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More tightly written than the first three installments, "Chapter Four" gets to the juicy stories outside the show's murder mystery.
'The Last Picture Show' is a pretty great episode, deepening our understanding of the town's dynamics and laying foundations for further plots beyond the whole "who killed Jason Blossom?" hook.
As is now the standard, Riverdale is at its most interesting away from Archie Andrews.
Considering how girl-crazy Archie is both in the comics and on the show, this was a shockingly mature move on his part, and very impressive. Too bad he won't get any credit for it.
The cinematography and production design continues to be some of the best aspects of Riverdale.
Camila Mendes and Lili Reinhart continue to have great chemistry.
Tthe strength of Riverdale's cast and the show's willingness to go bananas crazy at the drop of a hat make the whole thing a blast.
In the month since it has debuted, Riverdale has repeatedly proven that a scorched earth policy is these characters default setting. Narratively this was a smart move.
It's laser-focused, using the destruction of a Riverdale landmark to tell a variety of stories about moral and cultural decay, personal compromise, and the limits of loyalty, all wrapped up in the show's acute portrayal of teen angst.
Y'all need to recalibrate, Riverdale.
Sure, Riverdale is more self-aware than the teen dramas we're used to, but alas, tonight's perfectly average episode reveals that it can't avoid all of the genre's missteps.
Cole Sprouse's Jughead is such a terrific update of the character -- still wry and food-obsessed, still "moral and apathetic," but in a way that feels current and real, and very much at home in this new, darker version of Archie's gang.
What really makes this criminal element compelling in "Chapter Four" is how it affects multiple storylines.