Riverdale — “Chapter Eighty-Four: Lock & Key” — Image Number: RVD508b_0164r — Pictured (L-R): Madelaine Patsch as Cheryl Blossom and Adeline Rudolph as Miss Marble — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Deception, lies, make-believe, and a mature party to rekindle and revisit the old times is what Riverdale decided to tell us this week.  This episode did not shy away from the melodrama and while make-belief and playing dress-up seem to be something usually reserved for young children in the playground, that is not the case here.  Everyone seems to constantly be pretending that they can be something they are not, or pretending they are able to be something else.  In reality, that is why it is called make-believe.  Along with the fantasies, the gang seems to also be unable to face reality and lies to themselves and each other about what they are really feeling.  Not sure what all this means, but here is my review for this week’s episode of The CW’s Riverdale episode #508 titled Chapter Eighty-Four: Lock and Key.

Riverdale Episode 508 Review

Never Grow Up

From the introduction to this review, it is easy to know that most of my thoughts are that the show is trying to convince itself that it can transition its characters from teenagers to adults.  It’s one of the main topics to be resolved this season.  This episode had all of its characters playing a massive game of make-believe.  Growing up is hard, transitioning from high school to adulthood comes with challenges that high school could not possibly prepare them for.  That said, Archie and Co seem to be getting too stuck on the past and unwilling to face the bitter realities that their mid-twenties and futures bring.  


A Time for Fairytales

So what are the lies that are being told?  What are the pretend stories the characters are cooking up?  Kevin, unwilling to confront Fangs about his real worries, instead ends up engaged and agrees to raise Toni’s baby with Fangs and Toni instead.  It’s Riverdale’s modern family twist.  Archie and Betty continue to have a friends-with-benefits relationship, but I think everyone knows that cannot end well.  Betty appears to be living out her teenage fantasies with Archie given her schoolgirl crush from so many years ago.

Things turn around quickly as it becomes evident that Archie still has feelings for Veronica, but knows he cannot do anything about it due to her being a married woman.   The only people who seem to be acting mature in a believable manner are Jughead and Toni.  They seem to be struggling with more realistic problems and not acting like high schoolers while dealing with them.  

Cheryl’s journey (or lack of)

The amount of time we have been given to see Cheryl’s journey this year has been minimal. In this episode, we got to have a more Cheryl-centered plot.  Although I love Cheryl and her drama, she seems to be the most delusional and unchanged person.  She doesn’t know who she is and still goes about things in a very manipulating way.  She decides to throw a Key Party to help them revisit their high school years.  At this party, everyone surrenders their keys, and at random, grabs a set and pairs off accordingly with no repercussions for what may happen.  Everything must be consensual but of course, Cheryl has ulterior motives.  I understand the need and longing for nostalgia as we as people get older, but this show seems to be reliant on what it was, while still proving their characters are older. 

It’s okay to reminisce about the old days but act more mature while doing so.  Cheryl seems to be the one most unable to act like an adult and still acts very melodramatic.  Without specifics, the party turns out to be quite predictable and unoriginal.  Does being an adult mean creating ways to manipulate people and events into helping your own agenda?  If that is what being an adult is, then the show succeeded at portraying that.  


Everyone Must Grow Up

It started off rocky, seeming as if the characters will continue to lie to themselves, their partners, and each other.  Then, all of a sudden, and to my relief, it shifted. It shifted to reality.  Kevin, Archie, Betty, Veronica and Toni speak up and confront their feelings.  It was at that moment, I was able to have a bit more hope that maybe the last few episodes could be a metaphor of the awkward years of finding oneself.  The gang realized that some things cannot move forward from High School.  Some relationships you thought you always wanted are not meant to be.  Learning who we are as adults can mean facing harsh realities.  What we want is not always what we can have and happiness is different from person to person. 

Oftentimes the things we should or should not feel, are what we must face head-on as adults.  When you peel back the outer shell of this episode and get past the overly dramatic shenanigans of Cheryl Blossom, you see the meat that is underneath.  A lot of commentary on adulthood and growing up.  This is one of the toughest journeys any person can take, so why would Archie and Co be any different?  We can try to convince ourselves that things can work out, that a happy life means a “happy ending”- an ever after with marriage and/or kids, but that is not always the case.

My Final Thoughts On Riverdale Episode 508

This episode of Riverdale lands a 4 out of 5 from me, due to the more believable and mature turn that the second half brought.  I do think, however, that since the show titles their episodes as chapters, it may end up all being one of Jughead’s stories after all when everything is said and done.  I was also a bit disappointed to see Miss Marble portrayed by Chilling Adventures of Sabrinas, Adeline Rudolph because it closed the door for characters from that show to visit Riverdale.  Anything is possible in Riverdale, however, so only time will tell. You can check out Riverdale at 8 pm Wednesdays on The CW, or on Thursdays via the CWTV app or CWTV.com.