Riverdale Roundtable 11: “The Wrestler”

Who Wore It Worst: Toxic Masculinity Edition

January 31, 2018 at 11:21 am

Welcome back to Riverdale Roundtable: a recap series where we chat about all the drama and sexy intrigue from last week’s Riverdale — just in time to get you up-to-speed for tonight’s episode. Today we’re talking about Season 2 Episode 11: “The Wrestler.” Join us for a whole heap of Riverdale shouting about great outfits, weird character decisions, and the ravages of capitalism.

Please note: this recap includes Extreme Spoilers for this episode, as well as the entirety of Season One. We warned you!!

 


 

Rachel: so where do we want to start with this out mess of steaming garbage

CC: boy oh boy is that ever a good question
after the midseason premiere I really was hoping we’d be back to the Good kind of riverdale trash
and not actually “all the junk caught at the bottom of your garbage disposal” riverdale trash

Rachel: yeah!!! god I was not onboard with this FBI nonsense last week and I am SUPER NOT ONBOARD this week

Jenny: this fbi man calls archie when he’s IN THE MIDDLE of a meeting w hiram??
clearly not a professional
100% fake
ALSO
last week ended on that “do you think we caught the right guy, bc i’m not so sure; re: black hood” cliffhanger, right — but this episode did not include the fbi guy’s response!
but i guess when the fbi guy was initially like “the black hood? yeah — good job w that”
that’s kind of a red flag
like obvi this guy is incompetent

CC: maybe FBI man is the black hood

Jenny: i’d believe it

Rachel: like, grabs his collar, “oh yeah good job Mr Andrews, heh heh”

CC: but at this point????? who cares anymore????? who cares about the black hood???? let’s all just move on with our miserable lives!!!!!!
although the black hood nonsense is better than all the weird patriarchal creepy subtext of the hiram / archie / veronica plot this week

Rachel: I HATE IT
their weird eye contact

CC: hiram literally wrasslin archie in front of all his buds and saying it was a display of dominating a foe

 

 

Jenny: picking on this kid who did not even volunteer

CC: also
wrestling uniforms are so silly lolololol
some of the handsomest extras the CW has to offer and they all just look silly
ok maybe not that blond kid in the back (sorry duder)

Rachel: this is honestly the least realistic portion of the show
contrary to what the CW tells us, most high school dudes do not have the physique of a 70s porn star, to borrow a phrase from Kevin

CC: god this episode was such a bummer; everybody was acting out of character and just about everyone who got a plot in this episode came out of it a worse person than when they went in
i guess except jughead, who learned baby’s first lesson about intersectionality and privilege?????? by the time the credits rolled???

Jenny: i will say though that it made a lot of sense to me that kevin would be in wrestling
and i liked that we got some good bonding time w kev and his dad in the background of pickens day
but before we move away from rasslin entirely

CC: oh that’s true

 

 

Jenny: the butt touching
and the slap fight
important things to mention

Rachel: more evidence that sports are just super gay, as a whole

Jenny: let us always remember this, yes
esp as we move into superbowl weekend??
timely??

Rachel: SO timely!!
ok but here’s the thing about this season of riverdale — there’s so little character interaction and relationship building
everything is focused on stupid nonsense plot devices
and we haven’t gotten any good content about betty and v’s developing friendship or about jug and archie being besties
nobody is friends anymore, not really

CC: augh! so true!
yeah like
why does this show think anybody cares about the low stakes intrigue at this point
when anytime there are stakes for anything it gets retconned
i am here 2 do FOUR THINGS: -judge looks; -celebrate cheryl; -build up nonsense ships; -watch my fave precious teens in this show love & support each other
i do not care about FBI man! or the black hood! gimme those teen friendship hangouts at a bullshit drag race pls!

Jenny: that was probably the best ep of s2

Rachel: YES

CC: drove 2 close to the sun

Jenny: but do y’all want to talk about looks rn?
bc i have some screenshots

Rachel: hell yeah

CC: ooooh

Rachel: the only redeeming thing

Jenny: to start

 

 

CC: god bless

Jenny: happy to see the dumb uniform plotline thrown out in the opening scene

Rachel: yes, immediately
back to the Jug who wishes he lived in Seattle in the 90s

CC: teen lesbian jughead jones

Jenny: HONESTLY

CC: if it ain’t broke don’t “fix” it by introducing polo shirts (except for sweet pea; prep sweet pea was a good look while it lasted)

Jenny: i firmly agree

 

 

Jenny: but this was a good switch up for jug i think
he could bring that into every scene he is in
imo
(the duct tape)
(this is a joke about how he’s a dummy who should shut up)

Rachel: LOL
savage
I appreciated how when somebody told him “jughead you idiot, this isn’t your story, you’re using us for your own vendetta”, he owned up to it immediately
like, attention all shitty dudes!!!!

 

 

Rachel: it’s not as hard to admit you’re wrong as you think!!!
if jug can do it, so can you

CC: so glad jughead did not birb rights activist this up
that moment (in the screenshot) is the most I have liked jughead in a long ass time

Rachel: god for real

Jenny: hard same
but also i still don’t like him

Rachel: yeah I miss my lovable weirdo
my weirdo lesbian son

CC: yeah just once I want to get thru an ep without yelling JUGHEAD WHAT??? ARE YOU DOING??? GO TO YOUR ROOM
no motorcycle privileges for a week
ok speaking of sons, can we talk about chick
I wanna get it over with bc I don’t even know what to make of his plotline
“who is chick’s real dad” is imo the greatest mystery of this season BC IT IS NOT HAL

Jenny: i do not like it
mostly bc it means
that there’s a lot more hal

 

 

Rachel: god FUCK hal

CC: LEAVE HIM!!!!!!
why is he still here????

 

 

Jenny: if only he would actually stay behind; but his word means nothing

Rachel: and WHERE IS FP
goddammit
ok I don’t understand this whole thing with “betty’s darkness”
like, I know what they’re trying to make me think
what they’re trying to convey
but it’s just STUPID
and they are selling it way too hard

CC: “i have scars too” girl no

Jenny: esp bc the throughline must be alice
unless they’re all not hal’s kids
like the mystery of chic’s dad
isn’t going to solve anything for betty

CC: ooooooohhhhhhhh
as long as their real dad isn’t FP i’m into it

Rachel: too blonde to be the children of FP jones

CC: i mean it’s pretty base level drama but I like the increasing irrelevance of hal cooper

Jenny: same
but also
after the “i kicked you out once, i’ll do it again” line from madchen, like he seeks comfort and companionship w penelope blossom???
like what happened the blood feud HAL???

Rachel: JEEEZ YEAH
also like wasn’t he all skizzed out because Polly’s twins were like, blood related sort of
and now he’s like….. this is fine

CC: and isn’t HE the blood link there???

Jenny: YEAH

CC: oh wait I guess that cheryl’s mom is not blood related to him, right?

Jenny: no i think penelope is the blossom
and cliff married in
that’s why he wore wigs

CC: ohhhhhh
EW
WHAT
GOD

Jenny: but also
blossoms take the blossom name always
into that
matriarchy

Rachel: that makes sense because I was always confused about Penelope’s devotion to the Blossom family history (assuming she had married into it)

CC: hal cooper is so nasty and i can’t wait til alice finds out he boned his cousin penelope and it opens the door to the alice/fp car sex scene we’ve been talking about all year

Jenny: the day i’m living for
but while we’re on penelope
when she goes to lay that bouquet at the statue

 

 

Jenny: and she tells cheryl about the family history
i love how familiar she is about it all
like,
she’s talking about it as if she were there
and i’d like to suggest: eternal crone penelope blossom
w her equally eternal mother (the murder grandma)
like what — cheryl gets initiated when she turns like 18 and then it’s like in Death Becomes Her
immortality
maiden – mother – crone
unbroken blossom line
that’s the show i want to watch

Rachel: please write that fanfic

CC: i could get behind that
i like how pissed cheryl was to learn the truth about her horrible family but also….
has there ever been something bad in riverdale that the blossoms don’t have a hand in?

 

 

Jenny: i mean look
i love cheryl
and she sheds a beautiful and solitary tear right here
but also
you’re right — the blossoms are historically terrible

 

 

Jenny: much like Pacifica Northwest

 

 

Jenny: terrible

CC: love cheryl’s look here btw
that is an insane jumpsuit and the blazer is a really nice touch

Jenny: would buy that jumpsuit
while we’re on cheryl though

 

 

Jenny: i love that she’s passionate, but i don’t think she thought this through
like ofc the serpents are going to be blamed for this

Rachel: oh what how do you know it’s Cheryl??? did I miss that???
I mean I”m into it but I don’t remember it being stated directly

Jenny: i mean it’s red — mostly i’m guessing

Rachel: ohhhhh! well I dig that theory
I sort of assumed it was the Lodges
like, they planned it to blame on the Serpents

Jenny: i could see that

Rachel: especially with how sketch Hiram was being
“It certainly LOOKS like something the Serpents would do, right????”

CC: yeah I thought it might have been an inside job (re: hiram)

Jenny: i was going mostly off of the solitary tear and when cheryl went to go stand with the protesters
and also just off of how extra cheryl is about everything she does
in any case
maybe we’ll find out next week!
and in the meantime
THE LODGES

CC: oh goodness

 

 

CC: this family

Rachel: I do not like this path that Ronnie is going down

CC: look I think josie’s mom has good reason to be uncomfortable with these assholes
like of course it’s weird that they are using their kid to do their dirty work
even if veronica insisted
you’re PARENTS
if she’s too young to have her boyfriend sleep in her room without climbing in through the window she’s too young to join the family crime syndicate

Rachel: I miss Ronnie being anti-crime

Jenny: same
she’s going down a p savage path

 

 

Jenny: like, low blow buddy

Rachel: YEAH DUDE
poor Josie

Jenny: i KNOW

Rachel: I want to know why the pussycats agreed to this
like I know things didn’t end well but still

Jenny: i mean they’re still pissed at josie? for going solo w/o talking to them?
maybe?
i honestly can’t fully remember that plotline
but yea
agreed

Rachel: yeah I just want one group of friends that isn’t filled to the brim with pettiness

CC: yeah we didn’t even get a resolution about cheryl’s part in that plotline!!!!!

Rachel: OH SHIT

Jenny: true

CC: they just kinda forgot

Jenny: thank god
i’m fine w forgetting

CC: it was a pretty terrible plot thread, I’ll give you that; it’s just weird to build it in and then step over it for the rest of the season

Jenny: i mean weird relative to good storytelling maybe
but p par for the course here
if betty was actually an editor on this show i think she’d follow up on all these plotlines

 

 

CC: i forgot about that

Jenny: making those stories happen

CC: i can’t imagine having to edit an ex bf’s writing
i can’t imagine living in that hell

Jenny: oof

CC: you are a stronger woman than me, betty
“whoops, did I forget to proof that headline? oh darn. what a mistake.” ehehehehehe
(not really)
(I would never do that; but still, god no thx)
use the dorkiest picture in your phone for his byline photo

Jenny: i would totally do that

Rachel: I hope as an editor that Betty realized the role she played in Jug’s appropriation

Jenny: i mean yes
but also she hadn’t read the piece at that point

Rachel: well she probably read it eventually
and still published it

Jenny: that is true

Rachel: I dunno it would be nice to see her and Jug share responsibility

Jenny: i would’ve like to see a scene between them post-publishing
that would’ve been good

CC: toni must be the most patient and understanding teen on the planet
to be willing to talk to jug after he wrote that shit about her granddad

 

 

Jenny: she was incredible this episode

CC: she was way kinder than she needed to be! but I am still super glad jug accepted responsibility for what he wrote
see i think the lesson jug needed to learn was to think before, y’know, publishing a story that wasn’t yours
but also I think that a lot more people in this episode needed to actually touch base with each other before taking an action
I feel like just about every character in this story is on opposing sides now and I’m interested to see how veronica & the pussycats vs josie vs jughead and the serpents vs archie vs hiram bla bla bla plays out but it’s so much
almost everybody has become So unlikeable that I just want them to get their shit together at this point

Jenny: get their shit together and COMMUNICATE

CC: i mean obvz except toni; truly better than anyone deserves

Jenny: truly

CC: bottle episode where the dads all go on a road trip while the teens hash their shit out w each other

Jenny: yes
final thoughts?

Rachel: yes
final thought is: murder grandma is the name of my new band

Jenny: a good choice

CC: ooooh
into it
my final thought is: lol i still can’t believe kevin recognized chick from porn hahahahaha
what a world
local singles in your area
what a weird ass plot point
ffs riverdale

Jenny: yep
idk
this episode has left me p lacking
i guess, final thought: it’s nice when the writers room tries
like i feel like they were really going for something here

 

 

Jenny: like this scene is really pointing out how hiram was able to silence this crowd in a way they couldn’t really fight back against
but that he’s the bad guy
and sometimes bad guys are good w words
(though of course sometimes bad guys just think they’re good w words)

CC: yeah
like, spinning a progressive narrative for disingenuous reasons
dove soap cares about feminism the way lodge industries cares about recognizing historical racism in riverdale

Jenny: exactly
like, the writers room felt well intentioned in this episode
and that was nice

CC: here’s hoping that the next episode has more trying
i mean pls
riverdale pls

Jenny: we’re begging

Rachel: or else when Sabrina comes out we are throwing this gdamn show to the wolves

CC: 100% 100% 100%

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.

Carolynn Calabrese

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.