EP Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa claimed that this week’s episode of Riverdale would be “f–ked up,” but on Riverdale, that could mean absolutely anything.
It turned out to mean that while his friends were having cabarets in a night club or housing refugees from an insane convent or playing Robin Hood or punishing people for playing Robin Hood by taking their jackets away, Archie was hallucinating dead people after being attacked by a bear. Because he’s now a park ranger in Canada, you see, since he’s on the run from his ex-girlfriend’s dad, who’s been trying to kill him.
Was the bear hired by Hiram to dispense with Archie once and for all? Unclear, but if so, wholly unsurprising. Hiram Lodge would have Canadian bears on his payroll. You know he would.
The whole thing ended with Archie apparently lying (nearly) dead in his little park ranger bed, found by his park ranger pals. And that was only after a bunch of nuns who weren’t really nuns had committed suicide, only somewhat unrelatedly.
Literally one normal thing happened tonight, and that was that Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Reggie (Charles Melton) finally kissed. Sure sure, she’s only single because her boyfriend was trying to kill her dad and he had to run off to Canada after escaping from prison, but that didn’t stop us from rooting for Veggie to lock lips with an unexpected passion. (Camila Mendes and Charles Melton are also Instagram-official in real life, but that has nothing to do with anything.)
Veronica and Reggie have been bonding for months. He helped her spring Archie from juvie and has been working at La Bonne Nuit, the speakeasy she owns. That gig actually got dangerous in tonight’s episode as Gargoyle gang members attacked him on a supplies run. Just another thing to add to the list of way too many things.
“Yeah, a lot happened. Holy s–t,” Melton said over the phone when we asked him about his general reaction to the episode. “A kiss happened, Archie happened, so many moving pieces are happening in this episode.”
We eventually got to talking about that kiss, but first…Archie getting attacked by a bear.
“I think that’s crazy,” Melton said. “Like, Archie got attacked by a bear. How crazy is that? Archie got attacked by a bear with everything that’s going on in the town of Riverdale. The crime rates escalating, you know, people dying, Archie gets attacked by a bear. That’s pretty crazy.”
But was there a moment in the episode that shocked Melton the most when he first read it?
“Yeah, Archie getting attacked by a bear,” he said. “But also the kissing scenes, because that just really opened up…it was like a blossoming, between Veggie. And then it’s all sweet and beautiful, and then, you know, while that’s happening, boom, Archie. Does he die? Does he not die? What happens? I don’t know. Really exciting stuff.
While Archie was getting attacked by a bear, Veronica and Reggie were naturally hosting a fancy dress party at La Bonne Nuit like everything was totally normal (or as normal as things can be when a teenager owns a speakeasy), even if they were also simultaneously fending off business attacks from her father.
“It’s kind of nice, because like in the midst of everything, all these negative things, all the violence, all the deaths, everything that’s going on in Riverdale, to kind of have this escape for everybody, the La Bonne Nuit, is very nice,” Melton says. “I think Reggie is kind of living in this fantasy la la land with Veronica, you know, just playing dress up and living a nice life.”
Life outside the speakeasy is dangerous for everybody, and it sounds like it’s going to get worse before it gets better for everything except for Veggie.
“I think the fans can expect things to escalate a little bit more, and for there to be some sort of result through all this that’s happening,” Melton said. “But the thing is that Reggie’s support for Veronica won’t waver.”
Their kiss came during a properly climactic moment. Veronica had just performed “Maybe This Time” on stage. Another world away (in Canada), Archie was hallucinating murdering himself with a baseball bat, but in La Bonne Nuit, no one knew that, so Veronica and Reggie finally stared into each other’s eyes and started making out.
For Melton, it was perfect timing.
“I didn’t think it happened too soon and it didn’t happen to late, I think it happened at just the right time,” he says.
He thinks that with everything that’s going on in each of their lives, they provide the perfect escape, just like La Bonne Nuit does.
“I think it’s nice for Reggie to kind of just like open up. I think Reggie deals a lot with what’s going on in his personal life at home that he really doesn’t have anybody, and to have somebody like Veronica I think, you know, it just feels nice to be with somebody, and I think with Veronica, she’s going through so much and has a lot of shit that’s going on, I think it’s nice for her to have somebody to take her mind off of things, so to speak. I think they’re a good match. They’re good together.”
As Camila Mendes told us when we talked to her earlier this season, “Veronica isn’t the type of person to wait around for anybody,” so it makes perfect sense that she’s moving on from Archie, despite believing they’re “end game.”
As for whether there will be any guilt felt when Reggie and Veronica discover that they were making out while Archie was dealing with having been attacked by a bear, Melton just laughed.
“Um, no,” he said.
The whole gang will soon find out what Archie’s been through and Melton says it will have a big impact.
“I think we’re going to find out very soon and everyone’s going to start coming together,” he says, and when asked what that might do to Reggie and Veronica, all he could say was, “It might shake things up a bit.”
As for how Veronica and Reggie’s relationship will progress, and whether or not Reggie will continue his role as her right hand man in the midst of their making out, Melton couldn’t say much, except for this:
“You’re just gonna have to wait and see. I have a smile on my face.”
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.