Before I start the recap, let me just as one question–high schoolers don’t really have parties like this, do they? No? Just me?
OK, I admit, I was a nerd. A loner. An outcast, if you will. Much like another we know: Jughead Jones, who spends the majority of “The Lost Weekend” shielding himself from the sun and brooding. The theme of this week is control and chaos, and how they can sometimes get way out of hand. Just like those foolish preps, amirite?
Immediately answering our question of “how on earth is this party going to happen,” Fred Andrews tells the boys he’s heading out for the weekend–to see Archie’s mom in Chicago, where they’ll finalize the divorce, despite Archie’s opposition. He’ll miss Jughead’s birthday for this, but Jughead doesn’t mind. He hates his birthday.
Veronica has replaced her father’s pearls with a black choker. Badass as ever, she declares to her father’s attorney–actual name: Paul Sourberry–that she will not be sticking up for Evil Mr. Daddy at his hearing, even though a humanizing statement could get him a lesser sentence. The Daddy Drama continues when she gets to school: Archie and Betty tell her about Clifford Blossom imprisoning him. Archie also tells Betty it’s Jughead’s birthday this weekend and he has a tradition of seeing a double feature. She should take him. She’s his girlfriend, after all. Betty phones Mr. Jones to see if he’ll come, even though FP reminds her that he’s a horrible human being and Jughead probably won’t want to see him.
As Betty plans a surprise birthday party for Jughead at lunch (an idea Archie begs her to reconsider, since Jughead hates his birthday and all), someone walks into the room. Kevin says, “Don’t turn around,” so, naturally, they all turn around to see Chuck, the demon sexual harasser from episode three. He sits with Ethel, and Dark Betty goes stomping up to the table. But their conflict lives and dies in one venomous stare when Ethel says it’s all good. Betty returns to her seat and Archie, after awkward eye contact with Val, says they can throw the party at his place. When FP gets home from work, he finds Betty in his trailer (did she break in?), and she invites him to come.
Back at school (again, what is the timeline for this show), Alice proclaims to Betty and an empty journalism classroom that Principal Weatherby has agreed to let her advise the school paper. The conversation turns to the men in their lives, and Alice warns her daughter not to reveal to much to Jughead. She did that with Hal, and it went horrible, obviously, because Hal is the worst.
Archie comes home to Jughead making pizza and complaining about how his horrible child made him hate his birthday. In her own apartment, Nerdy!Veronica pours over some records and finds that the Blossoms previously paid Lodge industries a monthly fee. Hermione doesn’t want Dadders to get wrapped up in Jason’s murder. “Don’t ask questions that nobody else is asking,” she warns.
Veronica takes her aggression out at cheerleading practice. She gets in a tiff with Cheryl, vomits out a less-than-necessary Ice Queen speech, and the two start a dance competition. This can only be described as a verified buffet of eye candy (thigh candy?), but I’m pretty OK with it. So is Betty, who ref’s exclusively with the Female Gaze. Veronica and Cheryl also weirdly make eyes at each other. One day, future Veronica will travel back in time to this moment and she will tell little Veronica, “That feeling you’re feeling? It’s not hatred. You just really want to fuck Cheryl.”
Alas, Veronica claims victory, gives Cheryl her very best “I’m the captain now” look, and the squad rolls out. Cheryl then “fires” both of her cronies for being fake friends, which teenagers literally never do in real life.
Archie sets up birthday decorations in prep for the party. His dad calls, but Archie’s too upset to talk to him. He eyes the liquor cabinet. Pissed about being bested at cheerleading practice, Cheryl rolls up in a goddamn fur coat to Pop’s, where she propositions Chuck to crash the party with her and cause a little mayhem.
As Veronica tries to tell Sourberry about Clifford getting her father arrested, he interrupts with news that he told Daddy McDaddington that she was conflicted. And Daddy wrote her a letter–threatening her with her mother’s safety and innocence if she doesn’t comply. Very cold. Definite Big Bad move.
At the movies, Jughead asks what happened between Betty and Chuck, but Betty makes up an excuse not to say. Everyone waits for them at Archie’s, where Veronica shows up dressed for da klerb and mouthing off about her evil dad–in front of Kevin’s Serpent boyfriend Joaquin, no less. She goes for the alcohol (this is about the moment of the episode I started drinking, too). When Jughead gets there he’s mortified by the surprise, and everyone hugs awkwardly. Betty walks out of the kitchen holding a birthday cake and singing the most syrupy rendition of “Happy Birthday” I have ever heard. “That was haunting, Betty,” says Jughead, who hates this, because he hates his birthday.
Veronica escapes to the kitchen to cry, where Archie finds her. They vent about how fucked up their families are, but when they hug it out, Jughead and Betty walk in. Awkward. More awkward: How angry Jughead is that Betty threw him a birthday party. “I’m not normal,” he tells her, “I’m not wired to be normal.” OK, edgelord.
Cheryl shows up with Chuck, two kegs, and the entire school in tow. Betty looks on the verge of a psychotic episode and Jughead would love the sweet relief of death, but Archie tells them to put the kegs in the kitchen and the backyard.
The party commences. There’s a dance floor, a DJ, and red solo cups everywhere. Veronica and Kevin eye a grinding Cheryl and Moose (Kevin: “Why are they doing this?” Veronica, probably: “Yeah, they’re both gay. I mean, Moose is gay for you and I’m gay for Cheryl. I mean, what?”). Escaping the chaos, Jughead chills with the dog in the shed, but can’t escape a hammered Archie, who busts in wanting to gossip about Val. In the middle of all this, FP walks in holding a birthday present, and tells Jughead that Betty called him. “She knows what she wants.”
Kevin and Joaquin make out the most horribly stiff way imaginable in the kitchen, until FP stalks in and pulls Joaquin aside. Veronica notices FP and remembers him from the deal she saw him make with her mother at the drive-in in episode four, but doesn’t know that it’s Jughead’s dad until Kevin informs her.
Cleaning up the kitchen, Betty comes across Chuck, and asks him to leave “nicely.” Chuck, pissed she got him kicked off the team, refuses. “I’m sorry that after you sexually harassed those girls there were actual consequences,” she says. Chuck says he thinks about Dark Betty “when he’s laying in bed” at night. She slaps him and storms out.
Having secured the privacy of Archie’s bedroom, Joaquin admits to FP that he heard Veronica talk about her Daddy Drama. Across the way, Alice spies on them from Betty’s bedroom window.
Meanwhile, Betty is having the Worst Night of Her Life when Jughead lets loose on her for inviting FP. Betty tries to explain that she didn’t plan for this to get so out of hand and just intended for it to be the “inner circle,” but Jughead literally won’t shut up about what a weirdo he is, and how she doesn’t know anything about him. He accuses her of turning him into a “project” and using him until Archie changes his mind about her. This finally crosses a line. Betty leaves.
After an uncomfortable confrontation with Val in which he begged her to take him back and she threw her drink on him in front of everyone, a wasted Archie makes his way to his bedroom, lies down, and drunk dials his dad. Jughead almost leaves the party but Chuck and Cheryl blockade his way out in the name of a “game” called “Secrets and Sins.” She locks the door. Cut to commercial break. This show is honest to god liquid garbage corn syrup nonsense.
Turns out the game is really just an excuse for Cheryl to read all of her enemies in front of the whole school, and FP, who lingers in the background. She starts blasting Veronica and her family, but then Veronica pulls out the twincest receipts on Cheryl (can I just say… LMAO). Over the course of about 20 seconds, it’s revealed that Dilton Doily saw Grundy’s car at the river, that Archie was also there, and that Dilton is a psychopath who plays with guns.
But it’s not real until Chuck starts telling Betty’s secrets–with disgusting detail he recounts the night she and Veronica drugged him, and it doesn’t stop until Jughead gets up and punches him in the jaw. The two boys scramble over each other until FP breaks them up and throws Chuck out, announcing that the party is over.
As everyone starts to disperse, FP stops Jughead and tells him not to give up on Betty. “You’ve got something good here, something that we could never give you.” She needs him, and he needs her. Struck, Jughead returns to the house. Alice, who has been watching with the exact same expression as Ivanka Trump’s neighbor, who wore a fur coat and drank wine gleefully while Ivanka’s very existence was protested outside her front door, confronts him. She’s high and mighty until FP reminds her he knows where she comes from–the other side of the tracks, just like him. Once a Serpent, always a Serpent.
Moody as ever, but noticeably not wearing his hat, Jughead apologizes to Betty for being a colossal dick. Betty confesses that something is wrong with her, and it scares her. She shows him her palms, which are bloody from her nails digging into them. They hold each other with unspoken understanding.
Archie and Veronica are the only two left at the Andrews’ residence. Archie told his dad not to sign the divorce papers when he drunk dialed him; Veronica feels like every day is a new lie with her father. They kiss. The next morning, Veronica wakes up in Archie’s bed, and looks over to see Archie sleeping on Jughead’s air mattress. She kisses him before escaping downstairs, where a smirking Jughead sees her leaving and swears his lips are sealed.
When she gets home, Veronica asks Smithers about her parents. Smithers defends her mother’s character, so Veronica shows up to the meeting between Sourberry and Hermione and announces she’ll go on record about how much her parents love her.
Hungover, Archie cleans up the house. Jughead prods him about Veronica. Betty faces a similar hangover and Alice brings her the necessary remedies. She asks about Joaquin–“A South Side Serpent dating the Sheriff’s son… This is a small town, but it’s not that small.” She would know. At school, Veronica tells Betty she thinks her father hired Jughead’s dad and the other Serpents to go after Jason Blossom. Veronica wants to protect her mother, but she also wants the truth. Later, Smithers gives her a package–a new pearl necklace from Daddy.
Finally having erased all traces of the party from the house, Archie awaits his father’s return. But he’s not alone–he’s brought Archie’s mom back, too.
- All the gratuitous party shots in the beginning of the episode (during Jughead’s voiceover) were NOT EVEN REAL! They drew me in with the sexy shot of drunk Archie drooling over two babes–you already know who it is: V & B–and didn’t even give me a solid threesome. Whatever.
- Why did Chuck wink at Archie while he was talking to Dark Betty? Why?
- “Any excuse to wear a cute dress” Do you ever just, like, wear jeans, Veronica? Do you not have a good pair of Levi’s?
- BETTY’S JUGHEAD SWEATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- “Better hold it, Ethel.”
- My notes for the birthday cake part was literally just the word “YIKES” written over and over again. I. Hate. When. People. Sing.
- “You’re the perfect girl next door.” “I hate that word.”
- During that whole scene when Jughead was being the Literal Worst to Betty I was honestly like, “DON’T EVER TALK BAD ABOUT BETTY COOPER IN FRONT OF ME!” in my very best Hagrid voice.
- “This is riveting, I can’t breathe.”
- I’m still convinced that Daddy McLodge is the Big Bad. Everything in this episode points to it–although literally any of the adults could be involved at this point too. This show is just, like, not clear about anything.