RIVERDALE Review: “Heart of Darkness”


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It’s time to finally say goodbye to Jason Blossom on this week’s episode of , “Heart of Darkness.” Things get real creepy and gothic, real quick on this week’s episode. But is that any surprise when the focus of the episode is the Blossom family? You’ll find this episode requires a whole lot of head nodding at the revelations made about the Blossom family and their past, because it all just explains so much.

And while we’re on the subject of dysfunctional, Archie’s dealing with his own self-made life crisis as he copes with the loss of his totally inappropriate relationship with Miss Grundy. Can we take a moment here to acknowledge the fact that it’s weird how little Archie’s dad is wigged out about this? Betty was honestly probably the only person who had an realistic reaction to the discovery of Archie’s relationship with Miss Grundy. And then we just move on like this teacher-student relationship was nothing more than last year’s news? Obviously the show has bigger fish to fry, but I think this sort of thing calls for, at the very least, therapy. No wonder Archie is spiraling in this episode. The kid needs more guidance than what he’s getting. Come on, Archie’s dad. Be a better parent.


Speaking of needing better parents, good grief what sort of hell on earth has Cheryl been given? No wonder she’s Regina George verging on Carrie. Girl would slay everyone if she had telekinetic powers. Veronica senses a small bit of this, and comes to Cheryl’s rescue as her emotional crutch and number one cheerleader in defiance of the Blossom parents. It’s nice to see bridges of new friendship being built here, as the straight up mean girl/nice girl dynamic is a bit too simplistic at this point. Cheryl is lovable because she’s complicated, surprising, and secretive – you’re never quite sure if she’s opening herself up, or putting on a show. She could be kind today and cutthroat tomorrow. It’s only fair that her dynamic with the other Riverdale kids be the same.

It’s a little easier to understand Cheryl’s emotional fluctuations after the episode introduction to her family. The Blossom family resides in a creepy, gothic-style mansion called Thornhill, surrounded by a graveyard filled with generation after generation of the Blossom family, Addams Family-style. Except the Blossoms don’t seem to exude the same sort of plucky, resilient attitude the Addams had. Instead, there’s only anger; silently building, burning anger. We discover that Cheryl is a bit of a prisoner in her own home, berated by her parents and banned from speaking at Jason’s memorial because of the shame she’s brought onto the family from her confession about helping Jason run away from home. But despite Cheryl’s confession to Veronica that she truly believes her mother will kill her if she goes against their wishes at the memorial, she still shows up and steals the show, dressing in the same white outfit she wore the day Jason disappeared, and hijacking the memorial with her own speech about her memories of Jason.

Riverdale -- "Chapter Five: Heart of Darkness" -- Image Number: RVD105a_0174.jpg -- Pictured: KJ Apa as Archie Andrews -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

In a less dramatic storyline, Archie is struggling to juggle football and his music. He wants to take over as team captain, because being team captain means a chance at a football scholarship for college. But he also wants to continue working on his music. Oh what to do? Lucky for Archie, Valerie has taken an interest in him, because of course we can’t let a kid that handsome go one episode without some sort of love interest vying for his attention. Valerie introduces Archie to a music professor she knows. Archie takes his music to the professor, but the snobby composer tells Archie his music isn’t good enough, he can’t help him. What a waste of time and bruise to the ego. Valerie takes pity on Archie, though, and agrees to help him improve his music herself. They start writing songs together and it’s super cute.

Riverdale -- "Chapter Five: Heart of Darkness" -- Image Number: RVD105b_0330.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, and Hayley Law as Valerie -- Photo: Diyah Pera /The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

In the midst of all of this chaotic drama we find out a few good tidbits of information to get Betty and Jughead one step closer to solving the case of Jason’s death: for one, the Coopers and the Blossoms hate each other because of a decades-old blood feud between their families. For another, Polly was engaged to Jason! What a crazy bomb drop that was! And of course, the episode leaves off with the ever resounding conclusion that Betty needs to find Polly. FINALLY!
TB-TV-Grade-A-Season 1, Episode 5 (S01E05)
Riverdale airs Thursdays at 9PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of Riverdale here.
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Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching TV, Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.

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