At long last, Riverdale resumes its fifth season August 11 with “Chapter Eighty-Seven: Strange Bedfellows,” the CW teen drama’s first new episode in more than four months. (At least we got some Comic-Con scoop from Mädchen Amick during that hiatus.)
Here’s what The CW has to say about Wednesday’s new installment: “In the aftermath of the prison break at Hiram’s (Mark Consuelos) jail, Archie (KJ Apa) leads the charge to round up the remaining convicts on the loose. Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) reaches out for Betty’s (Lili Reinhart) help when she realizes Jughead (Cole Sprouse) is missing. When Penelope (guest star Nathalie Boltt) re-enters the fold, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) becomes suspicious of her true intentions.”
But will “Strange Bedfellows” enter the pantheon of absolute best Riverdale chapters? According to ShowSkimmer data, here are the 10 top-voted episodes of the series so far, presented in chronological order alongside rave reviews from IMDb users. (Series-wide spoilers below!)
Season 1, Episode 12: “Chapter Twelve: Anatomy of a Murder”
The first season’s penultimate hour reveals Jason’s murderer, and it’s someone close to home for the Blossom family. “Best plot twist ever, OMG,” one IMDb reviewer raved.
Season 1, Episode 13: “Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter”
In the Season 1 finale, Betty learns she has another family member, Cheryl discovers the truth about her family’s business, and Fred (Luke Perry) meets the business end of a bullet. “It’s crazy, it’s dark, but it’s good,” one fan wrote.
Season 2, Episode 5: “Chapter Eighteen: When a Stranger Calls”
As Alice (Amick) attacks the Southside in the local newspaper, Betty gets an ultimatum that threatens her closest friendships. “Lili Reinhart just delivered her best performance yet,” said an impressed viewer.
Season 2, Episode 7: “Chapter Twenty: Tales from the Darkside”
As the Black Hood challenges the town of Riverdale to remain sinless for 48 hours under threat of violence, Betty thinks she knows the identity of the mysterious villain. “This was a phenomenal episode,” a fan reviewed on IMDb. “It showed tremendous character development and was atmospherically gripping and dark.”
Season 2, Episode 19: “Chapter Thirty-Two: Prisoners”
After an incident at Riverdale High ratchets up tensions in town, Betty and Jughead sic the Black Hood on Chic (Hart Denton). “It was fast-paced and kept me on the edge of my seat,” a viewer observed.
Season 2, Episode 20: “Chapter Thirty-Three: Shadow of a Doubt”
Archie and Jughead try to de-escalate the Bulldog-Serpent feud as Fred and Hermione (Marisol Nichols) face off in a mayoral debate. “This was an intense and phenomenally done episode,” reads one fan review. “Each person is starting to show themselves for who they really are as veils of innocence and ignorance are being lifted.”
Season 2, Episode 21: “Chapter Thirty-Four: Judgment Night”
War breaks out between the Northside and the Southside, Veronica (Camila Mendes) finds out something shocking about Hiram, and Betty has a close encounter with the Black Hood. “All I can say is that if you were worried about the show slipping, then you do not have to be worried anymore,” observed one viewer. “We’re all in for a wild ride.”
Season 3, Episode 4: “Chapter Thirty-Nine: The Midnight Club”
Alice’s remembrances about a Gryphons and Gargoyles game in the 1990s trigger flashback scenes in which, per a fan on IMDb, “all the actors played their parents so smoothly.”
Season 4, Episode 1: “Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam”
Fred’s fate is revealed in the wake of the actor’s passing (Perry was removed from life support March 4, 2019, after two successive strokes), with Archie learning that his father died a hero’s death. “I couldn’t possibly think of a better, more respectful way to close the chapter on Fred Andrews’ life,” one viewer raved.
Season 4, Episode 16: “Chapter Seventy-Three: The Locked Room“
After his surprise resurrection, Jughead and Betty get answers in the Stonewall Prep mysteries. “I just finished this episode, and I’m truly impressed,” a fan wrote. “Nothing beats a locked room mystery in my book.”
Riverdale, Season 5 Midseason Premiere, Wednesday, August 11, 8/7c, The CW