Riverdale Season 7 Episode 13 Review: Chapter One Thirty: The Crucible

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It's never a dull moment whenever Hiram Lodge returns to Riverdale. We can always guarantee he's lying or being underhanded about something.

In this case, Hollywood's big TV star is in major hot water on Riverdale Season 7 Episode 13.

Plenty of accusations and heartbreak marked his big return to the world of Riverdale. A somber chapter that exposed the ugliness of the town and the time period.

Daddykins - Riverdale Season 7 Episode 13

"Chapter One Thirty: The Crucible" left us feeling grim and sad in this thought-provoking chapter. With a story focused on paranoia, betrayals, and accusations, Riverdale once again showed how ugly Riverdale 1955 could be.

For much of Riverdale Season 7, the style played more on the sweet and sugary feeling of the 1950s, even through the murders. But the darker reality of the decade is the juicier draw that feels more like the show we love.

Literary Society - Riverdale Season 7 Episode 13

Like for instance, the terrible accusations made against Mrs. Thornton.

The communist witchhunt and fear were a huge concern in the past; it's something that had destroyed many lives with many false claims. Riverdale loves to reference historical events or do the occasional tie-in with a fake brand name. When the show goes all in, it does an excellent job of capturing the moment's feeling and connection.

You couldn't help but feel bad for Mrs. Thornton because she was clearly being framed!

Hiram: You gotta find the truth in what you’re saying, Julian. And never forget: words have power.

The chapter did well focusing on its theme of the power of words and the damage that can be done. Those accusations against Mrs. Thornton were lasting, and they affected everyone.

And the power of accusations corrupted many others. (We'll get to that later on.)

Hot & Heavy - Riverdale Season 7 Episode 4

Poor Archie. He's like a lost puppy dog who wants to write poetry.

Let the boy write!

Uncle Frank's words to him and the accusations from the adults were so insulting. There's nothing wrong with Archie if he wants to be a poet. It goes against their traditional stylings, but it's not the biggest shock in the world.

If Mrs. Thornton were still around, she would've changed his life. He's already started questioning his future since Riverdale Season 7 Episode 12, so it's only a matter of time before he decides.

Red Hot Romance - Riverdale Season 7 Episode 4

Introducing The Crucible was one of the best parts of Riverdale Season 7 Episode 13.

It's a powerful play that exposes a dark evil in history and how much paranoia can infect everything. Sure, it's a little on the nose because the play inspired this episode, but how it was tied in made it a fun inclusion.

Betty: It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Lodge. We’re such big fans of your television program.
Cheryl: Especially the first season. It kinda went downhill after that.

Out of the two good monologues (we're not even counting Julian's rough Hamlet speech), Archie's turn as John Proctor was stunning.

Say what you will about the reckless boy next door, but he can channel his emotions. K.J. Apa did a great job hitting the emotional beats of John's last moments. It was a powerful scene that summed up the dark reality of their situation.

Hopefully, Archie got an A+ for that class.

Hiram Returns - Riverdale Season 7 Episode 13

The arrival of Hiram Lodge always comes with strings attached. We all expected him to have a scheme up his sleeve.

The second he claimed to be in town to see her, we knew it couldn't be true.

Hiram is a big-time Hollywood TV star; he wouldn't have dropped everything to visit Riverdale. He played the part with his little visit, but it was only counting down until the real reason was revealed.

And after he and Hermione cut off Veronica on Riverdale Season 7 Episode 8, this man had the audacity to show his face as if nothing happened! Veronica is a saint for spending a minute with this man.

Hollywood It-Girl - Riverdale Season 7 Episode 5

It's a shame Veronica did ultimately write the affidavit for Hiram; he doesn't deserve an ounce of grace from his daughter. But if she was going to do it, at least she got her power and payday.

Would he even have cared if Veronica's lying for him had destroyed her life?

Hiram: It’s possible that we were both at the Tropicana on the same night. But I wasn’t there for him.
Veronica: No. No, by the looks of it, you were there for some blonde honey. Is that her name, Daddy? “Honey”?
Hiram: No, it’s Kelly.

No, absolutely not. Hiram may have some guilt, but he would've considered it the necessary risk. Hiram will always put himself first in any timeline; even Kelly isn't safe.

He'll think twice before taking his mistress to have drinks and cigars with a revolutionary.

At least Veronica and Hermione are now both free of him. It's great to see Marisol Nichols back on our Riverdale screens again, and once again, her character will be thriving in a Hiram-free world.

The accusations against Cheryl were emotionally manipulative and cruel.

It was a lose-lose situation. Either she'd lose the River Vixens and destroy everyone's lives by outing them, or she'd be outed and targeted by her family. There was never a good option.

Clifford is a terrible father who is only out for himself. If Clifford didn't die on Riverdale Season 1 Episode 13, he and Hiram could've been in a race for the evilest parent on Riverdale.

His actions here with threatening Cheryl just furthered his case. Did he really think he could force a Blossom to give up so easily?

Head River Vixen - Riverdale Season 7 Episode 12

But now that all is said and done, how long will the dating plan last?

Cheryl, Toni, Clay, and Kevin can play the parts of couples for a long while; it'll help stop the accusations. However, someone somewhere is going to come after them as revenge.

Clifford? Evelyn Evernever? Dr. Werthers? They've got enemies waiting for them.

Principal Featherhead: You’re willing to risk losing the Vixens?
Cheryl: I couldn’t sign that piece of paper and then lead them in good conscious. Here for, I, Cheryl Blossom, hereby and willingly renounce my stewardship of the River Vixens.

At least Cheryl is happy with her choice. It was a big moment and massive character growth for Cheryl to give up the River Vixens. Since Riverdale Season 7 Episode 1, her being head cheerleader has been very important to her.

Giving it up for her identity and loved ones shows that Cheryl 1955 is growing. I love seeing real change in their personal growth!

Kevin 1955 - Riverdale Season 7 Episode 1

Hopefully, the rest of the town can catch up and change.

Seriously, there's a mass hysteria over comic books? (Comic books?!)

All Jughead and Ethel did was resell comic books to the teens in town. Like the communist accusations, the comic book bonfire channeled all the damage done by the book burnings of the past.

I'm crossing my fingers this moment will be the spark that reignites the main plot. Everything milkman and the manly trio (Dr. Werthers, Principal Featherhead, and Sheriff Keller) have been either in the background or treated like a non-priority.

The adults are ramping up their control over everything "non-sweet," so this could be how the teens rally and fight back. Riverdale Season 7 needs some direction again.

Bloody Dress - Riverdale Season 7 Episode 3

Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:

  • Betty's new writing persona seems like an interesting idea. We'll have to wait and see if anything comes of it.
  • Please. Stop. Don't reignite a romance between Archie and Veronica when they finally move on.
  • Cheryl's comment about the first season being the best was so meta.
  • Did anyone breathe a sigh of relief of Ms. Grundy revealed her husband? We don't need a Grundy/Archie affair again.
Spooky Celebration - Riverdale Season 7 Episode 11

Now, over to you, Riverdale fans.

What did you think of "Chapter One Thirty: The Crucible"?

What do the adults have planned next to control the teens? What will Betty write next in her newsletter? Where will Archie's love life go next?

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.

Chapter One Thirty: The Crucible Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

Justin Carreiro was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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Riverdale Season 7 Episode 13 Quotes

Betty: It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Lodge. We’re such big fans of your television program.
Cheryl: Especially the first season. It kinda went downhill after that.

Hiram: You gotta find the truth in what you’re saying, Julian. And never forget: words have power.