Nothing is ever simple in Riverdale. Even a prison breakout was related to a sinister motive by Hiram Lodge.

Now, there's a hostage plot on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 11 to expose the truth of why the explosion happened in the first place.

Hiram has his hands in everything. If only there were someone who could stop him once and for all.

The hunt for the prison escapees and Veronica's stolen opal were two plots that converged through a common enemy. It's the type of coincidence that comes with a Riverdale-style nudge and wink. (All that was missing were milkshakes and diner neon.)

Archie and his group of vigilantes didn't have a strong enough plot until Veronica and Reggie joined the mix.

The prison breakout during Riverdale Season 5 Episode 10 was the height of this escapee plot; the following drama was simply the after-effects. Rounding up the convicts alone would've added a few scenes, but the story needed more conflict and a pressing deadline to add tension.

Enter Veronica and her stolen gems.

Bringing back Ted, Dodger, and Darla provided the familiar faces to ramp the tension high. We've witnessed their past crimes and how low they're willing to go to win, so having strong villains around heightened the chapter's threat level.

Plus, they were quick to shoot Governor Dooley; anything was possible for what they would do if Veronica and the team double-crossed them. When the group did confront them, the best way I could describe the fight would be campy.

Seriously! We had men rappelling from the roof, Veronica spraying someone in the face, and an all-out fistfight between everyone in the gym.

"Chapter Eighty-Seven: Strange Bedfellows" embraced Riverdale's shenanigans and double-downed on it in the final moments of the chapter. The fight felt like a takedown from the A-team.

The big question coming out of the prison explosion/escapees plot was: why did Hiram want the playdium from beneath the prison?

Money seems the most obvious answer; he's a crooked mobster who will do anything to gain power and money. All pieces that fit within Hiram's playbook.

Governor Dooley: Where’s the Playdium?
Hiram: That doesn’t really matter as far as you’re concerned because I’m not sharing. Not now, not ever. I’ve moved heaven and earth to get here; I’ve dedicated years of my life to this cause, you have no idea.

However, Hiram told Governor Dooley that he had been working on this plot for years and needed the playdium for his ultimate goal.

Was the reason for buying the buildings and destroying the town just to dig up the playdium?

If that's the case, it's a considerable effort to do all of this for mining rights. Hopefully, the big reveal will be shocking and tie everything from his history together.

Archie legitimately surprised me by his actions during "Chapter Eighty-Seven: Strange Bedfellows." (Surprised in a good way.)

His decision to pause dating Veronica until she was fully divorced was a mature and rational move.

Veronica: So, we’re still feeling good about our decision? To hold off until my divorce is final.
Archie: Yeah, but I am torn.
Veronica: Well then, I better work on making this divorce happen as fast as humanely possible.

A lot had been going on in their lives, and they had just gotten back together after years apart, let alone her messy separation with Chad. The last thing this pair needed was ammunition used against them in a bad divorce.

Plus, both Archie and Veronica have their own baggage to deal with since their last relationship. This was a smart move on their parts to cool things down.

Penelope Blossom opening up her own ministry is the type of ridiculous plot that feels so random and so right.

She's the former Gargoyle King of Riverdale and an active murderer who has killed many in town for her schemes. Her transformation into a fanatical religious leader felt like the next step in her master plan. Though, we have no idea what next scheme she has up her sleeve.

Is she serious about cleansing the town? Is this a way for her to steal money from unsuspecting victims?

Both could be right and wrong; Penelope doesn't subtly do anything. Case in point: making the connection that Jason's death was a sacrifice in her holy mission. (The audacity!)

Cheryl, on the other hand, fell hook, line, and sinker for another salvation plot.

Hasn't she already moved past Jason's death? It's been years since she burned the body and set it free; she should have the closure to move on.

Cheryl: What are you so happy about?
Penelope: Life, Cheryl. Everlasting life.

This new plot of her joining Penelope's ministry highlighted a clear issue with Cheryl's character development: she hasn't had a worthwhile or consistent plot in years.

Her character has bounced around from murder suspect to gang leader to endgame couple. But, even with the changing roles, she's stayed mostly at the same place, dealing with the same inner conflict.

Cheryl has so much potential and fire. Riverdale just needs to give her the freedom to grow and move forward.

Betty and Tabitha's search for Jughead was the unlikely adventure we didn't know we needed in our lives.

Both characters are pretty similar in attitude, and with Jessica rounding out the trio, we, as viewers, got a good sense of the person Jughead is attracted to. Though, the strongest aspect of the subplot came from the friendship developed between the two, not the search for Jughead.

The women balanced each other in their investigation styles; it's a shame we didn't get more scenes of them together before Jessica joined their search. She was the chaotic force in their lives when she rushed into town to steal the manuscript.

Jessica's ulterior motive was obvious the second she asked about the manuscript. No one would be frantically searching that hard for other drugs if there wasn't another reason in the mix.

Strangely, I hope that Jessica returns to Riverdale for another team-up with Betty and Tabitha. Their messy dynamic worked, and you could sense the eye roll in Betty's head whenever Jessica took charge of the investigation.

Betty and Jessica are opposites, while Tabitha is right in the middle moderating between the two.

Jessica: And maybe don’t leave people alone when they’re tripping on maple mushrooms?
Tabitha: I assumed he’d be safe in the handcuffs!
Betty: Well, another lesson: maybe don’t give psychedelic shrooms in a delicate state?
Jessica: Yeah? How about don’t betray your boyfriend the way you did?! Getting with his best friend, that’s some Shakespearean-level treachery.
Betty: Okay, yeah, clearly in the stories Jughead has been telling, he’s been cast as the blameless victim here. But, Jughead is not so innocent.

Another positive for their team-up was the reveal of Jughead's voicemail.

He didn't admit it early on, but he's holding onto a lot of residual anger toward Betty. His voicemail was drunkenly cruel and vicious; Betty wasn't innocent with what happened in their past, but he was also at fault with other issues.

I've said before in past reviews that Betty and Jughead shouldn't be together since they don't communicate or work on their issues. They had a high school romance that blew up in their faces from the lies and darkness. Just like Veronica and Archie, this is a pair that shouldn't reunite.

Jughead's reunion with Doc provided a nice closure to a plot no one asked for or remembered.

Granted, this was his greatest shame, so to work on himself and remove his baggage, he needed to confront this moment from his past. He's lucky he just so happened to wander into Sketch Alley; the mushrooms worked out in his favor.

Though, whatever happened to him in New York must've been serious to cause all this grief.

My prediction is that it involves his book and something he did to make that happen. If he arrives in New York alive (that's if the trucker cliffhanger didn't foreshadow his kidnapping), he'll have to face his demons. Possibly with Jessica by his side to work out the past.

Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:

  • Please stop with the singing, Riverdale. This isn't Glee. The random bursts of singing throw off the episode's momentum, and it doesn't fit in.
  • Reggie's partnership with Hiram now makes a lot of sense. But, he's not fully resolved; he looked just as happy working for Hiram to make money and do his bidding. He shouldn't be so positive if he's only paying off debt.
  • Penelope got out on good behavior? Shenanigans are afoot.

Now, over to you, Riverdale fans.

What did you think of "Chapter Eighty-Seven: Strange Bedfellows"?

Why does Hiram need all the playdium? What happened to Jughead in New York? Will Archie and Veronica get back together after her divorce?

If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments below.



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