‘Riverdale’ season 7, episode 13 review: How does a fire start?

Riverdale season 7, episode 13 explores the origins of all kinds of fires.

Hiram Lodge, the man that nobody has been asking for, is back in Riverdale. And of course, he’s up to the same old shenanigans: ruining the lives of his wife and daughter. Veronica did see right through the shine of her dad’s glamerge egg gift, but as it always has been, their relationship is a little more complicated than truth, lies, and intentions. It’s all subtext with these two.

Admittedly, I never thought Hiram would be getting in trouble for anti-capitalism, so at least he’s keeping us on our toes a little bit. I do think they waited the perfect amount of time before bringing him back in Riverdale season 7. It had been long enough to forget just how tiresome his character had become, and build up a fresh new hatred for how he’s been treating Veronica. I was actually almost happy to see him! Almost.

On top of hiding out from Hermione after she caught him in yet another “flirtation,” he was actually in town to convince Veronica to testify that he was with her on his recent trip to Cuba, and that he was definitely not meeting with communist leaders and certain blonde “honeys.”

Veronica’s relationship with her parents is such an important and complex part of her overall story arc, so for that reason, I’m glad that they both made appearances in Riverdale season 7, episode 13. Unfortunately, judging by her King Lear monologue, she still has a long way to go in processing her parental issues. We’ll see if being reunited with Hermione helps or hinders her progress. They used to be an epic duo, but they have a complicated relationship all their own, especially when Hiram gets in the middle of things.

With Werthers and Featherhead taking their tyranny to the next level in Riverdale season 7, episode 13, Hiram Lodge wasn’t the only person accused of the dreaded “C” word. Archie’s greatest supporter in his writing, Mrs. Thornton, was kicked out of the classroom for being a communist, or more likely just for being too good of a teacher for Riverdale High’s liking.

Archie’s confusion when being interrogated was so funny and so well done by K.J. Apa in this episode. He has been shining so bright all season and it’s making me want 10 more seasons of Riverdale set in the 50s! However, now that the show’s ending, K.J. must be looking for other work, because I can’t imagine a better John Proctor audition than that monologue he gave. It was so moving that I completely get why Cheryl and Veronica were inspired to take a stand for themselves, but in very different ways. And one of those ways for Veronica was kissing Archie in the hallway, so Varchie may not be as dead as they seemed.

Apparently, Penelope Blossom wasn’t a suitable long-term stand-in for Mrs. Thornton, because the notorious MsMrs. Grundy has returned to Riverdale High! I feel like the nod to her husband was them saying, “we’re not going down this road again,” which is definitely a good thing, but it was still an exciting throwback to Riverdale season 1 to see her walking down the hallway.

Related: Riverdale season 7, episode 12 review: The story of two boys and two girls

While Veronica used the power of her name to get what she wanted for herself and her mother, Cheryl withheld hers from her parents, losing her precious River Vixens in the process. Obviously it was never really an option for her to sell out her friends and girlfriend for her own protection, but Clifford really knew how to cut her deep. The one positive thing about this is that Evelyn will definitely get her comeuppance after this egregious attack, and that is going to be so sweet to watch.

Of course, long before Werthers and Featherhead started their crusade against communists, their first and truest loathing was for comic books. For god knows what reason. Their fight against those oh-so-powerful pages also ramped up in Riverdale season 7, episode 13, with them having books removed from shelves everywhere. Unfortunately, this included the new issue that Jughead and Ethel worked on together.

When faced with an obstacle, Jughead and Ethel saw an opportunity, literally selling their comics under the table. They were stopped eventually, but given that Featherhead and Werthers have now tricked people into burning all their comic books, I doubt this will be the last of their creative endeavors to get comics into the hands of their classmates.

Betty also had to find a way around her creative restrictions in Riverdale season 7, episode 13, when Principal Featherhead shut down the Blue and Gold. Not to be silenced, she took her trustworthy typewriter and published the first issue of “The Teenage Mystique,” which is a very fitting title for Betty Cooper in the show’s final season.

We didn’t get too deep into this story in Riverdale season 7, episode 13, but it was exciting to see how much feedback she got from her fellow students. It’ll be cool to see what this project becomes, and whose secrets are divulged, as long as Principal Featherhead and Dr. Werthers don’t stop her before she even gets started.

My biggest relief in this episode was that Veronica sent Hiram Lodge away before he could weasel his way into this gang of ghouls who are terrorizing Riverdale, as that just so happened to be his favorite hobby, once upon a time. One evil father is enough to wreak some serious havoc in this town, and we’ll have to wait to see what Clifford Blossom and his cronies do to strike next. Whatever it is, the Riverdale characters are only getting stronger and more adept at handling whatever’s thrown at them, so I’m betting on them for the win this time.