Betty and Jughead investigating
With the Bulldogs struggling, Archie and Veronica set out to make them great. Meanwhile, Betty continues to delve deeper into the mystery of her sister’s disappearance, and Kevin grapples with his identity.

On Riverdale Season 5 Episode 9. Archie and Veronica help the Bulldogs navigate the epic highs and lows of high school football. Betty discovers a devastating development in her sister’s disappearance, and Jughead tells her of someone who might know what happened.

Jughead talking to Betty

Betty And The Lonely Highway

At the end of last week’s episode, we saw that the phone booth Polly called betty and Alice from was destroyed and covered in blood. This episode continues with Betty investigating the carnage and Alice falling into a deep spiral, but we’ll talk about that a little later.

Now I’m really enjoying this storyline, much more than I expected to, and I think it’s being drawn out in an enticing way that keeps me on my toes. So often, shows make it obvious where a storyline is inevitably heading, but I can honestly say I have no idea where they’re planning to take this and it’s kind of exciting.

The storyline has already gone through so many twists and turns, from Polly possibly having been kidnapped by a trucker, to her likely having been murdered, to maybe witnessing an alien encounter. Or rather, a Mothman encounter. It’s a wild plotline, and even though the idea of aliens potentially coming to town is a little ridiculous, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued.

 

Kevin

This storyline makes me sad, for several reasons. Mainly because of what has become of Kevin’s character this season. He feels so different from previous seasons, it’s almost like he’s a completely new character. And sure, people are bound to change over seven years but this much, and this out of character feels a little strange.

From his very first appearance in Season 1, it was never a secret that Kevin was gay. He has always been so proud of who he is. Which is why his storyline in this episode bothered me so much. In this episode we find Kevin struggling with his identity and saying that he’s ashamed. But the Kevin we’ve known for the previous 4 Seasons never felt that way, so it just feels so strange to me that it’s coming up all of a sudden.

I think this could have been a poignant storyline had it happened back when he was in high school. There could have been a whole arc of him finding himself and accepting himself for he is. And maybe that’s what the writers are trying to do now but it just feels a little too late when they’ve already established his character and identity so much. And even if they are doing it now, having him be the target of a hate crime is not the way to go about it.

In the span of two episodes, he went from being a happily engaged, father to be, to suddenly breaking off his engagement, saying he doesn’t want to be a father, and suddenly ashamed of being gay. It just doesn’t make sense, and it felt like the writers just needed a plot for him in this episode and this was the one they decided on. I’m hoping they do better by Kevin’s character as the season goes on because he’s been tarnished so much already and it’s only 9 episodes in.

 

Betty and Jughead investigating

Alice

This storyline has been festering for the last few episodes but started coming to a head in this week’s episode, and boy is it heart-wrenching to watch.  Alice has always been a bit of a woman on the verge, and it seems like every season she is put through the wringer. This one is no exception.

From the first time jump episode, it was clear that Alice was a bit burnt out, and since Polly went missing, she’s seemingly spiralled quite a bit. There was a shot in this week’s episode that showed a bottle of Ambien’s next to her glass of wine, hinting that she may be battling a bit of a substance problem.

While Riverdale isn’t a stranger to dealing with storylines like this, this one does feel a bit different, and if handled well, I feel like it could bring a new layer of depth to both the character and show. It’s a hard to watch plot, partly due to Mädchen Amick (who plays the character) phenomenally raw acting.

It’s a story, that while not ideal for fans of the character, makes a lot of sense in the context of her storyline. This is a woman who has gone through so much, especially when it comes to her children. And though we don’t know much about what happened in her life in the seven-year time jump, the little we do, I think adds to this storyline and makes it make more sense.

I mean, the love of her life moved away, her son turned out to be a bad guy, Betty left for college, Polly spiralled out of control and Alice took on the role of caretaker to the twins. And as far as we know, she dealt with all of it on her own. So to me, it feels very realistic that she isn’t fairing well and isn’t dealing with her grief in the most healthy of ways. I’m honestly interested to see where this storyline goes, my only hope is that it’s handled properly and not just dropped. It’s such a heavy storyline to take on, so I hope the writers take their time with it and don’t just drop it.

What did you think of Riverdale Season 5 Episode 9? What are your thoughts on Kevin’s character this season? Do you think Polly is still alive? Let us know in the comments or share with us on Twitter!

Riverdale airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on the CW!