Riverdale Queer Watch season 5 episode 16: Saints alive

Welcome to Riverdale Queer Watch, where we look out for the LGBTQ+ folks on The CW’s Riverdale each week. Whether it’s a snuff film or prom night, we’re watching.

Last week’s episode saw the return of Josie McCoy, the Pussycats, and one Toni Topaz in a musical hour of tears, reunions, and births. After Josie and the Pussycats went back on tour, this week saw a return to the main storyline for this season. Let’s dive in.

Riverdale Queer Watch:  What is Cheryl up to?

I’m on the record as being very confused about what is happening with Cheryl’s character this season. Since the time jump, Cheryl has been a recluse, faux art dealer, broken up Kevin and Fangs, and now is the leader of a churchy cult worshipping her dead brother. She’s had almost as many jobs as Archie.

When the gang graduated high school, Cheryl abandoned her plans to go to college due to a last-minute change of heart. Not for Toni, but for the family business. Yet, we’ve seen basically no dedication to the Blossom or maple syrup empire aside from random half-considered references to it.

Cheryl taking the reins of her mother’s church with Kevin at her side feels like it’s going somewhere larger, but it’s unclear where. In short, what the hell is Cheryl up to?

In this week’s episode, Kevin suggested a bit of stageplay magic in order to perform three miracles and canonize Cheryl. Isn’t this strictly a Catholic thing? Or does Cheryl’s made-up church have saints? If so, can’t she just make herself one? But, I digress.

Why they’re doing this, no one knows, but in one of Riverdale‘s wackier moments, we’re talking almost at the level of Archie fighting the bear, Cheryl holds honeycombs swarming with bees and sends her mother away from the church, declaring herself “queen of the bees.”

It’s a fun moment that will live on in Riverdale infamy, but aside from the show’s love of creating weirdly campy images like this, I have zero clue where it came from or why it happened.

Then, later Cheryl tells Kevin she didn’t fake the bees and, essentially that she thinks she’s having some sort of ongoing religious experience. Kevin looks as skeptical as I feel, but if this is where they’re headed with her story, at least it’s taking a direction of some kind.

Yet, I’m still hoping Toni will show up to church next week and knock some sense into her.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Riverdale? Tell us in the comments below!