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Barchie Deserved Better On 'Riverdale'

- Riverdale -
Barchie Deserved Better On 'Riverdale'

Quit playing games with my heart, Riverdale. First, you break up Varchie and Bughead and deny them the end of high school happiness they deserve. Then, you give fans the Barchie hookups they've been waiting five years for, only to take it away after four episodes? Yep, Betty and Archie broke up on Riverdale's "Lock & Key," mutually deciding they were better off as friends, and, now, I'm annoyed.

Riverdale has been dancing around Betty and Archie since the very first episode. And after four seasons of teases and a few stolen kisses, it seemed like, in the post-time jump world of Season 5, Riverdale had finally committed to giving Barchie a chance. Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa hinted as much when he told TVLine, "They're childhood friends, it's not just booty calls with them."

KJ Apa also hinted at a more complex Barchie relationship in January, telling Entertainment Tonight, "I feel like Archie and Betty really haven't had the opportunity to — just because of the other relationships they've had with Veronica and Jughead — to really dive into their relationship."

And yet, here we are. A few clandestine hookups later, but nary a "dive" in sight. (This was more like dipping your toe in the water to see what the temperature was like, and then ultimately deciding you're going to get fries and lay on a lounge chair beside the pool and read a murder book.)

What makes the Barchie breakup so frustrating was that I was actually starting to get excited to see where their relationship might go. It had potential to be something good in their tortured lives. The most carefree and flirty relationship the show has seen since Season 1, Barchie proved that Riverdale relationships can be more than just a brood fest of "I'm a weirdo" and "let me join your dad's mafia family so that I can prove myself." Who knew?

But, alas, now we're left with Varchie 2.0 and a potentially isolated Betty. And, look, I'm just going to say it: it's more than Archie deserves. We all know that both Betty and Veronica are too good for Archie. Sure, he's attractive and kind, but he also thought recruiting a bunch of 16-year-olds to become volunteer firemen was a great idea. So to see him go from stripping in his fireman outfit for Betty to making out with Veronica at the fire station in a span of one episode was a lot.

And to leave Betty vulnerable and alone when she's probably about to find her sister's dead body in the swamp? Not cool, Riverdale. Not cool.

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Image: Dean Buscher/The CW

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