“Why weren’t you a part of this?”
“Because I was playing basketball.”

Every so often, some of the dozen spinning plates on Riverdale wobble, and the show has to deal with Archie.

It’s a bizarre but fascinating process to watch a show routinely try to reset one of the stars to teen-show stakes. Last episode Archie wanted to take up the guitar and ended up a federal snitch pumping two experienced shitheads for information; he wasn’t nearly as bad at it as he should have been, but you can see the toll it’s taking. Archie wants to forget about informant stuff and serial killers and just play music again! Archie truly believes basketball should be a regular activity rather than an excuse you give your FBI (?) handler when you weren’t on the Pickens Day Planning Committee to get dirt on Hiram Lodge. And what can comfort him? Trying out for wrestling like regular teens do? Riverdale has so overclocked its teen trappings that Archie’s attempts at Youth Things feel like the moment in a war movie when somebody doomed talks about his girl back home.

AV Club: