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Riverdale - Season 1, Episode 3: "Body Double" TV Episode Review

Written by Ali Chappell

Official Site

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Directed by Lee Toland Krieger
Developed and written by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa
2017, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on February 9th, 2017

K.J Apa as Archie Andrews
Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper
Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge
Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones
Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom
Casey Cott as Kevin Keller

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As we know from the last episode of Riverdale, Cheryl admits to being guilty and gets taken away. Guilty to what? Lying about her brother, Jason, drowning that day. She explains that they thought up a plan that was just bananas, where Jason would fake his death and run away. He would call her to let her know that he was safe. Aiding to confirm Cheryl’s story, Archie steps up and tells the police he was at the river that day [alone] and heard the gun shot.

Betty decides to reopens the Riversdale Blue and Gold, the high school newspaper, and asks Jughead to join her while Veronica decides to go on a date with Coach Clayton’s son, Chuck. The hottest guy in town and a true player. The next day, her photo is all over Instagram with maple syrup splashed across her face as a form of slut shaming known as ‘getting sticky maple’d’.

I grew up in a small town that held festivals celebrating maple syrup. It’s not cool to use that delicious condiment as a metaphor for slut shaming, Chuck! Damn.

However, this is Veronica freakin’ Lodge we are talking about, war is breaking loose. She confronts him in the locker room and in front of everyone, he tells her he will ruin her cause he’s king shit. Probably the wrong thing to say to V. Betty finds out that Chuck and his gang of douche bags have been slut shaming and lying about tons of girls in their school. They even kept a dossier of their “conquests”. Betty, Veronica, Athol (one of the girls who was shamed) and Kevin all break into the school after hours to find the book. Cheryl, out of her selfish need to be a part of everything, shows up to prove them wrong, but is taken down a peg when they find the book and Jason’s name is right next to Polly’s. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Cheryl get taken down a peg knowing her brother was just as bad as the rest of them.

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Betty invites Chuck to have a little fun with her and Veronica. Only she steps out wearing a black wig and dressed in a sexy little number that is not who she is at all. They handcuff him in the hot tub and begin turning up the heat until he can’t stand it and confesses that nothing happened with her while Veronica films it. Yet, things don’t stop there, this is where we really see Betty lose her shit. She grabs a bottle of maple syrup, pours it on him and forces Chuck to apologize for what he did. Only she’s not talking to Chuck, she’s talking to Jason and she’s not Betty anymore, she’s Polly. Is she losing her mind? Goddamn, I hope so. I eg that this is the start of her losing her marbles because it would just bring such a unique and dark twist to the girl next door that Betty has always been.

I enjoyed the way this scene was handled. I love how even Veronica was questioning what Betty was doing. We can see there is a clear line for how far Veronica will go, but for Betty it’s blurred. Vengeance for her sister is more important than playing nice.

The Blue and Gold releases the editorial cover story of Chuck, his gang of jerks and their slut shaming ways. Coach Clayton is forced to cut his own son and his friends from the team, leaving us with the farewell of Jughead’s voice, “An action that, though none of us knew it at the time, would have serious consequences in the weeks to come.”

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This by far is one of the strongest moments so far in this show. Female empowerment should be strong and, while they go about in a not-so-conventional way, they stand up for themselves. They stand up for the other girls who have been wronged by these jockholes. I commend the writers for adding an arc such as this and I am looking forward to seeing a showdown between Veronica and Chuck. We have seen that she will take no shit, but there is nothing scarier than a man who has been put to shame.

Ok, I hate to do it, but we have to talk about Archie. You really need to step it up. The way he lets Ms. Grundy control and abandon him when he wants to do the right thing has gotten tedious. The only trouble he gets into lately is sneaking out to go play music with Josie and The Pussycats. Archie-kins, we know you were once this sweet lil’ goodie two shoes, but this is the new Riverdale and everyone else has a new compelling story. Where is yours? I am very bored with you and I think most viewers agree with me.

I am thankful we are back on track with the dark tale that is being told. Riverdale, Chapter 3, is exactly what we needed. Betty snaps and loses control while Cheryl is faced with the fact that her own brother may not have been the person she thought he was. The fact that these girls take matters into their hands is inspiring. We should all be a little bit more like B and V. Only less handcuffing a guy in a hot tub and threatening to boil him alive. Unless that’s what the situation calls for.

I would love to give a shout out to Betty this episode. Seeing her defy her mother, lose her shit, openly drug a football player and still get her extracurricular work in on time is amazing and not easily done. You are slowly becoming my new favorite.

Side note: Jughead has still not eaten a burger. WTF. This is disappointing.

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Episode: 55 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US
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Click on a cover to read more episode reviews of Riverdale: Season 1.

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About The Author
Ali Chappell
Staff Reviewer - Canada
Ali Chappell grew up in a wholesome Canadian family that embraced her love of horror at a young age, which allowed her to become desensitized towards its violent nature. She has a several degrees, including business, a triple threat theater degree and is currently working on her third in the field of archaeology. On top of being a writer and an avid horror fan, she is also a yoga teacher, archer, tarot card reader, in the midst of planning her first heist and still enjoys the bright life of being a struggling actress. When she isn't traveling the globe, she is usually found hiding in a movie theater hating the world and everyone in it. However, she is also very optimistic and cheerful and hopes one day Joe Dante will notice her (so she can stop obsessing over him, it's getting kind of weird).
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