Needless to say, the latest episode of Riverdale, to put it lightly, has no doubt shaken us to our core. I know I have… So, what was it that left us all shook, and why has it have us all divided?
Well, it's all a matter of ships, not to mention the ethics behind them, that has divided us greatly, that has us talking about the show and our predictions – for better or worse but still better than it already had been getting – and that has garnered up so much hype for the upcoming episode this very Wednesday, not to mention has many old fans who have long since quit since season one's end come back for more in favor of one key ship: Barchie.
Now, as you can tell from the title of this article (and possibly from my last few Riverdale articles I'd done in the not-too-distant past), you know where I stand on this, but it can all be boiled down to one sentence: though Bughead will always have a special place in my heart, at this point in the game, I now know which ship is and always has been endgame, just as Kevin predicted so long ago…
*Note: MAJOR spoilers for season 4, episode 17 of Riverdale, so if you haven't watched it, please do so now before continuing onward, but if you have, let's get to it…
Alright now, before we get too ahead of ourselves, can I just say: how great was this musical episode as a whole?! For those who have that natural flair for musicals – as do I – this is by far the best musical episode the show has ever come out with, and I'm sure many others feel the same way! (If you can, please go online and get ahold of anything from any of the productions for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. To be honest, I watched a full video of the Broadway revival, the one that had Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig, just before seeing the ep, and I have no regrets.)
To clarify: it's the best in the sense that while it's not a conventional musical episode in that it's as loyal to the musical to which it's supposed to pay a homage – that title still goes to the Carrie musical episode – this episode is crafted in a way that seamlessly interweaves the songs into its storylines of the show – the show then and the show now – and I think that's beautiful. (I would give examples to clearly illustrate what I mean, but that would be to spoil things prematurely here, so just wait and see what I mean…)
As for the songs, MVP Awards all around: to the Core Four (even Cole Sprouse who gets more than just two measly songs to sing this time around); the rest of the cast for getting a singing role just within the first opening song which gives the episode its name ("Wicked Little Town"); and especially to Casey Cott for killing it with his natural Broadway-ready singing chops whilst mostly dressed up as Hedwig and standing up for what he believed in to the very close-minded Principal Honey. (Please listen to the show's musical soundtrack; it is worth your while…)
This, along with Luke Perry's tribute episode, is the very best to come from this season and even this show, and nothing can change my mind.
Anyway, now that I got that out of the way, here is the juiciest bit of it all, the moment all the "closeted Barchie stans" (as Kevin put it), as well as the Barchie newbies – including myself – have been waiting for.
But first, here's some background on my stance (which I kinda covered a bit in my last Riverdale article here): I have mainly been a Bughead shipper since – and even before – I got into this show this past summer (and I was a bit so-so when it came to Varchie); however, my views on those ships (and Barchie's possibility) changed when I watched a certain video on YouTube…
And as such in my other article going over my thoughts from the previous few episodes revolving around Jughead's "death" storyline, I expressed how I could've accepted either of two scenarios: that Jughead would end up alive and Bughead is endgame by the end of this series; or that he would end up actually dead – a thought that still low-key breaks my heart when thinking about it all over again – and Barchie turns out to be endgame after all… and by the end of that arc, I knew that I was going to end up with both, and you know what? I'm here for it.
And if this musical episode proves anything, it's that the show's writers have never stopped thinking about exploring Barchie's relationship and that they're finally going to take the leap, even if it means spicing up our status quo that we got going for ourselves thus far.
Anyway, enough with my background of my stance, and back to the episode itself.
Now, if you've seen the episode as I instructed you to before going through this article, then you can see the other main reason why a lot of fans loved this episode… the Barchie kiss, as well as that imagined dance scene in Betty's bedroom. Granted, I knew what was gonna happen with Barchie going into this episode since I got ahold of a screenshot of the spoilers going around, but it didn't make me any less excited for when all the Barchie was actually going down.
Keep in mind that – as I'm sure so many YouTubers and other online reactors/reviewers of the show have specified – I do not condone cheating, but also keep in mind that while the actors are well over the ages of the characters they portray, their characters are teenagers, so they're more than allowed to make mistakes, provided that they do something to go about atoning for and then fixing those mistakes. I'm more than aware of all the backlash this show's writers and actors are getting because of this storyline, especially on Twitter, so I plead you to hold on for the next ep.
Besides, if you really think about it, what teen drama doesn't involve cheating?!
At the end of the day, it's a fictional show, so as much as I love obsessing over ships, is it worth all the shipping drama? Let Lili Reinhart's tweet in response to this speak for itself…
Some food for thought- You don’t have to agree or support Betty’s choices, but she’s a young girl. And she’s figuri… https://t.co/j4IZE2TlEh— Lili Reinhart (@Lili Reinhart) 1587008782.0
Also, you know how I was gonna give examples on how great the music plays into all this? Well, the songs used for the kiss and the dance dream sequence scenes are "The Origin of Love" and the reprise of "Wicked Little Town," respectively. And if you're already familiar with the music from Hedwig, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And if you have been a fan of the show when it was at its prime (season one), then you can see that both these songs play into it all – in connecting to Barchie – perfectly, most especially with the latter song here.
For you see, Barchie is the origin of Riverdale, as the writers have pretty much confirmed on Twitter, so it may actually be the origin of why people loved Riverdale in the beginning: because of Betty and Archie and the feelings they never really got a chance to fully explore. Again, many are saying this isn't really a true chance for the ship because it's out of cheating, but we'll just find out soon enough how they'll go about it in the next episode, which is airing this Wednesday, April 29th on the CW at 8 EST.
Don't believe me? Then, consult the comics (which I haven't even read as of yet). Or ask KJ!
So, if you'll excuse me, I gonna give Riverdale's Hedwig soundtrack another three listens…