Riverdale – “To Riverdale and Back Again”

Quick hit and quick question: is polyamorist a word? This is technically a spoiler for Riverdale (Chapter 11), although an extremely minor one, so I’ll put it behind the cut. Riverdale DID expicitly reference polyamory in its premier season, but amazingly NOT with respect to classic OT3-ship Archie-Betty-Veronica.

Chapter 11, “To Riverdale and Back Again” (2017) features a visit from Archie’s mom, Mary. Most of the first season, Mary has been out of town and off screen. Archie’s parents are separated, which is a source of angst for Archie. Archie’s dad, Fred, is increasingly romantically involved with Veronica’s mother, Hermione (whose husband is in jail), which is a source of angst for Veronica.

How will Fred react when his wife comes back into town? Guilt? Sheepishness? Try to hide his relationship with Veronica’s mom? Try to hide his wife from Veronica’s mom?

Of course not. These are adults! There is absolutely no drama. Love triangle averted. Fred takes both Mary and Hermione to the kids’ homecoming (to see Archie and Veronica perform with the band)

Hermione: Thanks for letting me tag along Fred.

Fred: It was Mary’s idea. I always like to have a beautiful woman on my arm. Tonight I have two.

Of course, even though our trio is unconcerned everyone else seems really bothered by it. The kids talk about it a lot. And then Mary has an encounter with Betty’s mom, Alice, in the ladies’ room.

Alice: I saw you swanning in earlier with Fred and Hermione. I didn’t realize that you were a polyamorist.

Mary, laughing: I don’t think that’s an actual word.

Alice: It’s a compliment Mary. I couldn’t be seen in the same room with those two, not after all their monkey business.  Oh, did you not know?

Mary: You have been playing the same game since junior high and it was tired even back then. Fred is a big boy. he can do as he pleases. I came here tonight to have fun with both of my dates.

❤ ❤ <3. Of course, they are just dates for the evening. There’s no indication of a genuine romantic relationship between the three of them (Mary and Fred seem quite decidedly broken up). But it is delightful to see 1. adults being mature and subverting the love triangle bullshit plot and 2. the refusal to consider being called a polyamorist an insult or accusation that needs countered or refuted and 3. using polyamorist as an insult as a mark of a childish villain.

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