It’s late night at Pops as this week’s Riverdale begins, and Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) bond over their love for Duran Duran’s Hungry Like the Wolf. Their dance seems to bring their shared sexual tension to the surface. Tabitha kisses Jughead, and he kisses her back.
Glen couldn’t wait to get dressed before having a conversation with Betty (Lili Reinhart) about what he has planned while he’s in Riverdale. Dude, you’re still in your bathrobe! Seriously, he looks like one of the McPoyle twins from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I’m not the only one who thinks this, right? The long-lost McPoyle triplet! When Betty mentions that she told Jughead to meet them at the FBI office, Glen shoots her down. “It’s an official FBI investigation, no Jugheads allowed.” What about only one Jughead? Though to be fair to Glen, Betty, I think once you entered the FBI, you graduated away from involving your high school friends in solving crimes.
Glen wants to know more about Betty’s dad. Because he’s an inspiration, Glen? Aka Trash Bag Killer! I don’t think I’ll think anyone else is the Trash Bag Killer until TBK is unmasked and proven not to be Glen. Even then, I’ll probably still think it was a patsy getting unmasked à la Ned Leeds being revealed to be the Hobgoblin.
Weatherbee meets with Kevin (Casey Cott) and Archie (KJ Apa) to let them know the upcoming parent-teacher night is make-or-break for Riverdale High and wants them to lead tours. It’s a make-or-break event, and these two are your go-to?
Veronica (Camila Mendes) calls her soon-to-be ex-husband to see if he signed the divorce papers. He hasn’t and doesn’t plan to. He does say “what we went through binds us for life.” Wait, what? I don’t think he’s talking about the trading floor.
Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) and Minerva frolic in the Thornhill Woods. Cheryl wants to show off the fresh maple sap but the buckets are empty. Nana Rose rambles on about the curse (Nana Ramblin’ Rose?) and that they must pray for deliverance.
Jughead’s agent calls to say that Pop Culture Weekly wants to publish an excerpt from Jughead’s new book, but they want something more sensational. His agent suggests channeling Steven King.
Hiram (Mark Consuelos) is upset with Reggie (Charles Melton). He feels betrayed, what with Reggie showing up to support the Riverdale Bulldogs during their game with Stonewall last week. Reggie wants to get back in Hiram’s good graces, and we get information on what Hiram’s real interest in Riverdale is. Hiram has been digging for palladium. The vein behind his jail is completely tapped so he wants to dig the vein under the Blossom Maple Groves. It sounds like he wants to bankrupt Riverdale so that he can strip mine the whole town.
Archie gets a visit from an army general. The general is nominating him for a silver eagle medal for his last mission. Archie doesn’t think he deserves it. But the general is impressed with how Archie saved Jackson’s life, carrying him 14 miles on his own back.
Betty and Glen listen through a bunch of tapes. In one of the tapes, Betty’s dad talks about connecting with women on Ned’s List which is the same way women on the Lonely Highway just outside Riverdale made connections.
Man, those Riverdale High School kids did a good job building Veronica’s store. Score one for unpaid underage labor! Instead of sending over divorce papers, Chad sent over spy photos of Veronica and Archie kissing after the Riverdale Bulldogs game. Oops. Maybe when you know your husband is having you tailed regularly, you don’t do the PDA so much, Veronica?
Archie asks his Riverdale ROTC class what they would do if they were given an order they didn’t agree with. The general who wants to give him that medal is there and tells him he follows the order, but Archie says even generals can be wrong. Geez, Archie, just accept the medal or learn to be even a little bit subtle.
Reggie visits Nana Rose and brings her a bouquet of roses. Just how far is Reggie willing to go to get this land? Is it Nana Rose’s lucky night?
Alice gets a call. Juniper and Dagwood had an accident at school!
Tabitha is embarrassed about her kiss with Jughead and apologizes to him. When Jughead goes into all his baggage, including being hung up on his high school girlfriend breaking up with him, she seems to have no problem agreeing to just being friends.
Jughead needs a favor. He’s been having some serious writer’s block and plans to do some shrooms to get through it. He wants Tabitha to watch him, but she’s not a fan of the idea.
A few years ago at a party on Marsha’s Vineyard, Veronica got drunk and wished Chad would die “and put me out of my misery of a marriage.” Wait, I thought they were only married for a year. She tells Archie about the helicopter accident that followed after that. Chad was at the stick. The next thing Veronica knows, she woke up in Columbia Presbyterian. She still carries around the guilt of wishing him dead, thinking that caused the crash. Because of all this, she’s heading to New York to have in-person closure (read: breakup sex) with Chad.
The twins pushed some kids down the stairs at school. When Betty says the kid could have died, the twins don’t show any emotion. Oh boy. There goes that serial killer gene again!
Cheryl is pissed at Nana Rose. She sold the groves to Hiram through Reggie. Nana Rose says she was only trying to get rid of the curse. At this point, Nana Rose shouldn’t be allowed to sign for a pizza delivery, much less selling off the family maple farm.
Jughead calls his dealer in the city, who is all too happy to deliver some magic mushrooms up to Riverdale.
Archie gets a call from a NY Times reporter who thinks Archie’s general sent him on a dirty mission. Ruh-roh Rarch!
Betty tells Glen about her niece and nephew. She’s worried bout them. He’s way too quick and eager to want to meet them. When Betty questions his interest, Glen shows her the paper he’s working on “Family of Darkness: Varying Displays of the Serial Killer Gene in the Cooper Family Tree.” Wow, what a dick. It’s his dissertation. Betty tries to get his perspectives in order, you know, the dead bodies, more people dying, but Glen’s like, “My paper!” the way Riverdale season 1 Archie was like, “My music!”
After this, Glen makes a move on Betty, which nets him a slap in the face. Yup, he’s definitely TBK.
Archie visits Uncle Frank in prison and fills him in on General Taylor. Frank gives him some advice but then tells him something strange is brewing here in the prison.
Hiram is happy with Reggie again for getting him the groves. “Savor tonight’s fireworks at my jail” Looks like Uncle Frank was onto something. Cheryl interrupts them. She had Nana Rose declared senile a decade ago and they’ll never get her groves. Ha!
Jughead’s toxic ex-girlfriend Jess shows up at Pops. You’ll remember her as the one who walked out on him back in New York. She’s the drug runner. She wants to do the mushrooms together. Tabitha interrupts saying she’s his new girlfriend. Say what? Oh, Tabitha is just doing this to get Jess gone. Jughead asks Jess to spot him the $500 for the shrooms. Geez, drugs are expensive, and maybe Jughead should find other ways to get through his writer’s block. Amazingly, his ex agrees to spot him the cash for a week.
In Manhattan, Chad has a candlelit dinner prepared at home for Veronica. He reminisces about when they didn’t have furniture and had Chinese takeout by candlelight. As if these two have ever been poor. Give me a break. Chad wants to win her back.
Tabitha cooks the shrooms into a sauce and serves it to Jughead on a burger in Dilton’s bunker. He says she doesn’t have to stay the whole time, which is weird because going back and forth to this dank spot in the woods sounds like not a fun night, especially with a killer on the loose.
Chad fills dinner with fun memories, including playing their wedding song. They dance together. Veronica asks him about the night of the accident – did he crash on purpose? Even if he did, would he say yes? Chad says he signed the papers. They kiss. What a weird turn-on for Veronica to have. You signed our divorce papers? Let’s do it!
Hiram Lodge watches a counter count down to a hole being blown in his jail’s wall. Prisoners pour out, including Penelope Blossom, Cheryl’s mom. While this happens, Reggie douses the maple grove in gasoline and lights it up.
At parent-teacher night, the school loses power in the middle of Archie and Reggie’s tour. For whatever reason, the general decided to be on the tour.
At the Cooper house, Charles Cooper, still in his prison orange, shows up for Juniper and Dagwood’s birthday. He brought Chic with him. Betty, get your gun.
Alice tells Betty she’s been visiting Charles in prison over the years. Chic and Charles both take out their shiny new guns and show them to the twins, who look fascinated. Charles and Chic want to get married with their family present. When Betty says “How? You don’t even have a minister,” Alice says that Charles had her get ordained online so that she could marry them in prison. But to me, what’s really amazing is that this is where Betty’s mind went. “Ah ha! And how will you two escaped cons get married with no minister? Answer that riddle!” I’m surprised she didn’t follow that up asking if they had the necessary paperwork and licenses filed.
Archie gets attacked by a prison escapee at his school. Archie lays him out. A bunch of escapees is in the halls. Why would they come here? I’m guessing Lodge paid them to. One holds a gun to the tour group and demands their valuables while Archie fights another in the hall. The prisoner tosses Archie around like a sack of dirt. But Archie gets the better of him and takes down the one holding the gun too. Archie gives Kevin a machete to keep everyone safe while he and the general barricade the room.
Alice marries Chic and Charles in her living room. She was ordained by the Universal Life Church. They couldn’t make up something here? The one time they don’t change something real to something that sounds just like it! No Galactic Living Church? Why am I annoyed? *I’m* ordained by the Universal Life Church (and I’m a Jedi too! I have the paperwork). Glen knocks on the door, which surprises even Betty. Charles knows Glen. How? Oh, they were in the academy together. I thought Glen was in the academy with Betty? Just how long has Glen been in the academy? Quantico has super seniors?
Uncle Frank shows up and tells Archie he overheard prisoners talking about being paid by Hiram Lodge to trash the school and town. Uncle Frank, were you one of them? You can tell us…
Chic and Charles lead the Cooper family through a game of Pincushion Man. How do you play, you ask? It’s simple! Glen is the pincushion. Okay..? The pins are kitchen knives. Uh-huh… They all take turns stabbing Glen, starting with the youngest. Uh-oh.
Betty tries talking Chic and Charles out of having the twins stab Glen, and Charles agrees. Betty can stab him instead. Alice sends the kids upstairs. Betty whispers for Glen to trust her and stabs him, before then throwing the knife at Chic. Alice wrestles Charles’s gun away from him and shoots him. Betty needs to get Glen to a hospital but Alice is freaking out about shooting Charles. Man, the complicated mother-son relationship these two have!
Tabitha walks in on a naked, dancing Jughead. He wants to dance with her. Nah, Jugs, she’s good. He says “Don’t be such a Betty.” Never a good idea to call your new crush by your high school ex’s name. Tabitha handcuffs him to a chair, tells him to get back to writing, and says she’ll be back in the morning.
Jess, or a hallucination of her, shows up offering to help Jughead. Then Betty is there too. Looks like that yep, this is just a hallucination. He hallucinates Betty apologizing to him for what she did senior year. It would be funny if they cut to real Jughead just drooling on himself, and peeing himself in the chair. Jughead hallucinates a train coming at him. And a pig-tailed Mothwoman. Oooh, this is not a good trip.
Penelope shows up at Thornhill and alerts Cheryl to the burning groves. Nana Rose says the curse demands all living Blossoms must die unless they sacrifice the interloper. Minerva realizes that’s her and books it. Penelope says they must pray for the wind to divert the fire. I’m not sure what this satanic altar they’re praying at is, but it works. A gale blows through.
Veronica slept with Chad and woke up to divorce papers not signed. Classic Chad. He admits to an investment scheme he got caught up in. He’s deep in the hole, but also, he used her new jewelry store somehow. He made the investments in the name of her new jewelry store. Can he even do that? He says that if they divorce, he’ll testify against her in court about his own dirty dealings.
Archie tells the general he won’t accept the commendation, saying if he trusted his instincts over his orders, his men would still be alive. The general tells him he’s going to make him the hero of the scapegoat. I hope you’re recording this conversation, Archie.
Jughead wakes up the next day, somehow free of the handcuffs. How? Hallucination can’t pick locks. But he did get his writing done, cover page included. Though he doesn’t look past the cover page, so it might just be a cover page. Just then, a light shines down the hatch. Hello, Lost?
Archie gets a call. It’s Veronica. She breaks the news that she has to stay in New York.
Reggie and Hiram celebrate their night of mischief.
Alice and Betty hear from Glen. He’s okay. Just a flesh wound, as Betty intended. Charles is in the ICU but will survive. The FBI is moving the Lonely Highway case out of Riverdale and upstate to Derry, but Betty isn’t going to stop looking for Polly. Betty gets behind the wheel of a truck and takes off for the Lonely Highway. Where did she get that truck? At what point does the FBI just tell Betty she’s not in the FBI anymore?
Tabitha comes to hatch, finds no Jughead, but a lot of blood. Just how did Jughead get out of those cuffs? Thankfully there’s no hand on the floor, but that beautiful cover page is covered in blood!