“Chapter Nine: La Grande Illusion”
Many family secrets are exposed this week that are both helpful and harmful to the residents of Riverdale.
Last week we saw Polly move into the Blossom household, devastating her mother and sister. I wasn’t really shocked by her choice; she really loved Jason and the Blossoms are the closest thing to him–other than her unborn baby of course. Something else was going on with that decision though. She cut off her family completely and wouldn’t even talk to Betty. Alice Cooper showed a new human side that was so refreshing to see. You can really understand why she acts the way she does: she really loves her daughters and will do anything to protect them. She also kicked Mr. Cooper out of the house because he wouldn’t live with Polly– he hates the Blossoms that much. So even though I could see why she chose the Blossoms, it was still a tad bit weird. The Blossoms only care about Polly because she’s carrying the heir to their estate.
It turns out though that Polly is actually playing a little Nancy Drew and is staying with the Blossoms to find out if they had anything to do with Jason’s death; she had to cut ties with her family in order to assimilate. She does care about Betty and Alice! When Alice found this out she broke down and it’s the most human she’s ever been. At the end of the day she’s a mother who loves her daughters more than anything, and she might not make the best choices, but she’s doing her best. I understand her so much more now. We did get to see a bit of the Alice we’re used to when she threw a brick into the window of The Riverdale Register after her husband changed her login and wouldn’t run her story exposing the Blossoms. You could see all her frustration and pain come through. Betty just watched in horror as her parents acted like teenagers. I felt for Betty; she’s trying so hard to keep it together–someone in that family has to–but her world is falling apart around her. At least she knows that Polly is still on their side. I still feel like a major breakdown is coming soon, though.
With Jason gone, the Board of Trustees of the Blossom’s maple syrup empire are not so keen with Cheryl taking the reigns. They think she is stable enough for the job. They are in town for the Blossom family’s annual maple tree-tapping ceremony and also to check on things. Cheryl turns to Archie for help showing the board that she’s responsible. She thinks that having him, a responsible, genuine young man, by her side might sway the board. Archie uses this situation to his advantage to get a spot at a prestigious summer music camp; the Blossoms know someone on the board there. Mr. Blossom also agreed to help out Archie’s dad with his business, so they were laying down the red carpet for him. Cheryl didn’t want to use Archie I don’t think–she just wants her family to accept her–so it was kind of mean on Archie’s part to continue to use her like this. It’s one thing to use her parents, but Cheryl has a nice side. Sure she’s the mean girl type and does kiss Archie to pull him closer to her, knowing he has a girlfriend, but she is also insecure. I rather disliked Archie in this episode; he kept trying to justify that using Cheryl was okay and also he continued to ignore Valerie. Valerie is such a cool person that he’s lucky to date and ever since they started dating he hasn’t spent a lot of time with her. She ends up breaking up with him on a walk to school (by the way, there was snow on the ground and Archie was wearing an unbuttoned light jacket, shouldn’t he feel cold?) and I wanted to give her a high five. Archie needs to be put in his place because he treats the women in his life poorly. I wonder if he and Cheryl will get together now as he makes his way through the girls of Riverdale.
I continue to love Veronica Lodge more and more with each episode. When she moved to Riverdale she vowed to become a better person and that included treating people better. #JusticeforEthel returns in this episode and is feeling pretty down about her home life; her parents are struggling with money and have been fighting a lot. Veronica is later told by her mother that Ethel’s family was one of Hiram’s investors and he lost everything in the scandal. Up until this point Veronica didn’t think of her father as a criminal, but seeing first hand the consequences of his actions, she finally understood. Her father hurt Ethel’s family, Archie’s father, and countless others in his crimes. Ethel’s father is so devastated about losing his money that he tries to kill himself. When Veronica hears about it she breaks down and rips the pearl necklace Hiram gave her off her neck, pearls dropping everywhere. It was at that moment that she was done with her father.
Hermione also finally tells Fred that the Lodge’s actually own the drive in property and he is not happy about it. She explains that it was Hiram that hired the guys to rough up the teenagers working on the property because he found out about their affair. He says he wants 20% of the property and that he’ll continue his work, but that whatever was going on between them is over–they are just business partners now. I liked that she came clean to both Veronica and Fred, even though it was tough and her relationships with both have been changed–it showed real growth in her character.
The show is really setting the stage perfectly for Hiram’s eventual return. He’s going to get out of jail and not have much of a family to return to. We also find out that Mr. Blossom had a hand in sending Hiram to jail– that’s motive right there to kill Jason Blossom. Jughead puts his name on the murder board, so it’s just a matter of time before he shows his face in Riverdale. It would make a lot of sense, so much happened with these families in the past that are just now surfacing. Then again almost everyone has a motive of some kind at this point, so it’s hard to tell just yet. Cheryl even came back to the table when she scribbled out Polly and Archie’s faces in a photo of her family with red sharpie; that is pretty scary right there.
The families keep falling apart left and right and it seems up to the teens to fix everything. Jughead and Betty are going to be the ones to solve the murder before any professional does; they seem to be the only semi level-headed people in the town–save for Betty’s impending breakdown. I want to see these teens act like teens again, they are acting too grown up for their own good. It seems next week there’s a birthday party where they finally get to let loose, with consequences of course.
There are only four episodes left until the shocking season finale and there are still so many suspects. We keep getting closer, but I’m sure secrets will be uncovered up until the final reveal to keep us on our toes. For now all we have are our theories. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for next week’s episode because a certain character’s mom finally shows up and it’s very pretty in pink.