One little lie sparked a whole hell of a lot of trouble. Who knew the town would freak out that much over two teens hooking up?
Cheryl and Archie’s secret nearly turned their worlds upside down on Riverdale Season 7 Episode 4.
The teens at Riverdale High might think twice about what lies they tell next. The parents weren’t playing around with how far they’d go to keep things sweet in Riverdale.
“Chapter One Hundred Twenty-One: Love & Marriage” was an interesting example of how the 1950s mindset blended with Riverdale’s flair of soapy drama and mystery.
Rushed marriages. “Going through phases.” Making it big with easy-to-achieve dreams. Even though it was a simpler time, simpler doesn’t mean it wasn’t messy.
Case in point: Archie and Cheryl’s lie.
In true Blossom fashion, Cheryl’s story spiraled out of control with lots of flair and dramatics. If you thought it was bad, things kept getting worse for their outlook.
Like, why was the parents’ answer for them to get married? They were still in high school, and it was just sex!
Archie: Okay, we barely made it to second base. So, why tell Julian we scored a home run?
Cheryl: I can’t explain it. But saying that we did, it’s helping me with a problem I’m having. Just know that by corroborating this story, you’d be protecting me.
Penelope and Clifford probably never freaked out when they realized Julian was hooking up with people. Of course, his honor was never up for debate. (Such double standards.)
You couldn’t help but feel for Cheryl and Archie. I’d be going through panic attacks if I was them, like when they decided their future or the marriage test with Doctor Werthers.
I loved how Cheryl and Archie bonded during this chaos. They weren’t in love with each other, but they developed a deep friendship love instead.
It didn’t matter how far this lie took them; Archie was ready to help Cheryl unconditionally.
Archie’s devotion to Cheryl wasn’t completely healthy; it’s not a good idea for someone to have a savior complex in a relationship. But Archie’s inner nature is to help and protect, which he showed perfectly in their relationship.
And Cheryl was missing the unconditional love and caring she never got from her family. Archie gave her that feeling.
It was a heartwarming character development to have them develop an understanding of being friends and loving each other enough to recognize marriage wasn’t right for them.
Hopefully, Cheryl will use this lesson to look within herself and grow. She dodged a major bullet that nearly ruined her and Archie’s lives.
The sooner she starts processing the changes, the happier she will be.
And the same goes for Archie about growth.
He needs to look back at what he did and where his life could’ve gone. He doesn’t need Uncle Frank to whip him into shape; he needs alone time to reflect and stop being reckless.
I’m glad Kevin finally admitted to himself what he wanted.
Dragging out the relationship with Betty wasn’t doing him or Betty any good. He clearly wanted Clay.
And the last thing we needed was for Kevin to cheat on Betty. Having them find a loving place as friends was a good step for them moving forward.
In Riverdale 1955, it was very progressive for Betty to be that accepting. It was beautiful and a welcomed change for their world.
The real villain in all this is Alice. She truly needs to butt out and mind her business.
Alice hit new lows, but she hit a trifecta that blew my mind: calling Kevin’s sexuality “a phase,” her manipulating to control Betty’s urges/dating life and sending Ethel to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy.
The audacity of Alice saying all these things with a straight face and pep in her step like she didn’t just ruin a bunch of lives.
Karma will get her, and we will be here for it! (Preferably enjoying tea and a slice of her overdue humble pie.)
Do you think Toni’s plan for Fangs and Midge will pay off?
We must give her credit; she keeps her ambition and expectations high. I mean, turning Fangs into a rich and famous singer within four months would be a lofty goal for anyone.
Toni and her schemes? No problem, she’s got this.
Arch, there’s a difference between saving someone and loving someone. What if the love never grows?
If she can figure out a pregnancy test using a frog and Midge’s pee, she can solve Fangs’s problem. Let’s hope there’s some believability when Fangs inevitably hits it big.
There’s no way Riverdale will let Fangs and Midge down.
Elsewhere in Riverdale, let’s all give a round of applause that Julian Blossom showed some empathy. He actually did the bare minimum of being a good person.
It took a well-deserved punch to the face from Jughead, but he did something to save Ethel’s life.
Still, he’s a trash man who isn’t as slick as he thinks he is. He should’ve shared Ethel’s alibi earlier when he knew it couldn’t have been her.
Betty: Kevin is fine. I just saw him at the coffee house. And rest assured, he’s found a shoulder to cry on. A very manly shoulder.
Betty: And?! Looking back, that’s been the problem with us this whole time, Mom. Kevin likes boys!
Nicholas Barasch, who plays Julian, is a lovely and sweet person. We chatted previously, and he’s doing a good job channeling Julian’s rich snob aesthetic.
At least now, the murder mystery plot can focus on finding the right killers. This decision helped the pacing by clearing Jughead and Ethel; it saved us a lot of time worrying about their safety.
Though, the biggest surprise of the chapter: Jughead and Veronica kissed.
Anyone who guessed them sparking a romance this quickly (and long-awaited #Vughead shippers) should pat themselves on the back. Your moment has finally arrived!
Just like the Archie/Cheryl pairing, Jughead and Veronica had some serious chemistry. They played well off each other; there always seemed to be playful energy when they looked at one another.
Veronica: Are you okay?
Jughead: No. No, I feel like I failed her. I failed us all.
Veronica: You didn’t. You fought hard to save her, Jughead. You did. You did save her.
Veronica: You can say that again.
And Veronica putting everything aside to help Jughead was a change of pace for her.
There’s no telling if they’ll last, but it’s something new and exciting. Plus, they had a healthy start to the romance; seeing where this pairing could go will be interesting.
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
One word to describe the Blossom family dinner with Archie and Mary? Awkward.
Weirdly, Alice telling Betty to be there for Kevin as a friend was excellent advice. Her intentions were horrible and manipulative, but it was the best thing for Betty and Kevin.
Archie and Cheryl would’ve regretted eloping. Niagara Falls is beautiful, and starting a ranch could be nice, but both were way over their heads.
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans.
What did you think of “Chapter One Hundred Twenty-One: Love & Marriage”?
Is Ethel in danger at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy? What fresh hell will Frank bring to Archie’s life? Does anyone actually fail Doctor Werthers’ marriage test?
If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments below.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.