Don’t worry y’all—your fave Riverdaddy is alive and well… even though he’s living on burnt toast, à la Archie. That said, pretty much NO ONE ELSE IS SAFE. We have many questions, including, but not limited to: what New Yorker cartoon was Ronnie talking about? Where the hell is sweet ol’ Smithers?! And WHAT is the deal with Betty’s wide array of faux collars? Buckle up, folks. This episode gave us loooots to discuss.
It opens with Archie, at home, scrambling to keep up with all his new care-taking responsibilities, and Veronica, across town, having an awkward encounter with her dad—which Smithers, bless his soul, tries to help her avoid. The most pressing takeaway from the adjacent scenes? HIRAM LODGE SANS SHIRT. Dude. Is. Jacked. I guess what I’m saying is: we have a Riverdaddy #3 on our hands. Too bad he’s shady as f-ck. Let’s have a moment of appreciation for his sweaty, post-run bod anyway though.
Meanwhile, Riverdaddy #2 (FP) and Jughead are meeting with FP’s lawyer, and we learn that the dude is facing a loooooong life in prison for crimes we’re quite sure he did not commit. Jughead is straight up bugging about it. The uncharacteristically grave tone of his voice when he said, “How. Many. Damn. Years?” half made us wanna make out with him and half made us wanna stress eat.
Pretty much every time we see Archie in this episode, he thinks he has spotted the hooded gunman. When he confides this in Veronica, she likens Archie’s trauma to her “Park Avenue drama” back in the Big Apple. Probs not a fair comparison, V.
At school, we meet Reggie, Riverdale High’s resident drug dealer and a boy with zero-nickname originality (he calls fellow student Midge Klump “the Klumpster”? Really???). Midge asks Reggie about Jingle Jangle, the new Riverdale drug, which, if you recall, Sheriff Keller said was extremely dangerous in Episode 1. Reggie agrees to deal her drugs and then Archie shows up and—gasp!—asks Reggie about any “uppers: he might have on offer. That’s when Reggie delivers a line that still has me smh. He says he has stuff that will “keep you up for days—in more ways than one.” Literally, what the f-ck? Is Jingle Jangle some weird cocaine-Viagra hybrid?
Looping back to the Joneses: Jughead reasons that since FP has pretty much already lost the trial (his lawyer is shit and he’s a Serpent), the Serpents should conspire to break FP out of jail (a very easy and not-at-all illegal task, no?). He tries to hatch this plan with a rando Serpent who offers him an alternative in the form of sketchy Serpent lawyer Penny Peabody. Don’t believe me? Upon giving Jughead her hot take on how to win FP’s trial, Penny says she accepts favours in lieu of dolla dolla bills. We don’t know what those favours might look like but it seems legit. Working with a gang is fine. Right?
Now we’re back at the Lodges and it’s dinner time, so you know what that means: more drama. Veronica barges into the Lodge lair (BTW ever notice the Lodge residence is always somehow glowing like its surrounded by flames in the pits of hell?) as her mysterious mom and dad are having one of their elaborate meals. During a particularly turbulent convo, Veronica shows Hermione the letter she received from her father back Season 1, in which he threatens Hermione’s life should Veronica not to testify on his behalf. This is where it gets good: Hermione takes responsibility for the letter, EVEN THOUGH SHE’D NEVER SEEN IT. As Hiram says later: her loyalty “knows no bounds.” These two are trouble.
Cut to Penny Peabody, who tells Jughead that FP needs the Blossoms to publicly forgive him in order to stand any chance of winning his trial. Cue the weirdest scene of all time: Betty, Jughead, Cheryl and Cheryl’s mom (yes, covered in bandages and barely speaking) sitting down for a bite in what I’m pretty sure is the Adams family living room covered in vines. Don’t forget, Cheryl burned down Thornhill so I guess these are their back-up digs. Cheryl and Cheryl’s mom both vehemently oppose forgiving FP, and the whole thing is so freaking weird.
Meanwhile back at Archie’s house, things are about to get really weird. First, Reggie, lurking in a black hood in the backyard, thinks it would be soooo funny to scare Archie as a prank. It’s not. Archie flips out (predictable). Reggie asks Archie about what he would have done if the actual killer had shown up, saying, “Only an idiot shows up to a gun fight with a baseball bat.” This puts Archie on a path to buying an illegal firearm from yet another dealer on campus. (We kid you not.) Now this teenage boy has access to a wild drug and a killing machine! Sweet. I am enraged.
We’ve haven’t heard much from Betty up to this point, but now it’s her time to shine. Or, go dark, back to Dark Betty. She’s determined to save Pop’s from going out of business (apparently a liquor store put in an offer to buy it), so she decides to throw a fundraiser for the Chock’lit Shoppe. As Dark Betty, she manages to kills two birds with one stone: she convinces Cheryl to allow the River Vixens to host the fundraiser, and she gets Cheryl to testify on FP’s behalf. Cheryl complies after Betty threatens to publicly release the video of Cheryl’s dad shooting Jason, of which she made a copy. Clever girl.
In the last ten minutes, an insane amount of things happen. 1. Cheryl lies under oath to protect her family’s reputation, staying FP’s trial momentarily. 2. Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe gets lit on behalf of Betty. 3. Everyone looks happy—but not for long. 4. Reggie’s back with the Jingle Jangle and he’s dealing it to Midge and her bf Moose. 5. The Lodges pull a fast one and purchase Pop’s, effectively turning the Shoppe into Serpent territory. 6. Smithers disappears! 7. Archie buys that gun. 8. Midge and Moose take the drug, which looked basically like Pixy Stix. 9. Midge and Moose start making out. 10. The hooded gunman shows up and shoots them in. the. face.
This is how I feel after every single episode of this show. I am fatigued.