Wednesday, December 12, 2018

REVIEW: 'Riverdale' - Jughead's Mom Helps Protect Archie from Hiram's Reign in 'Chapter Forty-Three: Outbreak'

The CW's Riverdale - Episode 3.08 "Chapter Forty-Three: Outbreak"

On the road and running out of places to stay, Jughead and Archie head to Toledo to visit Jughead's mother Gladys and sister Jellybean. Back in Riverdale, Betty inches closer to uncovering the truth about Griffins & Gargoyles. Veronica and Cheryl take on Hiram, Hermoine and Penelope after more students fall victim to seizures.

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-Three: Outbreak" was written by James DeWille and directed by John Kretchmer

This show always runs the risk of confusing the audience with every single plot twist and complication to the narrative. That can often be the case when it's not clear what the motivation for a character's actions actually is. That's especially true for any character with the last name Lodge or Blossom. Those characters typically just follow whatever is necessary for the plot without it needing to make sense for some larger story arc. This hour once again proves that Betty is the smartest person in Riverdale. She hasn't become a victim while at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. She was forced to take the candy. But she's also smart enough to throw it up afterwards in order to better understand everything that happens to be going on there. She makes a ton of progress with her investigation as well. She has the proof that the Gargoyle King isn't real. It's just a hallucination that often comes as a side effect from taking fizzle rocks. That's the latest drug to hit the streets of Riverdale. The Sisters are giving them to their patients in order to maintain this secret conspiracy. Griffins and Gargoyles came from them as well because they conveniently had a gargoyle statue that terrified the disobedient girls. The game eventually got out into the real world. Of course, none of this explains how characters saw the Gargoyle King out in the city without being under the influence of drugs. In fact, the pandemic of seizures amongst the people of Riverdale may prove that there is more going on here. They may be being poisoned in some other way. It may not even be connected to the game at all. Betty wasn't playing it when she had her first seizure. Veronica has never played it but is a member of the mass seizure at school here. That means that something more is going on. It once again seems like a massive conspiracy perpetrated by Hiram Lodge. It may be the grand ambition of his new Legion of Doom that was assembled at the end of the second season too. That means that Penelope is in the know enough to tell Veronica and Cheryl that the quarantine is coming. Of course, they are too late to put a stop to it. That proves that Hiram is still working ahead of everyone else in town. However, the question still persists if he is truly the mastermind behind all of this or if he is simply following orders from the Gargoyle King as well? He sees the creature at the conclusion of this hour after he is victorious in his grand plan. That may prove he's delusional. As such, Veronica is right to call her parents insane and not the best of influences. But again, it's so confusing because the show is suggesting that sometimes the Gargoyle King is a hallucination while other times it's possible that it's a man behind a mask. Meanwhile, Archie and Jughead find safety with Jughead's mother and sister. Those are characters who have been referenced a ton but haven't been seen so far. Their introductions were always inevitable. And now, it's just fun to see how smart and sensible they are when it comes to dealing with the problems that these two boys are dealing with. Gladys has the clarity that Archie puts everyone helping him in danger while Hiram is probably making his moves now that Jughead is away. That means that Jughead and F.P. are outside of the quarantine when they try to return to Riverdale. Archie and Fred are as well. It's so moving to watch as the Andrews men have to say goodbye for now. They haven't spent a whole lot of time together this season. Archie's life has gotten increasingly condemned and brutal. And now, he's on his own which is a terrible position for him because he is always so trusting and naive about the world around him.