Riverdale season 3, episode 12 review: Bizarrodale

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Riverdale finally gives Kevin, Moose, Cheryl and Toni actual storylines tonight in the couples-centric “Bizarrodale,” one of the season’s best episodes yet.

As Tom and Sierra’s wedding approaches on Riverdale, the Gargoyle King calls on the Midnight Club to reunite and finish what they started. Kevin reevaluates his relationship when Moose declines an invitation to be his wedding date, and Cheryl learns an important lesson when she intervenes.

Meanwhile, Veronica and Reggie cross paths with an unexpected visitor to town, and Archie comes to Josie’s aid in a trying time. Here’s a look at what went down in “Bizarrodale.”

Didn’t we almost have it all?

After being in a limbo of sorts literally since Riverdale‘s pilot, Koose go on quite a roller coaster ride in tonight’s heartbreaking episode. After Kevin (frustrated by having to keep their relationship a secret) gives Moose an ultimatum and Cheryl outs Moose at school (more on that later), Moose decides to come out to his RROTC-instructor dad, Marc.

When Moose excitedly reveals that it went surprisingly well, I immediately started waiting for the other shoe to drop, and drop it did. While the parents’ initial concern about leaving their kids alone for a night seemed rather laughable considering how little most of them usually care about their kids, it turned out to be foreshadowing.

The Midnight Club’s mission was just a diversion set up by Marc so that he (dressed as the Gargoyle King) and the RROTC recruits (dressed as the Gargoyle Gang) could literally try to scare Kevin and Moose straight, right after they finally consummated their relationship.

In a surprisingly nuanced twist, Marc revealed he’d had a crush on Tom back in the day, and his parents had forced him into the Sisters’ conversion therapy, which had basically conditioned him to be self-loathing. He’d wanted to “toughen up” Kevin and Moose using G&G — the same way he’d been toughened up.

Understandably shaken by the ordeal, Moose decides to move to Glendale and stay with his aunt, thus bringing an end to Koose… at least for the foreseeable future. While Koose deserved more attention this season, they did at least get one complex storyline.

Cheryl makes a lot of amends

Cheryl has to contend with a homophobic parent of her own when Penelope tries to thwart her efforts to get into college. Fortunately, she and Toni successfully blackmail Penelope, and Cheryl gets Toni (who got a perfect SAT score) an interview at the same school.

What is actually far more impressive than Cheryl defeating her mother, though, is Toni calling out Cheryl for a severe error in judgment, and Cheryl making amends. Furious about her mother’s condemnation of her own orientation, Cheryl uses her position as the “first openly lesbian student body president” to encourage tolerance at Riverdale High during morning announcements in an effort to help a “certain oh so hunky, All-American RROTC cadet” with a “Broadway-loving boyfriend” feel comfortable coming out.

An irate Toni makes Cheryl realize that she was so wrapped up in herself that she didn’t even think about the consequences for Moose… just as she hadn’t thought of the consequences for Toni when she’d gotten them kicked out of the Serpents.

As much as I like Cheryl, it was refreshing to see her face the music of her reckless actions. I also appreciated that Toni wasn’t afraid to confront Cheryl. After all, healthy relationships are built on honesty.

In the end, Cheryl makes good on her promise to “fix” everything. She apologizes to Moose and starts a girl gang, “The Pretty Poisons,” to give Toni a sense of family again.

Keeping up with the Joneses

To Veronica and Reggie’s shock, Gladys is the Fizzle Rock buyer that Hermione was so worried about. Hermione had apparently expected her to send a proxy, but Gladys, with JB in tow, is making an extended visit to Riverdale.

As far as FP and Jug are aware, the girls just want to be a family again, but they’re actually running a con. JB even brags about having FP “wrapped around [her] pinky.” The questions are: What exactly are they planning? Will they ultimately go through with it? And will Veronica tell Jug the truth about his drug-dealing mother?

A Ship is Born

As was basically confirmed last week, Archie and Josie are Riverdale‘s newest ship. Josie helped Archie come out of his funk, and the roles were reversed tonight, as Archie helps Josie through her own trying time.

After Sweet Pea ends their casual relationship because he wants something more, Josie admits to Archie that she pushed away everyone in her life to focus on music. Pouring salt into the wound, Juilliard rejects Josie after her audition, so she fears that all of her sacrifices were for nothing since she doesn’t have a back-up plan.

Archie can’t erase Josie’s concerns, but he does help her feel less alone. They end the episode with a good old musical montage duet and a kiss. While it would be nice to see the kids (especially Archie) not jump from one relationship to another so rapidly, Archie and Josie are pretty great together. As long as they keep talking, too, and don’t start hookup 24/7 (like Varchie), I’m on board.

Riverdale Randomness

  • Okay, really, Riverdale? That Veggie bed scene was shot so unnecessarily gratuitously. I get that the actors aren’t underaged, but the characters are, so it still feels icky.
  • Will Moose return before the end of the season… or at all?
  • Is this the end of Gryphons & Gargoyles? How many storylines can they possibly use it in?
  • “Bizarrodale” feels like a weird choice of title since this was actually one of the least bizarre Riverdale episodes ever.
  • Will Archie and Josie be together through the end of the season? If the Katy Keene pilot gets picked up, they’ll have to break up eventually.

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Riverdale will return on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW.