archie in 'Chapter Forty: The Great Escape'

The CW's Riverdale - Episode 3.05 "Chapter Forty: The Great Escape"

After weeks go by with no contact from Archie, Veronica devises a dangerous plan to break him out of juvie. When Betty learns that Jughead has taken their investigation into Griffins & Gargoyles a step too far, she finds herself in a race against the clock to save 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 Forty: The Great Escape" was written by Greg Murray & Ace Hasan and directed by Pamela Romanowsky

Veronica succeeds in breaking Archie out of prison. That's absolutely insane. Furthermore, it proves just how far people are willing to go because of something that Archie has done. He really is just a pawn in the grand machinations of the Lodge family. Hiram and Veronica are driving each other insane because of this war going on between them because of Archie. It's easy to sympathize with Hermoine who just wants to scream at her family for jeopardizing the other businesses they've worked hard to achieve. By the end of this hour, the warden is dead and the corrupt prison has been exposed. That's not because of anything that Veronica and company did while aiding Archie's escape. But there was also bound to be questions of how all of this was possible in the first place. That, in turn, puts the whole system under a microscope. Hermoine is now in charge of that while examining the damage this exposure could do to her public position. But that is all a concern for the future. Right now, it seems like Veronica and her friends are racing against the clock to save Archie before Hiram and Warden Norton succeed in killing him. This fight is being billed as his last in the ring. It doesn't matter that he has been an excellent fighter for the warden so far. Now is his time to lose with everyone betting against him. That's what makes it so thrilling to watch as Veronica and her friends enact this daring escape plan that seems like it could go wrong in any number of ways. It requires many of them to sneak into this illegal fight club. Archie has to escape through the drainage system below while also suffering from a stab wound. And they have to drive him to safety without being noticed by any of the guards who quickly go searching the woods. It's fortunate that the gang now conveniently has a secret bunker for Archie to hide out in. Of course, it's ridiculous that some basic medical care by Toni is seemingly enough to treat his wounds. It's much more damning to see a symbol of the Gargoyle King branded onto Archie. That proves that everything that has been happening so far this season may be connected. It may not have been Hiram who issued the order to have Archie killed. He would be the obvious choice in order to issue a severe blow to his daughter. But instead, it was the Gargoyle King who ordered the hit. Now, it's unclear why this new mythical creature is so interested in Archie. It may also see him as a convenient pawn in order to prove just how far the citizens of Riverdale are willing to go on their respective quests. Throughout this entire prison break, Jughead is narrating it as if it is the latest adventure in Griffins & Gargoyles. He continues to play with Cheryl, Tony and Sweet Pea. He actually seems crazy when exerting his position as the game master by having Cheryl shoot an arrow at a can on top of his head. He is seemingly rewarded for that devotion because he sees the Gargoyle King in the woods once more. But all of this immediately plays as a game in which there are some high and genuine stakes to it. It would require the mastermind behind all of it to have such a strong psychological understanding of Riverdale going back years. That's very ominous and suggests that the people who live here may have no other choice than to fall into the basic roles they have to play in this game. That's tragic for anyone to realize. Jughead believes he sees the larger picture. And yet, the further everyone goes into this game the more it seems like everything is going to have a deadly ending. Archie may be safe. But for how long will his friends be able to survive this latest threat?