Riverdale - Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show S1EP04 Review

All good (and bad) things must come to an end...

Riverdale - Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show S1EP04 Review

All good (and bad) things must come to an end...

The Archie/Grundy, student/teacher relationship plot comes to a head this week and couldn't come a moment sooner, whilst in other, far more interesting news, Jughead's place of employment (and home!) -- the local drive-in theatre -- is being shut down and we are blessedt with the appearance of Skeet Ulrich, leader of Riverdale Southside Serpents and PLOT TWIST: Jughead's father!

First, let's just praise Betty Cooper for once again proving she's no wet dishcloth. She immediately uncovered Archie and Grundy's relationship and then teamed up with Veronica to put a stop to it. Yes, this may have been partially driven by her romantic feelings for Archie, but as the episode went on, I get them impression that she really was doing it because it was the right thing to do.

Of course, Alice Cooper has to snoop and find out the truth herself, leading to an all out confrontation in the music room between Archie, Grundy, Alice, Betty and Archie's Dad. No cellos were harmed, but Grundy was kicked out of town.

Throughout the episode, we discover more about who Grundy really is, the secret life and abusive husband she left behind, but it's all too-little-too-late and still doesn't excuse her actions. Strangely it's only Betty who calls Grundy out for her actions: illegal. Both parents seems more concerned with their own personal feelings on the matter. Explains a lot as to why Riverdale is so epically f**ked up! Fist bump for Betty, who stood up to her mother:

"I'm never going to stop being friends with Archie...publish even a word about this, Mom, and I will tell everyone that I broke into Ms. Grundy's car, that I robbed her, and made up the story of their affair. It would be like I finally... snapped. Like Polly."

Even if she was bluffing (which I don't think she was) that must've hurt to say what everyone is already thinking. Betty demonstrates a very astute self-awareness and I love her more and more each week.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled non-statuatory-rape-themed viewing...

Jughead's bittersweet tale of the drive-in closing was a reminder that all good things must come to an end and that change is inevitable. The drive-in, to Jughead, was a reminder of simpler times, before the mysteries and murder surrounding Riverdale, but as we delve more into the backstory of Hermione Lodge and her dealings with the Mayor McCoy, it seems that maybe times were never simple and that Jughead, tragically, is just growing up. Heavy.

I loved this plot, mainly because it allowed for about a bazillion different pop-culture references, but also because it introduced 90s icon, Skeet Ulrich (Billy Loomis in 'Scream') as Forsythe Jones II, Jughead's Dad. Not much was made of their relationship, but the final sting between them at the end of the episode was a doozy. Fingers-crossed for more Skeet.

Moving on to this episode's supporting players, one again Veronica got all the good lines...

"My Mom's a waitress, Cheryl, not Fantine and your faux-concern reeks of ulterior motive. What is it?"

"Don't worry, you may be a stock character from a 90s teen movie, but I'm not" 

"You know what happens to a snake when Louboutin heel steps on it? Shut up or you'll find out!"

...but it was finally Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) who got some much-needed solo screen time. And no, I'm not just talking about his sexy, forbidden tryst with Southside Serpent, Joaquin (Rob Raco), but actually the nonchalant exchange with his father about going to the drive-in with yet another girl:

Sheriff Keller: "Is there not a nice gay kid at your school?" / Kevin: "Yeah, Dad, there is...me."

Preach.

Sheriff Keller's offhand response to his son's sexuality is something to be cherished in a show like this. No hammer-over-the-head "message", no abusive parent cliché, just normalcy. That is what LGBT cinema/TV needs to become. Yes, progress needs to be made, yes stories still need to be told, but at the same time, from a dramatic point-of-view, how refreshing to just let our gay characters "be". 

This exchange was my favourite part of the episode.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

RIVERDALE REFERENCE-O-METRE

STARS OUT OF FIVE:

3.5/5