Tonight's episode of Riverdale, "Chapter Twenty-Four: The Wrestler," has what appears to be a sly reference to the film after which it was named.
Each episode of Riverdale is named after a movie: throughout most of season one, it was noir mysteries (although some exceptions, like "To Riverdale and Back Again," were made).
The episode is named after Darren Aranofsky's 2008 film The Wrestler, which starred Mickey Rourke as Randy "The Ram" Robinson.
Robinson, an aging pro wrestler whose glory days are behind him, learns in the film that he has a health condition that means he could die if he returns to the ring -- which is the only place he has ever felt alive.
Obviously, there is not much overlap in the way of content between the film and tonight's episode of Riverdale -- but there is a minor nod to The Wrestler in the sense that Hiram Lodge's nickname in the ring was apparently "The Ram."
This is a pretty subtle nod, and if not for the fact that the episode was titled "Chapter Twenty-Four: The Wrestler," one would assume that the shared nickname could be a oincidence. After all, Hiram literally has the letters "R-A-M" in his first name.
Hiram's nickname is mentioned only in passing, by the wrestling coach who introduces him to the team as a former state champion and one of the best wrestlers in Riverdale High history. Later in the episode, though, he is seen wearing a "Ram tough" t-shirt, a reference to his nickname and the slogan used by Dodge to promote their line of Ram trucks. The "Ram Tough" shirt worn by Mark Consuelos in the scene does not appear to be one that was mass-produced by Dodge, though.
This episode marked a departure of sorts from the way Hiram has handled Archie with kid gloves in the past; on the show, he gladhandles people rather than bullying them for the most part, and reserves his stern voice and cold stare for when he is dead serious. This week was when he got dead serious, telling Archie point blank that he was not good enough for Veronica -- and further, that Veronica would eventually get over him.0comments
He also staged...something...at the tryouts for the wrestling team, although whether he intended for Archie to win that match against Chuck Clayton or miscalculated is anybody's guess. Maybe we will see as the season progresses...!
Riverdale airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.