Summary: Jason's body is taken for an autopsy. Betty tries to forgive Archie but finds out she can't but then she realizes she needs to so she does. She hates Veronica though. Betty starts to connect with Cheryl but when Cheryl suspects Polly for killing Jason, she turn on Cheryl again. Veronica and Cheryl begin to connect a little. Archie decides to go against Ms. Grundy's will and chooses to tell the truth about the gunshot. The autopsy reveals that Jason at least a week after July 4 and Cheryl is arrested.
The Good: Well I was happy to see Betty initially seem to be reasonable after what happened in the last episode even though it didn't last. I guess the Jason murder story is getting interesting too. Archie's scene with his dad wasn't so bad.
The Bad: This was awful though and after the beginning the Betty storyline completely fell apart afterwards anyways.
Betty was terrible and having her just flip flop between liking and disliking people is annoying and doesn't make for good television. Hell it doesn't make me like her in any way, I just become annoyed with her character. Her scenes with Veronica were terrible and to see her just hate Veronica and then invite Cheryl who she also hates just to spite Veronica was an idiotic move in every way. She feels hateable and unreal to do stupid things like this. And it doesn't even fit her character since her mom is the one telling her to stay away from Veronica, Cheryl and Archie, so why would she hate on Veronica but then try to be friendly with Cheryl? Awful writing.
The overall result of the Betty storyline wasn't even good. Literally everything just went back to the way it was before with no actual character change. What was the point then? If it was to make me care about these characters it failed miserably because everybody is just less likeable now. Veronica and Betty just feel like bitches, Archie is just Mr. Perfect through and through and Jughead doesn't even have a character. This was very poorly executed.
Cheryl was just as bad if not worse. Apparently she's not as bad as she lets on but I don't even know if that was meant to mean anything since she just goes back to being a bitch for the rest for the episode. I don't care if she's crying at the end because I can't care for somebody so downright hateable. And to see her just stand up so cool at the end and say she's guilty felt so unreal and stupid. Just there for drama.
Archie was bad too. His storyline with Ms. Grundy sucks. He seems to think that she cares about him but I'm not getting that vibe at all from their conversations. Either Archie's just delusional which makes me not like him or the actress playing Ms. Grundy is just awful. Maybe both. I can't care about their relationship because I know nothing about it. all of their conversations are EXACTLY the same about the gunshot which does not make me buy into them as a couple. And I absolutely can't buy that Archie is in love with her and not Betty. His conflict with Jughead sucks too. We don't know what their relationship is so why do we care? His fight with Reggie was awful too. Would their really be a fight over some petty and downright terrible insults like that?
I also really hated the several accusations that characters threw at each other. Is everybody really so dense as to just accuse everyone and anyone for killing Jason? It doesn't feel real and doesn't make anyone likeable. It's supposed to be a "dramatic" moment when these accusations occur but they feel so fake and forced that I can't care about the drama and I can only focus on how poor the characters and writing is in this show. All characters feel insensitive because of this since there are so many accusations thrown around. All characters fall into this at some point which makes it a really troublesome flaw to say the least.
The Jason murder storyline is intriguing but gets nowhere near enough time to be good. So far it's just popped in for a "shock" cliffhanger (more on that later) to make us "hyped" for the next episode. It's an intriguing plot but we are getting nothing memorable since a solid 2 minutes are dedicated to the storyline. And what do we get for the other 40 minutes? A crappy teen drama with characters I can't stand. Ugh.
The cliffhanger wasn't good either. The voiceover acted like this was some HUGE shock but anybody with a brain would suspect Cheryl right away. It's really not a surprise to see her convicted. Is she the main culprit? Obviously not. And I'm not excited to watch the show to get the big reveal that "oh my god it wasn't Cheryl, whoa!". Without any credible surprise in the storyline this show loses anything that could possibly make it redeemable at this point.
The fanservice was awful too. Do we need to see Archie going to Ms. Grundy's house shirtless? Why? And the cheerleading squad is awful blatant fanservice too. Yes we get it you have an attractive cast. But we are here for a good TV show not to look at beautiful people.
There were a few poor scenes in particular. I hated the announcement scene. Can Cheryl really just take over like that? No school would let an important announcement like that get hijacked. And what does the school care if Cheryl is investigating? Nobody publicly announces things like that, they just do it. I hated all the scenes with Ms. Grundy refusing to tell people because Archie gave one really good idea: an anonymous call. WHY WOULD SHE NOT DO THAT? It's so frustrating and could have solved a ton of problems. Also why would Mr. Weatherbee go to Archie and assume he has something to tell him because he wouldn't make eye contact. Maybe he was nervous because he was looking at people he wasn't supposed to be looking at? Anybody would be awkward at that time and nobody would just assume he has a secret. Awful writing that's just there as an attempt to make Archie's storyline have more stakes.
Finally, this show has one critical flaw that takes away any chance of it succeeding in my eyes. This flaw is its complete misunderstanding of what makes compelling television. For me, the 2 things that make a TV show great are emotion and immersion. This show completely misses in both of these regards. The constant plot holes and forced dialogue completely sucks out my immersion, while the characters are so inconsistent an unlikeable that I can't be bothered to care, effectively removing any emotion from the episode whatsoever. With these 2 aspects completely ignored, I can't be asked to invest 40 minutes of my time to watch an episode of this show.
The Unknown: What happened with Jason? Why did he die later? Why did Cheryl say he drowned? What does she know that we don't?
What happens when Archie tells his secret to Mr. Weatherbee?
Will this show be any good later on?
Best Moment: I got nothing. Every scene had problems with it, literally every single one. I had enough trouble finding something good, never mind a best moment.
Character of the Episode: Kevin because I don't hate him. I just hate that he's a gay stereotype.
Conclusion: Well I did not expect things to get worse after the pilot. The pilot itself felt like it would be the low point. This was so bad it caught me completely off guard. I know I said I would try to get to the end of this season but after this episode I honestly can't. Every 30 seconds something would happen that annoyed me and I don't want to watch a show where I literally get angry every minute without any redeeming quality whatsoever. And the total miss with emotion and immersion just seals the deal for me. Someday I may come back to this to watch an episode to see if it gets any better. But as of now I am done with this show.
Summary: Jason Blossom, brother to Cheryl tragically died on July 4th in Riverdale. New student Veronica arrives and meets Archie and Betty who become her closest friends. Betty is in love with Archie but Archie doesn't feel the same way for her. At a school dance Betty asks Archie to go with him, but he ends up kissing Veronica after a game of spin the bottle. The 2 have a falling out. The stereotypical gay guy Kevin is on a date with Moose and finds Jason's dead body and concludes he was shot.
The Good: Everything was introduced well enough by the end of the episode. I have a good idea of which character is who and I can tell that this show will be a sort of murder mystery with some high school drama tinged into it.
The Bad: But for the most part this episode was a critical failure as a TV pilot. The purpose of a pilot is to hook the audience. Provide us characters and a gripping story to get us into the show from the beginning. This episode didn't come close to accomplishing any of this. I don't care for the story, the characters are bland and generic and I find myself irritated by a lot of things and impressed by pretty much nothing.
The success of almost every show hinges on the quality of its characters. To say the least, this episode really didn't deliver with its characters. All we get is a boring stereotype for each character and honestly nobody seems likeable so far. Each character seems to behave in just one specific way which makes them horribly dislikeable with the exceptions of Archie and Veronica. Those 2 characters are dislikeable for a whole other reason: they are introduced as Mary Sue characters (Marty Sue for Archie?) which makes them completely uninteresting and irritatingly perfect. These characters desperately need some depth and motives to make them at least somewhat likeable going forward.
The dialogue and writing of the show is similarly poor. The writers have produced some generic and sometimes just poor dialogue. Often times scenes feel forced and none of the dialogue feels right. It doesn't help that the line delivery from the actors and actresses is poor for almost everybody. There are a lot of character relationships that are attempted to be fleshed out but the poor dialogue and writing make pretty much every single one of these scenes fail miserably and as a result we can't care about these relationships. Add on the fact that we don't care about the characters either and we have a pretty deadly combination that can make for some bad television.
The poor dialogue has also done a good job at making these characters feel completely unreal. Everybody seems to have no real restraint in what they say. So many characters just say downright mean and aggressive things and nobody seems to be able to hold in what they feel. If this is because the show is trying to accurately portray teenagers then clearly it doesn't understand how teenagers work. Teenagers are human too not just idiotic and offensive all the time. This could very well be a long term problem in the show if it isn't rectified. It's a big part in why everybody is so unlikeable.
There were a couple specific plot points that I thought were poor too. I didn't like the missing bag thing. It seems very unrealistic that this man who is apparently in prison is able to just send money like that. How did he get people to do this for him? How did nobody open the bag, see money inside and just take it? It's unrealistic. Similarly unrealistic was the discovery of Jason's body. He was dead in a river and his body must have flowed away with the water because the cops couldn't find it. But then it just turns up on the shore at the same place? What? That makes no sense. Also Betty's mom saying that Jason got what he deserved was absolutely terrible. Who would see a dead teenager and say "good riddance"? How does she get away with saying that? The show couldn't have made a worse first impression if it tried with that awful piece of dialogue.
The ending was very bad in my opinion with Archie and Betty falling out. I was nowhere near caring about the characters and their relationship bored me to death. And they were so awkward around each other too
The Unknown: The big question is who killed Jason? The obvious answer is Cheryl so it can't possibly be Cheryl or that would be totally unsatisfying. Could it have been Betty's mom? Doubtful because then it would have been stupid for her to say that awful line I mentioned above. Surely there is something bigger going on here.
What happened to Veronica's father? What did he do? What part did Hermione (no not the one from Harry Potter) play in whatever he did? Why is she on trial for it?
Best Moment: Probably Veronica talking to Betty about how she has changed. It felt unnatural like almost every other scene but at least the show got some basic character motivation done there.
Character of the Episode: Veronica for the aforementioned scene.
Conclusion: This was very poor and I can't say it did anything to make me interested in the show. I sure hope the season gets better so I don't have to suffer through a poorly written, acted and executed show. On the brighter side it will have to work hard to be worse than this, so hopefully that won't happen. I will stick through all of season 1, but if the show doesn't impress by the time season 1 is done, I may drop it. Here's to hoping that this is the series' low point and that everything will get better from here on. I have my doubts though.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.