It has been a minute since the last episode of Riverdale. So long, in fact, that I forgot entirely who the Coopers were. Thank god “The Outsiders” started with a brief profile of the Cooper family–high school sweethearts married with two perfect blonde daughters. Everything went well until Polly and Jason began their forbidden romance and (gasp) got knocked up. A series of flashbacks tells us Polly was a cheerleader (wait, didn’t Alice Cooper flip almighty shit when Betty wanted to be a cheerleader?), she and Jason occasionally fought, but everything seemed to be working out when Grandma gave Jason the family engagement ring and he found out Polly was preggers. Continue reading Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 8, “The Outsiders”
We open inside a nightmare. Jughead has dinner with Betty and her family. Veronica attends. Jughead rises to cut the roast. It flashes to his father, passed out in a chair. The knife disappears. It’s in Archie’s back.
Jughead awakens in a sleeping bag in a cupboard under the stairs of Riverdale High. He showers in the locker room, where Archie surprises him. It’s unclear why Archie showed up to the school at this god awful time and how he found Jughead in the shower, but “In a Lonely Place” is an episode with a coolly mysterious line of logic. Like the meaning of the “S” on all of Jughead’s shirts or Veronica’s sexual preferences, Riverdale rationale remains elusive. Continue reading Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 7, “In a Lonely Place”
“Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!” is an episode all about fear. The forms it takes, the ways it haunts us. In flashback, young Polly and Betty console each other about their childhood fears of monsters under the bed. In the present, Betty’s mom (who is basically a monster anyways) is startled to find herself at the breakfast table with her daughter and the recently-homeless Jughead, who scarfs down pancakes. When she’s out of the room, Betty steals her checkbook from her purse to get the name of the institution where they sent Polly.
Archie, meanwhile, faces his own fears and tries out for the Riverdale Variety Show. At tryouts, which Kevin hosts because he’s Just That Dedicated to his community, Reggie and the football team heckle Archie. Filled with stage fright, he quickly escapes without performing. Val finds him and they compare football and music–what Archie’s missing, he says, is a team. He asks her to sing with him on stage, but she refuses due to the conflict of interest with the Pussycats. Continue reading Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 6, “Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!”
The one constant in Riverdale is that everyone and no one seems actually interested in solving the murder. Heck, even the Blossom family barely cares about getting justice for their son.
Speaking of the Blossoms, they live in a big, creepy mansion called Thornhill. Our Gothic heroine, Cheryl, descends the stairs toward her brother’s coffin. There are candles on every conceivable surface. She opens the casket to find it empty, and a zombified Jason appears behind her. When she wakes up from this nightmare (in Jason’s bed, no less) her mother is waiting at the door, and tells her she’s not going to be speaking at Jason’s funeral lest she humiliate the family. The incest vibe continues with full force. Continue reading Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 5, “Heart of Darkness”
This week on Riverdale, Betty puts two and two together and figures out Grundy and Archie were together at the river. At a performance, Grundy rocks out on the cello while Archie watches with his dad. Fred Andrews continues to make weird comments about how “incredible” she is, and then proceeds to ask Grundy to accompany the Andrews men to dinner. I don’t even have time to be grossed out because literally so much sh*t is about to go down on Riverdale’s fourth episode, “The Last Picture Show.”
At Pop’s, Jughead complains loudly that the local drive-in theater, where he works, has been sold and is closing. He slumps into the booth howling about the American dream dying, and Veronica basically tells him Netflix exists and he needs to chill. But, because Drive-in and Zero Chill is Jughead’s aesthetic, he rattles off a few movie references, mentioning that the “anonymous buyer” made the mayor “an offer she couldn’t refuse.” At a nearby table, Cheryl and Hermione have an unnecessary conversation about which of them has less class. Continue reading Recapping Riverdale: Chapter 4, “The Last Picture Show”