Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10 Review: Varsity Blues

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Competition can bring out the worst in people. And it gets even worse when there are stakes involved!

On Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10, the big state championship football game is the prize worth fighting for. Some even went as far as sabotage to get it.

It's a bloodbath because ... you know ... sports!

Friendly Exes - Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10

It's great that Riverdale High is achieving some success and basking in its glory. After all the hiccups, like the quarantine and the serial killer murders, they've been too focused on all the depressing stuff that's brought them down.

A little school spirit was the best thing to happen to Riverdale High in a while. You could feel it in Reggie's/Monroe's/Archie's demeanor and the pride in Mr. Honey's sweater.

Everyone felt the celebration!

Beyond the reappearance of classic Riverdale tropes (hi criminals in bunny masks!), the tone stayed relatively grounded. Since the plot mostly focused on high school, the characters aligned more to their ages and high school worries, like winning the big game and writing a school story.

Sure, we still had strange a mix of Riverdale-ish plots, like Veronica the teenager selling rum. But, it felt like a breath of fresh air to bring Riverdale back to stories that could've happened on Riverdale Season 1.

Letterman Jackets - Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10

It's a shame that Riverdale didn't win the big game. They had their hearts set on getting the victory away from Stonewall Prep, and having someone wipe the smile off Brett's face would be the gift that kept on giving.

The only positive that came from the loss is Monroe's university acceptance. He'll do an amazing job at Notre Dame!

Though, he took a HUGE risk that could've blown up in his face. A very dangerous risk.

Seriously, how many times have we witnessed storylines where someone got injured or pushed themselves too much and couldn't play sports again? (All American, Spinning Out, and 13 Reasons Why are a few examples that come to mind.)

Monroe dodged a major bullet. He should stay on the clean and narrow from this point on; he got very lucky.

Archie's uncle Frank is still a bit of a mystery.

Riverdale tried to dispel many of the accusations and worries that came up against him, but there's still something off. His reason for returning to Riverdale can't just be about making amends with his family.

It's too out of place for what we've come to expect of Riverdale's surprise guests.

I'm leaning on the side of trusting Mary's instinct. She's known him the longest and has seen him at his worst; if she's not willing to drop her guard, we should consider doing the same.

Homecoming Game - Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10

Cheryl's war on Ms. Appleyard only bought her a fond farewell instead of a sweeping victory.

After her therapy session on Riverdale Season 4 Episode 8, she knew that an advisor was coming in to help. It was the best thing to do for her and the best thing for the squad. It's a tough pill to swallow, but it's the truth.

Cheryl: Look, I’m not sure what Honey told you, but we don’t need a coach. I run the show around here. Howevs, we are looking for a laundrywoman.
Ms. Appleyard: From now on, we’re going to change things up. The Vixens are a cheer squad, so we’ll be focusing on cheers, not signing and dancing to pop songs. Now, gather the rest of the girls and meet me out on the field, so we can practice some drills. Okay?
Cheryl: I’m sorry. Am I hallucinating or did you just give me an order?!
Ms. Appleyard: I led my last team to Nationals three years in a row. I think I know what I’m doing here.

High school teams need a faculty advisor to watch over them. Let alone a coach for a cheerleading team that needs a coach.

And after Cheryl left Riverdale High, who would lead the River Vixens? It will go back to the status quo.

It might have been the last time we'll see the River Vixens perform because there's no way Ms. Appleyard is letting Cheryl and Toni back on the squad. This could be their last performance.

Cheryl's Therapy Session - Riverdale Season 4 Episode 8

Though, Ms. Appleyard was not the right hire.

Any coach who refuses to get along with the cheerleading captain and then insults their weight is not a fit, especially working at a school. She crossed the line and didn't care that she was speaking to a student.

Cheryl: I’d like us to find a way to work together in blissful harmony.
Ms. Appleyard: Cheryl, I’m the coach, you’re the athlete. The power structure couldn’t be clearer. As for your muffins, could I suggest a little less time baking and a little more time in the weight room?
Cheryl: My body is perfection, you crone! And you may be the coach, but I think you’ll find that the Vixens are mine. Forevermore.

She might have won championships at her previous school, but that approach won't help her time at Riverdale High be a lasting one.

War of the Lodges - Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10

The war of rum stayed true to its 2019 roots by dredging up more pettiness between Veronica and Hiram. When one (usually Veronica) starts to see success, the other (typically Hiram) swoops in to rain on the parade.

The one difference here, though, was the subtle tender exchange between the pair in La Bonne Nuit.

For one gleaming moment, they dropped all facades and battles to speak to each other like father and daughter. It may have been about business, but the subtext was all about their relationship.

I loved that Veronica spoke the words we've waited for her to admit: she and Hiram have gone too far to repair the relationship. The toxicity and games have broken them apart beyond the point to ever be the same again.

She finally acknowledges that pain point. So, why does she keep playing the games?

Veronica should focus on living her life, not diving into the rum to spite Hiram. Her new maple-flavored rum with Cheryl might be a success, but it might be holding her back from growing as a person.

Audio Tape - Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10

You gotta love when Betty channels her inner Nancy Drew. She has an eye for mysteries, and her intuition pulls her deeper into solving any case.

Plus, when it's a B&V team-up, that case becomes a classic!

Not only did we get Betty doing the legwork and listening from a hidden wire, but she had Veronica pull out the iconic blonde wig for undercover work. Their little expose is the type of story high school reporters would dream of.

It perfectly fits with the tone and age of the characters.

Reggie: Stonewall sucks! The only reason why they’re undefeated is because they play dirty.
Monroe: Dirty!
Reggie: Every team that’s gone up against them has suffered some major injury.
Betty: What do you mean?
Reggie: I mean, they don’t play to win. They play to hurt.

If Jughead hadn't accidentally ruined their investigation, Veronica would've manipulated Brett into spilling the beans. She had him. (She seriously had him!)

Riverdale needs to find more ways to pair B&V together. Their investigations are so few and far between.

Now that's a mystery that needs to be solved.

Brett The Jock - Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10

Betty's article in the right hands would be a scandalous expose that could nab sales and potentially some awards. But, this was for a high school newspaper after all, so Mr. Honey was not the right editor to review this story.

And, for as much as I love Betty's ambition for hard-hitting articles, she does need to start writing the pieces that are assigned to her.

It's not the first time she's done this separate path. That type of rebellion doesn't fly often, especially when editors need a certain topic or angle covered.

Hopefully, this new business partnership she's developing with Mr. Honey will land her more approvals in the Blue & Gold.

This quiz team deal has a lot of potential in their storylines. They both want victories, and since Betty has the leverage, she could get what she wants: printing her expose.

We'll have to see if it fosters a true alliance. 

Homecoming Match - Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10

What has also developed (or more likely heightened) as a result of Betty's story is the growing wedge between Betty and Jughead. Has anyone else felt the strange divide and animosity between them?

A point was made to emphasize all the times the pair didn't agree, the secrets they held, and the successes/failures that divided them.

Brett: Save your tears! No is watching.
Betty: Brett…
Brett: You got your wish, Ponytail. Forsythe isn’t going to Yale. So, I guess it’ll just be you and me in New Haven.
[Brett leaves and Betty slams Jughead’s picture in the box]

Part of it is to support the flash-forward storyline of Betty supposedly killing Jughead, but the tensions kept adding up. "Bughead" has broken up in the past, so it's not out of the question. However, the pair shouldn't end now after everything they've gone through.

Jughead and Betty need to be open with each other. Jughead should share his secrets and successes because they're great opportunities developing for him. Betty should talk about her insecurities if she's sad about not getting into Yale.

Honestly helps here. Though, that flash-forward potentially revealed a lot about the couple's future. Betty looked pissed!

Between Two Worlds - Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10

Speaking of Jughead, congrats for him getting into Yale! His hard work paid off in showcasing his talent and getting recognized for it.

Plus, opportunities like this don't come around too easily or often. The right thing was to take the opportunity to go to Yale and develop his skills.

It's a shame he couldn't enjoy his success, but it's a guilty feeling we've all felt before. In this case, it involved the person he loved, so it's understandable why he downplayed his Yale opportunities.

On the other hand, you can't help but wonder if Brett played a part in the acceptance. He strangely was getting too buddy-buddy with Jughead, and two acceptances to the same school within the same small writing group was too much to be a coincidence.

Something shady is happening because of Quill & Skull. (Well, more so than they have in the past.)

Pick a Side - Riverdale

Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:

  • This is Riverdale! There's no way the Doc storyline was Jughead's biggest secret; he's hidden a dead body. Though, it was a smart move to not reveal that to untrustworthy people, like the Literary Salon.
     
  • Betty got into Yale too?! We need receipts of how this happens, stat!
     
  • Hiram couldn't wait to deliver the cease & desist letter to Veronica. He'll get it framed one day.
     
  • Does everyone at Stonewall Prep have access to the same bunny masks? They, along with Brett's shadiness, should go back to Party City where they belong.
     
  • Someone finally called out the River Vixen's strange obsession with doing song/dance numbers instead of cheerleading. "Cherry Bomb" was nice and all, but are they trained to be cheerleaders?
Betty's Darkness - Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10

Now, over to you, Riverdale fans!

What did you think of "Chapter Sixty-Seven: Varsity Blues"?

Could the new maple-flavored rum dominate the Riverdale market? Is Mary right to distrust Frank? Should Jughead trust what he learned in the circle of truth?

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.

Also, TV Fanatic has a new Twitter page! Follow us at our handle below for more TV quips and posts:

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Chapter Sixty-Seven: Varsity Blues Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Riverdale Season 4 Episode 10 Quotes

Cheryl: Look, I’m not sure what Honey told you, but we don’t need a coach. I run the show around here. Howevs, we are looking for a laundrywoman.
Ms. Appleyard: From now on, we’re going to change things up. The Vixens are a cheer squad, so we’ll be focusing on cheers, not signing and dancing to pop songs. Now, gather the rest of the girls and meet me out on the field, so we can practice some drills. Okay?
Cheryl: I’m sorry. Am I hallucinating or did you just give me an order?!
Ms. Appleyard: I led my last team to Nationals three years in a row. I think I know what I’m doing here.

Reggie: Stonewall sucks! The only reason why they’re undefeated is because they play dirty.
Monroe: Dirty!
Reggie: Every team that’s gone up against them has suffered some major injury.
Betty: What do you mean?
Reggie: I mean, they don’t play to win. They play to hurt.