Riverdale  — Riverdale — The Worse Town? Really? 4/3/22

Tonight, isn’t April Fool’s Day on Riverdale.  We’ve been through some strange things this season (and is Hiram really dead or giving Mark Consuelos a break?).  We have a meet the Devil in Rivervale but I ask the following question:  Is Percival Pickens the new devil for this reincarnation of Riverdale.  While I really don’t think we’ll find out tonight, he has all the makings of being the Devil.  And why make Riverdale the worst town  (what would his ancestor say? 

The Newspaper’s Lead – The Town Is Bad

As we open the show, Jughead is washing dishes while Tabita reads the paper.   (By the way, his hearing comes and goes.  Does that mean Betty’s and Archie’s powers come and go.)  She is worried about his article which he published anonymously to protect them.  The title of the piece was “Riverdale:  The Worst Town in America.”  Jughead (anonymous) doesn’t hide the truth about all the dirt in Riverdale’s history.  Of course, Percival liked it.  Archie, of course recognizes the style and goes off on Riverdale.  Alice and Frank are calling a meeting and tells Jughead to be there.

At the meeting, the town is the top topic of discussion is Sketch (Skid) Alley.  Alice sees it as a major problem along with Ronnie’s casino. She suggests turning the casino into a family friendly place complete with arcade for the kiddies.  Alice doesn’t agree as she sees the Lodge family as being one of the major problems in the town.  Archie makes the suggestion of small homes.  It would cost about $25,000 for each home in material but labor would be free. (So I combined some meetings.  There were too many throughout the show.) Archie also wonders why why the author didn’t give any suggestions and guess who claims to have written the article?  That’s right – Mr. Good-Guy Percival.  Percival thinks that the first objective should be to bus the Sketch Alley crowd out of town.  Archie says Riverdale has always taken care of his own.  Jughead sees this as a battle for Riverdale’s soul (I think in more ways than one.)  Good new folks!  Jughead is back as narrator.  More on his hearing later.

Jughead is upset about closing Sketch Alley.  The people there has helped him when Jug needed it most.  He and Archie discuss building small homes for the people to get them off the street.  Archie agrees that the idea is good and they start making plans.  Archie turns to Toni and Tabita for financial support.  They both agree and Archie’s first two buildings will be Pop Tate’s and White Wrym. 

Archie, Jughead and a crew of workers show up at Sketch Alley to tell the people what is going on.  Jughead talks to his friend and all (residents and crew get to work).  As the houses are built, Jughead friend (Doc, I believe) attacks Kevin.  Kevin goes to the hospital and Percival uses this as a reason to close down operations but two buildings have already been finished and installed at Pop Tate’s. 

Later, as Archie talks to Toni and Tabita, Alice is on the news complaining about the attack (Percival has gotten to her folks).  Archie is ready to stop but Toni and Tabita tell him to bring the houses on and display them at Pop’s.  After they are set up, one gets graffiti paint and Tabita calls Archie.  He’s got his powers back as he slams his fist into his truck with no injury.

The next day, Archie goes to take the houses down.  He finds Jughead, Tabita, Toni and Fred painting the building.   Jughead has something to tell Archie about Percival (check the Percival section for this) when who should appear (as if by magic) but Percival.  He’s been to Sketch Alley and paid all of them to leave town.  The gang (minus Percival) go to the empty alley.

At the last town meeting of the night, the people are happy that Percival solved one problem.  They cheer and Percival gives Tom Keller credit and tells everyone that law is back with Tom and Kevin working the streets.  Of the City Board, only Alice seems happy.  Jughead looks at Archie and says they must talk later.  After the meeting, Ronnie tries to talk to Alice about her plan.  Alice has really been brainwashed as she tells Ronnie that Ronnie’s Lodge name is a problem to the town.  If she takes a backseat, they will let the casino stay.  Otherwise, Alice and the town (read Percival) will get it closed down and not give it any support.

Abigail or Is It Cheryl?

Britta talks to Nana about seeing Cheryl in the mirror.  Nana tells Britta that Cheryl is in some sort of outer limits jail (Phantom Zone per Superman?).  Nana tells her they must get word to Cheryl but it can only be done while Cheryl is in a deep sleep and Britta, also asleep, can enter her dreams.  If Britta can warn Cheryl before she awakens, there is a chance.  One danger exist.  Abigail can’t awaken first. 

Britta gives Abigail some drugged tea and also drinks a glass (setting an alarm clock first).  In the dreamscape (sleep universe) Britta sees Cheryl with her mother and Jason talking about their birthday party as children.  Britta awakens and tries again.  The second dream is of the birthday party where Cheryl is being punished while Jason is celebrated.  She’ll get no birthday gifts and Britta calls Penelope (looking like the 1950s incarnation of Abigail) out to which she’s told to leave.  The third dream finds Penelope making Cheryl and Jason clean the floor with toothbrushes.  Is Penelope this evil?  She’s a cross between Mommy Dearest (Joan Crawford) and Mrs. Hannigan (Annie). 

With this evidence, Britta returns to Nana for advice.  Britta needs to use a new technique to get the message to Cheryl.  Nana offers encouragement and Britta decides to take a note to the dreamscape.  She falls asleep and finds Cheryl this time with white hair.  Her mother has cut it.  Penelope finds Britta and throw her out but Britta has dropped the note.  As Penelope confronts Britta who calls her fiction, Cheryl reads the note.  With Britta gone, Penelope turns to Cheryl who is the one we know.  Cheryl wins the battle and returns the next day to herself.  She wakes Britta and tells her they must banish Penelope from Cheryl’s dreams forever to get rid of Abigail and they a seance must be held.

The Casino

Ronnie and Reggie talk and Ronnie wants to make the casino legit and rehab her family name.  Reggie says it will be expensive but agrees to the scheme.  All seems to be going well until Reggie reports to Ronnie that there is a dead customer in a private room.  Ronnie calls in the bodyguard to help and asks him to find out about Percival.  The body is taken to New Jersey for disposal and he starts tracking Percival.

Reggie has new information.  While the man had lost a bundle, he was winning that night.  He was up by $25,000 and then Percival arrives and whispers in his ear.  The bodyguard comes in and he has taken care of the body and done some research  on Percival.  There is no paper trail.  The man never existed until he arrived in Riverdale.  (See, I told you he was Satan.)   Ronnie asks him to help reestablish the casino and help it start making money.  They’re going to need it for the battle that is going to brew over its existence.  Hiram isn’t forgotten as his picture will inspire them with the Lodge name.

Percival and His Talent

Percival seems to have a talent for changing people’s mind.  He talks to Alice and gets her on his side echoing his every thought.  He talks to Archie but surprisingly  makes no headway (either Archie is very stupid of his power comes into play).  He talks to Kevin and Tom Keller and gets them on his side. 

Jughead is questioning what happened with Doc.  He goes to the prison and visits.  The last thing his friend remembers is meeting an English gentleman (Percival) and getting the idea to hit Kevin in the head.  Jughead decides to visit Percival on the pretense of doing a story.  Suddenly, Jughead’s hearing gets distorted.  He’s hearing what Percival says but also a hidden message that Percival is relaying trying to convince Jughead otherwise.  Suddenly Percival speaks to Jughead by using telepath powers.  He tells Jughead to get out of his head.  So, now we know that Jughead has a superpower after all.  Jughead later tells Archie they need to talk, and the gang needs to meet.

The Powers and What We Know

Betty returns home to Archie’s and is bothered by the light.  It triggers migraines and is a side effect of her power. 

Archie’s is back but impacted by palladium.

Jughead can sense hidden conversations that others do not hear.

Ronnie knows he didn’t exist before coming to Riverdale.

Percival can communicate by telepathy.  Can he only cause weak minds to hear.  And why does he have a crime board like Betty uses and seems to have put a target on Archie.  Could he be the Trash Can Killer in addition to Satan.

Next week:  Jughead and others want to hurt Percival.  Cheryl is now in the mix.  Percival seems to be the one behind all the evil and has plans for all the gang in addition to Cheryl. 

Riverdale – Death at a Riverdale Funeral??  (3/22/2022)

Riverdale what am I supposed to believe about you?  First we visit your alternate universe with the great Chocolate Shoppe in the sky.  We return to Riverdale and find the nuances of Rivervale seeping into the characters in their normal world.  Oh, and let’s not forget!  Now it looks like Veronica has inherited much of her mobster’s dad power as she ordered a hit on dear old dad which happened.  Her sister, Hermrosa has a hit out of Veronica.  Just what I don’t want?  More mob!  Archie and Betty with now have superpowers, and Jughead is deaf.  Oh, and don’t forget!  Cheryl is now Abigail who wants revenge on Archie, Betty, and Jug’s forefathers. What else do you have in store for us?  Will deaths come in threes.

Tonight, I’m just going to tell the story as it happens (with later combinations).  We need to see interactions this week. 

To begin with Jughead is back as narrator tonight.  He’s talking but he can’t seem to write anything.  He’s is use to hearing music and the typewriter keyboard as the writes.  Archie is literally rebuilding the home place and Betty’s getting use to her position and superpower.  Betty does send Archie to “talk” (write) to Jughead and figure out what’s going on.  Now don’t laugh.  I know many think Archie’s dumb but he did almost finish high school.  Ronnie has confessed the hit to Reggie (who actually is upset about this) and announces that the memorial service will be held in Riverdale.  Meanwhile, Cheryl/Abigail’s new style has Britta worried (I guess so – that collar is much too dramatic for even Cheryl) and Nana admits that Cheryl as we know her exist no more due to Abigail’s transfer into her body.  Nana wants the town back in the Blossom control and they must attend the Council of Four meeting.  Okay – how do we address Cheryl now that she is Abigail.  Shall we call her Cheragail?   I’ll just call her Cheryl for now.

So how did Hiram die?  Apparently, he was found in a shallow grave in New Jersey with his hands tied, four bullets in his head and his body burned.  Ron’s grandmother and a mystery man arrives.  Her grandmother wants Ron to deliver the eulogy.  At the Chocolate Shop, we learn that Kevin is staying in town to help with the baby and takes his dad up on the deputy job that had been offered.  (Question:  Will he be like Barney Fife of Andy Griffith fame and not be allowed to carry a bullet except in his pocket?)  Meanwhile, Betty is back working when she gets a call that Glenn has gone “missing in action”.  (And the new mystery is set.  Oh, the possibilities that all this presents.  I can see Kevin accidentally shooting his father’s tires out as he chases the Trash Bag Killer.)

Let’s not forget Jughead and Tabita.  They are writing notes about his hearing loss.  He can get implants in six months.  Meanwhile at FBI Riverdale, Betty has a headache and gets a present.  It turns out to be from the Trash Can Killer and contains a body part (from Glenn).  And we have the Trash Bag Killer looking so much like the Black Hood Killer.  He’s also obsessed with Betty?  Could Hal be back?

Ten minutes in and two potential deaths?  Is that a new record for this show?  Or do we count Hiram’s death as last week when the hit’s success was announced?

Council Four Meeting looks interesting as Cheryl and Nana watch from the balcony.  Archie gets his dumpsters approved.  Ronnie tells all that Hiram is dead and a memorial service will be held.  And lo and behold, Percival introduces himself and Cheryl realizes that they are related somehow.  Percival announces that he wants to make the town of Riverdale a success.  Toni is late arriving, but Cheryl immediately recognizes her a Thomasina.  So, who is missing?  Jughead!  He didn’t come because he doesn’t want anyone to pity him.  Oh, and Archie finally realizes he has forgotten Ron.  They talk about Hiram.  Isn’t that nice of him?  He remembers his ex-lover from just a few weeks ago.  Both of them moved on quickly, didn’t they?

Betty object is to catch the Trash Can Killer and Alice will help.  Meanwhile Jughead shows that he has taken up Archie’s screw-up ways by riding his motorcycle which gets him a lecture (read dirty looks) from Tabita. 

As the workers start repairs at Archie’s, one worker finds the mystery substance, palladium.  Archie offers it to the worker who tells Archie to keep it.  Alice provides a meal and Archie forgets himself and drinks extremely hot coffee.  He covers it but Uncle Frank notices.  Meanwhile, Cheryl finds a way to see Toni and offers to adopt Britta.  While Cheryl wants a meeting that night, Toni is at the White Wrym and can’t meet.  Later at the bar, Cheryl has a flashback to Abigail’s old life when Fangs enters to talk to Toni about the baby.  Vision time which sends Cheryl into a downward spiral made worse when Nana tells her to forget the “Serpent scum” and concentrate on getting Riverdale back.  Cheryl doesn’t take that kindly and Nana finds herself locked up downstairs with a death threat hanging over her head.  Cheryl wants revenge on the town, but she wants Toni more.  Fangs has to be dealt with and Toni must come back to Abigail.

And poor old Ron has a new problem.  Her mom, Hermione, has arrived complete with a camera crew to film a story around Hiram’s death and funeral for her show, The Real Housewives of New York.  I guess that is still her show, but she must have become the star.   Veronica agrees to the filming and later hosts a dinner party for Hermione and Kevin (because of his love of New York).  Will Kevin start his own show?  I think they could call it “The Weird Adventures of Riverdale.”  Back to the story.  Hermione tells Ronnie she has no tears to shed for Hiram now.  Ronnie clears the room and confesses to mom.  They may have just had their first mother/daughter talk as Hermione tells Ronnie that she knew Hiram would die.  It was only a matter of time.  She’s not upset at what happened (you know Ron’s hit) and it was all part of Hiram and Ron’s father/daughter relationship.  Hiram wanted Ron’s attention leaving Hermione out.  They decide to work on their relationship with Ron promising to be a good daughter.  They also film the scene for Hermione’s show (without the mention of a hit, of course).

Archie accident and his power seems to be weakening.  Betty mentions her migraine.  Seems the two powers are tied together, and it is muted by the palladium (think kryptonite folks).  Later, at the house, Archie goes upstairs and gets a surprise.  Someone has tampered with the floor, and he falls through the ceiling and is hurt due to palladium on the floor.  He is dragged from the room due to the losing his power from the palladium.  Okay, it’s his kryptonite—we get it!  I don’t think he’s Superman.  CW has a show on that already. 

Betty is napping on the couch when she gets a visit from the Trash Bag Killer.  He smooths her face calling her “sweet Betty” and she wakes.  He got in with Glenn’s card and wants her to drop Archie or he will be next (can we say fixation?).  Betty does get a call from someone who has seen the wanted poster and told to come down to scum street.  Betty finds a man with a trash bag mask who tells her to look in the trash can where Glenn’s arm is.  At the house, Archie wakes to find himself tied up.  The Trash Bag Killer is going to enjoy hurting him so Betty will be his.  As he prepares a power drill to use on Archie, Alice comes in returning Bingo, the dog.  The dog comes upstairs, surprises Trash Bag so he falls out the window but by the time Betty gets there he’s gone.  The FBI has found a dismembered Glenn (so another murder).

Jughead has a meeting with a counsellor named Daniel.  Daniel leaves Jug in a room to write for five hours but Jughead has nothing to show him at the end of the time.  Daniel then gives him a comic book.  Jughead reads it and finally gets his voice (writing) back.  He creates a graphic novel and Daniel is proud.  Tabita is happy too as now Jughead can feel purpose in his life.

As the funeral attendees gather, Hiram’s killer arrives to see Ron.  She tells him he has his blood money but he is there for a new purpose – more money for her death.  As he starts toward her to strangle her, her grandmother’s bodyguard comes in and shots him in the back.  Hermrosa had hired the killer and grandmother had heard and made other arrangements.  At Hiram’s funeral, the only old friend of Ron’s who is there is Reggie.  During the eulogy, Ron says she won’t be sentimental.  She admits her dad has done many horrible things but also some good things (like covering Fred’s funeral).  She apologizes for the horrible things he has done.  While she forgives, she can’t forget but she will always love her daddykins.  As Hermione leaves, Ron agrees to Thanksgiving with her.  Reggie is waiting but they are interrupted by the bodyguard as they start to kiss (they’re together again, how sweet?)  She’s given Hiram’s personal effects which include the rum business and a tape recording of his hopes and love for her (and we get a salute to Hiram).  Does this mean that Hiram is really dead In soap terms, we didn’t see the body?

So, where does that leave us?  Archie knows what can cause his skills (and Betty’s also) to disappear and must be careful.  Betty says she must leave town so the Trash Bag Killer will leave also.  With the way this man has lives, I wonder if it is Hal come back to live (again).  Cheryl sees (was that really herself) knocking on a window and breaks it.  Wait, Nana said Cheryl was no more – only nothingness.  And Jughead – well suddenly, he begins to hear again.  Does his hearing have a power tied to the palladium that everyone wants?

Next week

We get Percival and his story starting.  And did I hear right.  A battle for the town’s soul?  I told you last week that Percival had ties to the devil, didn’t I?  And I don’t have spoilers just an English degree.  That also leaves me with this question:  should we appear for another visit from Sabrina.  As far as I can tell, she’s the only one who can bring Cheryl back.  And the palladium?  Why Archie?

Riverdale – And We Return Home but to What? (March 20, 2022)

Rivervale is apparently no more.  We are back to Riverdale.  It is at the point we left off at of the season finale.  The bomb is ticking under Archie’s bed as he and Betty get ready to get intimate.  The only difference is that Betty gets a call from Rivervale about the bomb.  Oh no!  Time and space is changing which any science fiction show lover knows causes a rift in the outcomes of both dimensions.  What have they done? Will the Riverdale universe be altered?  Will Rivervale be no more?  Did Dilton escape the chaos he helped cause?  Let’s get comfortable because here we go again.

Just a reminder:  When the season ended, Riverdale has seen the end (apparently) of Hiram Lodge’s manipulations and dirty dealings.  As he drives out of town, he leaves a present for the one he sees as his nemesis, Archie Andrew.  Archie has also broken up with Veronica Lodge who apparently is moving on to Reggie.  Jughead is with Tabitha but that’s not where he is when action starts – he’s writing in Archie’s garage.  Cheryl has cursed Betty, Archie and Jughead.  Did I miss anything?  I ‘m sure I have but the real question is:  how does that phone call change things.

The Aftermath of the Season Finale

At Betty’s her mother wants a recap of what was happening.  Jughead was in the garage and Archie and Betty escaped.  All will be staying at Betty’s but Archie and Uncle Frank visit the house (which wasn’t destroyed (why was that?) while Alice takes Betty to the hospital.  Archie hears Vegas and starts to dig him out.  Betty has to stay overnight in the hospital for her ribs but she tells Archie that he shielded her and that saved her life.  Meanwhile, Jughead has told Pop and Tabitha only to discover he has been affected by the explosion.  Noises seem louder but then all hearing goes.  Okay, granted he was nearby but wouldn’t they have wanted to check him out also due to the nearness of the blast.  Oh, that’s right.  Archie, Betty and Jughead have super powers (more on Betty’s and Archie’s later).  Frank and Archie find Vegas who survived but with four broken legs.

Of course, everyone has to learn the story.  Toni, Fangs, and Kevin meet.  Kevin wants New York and Fangs and Toni are dating (but still bisexual).  Kevin’s dad calls with the news and he calls Veronica (who is with Reggie) while a student (Britta, I think) brings news to Cheryl.  Nana and Cheryl looks surprised but Cheryl looks at Nana and says it was the curse.  Nana’s not sure (of course it will play a role).  Great recap by the way writers.  Cheryl, by the way, blames Nana for everything that has happened. 

In the Aftermath, Rivervale Arrives

From here on, each get their own story told.  So spoilers folks (and I am sorry. 


First, Cheryl tries to reverse the curse and has voodoo dolls to assist with this.  Britta asks Cheryl if she believes in magic and curses and Cheryl seems to do so now (and we have the first hint of Rivervale).  When the candles blow out, she’s sure it was Nana but Nana denies that she did.  Cheryl sets a trap and finds out it is Britta doing it.  Somehow, during the comet’s visit (which happened in both cities), Abigail’s spirit entered Britta instead of Cheryl.  After Cheryl tells Nana and asks if they need to do an exorcism, Nana tells her no.  The only way to turn Britta normal is a transference of the spirit to Cheryl. 

Nana and Cheryl perform the spell and Abigail moves to Cheryl.  I honestly don’t think the spirit of Abigail will be as forgiving as in Rivervale.  Cheryl goes through a transformation becoming more positive and more self-assured.  I still suspect a visit from Sabrina will happen.


Remember the power I mentioned that Betty saw at the hospital.  Well, it seems the auras are red/orange and appear with anger and murder.  Betty’s new power will enable her to know who to question and capture.  (Oh, I’m getting a strange feeling that I’ve seen this before folks.  More on this at the end of this piece.)

The FBI has made catching Hiram a priority.  Betty takes control of an FBI meeting which sets her old boyfriend off.  Betty tells Glenn that she is with Archie.  She also sets an agent to looking into deaths at other hospitals.  There are similarities and she catches the killer with Archie’s help.  Glenn though is still a problem.  He comes to the office, drunk, and the red/orange aura appears.  He starts to grab her and she stops him.  That doesn’t stop Glenn from bragging to the “guys at the bar” but the other female agents tell Betty.  She gets the men transferred out of the office in Riverdale and Glenn is under investigation for improper actions toward Betty.  She shoos him out of the office.  (SPOILER ALERT:  Later at the diner, Glenn leaves.  When he gets in his car, it appears to be Pop who pops up from the back seat and starts to choke him over what he did to Betty.  Is Pop the trashcan killer or has the black masked killer returned. 

Veronica and Hiram

While this doesn’t really have any apparent Rivervale connection, I do think we need to attribute it to Rivervale.  Veronica has promised Betty information and called her sister for it.  On getting the information, she does pass it on to Betty but keeps a copy for herself.  Ronnie tells Reggie she plans to take out a contract on her father and secretly does so.  Ronnie does have second thoughts though after learning of Reggie dad’s heart attack.  When she tries to stop it, she finds that the contract has been fulfilled.  She does lie to Reggie when he returns home telling her that his dad is okay yet her dad’s death is done.  Hemarosa calls and asks why Ron put the contract out on daddy dearest.  Sis has now marked Ronnie with a contract for blood and she’s not the target. 

Archie’s Newfound Power

At the gym, Archie is doing weights.  When he gets on the scale, he finds he has gained weight but it doesn’t appear on his frame.  Meanwhile, Mary has arrived and realizes that Archie could have died.  When Archie gives a quick explanation, Mary tells him that his father, Fred, protected him.  Later as they clean, Percival Pickens arrives and wants to buy Archie’s home.  Now the house has holes in it and missing roofs and he offers to pay a substantial sum.   (I’m very suspicious about this.  Is Percival the Satan we saw in Rivervale?)  Archie turns him down but he gives Mary his card.  (I’m not sure but it looks like Archie  pays a visit to Percival and I’m not sure why.)

Toni and Fangs

Toni and Fangs meet with the members of the Ghoulies to find out what their part in the bombing of Archie’s house was.  It seems Carla is more than happy to spill that they do work of Hiram who gave them two jobs:  destroy Riverdale and kill Archie Andrews.  Toni does tell Archie so he can watch his back but Archie has other plans.  He asks where they are located and goes for a visit.  He, of course, is attacked and fights back.  When he arrives home, he’s covered in blood which worries Betty.  Archie then has to reveal his power over death to Betty (which is why he can stop the hospital killer).  This leads to echoes to Toni’s story about lost children.  She gets a call from, this I’m not sure about because it surprised me, Trula Twyst (in the comics Jughead’s foe).  She is with the Ghoulies and informs Fangs and Toni about what has happened.  She swears vengeance and threatens their baby.

Jughead’s Hearing

Tabitha has figured out that Jughead has a hearing problem.  She goes to the doctor’s with him where they learned that his hearing in both ears has been severely damaged.  Good news though is that he is writing.  (Wonder if his writing goes through to Rivervale?)

Final views

Archie has sent his mom home to Chicago after getting the mortgage put in his name.  Betty and Archie talk about the changes that have happened to them.  He wants her to leave but she doesn’t think he will hurt her.  He then agrees to let her stay as long as she doesn’t mind being with an unemployed man with a mortgage (wonder how long that will last).  As they talk, Archie gets a call from the vet.  Bingo (I thought it was Vegas) has recovered with no signs left of broken legs.  Say what?

Next episode:

Hiram’s body found.

Trash can killer or the black masked killer is back.

Funeral service.

Why does the black masked killer come to see Archie.

Okay anyone else having problems with the following:  the house is still standing; no one died; Bingo is well; and Jughead has hearing problems?  Either the time/space continuum has been affected, the dimensions have shifted and merged, or I’m seeing a rebirth of the show “Heroes” which I loved.  I never would have thought of Archie as the “cheerleader” character, but he is the cheerleader of Riverdale. 

So my question is:  where does all this lead?  Does Archie live on (as he hinted in Rivervale) forever.  Does Betty get a talent that allows her to catch serial killers.  What is Jughead’s power since he’s lost his hearing.  Will Toni relive her Rivervale story?  And more importantly of all, will Cheryl be a good or bad witch that calls Sabrina to Riverdale.   Let’s sit back and watch!  This will be an interesting second part of the season.

US Celebrity Big Brother 3 — The Lists Of Celebrities

Since early in the week of January 16th, there have been lists of celebrities for “Celebrity Big Brother.” While I have read them (yes, I admit I looked), I have a hard time thinking that they are real. I’m going to give you the list why below.

  1. Contestants aren’t allowed to reveal that they are doing the show. During the regular season, people can’t tell that they made the final cut. If they reveal (or family reveal) that they are on the show, they are not allowed to appear. I believe they call this the possibility of pre-gaming. With celebrities, the same could be true but it is more complicated than that. Each celebrity can have fans that go overboard. They attack CBS asking for special privileges for their favories.
  2. In “Celebrity Big Brother,” the question often arises: “Why are they doing this show?” Of course, I’ve asked that question with “Masked Singer” also but there is no set in stone reason. Some may do it to jump start their career. Others may do it for exposure. Then others do it because they are bored (and I can understand that with COVID). Ad that brings me to the real laugh I have had this morning. Several people are saying Clay Aiken (“American Idol”) is doing the show. Just this week in a minute, 30 second statement that played on YouTube and other channels, he announced his run for public office. Granted, only North Carolinians may have seen this announcement but I ask you. If you were running for public office would you do “Celebrity Big Brother?” If he wanted to, I don’t think the party would approve.
  3. Now for the big reason I question these lists. Leak! Even if you have friends on the lot or in production, they can’t tell you a thing about the show. If they do, they risk losing their job. If they do, they could hurt the celebrities (or people) they want on. How do I know this? I worked at a college and saw many students. One who stopped by my office before leaving for the summer had gotten an internship at “Big Brother” and knew some of the details. I knew about the no disclosure rule and he said: The reason I told you where my internship is is because I knew you knew the rules. It was strongly said: “Don’t tell them where you will be? Don’t tell!” So, the one person I trust on Twitter hasn’t delivered information. Ad the student who was supposed to be working the back stage? CBS found out he was good on animations/graphic design and switched his assignment when he reached California.

I hope, for viewers sake, that the cast for Celebrity Big Brother is a good one. I hope some people did have correct names. The one thing I do know if that we really will not have an idea until CBS does their reveal.

Daytime Dramas – Alive or Dead?

Are daytime dramas (referred to as soap operas) a thing of the past?  Are they relevant today?  To be honest, I haven’t watched a daytime drama for any length of time since 2001 or 2002.  Saying that, I need to give you a little background.

y mom watched soaps.  My grandmother watched soaps.  The difference was my mom and grandmother didn’t want the “children” anywhere near them.  My first remembrance of daytime drama came when Nancy Carr of “Edge of Night” saved her daughter’s life and died.  I had accidentally found the two of them crying over it.”  As I grew up (and had a boring television science class), our class discovered a relatively new daytime drama (yeah, we cheated) and started watching when the teacher went to the lounge.  “All My Children” was something we could identify with.  Philip Brent, the poor boy, was going to war.  We all cried (even the boys) as he said goodbye.  We got caught (of course) and it was back to boring science.  Same scenario happened when Phillip returned only it was a state church youth meeting.  They thought we needed a rest period (during “All My Children”).  Let’s just say, the rest period got voted down the first night and the television in the lounges became very popular.

I honestly left soaps when I got into the working force.  I didn’t have time or energy to spend on them.  When we got a VCR, we recorded One Life to Live (it was filming in my home state) and General Hospital.  Little did I know that I would change jobs to a university and a former professor (now best friend) and I would start a study of social issues and soap operas.  The first paper, for a Women’s Studies conference, dealt with consequences of rape using One Life to Live and General Hospital.  We didn’t stop there.  I had friends who watched or knew people at various other soaps who helped us compile a listing of all the rapes on all daytime.  Let’s just say, I never knew that Days of Our Lives fans could be so vicious until during that presentation.  The sheer number on Days caused a riot with the fans in denial.  I stayed in soap research presenting at National and Regional Popular Culture Conferences until ABC soaps decided to go mob and return stories to the 1960s.  Since then, I’ve watched discussions from the sidelines as I saw the soaps declined.

So what do I mean.  Let’s look at the rise and fall of soaps at ten year increments from 1962 to the present.  I’m not going to list the show’s name unless they air now and only shares are listed.  In 1962, twelve soap operas aired on CBS, ABC, and NBC.  The ratings went from 12.0 to 3.4.  Interesting enough,, no soaps from then remain.  “General Hospital” debuted in 1963.  So, let’s jump ten years.  In 1972, there were 16 soap operas airing on the three major networks with “The Young and the Restless” having the lowest rating of 5.0.  A large number of shows still had respectable ratings with “General Hospital” having a 9.7.  Ten years pass and 1982 saw the numbers of shows and viewers drop.  Now only 14 shows air on the networks with General Hospital (9.8) having the best ratings.  Ten more years to 1992 saw soaps decline to only 11 network shows with “The Young and Restless” at the top (8.4).  Another ten years to 2002 and we have only 9 shows with “The Young and the Restless” on top (4.7).  Another ten years to 2012 and “oh no!”  We’re down to four shows (the ones airing now) and viewership down again to 3.6.  In 2022, we only have four remaing and the viewership is still out on the shows.

So why the decrease.  During the 1990s Popular Culture meetings, this trend was discussed.  While many women were entering the work force, the findings were that students (18-21) had stopped watching.  This took a chunk of fans away.  Only ABC was admitting situations in the world with cancer, AIDS, and crime.  And with the advent of cable, there were many other options developing.

To me, the real reason is more simple than that.  I watched the shows (with commercials and certain characters fast forwarded) on ABC.  Up until the 2000s, that network daytime dramas (“All My Children,” “One LIfe to Live,” and “General Hospital”) were more reflective of what I was seeing in the world.  It spoke to issues that affected real people in the real world.  Yes, I know that there is a group of people who do watch soaps today for the affairs, romance, and intrigue.  But to me baby swapping, husband stealing, and scheming to take over the same businesses could be seen in prime time.  And, in prime time, implications were shown.

In the 2000’s, the daytime dramas started to disappear from the screens.  The explanation was that viewership was down (which it was) and that local channels wanted the time back to do their own programming.  I think that, with my generation, the loyal viewers (who watched Philip Brent march to war while his mom protested) were tired of the same old, same old.  And this thought continued in the younger generation at the college where I worked.  The younger generation didn’t have time for viewing daytime drama.  Too many older fans had grown tired of waiting six months for something to happens.  In fact one student told me that if they wanted the soap drama, they’d go watch “The Real World” or “The Real Housewives of (insert city of choice  here)” on cable.

As I left viewing the shows, I stated my view to “Soap Opera Digest” in an 2001/2002 article.  I was tired of how women were portrayed.  I was tired of women having to turn to the men to ask their opinion on business dealings or money issues.  I was tired of love affairs and baby swapping.  I wanted a mystery (which no longer was done).  And most of all, I didn’t want to see stories repeated as they did with the  “devil came to Salem” (which they repeated this year).

While networks hint of a “Port Charles” spin off and other new daytime dramas, I’m banking on Mark Counselos (“Riverdale”) and Kelly Ripa to shake things up.  They’re working on a project called “Pine Valley” with Agnes Nixon (who created the original show, “All My Children”).  Mark played Hiram Lodge on “Riverdale” and saw what the younger generation wants.  If there is a hope for the “soap opera” of old, it will have to be changing stories and a current view. 

Riverdale – 100th Episode — A Funny Thing Happened … (12/14/21)

Well, Riverdale has made a milestone tonight.  Not many shows these days reach 100 episodes.  Riverdale has done it amid a season of death.  Now the stills from production are showing the ones we have lost in Rivervale (Archie, Toni, Reggie) back.  We’ve also been told from the spoilers on Twitter that we will see a tribute to the original comic characters and a salute to what the show has done before.  And, as it is called “The Jughead Paradox” it makes me wonder if Jug will wear the crown?

Let’s face it!  Rivervale is/was a very strange paradox of Riverdale.  When the show returns in March, we’re supposed to be back in Riverdale but how will the Rivervale plots echoed down to the original series.  But, for tonight, I ask:  Will Jughead do his Rod Sterling impression again?  Will the devil release Reggie long enough to have an appearance in the paradox?  What about Jason Blossom?  Will Archie and Toni only appear in the comic salute?  The comic salute seems to be slanted toward the late 1950s/early 1960s (per stills) so it will be interesting to see if any of the other comics (“Archie:  The Married Life” and “Afterlife”) comes into play.

Tonight not subplots.  It is complicated enough as it is.  We have Rod “Jughead” narrating but there is a dead body found.  Jughead tells us that Archie is back from the dead.  Betty has a nightmare about the town sacrificing Archie.  Fangs had a dream about Toni drowning and coming back as a ghost and tells her so.  Veronica has Reggie back.  Nana is back, out of bed (which worries Cheryl), and had a frightful dream.  Jughead wakes up not with Tabitha but in Archie’s garage with black feet.  What gives, he thinks.   Later at school, Jughead is upset by all that he sees (espeically Archie and Reggie.  And we have “Don’t You Forget About Me.”  It’s a cross between high school, comic and Rivervale.  This is proven true when Jughead in the bathroom sees Ben and talks to him about his jumping to his death.  Ben said no that was their Pembroke teacher (flashback here).  This is a cross between Riverdale, Rivervale and the comics (I’m betting). 

Later, in the staff room, Jughead is still in stock and finds out that Archie and Betty will marry on Saturday.  Archie wants Jughead as the best man.  As they talk, Betty gets a call from the morgue doctor (Dr. Strange) that there is a new body and it is Jughead.  She says “It can’t be.  I’m takling to him.”  Jughead goes to the morgue and it is his body on the slab.  Slab Jughead had been strangled and found on the highway. When the lights flicker and the clock face breaks, the doctor says  it’s a paradox.  Live Jughead gets the other one’s backpack and returns to the apartment to find Riverdale comics. 

Okay, for newcomers (and those unfamiliar with any of the comics) hold on.  It may get really bumpy from here on.  We’re in for a wild roller coaster ride featuring people we haven’t seen (or at least not alive) for a long time.  Since I’m watching live as I write, I may miss something, and I’ll try to condense it down (wish I got screeners!).  In fact, by the end of the episode, I’m thinking that they’re inviting us into the new Twilight Zone and we’re all going to be crazy (and I hope they release this as a book or comic although I won’t find it in my town).

Jughead starts reading the comics and comes up with the doppelganger effect.  What this means is that there may be duplicates running around (and Doctor Who fans know that this can’t happen and only spells trouble).  Ben is dead in Riverdale but alive now.  Jughead  explains what is happening to Tabitha who has seen the comics and begins to think he is losing his mind but later he finds the “Welcome” sign with Riverdale (written in reverse) on one side and Rivervale on the other.

Jughead talks to Archie and tells him about Riverdale and how all that has happened there is darker in Rivervale.  Jughead suspects that Hiram’s blowing up Archie’s house while he and Betty were making love  (which was Archie’s dream) caused the town of Rivervale to happen.  When talking to Ronnie, he finds out that Hiram died and she can’t believe that Hiram was a Darth Vader (many “Star Wars” references) in Riverdale.  Reggie notices that his appearance is different in the two comics (just wait for it).  Next up is Cheryl who can’t believe that in Riverdale that Kevin and Moose found Jason dead.  Then, surprise we have Jason come in and Cheryl says she and Jay-Jay have a doubles date.  Okay, Jason is more like the comic version here.  And Cheryl is acting almost like the high school Cheryl (in the comics). 

As Jughead searches the yearbook and finds the tribute to Jason, Ronnie has problems of her own.  First, she can’t believe what the comics say about Hiram but then a second Reggie shows up at the door (has anyone else got a headache yet).  Jughead meanwhile investigates parallel worlds.  When he goes to the library for a book, he finds out that Dilton borrowed it and never returned it.  Jughead mentions Dilton is dead but no.  He’s told he’s teaching Physics and when Jughead finds him, Ethel is with him.  Shocker!

As Jughead explains the theory, Dilton agrees that there are two universes that exist – Riverdale and Rivervale and they should be mirror images but they have become fractured.  Dilton is studying them.  To him, the dead Jughead was an abnormality.   Wait for it.  More is coming but I can’t tell it here. 

Meanwhile Ronnie is having trouble with two Reggies who do not look anything alike.  And they argue about everything.  Ronnie says that there can’t be two of them running around town and one must stay at the apartment.  They all do make it to the bachelorette party where one Reggie is a stripper and the Reggie who sold his soul to the devil gambles at Archie’s party.  Archie and Jughead talk and we get a flashback to a past dream episode about Archie’s wedding with Fred there.  (Hmm!  Do I smell a rat?0  After the party, back at Ron’s apartment, she suggests a threesome but this freaks both Reggie’s out.

The next day, in the high school teacher’s lounge, Cheryl appears.  Jason has been kidnapped by the Black Hood.  By thinking about Riverdale, Jughead tells Archie about what happened in that universe.  Archie, Jughead and Sheriff Keller go to where Jason is being held.  They break in and try to rouse Jason when the Black Hood appears threatening to kill all but Keller shoots him.  When the mask comes off, it’s Gilbert Blossom behind the mask (and not Betty’s dad).

Ronnie is upset with the Reggies when neither are dressed for the rehearsal dinner.  She goes alone to the Pop Tates’ where Alice and Hal are hosting the dinner.  Toni suddenly appears and tells them that Cheryl is dead.  Going to the morgue, they find her body and Jughead realizes who is behind it.  Jughead rushes to the high school where Dilton is preparing to leave.  The universes are imploding and he’s the one who cojoined the universes for research.  Jughead tries to make him see it has to stop but Dilton doesn’t care.  All is in the name of science.  Little does Dilton realize that Ethel isn’t buying into this plan.  She poisons him and he dies.  Ethel helps Jughead with figuring out what caused the split (bomb blowing up Archie and Betty).  They have to recreate the events, but Jughead doesn’t want to hurt Betty and Archie.  Jughead decides he must save Ethel who helped him realize the truth.

Jughead goes and talks to Ronnie.  He knows that he must blow up the house and somehow he decides he and Ronnie must be the two making out at the time.  Ronnie is okay with that and mentions Bughead (nice fan-verse reference).  Jughead goes to set the scene and Archie arrives.  He tells Jughead that he knows everything.  Ronnie had told him before he killed her.  In fact, Archie has killed everyone (but Dilton).  Archie doesn’t want the worlds stabilized because he hopes Fred will return.  He’s left Betty at the altar and came to the house to stop Jug.  Archie explains that no one stays dead in Rivervale.  All people come back to life in this universe.  Archie then explains that he was at ground zero when the Riverdale saga began (the start of the comics back in the 1930s/1940s) and will there when it is destroyed.  He has seen everything in all universes.  The Rivervale one is a distortion not a copy or mistakes.  It must survive so Fred will come back. (You know, this is actually a great tribute to Luke Perry.)  As they start to fight, Betty arrives and kills Archie.  She says “no one leaves a Cooper girl at the altar.”

Time is running out and Jughead tells Betty what has to happen.  They go to Archie room with the bomb to recreate the incident as closely as they can.  As they start to make love, Archie revives and comes upstairs to stop it.  When the bomb doesn’t go off, the other Jughead comes in the door.  Rod Jughead explains that when he died, he wen to the “great Pop’s Chocolate Shop” in the sky where they live as their comic characters.  To solve the dilemma, there has to be a new power source.  The power source is imagination.  Since there can’t be two Jugheads, the Rivervale one must go into hiding and write the stories.  Betty is upset because this isn’t fair.  In the end, they agree that Jughead must start writing.  The “Rod” Jughead can’t do it because he’s the narrator.   Jughead goes to the bomb shelter (with Ethel who he will save by her coming to the shelter with him.  In Rivervale, the bomb doesn’t go boom and Betty and Jughead are back in normal clothes.  Going downstairs, all is back to normal with the others preparing to eat.  And the universe starts settling. 

In our Riverdale, Betty gets a call saying they need to leave the house.  They make it out (evidently) and Jughead is writing in the garage where he feels the explosion.  Jughead has a ringing in his ears which means that the universes are back to normal.

So what does 2022 hold for the Riverdale faithful.  Well, things are back to normal.  Archie, Toni, and Reggie seem back to normal.  Cheryl mentions the curse and things start to happen.  We will have to wait for what is to come and how Rivervale may impact the characters we know in Riverdale.  Will there be another death.  Executives say yes.  Will Jughead still appear as Rod Sterling?  Will Ethel return?  I doubt it as she died in Riverdale.  Hey, I’d like for her to return but I don’t see how.  Will the curse play out?  It’s going to be a long three months, isn’t it?

Riverdale:  Sabrina and the Witching Hour (12/7/2021)

Riverdale fans are wondering just what will happen.  Not only have we lost Archie (ancient sacrifice), Toni (to the water spirit), and Reggie (to the devil), but Kevin and Veronica are now in various stages of “selling their souls” and who knows what else is coming (the End of Times maybe).  The only safe spot is Pop Tate’s (can I live there?).  And tonight, as if Cheryl hasn’t done enough, Sabrina from “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch” comes for a visit.  My question is:  Didn’t she die on that show’s finale?  And there’s a possibility (or so the whispers go) that she could appear again after the break.”

Tonight, we have Rod “Jughead” Sterling at the Blossom’s ancestral home which is haunted but he’s not sure by what.  All of Rivervale wakes up but with a twist.  As Cheryl awakens in present day, her ancestresses Poppy and Abigail awaken in their era.  Tonight will be how the three are intertwined in tonight’s Jughead’s story.  Madeline (Cheryl) will surely get a tour de force tonight.

Each Blossom prepares for the day (using the appropriate beauty aids, no less).    Cheryl prepares the classroom in the present but the other two women are greeting their friends or other women looking for help.  In the Abigail age Toni returns as Thomasina, Abigail’s love.  Nana is sick but Chery still plans to enact witchcraft when Bailey’s Comet comes that night.  While not be able to join, Nana is looking forward to the results.  It will bring a great risk along with some reward for the Blossoms.

Poppy Blossom

Okay, I’m not catching the present characters new names so I’ll use the name we are use to using.  The only one with their time period name will be Cheryl .  In the Poppy’s era, Tabitha has asked Poppy for help.  She thinks she can run Pop’s better than her husband.  Poppy gives her a potion that will allow her to run Pop’s diner, and she eventually becomes cashier.  In the case of Betty, her husband, Jughead (Jack), wants another child but Betty doesn’t want one (and we get a relationship between Poppy and Betty).  Somehow Jughead finds out what Betty’s done and threatens Poppy.  Later Veronica talks to her about her husband and their sex lives.  Betty and Veronica also each gets a gift from Poppy to help them (Betty, herb; Veronica, Kama Sutra and a purse).  The husbands find out and Reggie with Kevin Keller shows up to issue an ultimatum.  They know what she’s doing, they’re not happy.  If Poppy doesn’t stop, they’ll take matters into their own hands.  That never broods good for the story

After the men have threatened Poppy, she goes into town where she doesn’t feel welcome.  At the diner, Tabitha suggests take out while Jughead and Betty leave.  She returns to the Blossom mausoleum – I mean home – to find the men of the town there saying that she’s a Communist.  They don’t like the books or herbs she has and arrest her.  The Keller ancestor is sheriff.  He tells Poppy that if she signs a document saying she is a Communist (which would blacklist her and probably put her in Federal jail), she will go free.  Otherwise, it is jail which Poppy chooses.  Betty comes to talk to her and Poppy finds out she is pregnant.  Betty wants her to sign the document but Poppy tells her that she’s doing it for all women.  Betty denies their feelings, asks her to sign and leaves. By the way, the women in this storyline could play the role of any of the Stepford Wives.  They dress perfectly and follow their husband’s wishes.

It’s time for Betty’s baby to come but she needs Poppy.  Jughead goes and promises her that if Poppy helps Betty, she won’t return to jail.  Poppy goes and delivers the baby, which is a perfect girl, while Bailey’s Comet flies over.  Poppy gives Betty a potion to use when the time is right.  When Poppy steps outside, she is handcuffed but returned to Thornhill instead of jail.  Here, she’ll live alone until the end of her days.  Betty uses the potion about a year later and Jughead dies.  There is no trace of poison in his body during the autopsy.  Oh, and the baby girl, will find the freedom that Poppy wanted for the women of her time.


Abigail, it turns out, is the real focus of the story.  A woman, Thomasina (Toni), comes to Abigail looking for a job teaching in Abigail’s finishing school (making proper subdue women), Abigail asks about her training and also if she has a husband.  It seems Tabitha husband has died.  Thomasina is from Glendale (and we get the Sabrina reference for the first time this episode).  During one class, Thomasina arrives and wants to talk about Bailey’s Comet.  She thinks the girls should go and observe it.  Later Abigail tells Thomasina she has made a decision about the school’s curriculum.  They will teach half truth/half knowledge from now on. 

Thomasina and Abigail are in love and sleep together.  One night, a man from town comes looking for Thomasina who is a murderess.  Abigail lies and says they have the plague at the school and the man runs away.  Thomasina was in an arranged marriage with an abusive husband who slapped her.  One night, she chose her vision of life and well, yes, her husband dies.  Abigail tells her to stay forever.

Trouble doesn’t end there.  Later, another visitor arrives.  It’s Fangs Fogarty, a friend of Abigail’s twin brother, James.  James has died in battle and his last request was for Fangs to marry Abigail.  Thomasina smells a rat and when Fangs goes to chop wood, they find death portraits, a ritual knife, and other magical implements.  Abigail realizes he is a warlock as he finds they over his trunk.  Thomasina tries to kill him with his knife, but Fangs grabs her and forces Cheryl to marry him that night and sends her to  town for a minister. 

Abigail marries Fangs in a red dress.  As the night progresses, he demands she perform her wifely duties.  Abigail comes in with the axe and Lizzy Borden style (supposedly) kills Fangs.  She goes to find Thomasina who has killed herself.  As she pleads with Thomasina to return, Fangs staggers down the hall with the promise he will kill her.  She tells him to “burn in hell” and the comet starts its passage.  He is dying but first he curses Abigail with a solitary life and remaining unloved and alone for all her miserable days.


With Nana sick, Cheryl has sent the girls to watch the comet while she sits by Nana’s bed.  She is planning a spell and is expecting a guest.  Cheryl has one smart student though who realizes that Cheryl is up to something.  Nana tells Cheryl to let the student stay and learn the story.  The student also wants to help.  

As the stories are coming to a conclusion, the doorbell rings and Cheryl smiles as she goes to the door.  She has called an old friend, Sabrina Spellman, to help with whatever she has planned for Nana.  Cheryl’s comment on Sabrina’s arrival is classic:  “Look at what the black cat dragged in.”  They hug and Cheryl thanks her for coming.  Sabrina tells her that she’ll do anything to help.

Sabrina and Cheryl are old friends.  It was Sabrina who told Cheryl about a transformance spell that only can be performed during a celestial event like Bailey’s Comet.  After sending the student away, Sabrina and Cheryl grabs hands over Nana and recite the spell.  The wind blows, the comet flashes and the room lights up and shakes.   Basically, the transformation spell finally ends Fang’s curse to end.  The curse was that Abigail would live on in her descendants (Poppy and Cheryl).  Now all the women are reunited in Cheryl and Nana has become Abigail so she can reunite with Thomasina.  In fact, Cheryl tells Nana Abigail, to let it go and to pass and reunite with Thomasina.  Cheryl has reunited the two. 

Sabrina explains everything to the student.  Sabrina transformed Nana’s soul with a body swap.  Cheryl now has Nana’s soul in her.  Abigail was cursed with immortality.  Abigail wanted to be reunited with Thomasina.  Her soul and body were not meant to be in this world.  Abigail’s soul has moved on to a peaceful eternity.  Cheryl, Poppy, and Abigail are not dead.  There is no death for witches (like Sabrina and Cheryl) only transformation.  Sabrina said she died and came back.  Abigail and Thomasina were witches and are together.  Sabrina suggests that they go to Pop’s to discuss this further with the student. 

In the graveyard, we see Thomasina (Toni) looking at Abigail’s (I think) grave and Abigail appears.  They are reunited forever and go to wherever witches go in the afterlife.  Jughead comes in to offer his opinion and enough is said.  New Rivervale sign has appeared and includes Bailey’s Comet. 

Next Week:

Be sure to watch as they are doing their 100th episode as a throw back including classic Archie (Archie’s hair slicked back) but with memories of what we have seen on Riverdale for the past five years.  Yes, we have the classic but we also have the black hood murderer. 

Riverdale – The Devil Comes to RiverVale (11/30/21)

Tonight, Riverdale seems to be revisiting classical literature with their take on Doctor Faustus.  I think though we should honor all the previous “missing persons” with a review.  We lost Archie Andrews in a ritual sacrifice (like ancient times) by having his heart and blood used to bring back the maple trees.  Last week, we lost Toni Topaz as she gave her life for her son.  By the way production, what gives?  The original Lady Llornora suffered due to drowning her child.  Toni gave her life for her son.  Does this mean the spirit will save children??

But I digress, let’s get to the heart of what may happen tonight.  We’ve been promised more death but I’m not sure how the devil will play into this.  Like in the song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” this devil comes to RiverVale with deals and contract for the souls of those left. Are these soulless death.  Will we go comic book classic and have Betty and Veronica get the same promise (no — Archie is dead)?  Will Reggie sign for his dearest wish (money)?  Will Jughead sign for a bestselling book?  Will Betty sign for her child?  And did I see a trash bag person on the limited preview.  Somehow, I think this will be a bumpy night.

Our Rod Sterling “want to be” is back in the form of Jughead Jones.  Jughead is telling us a story about a small town which the devil visits that is filled with despair and destruction.  Now honest, I didn’t get the title he gave but I’ll go back to Doctor Faustus.  Jughead tells us that the Devil that visits RiverVale will take many disguises.  So let’s get to the breakdown.

Tabitha, Pop, Jughead and Pop’s Diner

At Pop’s restaurant, he’s good-heartedly given a free meal away.  Just as he looks up, the diner lights flicker and Mr. Cypher (let’s just say Devil) is there and causes Pop to have a heart attack.  Tabitha finds him on the floor and rushes him to the hospital.  While sitting beside her grandfather, the devil appears with the story.  Pop’s father traded his soul to save the diner.  Pop traded his soul so his father wouldn’t be in hell alone.  The devil promises that he’ll give Pop his life in exchange for the dinner.  Tabitha is to think it over and give the answer soon (but will she).

Later, after talking to Jughead who has a handle on what is happening, she goes back to the hospital.  Pop is awake and tells her that the diner can’t go to the devil.  The reason the devil wants the diner is because it is the soul of RiverVale.  It’s where the lost come.  Wait, if the diner is the soul of RiverVale that the lost search for, why did Cheryl kill Archie? 

Jughead calls the devil for an interview but will not sign away his soul.  Mr. Cypher agrees but makes a counteroffer.  Jughead can have the story and never print it.  For this he lives out his life as an unknown writer.  If he likes Jughead can print the story and have fame and fortune (and no soul).   Out comes the recorder and Jughead starts the interview which he writes and publishes.  All of a sudden, the Associated Press and others call.  His agent wants to know what he’s writing next and Pultizer Prize is mentioned.  Meanwhile Rod “Jughead” appears but says nothing.  How comes I think there will be a multitude of people heading to “hell” tonight.

At the diner, one of the regulars comes in and asks for a meal.  He’ll pay by washing dishes but Tabitha tells him that won’t be necessary.  She tells him that that isn’t how Pop’s operates.  A strange listens and calls Tabitha over.  He respects what Pop’s stands for and has his own mission – to repay the good.  Seems his boss is “good” (let’s say God) and his name is Rapheal (like the angel).  Pop’s is going to play an important role in the battle coming.  He hands her a vial.

Jughead wants the fame and accepts the agreement for his soul.  Jughead starts typing and gets a novel started that he loves.  Tabitha meanwhile saves herself, Pop Tate and the diner by first signing the contract and then taking it back by giving the devil and milk shake containing the vial from Raphael.  It has the tears of the Virgin Mary at the crucifixion so she, Pop, and the diner are protected from the evil (that’s Mr. Cypher brings and that is coming).  Pop throws the devil down the steps and tells him to leave town.  (Much better than Doctor Faustus and the other novels like this from my English classes).  Jughead’s wish comes true though he still owes his soul.  He didn’t drink one of the milkshakes.  No deaths yet but they’re coming.

Reggie, Veronica, Kevin and the Casino

Veronica and Reggie watch as Alice does a newscast about the evil that the casino brings.  Veronica meets with Alice and tells her that the club will be run legit and nothing unfair will happens.  She invites Alice to the soft opening.  Little does she know that Reggie plans to run a “crime” casino, skimming money and destroying lives.  He tells the crew what to do and not tell Ronnie.

At the soft opening, Mr. Cypher (let’s just say the devil from now on) shows up and Ronnie doesn’t recognize him.  She can’t find Reggie and ends up talking to him herself.  Little does Ronnie know that Kevin has met the devil who promises him fame, money and stardom. Kevin accepts after an amazing performance.  (another soul gone).  Kevin finds himself with Fangs as a manager and going places.  THe devil marks Kevin’s name off the list (which includes Veronica, Betty, Jughead, the diner, and evidently Reggie’s).   (Ronnie puts two and two together and realizes that Louis Cypher is really Lucifer.)

When Ronnie sees Reggie he tells her everything.  Needing money, the devil has approached Reggie with an investment deal.  Reggie knows that Ronnie will save him (little does he know what is coming).  Ronnie realizes that she has a soul to offer Lucifer and we get Nick back (really, do we need him).  Ronnie gets Nick to admit to all his sins and say he will give his soul for Ronnie.  The devil appears and agree that that is a valid agreement.  Bye, bye Nick.  Death number one!  Nick’s soul (and body) goes.  Yet, that’s not enough.  To protect herself and get out of the deal, Ronnie must get Alice to sign a contract with the Devil’s pen.  Alice is offered one-third of the profit and asked to sign a contract stating that.  Before Alice can put pen to paper (with the Devil gets her soul), Ronnie pulls the paper back.  Alice declares war.  Well, Ronnie still owes her soul and set to disappear at midnight.

Ronnie takes her swan song (literally) at midnight on Saturday.  She goes upstairs to talk to Reggie and spills that she made a counteroffer to the Devil.  He will get a soul a week plus profits and guess who the first soul is?  Reggie is now gone (dead) in this episode.  I’ll have the end of this at the end of the article.

Betty and the Trash Can Killer

Just as we hoped the Trash Can Killer didn’t come to RiverVale, we find out we are wrong.  Betty gets a call (supposedly) from Brent.  The Killer will only talk to Betty.  In the meeting the Killer is asked if absolute evil exists.  The Killer says that he will admit all if she makes a deal with him but she refuses.  No one cares about the Killer but he counters that she is 100% evil herself.  They are drawn to each other.  Betty immediately goes to take a shower and calls Brent to say that the Killer is toying with her.  Brent tells her that the Killer hasn’t been caught and isn’t in custody.

In questioning, Betty asks who he is and he admits to being the devil.  She asks to see his face and wants proof.  The Killer produces Betty’s dad voice asking for her to release him from Hades.  He also tells her that Polly’s in Hades also.  The Devil has a vision of a woman on a horse (think Revelations and the Whore of Babylon) and that the woman is Betty.  Betty recognizes the reference and still refuses.  She walks away, sees scissors and picks them up.  She stabs the Killer then removes the trash can makes only to find Brent.  Later at home, she gets a call asking if she knows where Brent is.  His wife has reported him missing.  The body is behind the couch so Betty evidently hasn’t signed a contract with the devil yet.

.And the Ending

Rod “Jughead” appears with at Ronnie’s and tells us that Ronnie is now chasing the next big deal and willing to do anything for it.  For Ronnie, a soul isn’t a great loss.  And he questions that if RiverVale is the final battlefield between good and evil, are any souls safe.  Well Jughead, it looks like Tabitha and Pop are safe.  My question is:  why RiverVale and is this all going to be used to explain the loss of Archie and Toni?  With the death of Reggie (I really don’t want to put Nick and Brent but will) and the loss of Jughead and Ronnie’s soul, will Betty turn evil and be the devil’s partner.  The casino appears to be a site of the battle as does Pop’s.  I’ll be at Pop’s myself!

Next week:

Sabrina shows up at Cheryl’s.  Now why is the contracts of the Devil out and in view but my question is why are so many wearing period costumes. 

Riverdale – There Be Ghosts Here (11/23/21)

Riverdale—er Rivervale—last week you did the unthinkable.  You killed off the title character of their franchise, Archie Andrews.  Yes, I know this is billed as a special event.  Yes, I know that all can change when Riverdale returns in March but I also know from the many time travel shows that you do not mess with time and space continuums.  That can cause everything changes.  Wait!  That’s not quite true!  What if – wasn’t Jughead writing again?  Could this be the story that he was creating?  Remember I called this first.

So, let’s review.  Cheryl has become either an avenging angel or a witch.  I vote for witch since she has a coven behind her.  She has been doing favors for the women of Rivervale and so far has helped Toni, Betty, Veronica, and Tabitha.  Betty lost Archie but is supposedly pregnant.  Veronica proved to Reggie that he is the only one that matters.  Tabitha got rid of her apartment bugs (except Jug) and Toni’s baby got cured of colic.  All they had to do was bring the maple trees back to life in Cheryl’s grove.  But there are more spooky things to come and apparently more death.

Let’s get tonight’s “Ghost Stories” going, shall we?  Oh, and everything goes Rivervale not Riverdale now (title card, sponsor announcement…).

As tonight’s episode opens Rod “Jughead Jones” Sterling opens again telling the story of Ghoulies and Serpents at war?  Now that is a surprise.  Knives are pulled and we have our first death with someone I don’t even know.  Three months later, Toni is talking about the fight.  She’s still upset over the battle and the young man’s death

Tabitha and Jughead  — Story One (but not the main one)

Tabitha and Jughead are still living together and he is getting story ideas.   Tabitha comes in from work to find her pictures not hung (which he promised to do).  She doesn’t realize that Jughead forgets chores easily.  She starts to hang the picture on the wall and knocks a hole in the sheetrock.  On inspection, they find a room that is filled with “ships in bottles.”  Jughead decides to use it for his writing. 

Later at Pop’s (which is miraculous restored to normal), the real estate agent tells Tabitha the truth about the apartment.  It belonged to Sam and Diane (a song here) who died in the apartment of murder/suicide.  Looks like it is haunted folks!  When Tabitha returns home, she confronts Jug with withholding that information.  He’s found a picture and asks if she is worried about the ghosts.  It seems Diane killed Sam with a hammer and Tabitha has a dream that one night while Jughead is writing, she repeats the story.  The next morning, she yells at him for leaving the toothpaste uncapped and he mentions knocking on the walls that kept him awake.  (Hey production, we needed to hear that knocking!)

Tabitha gets clumsy at work and drops dishes.  She asks Pop if he believes in ghosts and he admits that the Chocolate Shop use to be haunted by a waitress who died there.  Her ghost disappeared after all the windows were broken in the 1960s.  Meanwhile Jughead spent the day trying to figure out the ships got in the bottle.  Tabitha reminds him that he’s supposed to be writing and he says he was refueling his creative side (I do that writing recaps, reading and dreaming).  The next morning, Tabitha takes a carton of milk (with Archie’s “missing” picture on it) and finds the hammer.  She goes to talk to Jughead who is surprised by the hammer in her hand.  He’s almost finished the book but won’t let her see it.  Seems when she talks to Betty, she finds out that was not how he wrote when Betty was his muse.

Jughead has been out buying bottles.  Tabitha has read the novel and is upset about the story of the wife who kills her husband because he left the top off the toothpaste.  She smashes his ship building bottles and almost smashes Jug’s head.  Before she can make that blow, she sees herself as Diane and stops.  She tells him they can’t repeat the story and tells Jughead that she loves him.  Jughead tells Tabitha that he loves her.  They scare the ghosts away and close up the room

Reggie and Veronica – (story two but not the main story)

Veronica calls Reggie at the car lot.  Reggie’s dad is seriously ill and not expected to make it.  As Reggie gets ready to leave, an older model car (of course, just like the one he had in high school) comes in and he buys it for cash from its owner.  Reggie sits in the car and a woman (of course that he knows) appears beside him in the seat.  Oh, great – apparently another ghost.  She disappears as Reggie gets another call from Ronnie asking why he isn’t home.  He arrives home, needing a shower (the ghost did that to him!  Amazing!). 

The next day, Reggie is at the high school in the shop with the car.  He gets a call and lies saying he’s at the hospital but gets busted.  Ronnie shows up and Reggie explains that the car reminds him of Bella.  He also tells her the story about high school life and the car.  Ronnie seems to understand, and they decide to make love in the car at Pop’s.  Only problem is that the Rivervale football team sees them,and Chuck Clayton gets told about it.  He plans to ruin Ronnie’s good name with that.  Wait, Ronnie’s good name?  She clobbered Archie so they could sacrifice him and threatened her dear old dad.  Reggie accuses Ronnie of being jealous of a car.

Ronnie sits down in the driver’s seat and lowers the visor.  A picture of the real “Bella” drops out.  Ronnie goes to Rivervale High to have it out with Reggie but accidentally bumps into Mr. Weatherbee.  She drops the picture and he picks it up and tells her who the woman is.  Bella was fired from Rivervale High due to inappropriate behavior.  Ronnie confronts Reggie with this only to learn that Mr. Mantle has died.  Bella did not have inappropriate behavior with Reggie (he says) and was his confidant (in more ways than one I bet).  Ronnie gives him the keys to another 1964 Camaro (but not Bella).  Reggie later gets in it and sees Bella in that car also.  (He goes from talking to Ronnie about his father’s funeral, getting the car, to seeing a ghost.)  Too much detail.

Toni (and Betty) versus La Llorona – The Main (and good, sad) Story

As the show opened, remember the battle I talked about.  The boy killed was the son of Darla Dickinson (more on this later—just remember the name).  During the opening 15 minutes, we see a character arise from the lake.  It is La Llorona who lost children and now searches for them.  To make amends, she apparently takes away children now from their uncaring mothers.  All this happens as Nana Blossom and Cheryl celebrate the return of those (blasted) maple trees already growing tall and thanking Archie.  As they celebrate, Dagwood comes and tells them that Juniper is in trouble.  Cheryl breaks into the bathroom where Juniper is drowning in the bathtub.  She saves her niece, but this is just the start of babies (almost) dying.

We then get a chatty scene of Betty and Kevin talking about her baby that will be named either Archie or Polly.  Betty gets a call about a drowned child in a bathtub and Cheryl is there also seeking help with Juniper.  Betty goes to the FBI and takes the case.  Toni has been approached by Betty about the mother, Sandra, who doesn’t really know why her daughter drowned.  She’s is being held because of bruising on her daughter’s shoulders from being held under water.  Mom saw a figure in the bathroom as she entered and Toni finds out about La Llorna.  A folklore character isn’t enough to keep the mother out of jail. 

Just a quick note.  I thought I had seen the word before.  Checking Google, I found out that it’s from Latin America mythology and roams water looking for her children that she drowned.  (This importance comes into focus as the episode plays out).

Toni does her research also and finds the story of La Llorna in a folklore book.  She calls Betty who tells her that but it won’t be enough to get the mother out of jail.  Toni tells her that the figure always searches for mothers who doesn’t love their children or done something to a child.

That night, Betty gets a visit from La Llorna who decides that Betty doesn’t deserve the child she is carrying.  Betty wakes up to find her stomach flat and apparently no baby.  She visits the doctor who tells her that she is no longer pregnant.  The doctor thinks it was a hysterical pregnancy.  (Hey doc!  Maybe it was because she helped sacrifice the child’s dad to make the maple trees grow.)

Toni has noticed water (or maybe blood) dripping from her classroom’s ceiling.  She goes into the hall and sees La Llorna standing there and knows that La Llorna seeks baby Tony.  Toni grabs an axe to kill the spirit (that’s not how you get rid of ghosts, Toni) and, pulls the alarm so the students leave.  La Llorna disappears as she swings the axe but not before scaring Toni who later gets a visit from child protection services.  Toni has been turned in as a “bad” mother and the social worker knows that isn’t true.  During the visit, La Llorna appears and tries to steal baby Tony who screams.  Toni and the social worker find him on the floor.

Betty talks to Toni and Fangs about the places that La Llorna has been seen.  Toni gives Fang’s the baby to be take to the Whyte Wurm to be cared for and protected by the Serpents while she visits Cheryl. At Cheryl’s, a seance occurs with Nana, Betty and Toni. La Llorna appears and takes over Nana (although we can see her). La Llorna plans to take baby Tony and almost makes Nana drown.

From the clues that Toni and Betty learn, they head back to the Whyte Wurm and find the Serpents lying on the floor and the baby gone.  Fangs tell her that it was La Llorna and something about a grave.  Toni realizes that all this is coming the from Darla’s son.  They find Darla at the grave and she is the one who called the curse down on Toni.  She had lost all of her sons and is doing this to punish Toni.

At the lake, Toni and Betty try to stop La Llorna from going into the lake with baby Tony.  Toni pleas with her not to kill her child.  Toni will give up anything for her child.  She admits sending Darla’s son into battle and admits she should die for it.  La Llorna gives Toni the baby who gives him a kiss.  Toni hands the baby to Betty asking her to protect her son and tell him she loved him.  She turns back to La Llorna who becomes a part of Toni.  As the ghost heads to the water, Betty sees the face of Toni for the ghostly figure.  Let me just say, Vanessa Morgan (Toni Topez) deserves an Emmy for this performance.

Jughead makes one more “Twilight Zone” appearance to tell us that what better word of motherhood is there than sacrifice (like he really knows from his own experiences).  His philosophical turn reminds me of the old episodes I’ve seen of Rod Sterling at the end of the original series.

So thus, the death of another well loved character that owed Cheryl a favor.  Add to that Betty’s loss of Archie’s child.  As each episode comes, I wonder what mayhem will be next.

Next week:  Reggie seems to be tempted by the devil who shows up in Rivervale (where else).  And we have someone in an alien mask show up.

The Wheel of Time

“The Wheel of Time” began this week on Amazon Prime.  I wasn’t sure whether to watch it or not but I am familiar with the story.  I read the first five books in the 1990s and had friends who completed them all.  Let me just say, it’s a complicated story with a wide array of characters and often, you lose track of who these people are.  I have friends who still have their character encyclopedia they composed so they could keep the characters straight.  So, buckle up.  If you think “Lord of the Rings” was complicated, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Let’s get this straight for the readers.  “The Wheel of Time” isn’t the name of the first book.  The title of book one is “The Eye of the World.”  It introduces us to Moiraine and Lan who have a quest ahead of them.  They must find the Dragon and keep him/her in the light (or destroy if he/she is evil).  That’s right.  No one has a clue of who this person is.  Moiraine only knows that he/she has been born. 

Amazon’s first episode is called “Leave Taking” and in actuality is based on the first book of the series.  In many ways, you don’t understand this until the last 20 minutes of the episode.  The story tells of Moiraine and Lan, her bodyguard, leaving the Aesi Sedai on the search for the Dragon.  The Dragon’s return has been seen by one of the Aesi Sedai that was born with white eyes and blind.  They finally arrive at the town of Two Rivers which is located in the mountains and steeped in the Old Ways.  They have a  town is led by the women with a Wisdom lady (who can never marry) serving as the head of the town.  As the viewer arrives in Two Rivers, they find that a new recruit is being inducted into the Women’s Circle, Egwene.  She gets her braid and must survive a fall from the cliff into the river.

That night, a party is held.  When Egwene arrives, the party kicks up a notch and the celebration really begins.  During the party, we are introduced to four key people who will play the main roles during the story  (in addition to Moiraine and Lan).  After the party, Egwene and Rand, her lover, clean up.  Unfortunately, they as a married couple are not to be as Egwene has been asked  to apprentice under the present Wisdom, Nynaeve.  This means a life of loneliness.  We do not learn until later that Nynaeve does not like the Aesi Sedai to which Moiraine belongs.  Nynaeve was adopted by the former Wisdom who had hoped to become an Aesi Sedai but was refused membership because she was poor and of small build.  Let’s just say that this will probably color Egwene’s opinion of Moiraine as the story moves forward.

Moiraine and Lan continue their search the next day:  Moiraine for the Dragon and Lan for problems (Trollocs).  All seems peaceful but a stranger arrived unknown to all during a storm the night before.  Nynaeve and Egwene sense a change in the tone of the wind but no time to figure it out then as the town has a memorial service to attend that night.

At the memorial service, people light lanterns and put them in the river and they float downstream (think Chinese Lantern celebration).  As the party moves back to the town (after the sad service), people start to dance and sing.  Suddenly, the Trollocs attack.  The Trollocs work for the Dark One as his army.  Their one goal is to destroy goodness and stop the Aesi Sedai.  The Dark One knows that the Dragon is somewhere.  As the fight starts (on a set only used for this episode) the town is destroyed.  So are the Trollocs with Moiraine’s white magic and calling the stone from the buildings to destroy the Trollocs.   Moiraine has figured out that the Dragon is one of four people from Two Rivers.  She may have stoped the Trollocs but for how long and at what cost?

As the town regroups, Rand, Egwene, Perrin and Mat are told they must leave with Moraine and Lan to draw the Dark One’s army away.  Rand blames Moraine (for his father’s injury and the attack) but his father (who was saved by Moiraine) signals he must go.  Already the army can be seen on a mountain nearby.  Horses are brought and six ride out.  All do not want to leave as Rand blames Moiraine for the attack.  Knowing that their staying, they must leave even though Mat wants to stay with his sisters and Perrin has lost his wife, Laila.  The Trollocs and Dark One will only go where they think the Dragon is.  Egwene doesn’t know what to make of all that has happened. 

As the ride begins, Moiraine reminds us of the quest as they travel to the White Tower:

“The Wheel of Time and come and pass leaving memories that become legends. Legends become myth and even myth is long forgotten when the age that gave it birth comes again.”

The next episode will be dropped November 19th

I’ve watched fantasy before.  I was a huge fan of “Once Upon a Time” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  I’m not sure how I feel about this one.  I will say that the cast, especially the relative unknowns, seem to be able to handle what is thrown at them.  Rosamund Pike is going to be a strong lead as Moiraine and will do wonders in the role.  I wasn’t a fan of “Game of Thrones” as I found the books and the series too bloody (remember the Red Marriage).  I will definite watch the second episode. 

And remember, this wasn’t my usual type of recap.  I just wanted you to have background on a new series that has promise.  Oh, and by the way.  Bezos tells us that it won’t last 15  years (one book per  year) and the second year has already been filmed.