Yes, there’s a murder mystery on Riverdale, but the question that really keeps us up at night is: Who is Archie Andrews going to show his abs to next? The ginger teen is the thirstiest trap to ever have been set in the land of the CW, and we are more than willing to fall into it. For Riverdale fans, this means that the shipping wars have commenced: Should Archie go for the new girl Veronica? Or do you want Betty to finally get out of the friend zone? Or do you think that Betty and Veronica — Beronica, naturally — should just leave Archie to his fuccboi devices?
These options are all well and good, and ones you should vociferously fight for on Tumblr. But here at Vulture we’d like to suggest that the best and healthiest relationship for these crazy kids is all three of them. Together! Yep, we’re talking about a throuple. After all, what is the purpose of youth if not to pioneer new and exciting social formations? In its way, Riverdale has already made the case for us by showing how each leg of the triad works, and how each is slightly deficient. Only when the three of them are together can they be their best selves to love and be loved. Let’s examine the evidence:
Archie and Betty
Riverdale is clearly trying to set this relationship up as the one to root for, but these two sourpusses are really giving us some Dawson and Joey from Dawson’s Creek season-one vibes: childhood friends who lack chemistry. What Archie and Betty have going for one another is history: They’re sweet and stable and have known each other forever. They have the kind of solidity that can make a relationship last. But they need that spark. Hmm, who could provide that spark?
Archie and Veronica
Who better to get these small-town kids to start a throuple than Veronica from New York City? It’s clear that Archie and Veronica have the hots for each other: They couldn’t even control their hormones for seven minutes inside of a closet even though they knew their supposed best friend would be devastated if they did anything.
Betty and Veronica
Just look at Veronica’s effect on Betty. During the pilot, Veronica gets Betty to do a soooo 2003 Madonna/Britney Spears kiss during cheerleading tryouts. You could see it in Betty’s eyes afterward: She was shook. And then in the name of feminism, the two of them set a trap to catch a slut-shaming predator by seducing him together. During that episode, Betty even gets into a sexy vixen costume and calls herself by her sister’s name, Polly. Weird, but no judgment!
As with any great romantic drama, there are antagonistic forces (octopus witches, the anonymity of email, amnesia, etc.) trying to keep our throuple apart. The first four episodes started with the scandalous coupling of Archie and Miss Grundy, his extremely inappropriate music teacher. Eventually, the whole statutory rape thing is brought to light, forcing Miss Grundy to skip town while brandishing a pair of Lolita sunglasses. Now Pussycat No. 2, Valerie, is in the picture, “helping” Archie with his “music.” And sadly, Jughead is also keeping our throuple apart, but hopefully his relationship with Betty is just one leg in his own journey to discovering his asexuality. All of these other relationships may come and go, but there is only one relationship to root for: Betty, Archie, and Veronica. We hereby christen you Barchonica.