Riverdale: “Climax” Spoiler Light Preview

Riverdale -- "Chapter Seventy-Seven: Climax" -- Image Number: RVD501a_0024r -- Pictured: KJ Apa as Archie Andrews -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Hello and welcome to TVSourceMagazine, home of many shows reviews, previews, and yours truly. Some of you may know me, some of you may not but either way, here’s a quick run down of how I do my thing: reviews are incredibly time consuming and it usually takes me six to ten hours to do a proper full review of recap and snark so long story short: thank your reviewers, folks. It’s definitely work.

That being said I will be splitting my Riverdale work with fellow TVSource alum, Spencer Barrett . We will be teaming up to cover all things happening in the town with pep. My role? As long as screeners go out, I will do these previews. I will aim to have them up the Sunday prior to episode air date (depending on when they go out), I will never break DNRs (that’s “Do Not Reveals” for those not in the know) and I most likely won’t answer any questions you ask, not because I don’t care (I do!) but because you have to be really careful with these things. So, as long as screeners go out (which aren’t guaranteed! Sometimes it’s all of them, sometimes it’s one of them, sometimes they just stop) you can look forward to a little tease about what’s to come. You will find my approach super casual and laid back and if you’re looking for 100% professionalism 100% of the time, well….look elsewhere. I may be press but I still have thoughts and opinions.

But enough about me, I know what you’re all here for so let’s get started.

Riverdale returns with a bang (and no, I shockingly don’t mean between the sheets) picking up right where we left off in season four: a creepy mystery and personal drama. Everyone on the canvas is affected by both of these things whether they’re aware of it or not, just yet. Personally, for an episode called “Climax” I would have expected more explosions. While the episode might be light on those, it’s not necessarily light on implosions.

There’s something to be said about callbacks to previous seasons and you don’t have to be an avid watcher to pick up on the handful that are obvious from the pilot (any fan edit would have the scenes in question). What’s more interesting is a returning thread from season two making its way into the current story. If you think I’m talking about ships, I’m not, but the thread that’s being looped through is dark indeed and hooded in mystery. One may even say it’s so dark it’s black. Where that thread leads isn’t clear but it is intriguing.

Fans may have been toting this premiere as “the prom episode” but alas, very little prom is actually shown. Unfortunate, yes? That’s not to say that there aren’t interesting things happening at prom, it just would have been nice for that portion to have a little more room to breathe. While we do get to see the crowning of the prom royalty (as well as their court) the moments aren’t allowed the significance that they should have had.

For all the shippers out there, there is a little something for everyone. In some instances, I do mean little, but it’s there. Fans can look forward to one character singing a very familiar tune and doing so beautifully, if awkwardly. And man, is it awkward. But as a drama-whore, sign me up. I love to see it.

Some stray thoughts for your consideration:

  • As much as it doesn’t seem so in the time, high school comes with an expiration date and what we think is forever, isn’t. 
  • For those who wanted Toni to have more of a prominent role in season five, if the premiere episode is any indication, she definitely will.
  • The word endgame continues to be cringe especially when the people on the other end of it don’t seem to be as secure in their beliefs as the ones saying it. 
  • Inserting characters that normally are in the B or C storylines into the A storyline is something that should actually happen on this show more often, especially when it makes sense to do so for plot reasons. 
  • Episode rating is a solid seven. To me, the episode doesn’t work as a standalone and there needs to be a better balance between mystery vs personal/interpersonal drama and milestone moments need more room to breathe. That being said, there were some truly beautiful and poignant (both in your face and more subtle) moments and the episode works in an overarching plot kinda way. 

Thoughts? Guesses? Feedback, comments, concerns? Sound off below or yell at us on twitter @TVSource.

Riverdale returns Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 on The CW

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About the Author

Heather Mason joined the TV Source Magazine team in December 2017 with plans to cover The CW's 100.