By BELINDA KUO
“Your honor, I accept the deal,” said Archie Andrews, pleading guilty to manslaughter.
On Oct. 10, the CW Television Network’s hit teen drama Riverdale aired the first episode of its third season.
Riverdale is a series revolving around the adventures of Archie Andrews, Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones as they uncover the hidden mysteries in their hometown of Riverdale. The third season introduces new problems, including an investigation of satanic rituals and Archie’s time in juvenile detention.
With numerous plot twists and hidden messages, Riverdale’s third season keeps the audience engaged and on the edge of their seats.
Riverdale’s newest season introduces a combination of new plot twists. For instance, season two of Riverdale left fans on a cliffhanger — Archie Andrews, the main character, is accused of murder just after being announced as the student body president of Riverdale High. Archie accepts time in juvenile detention despite his mother’s (who is also his lawyer) protests. As Archie is one of the main characters of the show, his departure for juvenile detention will evoke emotions from viewers, capturing the attention of fans.
In addition, Archie’s girlfriend, Veronica Lodge, hears from her father that she is the reason her father framed Archie. Veronica’s discovery reflects common teenage struggles, including family issues, that make the show more realistic. While most people do not have such severe conflict with their family, the Lodge family’s dynamics reflect that despite appearances, no family is perfect.
Subsequently, Riverdale takes another creepy twist. At the end of the episode, Jughead discovers his friends are chosen as sacrifices for a satanic ritual. Introducing Jughead’s discovery near the end of the first episode adds to the suspense and mystery of the episode and leaves Riverdale fans anticipating the next episode.
Most importantly, many of today’s issues are brought to light, including the importance of family time, friendships and moving on.
For example, Betty’s mom and sister, Alice and Polly respectively, attempt to persuade Betty to join a cult named “The Farm.” The Farm’s leader, Edgar Evernever, gives advice to Alice on how to help Betty move on from the murders Hal Cooper, Polly and Betty’s dad, committed. For example, Evernever tells Betty to burn her diaries to help her move on. Thus, Riverdale brings awareness to the reality of teenagers and the need to let go in order to move onto the next chapter of our lives.
Furthermore, Betty’s substance abuse and possible need for mental help are highlighted. Betty is always pressured to maintain “the perfect girl next door” image and struggles to find a coping mechanism for her anger. In the premiere, it is revealed that Betty’s new therapist, Doctor Glass, is fake and that Betty has been forging her prescriptions for her medication. Mental illnesses are a rarely discussed topic on television, especially for teens, so bringing this real struggle to the show emphasizes the reality of drug abuse, making the show more relatable. As a result, the plot resonates more with the audience. This mental illness adds depth to Betty’s character, breaking her free from the girl next door image.
In addition, there is a clear message of the importance of spending quality time with people your age. The crew, including Jughead, Archie, Veronica and Betty, spend the entirety of their summer vacation together. They attend Cheryl’s pool party at Thornhill, ride Archie’s new car and go to the Riverdale swimming hole. This reflects the idea that young people should be more carefree and worry less of the future. Through this, the show sends out the message that life is too short to worry about other problems and we must live in the moment.
Altogether, these new plot twists and hidden messages work together to introduce a new storyline, and create new possibilities for another successful and suspenseful season of Riverdale. Ultimately, Riverdale’s reputation has left fans swimming with expectations for the new season, and the show will surely not disappoint.