You know when you really want to make a relationship work but your gut tells you it's not going to? And you force it anyway? That's what it feels like to ship Archie and Veronica. Despite great efforts (on my part, the show's part) to make Varchie happen, something is off. That something was on full display in the season-2 premiere, during a shower sex scene that left many viewers perplexed.
The main problem was the mood. Archie had just left his father at the hospital, unsure of whether his dad would live or die. That alone doesn't take sex off the table—grief sex can be a passionate and cathartic thing. But show them lying in bed, Archie crying his single-tear cry, Veronica wiping it from his cheek, one thing leads to another. Don't show them having shower sex.
There's a vocal faction of Cosmo staffers who hate shower sex. It's clumsy, it's awkward, it's hard to get off. That's all true. But for argument's sake, it can also be a fun romp, a place you start things up even if you finish in bed. Whatever your stance on the matter, your father being on death's door is not the time for shower sex. You're way too aware of your every move to be fully immersed in the moment. And it's not as if you're looking to get playful.
Grief sex is about wanting so badly to forget the horrible thing that is happening to you that you create a world in which it's just you and this other person — skin, limbs, sweat. If you're having to constantly wonder where to put your arm so that you don't slip, fall, and die you'll surely have a window to remember that your father is lying in a hospital bed.
Many people have pointed out the other oddities of the scene: Veronica's pearl necklace (not that kind), Archie's cast. But surely they'd be willing to overlook those things if the scene were fire to begin with. Unfortunately, there was steam but no heat.
That's not to say the show got it wrong; on the contrary, the set-up seemed pretty intentional. Veronica, insecure in her ability to comfort Archie as well as someone like Betty might be able to, leaned on sex to take him out of his head and try to bring them closer. That's why it was sad when, after the fact, Archie yelled at Veronica for sorting through his dad's things. She did fight back and insist he let her be there for him, and he did relent. But by then, as a viewer, you felt like you'd just taken a cold shower.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.