Riverdale Binge Recap: Chapter Seven: In a Lonely Place

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What is even happening here.

Did you feel good about that last episode, sleuths?  Polly’s alive and okay, Jughead and Betty have bonded over the case, and Valerie is inexplicably willing to date Archie!

Good.  Because A KID IS STILL DEAD, ARCHIE.  This episode brings back the murder investigation in a big way, which makes Chapter Six feel like a breather episode.

However, it doesn’t start that way.  We start on a cutesy family dinner at the Coopers, where Polly and Jason are together, beaming and holding hands, a ring prominently on her finger.  Jughead is seated next to a Stepford version of Betty, who kisses him chastely as Hal offers him a classic roast turkey.  Archie and Veronica are there, too, all decked out  with their classic comic book costumes. The sequence ends with Archie asking Jughead why he stabbed him in the back. Jughead jolts awake.

Jughead’s still homeless, a fact Archie discovers when he finds out his best friend has been sleeping in a Riverdale High broom closet for two episodes. While Archie frets over his music, Jughead literally has nowhere to live- he can’t go home to his jobless alcoholic dad, FP the Serpent Man, and his mom and ten-year-old sister left town before the events of the pilot. Which is super messed up, really, to just up and leave one of your kids and take the other away to live a better life.  Archie, for the first time this season, is actually a good friend to someone and insists they tell Fred Andrews, who he just knows will take Jughead in. Jughead pleads with Archie to keep the information to himself, and especially not to tell Betty.  Because Archie doesn’t actually talk to either of the people he refers to as his best friends, he has no idea that Jughead and Betty are more than friends.  Or that, you know, JUGHEAD HAS BEEN HOMELESS FOR THREE MONTHS.

Veronica does some online shopping, and Hermione loses it.  The building they allegedly owned, now they pay rent on?  It feels like the writers forgot that Veronica’s mom owned the building, hence the move back to Riverdale. In a show with so many twists and turns, it was inevitable that there be a continuity error somewhere. Hermione is unhappy, but it’s clear that Veronica is retaliating for the forged signature.  Hermione was the Good Mom for the early part of the season (especially compared with Mama Cooper and Mama Blossom.) Is the affair with Fred worth torching the relationship with her daughter?

Wait, two scenes later, they are all talking to each other in the same place!  About Betty’s sister. This scene serves as a catch-up.  When Jughead reaches out for Betty, it outs the budding relationship to Archie and Veronica, who are both fine with it (the latter way more okay with it than the former.) Archie also tells Jughead that Fred is willing to give FP another chance to work for him. All of this happens in a completely non private location, so that Cheryl’s minion can text her about Polly.  Cheryl barters the information to her mother and Kevin’s dad in order to be allowed to cheerlead again.

We get a short, grim scene between Jughead and Papa Jones, who is really just awful.  He doesn’t want to go crawling back to Fred, even though that’s his son’s only chance of having a family again, not to mention a reliable place to sleep.  FP is the Worst Parent in a town full of Absolute Crap Parents, having turned down Fred’s job offer to Jughead’s disgust.  Veronica gets back at her Newly Awful Mother by rounding up Josie, Kevin, and Reggie Mantle to go clubbing.  Josie and Reggie deserve more than being living props for when Betty or Archie are not available for prop reasons.  At least Josie and Veronica have some kind of established friendship from the previous chapter.

The Cooper and Blossom factions descend on the woods near the Sisters of Quiet Mercy to find Polly. Cheryl comes on strong with her trademark hashtags #PollyCooperKilledMyBrother and #SharpenYourPitchforks.  No one outside of the Coopers know Polly is carrying Jason’s child until Alice uses her press connections to deliver a televised press conference to plead with her older daughter to come home, saying that both her and HER BABY, JASON BLOSSOM’S BABY, are welcome. The media immediately rushes to defend Polly, an innocent unwed mother who just lost the love of her life. The Coopers tell Betty that Polly plans to adopt out her child.

The Blossoms also zoom onto Betty, assuming she knows where her sister is- and she does.  In a previous scene, Jughead and Betty are walking and talking, and Betty realizes exactly where her sister is hiding.  She kisses Jughead to thank him.  I swear, he’s really just a Remembrall for her at this point.  Betty goes up to her attic, where Polly is living, since Jughead didn’t know she had a livable attic, or else I guess he could have lived there.  Betty begs Polly to give her a bit of time.  In this evening of late night revelation, FP goes to Fred and decides to take him up on the job.  Fred naively reintroduces FP and Hermione, unaware that they are in business together. Fred’s a good person, but he is as dumb and naive as his boy. Cheryl tries to get Betty alone, informing her that Jason’s child is a game changer, and she’ll do anything it takes to protect the baby, and with it Polly.  The family also offers Betty their alliance, saying that as Polly’s sister, she’s family, too. The family immediately begin to grill Cheryl about Polly, making it clear to the viewer they, like the Coopers, are trying to separate

The Jones boys and the Andrews boys go out to dinner together, and reminisce. The goal of the scene is to establish two different paths of men who never made it out of their hometown. Betty comes up, but Jughead squashes the conversation, clearly reluctant to bring his relationship out into the light. Fred tries to pay, but FP is offended, and the tone of the evening changes.  Later, FP tells the boys that Fred dealt him a bad hand in a business deal when he had to bail FP out of jail.  Fred tells a different story, accusing FP of stealing from him instead. Jughead is clearly in contact with his mother and sister, and tries to update FP on their progress.  FP passes out drunk instead.

Teenagers having fun? In Riverdale? We must stop this.

Meanwhile, the Lodge women are at war.  Veronica goes out for her night of clubbing, pointing out that she can do whatever she wants, since Hermione forged her signature.  Hiram is going to be convinced Veronica betrayed him, and she’s not okay with that.  The women snap at each other before Veronica leaves in a huff.  When she gets there, her credit card is declined and reported stolen.  She has cash to cover herself, and threatens the bar owner with the fact that her companions were shrewdly chosen.  Kevin is the son of the Sheriff, while Josie is the daughter of the Mayor. To embarrass them means to close.  Veronica and Hermione have a heart to heart that looks more like a contract negotiation.  Hermione agrees to tell Hiram about her forgery, and not to see Fred in their home.  Veronica agrees to stop clubbing and shopping online.  The last of this we see is Hermione taking a call from jail.

The next day, things really hit the fan for our heroes.  Sheriff Keller arrests Jughead for essentially no reason.  His prints are on the cars.  So are Betty’s, but Jughead has a record for a childhood incident. The evidence is, as best, crap, but it scares Jughead to the core.  They accuse him of murdering Jason because Jason might have bullied him, despite Jughead never mentioning that ever.  Betty, Fred, and Archie rush to his defense.  He pleads with Betty to believe him that he didn’t do it.  She does without hesitation.  Fred covers for Jughead without hesitation, claiming his son’s friend was working for him over the summer, and that he’d have to go find the timecard, but he had it. Jughead is released to Fred, since FP hadn’t yet shown up. When he shows up, belligerent and full of excuses, Jughead makes an executive decision to take Fred up on the offer of a home.

Betty arranges a meeting between Polly and the Blossoms, but only Cheryl shows, with a dire warning that the Blossoms don’t have good intentions for Polly. Cheryl is most sincere when she calls her brother “JJ” and claims that the situation is unsafe for “JJ’s baby.”  Polly panics, but Veronica saves the day.  She’s still got some leverage, and she plans to use it on her mother to get Polly to live with them.  Hermione, back to being a Reasonable Parent for now, gladly takes her in.

 

Favorite Moment: The Speed-Chess match between Veronica and the club owner. I’d missed the slightly rebellious, bad-girl-on-your-side V.
Worst Parent in Riverdale This Week:
FP, full stop, though Hermione Lodge isn’t doing herself any favors.
Best Parent in Riverdale This Week: Fred Andrews, because he takes in a homeless kid and provides an alibi.

 

 

 

Riverdale Binge Recap: Chapter Six: Faster, Pussycats, Kill! Kill!

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Yay! This is about as in focus as poor Melody ever gets.

Yay!  Josie and the Pussycats are back!

For this episode, we are plain admitting that we have three different shows happening at once.  Betty and Jughead are in a dark murder mystery. Veronica and the Lodges are in a financial drama about post-Recession America.  Meanwhile, Archie is in a Disney Channel Original Movie.  This recap will split between the three different shows.

“You found us!” “Um, what?”

Murder Mystery: A Sister of Mercy

Betty, who doesn’t yet know that Jughead is homeless, invites him over for breakfast, correctly assuming that an outsider in the house will put Alice on her best behavior.  Jughead distracts Alice, and Betty digs through her checkbook to find out where Polly has been sent.  After discovering a religious hospital named several times, Jughead and Betty set course to find her sister and clear up the question of her possible engagement to Jason Blossom.

What Betty finds is shocking.  Polly Cooper is of entirely sound mind, if a little sad and tired.  She is, however, pregnant.  Betty is delighted by the revelation.  Polly assures Betty that though Hal and Alice told her that Betty refused to visit, she knew the truth.  She knew her little sister would come for her.  She confirms the engagement, saying Jason knew about the pregnancy, and they had planned to run away together on the 4th of July.  Cheryl Blossom must have known and been complicit in this plan.  However, Alice found out owing to her well documented habit of snooping on her daughters, and kidnapped Polly to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy.

Then comes the sad moment for poor Polly.  She excitedly asks if Jason knew they were there, if they had sent Betty.  Betty’s expression tells her everything, and Polly breaks down. The two sisters have an emotional moment before Alice comes to pry them apart.  The Sisters told Alice the moment Betty walked in the door.  Jughead steps in to protect Betty from the orderlies, but is slammed up against the wall and ignored.  I guess Alice drives him back to Riverdale, though, so that’s friendly.

Hal and Alice continue to drill into their younger daughter that Polly is crazy and not to listen to her, even though Alice’s anguished face 100% betrayed her in the only scene with both her daughters to date. Betty grapples with the fact that her parents are actually monsters who could have plausibly murdered a teenager when Jughead goes full Clarissa-Explains-It-All and climbs into her window. I can’t imagine the Coopers would love a boy sneaking into their daughter’s room after what happened to the first one. And despite his comics-canon asexuality, this Jughead has similar intentions, flirting with Betty before closing the deal with a kiss.  It actually added a nice bit of teenage levity to their story.  I’m not much of a shipper, but I have to admit the writing and the acting made this weird-on-paper match work.

In a moment that cemented Betty as my favorite character, she pulls away realizing how they could prove Polly’s story.  Polly mentioned a getaway car, right?  If it’s there, she’s telling the truth.  Jughead is justifiably a bit miffed that his romantic advance was forgotten instantly, but follows his Nancy Drew into the Land of No Curfews and finds the car that somehow literally no one found during the investigation.  The car is a treasure trove of evidence!  Luggage!  Drugs!  Jason’s letterman jacket!  Wait, drugs?

Jughead puts his hands directly on them so his fingerprints are on them nice and good. Betty decides that they should totally go get Sheriff Keller, so they do.  When they return, the car is obviously a burnt out husk, because someone followed them and set it on fire.  Jughead and Betty don’t see this, however, because they’ve run back to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy to find Polly, and find only the bloody window frame where Betty’s sister used to be.

Shut up, Archie.

Disney Channel Original Movie: Archie and the Catfight!

Variety show auditions are coming up, and Archie wants to try out with an original song.  However, he’s way too scared to sing alone!  This is literally Archie’s plot this episode.  It’s a Nicktoon.  He pleads with new friend Pussycat Valerie to sing with him. Josie, who has been a strong woman with a secure knowledge of herself and her tastes, is on edge of late.  She doesn’t want to deal with Archie, and demands extra loyalty from Valerie and Melody. Valerie cannot sing with Archie and stay in the band.  Veronica volunteers to take Valerie’s place, and Archie happily accepts.  Valerie gets tired of Josie being on edge and demanding, and quits the band.  Archie happily shuts Veronica out of the act in favor of Valerie. Veronica is mad and tells him he’s horrible, and then goes and joins the Pussycats.  Seriously, I’m pretty sure this was an episode of Hey Arnold.

Josie is upset because her father, a jazz loyalist, doesn’t like her commercial pop sound.  Her mother, the mayor, gets a few digs in on Touring Absentee Dad by hinting that Josie might actually make some money with her music (UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE) over a very awkward dinner with Fred and Archie.  Mayor McCoy tells Josie she will be okay without Valerie- just find another pretty woman of color and replace her. Branding, you know.  I love stage mom! Mayor McCoy in a weird way.  She’s so utterly supportive of her big-fish in a small-pond daughter.

The variety show happens.  Valerie discovers Josie’s father is in town, and forgives Josie instantly, understanding why her friend was under such strain.  Valerie is too good for this plot- can we ship her over to hang out with Betty and Jughead?  Kevin can come, too. Veronica and Archie make up in typical teen fashion.  Veronica and Valerie both are Pussycats for the night. When Touring Absentee Dad Miles leaves in the middle of Josie’s performance, she barely makes it through the rest of the song before breaking down. Archie performs alone and is universally beloved, for some reason.  After the show, he and Valerie share a small kiss, which is at least age appropriate, though Valerie could do better.

Sketchiest ship since Archie vs Predator

Financial Drama: No Shelter from the Lodge

At that awkward dinner I mentioned, Fred is attempting to pitch his struggling construction company to Mayor McCoy and her anonymous drive-in buyer.  Mayor McCoy is impressed by Fred’s pitch, and his point that the money will stay in Riverdale and bring jobs to Riverdale.  For Mayor McCoy, money talks.  She doesn’t have the power to grant him the contract, but tells him she will put the good word in with the anonymous buyer. The anonymous buyer, obviously, already knows, being Fred’s bookkeeper/ love interest Hermione Lodge.  Hermione and Fred kiss, and Veronica sees it.  She’s not happy to see her mother cheat on her incarcerated father. Hermione picks this awesome moment to ask Veronica to sign off on something allowing Fred to have the contract- they need the signatures of two Lodges, and Veronica will do.  When Veronica refuses to sign unless Hermione dumps Fred, Hermione forges her signature.  This doesn’t feel legal on multiple levels.  Is Veronica’s signature even worth anything, since she’s a minor?  In the world of Riverdale, however, it’s enough, and Fred gets the contract, telling Veronica delightedly about the situation.

This announcement infuriates Veronica, who is pretty justifiably mad about her mother’s affair. Fred is still innocent of the fact that the Lodges bought the Twilight Drive-In, so his lack of discretion is pretty innocent.

Favorite Moments:

  • The Betty/ Jughead flirtation scene.  The kiss was okay, but the flirtation beforehand and the indignation after were tonally different than anything else those two characters did, but somehow consistent.
  • Josie and the Pussycats are just very talented, and Veronica blended in well.  Maybe they can all ditch Archie for a better show.

Riverdale Binge Recap: Chapter Five: Heart of Darkness

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TMW you get attacked by your murdered zombie twin

Strap in, kids.  This one’s a doozy.

After Cheryl was out of focus in Chapter Four, it’s time to spend a little more time with the horrifying Blossom clan.  Cheryl is emotionally abused by parents who blame her for the death of her brother.  We open on another hazy dreamlike sequence involving Cheryl and her brother.  If the first one was a romance, this one is pure horror, with Jason’s coffin clawed open and AfterlifeWithArchie!Jason attacking his twin, who wakes with a start in her brother’s bed.  Penelope Blossom, Cheryl’s scary mom, chides her daughter and tells her she can’t give the eulogy she’s been working hard on.

This week’s Archie plot is one of the dumbest.  He decides he wants to be Captain of the football team (as a sophomore) to get a scholarship so he can study music.  Chuck, I remind you, the previous captain, was booted off the team for sexually harassing every teenage girl in Riverdale except Cheryl and Betty. Clayton pits him against Archie Comics mainstay Reggie Mantle, last seen calling Jughead Donnie Darko and accusing him of murder. Archie then gets a reality check from a music professor at a nearby college, in a scene that really doesn’t make any sense and is just there to give Archie something to be sad about outside of being the victim of a predator for three months, which is too heavy for the CW.  It also establishes him as getting closer to Pussycat Valerie, in the second minimal episode appearance.

Betty tries to get her father alone and weasel information out of him in regard to her missing sister.  He sadly informs her that he caught Polly in the middle of a suicide attempt and that he and Alice sent her away to heal at a mental institution.

Back to the main plot.  Cheryl asks Veronica to stay with her the night before Jason’s funeral.  It seems out of left field until you put the pieces together and realize that Veronica is the closest thing poor Cheryl has to a real friend.  Cheryl even references this directly, with the pep rally incident being brought up first.  Veronica encourages Cheryl to give her eulogy after a harrowing family dinner where the Blossoms do not for a second try to keep up appearances for their guests, and shed some light on why the Coopers and Blossoms are not buddies (a business deal that ended in a Blossom murdering a Cooper in cold blood.)  Despite this, the Coopers are totally invited to Jason’s funeral, maybe because the Blossoms think that the Coopers killed Jason?  A cute moment between Betty and Jughead throws the first real ship tease of the season since the pilot ended, where Betty and Jughead see each other all dressed up and smile. Archie wears his letterman jacket, standing out to an insane degree when everyone else wears black.  Sort of like Archie does in the rest of the show, with his plots being so separate from everyone else. Gently, Archie presents Jason’s football jersey, which has been given to him, to Penelope Blossom, who is actually moved by the gesture, and strokes Archie’s face and hair so that the audience can be reminded that this is Replacin’ Jason. Kevin Keller has a standout moment here where he is visibly creeped out.

The other person who does not wear black is Cheryl, who repeats the all-white, borderline bridal outfit she wore the last time she saw Jason.  She also walks down the center aisle alone, in a way that feels very important but also matrimonial.  Penelope Blossom is Pretty Mad about this, but does not dare stop Cheryl in front of everyone when Veronica intervenes.  Cheryl’s eulogy is actually very sweet and sisterly, recounting how great of a brother Jason was to her.  Cheryl, for once, feels normal and natural, even when covered in affectation.

Cheryl gotta Cheryl.

Jughead and Betty split off from the gang and look for clues, like a competent Fred and Daphne.  The pair end up in Jason’s bedroom, where his grandmother is creepily just kind of hanging out.  Far from telling Betty and Jughead to GTFO, Nana Blossom greets Betty warmly- as Polly.  She asks Betty-Polly where her ring is, revealing that Polly and Jason were actually engaged, with Nana Blossom’s heirloom ring and her blessing.

By giving up his jersey, Archie proves to Coach Clayton that he has what it takes to be captain, but Archie decides he’d rather dedicate his time to music, and lets Reggie have the position, making another Pointless Archie Subplot.  I really hope he gets better as a character, because he is pretty awful right now.

The episode ends on a reveal of who tore down Keller’s murder board- none other than Hal Cooper!  Why?  Who knows?

Favorite Moment:
Anything Kevin Keller does during the funeral.  When Cheryl enters, he is thrilled to see that she wore the white ensemble.  He is similarly delighted when Penelope Blossom touches Archie’s face. He is here for this drama just as much as we are.

 

Riverdale Binge Recap: Chapter Three: Body Double

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In which Barb creeps on an entrapment, and people actually care what happens to her!  Movin’ on up!

Let’s get weird, y’all.

This episode of Riverdale could be considered a Very Special Episode.  Very little in regard to Jason’s murder happens.  Instead, we focus on some good old fashioned slut-shaming and revenge, along with a side of Actual Good Parenting rarely seen in Riverdale.

The A-Plot of this particular episode is that after a chaste date with football player Chuck Clayton (a character pulled from the comics in name only) Veronica finds herself the subject of ugly rumors, with Chuck saying he gave her a “Sticky Maple.”  We don’t find out explicitly what that means, and we probably don’t want to know.  We then find out there is an entire notebook filled with the conquests of the football team, which Betty finds out about when a former football player fills her in.  We see a flash of what could be jealousy out of (of all people) Jughead, when she calls their meeting a date. Another character, Barb Ethel, known in the comics for her obsession with Jughead, helped Chuck with his math homework and was repaid by being put down in the “Playbook.”

The Scoobies Archie Gang break into Chuck’s locker in the middle of the night and steal the Playbook, lampshading that he didn’t even feel the need to hide it.  Also Cheryl is there for plot reasons.  When Betty discovers Jason Blossom put her older sister Polly’s name in the Playbook, it was on like Diddy Kong.  The girls declare war and set up a not-illegal-at-all trap for Chuck.  Betty tries to seduce Chuck, and Veronica answers the door, smiling that she and Betty have learned to share. They then lure him into the hot tub, handcuff him to the railing, and nearly boil him alive.  HIGH SCHOOL AMIRITE.  To be more precise, Betty snaps and tries to boil Chuck alive, while dumping maple syrup on his head and calling herself Polly and calling him Jason.  The scene is a little bizarre but effectively disturbing, especially when it becomes clear that Betty does not remember the incident the next morning.

The murder is out of focus, with Cheryl’s Episode 2 declaration of guilt resolved immediately. She was lying, guys!  She meant she was guilty of knowing Jason had run away and not died on July 4th, explaining her pep rally breakdown.  Cheryl also mentions the gunshot, but with no other witnesses, who believes her after establishing she’s a liar?

A cute B-Plot is Betty recruiting Kevin and Jughead into reviving the Blue and Gold, Riverdale High’s school paper, leading to Jughead’s novel that was mentioned like twice and not even prominently enough for me to remember it for the first two recaps being shelved and changed into an investigative piece. As for the gunshot, Jughead’s tough-guy reporting finds out that Dilton Doiley (another in name only character) fired the gun while showing his scout troop how.  So there’s the first Official Red Herring of the season.

Close enough.

The gunshot had nothing to do with Jason’s death at all.  Dilton trades Jughead’s silence on the matter for another piece of information: Predator Grundy’s car was seen at the banks of Sweetwater River that morning.  Jughead clearly knows what this means, and is not super pleased about it.  Archie however, finally corroborates Cheryl’s story about the gunshot, claiming his dog was with him.  Cheryl is profoundly grateful for this, in an actual, authentic way.  Fred Andrews finds out that his son was lying about being with Jughead that day, and grounds Archie, who also loses Grundy’s trust and tutoring.  No good deed, amirite?

Archie does get something for his troubles, though: Cheryl offers him a Golden Ticket favor, and he cashes in by winning an audience with Josie and the Pussycats, who are just as awesome as they always are.  Josie is regal, savvy, and talented, and is not about to let this white boy attach himself to her brand.  Until, I guess, she does, and the Pussycats perform a song Archie helped write. Also, Predator Grundy takes him back, and Fred Andrews sound proofs the garage to help Archie with his music. Fred is starting to get Archie, and it’s a moment in a world where the parents we see most are the psychotic Coopers.

The episode ends on the Playbook being outed in the school newspaper, the  Blue and Gold and Chuck (and for some reason ONLY Chuck) being punished for the football team’s crimes and being suspended and kicked off the team. Cheryl apologizes to Betty about Jason hurting Polly, and the two make peace over the Playbook as it burns in a trash can.  Over this touching(?) scene, Jughead delivers a nice monologue about how Betty and Veronica are now literally fire-forged friends, despite her being nowhere near the scene, and that Chuck being thrown off the team would have CONSEQUENCES. Translation: please keep watching the show?

 

Riverdale Binge Recap: Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil

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Friendly reminder: THIS SERIES IS ABOUT TEENAGERS. This is pretty much the only frame that makes that okay.  Also, #TeamKevin, all day, every day.

Where were we? Jason’s super dead, shot and thrown in the river, which is a new twist on the story the town was given.  Betty isn’t speaking to Archie or Veronica, because they kissed in a closet with her in the next room (CLASSY.) Cheryl is horrible, and Jughead exists, I think.

Who Killed Jason Blossom?
We establish there was a gunshot the morning of July 4th, assumed to be key in Jason’s murder. Archie and Grundy heard it, but Grundy really, really doesn’t want anyone to know they were together, because you know, it’s a CRIME.  Cheryl is on the war path, trying to out Jason’s killer with newfound vigor, despite being still pretty mean and vapid (#RiverdaleStrong.)

Frenemies?
Betty is trying to pretend the awkward weekend didn’t happen and be super-best friends with Archie and Veronica.  However, the wounds from confessing your love to your best friend and finding out he kissed your new friend that same night don’t heal that quickly. After attempting normalcy, Betty sort of loses it.  She tries to reconcile with Archie, but decides she now hates Veronica, cutting her losses on this intense three-day friendship.  Betty retaliates by deciding to be super-best friends with Cheryl, who promptly accuses her older sister of Jason’s murder.  Betty snaps a little bit and throws Cheryl out of her house, threatening her life in a way that’s supposed to make Betty look unbalanced but is totally justified in my opinion.  She and Veronica reconcile after Veronica gives Archie a heartfelt speech about the Power of Friendship, and Veronica all but grovels at Betty’s feet.  Also, the friendship gambit with Cheryl has failed completely.

Favorite Moment:
Alice Cooper, who is still horrible, has a truly funny moment where she burns sage in Betty’s room after Cheryl’s visit to drive out evil. My mother has literally done this exact thing, and I pray that’s the only thing besides being blonde she ever has in common with Alice again.

The Miss Grundy (PREDATOR) Subplot
Grundy is starting to let cracks in her facade show.  She’s less interested in volunteering information about the murder and more interested in covering herself.  She attempts to manipulate Archie into not coming forward in regard to the gunshot they heard because it jeopardizes her job. While they are discussing this in her classroom, Jughead creeps up and sees Archie and Grundy in a PG-13 moment through the door, and confronts Archie.  Apparently they were supposed to go on a road trip, which Jughead accuses Archie of canceling to spend time with Predator.  Also, Archie is conflicted about football and music, but literally who cares.

Real Screencap of Archie on a date with Grundy

The Pep Rally
Aaaaaand the plot thickens.  Jughead and Archie reconcile, despite us not being totally sure what the problem was to begin with.  Another episode, another awesome showcase for Josie and the Pussycats (This time “Sugar Sugar.”)  We continue to lampshade the physical resemblance between Jason and Archie, which I guess is a thing this season.  Cheryl has a blue screen of death moment internally watching Archie, who is WEARING JASON’S NUMBER (seriously, whose idea was that?) run through the rain.  She freaks out and runs off the field crying, which is actually a totally valid reaction to finding out your brother died more violently than the accidental death you assumed it was.  Even more valid when after Veronica goes to console her, Cheryl bursts out with ” He was supposed to come back!” implying her initial story was a complete lie.

The Cheryl Bombshell
Weatherbee and Sheriff Keller turn up in the science class every one of the leads is in.  Unsurprised, Cheryl stands and puts her hands out for handcuffs.  When asked if that was necessary, she replies. “Because I’m guilty.”  WHAM.  Episode over.

Thoughts and Conclusions

This episode felt very high school drama, and like they needed to return to the status quo after the pilot broke things down.  Moose/Kevin got completely swept under the rug. Betty and Veronica make up almost immediately, and Betty’s able to be friends with Archie straight away. Jughead and Archie resolve their mysterious fight. I feel like this episode is a victim of Early Installment Weirdness, and had to undo a lot of elements of the pilot as to not focus on them too hard. The murder investigation took a backseat to the rest of the drama until Jughead brings the audience and Archie around with the now-memetic: “A KID IS DEAD ARCHIE.”

Thanks, Jughead.