For a long time, ARCHIE was thought of as more of a funny pages comic. Archikins and his lovable gang lived in the wholesome town of Riverdale and hilarity ensued. So when the CW announced they were doing a show based on Archie comics called RIVERDALE there was some speculation. How would this show work? What would it look? The CW was already known for it’s sexy teen dramas and their superhero shows were sleek and contained big action sequences. Sad to say, but ARCHIE has never been thought of as sexy or action-packed. RIVERDALE didn’t seem like a good fit at the CW.

Then it was announced that RIVERDALE would take on more of a TWIN PEAKS vibe. There would be a murder mystery, the show would be ominous and lurid. That was met with some intrigue but mostly groans. Archie is a silly boy who get’s paint cans stuck on his head and his best friend eats burgers and has a dog named Hot Dog. No one thought this was going to work. They were wrong.

RIVERDALE was a good show from the first episode and by the middle of the season it was a great show. Audiences were wrapped in the love story between Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper. Veronica Lodge was our favorite reformed mean girl. Kevin Keller stole scenes with his one-liners, and the murder of Jason Blossom had us on the edge of our seats. We loved the show so much that we decided to do a RIVERDALE podcast. Every week hosts Mara Danoff and Andrew Rivera will be joined by a rotating guest host and dissect the latest episode. For our first episode, we cover the season two premiere. We break down the differences between the characters in this season and the last, take a look at some of the formal film aspects of the show, and reveal our theories for the gang and season two of RIVERDALE.

This podcast features…

Sticky Maple: A RIVERDALE Podcast Episode 1: Transcript

Andrew Rivera: Hello. You’re listening to ComicsVerse’s RIVERDALE podcast with Mara Danoff and Andrew Rivera. I’m sitting with …

Mara Danoff: Hi, I’m Mara Danoff. I’m a writer for ComicsVerse.com.

Andrew Rivera: I am Andrew Rivera, also a writer for ComicsVerse.com, and host of ComicsVerse’s Intellectual Property with Andrew Rivera where we talk about comics, film, and television. And we are sitting here with …

Mara Danoff: Brandon Guerrero. Every week we will have a new and exciting guest host. This week we are delighted to be having Brandon Guerrero as our first-ever.

Andrew Rivera: Nailed it. Nailed it.

Brandon Guerrero: Well, I’m happy to be here as your first guest. I’ll try not to mess it up.

Andrew Rivera: You do us a great honor and disservice. This podcast will act as a recap show every week by and for fans of the show RIVERDALE. We will discuss our theories. Mara will discuss the formal filmmaking aspects of the show, and we’re going to get into a bunch of other things like our favorite lines and who we need more of every week, and hopefully we’ll all have a great time filled with wonderful milkshake magic. That sounds gross.

So I guess I’ll just start off briefly by saying what happened last season [on RIVERDALE]. We ended with Jughead’s father, F.P. Jones, kind of staying in jail. He was off the hook because Cheryl’s father was found to be the killer of Jason Blossom. He went over and killed himself, and Cheryl then would burn down Thornhill. Jughead Jones would be part of the Serpents. Archie and Veronica consummated their relationship and Archie’s father, Fred Jones, Luke Perry, 80s heartthrob, for ya’ Mama, and maybe for ya’ Papa, who knows, got himself shot by some man in a mask. And this episode, Mara would you like to just give a quick recap?

Mara Danoff: Yeah, so in this episode, we have, Archie goes to save his father from imminent death as he races to get him into the hospital. Meanwhile, Jughead is grappling with either being a Serpent or Betty’s boyfriend as he struggles with this dual identity crisis. Cheryl is, well we’ll get into more about her later, but she deals with the aftermath of her house burning, and Veronica threatens her mom for falling her dad’s footsteps.

hiram lodge

Andrew Rivera: And Hiram Lodge, finally Hiram makes his full appearance. Mark Consuelos is the first, sexiest Latino ever. I would say I’m the second, but we all know that’s Ricky Martin. That’s pretty much it.

So starting this episode, it kicks open the door. What I always love is Jughead’s narration, but one thing that I really enjoy was — it’s always very slow and this kind of opened up super fast. I think one of the best lines that Jughead’s had is … It helps you bring back the innocence of [the town of] Riverdale and of these characters and their youth when he says, “Archie Andrews, who doesn’t even know how to drive yet, who doesn’t have a driver’s license yet, is careening down to save his father’s life” and he hits that other car and doesn’t crash the car. But just as like, I think we all like to think we’d be a superhero in that moment and drive the car away, but we don’t. And he gets his dad to the hospital.

Mara Danoff: See, my thought immediately went to a recent Archie comic, where-

Andrew Rivera: Oh yeah.

Mara Danoff: Where Archie was teaching Jughead to drive, and I just thought that whole scene was like, “Oh right, neither one of them are particularly good at this one activity.”

Andrew Rivera: Yeah. And so Brandon, what do you think of how Riverdale opened?

Brandon Guerrero: Oh, I thought it was great. It was definitely one of the stronger episodes of RIVERDALE, I think in the whole series overall that we’ve gotten so far, because we got a lot of development from characters that we would like to see grow in different ways. We have Jughead who’s being torn by these two sides. We have Archie who, seems to just be also growing in his own way due to everything that’s going on around him. I really enjoyed it.

Andrew Rivera: What this episode does with Archie overall … Because last season, I don’t think Archie got particularly interesting. I thought that he was the weak point of the show, which I thought spelled trouble for the show, to be honest with you. But last season, he was kind of just your average f***boy. And this season on RIVERDALE, he’s directly tied into the main conflict of the show. And I thought KJ Apa, who I love, really fleshed out that character, was given more dimensions to play with this time. So what do you think about his growth from last season of RIVERDALE to now?

Brandon Guerrero: Well, just to think of two scenes. Thinking of everything else going on with Grundy, and just, that scene of his parents in the first season … or his dad in the first season to saying, “You’re like a kid, this is crazy that you’re sleeping with this teacher that’s really bad,” even though he wants to give him a handshake at the end of that. But think of that scene compared to just the ending scene of this first episode, where we see Archie as, “I’m ready to handle the threat of anyone that’s coming into this door,” knocks the bat against the floor. It’s perfect! It just shows how strong he is getting. We didn’t think that that was something that was going to happen in the first episode [of season two of RIVERDALE]. He’s already showing signs that he’s a stronger person.

Mara Danoff: Well, to me the most striking moment of [this episode of RIVERDALE]just Archie in general was when, at the very end of the episode, he grabs the baseball bat after his dad had gone up to bed, and just sort of sits there. And the middle of the night, knowing, well, I can assume that he’ll just be there for hours, and to me that was the defining … this will be the defining Archie of this season. He will be someone who is going to be a lot more protective of those he cares about, and he seems to now have a mission, he needs to focus entirely on protecting his father.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, and I like what you said about … Well just the bat thing real quick, I love the two knocks he does, because it was reminiscent of Fred’s nightmare or his visions as he’s kind of dying, there’s always that knock. And what you’re saying … Because last season I felt like, “Archie, you don’t know any of your friends. You don’t hangout with them. How could you like–because he was dealing with Grundy, things like that, and I was like, “Well, who is this guy?”. And now I just feel like, you see, they really fleshed out that connection between Fred and him, and you see a lot more of Archie’s character. Even that phone call to his mom, I thought was just something that super spectacular.

Mara, you were also talking about and speaking of growth in characters. Let’s talk a little bit about our homegirl, Cheryl, who …

Mara Danoff: The literal love of my life.

Andrew Rivera: The love of your life.

cheryl blossom

Mara Danoff: So Cheryl. For once, now I finally think we can say that she has a definitive personality and it is bat-shit crazy, which I am all for. My favorite line in the entire episode was when she holds on to her mom’s breathing tube, and looks her directly in the eye, only to say, “You breathe because I give you air.” The whole time, her mom, covered in burn wounds and is clearly dying, she’s just terrified of this child she created. And she goes on to wreak havoc for, I’m assuming, this upcoming season.

Andrew Rivera: I’m sure she will. Brandon, what do you think about Cheryl’s growth from last season to this season?

Brandon Guerrero: I think it’s great, because I always kind of thought she was bat-shit crazy. She definitely is just a little bit out of control. But seeing her do that with the breathing apparatus was just insane. I’m not ready for what’s gonna happen for the rest of the season.

Andrew Rivera: I think you’re both bugging out. I don’t think Cheryl’s crazy. I think Cheryl may have given up the title of head bitch in charge on the Riverdale Vixens, but I think this is Cheryl being the head bitch in charge in life. And there’s a very telling line, because at first I thought, “Oh, she’s super crazy.” And I was talking to my sister, I was like, “Do you know, she’s kind of out of her mind.” But that line that she says to her mother, she’s like, “What you did to me was abuse.” And Cheryl, she’s kind of been a prisoner at Thornhill, she wasn’t allowed to mourn her brother at all.

There was a lot going on with that character, where it was so much so that she isolated herself from the rest of the people on the show a little bit, where she would include herself a bit more as an outsider, and more as a tormentor.

5 for the Fandom: Comics for RIVERDALE Fans

And Cheryl being Cheryl, one of my favorite moments of this episode was when we walk in on Fred Andrews, and she’s kissing his forehead, and she talks about how she’s giving him the kiss of life that Archie gave her, and I was like, “You went from being this twincest kind of suspect, to now, just this ominous creature in the background.”

Mara Danoff: Again, the literal best character on this show out of anybody, let’s be real. She would be the one to say, “I’m gonna give him the kiss of life,” only to actually kiss someone. Cheryl is many things, and subtle is not one of them.

Andrew Rivera: No, in fact, so much so, that in the Heart of Darkness episode, where she comes out wearing the dress that she wore when she last saw Jason and everybody is like, “Oh my god,” even Kevin Keller is like, “Yes.”

And, speaking of Kevin Keller, I don’t think he gets the shine he deserves that much. I think he steals the scenes that he’s in … And when we go over our favorite lines, I will be doing the impression, and Mara, you need to do the impression of Cheryl. But I really enjoy kind of just seeing him have more than five lines in an episode or just being used as the kind of push-forward-a-little-bit moment. I think his relationship with Joaquin was great but it sort of was a plot device, and it added to the mystery and the misdirect of the show. What do you think about Kevin Keller so far, Brandon?

Brandon Guerrero: He’s great, but he definitely needs more time, I agree with that. Mostly just because, even in Archie comics, he’s an important character in the more modern interpretations of it, he appears more often. So I think having him as the presence of the LGBTQ community is perfect and he’s so hilarious, everything he says, it really is. He gets so many one-liners, they’re great.

Andrew Rivera: And before I ask you, Mara, I also wanna ask you what you think– when Kevin Keller came out in the comics, when it was like, “Archie has this gay character.” Maybe because Archie was your grandma’s favorite digest, it was such a big deal. Now, who the show’s appealing to, young people, Kevin Keller being gay is not so much of a shocker. It is representation, I think. But how do you think then that differs in the responsibility of the character on the show, if at all?

Mara Danoff: I just think that, well, it’s difficult because I want them [the writers of RIVERDALE] to make sure that he’s represented well, but I would rather them focus on him being a character rather than just a gay character, because my concern is that, when they tend to do that and be like, “Oh look, he’s the gay character,” they lean pretty heavily on stereotypes of what they believe a gay man would act like.

It worked for a while, just to get representation on the screen, but honestly, the reason why I hesitate to really be cheering and be on Kevin’s team is because I’m so nervous that he’s just going to be a stereotypical gay best friend, which they even kind of lean into quite a bit in the first season, I have to say. I want him to be a character in and of his own right, and his sexuality is important, but it’s not the only thing that he’s about.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, absolutely, I would agree, so moving on. You expressed some concerns about Veronica, so I’m gonna let you lead this one.

Mara Danoff: I did, so here’s the thing. Aside from Cheryl, Veronica is the second love of my life. I have many loves in my life, what can I say.

veronica lodge

Andrew Rivera: Just to set it up, I just want to know … Because you had expressed this concern for this season of RIVERDALE. I’d like to know, after you expressed this concern, how that differs from how you view her last season.

Mara Danoff: So last season, she seemed very much so in control of the situations before her. She was in a new environment, yet that didn’t seem to phase her. She was willing to go forward and make friends with Betty, she was going to get to know Archie, she was going to be part of the gang, even though she doesn’t know these characters particularly well.

This season seems to be setting her up. And I know that this is a lot of extrapolation, at least on my part, because we just haven’t seen enough of this yet. If they have her essentially play second fiddle to her parents — because I have a strong feeling that Hiram Lodge is going to be such a prevalent character in this season. If she’s essentially playing second fiddle to that, I’ll feel like there’s a lot of unnecessary drama between her and Archie, like him blaming her for things her dad does, her feeling like she doesn’t have a control on her life, her getting frustrated with that. And to me, that’s not what she’s about, at least not in this show.

Andrew Rivera: Brandon, what do you think about Veronica, the season? And if you have any thoughts on how that differs from last season.

Brandon Guerrero: Well, my thoughts on last season were I loved her. Every episode, I just loved her. She’s probably my favorite character. That being said, I do think that this season, she’s gonna go through a lot. She has been too comfortable, as Mara has said. She’s way too comfortable. Now with her father back, she’s gonna go through a lot of pain, I think.

Andrew Rivera: And one of the things that they’re [the writers of RIVERDALE] gonna do, I think … One of the reasons why I don’t think you should be as concerned is they’re going to bring in her ex-boyfriend from New York. So I’d be interested to see how that plays.

Mara Danoff: Little love triangle.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, well not only love triangle. I hope that’s not it, because I think Veronica’s such a strong character where if she’s over that guy, she’s over him, it’s not gonna do that. But I think that it might Hiram kind of being like, “Hey, remember your old life, remember who you were?”And they open up the season with her being like … They do a very comics-Veronica thing that I love, which is, everybody’s going through this freak-out, and she goes, “Ugh, I can’t do this,” and she throws her head on Betty.

Mara Danoff: That was a good time.

Andrew Rivera: She makes it so about herself throughout the episode, which I loved, because I think Veronica last season was super in control of every room she walked into, and I think now she has these feelings for Archie, it’s gonna make her a little bit more uncomfortable. I’d like to see a little bit more of the old Veronica fighting the new Veronica, going back and forth. And Veronica, I thought, was very powerful this episode in terms of her not walking away from Archie when they were having that argument.

And one thing that I really love about this show is the arguments. Archie kind of being upset about the wallet was fantastic because it’s not about the wallet at all. I think what RIVERDALE does with these arguments is, whether it’s last season with Betty and Jughead, and him being like, “How long are we gonna do this until you get over me, or until you get Archie back in your life?”, and Archie, this episode, being like, “Why are you even here, why did you come here?”. It very much shows the characters’ insecurities, how one moment can lead to another and blow. It’s not just teenager arguments, they really focus, I think, on exploding. You look like you have something to say, Mara.

Mara Danoff: No, the only thing that I had to say, and this is now extremely irrelevant, was that, I don’t know, whenever a girl with a whole pearl necklace walks into a room, she’s in control. You guys might not feel this way, but I definitely feel this way.

Andrew Rivera: I think when a woman who is that put together, a woman or a man who is that put together walks into a room, I kind of shit myself a little bit.

Mara Danoff: Oh yeah, just a touch.

Brandon Guerrero: She also walks into the shower with the pearls.

Mara Danoff: Yeah. I wasn’t gonna bring this up, but now that you mention it, the contractual Archie being shirtless scene rears its head once again.

Andrew Rivera: You gotta get a shirtless KJ Apa thing. We should have just a going count. If there is one episode this season without KJ Apa with his shirt off, we will probably be severely disappointed, because I assume it’s in his contract.

Moving on, one of the other main characters, Betty. And I don’t think Betty’s changed too much. I think last season was such a Betty season to see her grow, where now she’s a little bit- I think she’s playing the cautious role of, “How am I gonna deal with my boyfriend being a Southside Serpent, how am I gonna deal with my own life?”. But I think that we saw so much growth from her last season on RIVERDALE that it didn’t make sense to do something, to set her up on a story that would kind of waver from that.

Mara Danoff: Though on … And I’m sure either you or Brandon can back me up or fight me on this point, but I felt like Betty’s relationship with her mom drastically improved. The only reason that I feel the need to bring this up is because she was super open with her mom about having not slept with Jughead but would have if given the opportunity. And I was like, “Why are you telling your mom this?”. This is just, my mind was being blown at the openness of this family, like what is going on? And how the mom just took it and was like, “Yeah, okay, just use protection. I don’t like him, but you’re gonna do what you’re gonna do.”

Andrew Rivera: I’ll let Brandon go off that and then I’ll say my piece. But I actually do have something, and I don’t think it’s fighting you on it at all, but it made sense to me. But go ahead Brandon.

Brandon Guerrero: Yeah, I feel like Betty’s gonna get just a lot less play, development wise in her character, just because she did go through so much. We got evil Betty, was that the name?

Andrew Rivera: Dark Betty.

Brandon Guerrero: Dark Betty, there we go. So I think she got so much play. The major story about it was her and her sister and all that. So I think she’s gonna be more behind the scenes of trying to help Jughead out which is good. Jughead does need some more development also.

betty-cooper-riverdale

Andrew Rivera: There was that line about support and stuff like that. And one of the notes that I wrote down was, I love the back and forth between Alice and Betty, and that scene. I think that Betty kind of established herself as a lightening rod in the storm of shit that was appearing, because Alice is so worried about who she is.

And there’s two things that Betty does last season, is “I’m not Polly. What’s my name? I’m Betty.” And that kind of told to her mother, (a) I’m gonna be my own person; (b) you can’t control me. And the line about, “Do not push me tonight, because I will push back,” last season. I thought Betty really established herself last season as like, “I understand you’re the parent, but understand that I am my own person.” And so if we’re picking up right after that, I don’t think Betty was ever the type of person that was gonna lie to her mother. I think that she’s just trying to keep that face going.

Mara Danoff: Maybe this is just me still reeling from having lived with my parents and being a high school teenager and I’m just like, “What is this openness about relationships? Who does this?”, and just quaking in my boots over it.

Andrew Rivera: Maybe, maybe. Full disclosure, when I started sleeping with people, I told my mother right away. I almost celebrated.

So moving on from Betty, we’ll get to Torombolo, Jughead Jones. Jughead is severely different in a good way, I think. It makes sense, based on how last season ended. There’s a few moments that I would just like to talk about off the top and we should all kind of be a little bit more rapid pace about this just because I think we’re all excited.

When he removes the thing off his father’s bike, I thought that was excellent. I like that they’ve established that Jughead Jones is comfortable with bikes, because when he has his helmet, it already has that old crown carved into it. So he’s either been on a bike before or his father had him on a bike, and that was … He’s familiar with it. His father was a Serpent, it kind of goes back to the lineage of that.

Then they made him more comic book Jughead, where, when pop says, “You guys hungry?”, and Betty’s like, “I can’t eat,” he’s like, “Oh, I can always eat.” And he talks about … when he’s in that scene with Sheriff Keller and Archie, and he’s in the vending machine, when pops is saying, “It’s like the angel of death came down to Riverdale.” And Jughead Jones, who all first season was this very dark character, goes “Lighten up. Dude relax.” Just when he sees the …then you get a little bit of that innocence of Jughead when he sees the Serpents beating up that guy that they think knows something about Fred Andrews’ situation. Mara, what do you think about Jughead Jones this season of RIVERDALE versus last season?

Mara Danoff: I was like, “Someone finally is not being all angsty, good for you.” I was really happy, I was like, “Oh my god, you suddenly, all of a sudden, you’re not being, ‘I’m weird, I’m a weirdo’.” Very much so giving us film majors a really bad rep with the whole pretension through the roof. I felt that if he did have any drama, it was warranted. Yeah, he’s dealing with his family lineage of being a Southside Serpent, that’s pretty heavy, but he still is able to crack a few jokes. I’m like, “Yeah, this is more of the Jughead that I’m familiar with. Go full speed ahead Cole Sprouse, A plus.”

Brandon Guerrero: Man, just thinking of that lighten up line, I was thinking “Lighten down, Jughead, you need to calm down, because someone just had a gun pointed at him, and you’re making him feel bad.” But I love Jughead, I think last season he was great, I think this is just gonna be another great season for him. He has a lot to go through and I’m ready for it.

Andrew Rivera: One of the benefits, I think, of television over film, and Mara, you definitely know about this way more than I do, is that, from an actor’s point of view, from every other point of view, you get to figure out the story a little bit better. Some shows do not, and that’s why they get canceled early. I think this first episode is a good indication that the writers are a little bit more familiar with the characters. But I think the actors are way more familiar with the characters.

Cole Sprouse making these choices as an actor of … I mean you can throw out a line, whatever, but that’s very … it’s not Zack and Cody, the Disney over-acting they teach you. No, that subtlety that he’s showing off in terms of those comedic lines, and things like that. Madelaine looks so comfortable in that role, she was born to play Cheryl, I truly believe. And each of these actors like KJ Apa, I think, is getting way more comfortable with Archie, he’s gonna be able to shine. And Veronica, I always think Camila Mendes was just, the fact that it’s her first acting role surprises me greatly because she’s very, very relaxed and calm in that role. Do you agree?

Mara Danoff: No, I very much so agree, especially with your point that the actress playing Cheryl was born to play this role. I genuinely believe, and this is my own personal conspiracy theory, that she is Cheryl and she’s just never off, she’s always like this. And to her, maybe the real life is an act, and she really is just this powerful, strong woman, who can easily suffocate her mother without batting an eye.

They have all been doing such a good job. And the rest of them too, like Lili who plays Betty, she’s amazing in that role. I feel like it’s so fun, seeing how she is outside of the project [RIVERDALE], and then all of a sudden being this much more down-played character. She speaks a lot more quieter than I would imagine her personality would actually be, and just sort of really brings nice subtlety to the role. Good job, everyone.

Andrew Rivera: You’ve got the perfect segway. And I think we should talk a little bit about the actors later on, because that is one of the segments we’ll have where we talk about their reactions to each other, certain things [that happen on RIVERDALE] like that. But you mentioned the parents, and I just want to get into that super quickly, just a few thoughts from both of you.

I love the parents in the show, RIVERDALE. I think that they are some of the best TV parents I’ve seen. The way they’re written is, at first you think they’re very radical. I thought Alice Cooper was insane and then by the end of the first season, I’m like, “Alice Cooper is gonna be my homegirl all through season two,” she still is. She doesn’t hold anything back, she doesn’t care, she’s ready to roll. Hermione is, I think she’s amazing. I don’t know what that woman is eating because she looks younger this season than she did last season, which is insane.

The Parents of RIVERDALE Are Wonderfully Insane

Mara Danoff: That’s clearly what the Lodge family exports is just — oh no, that’s the appeal of the maple syrup!

Andrew Rivera: The family just looks super young.

We didn’t get a bunch of the parent stuff this season, but what do you think about the parents this season on RIVERDALE, how do you think they were versus last season, Mara?

Mara Danoff: I just have a question real quick. If anyone can figure out, where the grandmother is from the Blossom family? Because she was nowhere to be found this episode. Someone needs to go find her and make sure she’s okay, has something to eat, a little blankey, all that good stuff, just because she just wasn’t there, and I’m really concerned she burned up in the fire.

Brandon Guerrero: I think she did.

Andrew Rivera: There’s a charred wheelchair somewhere in Thornhill [a mansion in Riverdale]. But briefly, what are your thoughts on the parents, if any.

Mara Danoff: I would need to see more of them to really have a strong opinion. I feel like Fred Andrews, this episode, he was so strong and especially in those dream sequences. To me, that was the most powerful moments of the episode, as he was fighting to stay alive, and him living his entire life in just a few hours.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, and before I pass it off to you Brandon, I just want to say, Luke Perry doing it this season, those moments. And the writing, I thought, was amazing in terms of just … I said this before, but often times, you’ll see people fight for their lives and they’ll do the life flash before my eyes. His life, he was existing, you know what I mean? They weren’t dreams, they were … For him to get to that beginning thing to the end where he’s living for his son, you really got to see that.

It makes Archie and him so much more of the main characters we were looking for, that strong connection, because you see that a little bit in season one. But I really think this was more of the … I think they told each other that they cared about each other last season, I think this was showing. And I think that’s a really good job by the writers of RIVERDALE. But Brandon, go ahead.

Brandon Guerrero: I wouldn’t want any of these parents to be my parents. But I do think that they’re so … We’re gonna see more of them, because I feel like the whole fact that this deals a lot with Fred Andrews, I think it’s gonna involve all of the parents a lot more. We’re gonna find out who shot him and it’s gonna be a whole big thing. So I’m excited.

Andrew Rivera: And, as briefly as you said that, I’ll say this even briefly. Hermione Lodge, every brown mother ever, getting gangster on Veronica in the church, in front of Santa Maria, she did the prayer in Spanish, she was like, “Yo, I’ma whop your ass.”

Mara Danoff: I love how it cuts to just Mary looking down, like “You done f***d up, Veronica.”

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, for sure, that’s when Veronica knew, “Alright, I’m playing with a different beast this season.”

And super, super briefly, I’d like to just talk about the Avengers Justice League moment when Archie walks into the hospital and Reggie, new Reggie, new Reggie, walks in and hugs him, and is like, “Yo, the [Riverdale] Bulldogs got your back.” And Josie walks in with her hand on her hip like, “So do the Pussycats,” and you just hear that Avengers theme song in the background. It’s like, are we all teaming up now, what’s going on? And I do think it proves to the point that Josie and Reggie, I think they’ll be stronger characters this season for sure.

I think what this show will focus on is that Reggie and Josie- Nobody’s an absolute anything. Reggie, we saw it last season when Archie was injured. Nobody’s an absolute asshole on this show. And I think that Reggie will … He was supposed to have a bigger part, but the actor couldn’t do it because of 13 Reasons Why, but I think we’re gonna see a lot of them, and I’m very excited for it, just off that brief little moment we had.

Mara Danoff: Yeah, I felt that it was really endearing to see them all come together like that, because Reggie’s normally seen as just this fairly one-note bad guy for the most part, and Josie and the Pussycats, they’ve been great, I really liked them in season one, but they still really much so do their own thing. To me, it was like a town coming together in a crisis and acknowledging that, “Hey, we’re still a community, we might not always get along, but we’re for you in your time of need.”

Brandon Guerrero: Man, you guys are making it really hard for me to disagree. I like that scene because it does show that they’re not just characters, they’re humans…

Andrew Rivera: But…

Brandon Guerrero: But I was … I want more. I want more of Josie, I want more of Reggie, I’m still waiting for characters like Moose to get so much more play.

Andrew Rivera: I don’t completely disagree with you, and Moose would be interesting. I don’t completely disagree with you because, what’s her name again? Valerie? She didn’t say anything to Archie, and they dated. And she met Fred Andrews in his home, which gave Luke Perry one of the best moments of season one ever, when he freaks out that Archie has a girl in his room.

Okay, so another thing we’ll do every week is, I mentioned this at the top of the show, is that Mara will kind of go into the more formal aspects of the filmmaking of the show. I thought this season, like we were saying, they’re [the writers of RIVERDALE]obviously inspired by David Lynch and things like that. I thought last season was good cinematically because it made use of colors very well, and I really love that, and it was eerie, and it was all those things that Mara will describe way better than I can. But just right off the top, I think, we were talking about this, it looked more like a movie this season. Everything was a little bit more personal I thought.

Just right off the top, what are your differences between this season and last season, and then I just want you to freestyle on your own. And we may have questions for you, and that’s it.

Mara Danoff: So I felt like they [the directors of RIVERDALE] did a very good job with this, that they actually, they sort of started to emphasizing the more assignment of colors to each character. I feel like the most obvious one, that I’m sure anyone can really pick up on, is that Cheryl is always bathed in a red light, or she’s very much associated with the color red. Whereas we have more blues, I’d say, for Jughead, yellows for Archie. And I can’t really figure out what Veronica’s is yet, it’s either an orang-ish color, or something that’s more of like a warm, something that kind of meshes with Archie’s and all that good stuff.

It was interesting to see them really push forth for that color scheming for the series.

I liked the editing between each of the scenes, so the way that they would have such a smooth transition between the dream sequences and reality. They would pick up lines from the previous cut to these scenes where you would clearly be in a dream, because Fred is awake and how he was very much so confused as to what reality was and what fiction was. And it could easily have confused audience members as well, who maybe weren’t picking up as quickly as to, like, “Why is he awake in these scenes? How is life going so fast for him?”. He’s clearly trying to stop living these traumatic moments, but he can’t. It seems like the directorial style on this series just took a way shot up in production value.

Andrew Rivera: And I have a question for you, because we’ve all seen a lot of shower scenes growing up, I’m sure, some more than others. I’m looking at Brandon for some reason, I don’t know if that’s true. But shower scenes generally are not very sexy, and this is weird for me to say because the characters are supposed to be so young, and this is … I don’t know if it was sexy, but what it felt like was, just talking about the intimacy, again. It felt very small in that bathroom.

Mara Danoff: So bathrooms are kind of a weird thing, because a lot of times, they are used to represent comfort, to represent a place of security, which is why, for example, in Psycho, when the woman gets murdered in the shower, it has more of an impact because that’s supposed to be a place where you’re most vulnerable but also most secure. And I feel like it works for what Veronica was doing, because she was trying to comfort Archie and in a way, being in the shower with him, which, okay, admittedly, they [the RIVERDALE team] were definitely getting some eye candy there. But if we want to go into more thematic representation, we could see it as her taking on the role of the support for Archie.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, I would say that that’s true and I want to go back to the idea of a bathroom where you’re very vulnerable. It is, and how many times have you been alone at home and you’re like, “I’m gonna shower with the bathroom door open because I don’t want to get killed.” Whatever is gonna kill me is gonna kill me. Even that scene in the Grudge where the hand comes out of her head in the shower. Showers are a scary place, if you’re not feeling the right mood.

Do you have any questions, Brandon, for Mara, in terms of the way that the episode was shot?

Brandon Guerrero: Nothing that I can think of, she just nailed a lot.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, that was ridiculously awesome. Well do you have anything else you’d like to point out? If not, we can go on.

Mara Danoff: It’s very cloudy there, but I think that’s more the Vancouver weather where they’re shooting, although I do think it fits with the whole odd David Lynch tone, because, for those of you who can’t really tell based off the title card, RIVERDALE is sort of diet TWIN PEAKS at this point. But so far, especially this season, it seems to be getting more into a Coke or Pepsi version of TWIN PEAKS, so really starting to get David Lynch’s stylized and crazy narratives where the murder doesn’t matter, it’s the whole supernatural angst of it all. And when they were doing the whole thing with this crazy guy killing off everyone, especially Mrs Grundy at the end, to me it implies a much more sinister plot than even the first season could have imagined.

Andrew Rivera: I totally agree with what you’re saying. Also, this season on TWIN PEAKS, I believe there was a shot of a diner in there, and it’s small but you can see it at the top, the name of the diner is Pops actually. And I wonder, I don’t know if …

Mara Danoff: TWIN PEAKS, RIVERDALE, shared universe, 2017.

twin peaks

Andrew Rivera: I would love it, honestly. They’ve got a couple of the same actors, I think, right? So that would be fantastic.

I also would say, just about how they shot things, there were a lot of shots of just two people alone. Whether it was Veronica and Archie walking the dog, and they have that moment where they’re close, or Betty and Jughead kissing at the end when she tells him, “I’m gonna be there for you.” There was these wide shots that I thought were great with just two people.

Mara Danoff: Yup, yup. Can confirm! Two shots–

Andrew Rivera: I don’t know if that was special to you at all, it was special to me.

Mara Danoff: No, but good eye.

Andrew Rivera: I’m a romantic is what it is.

Alright, so moving on, we’ll try to make this super quick. Brandon, I’d like to hear what your theories are for the second season of RIVERDALE. And then Mara, you’ll jump on that, and then I’ll go last.

Brandon Guerrero: To start off, I think the killer is someone closely related to the parents. I mentioned that before, I think it is either one of the parents that we’re not aware of yet or it is someone close to them in their past, which will bring everything together. Aside from that, Jughead’s gonna kill people I think. Just kidding.

Andrew Rivera: Just really quick, I just wanna ask you about your theory. And my younger sister mentioned this, I’d love to have her on this show at some point. She said that she wants to see an episode [of RIVERDALE] of just the families, the parents when they were younger. She was like, “Because there was so much drama it seems like,” and Fred is like, “Oh, this town, you think it’s getting better.” Do you think it could be somebody from their high school that the Fredheads had pissed off that’s trying to get revenge on his family, because I didn’t even suspect that, grabbing Fred’s wallet, knowing where they live, going after Grundy. Do you think that it could be that, is that what you’re saying? Or you’re just saying it could be —

Brandon Guerrero: I think that’s very likely and I think that’s a great way to connect it to the younger family members, Archie and all that, because it’ll connect everything and they’ll all be evolved. I think that’s the perfect way to close off this season to next events.

Mara Danoff: I personally just want to see more of the younger parents, seems like it would be really fun. I think that that is possible, that it’s someone from Fred’s past who’s coming to haunt him. Though I don’t know how that would really tie into the first season, which, again, David Lynch’s things don’t really have a narrative structure so if they were going for that vibe, that would work.

Andrew Rivera: And what do you think is gonna happen overall this season?

Mara Danoff: Overall, I think it’s Hiram Lodge. I know this is basic, it’s so unoriginal, but when she [Veronica] was saying, “Oh, I know you’re probably not disappointed about Fred dying,” I was like, “Red flag line there. Hey, what’s up Veronica, you know something we don’t?”.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, and there was that exchange Hiram and Hermione have. I would also say that, just going back to what you were saying about Fred Andrews, is there’s kind of … the idea that Hiram is behind it doesn’t … At first, I was like, “That would be super obvious.” But it was pretty obvious that Jason’s parents might have killed him, and they went with that anyway. Although that ending did arise when they had to change a few things and add an episode. So I don’t know. I wonder how the drug stuff is gonna play into this season, who’s gonna take over that business.

Mara Danoff: Oh, Cheryl will. I’m calling it right now. Cheryl’s gonna be the drug lord of the entire universe by the end of this thing.

Andrew Rivera: Forget NARCOS, forget all that. Cheryl Blossom.

Mara Danoff: Cheryl will just be BREAKING BAD all over the place.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah. I think a few things are gonna happen this season [on RIVERDALE]. I believe Jughead will get in too deep with the Serpents somehow and then come out on top. Betty and Jughead are gonna break up by the end of the season, because he’s gonna go somewhere in his character that she’s can’t follow him through. And I think that, mixed with Archie and Veronica going back and forth, Veronica’s boyfriend coming in, I think that’ll make room for Archie and Betty to kind of get something going this season.

That f***boy couldn’t keep his eyes off Betty at the end of season one of RIVERDALE, which really pissed me off. When she was like, “We both have people we’re happy with,” and he’s like, “Yeah, but I always thought,” and he just shuts up. And I’m like, “Boy, you didn’t think anything, because you told Veronica you had no feelings for her like that.”

Mara Danoff: But also, “You literally rejected her when she was throwing herself at you. Archie, what do you mean? You always thought. Clearly you weren’t thinking if you just straight up were like, ‘Nah, I’m good, thanks’.”

Andrew Rivera: Kings and Queens, if you’re out there listening, don’t leave your person, because another person throwing eyes at you when you wanted them and now you got somebody else. Have some respect for yourself and your partner. Know your worth.

We’re gonna just go over our favorite lines [from this episode of RIVERDALE] real quick and then head out of here. Mara, we heard your favorite line, but I’d like to see it. We’ll do our best impressions of them. And if you have a favorite line from last season, you can totally do it as well. But go ahead Mara.

Mara Danoff: So I will never be able to properly capture Cheryl’s cadence, because obviously who of us mortals can? But I will give it my best attempt. So she’s like coming on real close to up and asphyxiate her mom. “You breathe because I give you air.” And then the whole time, just squeezing on that tube tighter and you see the fear, genuine fear, in her mom’s eyes.

Andrew Rivera: Brandon, what is your favorite line of this episode?

Brandon Guerrero: So I was thinking about it with the Alice stuff and everything. Alice has my favorite line. When Betty’s phone goes off and she’s like, “Who’s that on the phone? Snake Plissken?”, I lost my mind. I was like, “This works on so many levels, good job.”

Andrew Rivera: Also, when she’s like, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, especially when there’s a snake and its limbs.” And I was like, “Trees and apples, neither of those things have … ” I don’t understand.

Mara Danoff: Maybe she’s doing a whole Garden of Eden thing, like …

Andrew Rivera: Sure, I think she’s just losing her mind a little bit. I was gonna say the Cheryl line at the beginning, we had talked about that. But then I gotta take Hermione Lodge telling Veronica, after accusing her mother of possibly being behind Fred Andrews’ getting shot. She says to her, “I should slap you for the accusations that you’ve made. But I’m not a violent person.” And she walks away. And I think that that’s just the powerful moment of like, “If I was gonna do Fred Andrews dirty, girl it’d be a lot cleaner than this, and you better watch who you’re messing with.” And it’s just, again, it’s a super brown mom thing.

And my favorite line from last year’s season of RIVERDALE is either, “I’m not normal. I’m not wired to be normal,” from Jughead, or, and I’m wearing the hat right now, but when he says, “I don’t fit in, and I don’t wanna fit in. You see this hat? You see how I wear it every day? That’s weird. I’m weird.” Fantastic.

So then I guess we’re done for this episode. We look forward to the next episode to the next episode of RIVERDALE, it seems like everybody’s gonna be working at Pops. I don’t know if that’s a fantasy or if there’s gonna be … They show Josie and the Pussycats performing on top of it, so maybe it’s a fundraiser of sorts. Who knows what it is, hashtag Riverdale strong, I think they’re gonna get through this. I am looking forward to Betty’s creepy brother coming in at some point, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Hiram Lodge comes up with. I have been Andrew Rivera. I’m with …

Mara Danoff: Mara Danoff.

Andrew Rivera: And …

Brandon Guerrero: Brandon Guerrero.

Andrew Rivera: And you can find me on Twitter at Roo Rivera, R-O-O Rivera and comicsverse.com. Of course, you can find Brandon

Brandon Guerrero: At BDonGuerrero on Twitter.

Andrew Rivera: And…

Brandon Guerrero: And ComicsVerse as well!

Andrew Rivera: Ad Mara Danoff, who I don’t believe has social media.

Mara Danoff: No, I actually live under a rock, for thank you for giving me my weekly outing. No but you can find me on comicsverse.com as a writer.

Andrew Rivera: And for more podcasts, videos, interviews, reviews, anything under the sun that has to do with comics, comic books, comic book properties, please, always, and only, go to comicsverse.com. Thanks for joining us this week.

Thanks for listening to the first episode of The Sticky Maple our RIVERDALE Podcast!

You can watch RIVERDALE here.

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