Riverdale Binge Recap: Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show

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Pretty much the only time Cheryl’s even in this episode.

Oh my God, the episodes are all movie titles.  I get it.

But really, a lot of stuff happens in this episode.  We’re a third of the way through, so we’re finally shedding some of the weaker subplots (PEACE OUT PREDATOR GRUNDY) and moving the pieces into play.

The main news?  The Predator Grundy storyline is blessedly over.  Betty picks up an Idiot Ball for a little bit and writes completely unambiguously about Archie and Predator Grundy in her unsecure diary, which she hides in her sock drawer.  It was obvious as soon as the narrator shifted to Betty that the diary would be found.  Veronica finds out that night at Pop’s. So now the entire Main Four know what’s happening with Archie and Predator Grundy.  Betty and Veronica don’t like the smell of it.  They know about the gunshot, they know about the fact that Jason also took music lessons from Grundy, and they know that everyone is treating Archie like a replacement Jason.  After Betty’s Google-Fu reveals that Geraldine Grundy didn’t exist until right before she started working at Riverdale High, she and Veronica decide to break into Grundy’s car.  Like you do. Turns out, they find a driver’s license for a Jennifer Gibson.  And a gun.

(This was a weird plot hole to me.  You would think Grundy would pick a way less unique name.  Something like Jane Smith, or Mary Jones, any name that would be well nigh unfindable on LinkedIn or Facebook.  If a fifteen year old with Google can take down your story, your story sucks.  Also, why on Earth didn’t Weatherbee run a decent background search on this woman?)

Around this time, Alice Cooper finds and shamelessly reads Betty’s diary, and finds the gun that Betty stole from Grundy’s car. Betty, you’re an idiot in this episode.  Alice plans to expose Grundy in a newspaper story, but plans to drag Archie through the mud with her.  Record scratch.  Alice Cooper plans to blame the victim of a predator for his own abuse. Betty refuses to allow that, claiming that she will take the fall for everything, and let Riverdale think she’s crazy, just like her mother and sister. Fred is horrified into silence for everything, but agrees that it’s best that Predator Grundy leave town and suffer essentially no consequences for the repeated sexual abuse of a teenager.  She leaves town, and checks out some high school boys on her way out.  Gross.

Real subtle, Riverdale.

All of the plots converge on the last showing of the Drive-in movie theater, which has been bought and is planned for demolition.  Jughead is fighting it tooth and nail, because he works there and loves his job. He pleads to the mayor personally, who gently turns him down.  I have to admit, your story about how you didn’t pay to go to the movies probably wasn’t that compelling evidence there, Jughead.  Jughead even pleads with Fred Andrews for help, citing the fact that Fred fired his father the previous summer.  This is the real root cause of the rift between Jughead and Archie.  The mayor accepts a handsome donation from Hermione Lodge on jailed husband Hiram Lodge’s behalf, showing Veronica that her parents are indeed criminals.

At the last showing at the drive-in, Kevin meets a boy from the wrong side of the tracks.  You see, cute little Riverdale has a bad side of town, and their very own gang, the Southside Serpents.  The first time the boy is shown, it looks like as the Sheriff’s son, Kevin is in trouble.  The next time?  Kevin doesn’t make it back to his car in a timely fashion, because he is making out with the Southside Serpent boy. I appreciate that the CW actually showed this, instead of implying it the way, say, Glee often did when it came to non-ratings-stunt homosexuality.  We also see an older Serpent talk to Hermione a few times, which makes Veronica very uncomfortable.  Veronica also stupidly threatens the gang so that they quiet down during the movie, which is not the brightest thing a teenage girl could do at the movie theater.

At the end of the episode, Kevin and his father arrive home to find that someone has torn apart the evidence board for the murder.  Which is weird, because it really doesn’t seem like Sheriff Keller was cracking the case any time soon.  Jughead packs his things, at first normal little items a boy would leave at work.  Then we see the cot, and it clicks.  Jughead is homeless. As he leaves the Twilight Drive-in for the last time, the older male Serpent who spoke to Hermione asks him where he is going to go.  “I’ll figure it out, Dad,” Jughead responds, giving us the second tough revelation for Jughead in as many minutes.

Favorite Moment of the Episode:

Archie Andrews: I want to be with her. I don’t know how but I wanna hang on to what we have for as long as possible.
Jughead Jones: Yup. I feel that. I’m trying to hold on to something a lot older than me too.

(I know that’s really glib for what’s a really gross storyline, but it also feels very authentic to how two teenage boys might discuss this situation.)

 

 

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