Riverdale season 4 episode 8 review: Riverdale finally goes to therapy

Riverdale -- "Chapter Sixty-Five: In Treatment" -- Image Number: RVD408b_0135.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Madchen Amick as Alice Cooper and Lili Reinhart as Betty -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW-- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved.
Riverdale -- "Chapter Sixty-Five: In Treatment" -- Image Number: RVD408b_0135.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Madchen Amick as Alice Cooper and Lili Reinhart as Betty -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW-- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved. /

After mass murders, serial killers, and cult leaders galore, the Riverdale crew is finally getting some much needed therapy this week.

When we last left off with Archie, Archie and Mary faced down a gang of Dodger’s relatives (gun and all) in order to have a nice Thanksgiving. And despite it being a very Riverdale Thanksgiving, it was a nice holiday, but the anxiety is in full bloom this week. The creepy VHS tapes are back on Riverdale’s doorsteps and more creepy than ever — along with the first wave of college admissions.

Thankfully, Mrs. Burble is in session. (The amazing and seemingly unaging Gina Torres guest stars as the school guidance counselor.)

The episode plays out much like the tarot episode of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, where each act is a vignette focused on one main character.

We begin in the morning with Betty at the Cooper house, who comes downstairs to learn she got rejected from Yale because Alice went through her mail, and consequently, rifled through her room and found birth control. Throwing the pills at her, Alice accuses Betty of being distracted and not focusing on her priorities, essentially blaming her having sex with Jughead as the reason she didn’t get into Yale.

Poor Betty barely has time to process her rejection due to the whirlwind that is Alice Smith (she’s back to Smith now). But thankfully, Mrs. Burble’s office door is open. Betty asks Mrs. Burble for tips on how to handle her mother when Alice busts in. Mrs. Burble, wearing a delightful plaid suit, invites Alice to join them.

Betty basically unloads on Alice about all of the insane things she’s done to Betty over the years, dating back to her being locked up with the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, to the fact that she gave away all of her college money to the Farm.

Alice tries to explain it away, or justify it through her love for Betty. Betty, wise beyond her years, and maybe utilizing some previously unseen sessions with Mrs. Burble, says, “I love you is not an apology.” Oof.

Poor Alice begins to realize she’s trying to keep Betty close due to the parenting of Charles and Polly. Betty tells her they’re still there, to go help them too. But Alice responds that she loves Betty more — the most — and with a horrified look on her face, rushes out of the office.

For our next segment, Archie falls asleep in Physics (who wouldn’t?) and gets sent to see Mrs. Burble. He ends up telling Mrs. Burble about his masked alter ego, explaining that he’s been up late and not getting much sleep lately. Though she’s not a comic book fan, Mrs. Burble quickly picks up on the obvious grief-fueled vengeance kick Archie’s on, much like any other Batman wannabe.

When she points this out, Archie has a rare moment of undue rage. It’s a good piece of acting from K.J. Apa as he goes from fury one minute and despair the next due to the frustrating helplessness of his situation, perfect beautiful tears rolling down his cheeks.

Mrs. Burble tells him to ask for help, and Archie does, starting an anonymous hotline, but he also digs deeper into his addiction, moving out of the Andrews home and into the community center in an effort to protect his mother.

Moving on, Mr. Honey calls Cheryl into his office over concerns with her absenteeism and tells her that she is at risk of losing the Vixens, pending a psychological evaluation. (This is all pretty severe, but it’s kind of insane to let a student sponsor a sport without adult supervision to begin with.)

Cheryl is guarded, of course, especially since the school is coming for her precious Vixens. Arms crossed, she starts, “I have a rapturous girlfriend, total independence, a 4.0, and amazing hair. Are we done here?”

But it doesn’t take Mrs. Burble long to crack Cheryl’s exterior as she reads the long list of things that have happened to her. She sees what’s going on, perhaps more than anyone else in Riverdale. Cheryl begins to tell her the truth of the hauntings at Thistlehouse, which, like any pro, Mrs. Burble takes in stride.

While Cheryl believes she’s talking to Jason and he’s talking back, Mrs. Burble tells her she misses her brother and simply wants to believe that he’s talking back. It’s no different than visiting someone’s grave.

Cheryl seems to accept this, but counters with the Julian doll mystery. Mrs. Burble then tells her she believes she’s being gaslit. It’s hard for Cheryl to believe, so Mrs. Burble recommends the number of a doctor who can do a DNA test to see if she truly has chimera DNA. (If Cheryl truly absorbed her twin in utero, she should show the DNA of two people. This is a real thing!)

Ultimately, though, Mrs. Burble recommends that Cheryl no longer coach the Vixens in order to take time to fully focus on herself. Cue our dear Cheryl sobbing into her HBIC Vixen tee…

Next, Veronica gets a call in the middle of Microeconomics directly from the dean of Harvard admissions that she got accepted, who then tells her to thank her father for the bottle of rum. Assuming that her father pulled strings to get her in, she goes into Mrs. Burble’s office to vent, telling her that her father only did this to control her.

At first, Mrs. Burble tries to offer the alternate theory that maybe he really was trying to help. But Veronica refuses to hear it. So Mrs. Burble tells her that she is “locked in a dance to the death” with Hiram. It’s a grim session, and maybe the least helpful of all of Mrs. Burble’s talks, as there aren’t a lot of action items, but rather, a very dark and dramatic picture of Veronica’s future.

She warns Veronica that, if she isn’t careful, he’ll always have power over her, citing Freud and diagnosing her with an Elektra complex. (Eyeroll.)

Lastly, Jughead winds up in her office while waiting for a transcript. (He hasn’t applied to any colleges yet.) Grabbing fistfuls of candy, he tells her about the Chipping case, and Mrs. Burble quickly susses out that he has a persecution complex.

She also aptly points out that Jughead uses his detective work as a way to distract and protect himself from actual work; if he’s always investigating, he can never really succeed at anything else and instead will stay in his safe little bubble.

Mrs. Burble reminds him of FP’s sacrifices and how it must feel for Jug to be “lionizing” his abusive father. (Though how she knows all of this, I don’t know, unless Riverdale High keeps the most comprehensive files on their former students of any other school in the country.) All it takes is a mention of FP for Jughead to immediately drop all pretenses: “You’re underpaid, aren’t you?”

Once he’s back home, writing and full of sugared up, Jughead hops up as soon as his dad comes home and hugs him tight. It’s a super sweet moment between father and moment that I’m always happy to see more of on Riverdale.

That night, Alice cooks dinner like everything is normal, but Betty sees a stack of her mail with a check from her mom for college, telling her she loves her the most, too. (But $5,000? That won’t even cover a semester. Let’s hope that’s the first of many installments…)

Meanwhile, Cheryl gets her DNA results back, and she is 100-percent Cheryl Marjorie Blossom, with no Julian DNA whatsoever. (But also, same-day lab results? What kind of witchcraft is this?) Now that she knows she’s not losing her mind or being haunted, she vows to get vengeance on whoever’s made her think so.

At the Lodge penthouse, Veronica tells Hiram she’s turned down Harvard (which Mrs. Burble didn’t tell her to do, but she did kind of provoke her to). She tells her dad that if she had accepted, that Harvard would have been the first step in a life controlled by him. Veronica vows to end their dance now by cutting all ties. And to twist the knife a bit further, she drinks his special rum. (But really, is she going to move out, or…?)

Back at the Cooper House, I guess Jones-Smith House now, Jughead tells Betty he’s looked up all of the Baxter Brothers authors and finds out that they’ve all died in mysterious accidents (all aside from Dupont and his grandfather, that is). Betty tells him he needs to transfer — it’s too dangerous.

And we end on another flash forward to the truly terrible mystery of what will happen to Jughead over Spring Break as Betty, Archie, and Veronica walk in front of a lineup in the police station, with Donna and Bret on the other side of the glass identifying them as Jughead’s killers…

Next. Riverdale season 4 episode 7 review: Thanksgiving in Riverdale. dark

What did you think of this week’s episode of Riverdale? Sound off in the comments below.