'Riverdale' S1E10: The Lost Weekend

★ ★ ★ ½

While Riverdale is confident in its tone and comical look at life and teen dramas, the release of 13 Reasons Why only shows how far Riverdale's needing to go if it means to explore real teen issues while figuring out its clunky murder mystery.

"The Lost Weekend" has several great emotional beats between characters, from Jughead finally confronting Betty about what everyone is thinking to Veronica dealing with her daddy issues, but it goes to show how quickly the series is beginning to forget about its murder mystery. There haven't been any developments on who might have killed Jason, just rumors, and while there is obviously something going on, no one's tried figuring out exactly what anymore. None of this would be an issue if Riverdale were exploring some of the Scooby Gang's deep, dark secrets, but they aren't.

That being said, "The Lost Weekend" touched upon a couple of things that haven't been said in a long while. Betty's emotional problems were addressed, along with Jughead's broody past. Neither one of these have really gotten explored, which is a shame considering how much importance they have on both characters. It does lead to some great relationship drama between the two of them. Comic book fans and audiences probably weren't expecting to see Jughead wind up with Betty of all people (especially considering that there had been talk about Jughead being asexual), but their differences were addressed well in this episode. Even better, Jughead pointed out that he's just a rebound till Archie comes around and goes out with Betty. It's a sad truth that the pair of them are going to have to face when that time comes around, but, for now, they're back to being the peachy keen, adorable duo Riverdale has let us become accustomed to.

Riverdale: S1E10

Relationships have become a big focus of the show as the murder mystery takes a backseat. With only three episodes left in the season, this might be the best move until some revelations are made in the season finale. (Like Sabrina the Teenage Witch!) Archie and Valerie are, hopefully, (no, really, hopefully hopefully) over and done with. While the Pussycats are great characters all on their own, Valerie's relationship with Archie never felt as organic as some of his other relationships in the show. Veronica and Archie feels like a step in the right direction for both characters.

Love is really in the air with all of these guys, but Kevin and Joaquin are bound for some bumps in the road with Alice on their tails. So far, Joaquin's motives for spying on Kevin and the gang are the only lead on the mystery and, hopefully, revealing those motives will shed some light on who might have killed Jason. Joaquin's character arc is beginning to feel a little cliche given how he's already developing feelings for Kevin. For the time being, Joaquin feels like a dispensable throw-away in the case there's a need for an extra body to add to the drama, but even if that doesn't happen, Joaquin's not dimensional enough to be something more than just a "bad" guy.

Cheryl's "Secrets and Sins" party game was... the most awkward portion of the episode and felt forced at best. As much fun as it was to see Veronica spit out "twincest" rumors about Cheryl and Jason, none of it overcame the clunky positioning of the situation and its unrealistic "trapping" of characters. Seriously. No one could walk out some other door, go into another room, or just unlock the front door and leave?

The next three episodes have a lot to live up to in terms of the series' mystery and any other reveals that may come along the way. Season 1 of the series shows that Riverdale has more than a couple of kinks to work out and, hopefully, the next couple of episodes will steer the show in the right direction.

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