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Okay, it’s time to come clean: I think “Riverdale” is actually a brilliant show.
I won’t give my full manifesto on the absurdist genius of “Riverdale” here, but I will say this: their writers’ room has to be the most fun writers’ room in Hollywood. (There’s no way they’re not messing with everyone.... right?) From the demonic board games to secret half-siblings and illicit drugs with names like “jingle jangle” and “fizzle rocks,” “Riverdale” has a plethora of bonkers plotlines that I can’t help but be fascinated by. Although I haven’t actually watched a full episode since maybe 2018, I do watch the YouTube compilations of its greatest moments almost religiously, so I’ve learned a lot.
Here’s where that very useful knowledge has gotten me: Originally, I wanted to rank my favorite insane moments from the show, but that’s been done too many times already. So, instead, I thought I would help you figure out which bizarre plot you are based on your Zodiac sign (you’re welcome!)
Yes, these are all real things that happened on “Riverdale.” And yes, it has been on the air for six seasons now. Enjoy!
Aries: Archie Fights a Bear
If any of these signs can take on a bear, it’s a ram. At one point during Season Three, leading man Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) has an unfortunate encounter with a grizzly bear in the Canadian wilderness. Why was Archie in the Canadian wilderness? I don’t really know, but I think it had something to do with escaping the law and his girlfriend’s evil father, Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos). Bold, ambitious, and a bit audacious, Aries are known to take risks, often diving headfirst into situations without thinking them through. Perhaps Archie should have come up with a more solid plan that didn’t involve staying in an isolated cabin in the woods (or at least brought bear spray), but that’s okay. Above all, Aries are courageous and fiery — that is, fearless enough to fight a bear and brag about it later (and they will brag about it later). And much like Archie, an Aries always bounces back: Archie was miraculously totally fine by the next episode (though he never missed an opportunity to show off his scars in his many, many shirtless scenes.)
Taurus: Veronica Opens a Speakeasy as a 17-Year-Old
Hard-headed and reliable, Tauruses love stability, comfort, and the finer things in life. They work hard and play hard — a fitting motto for La Bonne Nuit, the opulent speakeasy-slash-casino that Veronica (Camila Mendes) opened as a high schooler. Tauruses are ambitious, resilient, and endlessly stubborn when it comes to making their dreams come true: It’s this sort of willpower that allows Veronica to manage multiple business ventures, acquire several properties, and create a rum brand to rival her father’s all before taking the SAT. Furthermore, Taurses have a great affinity for the pleasures and indulgences of the material world. Their love of good food, drinks, and luxury goods would make any Taurus an incredible underaged proprietor of this lavish establishment.
Gemini: Betty’s Alleged Secret Half-Brother Commits Identity Fraud
A quick disclaimer: I don’t want to contribute to old-fashioned Gemini slander (I promise, I’m actually a big fan of my fellow air signs!) — but this is such a ludicrous storyline that I couldn’t not include it. In Season Two, this random guy named Chic (Hart Denton) shows up at the Coopers’ house, claiming to be Alice’s (Mädchen Amick) firstborn child. As it turns out, Alice’s real biological son was not Chic, but Chic’s former lover Charles, who Chic was impersonating for some reason. Later on, Chic also takes on the mantle of the Gargoyle King, one of Season Three’s main antagonists (don’t ask). Needless to say, Chic is incredibly flexible, adaptable, and convincing, much like a Gemini. Geminis can strike up a conversation with anyone and fit in anywhere; as incredibly versatile and magnetic individuals, I don’t doubt that they could charm their way into a random family (or become a cult leader) like Chic.
Cancer: Cheryl Sends her Crush a Pig Heart
In Season Two, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) does a series of very creepy things to…. impress her classmate Josie (Ashleigh Murray). I don’t really get it, but she was truly playing the long game here: Cheryl sends Josie a series of threatening things including ransom notes and a pig heart, accuses another classmate of stalking Josie, then swoops in to provide Josie with emotional support while she’s scared for her safety. Genius! I’m not saying that Cancers would do such a thing, but Cancers will go to great lengths for their loved ones. These water signs are incredibly loyal and feel very deeply; however, they can also be prone to manipulative tendencies at times (hopefully nothing involving animal hearts). But they’re also incredibly heartfelt, like the portraits that Cheryl drew of herself and Josie. That’s kind of sweet, I guess?
Leo: All of the Musical Episodes
I’m not saying that all Leos are theater kids, but they’re probably not an underrepresented demographic in the thespian community. Luckily, “Riverdale” has plenty of musical episodes to choose from: Over the years, the show has done “Carrie,” “Heathers,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” and “Next to Normal.” The show’s attempts to connect the season’s ongoing storylines to the plots of these shows range from logical (the students stage a production of “Carrie” at school) to surreally bizarre (Betty’s mom creates an imaginary musical fantasy world to cope with reality). But “Riverdale” doesn’t need a reason for its theatrics, and neither do Leos. Spirited and vivacious, Leos are natural entertainers who live for the applause. With their affinity for glamor and flair for the dramatic, Leos embody “Riverdale” at its campiest.
Virgo: Jughead Has to Write Comic Books for All of Eternity to Keep Two Parallel Universes from Converging
This one requires a little bit of context that I don’t necessarily feel qualified to provide, but here goes: In Season Six, the characters are transported via an explosion or something to a darker, weirder version of their town called Rivervale, with a V, where ghosts, demons, and witches run amok. I quite literally don’t understand the rest of the season’s plot, but at one point, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) discovers that the only way to stop the two parallel universes from colliding is to become “a living battery and story generator that powers Rivervale by writing stories to fuel the universe so that it doesn't have to keep leeching off of Riverdale.” That’s a direct quote from the “Riverdale” Wiki. I don’t really know what that means, but I do know that it would take an inhuman amount of organization and discipline to stay focused while writing stories for all of eternity. Practical and systematic, there’s no one better for the job than a driven Virgo full of ideas. Virgos are logical, incredibly attentive to detail, and love to feel useful, but can be controlling when others’ performances aren’t on par with their own high standards (if only because they know they could do the job better). Who could be more qualified to oversee the future of the multiverse?
Libra: The Writing of the Show Itself
It’s no secret that Libras can be a little indecisive — and so can “Riverdale,” as it constantly waffles between genres and sometimes suddenly drops important plot points to make room for new storylines. Libras often have trouble making decisions, and can be prone to fantasy; they also have a natural inclination to see every side of a situation and are idealists at their core, though they can have trouble committing to one thing or another. For these reasons, I think there must be a strong Libra presence in the “Riverdale” writing room. Everything that could possibly happen on the show has happened, yet the writers always manage to do something new and unexpected. Why make choices when you can have it all?
Scorpio: Dark Betty
Scorpios are undoubtedly the mysterious cool kids of the zodiac. Charismatic yet private, Scorpios are an enigma to many — much like Betty’s (Lili Reinhart) alter ego, Dark Betty. It’s still unclear where this storyline came from or whether Dark Betty still exists, but these inconsistencies simply add to the mystery. Unable to express the darker parts of herself in her day-to-day life, Betty sometimes dresses in vastly different clothing, dons a black wig, and gives herself permission to behave badly (in one Dark Betty scene, she almost boils a classmate alive in a hot tub, in the name of feminism, of course). Later in the series, it’s revealed that the word “tangerine” is what triggers Betty’s darkness, so… do with that what you will? Scorpios are often drawn to darkness and intensity, using emotional energy as fuel. Similarly, Dark Betty is the manifestation of all of Betty’s darker emotions and impulses that lurk beneath the surface. Sorry Dark Betty, but Scorpios do it better — no costume wig needed.
Sagittarius: ‘The Epic Highs and Lows of High School Football’
In Season Three, Archie is in juvenile detention for some reason (again, I think it had to do with Veronica’s dad?). While trying to convince his fellow inmates to join his gang or play sports or something, he tells them that if they weren’t in juvie, they’d be in high school having a good time. One inmate disagrees: “Not me. I dropped out in the fourth grade to run drugs to support my Nana.” Archie’s response? “Then that means you haven’t known the triumphs and defeats, the epic highs and lows of high school football.” This line is undoubtedly one of the best in the entire series, and happens to reflect several Sagittarius traits. Charismatic, personable, and natural-born leaders, Sagittarians inspire those around them to live their best lives. Furthermore, they know how to rally a crowd (Archie successfully organizes a football game after this), love their freedom (he attempts to escape from juvie in the same episode), and are just really funny (so is this dialogue).
Capricorn: Betty Joins the FBI as a 17-Year-Old
Capricorns are the overachievers of the zodiac, and nothing says overachiever like the following storyline: In Season Four, Betty starts training with the FBI while still in high school, which is actually one of the more normal things to happen on this show. Her investigative prowess in exposing The Farm (an organ-harvesting cult that posed as an innocuous after-school club) scores her an invitation to the FBI Junior Trainee program (which is coincidentally run by Betty’s real half-brother, Charles). Betty truly excels in this program, quickly becoming the best in her class — similarly, Capricorns are widely known for their talent and competence (it’s later revealed that the real reason Betty is so good at identifying serial killers is that she has something called the “serial killer genes,” but that’s besides the point). Nevertheless, only a Capricorn’s admirable work ethic and clear sense of direction could land an internship like this.
Aquarius: ‘I’m Weird, I’m a Weirdo’
Jughead delivers this infamous speech in Season One, after his friends throw him a surprise party against his wishes. He confronts Betty, then insists that they are simply too incompatible and their relationship is doomed: Whereas Betty is the “perfect girl next door,” Jughead is weird. He’s a weirdo. He laments, “I’m weird. I’m a weirdo. I don’t fit in. And I don’t want to fit in. Have you ever seen me without this stupid hat [it’s a beanie] on? That’s weird.” As an Aquarius, I hate to admit that this is kind of an Aquarius thing to say. As the “eccentric professors” of the zodiac, Aquarians march to the beat of their own drum. Progressive and idealistic, they will always champion the underdog, though they sometimes come off as aloof or detached. Even if Aquarians don’t fit in and don’t want to fit in, they can sometimes cling a little too hard to the idea that they’re not like other girls. (It’s actually not even weird to wear a beanie).
Pisces: Everyone Has Superpowers Now
As the final sign of the zodiac, it’s said that Pisces have absorbed all the lessons learned by the other signs — as a result, they’re by far the most intuitive and empathetic. Pisces are sensitive, compassionate, and often considered to have some innate psychic abilities. Who else has psychic abilities? Many of the “Riverdale” characters, following an explosion in Season Six. Betty, for example, gains the ability to read others’ auras, while Jughead can read a person’s thoughts and memories. As it turns out, Cheryl is a pyrokinetic witch with the power of the Phoenix who later absorbs everyone else’s superpowers in order to save Riverdale from a comet, Scarlet Witch style (I can’t make this up). Pisces are also considered to be the artists of the zodiac, and there’s no denying that the Phoenix scene is pure art.
—Outgoing TV Exec Jamila R. O’Hara spent way too much time on this article and got behind on one of her final essays as a result. Let her know if you disagree with her astrological analysis at jamila.o’email@example.com.
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