Wednesday, May 1, 2019

REVIEW: 'Riverdale' - Betty's Confrontation with the Gargoyle King Is Mysteriously Interrupted in 'Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night'

The CW's Riverdale - Episode 3.20 "Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night"

Betty takes matters into her own hands after learning some unsettling news about her father. Mary grows concerned by Archie's desire to take boxing to the next level. Cheryl runs into a roadblock during her campaign for prom queen. Jughead and Betty's plan to confront the Gargoyle King takes an unexpected turn.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Riverdale.

"Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night" was written by Britta Lundin & Devon Turner and directed by David Katzenberg

Betty's suspicion that her father survived the tragic accident that killed everyone aboard the transport van was the accurate reaction to have to that news. The show has taught the audience that we should be distrustful of something happening off camera. That just sets up expectations so that it's surprising when they return to life or play a role in the proceedings once more. As such, it's a big jump scare when Betty is tackled by the Black Hood when she is confronting the Gargoyle King. Her panic as she tries to escape the wrath of two serial killers is the visceral high point of this hour. Of course, the audience should also question if it truly is Hal Cooper underneath the Black Hood mask once more. Up until that point, everyone was trying to convince Betty that her father really did die in this crash. She refuses to believe it because it seems like a clear manipulation on his part in order to stage this escape. She sees how his mind could have crafted something like this. Her fears seem to be confirmed by the later attack. And yet, there isn't any reaction when she is yelling at the Black Hood to stop because he is her father. That may suggest that someone new may be under the hood. That would set two major reveals that need to happen during the conclusion of the season. It could also just be a huge manipulation in order to get Betty to join The Farm. Edgar and Evelyn have been trying to make that happen all season long. That organization is still very mysterious as well. People claim to have conversations with their dead loved ones. That's enough for Cheryl to drop her campaign for Prom Queen completely. That's something she clearly wants. And yet, it's only a momentary highlight for her instead of a lifetime of love and understanding from Jason. That's what she needs more. Meanwhile, the show seems to prove that Edgar isn't the Gargoyle King trying to manipulate the people of Riverdale into seeing The Farm as a safe place where they will be protected. He doesn't have the tattoos that Betty and Jughead now associate with whomever is the person terrorizing the town. Of course, that may not be the truth at all. Edgar still seems very sinister. It wouldn't be surprising if he orchestrated everything that happens to Betty here just to welcome her to The Farm. He is armed with all of the secrets about the Cooper family. He has made it a priority to welcome all of them and rid them of the evil they have faced in their lives. Betty has been so reluctant. But she breaks down here and sees it as the only option in order to feel safe. Now, she may just do that in order to continue her investigation of Edgar. She wants to know what's truly going on here while saving her friends and family. But that seems bound to cost her severely as well. Plus, Betty and Jughead continue to investigate mostly by themselves. They only recruit the Serpents and Pretty Poisons to help with security. Plus, that doesn't keep Betty safe at all. Instead, she just fears that once again she will face ascension and come face-to-face with the embodiment of evil. At least that's more entertaining and thrilling than anything else happening on the show. Everything that was previously said about being killed offscreen clearly can't apply to Fred because of the tragedy of Luke Perry's passing. That means that Mary awkwardly shows up and presents as a more active parent for Archie. That's startling and feels like the show doing what it had to do to cover up this glaring absence. But the show can't just talk around the subject forever. That wouldn't be a great way to honor Perry. However, killing Fred may not be a great option either even though it would ensure that things remain just as dramatic for Archie and his loved ones moving forward.