Tensions continue to rise in Riverdale during “Folk Heroes”

Riverdale -- “Chapter One Hundred and Two: Death at a Funeral” -- Image Number: RVD607a_0057r -- Pictured: KJ Apa as Archie Andrews -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Riverdale -- “Chapter One Hundred and Two: Death at a Funeral” -- Image Number: RVD607a_0057r -- Pictured: KJ Apa as Archie Andrews -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Tensions continue to rise in Riverdale during “Folk Heroes.” As always, Archie is fighting against Riverdale’s villain, in this case, Percival Pickens. Percival’s superpower of persuading people to do what he wants has helped him gain the support of nearly the entire town. However, Archie and Jughead are unwilling to go down without a fight.

Jughead’s solution is to turn Archie into a folk hero, someone the town can rally behind. Archie has a known history in Riverdale for trying to protect the town from Hiram Lodge and other antagonists wishing to bring the town down.

Archie’s new invincibility only adds to his potential as being added to a long list of folk heroes. Their initial idea has Archie fight against Katy Keene star, K.O Kelly, and stage the fight where K.O wins. Still, Archie will receive the victory of bringing out the town’s spirit with Archie’s continuous actions of standing back up after getting knocked down.

However, it could never be that easy as K.O Kelly does not add anything to the story anyway. This fight was always clearly meant to occur between Archie Andrews and Percival Pickens.

Although K.O’s appearance may be a fun easter egg for fans of Katy Keene after the show’s cancellation, his return does not do anything for the storyline or character. Although he is referenced as being unbeatable, K.O is removed from the narrative quickly, encouraged by Percival to step in front of a car before he can even make it to the ring.

Unsurprisingly, Archie battles against Percival. But, due to having previously persuaded information from Betty that she no longer remembers, Percival is prepared for the fight, hiding palladium, Archie’s weakness, in Percival’s boxing gloves.

As many problems as Percival brings to Archie’s life, he is also causing issues among Riverdale’s business owners, Veronica, Toni, and Tabitha. Although the three women have tended to support each other rather than fight, the similarities in their businesses are creating conflicts. Veronica’s casino is stealing business from Toni and Tabitha. When Toni and Tabitha fight back, Veronica loses out.

However, the conflicts arise from Percival placing ideas in their heads, having them question the small town’s business competition. Still, there are certainly questions regarding Percival’s influence on Veronica.

From her sources and Jughead, Betty, and Archie, Veronica knows that Percival Pickens is a suspicious person who is not to be trusted. Yet, she still confides her business ventures in him, allows him into her office, and listens to his comments. Why? Has Percival already infiltrated Veronica’s mind? Is Veronica only letting him in to keep her enemy closer and learn what he is up to?

Still, Percival is annoyed and angered that Veronica, Tabitha, and Toni’s truce is brought about by Tabitha’s idea rather than Veronica’s or Percival’s own. Still, Riverdale needs to remember Veronica, Toni, and Tabitha have been friends, or at least allies, long before Percival walked into town, and he should not be able to pull them apart so quickly.

“Folk Heroes” also offers an update on Cheryl’s storyline. It highlights why Cheryl needs to be re-integrated into the show’s primary storylines with other main characters rather than completely hidden away.

Ever since the time jump, Cheryl has been known as the town’s recluse. She mostly keeps to herself, hiding in her home.  Although Cheryl has made appearances in town and with other characters, sadly, Cheryl’s biggest storylines have taken place within the walls of her house.

“Folk Heroes” pairs Cheryl up with Betty when Cheryl finds that her nurse has spontaneously combusted overnight. However, that is not entirely accurate. Cheryl has gained pyrokinetic abilities.

Cheryl’s temperature can rise to over three hundred degrees before she, or someone near her, will spontaneously combust in a fire. So, Betty must help train Cheryl to release the fire before it can hurt Cheryl or someone close to her.

Cheryl’s new journey as someone with the ability to control fire may be a help to Betty, Archie, and Jughead as another member of the unexpected superpowers club.

It is not entirely clear what Percival’s endgame is regarding Riverdale. However, he will undoubtedly cause strife and problems for everyone while he remains in town. But what will happen when he eventually loses his advantage and the town’s people discover Percival has been brainwashing them? Percival may be stepping up as a central villain, but he can not be the Big Bad forever.

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