[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Riverdale ahead.]
Riverdale revealed something big about Cheryl Blossom’s sexuality in the season 2 episode ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ – but is there romance in her immediate future? The Blossom daughter hasn’t exactly had it easy this season thus far, what with her still reeling from learning that her father murdered her brother last season. Not to mention, Cheryl and her not so affectionate mother Penelope have been strapped for cash since Clifford Blossom killed himself. The latter has dealt with the situation by providing “comfort” to a variety of well-endowed men at Thornhill Mansion (most recently, Betty’s dad Hal), much to her daughter’s discomfort.
Cheryl again found herself on the outside looking in when Riverdale‘s main four (Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead) left her behind for a weekend getaway – one that had fans raising their eyebrows when trailers for ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ showed Veronica getting intimate with Jug while Arch and Betty looked on from a hot tub. However, that turned out to be a bit of misdirection on the show’s part; the real discussion-worthy moment in the episode took place over at Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe, when Cheryl admitted to Toni Topaz that (like Toni) she has romantic feelings for other girls.
Appropriately enough, Cheryl opened up to Toni about her sexuality – and how Penelope had punished Cheryl when she first found out – after their pair took in a screening of Love, Simon; the upcoming teen comedy/drama about a teenager struggling to come out to his friends and family, which Riverdale executive producer Greg Berlanti not so coincidentally directed. Vanessa Morgan, who plays Toni, spoke with Comic Book about her big scene with Cheryl actress Madeleine Petch, and expressed her excitement about finding out what comes next for the Southside Serpent and Miss Blossom:
“Madelaine Petsch is one of my best friends, before I even started filming this show. The fact, reading that means I get more screen time with her, more set time with her, was just awesome. I love Cheryl’s character, and I think their friendship and whatever it turns out to be, is going to be an awesome thing. They’re both strong independent girls, who come from a broken home. I think that’s going to be a very interesting dynamic.”
Cheryl’s sexuality was overtly brought into question earlier this season on Riverdale, when the character was shown expressing what appeared to be repressed feelings of attraction for Josie McCoy. Hopefully, now that Cheryl has come out as queer to someone other than her mother, she will learn how to express those feelings in a healthier fashion and, when she’s ready, open up about her identity to those who are close to her (namely, Archie and company). Morgan told Comic Book that she thinks that Toni will be instrumental in helping out Cheryl in this respect because of the dynamic between the two:
“I mean regardless of where Toni and Cheryl end up, however that relationship works, the thing about Cheryl and Toni is that I think Toni’s the first person, obviously Betty do a couple of times challenge her, but Toni really challenges her. I think it’s one of those things where her tough exterior, Toni sees right through that. I think Toni’s probably been there, done that. She knows when a person’s wall is up and is just trying to be strong. I think the fact that Cheryl’s bringing her wall down with her, I think that’s just like the biggest thing, and they’re so similar in that way. Toni kind of smiles whenever she’s trying to be tough like that. She’s from the Southside. She’s used to way more than that. I think that’s a really interesting dynamic, and that’s why it works so well, and that’s why Cheryl’s like, ‘Oh shit, I can’t put on a front with you. You’re not letting go, you’re pushing me here. You know the truth.’ That’s really cool and that’s why that will work.”
Petch actually revealed Cheryl’s sexuality a couple weeks ago, saying during a video Q&A that “[Cheryl] is still figuring out what her sexuality is. She is definitely interested in both women and men, so I would say she is bisexual. I think you’re going to see a lot more of her figuring out who she is.” It’s nevertheless refreshing to see that Riverdale has gone ahead and made Cheryl’s bisexuality canon, rather than leaving it open to interpretation or making her a “bait” LGBTQ character whose orientation is never explicitly confirmed. Riverdale has prided itself on being a queer-friendly TV series since day one, and it’s nice to see the show actively taking steps to continue being just that.
Riverdale continues Wednesday, March 14 with ‘Chapter Twenty-Eight: There Will Be Blood’ on The CW.
Source: Comic Book
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