Saving the town is going to take a lot more than just running Riverdale High. Enter phase two on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 7.
Reopening the fire department is one of those essential services the town needs to survive. Archie had his head in the right place to get the job done at all costs.
If only the other citizens of Riverdale cared enough to help save the town.
Rebuilding the fire department was a conscious slow development. Compared to saving the high school last-minute, the fire department needed a lot more work to come together.
I liked the believable pace Riverdale took before bringing back the fire department.
It's reasonable to believe the hesitation from citizens to become volunteer firefighters. No one had any experience, and after the building got destroyed by Hiram, a fear was established in town about doing anything to help.
Archie had to work from the ground up to make this happen. Not every solution can be solved by Veronica and her money (looking at you, firetruck!), so it's good whenever the group puts in the work first to get the job done.
Now, if only Archie can learn not to be reckless enough to run into a burning building by himself without any protection!
Still, Archie did put in the work to make a difference that helped everyone involved. Part of that came through his conversations with Corporal Jackson.
On Riverdale Season 5 Episode 1, the series barely touched on Archie's trauma during his time in the army. He experienced some dreams, but after that chapter, he seemed completely fine and ready.
Jughead: Oh geez, I know where this is going…
Archie: The best counterattack is not to fight fire with fire, but to fight fire with a fire department!
Archie openly speaking to Jackson about his troubles and adjustment gave us insight into his mindset. This was a big development for him because he needed to talk to someone and share his experiences. And through his conversations, he made a big impact on Jackson to face his demons.
This friendship could prove to be one of the strongest on Riverdale.
Both Archie and Jackson have a shared experience that Archie's other friends can't relate to. And with Jackson running the fire department, that will give them more opportunities to work together in separate plans to help the town.
Do you think the maple body is an alien? Or, could this all be a clever hoax?
The elements are there for Riverdale to jump into an alien storyline. The electrical disturbances, Jughead waking up hours later, the body, the flashing lights in the middle of the night, and the other random occurrences were perfect nods and references to set up this storyline.
Even Pop Tate's and Nana Blossom's warnings seemed to confirm the visit was an alien.
Though, if I'm placing the odds, this encounter might be a hoax. There was a faint sound of a helicopter (or drone) before Jughead walked out of the diner, and the light could easily be hooked to a helicopter/drone.
Archie: So, I’m looking for a few good men.
Kevin: Story of my life!
Plus, the encounter didn't return until both Tabitha and Jughead started digging into the mystery. That timing can't just be a simple coincidence.
Could this possibly be a ploy by Tabitha to drum up business for the diner?
The legend is connected to her family, and she told Jughead to interview the witness of the Mothmen. A drone and a little drugging of Jughead's alcohol could fill in the gaps of the recent alien encounter.
The possible web is connecting here!
Cheryl and Toni have plenty of sparks between them, even after all these years. Seriously, what kept them apart?
Toni relaunching the River Vixens had a not-so-subtle ulterior motive of also bringing Cheryl back into the fold. However, based on Cheryl's coaching, there's a lot of baggage both she and Toni need to work through first.
Toni: Well, well, well. If it isn’t Ms. Winchester herself! You’ve come for another surprise visit, Cheryl?
Cheryl: Thank you for taking care of the River Vixens whilst I was self-isolating, but as Elton John likes to say, “The bitch is back in town!” and this squad is my birthright.
Cheryl isn't "Cheryl Bombshell" anymore. She can't just take on the queen bee role, dance against a high schooler, and expect to relive her glory days after so long.
Cheryl's self-isolation and the tension of "Choni" will only continue to drive them apart. No amount of dance battles or light flirtation will fix that. The pair needs to put in the work for both the River Vixens and their friendship.
Veronica's idea of Riverdale bucks could've worked had her class not gotten greedy.
Her business acumen shined brightly here, and it showed that her plans could pay off to revitalize the town. The fake money alone swept through Riverdale and reignited a small bit of the economy. The progress was good enough to make Hiram act like a cartoonish villain.
Even though the plot started and ended during Riverdale Season 5 Episode 7, the classroom project inspired some hope for Riverdale's future.
Veronica is doing a good job, and if she keeps making moves like this, the Riverdale economy might get back on track. Her portion of the plan is proving the most profitable.
Riverdale has another serial killer on its hands! At this point, the town should just do psych evaluations on everyone because something is in the water.
Good job to Betty for pushing through in searching the swamp for answers and for Reggie having a change of heart to reveal the second body. Without his help, many cold cases would've been left unanswered if Hiram paved over the entire swamp.
There's a little hope left in Reggie yet.
Betty: Twenty-one girls. They can’t all be runways.
Toni: Well, what do you think? Human-trafficking?
Betty: Or a serial killer.
Regarding the serial killer, the identity has to be a familiar Riverdale character with ties to the town.
There are 21 missing women, in addition to the two bodies found.
This individual spent a lot of time in the seven-year gap committing these crimes if all the cases are connected. This is a huge case with a large body count, so the reveal should be just as shocking.
It would be a shame for this to end up being a random character we haven't met yet. Riverdale is setting this mystery up to be its darkest and cruelest yet.
There's so much potential here for the mystery to be a success if it can land on a high note.
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
Weren't the arson cases revealed to be caused by Hiram's minions? It was weird how everyone acted as if they were new ongoing crimes.
Bernardo! Another Katy Keene reference!
- The Riverdale High students seem to be plot devices for the characters now, like the RROTC joining the fire department, the dance battle, and the fake money plot. They don't serve any purpose except to push the plot forward.
Hiram's constant state of energy is Saturday morning cartoon villain. I'm expecting him to ride up with Muttley and restart the Wacky Races. He looked so full of glee teasing Veronica or being convinced by Reggie to let people explore the swamp.
Veronica and Archie are totally starting an affair. You couldn't deny the longing looks after the firetruck rolled up.
- Seriously, Archie, you ran into a burning building without any gear or safety measures!
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans!
What did you think of "Chapter Eighty-Three: Fire in the Sky"?
What is causing those disturbances at the diner? Who is committing the murders in the swamp? What should the group do next to help the town?
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!
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.