Riverdale: Marriage or Break-Up? And Who Is The New Killer in Town?

Riverdale -- “Chapter One Hundred Eighteen: Don't Worry Darling” -- Image Number: RVD701fg_0014r -- Pictured: Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz -- Photo: The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Riverdale -- “Chapter One Hundred Eighteen: Don't Worry Darling” -- Image Number: RVD701fg_0014r -- Pictured: Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz -- Photo: The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Who is the new killer in town? In the present day, it was nearly impossible for Riverdale to go one day without a new murderer walking the streets. But, while the 1950s are not necessarily a lovely time, this version of Riverdale seems less familiar with the constant death that follows the town.

A glimpse of Jughead’s detective personality comes back as he and Ethel Muggs appear to be prime suspects in the recent murders of her parents. While Ethel was a recurring character in previous seasons, she rarely was as prominently featured in the season as she is throughout the early episodes of season seven.

Ethel lies at the center of the mystery, and it is up to Jughead and Veronica to uncover the truth. While Veronica and Jughead have worked together before, placing the duo as the leads of the investigation nicely shakes up Riverdale’s usual formula of having this be dual detective work between Jughead and Betty, which it always had been before the time jump.

Veronica’s proof that Jughead was at the dance at the time of the murder allows him to be released, but it is not over yet. As Jughead and Veronica’s storyline continues, the duo discovers that Julian Blossom could prove that Ethel was not home when her parents died.

But detective work is not the only thing happening between Veronica and Jughead in “Love and Marriage.” Veronica’s romantic interest teased in “Sex Education” carries over with small moments of milkshakes at Pop’s, where she suggests he stay the night at her place, Jughead making Veronica breakfast the following day, and Veronica fixing up Jughead’s train car.

“Love and Marriage” certainly teases their romantic connection as their storyline concludes with a kiss. But, Jughead and Veronica may not be the only new couple in town due to Betty and Kevin’s downward spiral.

It was only a matter of time before Riverdale pulled the plug on Kevin and Betty’s relationship. Betty’s desire for a physical relationship is the final straw when Kevin admits he does not want one.

Betty’s interest in human sexuality has only been growing. So when Kevin shows no interest, Betty ends the relationship. But “Love and Marriage” does not make Betty wait much longer to understand why their romance is ending.

Betty and Toni’s trip to the Dark Room finally lets Betty see Kevin dancing closely with Clay, allowing her to know the truth. But, unfortunately, Riverdale does Kevin a disservice by waiting for the audience to see the unveiling moment with Betty.

Unlike Betty, viewers already knew Kevin is gay and, in season seven, have been privy to watching the build-up between Kevin and Clay. So, while it is shocking for Betty to witness Clay and Kevin dancing, it is a sweet and expected scene for audiences. Sadly, Kevin only explains how he and Clay ended up on a date with Betty. The moment itself was never shown to the audience, which would have been a great scene to witness Kevin and Clay’s growth as a couple.

Riverdale does not conclude Betty and Kevin’s friendship at this discovery, though. Instead, it highlights that while there may be more to learn and understand, Betty still cares about Kevin and does not regret dating him.

Otherwise, Betty continues to face off against her mother’s oppressive behavior, showing that Alice can bring pain and conflict to Betty’s life no matter the time period. Alice even allows Ethel to go to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy.

The third central romance of the episode, Archie and Cheryl, also meet their end. Cheryl and Archie’s short-lived romance comes to a halt after Mary Andrews, Penelope, and Clifford Blossom incorrectly believe Archie and Cheryl have gone all the way.

According to Cheryl’s parents, the most logical thing to do next is to have Cheryl and Archie get married, set Archie up with a job with the Blossoms’ business, and prepare Cheryl to be a housewife.

Cheryl has been using Archie for protection, knowing that he is a nice guy, nothing like her family, and that being seen with him will not allow her parents to know the truth about who Cheryl is. While she may like him as a person, Cheryl does not want to marry Archie, even if his proposal of running away to California to avoid their potential fate is an attractive way to escape her problems at home.

However, Cheryl only came to that conclusion after speaking with Toni, a sign that more will occur between them. Their relationship, and Toni’s understanding that Cheryl is still coming to terms with her identity, allows their dynamic to feel more like an organic slow burn compared to a rushed romance. While the romantic reunion between Cheryl and Toni may be on the horizon, it was not a surprise that Cheryl and Archie’s romance meets its end.

Archie and Cheryl’s relationship does not end harshly, though. Instead, Archie understands Cheryl’s decision to end their plans, and even though their relationship ends, it may be easy for them to move on as allies and friends.

Besides, Cheryl does not necessarily leave Archie without hope for his future. She leaves him a hint that the girl next door may be exactly who he is searching for, setting Archie up for a potential romance with Betty.

While there were numerous break-ups in town, there were also a few teases of new couples. All the while, the danger of a new killer in town keeps the stakes up.

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