Did you hear that? It was the sound of sexual awakenings all over the country, as Riverdale’s most beloved ship just gave broadcast TV its hottest sex scene in quite some time. Of course, we’re talking about Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) and Toni Topaz’s (Vanessa Morgan) blindfold-heavy romp in La Bonne Nuit. Nobody tell Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), okay?
Although Choni’s hookup is the single “American Dreams” scene that will go down in the annals of Riverdale history, creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and his crew had to fill Wednesday night’s episode with other plot points too. That’s why Archie Andrew (KJ Apa) was forced to fight for his life once more as Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead Jones (Five Feet Apart’s Cole Sprouse) found their latest pressing investigation.
So, let’s get down to the most bonkers moments of the episode and try to unravel them. They’re in no particular order, because Riverdale excels in the chaos.
An Adult Man Fights Archie Andrews, 16-Year-Old Boy
This section of “American Dreams” is so bizarre, I changed the title for it three times. First, we were going to talk about the bonkers fact that Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) — father, multimillionaire, drug kingpin, and prison mogul — somehow found time to set in motion a sprawling murder plot against Archie, a teen boy who barely goes to high school. No series has a weirder pair of nemeses. Then we were going to consider the absolutely wild horde of Gryphons & Gargoyles-slash-fizzle rocks users who show up to an old boxing gym by the docks to fight Archie.
Then, Captain Golightly (Link Baker), Archie’s forgotten Leopold & Loeb torturer from the abandoned Teen Murder Club storyline, appears to challenge Red. While many of the G&G players who previously boxed — and bit — the so-called “Red Paladin” may have been beefed up teens with a fizzle rocks problem, Captain Golightly is unquestionably an adult. If he had won, and murdered Archie, what would he have done? How would he explain the death of a minor to the police? Would Golightly have been carted off to jail with a smile on his face? Because, Hiram wouldn’t have protected him.
Well, we’ll never find out the answers to those mysteries. Because, bloody, shirtless Archie knocks Golightly out. But not before that grown man yelled the very strange lines of “This is for the Warden. And this is for me!” while beating up a teenager.
Archie’s Bear Scars Cameo
Cheryl & Toni Play An Elaborate Make Up Sex Game
A few weeks ago, Cheryl put together the Pretty Poisons gang as a way to make up for Toni’s Serpent family loss. It was a sweet gesture that quickly went sour for reasons not perfectly laid out. We know a power struggle ensued over the gang and Toni threatened to kick Cheryl out of the Poisons for the group’s own good during last week’s “Fire Walk with Me.” However, Cheryl has been acting as though she was legitimately thrown out of the gang since the end of “Fire Walk.”
Which brings us to “American Dreams,” where Cheryl sulks at home while the Poisons work a protection gig at La Bonne Nuit and Toni does on-the-nose “Call Your Girlfriend” karaoke with Veronica. Fed up with her poorly explained excommunication, Cheryl dons a forgotten Oceans 8 gown and heads to Veronica’s club to raise hell. There, the semi-retired cat burglar very obviously cases the joint in full view of her bouncer girlfriend. Later that night, Cheryl dons her very best catsuit to go rob Ronnie.
Yet, it’s not money Cheryl is really after. Instead, she wants Toni’s attention — and gets it. After a sultry suggestion of handcuffs over Cheryl’s bad behavior, Choni enters one of Riverdale’s sexiest, longest sex scenes ever. Oral sex, manual stimulation, and the lightest BDSM is suggested. “That was hot,” Cheryl says once everyone’s clothing is back on. “And nice.”
After feeling confusingly disconnected from her best friend and partner, Cheryl thinks she and Toni are back on track at last. There’s only one problem…
Choni’s problems are too complicated for a few good orgasms to fix. Earlier in the episode, Toni gives Nana Rose (Barbara Wallace) rent, suggesting she is tired of living in Riverdale’s answer to the Haunted Mansion for free (and, possibly, at all). After Choni’s make up sex, Toni confirms as much, saying she may have moved in with Cheryl “too soon.” After such a perceived slight, a wounded Cheryl wants Toni out of Thornhill ASAP.
It’s almost like two teens in a relatively new relationship shouldn’t be living together just yet.
Still smarting from this latest romantic setback, Veronica summons Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) to her home the next day to demand he names Heathers this year's Riverdale High spring musical. That will be the outlet for Cheryl’s — I mean HBIC Heather Chandler’s — rage.
Reggie Uses Petty Crimes To Become Veronica’s Boyfriend
Reggie Mantle (Charles Melton) spends “American Dreams” asking Veronica a lot of questions. Can he be her business partner? Does she really think he’s worth a single envelope of cash? Is it so bad he broke onto the Joneses’ property to steal back his car, threatening the possibility of a multi-sided gang war?
Finally, Reggie explains the reason he’s acting out: He wants proof he “matters” to Ronnie. It’s a thinly veiled plea for Veronica to be his real girlfriend rather than partner in actual crime and sometimes-sex buddy. She declines the prospect of serious commitment, reminding Reggie she suffered through multiple breakups with Archie mere weeks ago. Then, she hands Reggie the keys to his car. Clearly, she pulled some strings with crime boss Gladys Jones (Gina Gershon) to get it back.
Now that Reggie has his hot rod, Ronnie’s debt to him is paid. Partnership, settled. Are these two over for good?
Moving In With The Joneses
Jughead’s mom bought the Cooper hell house. Jughead hates it. Birthday boy F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) hates it. Betty hates it. I hate it. But at least this gives cult member Alice (Mädchen Amick) an escape hatch whenever the Farm really hits the fan.