Percival Pickens, palladium, and pyrokinesis? Riverdale returns with another episode of superpowers, antagonists, and Archie trying to be the town superhero once again.
Archie Andrews is undeniably the hero of Riverdale. We’ve seen it time and time again, and it’s probably one of the most recurring storylines in the show. In this episode, we see Jughead give Archie that push to be a hero once again, which is just classic Jug and Archie dynamic. They’re planning to reopen the El Royale as a boxing gym for kids, which will, of course, be owned by Archie, the world’s most invincible man! They even go for the Guinness World Record and everything.
Percival Pickens is clearly the villain of the moment. While he’s succeeding in some areas, he’s definitely losing in others. He was able to trick Veronica into going into competition against Toni and Tabitha’s businesses (the Whyte Worm and Pop’s) at first. This ends with Toni, Tabitha, and Veronica all teaming up, breaking Percival down, and building each other up in the process. It’s exciting to see, especially since Veronica has felt so far away from Jughead, Betty, and Archie this season.
While they’re successful, Archie is not. Percival tries to mind control Archie into cutting into himself with a box cutter, a strange choice, but I guess he was working with what he had). However, Archie is invincible, and his arm breaks the box cutter. He then uses a picture of his father to fight off the mind control powers. I, personally, love the way they’re trying to keep his memory alive. It’s not something often seen in shows, and it’s especially heartwarming amid all the other events.
So, with the invincibility superpower, it seems reasonable to think that Archie will end a boxing match with Percival as the obvious winner. If Percival wins, his grandfather’s statue will be returned to Pickens Park. Percival will resign from the council if Archie wins. What Jughead and Archie failed to think about was the possibility that Percival was ten steps ahead of them. He fought the match with palladium, Archie’s weakness, in his gloves. He got this palladium through his classic mind control technique and Betty’s mother, Alice. He got into Alice’s mind and got Betty to tell her everything about Archie. While Percival is incredibly frustrating to watch, it’s almost refreshing to see him keep winning in some areas. However, the next person he’s after is Tabitha, who is disappointing. Tabitha seems to be the only one with sense sometimes in Riverdale, so hopefully, he does not succeed with this plan.
While all this is happening, Cheryl learns that Britta’s parents are ready to accept Britta for who she is, and Britta returns home. Later, we see that something is up with Cheryl. She’s burning up to extremely hot temperatures. It’s not till Darius, the worker watching over Abigail’s doll (a tribute to Annabelle perhaps?), burns to complete ash that Cheryl calls for Betty’s help. It’s sweet to see just how dedicated Betty is to help Cheryl. Finally, they come to the conclusion that Cheryl is now pyrokinetic. I think this could be an interesting way for Cheryl to possibly play a hero for Riverdale, and it would be a good way to tie her back into everything happening in the town.