Archie Returns To The Ring On Next Week’s ‘Riverdale’

by Rachel Bellwoar

In the trailer for next week’s episode, Percival (Chris O’Shea) challenges Archie (KJ Apa) to a boxing match. What isn’t exactly clear — winner takes all of what? All of Archie’s holdings in Riverdale, which at this point includes his father’s construction business and the community center? All of his jobs (does anyone want to teach at Riverdale High)?

Archie is a community leader, but he doesn’t exactly have a title, like the council leaders Percival messed with this week. In any case, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) saying Riverdale will rally around Archie seems like a brash statement to make when they’re dealing with a guy who can literally make people do what he wants.

This week’s episode did tease that there might be some limits to Percival’s powers. He apparently can’t, for example, use his mind control abilities over the internet. as Toni (Vanessa Morgan) learned when she had to livestream his attempt to kill all of the Serpents using Riverdale’s sheriff’s department.

Toni and Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) seem to have an immunity to his hold overall. Having déjà vu and being able to survive working at Pop’s aren’t exactly tangible superpowers, but maybe they got their powers from some other traumatic Riverdale event (or does Percival not even need them so he hasn’t tried to manipulate their brains)?

Some other thoughts on “The Serpent Queen’s Gambit”:

  • Anyone else forget that Betty (Lili Reinhart) had told Archie she was sensitive to light now, hence the sunglasses indoors that made her look like she was hungover at the council meeting?
  • Best Scene: Abigail/Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) channeling the Evil Queen in Snow White with her poisoned scones
  • Is the show getting ready to break-up Reggie (Charles Melton) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) because — not that Archie is Veronica’s only other romantic option — but usually a breakup with Reggie corresponds with a Varchie reunion, and there’s been no hint of that.
  • Alice (Mädchen Amick) and Kevin (Casey Cott) have always been vulnerable to outside influences, but now they have an excuse again ⁠— Percival made them do it.

Riverdale airs Sundays on The CW.

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