The Ides of March? Riverdale, it’s not even the Ides of February yet.
Archie struggles to get out of bed pre-dawn, heading first to Andrews Construction with coffee and doughnuts for his crew. He then stops off at the Community Center, where Monroe’s mom has agreed to watch over things during the day as a thanks for Archie helping Monroe get the opportunity to head to college. Wait, who was operating the Community Center during school hours before this?
Archie meets with Principal Honey, hoping to still apply for college. He has two problems though: applications closed months ago, and his grades have him in doubt of even graduating, much less heading off to college. Archie’s not even allowed to walk with his class this June.
At the Lodge apartment, Hiram spills juice on himself. He’s frustrated, because of the toll his neurological condition is taking on him. Am I the only one who finds this to be an overly fancy and elaborate breakfast to be sitting down for on a school day? Who has time for this multi-course meal at the start of the workweek?
Veronica manages to make it to school on time and straight into Archie’s lap in the empty band room. Do these kids have any classes? Archie is shirtless before the title card as they proceed to have a pre-homeroom quickie.
Mr. Dupont kicks Jughead out of the Quill and Skulls because of Betty’s break-in from last week. On top of that, if Jughead doesn’t have an acceptable Baxter Brothers draft done by Friday, March 15, his contract is terminated. Problem. It’s already Monday, March 11. Side note: March 15 is on a Sunday this year, so Riverdale season 4 doesn’t take place in 2020.
Jughead calls Betty for help, who drops everything to head up to Stonewall. She has the idea for Jughead to turn his time at Stonewall into a thriller.And again I’m left wondering if anyone in Riverdale High actually attends classes.
Hiram shows up at Archie’s gym to train. No one’s ever tried to have me killed, but I’m not sure if I’d be as welcoming as Archie is to Mr. Lodge here. And for those keeping track at home, Archie is willing to take money for the Community Center from Hiram to work out there, but won’t let his construction crew work on a lucrative government job because it’s attached to Hiram.
Jughead has an opening chapter ready to read on Tuesday. Mr. Dupont isn’t impressed with him only having 10 pages with three days to go, but Jughead tells him “Just you wait.”
At the Maple Club, Cheryl answers the phone using a dummy business’s name. An apparently new in town high roller has caught wind of the club and wants to join. Toni looks suspicious. Who can blame her? I’m constantly suspicious of everyone on Riverdale.
Toni meets with “Rosa” at La Bon Nui. It’s obviously Hiram’s other daughter, Hermosa, in a wig and glasses. Come on! But it works on Toni. Amazingly, this all goes down feet away from Veronica, who is dancing with Archie on the dance floor. Archie is overextending himself, cutting his date early because he needs to get to the construction site by 5 AM. Archie, with this kind of stressful workload, you’re not going to graduate next year either! Oh well, that guarantees more seasons of Riverdale! When Archie leaves, Veronica takes a swig from a flask and I can’t help but think that’s a cry for help.
It’s Wednesday and Jughead has more pages. He recounts being locked in the coffin by his classmates. In the chapter, he thinly accuses his classmates of attempting to murder Moose. Jughead, I’ve seen the future and I don’t know if this is a good idea on your part.
At the gym, Archie spots Hiram on the bench while asking for career advice. Hiram suggests shutting one business down, and Archie is quick in his decision to let go of the construction operation. Isn’t that only one of your businesses with the potential of turning a profit, Archie?
Archie meets with Mr. Keller at Pops and offers him a management job at the Community Center with the money he gets from selling the construction company. Huh, I thought he was going to offer Mr. Keller the company, but from the sounds of things, maybe Keller doesn’t have the money needed to buy it.
Dupont assembles the writing group, accusing Jughead of plagiarism. Jonathan accused him of plagiarizing him with the essay that got Jughead into Yale. Jughead says he has the file on his old laptop. One problem, his laptop has been stolen. If Jughead can’t prove he’s innocent, he’ll be expelled.
On Thursday morning, Jughead recounts his troubles to Skeet and Betty. Man, fighting plagiarism charges while also needing to get a book done in a day? I don’t envy Forsyth III right now.
Uh-oh. Principal Honey searched Veronica’s locker and found her flask of rum. She objects to the search, but Veronica, why were you bringing rum to school in the first place? Archie takes the fall for Veronica, saying it was his flask. He gets off with a week’s detention and a call to his mom.
Betty and Jughead greet the writing group as they assemble for their Thursday session. They brought a lie detector test with them. Jughead hooks himself up and takes the test. I get where they got the lie detector test, likely her FBI “brother,” but when did Betty learn how to use it?
Archie is actually getting some studying done in Riverdale High’s science lab detention, so of course Veronica sneaks in for some action. Archie calls out her behavior, and Veronica doesn’t take it well, saying she’ll find fun on her own.
“Rosa” meets with Toni at La Bon Nui again. Cheryl is running late, so they hit the dance floor. When Cheryl gets there, they double team Rosa on the dance floor. Toni and Cheryl offer to bring her “somewhere special.” Cheryl relays a message that they’re on their way to Veronica, who was finishing off another drink at the Maple Club. Oh, Veronica…
When Toni and Cheryl bring Rosa to the Maple Club, Veronica immediately calls her Hermosa. I’m glad to see no one was fooled, but why did they bring her there? Doesn’t this verify that La Bon Nui is just a cover operation? Veronica tells her she’s shocked that Hermosa though she would get access into the Maple Club, but doubly shocked when she finds out that Hermosa knew about Hiram’s medical condition straight from Hiram. That’s a blow to Veronica where it hurts.
Jughead and Betty go on a covert op in Dupont’s office and find a Baxter Brothers manuscript envelope marked “Ready to print,” Inside is a copy of The Boy in the River, the Baxter Brothers novel Jughead wrote. Thumbing through it, Jughead sees it’s been slightly rewritten. It’s mostly his words. He goes straight to Dupont, who tells him that his classmates collaborated on the rewrite.
Archie visits Veronica at home. He’s worried about her. Why is she acting like this wild party girl? Veronica tells him about Hiram’s condition, breaking down in tears. Archie tells her to use this time to spend as much time as possible with her dad. Archie tells her to get Hiram “fired up.”
It’s Friday, the Ides of March, and Veronica comes to breakfast fighting. She shows off Red Raven rum’s latest ad campaign. You can tell she’s serious, because she’s wearing glasses. Interesting. Veronica and Hiram are wearing the same color scheme while Hermosa and Hermione aren’t. This business competition seems to awaken something in Hiram, namely “the dragon,” as her refers to it. Hermione and Hermosa are pissed that Veronica provoked Hiram, but Veronica points out Hiram suddenly looks better than he has in months.
Betty reviews their Mr. Chipping murder conspiracy board, and works on a theory that Chipping was driven to suicide by Dupont. Later, Betty meets with Donna at Pops. Betty tells Donna that she thinks they’re all being manipulated by Dupont, and that she doesn’t believe Donna really had an affair with Chipping. Donna laughs in Betty’s face, tells her she doesn’t know the half of it and departs. Betty! Just last week you told Jughead that Donna shouldn’t be trusted or underestimated!
Jughead tells Bret that he’s going to tell the disciplinary board everything about his time there, implicating Bret and the writing group in a series of events. But Bret says that if he does, then he’ll go public with his sex tape of Jughead and Betty.
Archie can’t bring himself to sign the bill of sale. He can’t sell his Grandpa’s construction company.
At the disciplinary hearing, the audience consists of the writing group, Betty and Skeet. Dupont is in charge of the hearing, offering Jughead the chance to quietly withdraw from the school. Jughead takes the offer, choosing not to fight the charges. Skeet and Betty are shocked, pissed and disappointed.
Betty deduced Jughead was blackmailed by a sex tape. Bret and Donna invite them to the Ides of March party in the woods that night and say to bring their friends. Jughead accepts, much to Betty’s surprise. He has a plan, but first to find that sex tape!
Archie lets Veronica know post-coitus that he won’t be able to walk at Riverdale’s graduation. His plan is hit up Riverdale summer school, finish out in the fall and apply to colleges in the spring semester. They get a text from Betty inviting them to the Stonewall party. Archie doesn’t want to go, but Veronica talks him into it.
Jughead wears his Serpents jacket to the party, a switchblade and bunny mask in hand.
The party in the woods looks like Ren Faire after dark. Lots of costumes straight out of the closets of that one couple in the prom scene of 10 Things I Hate About You. Jughead dons the bunny mask, while wearing his trademark S shirt and Serpents jacket, mind you. Not sure who you’re fooling with that disguise, Jugs. Bret immediately realizes its Jughead, and offers to settle their differences in the woods alone.
Donna heads off into the woods too, followed by Betty. Betty confronts her once they’re alone. Betty tells her she’s the daughter of the Black Hood, she couldn’t care less about a sex tape with her boyfriend. Donna says she’s been doing her own investigating, even visiting Farm Girl in prison. Donna says she knows the double secret word that triggers Betty (not “tangerine,” that’s only the secret word) that makes Betty hurt those she loves most.
When Veronica and Archie ask about Betty and Jughead, the writing group sends them off into the woods. They find Betty standing over a bleeding Jughead, lying dead on the ground with no pulse. Archie declares him dead. Betty has a blood covered rock in her hand, looking shocked. Sleeper agent Betty! If next week on Riverdale isn’t titled The Betty Identity, then I don’t know what to say!