Previously on Riverdale, “Chapter One: The River’s Edge”
“A Touch of Evil” served to further explore the personalities of the characters we first came to know in the comic books. Jughead and Archie had no interactions in the premiere, and we learn this week that their friendship has been strained of late. This is made worse when Jughead spies Archie and Grundy looking very much like they’re carrying on a secret affair. Jughead is the eventual voice of reason who persuades Archie to tell the truth about what he heard on July 4th, even if it means losing Grundy. Jughead thinks she’s using Archie anyway, and he may be on to something since Grundy immediately uses a different persuasion to keep Archie quiet.
There was also an interesting shift in the dynamics of the Betty and Veronica friendship. Betty’s not stupid. She knows something happened in that closet between Veronica and Archie. Veronica apologizes as only a Lodge can: with extravagant gifts. Betty quickly and easily forgives her new friend, a move you’d expect from the good girl next door. She even tells Archie their friendship will continue as though she hadn’t professed her love for him only to get shot down. It turns out both of these acts of forgiveness were just a front. Betty does make an honest effort, but her heart isn’t it; nor should it be. It’s a shame that this side of Betty didn’t hold out for a tad longer. There’s not real reason she should be so trusting towards Veronica, a girl she just met. Also, it can’t be healthy – in the long run – to suppress her feelings with Archie while acting as though nothing has changed between them.
Before she truly forgive them, though, Betty makes a misguided attempt to hurt Veronica, and extends an olive branch to Cheryl, who promptly uses it to stab Betty in the eye. Cheryl has no interest in truly being friends with Betty; she only wants to accuse Betty’s sister of killing Jason.
Now, it’s entirely possible there is a good side to Cheryl, but she definitely isn’t showing it to Betty. Veronica is a different story. Cheryl becomes haunted by memories of her brother during a football game, and later breaks down in Veronica’s arms. Was this genuine or a calculated display of vulnerability? Since Cheryl is arrested after Jason’s autopsy results are released, anything is possible with her.
"Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil"
Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), Reggie Mantle (Ross Butler), and Moose Mason (Cody Kearsley).