Wednesday, November 28, 2018

REVIEW: 'Riverdale' - Archie Comes to Grips with His New Life Following Prison in 'Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter'

The CW's Riverdale - Episode 3.06 "Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter"

After confronting the parents, who were part of "The Midnight Club" twenty-five years ago, Betty follows some strong leads in hopes of finding out who the true Gargoyle King is. Veronica's attempt to prove Archie's innocence lands her in hot water. Archie turns to Kevin for help making things right.

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-One: Manhunter" was written by Cristine Chambers and directed by Rachel Talalay

Archie has been marked for death twice this season. First by Hiram who wants him gone in order to hurt Veronica as well as stop all of the disruptions to his plans for Riverdale. And second by the Gargoyle King who wants him as a sacrifice for some reason. Now, it's still easy to see those two interests being aligned. Hiram could still be the Gargoyle King. He was a member of the Midnight Club. He is one of the few people obsessed with Archie. However, he is confronted about it by Jughead here which presents the faintest glimpse of him not resorting to all of this drama just to advance his agenda forward. That too can be a compelling argument. And yet, it's the continuing threat from Hiram that makes Archie decide it's better just to leave Riverdale for good. Veronica keeps her promise in being able to prove his innocence. She finds footage that proves that witnesses were coerced and evidence was tempered with by the new sheriff. As such, he's now the one in jail with Archie having his freedom back. But that comes after an hour where Archie is confronted with even more death that proves just how far Hiram is willing to go to keep him away from Veronica. That means Hiram may finally get his wish. He has intimidated Archie enough to believe that he can never go back to a normal life in Riverdale. It's better for him to hit the road. It's an understandable reaction even though it's devastating for Veronica when she learns that all of this hard work won't lead to her getting her boyfriend back good as new. Sure, the story heightens the drama by saying that Archie and Jughead are just going wherever the road takes them. It would be more convenient and safer for Archie if he just moved to Chicago with his mom. That would ensure he still had family and the idea of normalcy while escaping to a potentially better life. He calls Veronica but not his dad to say goodbye - Fred only gets a note. However, the show wouldn't be what it is without Archie. And so, a new story has to be introduced to give him something to do that still resonates with this decision. So, he and Jughead are hitting the road. There really isn't some strong explanation for why Jughead decides to abandon his investigation into the Gargoyle King and his position as leader of the Serpents to go on this journey with Archie. It may ultimately be good for him because it will allow him to detox from the game and perhaps return with some clarity. It's still inevitable that they will return with some new piece of the puzzle that will prove vital to saving their friends. That seems like the expected direction for this story. Archie is still marked for death after all. That may not just disappear if he leaves Riverdale. The threat from the Gargoyle King has existed solely in this town. It's the only place in the world where the game can be played. Jughead had a theory of it all being based on the landmarks of the community as well. Betty continues to investigate to figure out who in the Midnight Club could potentially be behind all of this. But her story also ends in tragedy with her and Alice being frightened by the Gargoyle King breaking into their house. Sure, it's suspicious that F.P. happens to be climbing in through the window at that exact time. But it's enough to send Alice away to the Farm and Betty to the Sisters. She becomes the latest prisoner in that horrific place that really should be shut down by now because of all the horrendous things that have been done there. Betty has escaped from there in the past. There is every expectation that she will do so again even though it's clear that even the Sisters have been infected by Griffins & Gargoyles.