Review: Riverdale Season 2 Episode 10 “Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle”

Melodrama, absurdity and overly-forced surreal situations have always been a tough balancing act for ‘Riverdale’. In attempting to infuse fantastical, soap-opera like, daring predicaments with grounded emotional relationships, the show often loses its place and tone. This episode luckily doesn’t position the characters into any overly ridiculous or immature roles or confrontations (there is no stupid vigilante gangs here). The dialogue instead implements the needed energy while asserting the relationships fundamental to the show. From Archie working for the FBI, to Veronica assisting her parent’s conspiracy, to Jughead concerned with the Serpent’s position, the show is focussed on the consequences characters face, rather than absurd plot devices and narrative choices. The only primary issue that arises from this is the writers’ attempts to make the Southside Serpents more sympathetic, especially considering some of their previous horrendous actions. Overall, however, it was nice to get an episode centred on character consequence rather than simply on extending a murder mystery. 8.4/10


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