Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 214, "The Hills Have Eyes"

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Riverdale - The Hills Have Eyes

We interrupt your 60 minute trailer for LOVE, SIMON, to give you a few tidbits about what's going on in RIVERDALE. That's how this episode often ran, as we were inundated with movie posters, plans to see the movie, dates made to see the movie, going to the movie, and for a bit even seeing the movie. And the point of promoting a movie about a gay teenager coming out to his parents? It allows us to focus more on Moose Mason (CODY KEARSLEY) and his closeted bisexuality and attraction to Kevin Keller (CASEY COTT). Moose has told Kevin that his girlfriend, Midge Klump (EMILIJA BARANAC), is aware of what he and Kevin have done and is totally open to that; but in later conversation with the three of them, it becomes clear to Kevin that Moose was lying.

But we knew about Moose already. And since there's not enough of that sort of sexual undercurrent in small town America, let's out another RIVERDALE ensemble member as well: Cheryl Blossom, welcome to lesbianism! Of course, we knew Cheryl (MADELAINE PETSCH) had these sorts of feelings from watching the way she attempted to court Josie McCoy (ASHLEIGH MURRAY), but ultimately -- and after some aggressive rebuffing on Cheryl's part -- that she winds up holding hands with South-sider Toni Topaz (VANESSA MORGAN), to whom Cheryl confesses why she acts the way she does. No surprise, it's blamed on her mother. Poor Cheryl. There, there. Hey, let's go see LOVE, SIMON together.

The rest of the episode focuses on the Fab Four, Archie (KJ APA), Veronica (CAMILA MENDES), Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) and Betty (LILI REINHART). They've been allowed to have a romantic couples weekend in a remote cabin owned by Hiram Lodge (MARK CONSUELOS), because every teenager's parent gives their kids a weekend alone with their boyfriend, not to mention access to the bar. But as their weekend just gets started, Jughead gets a phone call from Cheryl, who drops the bombshell on him that Archie and Betty kissed outside her house. Of course, Archie had already confessed this to Veronica and they had moved past it, but Jughead is the last to know.

As the four sit in the hot tub later that night, Veronica admits that even though she's past the issue, it still nags at her, and she thinks she has the perfect solution: she needs to kiss Jughead. Surprisingly, Jughead is all for it, just to see the look on Archie's face--although Betty is none too pleased, either. In fact, she later points out to Jughead that, of the four of them, the only two who haven't kissed are Archie and Jughead -- and at this point in the episode, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if that got written into the script.

Both couples get their scenes of off-camera squeak bedsprings (Betty brings the "Black Betty" cosplay for Jughead's benefit), but ultimately get into a four-way argument when it's learned that, while they were away, Hiram has bought out the trailer park and paid off everyone's back rent, and has also bought up the Riverdale Register, the town's only paper. Jughead claims this is classic mob moves, buying the news outlet to squelch it. As the argument intensifies, the cabin is broken into by locals who want to rob them. It's fairly obvious they would also kill them, but Veronica had the presence of mind to press the silent alarm. They run, and Archie gives chase, ultimately running into Mr. Lodge's right-hand man Andre (STEPHAN MIERS) who has never been far away the whole time. He's caught the robber, sends Archie back, and we hear a gunshot. When Archie later talks with Mr. Lodge, Lodge asks if Archie is okay with what Andre had to do. Archie confesses that his one regret when facing the Black Hood the night they had him captured was his hesitation. It's becoming clear that America's favorite ginger is moving fully to the dark side.

And Betty's newfound brother Chic (HART DENTON) is still his Creepy AF self, hinting to Jughead that if he tells anyone about the murder that happened there, it will go badly for Betty and her mom.

Okay, so there was a little bit of story that wasn't a movie promotion. But still, that was seriously heavy-handed. We get it, GREG BERLANTI. You've directed a movie. Does this mean when BOOSTER GOLD goes to post-production, we're going to see Team Flash go see it only to have the plot spoiled by the Legends of Tomorrow? Show a little restraint, sir.

3.0 / 5.0