Dean Buscher/The CW
January 24, 2018 at 09:46 PM EST


TV Show
run date
K.J. Apa, Cole Sprouse, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, Madelaine Petsch
The CW
We gave it a B-

And that brings us back to the central rivalry of the episode: Archie vs. Hiram. After Agent Adams tells Archie that he needs to gain Hiram’s trust, Archie asks Veronica for help getting to know her father. She suggests that Archie ditch basketball in favor of Hiram’s favorite sport, wrestling. The bad news? Archie sucks at wrestling. Sure, he can talk about weight classes while looking all kinds of delicious, but that’s about the extent of his talents.

But it’s okay, because Veronica has a backup plan. Archie can sing with her at Pickens Day. Hiram would love that! Spoiler: She’s wrong.

When Hiram finds Archie and Veronica practicing in her room, he spends the entire time belittling Archie for not being man enough to wrestle. He tells him there’s no shame in accepting defeat, but it’s Veronica who makes things extremely uncomfortable. She tells her father that Archie is actually a very talented musician who is “incredibly sexy when he sings.” WHO SAYS THAT TO THEIR FATHER?! Archie takes advantage of the moment to kiss V in front of Hiram, but then Archie decides to ditch the song. He tells Hiram he’ll see him at tryouts tomorrow.

And not only does Archie see Hiram at tryouts, but he wrestles him. Hiram is there to teach the guys what used to be his signature move — which, by the way: learning new moves doesn’t happen during tryouts — and he chooses Archie as his victim. After he pins him, he tells the teen, “I always win,” thereby feeling good about himself for pinning someone who can’t even vote yet and giving off a weird vibe that he wants a romantic relationship with his daughter. Otherwise, why such an intense rivalry??

Later, Archie storms into Hiram’s apartment and asks him, “Why don’t you like me?” The answer is somewhat obvious: Archie isn’t good enough for Hiram’s daughter. Thankfully, when Arch plays the “I took care of her while you were in prison” card, Veronica is there to step in. And next thing Archie knows, he’s getting a call from Hiram at what I can only assume is 5 a.m.

Hiram takes Archie for an early morning run and a healthy breakfast, where he tells Arch that Veronica has enough on her plate. He doesn’t want her worrying about them. So, he will tell her about this morning, which will make her happy. And from then on, he will “tolerate” Archie until this “phase is over.” Because boyfriends come and go but fathers are forever. Again, it’s a little sexual.

On the last day of tryouts, Hiram does everything he can to sink Archie: He invites Veronica to watch and gets the coach to pair Arch with Chuck, who’s in the next weight class. But, as Hiram said earlier, wrestling is about force of will, and it’s Archie who comes out the victor (all the while making awkward eye contact with Hiram). Again, ONE OF THESE MEN IS NOT A MAN. HE’S A BOY.

As for how it all ends, well, let’s just say that Archie goes from The Wrestler to The Intern, because Hiram claims he’s ready to mold Archie into a proper businessman. So get ready for more wrestling, guys!

Overall, I enjoy the Hiram-Archie stuff. Yes, it’s heinous, but that’s Riverdale. On the other hand, the Pickens Day stuff didn’t quite land, and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of Chic. Also, Hal sucks. And there was a lot of Hal sucking in this episode.

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