Riverdale, I know sometimes I have been your biggest critic. I love intricate stories told over multiple weeks (just look at some shows I previously recapped) but sometimes I’d get so frustrated because each of the four core characters would go in so many different directions, I had trouble following the story much less recapping it. In the end, I figured out a way that worked and found meaning and purpose in the show. I am also a fan of the mid-season finale and felt a little perturbed that I didn’t get that this year but I now understand why. You had to have the continuity to grow the story for season three.
Okay, I’m a person who remembers some of the most absurd cults that every existed and the stories on the news (hence the often used term “kool-aid”), but I give you kudos and bow down for the cult of The Farm. Never would I have suspected that it was really harvesting “body organs”. The only thing I wish is that you had shown why? Edgar was going after Betty’s brain. Sure that would have killed Betty, but did he have a secret purpose for it. And, we know they didn’t ascend but couldn’t Kevin have been a little more forthcoming. At least, it’s one gem to come next year (along with Edgar being a villain for a while longer). So kudos to the writers, directors, producers and other set personnel who kept me tuning in week to week.
Acting — The Parents (who come first because I know their former work better!)
I’m going to do this right off the back. Madchen Amick, I owe you an apology. I thought your Alice Cooper was the worst mother on the show until this week when we learned the truth. I couldn’t believe you would treat your daughter, Betty, so badly but you made up for it by being an informer for the FBI. Your skill at performing Alice has always been high but you took it up a level last night. You brought baby whatever to Cheryl to get them away from the craziness. You warned Cheryl that mischief was afoot and saved Cheryl’s life. You worry about Betty but had to keep the story going you needed to be with Polly. Really, you needed to find out more for the FBI. Kudos.
To Mark Consuelos, I didn’t think you had it in your many years ago when I researched and presented papers on the ABC daytime drama, All My Children. You were always overlooked as that love sick boy running after Hayley. You have shown me the depths of your acting skills and how cunning you can be. You have made an absolute wonderfully evil Hiram Lodge that people tune in to see what he’ll do next. Because of the nuances you bring to Hiram, I really can’t see how you could not make me hate you more.
To Skeet Ulrich. Oh, I remember Jericho so well. You were the reason I watched that show. Kudos for taking a gang leader and turning him into a sheriff we can respect. You see both sides because you have walked both side. I can see you doing much more next season because you will have to step up your game. You must now become the father figure that the show has lost with the death of Luke Perry.
To Luke Perry and his successor, Molly Ringwald, To the family of Luke Perry, I must say I have always admired him. He was one of the reasons that Beverly Hills 90210 was a success. Luke never has received the credit he deserved as an actor but I will say upfront he is admired for his portrayal of Fred Andrews. To Molly Ringwald, kudos for stepping in and filling the shoes of Luke during the last episodes. While the script was originally written for Fred, your portrayal of Martha was truly inspirational and heartfelt. I hope you return for an additional season.
To Nathalie Boltt, Marisol Nichols and Lochlyn Munro. Thank you for adding your bit of villainy to Riverdale. What would this story have been if not for the scheming of Penelope Blossom, the murderous bent of Hermione, or the Black Hood’s return? All three needed a part in the second half of the season and you acted your hearts out!
Acting — the Core Four Plus Three
To K. J. Apa. Welcome to the adult world Archie. You brought Archie from a kid to a man this season. While many of us got frustrated by the turn your story took, it was needed to mature your character. You now think more of others and are protective of those around you. That’s huge growth in three season and you have made a comic book character into a man.
To Camila Mendes. You have taken Veronica from a spoiled brat who looked up to her father to a smart lady who has a certain sense of business savvy. The one area I hope they improve for you to seeing a broader picture. Loved your spin on the character as owner of not only Pop Tate’s but a speakeasy who wasn’t afraid of hard work or tough knocks.
To Lili Reinhart. You epitomize the role of Betty Cooper. You show her as caring, spunky, and creative. You are willing to investigate and take risks. In your portrayal of Betty, you keep a good balance on all of this. Many actresses would overplay the drama but you keep the character at a level that people could accept. Keep it up Lili. The mysteries are just starting.
To Cole Sprouse. My real work is at a university. Jughead would be accepted here in the English department without exception. Your portrayal of a thinking gang leader to the spirit (and narrator) of the show is so vital to the storytelling. I know things look bleak but I’m hoping it is just the writers’ way of teasing us. We need the voice you give to Jughead and Riverdale as a whole.
To Madchen Amick. All hail the newest “scream queen.” I never thought I’d see someone who could bring the depth of scream queen to the role after Jamie Lee Curtis but you have. You have a sense of vulnerability that makes Cheryl believable. Also, the fact that you aren’t afraid to be who you are goes a long way in the Riverdale adventure.
To Vanessa Morgan. I feel like you are a hidden treasure as Toni. You bring a sense of courage and bravado that the show needs. I can’t wait to see how you get Cheryl to give up Jason’s body.
To Casey Cott. Why did you get yourself wrapped up in a cult. Oh, that’s right! It’s how you were written. Congratulations on a superb job at playing a zoned-out/zombie-like cult member. Hope you wake up next season.
Again thanks to all involved with Riverdale. You gave us a season to love you, hate you and took us on a roller coaster ride to the end.