Riverdale - Season 1, Episode 2: "A Touch Of Evil" TV Episode Review
Written by Ali Chappell
Directed by Lee Toland Krieger
Developed and written by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa
2017, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on February 2nd, 2017
K.J Apa as Archie Andrews
Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper
Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge
Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones
Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom
Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge
Casey Cott as Kevin Keller
In the less-than-exciting second chapter of the new Riverdale series, we open on the scene of Jason's body being pulled from the lake. Bullet hole between the eyes. We follow Betty's mother, Alice (Madchen Amick) into the coroner's room to get the inside facts about the autopsy to further her journalism career, with the help of a bribe. At the same time, she hopes to hurt the Blossom family for reasons we are sure we will find out in later episodes.
The friendship that has every blond and brunette best friends out there gasping for air is forming strong (by the end of the episode). At the beginning there seems to be a bit of a rocky start. While Veronica throws herself unto Betty with flowers, mani/pedi's and blow outs and cupcakes from Magnolia bakery (which are amazing, seriously, go to New York and try them). Betty forgives her (no matter what happened in that closet with Archie) and explains to Kevin that next week Veronica will have moved on to another girl to destroy. However, the tables turn when instead of forgiving Veronica, she instead uses the mani/pedi and blow outs to hang out with Cheryl. A slap in the face to V, for sure. Girl drama at its finest.
Cut to Cheryl standing in Betty's room, doing Betty's make up, acting like she is trying to make amends but all she wants to know is if Polly had anything to do with Jason's murder. As she yells straight into her face, Betty responds with, "Get the hell out of my house before I kill you." A threat no one saw coming. It adds darker intrigue to her already fragile character and the history with Polly that we still know so little about.
Jughead, the young bruiting writer that he is, is becoming a fan favorite in the series. He isn't afraid to speak up, ask the hard questions, interrogate people about what happened on July 4th. Even suspecting is former good buddy, Archie (a sad arch that gets rectified by the end of this episode) of having something to do with the shooting and confronting him about his affair with Ms. Grundy. However, is lack of burger eating is saddening. Is it too much to ask that eat one damn burger on the show?!
Slowly, Archie is becoming a lesser character. The show, in theory, should be HIS show but instead he has taken to being a whiny songwriter who is in love with is music teacher, who is basically controlling him. A part of the story that at first could have been very titillating now just seems tedious. The only interesting thing that happens with him this episode is that he sticks up for Jughead when Reggie accuses him of having something to do with Jason's death. He takes a punch to the face and goes down like a sack of bricks (or my interest in his character).
As Archie runs on the football field, dawned with Jason's number as the new quarterback, Cheryl breaks down. She sees Jason running out instead of Archie. Leading Veronica to comfort her in the girls changeroom as a lingering Betty watches from a far. Knowing that Veronica can be kind to anyone, including Cheryl, shows Betty that maybe she can be a great friend and truly does have good intentions. It also shows that while Cheryl might be filled with fired, she is not made of stone. Jason seemed to be the only person she cared about, a person we know very little about.
Chapter 2 comes to an end with Cheryl being arrested in class and stating that everyone was "going to find out soon enough... that I'm guilty". Archie takes a step up and decided without or without Ms. Grundy, and following the advice of Jughead, he must tell the sheriff what he heard that day at Sweet Water River.
Chapter 2 of Riverdale is more teen drama than anything of substance. If it wasn't for Betty threatening Cheryl's life and showing the audience she has a darker side begging to see the light, we would've lost hope. Yet, this series is seemingly addictive and next week we will all tune in to see if Cheryl truly is guilty.
Might I add, the musical number Josie and The Pussycats performed during the pep rally did make the episode a lot more entertaining.
Click on a cover to read more episode reviews of Riverdale: Season 1.