Here we go. After last week’s somber tribute to Fred Andrews/Luke Perry, season 4 of Riverdale started for real tonight!
It’s the end of summer. Jughead writes his “What I did over my Riverdale summer vacation” essay at Pops.
Archie and Mad Dog spar in the ring. Archie tries to convince him to return to high school and complete his degree. They both agree that high school isn’t worth it, but Archie’s dad wanted him to get a diploma, so he is going to get it.
Betty meets with her FBI handler/older brother. I mean Agent Betty meets with her FBI handler, since she’s basically a junior agent now.
Veronica’s lawyer advises Veronica to make a statement regarding wcchich of her jailbird parents she stands with. She toys with the idea of supporting neither publicly and bids him adieu.
Cheryl asks for fashion advice from her dead brother’s corpse. He’s wearing a completely different outfit from last week. Who is changing his clothes? I can both see Cheryl being the one doing it and also see her outsourcing it. But when you’re hiding a secret like this, hiring people to dress you dead brother day in and day out seems like a way to be found out fast. She even put shoes on him! Getting shoes on a dead body can’t be easy.
Veronica, Archie, Betty and Jughead spend their last night of summer vacation drinking wine together at Veronica’s. Out of the four of them, there are only two parents in the picture. Which explains why this quickly turns into a Skinemax opening to Riverdale, with each couple going off for some pre-first day of school coitus. Man, Veronica’s house must have seen so much sex this summer.
They all wake up late for the first day of school, which is less of an issue for Veronica, since its her house, but everyone else heads to school in yesterday’s clothes. I can’t figure out if Jughead only owns one shirt or if he wears that S shirt almost every day. Ah, who am I to judge? I have 45 t-shirts in my closet and wear the same 4 every week.
The new principal, Mr. Honey, catches them sneaking into the school. Oh man! Mr. Honey is Jack from Dawson’s Creek!
Arhie pitches Mad Dog, um, I mean Monroe, to Reggie and their football coach. Coach seems down, but Reggie looks less than thrilled.
Kevin wants to make amends with Betty by signing up as an Arts reporter for the school paper. He wants his friends back, and apologizes. Betty reminds him that he dragged her by her ankles to get a lobotomy. Amazingly, Betty doesn’t kick him right out but instead tells him to fill out an application.
Principal Honey calls Jughead into his office. A Mr. Chipping is here to see Jughead. He was a judge in a writing contest Jughead entered over the summer. Sadly, he’s not played by Pacey from Dawson’s Creek. I was hoping for a DC reunion in the office! He offers Jughead a spot at Stonewall Prep, but Jughead turns him down.
Veronica walks down the hall only to be assaulted by paparazzi as they burst down the doors of Riverdale High looking for quotes from her. After three years of murderers running around, especially around the school, you’d think they’d invest in a couple of security guards. Veronica pulls the fire alarm to get some bodies between her and the paparazzi.
Cut to Cheryl and Toni meeting with Principal Honey. I guess that was a short lived fire alarm. Mr. Honey lets them know that he’s cancelling the back to school dance on account of multiple students being murdered at the last one. Look man, if you’re going to cancel things just because some people were murdered at the last one, you’re going to have to cancel 85% of Riverdale town activities!
On the football field, Monroe catches a pass from Archie and rips through Reggie’s tackle. Reggie’s dad isn’t happy about this, and lets everyone know. On the one hand, it’s nice that he’s the only parent who makes it to practice. On the other hand, get a grip, man! It’s high school football.
Veronica catches some dude taking photos of the girls in the locker room. He was offered $500 by reporters to get a shot of Veronica. Between the football culture, season 1 Reggie playing Zach, and now this Tyler-essque peeping Tom, I frequently find myself confusing Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why.
In the locker room, Reggie antagonizes Mad Dog, by calling him Mad Dog (I’m no better) and alluding to prison shower rape. Reggie is taking out his frustrations with his own dad on Mad Dog. Archie calls Reggie out for this BS and tells him to man up. This is going to be a long football season.
Jughead comes home to Mr. Chipping and Skeet talking about his future. Skeet calls Jughead boy and I’m happy.
Betty is supposed to meet with Agent brother, but he’s nowhere to be found. She finds a report seeing that Kevin and Fangs have been texting. Looks like Kevin isn’t done with the Farm. Agent brother catches her looking at the report, and Betty wants to know why he’s been keeping info from her. Because you’re not a real FBI agent, Betty?
Charles wants to feed bad info to Kevin, knowing Kevin will tell it to Fangs, hoping to draw out The Farm. Betty thinks Kevin won’t blab to Fangs.
Toni almost walks in on Cheryl talking to her brother’s body. Cheryl fails to lock the gate to the room on her way out. I wonder if someone is going to walk through there and find her dirty little secret.
Cheryl’s plan to one up Mr. Honey is to throw a back to school party. Take that!
Jughead’s future classmate, Brett Weston Wallace, shows Jughead around their new school. The funny thing is, he’s dressed like classic Archie from the comics. Long sleeve white dress shirt, sweater vest, tie. He insists on calling Jughead Forsyth, and I have to say I’m liking it. Mr. Chipping invites Jughead to their book club discussing Moby Dick. He and Brett offer Betty a chance to sit in alongside Jughead, but she sounds like she’d rather be anywhere but there. The next stop on the school tour is the cafeteria, which features vegan, keto-vegan, and raw keto-vegan. Is Riverdale just outside of Northampton, MA?
Mr. Honey fills Veronica in on what Riverdale’s version of Gossip Girl is writing about her. Looks like he is signed up for alerts. He floats the idea of Veronica taking a sabbatical. This is a day after her guidance counselor called her a shoe in for Harvard. Oh, Mr. Honey…
Betty and Kevin hang out at Pops. Betty fills him in on some of Agent Charles Cooper’s case. She tells Kevin that they have a witness willing to testify against The Farm. He falls for it hook, line and sinker.
Fangs meets Kevin in the woods. Kevin blabs to Fang immediately. Fangs tells him that Edgar and the rest of the Farm don’t think Kevin can be trusted. Wait, what happened to all these folks “ascending”? Betty punks Kevin as soon as Fangs leaves and gives him a full smh.
Veronica wants to know if Reggie is the inside source feeding rumors to Gossip Girl, I mean River Rumor. Reggie’s face is beat up badly. I forgot that he has an abusive father. Archie asks if it’s from practice when Veronica tells him about it later. Archie, you were at practice! You know he wasn’t beat up at practice! I swear you are so much dumber than you look!
Betty and Charles play good cop/bad cop with Kevin. He breaks immediately. Charles wants to cut him loose. Betty thinks otherwise. Betty, you’re not an FBI agent!
At practice, Reggie catches a pass, but is tackled quickly by Mad Dog. No hard feelings from Mad Dog, who even offers him a hand up. Reggie fumbled the ball on the tackle, sending his dad into a rage. Archie calls out Mr. Mantle and tells him to get lost. Reggie takes his dad’s side, and tells Archie he’s dead to him. Reggie is twice the size of his dad. This is going to end badly for Mr. Mantle at some point.
Jughead and the private school kids discuss Moby Dick. Jughead says that the whale symbolizes nothing. Nobody rebuts him, making Jughead feel special.
A blonde wigged Veronica visits Hiram in jail. She wants to know why Hiram leaked the story. He both calls her m’hija (yay!) and says he’s not paying for her crimes. Fair.
At Cheryl’s party, Reggie is drunnnnnnnk. This is going to end well. Cheryl announces she’s going to behead Principal Honey by homecoming. Wait, is that a literal threat? I honestly can’t tell with Riverdale.
Jughead is excited for Stonewall, but Veronica tries to talk him out of it, saying he’ll miss Betty.
Drunk Reggie, searching for the bathroom, tries picking the lock to the gate leading to Jason’s room. Cheryl catches him before he gets through. Close one!
Betty and Kevin have a heart to heart. Betty, in what might be her dumbest move ever on Riverdale, tells Kevin that Alice is undercover at the Farm. She even realizes it’s a dumb move, but chooses to believe Kevin won’t sell out her mom. Betty wants Kevin to tell Fangs a fake name as the FBI informant, Penelope Blossom. But that’s not a fake name, just last season’s villain who is on the run now! I’m guessing we’ll see the return of Penelope later this season thanks to this.
Reggie tries picking a fight with Mad Dog, but the cops show up to break up the party before Reggie can walk himself into bodily harm. The cops are Skeet, who calls Jughead boy again. Skeet is my favorite part of Riverdale. The noise complaint came from Principal Honey. Your move, Cheryl.
Archie offers to take Reggie home and has a heart to heart with him. Looks like Archie isn’t really dead to Reggie. Reggie admits that he was always jealous of Archie’s relationship with his dad. Reggie wished his old man has died instead of Archie’s. Me too for that matter. Reggie says he needs to take a stand.
Reggie and Archie stand in front of Reggie’s dad’s sports car. He goes full Cameron Frye and says “Sometimes I think he loves this sports car more than he loves me.” He takes the baseball bat to the car’s window and I swear music from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is playing in the background.
Continuing the Ferris Bueller theme, the next day at school, the English teacher looks for readers and says, “Anyone? Anyone?” She kind of looks like Ben Stein too. When it’s clear no one has been the summer reading except Jughead, Betty pulls him out of class and tells him to go to Stonewall Prep. He’s excited. He runs out of school. I don’t think you can literally start today, Jug.
Archie asks Reggie about his dad’s reaction to Reggie destroying his car. Reggie tells Archie that it led to a much needed talk between the two of them, and he doesn’t think his dad will be coming around to practice anymore. Who else thinks Reggie killed his dad? Anyone? Anyone?
Veronica is walled into her doorway by the paparazzi. Where is Penbroke security? She announces a press conference at La Bon Nui.
Veronica sings All That Jazz with Toni and Cheryl as backup dancers. She gives a pure Roxie Hart press conference afterwards. She admits to doing all the things she was rumored to do by Riverdale.com (which it turns out, is not owned by Riverdale, the show, lol). She says she did all those things under duress by her dad. Veronica announces she’s standing with neither parent in their upcoming trials. Sidenote: If Camila Mendes ever stars as Roxie Hart in Chicago, I’m getting tickets.
Veronica fills out her Harvard application the next day. She decides to apply under her mother’s maiden name, Gomez. The Lodge name is too tainted. Archie says he’s going to need to look for a community college near Harvard, and to just drive home the point of how dumb Archie is, asks “Where is Harvard, anyway?” Also, wasn’t this the guy saying he didn’t even want to get a high school diploma at the start of the episode?
Someone left a beehive on Principal Honey’s desk. Oh Cheryl…
Betty tells Charles what she told Kevin. Charles responds with, “You revealed the name of an active FBI agent to a screwed up kid?” When you put it that way, Betty sounds like she has as good a grip on classified information as Trump. Not a good look, Betty.
Kevin comes in, and tells them that while he didn’t see Alice, he did see Edgar. He says Edgar is stockpiling guns. Or is Kevin playing the two of them and triple agenting them?
Forsyth shows off his new Stonewall duds for Skeet and JB. Skeet tells him that Jughead’s grandpa, Forsyth I, went to Stonewall for a couple of months before dropping out. Skeet tells Jughead he thinks it’s going to be a really good year.
Flash forward to Spring Break! Skeet is leading a search party through the woods in the rain. Everyone is calling for Jughead. Kevin, Betty, Archie and Veronica are in the search. Oh man, these flash forwards! First Archie, Betty and Veronica burning Jughead’s clothes at the end of last season, and now this!