Is there still hope for Barchie in Riverdale season 5?

Riverdale -- “Chapter Eighty-Two: Back To School” -- Image Number: RVD506fg_0001r -- Pictured (L-R): KJ Apa as Archie Andrews and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper -- Photo: The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Riverdale -- “Chapter Eighty-Two: Back To School” -- Image Number: RVD506fg_0001r -- Pictured (L-R): KJ Apa as Archie Andrews and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper -- Photo: The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Hi, Barchies! How are we doing after Riverdale‘s latest episode–“Chapter Eighty-Four: Lock and Key”–put Barchie back on the path of no romance?

I’m not going to lie, I was frustrated. We are, after all, only five episodes into the time jump and four episodes into the Barchie experience only for the rug to have been pulled out from under us. But I’m also not ready to say goodbye to the romantic potential of this not-couple, and I don’t think the show is completely ready to either.

Now, bear with me. This is going to sound like I’m breaking the foil out and making a hat, but considering Riverdale is trying to convince us that Moth men are real, and the show insists on selling us Veronica’s unlikely dream of having a successful jewelry shop in a rundown town, I think I’m well within my right to extrapolate a Barchie possibility from this ridiculous series.

First, and foremost, I want to remind everyone that this is a soap opera. An incredibly dramatic, over-the-top, fun, and off-the-wall soap opera. If you’ve ever watched the daytime stories, then you know no pairing is ever safe from an out of left field, or well-built, shake-up. This inevitability applies to primetime soaps as well.

Is Barchie over on Riverdale?

While I wasn’t expecting such a quick chop for Barchie, I do understand why it happened. As infectious as Betty’s joy has been about being with Archie, she is afraid her darkness will overtake him. Betty’s struggle with the near-constant flurry of grimdark elements in her life has been a consistent story arc for her.

So, it makes sense that she wants to keep Archie as her “window of light in the dark.” The one good, uncomplicated thing in her life right now is him. With Archie, Betty has been able to laugh. She’s been happy. She’s even gotten to express those feelings to Kevin, the forever Barchie shipper in her life.

But really being with Archie, navigating a relationship with him at this point in her life as she’s dealing with PTSD and the disappearance of her sister, Polly, would complicate things. It would mean being honest about her inner turmoil and popping the safe, tranquil bubble she and Archie have built together over the weeks.

As a fan of their relationship, I wanted to see Archie be there for Betty as she figures out this mystery involving so many dead or missing young women, and I hope that still happens. But I also get that Betty’s aware she’s been using Archie to help her keep it together, and that’s not okay.

We know this as the audience to be true because we can see that Archie has felt that from her. It was evident in the aftermath of them sleeping together when she showed up on his doorstep. And it was clear in his talk with Jackson when he said showing up for Betty in the middle of the night didn’t feel great.

It’s not hard to see why. Betty had the opportunity to be open with Archie when she had that nightmare about the Trash Bag Killer, but she wasn’t. Instead, she chose physical comfort over an emotional connection. There are only so many times you can make it clear to someone that you’re not willing to open up to them before they start looking elsewhere for a deeper connection.

Enter the resurgence of Varchie like a phoenix from the ashes. Archie vibes with Veronica. He always has. It makes sense that in his confusing swirl of feelings for Betty, he’d tap back into what’s familiar with him and V. She’s not exactly an open book, but their relationship also isn’t that complicated. They’re attracted to one another. They’re open about it. They’re pretty upfront about what they want.

Barchie has always struggled to be on the same page. It’s a curse of the ship. One of them is always hesitant about pursuing more or conflicted about it. While season 5 did bring them closer to a consensus on what they should be to one another, we’re still not quite on the mark which is why I don’t think these two are really done.

In what’s one of the most open and honest moments between the two, both Betty and Archie realize they’re on the edge and have to make a decision about their relationship. You can’t be on the edge with someone if there’s no possibility of you being more to one another than you have been previously.

I cannot state enough how obvious it is that Betty and Archie have feelings for each other. There is absolutely too much affection in their interactions for there to be nothing but lust between them. The scene with Archie dressing up in his firesuit for Betty practically screams domesticity and what their relationship could be if they both took the plunge together.

But Betty chose to remove the “benefits” from her and Archie’s friendship, and Archie chose to be exactly what she needs right now, which is a light in her life. It was a beautiful scene that included Archie being honest about still having feelings for Veronica. They both put their cards on the table and decided to step back from the edge.

Doing so left Archie open to pursuing a relationship with Veronica now that she’s getting a divorce. However, I’m hesitant to say that his feelings for Betty are completely settled and done.

When Veronica asked Archie if he and Betty hooking up was just “two lost, lonely souls looking for a connection,” Archie looked down and away. He looked her in the eyes when he answered, “Something like that. We’re just friends. It’s the truth. I thought you should know,” but that look away spoke volumes.

Barchie has never been simple despite feelings safe with one another. Betty even acknowledges the two archetypes they fit into–the all-American boy and the girl next door–don’t actually embody who they are and because of that what should be easy between them isn’t. It’s complicated. It’s always been complicated.

So, I don’t think the Barchie ship has sailed and/or sunk on Riverdale. I don’t even think they’re done exploring their relationship in this season. And, yes, I do mean both romantically and their friendship. For sure they’re not hooking up anytime soon but that’s the thing about romance. Sex isn’t its kindling; love is. Communication, honesty, emotional intimacy, and vulnerability are what makes romance burn bright.

It doesn’t feel like Barchie’s story is over by a long shot. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong but when it comes to these two, something always brings them back to each other one way or another. From what I’ve seen its love unfulfilled, untested, and unresolved. That’s still the case, to me, even with another miss at romance for these childhood best friends.

Do you think Barchie are over in Riverdale season 5? Serve up you thoughts in the comments below!

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