Riverdale season 6, episode 13 used the gang’s most treasured totems against them in one of the season’s creepiest episodes.
Percival Pickens has always been scary, but he really upped the horror factor in Riverdale season 6, episode 13. I knew he had to be after more than just library books, but I could never have predicted how far he was willing to go to get inside the heads or Archie, Betty, Jughead, Veronica, Cheryl, Reggie, and Kevin.
Speaking of that list of people, I think it’s absolutely criminal that it didn’t include Toni and Tabitha. I get that Tabitha just had a huge episode, but to not include them in the “resistance” doesn’t seem right at all considering all they’ve done for the good guys.
For the characters Percy did target, he did so in both expected and unexpected ways. For starters, I think we all could have guessed who would be haunting Betty, and Cheryl’s past with Heather has been looming in the background for a while, although I love that Cheryl was completely unfazed by the whole thing. This was a pretty low level haunting by Blossom standards.
For Archie, it went all the way back to his music, which has been completely absent from Riverdale for quite a while. It’s so sad to think that the inappropriate relationship he had with Ms. Grundy took something he loved so much away from him, but I’m glad the show finally addressed this from Archie’s perspective and that he was able to open up to Betty about it.
Speaking of Barchie, it was another really good episode for them. Even though I’m not sure about their plan to make their baby their “light” in the darkness, it’s nice to see them really growing together. Although, judging by some of the scenes in the trailer for next week, this could be a calm before the storm.
Reggie and Kevin’s stories were equally sad, causing Reggie to fall back into a struggle with something he’s worked hard to overcome, and reminding Kevin of his deeply held insecurities. Their stories were made even more sad by the fact that Percival managed to win them over to his side in the end. Honestly, I feel like the others kind of had it coming when they didn’t include them in what they were doing. An enemy casting a spell on your group of friends is kind of an all-hands-on-deck thing, even if Veronica and Reggie’s breakup had just turned more sour.
Excitingly, Veronica has a big episode coming up, since, thanks to Percival, she’s finally unlocked her own superpower. While the black widow thing is pretty badass, and I’m really excited to see it, I hate that Veronica’s power is so much more villainous than everyone else’s! It just plays into this inaccurate narrative they’ve been crafting about her that doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.
This is especially dangerous territory now that she actually killed a man that she slept with, and will continue to harm the men she kisses. It’s all feeling highly slut-shamey to me, and I want to see her being exactly as promiscuous as she wants to be with or between partners. I don’t buy Reggie’s “you can’t be alone” speech for a second. Even though Veronica is highly desirable and generally does have a partner, she has always been one of the most independent characters on Riverdale.
The one thing I loved most about Riverdale season 6, episode 13 was that Veronica took back the things she said during her breakup in the previous episode, when she actually started to believe the bad things everyone has been thinking about her. As long as she doesn’t fall victim to these lies, there’s still hope.
At first I was confused by Jughead’s fears being tied to his grandfather, but when he confessed that it was linked to his insecurities about his writing and being a failure, it made perfect sense and ended up being one of my favorite aspects of Riverdale season 6, episode 13. Also, the body horror with his fingernails falling off was completely terrifying and really well done.
One thing I can’t understand is why some of the characters decided not to burn their possessions. I can understand that Jughead wants to hold onto some piece of his grandfather and that it might be worth the risk for him, but why didn’t Veronica just get the painting back for good measure? It definitely makes me wonder if she has something planned in terms of revenge for Percival that she wants to use the painting for, or if she just can’t bring herself to burn it. I certainly don’t buy that Cheryl’s trunk is already “cleansed” because Jason has already been burnt, so I have a similar curiosity about her. Either she plans to use her totem against Percival, or she actually wants the haunting to continue.
Overall, Riverdale season 6, episode 13 did an awesome job of creating a creepy vibe and conveying just how horrifying this was for some of the characters involved. Some showed their fearlessness, and some found their strength, making the episode full of some great character moments for everyone who had an overdue book.
On top of the haunting, we also learned an interesting piece of information about TBK in Riverdale season 6, episode 13. While they’ve been assuming he was a loner type, Betty’s memories of her own father led her to deduce that the TBK likely has a daughter, or multiple daughters, and is probably someone who travels for work.
This is the first solid lead we’ve had on the TBK in a while, so I’m excited to see if this mystery really heats up for the rest of season 6. I love what Riverdale has been doing with these character heavy episodes, but I’m also ready to get deeper into this mystery!