The town of Riverdale celebrated its 75th jubilee, Cheryl tried to commit suicide to be with Jason, and certain couples got a bit closer than others on Riverdale Season 1 Episode 13.
Below, TV Fanatics Mandy Treccia, Jack Ori, Paul Dailly and Justin Carreiro debate the curious case of Hermione Lodge's personality, Archie's relationship woes, and the fate of Fred Andrews.
1. The first season is now complete. Share your thoughts about Riverdale Season 1!
Mandy: It had its ups and downs for me. I enjoyed the characters and the mystery. But I think the show needs to decide if it wants to be a mystery or a small town drama. It didn't balance the two well. Relationships were shortchanged to feed the mystery narrative. But the mystery also seemed to wrap up too easily.
Jack: I thought it was an amazing first season! It wasn't perfect; Kevin was backburnered far too much, and I'd have preferred a less predictable solution to the mystery.
But I'm already excited for next season, and I don't usually wish my summer away just to watch a fall show. I hope Riverdale will have a full season next year and we won't have to wait until March to see what happens next!
Paul: I thought it was good, but it definitely had its up and downs. The second half of the season was much better than the first, with fewer filler episodes.
I'm really concerned about Riverdale Season 2. The production dates are from July to April, meaning it's likely going to be 22 episodes. I don't think it can sustain 22 episodes without dipping in quality.
Justin: This was a great first season. It hooked me right from Riverdale Season 1 Episode 1; with exceptions to some less than stellar storylines (Ms. Grundy!). I do hope that they fix their character storyline issue. They pushed a lot of characters, like Kevin, Reggie, and Josie to the background for only quick appearances.
2. Archie claimed his gazes at Betty were because of wanting a "relationship" like the one she had with Jughead, but with Veronica. Do you believe this? Does he have feelings for Betty?
Mandy: I think he's more bothered by losing Betty's attention than wanting to be with her. This feeds into what I was saying about the relationships being shortchanged. It's almost like they forgot Betty was in love with Archie.
And now it's jarring to have him suddenly out of sorts when Betty and Jughead have been together for several episodes now. If anything, I think this is a reminder the triangle will still happen at some point.
Jack: I think that Archie was honest about that. He realized that Jughead and Betty are great for each other and it saddened him in a way because I don't think he feels that strongly about Veronica and now wants to make it work.
Paul: I think he has feelings for Betty. He did not want Betty earlier in the season and I think that seeing her with Jughead made him jealous.
Justin: I think he does like her. After everything that happened and now seeing her in a different light, Archie wants what he can't have. Betty, the girl who used to be in love with him, is now dating his best friend. Archie likes the attention and pursuing new relationships.
3. Cheryl tried to commit suicide and she burned down Thorn Hill. Why do you think she reacted this way?
Mandy: Does anyone else feel like her suicide attempt was glossed over? Her mother suggested the world was better off without her! And it was all swept under the rug when Cheryl came up with the new plan of burning down the house.
Cheryl's a great character. But I feel like this is a slippery slope if the show doesn't do her mental health justice.
Jack: I thought she was trying again to kill herself and was going to take her mother down with her, but then changed her mind and got them out of the house. I agree with Mandy that more needs to be made out of Cheryl's mental health issues.
I hate when shows use mental health as plot points and turn mental illness on and off at will.
Paul: I agree with Mandy and Jack. Cheryl really needs to get help; it would be a good way for the show to educate the audience if done correctly.
Justin: I guess it's unanimous. Cheryl needs to speak with someone who will listen to her concerns. She's suffering a lot and tried to kill herself; she needs to be speaking with a trained professional (not her mother) to get the help she needs.
4. Hermione has gone full cold-hearted villain now that Hiram is returning. Is there anything still redeeming about this character?
Mandy: For me, the one redeeming thing is that she doesn't know Hiram threatened Veronica. But since the audience knows that, it makes me wonder if he's threatening her, too. Do my bidding, or I'll hurt Veronica.
If the two women were honest with each other, they might be able to piece together his motives. But then there'd be less drama. Either way, I can't wait to meet him on Riverdale Season 2.
Jack: I really hate Hermione right now, but that makes me think that in Riverdale Season 2 something will happen to redeem her. I love Mandy's idea that Hermione is being blackmailed/threatened.
Paul: As far as redeeming, definitely not. However, I've loved her walking the fine line between good and evil all season long. I can't wait to see what wicked things she gets up to in the fall.
Justin: That's an interesting theory, Mandy! I had originally thought Hermione's change in personality was due to the inconsistent character, but if she's being threatened by Hiram, it would explain the shift. And if so, there's still a chance to redeem herself.
5. Jughead accepted the Southside Serpent's jacket. Do you think this will affect his relationship with Betty?
Mandy: Yes, it will. But I don't necessarily believe that it will separate them. They've hinted at Betty's dark side. She's gone against her mother's wishes before. It won't surprise me if we see Betty with a jacket of her own. And that could lead into revisiting the possible triangle if Archie tries to stop Betty from going to the "dark" side.
Jack: Depends what he does with it. I think that Riverdale Season 2 will be about Jughead struggling to decide where he belongs and who he is, and Betty could be instrumental in helping him with that journey. I hope it doesn't separate them.
Paul: Definitely. The reaction from Betty when he wore the jacket said it all. Jughead seemed to be happy at the sense of belonging for him. He's been a bit of a pariah in Riverdale High as of late.
Justin: I wouldn't be surprised if this causes Jughead and Betty to break up for a while. Their relationship has survived a lot of the murder mystery drama, but this is Southside Serpent territory. I don't think Betty will condone Jughead's actions if he does join the group.
6. Fred's life is hanging in the balance after being shot. Do you think he will survive the attack?
Mandy: I do. There's too much story potential to lose him. Not only for Archie, but for his connection to Hermione, and the rivalry with Hiram. This also provides an opportunity to bring Archie's mom back. Either to help take care of him or to cause more problems because she wants Archie out of Riverdale.
Jack: I hope so! I suspect whoever shot him was involved with the Lodges in some way. I want to see him around to help Archie navigate that drama. Plus, he's the only decent parent on the show, so I don't want to lose him.
Paul: I don't care. As soon as he went against Hermione, it was so obvious she or Hiram were going to have him taken out of the equation. They should have been more unpredictable. Leaving more fates up in the air would have been the best way forward. Fred is not a great character, and I couldn't care less if he returned in the fall.
Justin: I'm on the fence about this. I think they will save him, but for story and cost purposes, I somewhat hope Fred dies.
Riverdale already has a large ensemble cast, and more people have been added; some cuts need to come from somewhere. And I think we've already exhausted all the storylines from Fred with Hermione, Hiram, the Blossoms, and his wife.
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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.