Riverdale Round-Up S1, E5-7: "Chapter Five: Heart Of Darkness", "Chapter Six: Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!", and "Chapter Seven: In A Lonely Place"

"Chapter Five: Heart of Darkness"

I didn't mind the ongoing mystery about Betty's sister, Polly. It was actually pretty fascinating, especially because it tied into Jason's backstory. That is, until it turned into a weird version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Yet another dark twist to add to the show's already very full plate: family rivalries. Didn't we already have a dose of that with Hermione Lodge and Cheryl's parents?

As for Archie, meh. I don't really care about football, so I had to resist the urge to mentally tune out and start imagining the Garfunkel And Oates song "Sports, Go Sports!" during those scenes. Ms. Grundy's specter also haunted some parts of the episode, with some jokes being made about her (ick, ick, ick). Her replacement character, a new music tutor who hopefully won't start a disturbing and age-inappropriate relationship, is boring but that might change as he gets more development.

"Chapter Six: Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!"

Now you've got my attention, Riverdale. How could you not, with a title like that? If the show was airing at a different time, I might suspect that Afterlife With Archie's vampire incarnations of the pop trio might be coming into play, but the creators already confirmed that we wouldn't be seeing that this season. Although, given the show's very recent renewal, I wouldn't put it past them to plan a zombie special next year. I'm pretty sure that the title simply refers to a practice session. Maybe Josie's just a really harsh motivational speaker. Kill those lyrics! Murder that keyboard!

And now for the whoopee hat-wearing elephant in the room, Jughead and Betty are now sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. But not while eating burgers, I'm pretty sure that's a health hazard. Don't choke on your food, kids. The show mines continuity everywhere from the original stories to the revamped comics to Afterlife With Archie, so I would say that they threw the "Jughead is asexual" plot from Chip Zdarsky's Jughead run right out the window, but it might just be from the initial comics. Jughead once told Betty that if he ever were to try to kiss any girls, she would be the only one. 

Personally, I'm not really angry so much as resigned. To me, the most interesting Jughead stories are the ones that involve him just doing goofy stuff. Still, I doubt an episode of Riverdale would have Jughead eating thousands of burgers in a contest or becoming a time-traveling hero (No, really), so I'll settle for seeing how Betty and Jughead bounce off of each other. One's a movie-obsessed, hungry miscreant. The other's straight-laced and sweet. Together, they fight crime and try to solve the murder of Jason Blossom.

Speaking of love, isn't it a little weird that a show about the comics hasn't really gotten to the whole love triangle thing yet? The pilot had shades of it, but now Archie's making out with Valerie. To be fair, that also happened, but it seems like we don't have as much of a love triangle as a love rhombic triacontahedron. Hmm, maybe the show is more like the comics than I previously imagined. In any case, it does lead to the great line delivered to Archie from Veronica, "You literally have zero loyalty, you ginger Judas."

"Chapter Seven: In A Lonely Place"

I'm not completely made of stone. That opening sequence was excellent. Creepy and nostalgic, it's going on my mental list of the best moments in the show. The cheerful public domain music that I remember from select episodes of Spongebob Squarepants, the classic designs, and the hyper-colorful scenery all make it look bright and cheerful, in a dramatic contrast with the knife in Archie's back. If all of the episodes were made in that way, then half of my issues with the show would be gone, just for the sheer weirdness of seeing disturbing things happen in a cheerful location. I hope they recreate it for next season's potential Afterlife With Archie Halloween episode.

Other than that, well, we had more family drama with Jughead and his not-so-dear dad. Cheryl continues to be a monster and had several more disturbing lines that could reference a creepier version of her relationship with Jason. Just go read Afterlife already, this is the fourth time I've referenced it. It just felt average. Nothing else that wowed me, nothing infuriating. The show won't come back until the thirtieth, so I guess I'll see you then.

Riverdale airs on Thursdays on the CW. You can also watch select episodes on the CW website and app.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or Harry Potter books.