Liam Hoofe reviews the eighth episode of Riverdale season 2…
Riverdale has, for a long time now, been a show that has prided itself on its absurdity. The second season has seen a plethora of weird and wonderful events and characters enter the show and it has made for some excellent viewing. The season’s eighth episode, ‘House of the Devil’, however, was a fairly mixed episode by the show’s standards, opting to focus on the relationships of the show’s four main characters, instead of the bigger, more interesting ‘Black Hood’ narrative.
Riverdale is closing up shop for its midseason finale very soon, and as a result of this, the show is clearly trying to hold off the Black Hood reveal for the time being. This week we had three main plot threads running through the episode – Jughead’s struggles with Betty and the Serpents, FP’s long-awaited release from prison, and some drama between Archie and Veronica. It was the latter of these three that was easily the show’s weakest point, as it went for the laziest option to cause a rift between the pair. The whole ‘it’s too soon to say I love you’ shtick seemed weak and it seemed as though this whole storyline existed purely to restart the love triangle between Veronica, Archie and Betty. Archie and Veronica’s quest to find out about the ‘Riverdale Reaper’ provided us with a nice sequence, but the janitor reveal felt slightly underwhelming.
Jughead’s struggles with the Serpents were a stronger element of the show, even if the wedge being driven between Betty and Jughead felt slightly repetitive. In fact, Betty’s decision to attempt to join the Serpents was one of the show’s best threads, and the pole dancing sequence really felt difficult to watch. Jughead, feeling the same as the audience as he watched Betty pathetically dance around the pole, decided to call it a day on their relationship, potentially forcing her back into Archie’s arms. The scene where Jughead contested the Serpents was an amusing watch though, and it was a nice indicator of how much Jug has changed since joining the crew.
The best part of the show, though, was easily the freshly released FP returning to The Serpents. The character has quietly become of the show’s best and watching him being forced to rejoin the Serpents because of his son’s actions provided the show with one of its more emotional moments. Jughead and his father’s relationship has really come a long way since we first met them, and according to the rules of TV, that often means things aren’t going to end well. Betty’s Mom and FP clearly have some tension building as well, could we see a surprising affair come out of all of this?
The show’s other characters were forced to the sidelines this episode, with Cheryl’s new-found obsession with Josie only being given one scene, albeit a fairly amusing one at that. The Black Hood was briefly mentioned by the Lodges at the start of the episode, but he wasn’t a focus in this episode at all. Next week the show will provide us with a Christmas special, so expect the murderer to reap all sort of chaos then.
While not without its entertaining elements, ‘House of the Devil’ felt like it was tied down by all of the relationship drama. The episode was not without its moments, with one or two scenes, in particular, standing out, but despite being one of the shorter episodes of the season, this episode felt dragged out due to the Archie/Veronica/Betty/Jughead love angle.
What did you think of ‘House of the Devil’? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter @liamhoofe