The episode title says it all: The Pussycats are back on Riverdale!
Jughead (Cole Sprouse) isn’t narrating this episode of Riverdale. Instead, it’s Melody (Asha Bromfield) catching us up on the lives of the Pussycats. Melody went to Harvard Law School but skipped pursuing a career in law when the YA novel she wrote became a megahit. She lives with Val (Hayley Law) in a very spacious apartment. Think Friends big. Tyler Perry optioned her novel to be a movie, and she’s pushing to get Valerie cast as the lead. However, Tyler wants a bigger star in the role, so Melody is conflicted. She wants to be successful but doesn’t want to stab her closest friend in the back.
Sometime before this episode of Riverdale, Val was proposed to by her boyfriend, but she hasn’t given him an answer back yet. Val is a barista, so I’m guessing Melody is fronting at least most of the rent on this apartment.
Back in Riverdale, Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) listens to a Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) solo song on the radio just as Josie walks into Pop’s. Tabitha is more than a bit starstruck. Josie looks like she’s on the verge of a breakdown when she goes into a rendition of Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back to Me Now. Is she thinking about Sweetpea? Remember when they were a thing? Melody and Val join in her song, though it’s all in her head; they’re not actually there.
Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos), in his pjs, and the Pembroke manager show up to tell Josie no live music after 9 PM. Josie calls Hiram a little bitch no less than 3 times and tells the manager to move Hiram if he can’t handle the noise. As powerful as Hiram is in Riverdale, the manager agrees to move a confounded Hiram.
The next day, Tabitha, feeling inspired by her run-in with Josie, asks Veronica (Camila Mendes) if she can invest her money with her. But Veronica steers her away. Ronnie is too buried in trying to dig her way out of Chad’s Ponzi scheme.
Josie stops by Riverdale High, where a jubilant Principal Weatherbee talks her into gust-teaching a music class.
One of Chad’s investors stops in to visit Veronica, wanting her money. But Veronica sidesteps her by presenting her with another investment opportunity: Pop’s diner.
Archie (KJ Apa) and Josie reunite in the halls of Riverdale High. Archie convinces her to join him for a drink later. Josie has some calls to make first: to Melody who lets it go to voicemail and to Val, who picks up. Melody’s reaction to watching Val pick up the call is priceless. It’s very “Did you not just see me decline this?”
Betty (Lili Reinhart) wants to enlist Josie into saving Riverdale. Veronica suggests a benefit concert, but Josie points out she has other interests, and that they’re more acquaintances than friends. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) immediately kisses Josie’s ass, but Josie smacks her down as well.
Sweetpea spots Josie as she’s leaving Pop’s and offers her a ride. This quickly turns into a ride in her hotel room. Uh oh, Hiram isn’t getting any sleep tonight. the next morning, Josie leaves Sweetpea smiling in bed, and he doesn’t seem in a rush to leave, or her in a rush to kick him out.
Val and Mel meet Josie for drinks. Mel really doesn’t look like she wants to be there until Josie says she wants to reunite for a track on her new album, at which point Val and Mel both perk up. Josie is impressed by the Val and Mel dance number. They’re clearly not just backing members anymore. Mel goes into a second song at open mic night. Though this may have been all a musical type number that didn’t actually play out over drinks? I know, it’s weird. What’s real in this episode and what isn’t?
Val and Mel both feel ditched by Josie. Despite Josie apologizing, they are both hesitant. I wonder if this feeling of betrayal by Josie is what is fueling their current life: Mel doesn’t want to stab Val in the back the way she feels stabbed in the back by Josie years ago, and Val doesn’t want to commit to her boyfriend because she doesn’t want him to ditch her the way Josie did? Maybe?
Tabitha wants to franchise Pop’s. Veronica’s investor friend hears out her pitch, but wants to make some tweaks: she wants to turn Pop’s into a singing diner. Toni (Vanessa Morgan) makes a guest appearance during a Pop’s Diner Little Shop of Horrors rendition. Toni is still very pregnant. Toni is a week past her due date.
After the song is a very heavy-handed product placement from Old Navy.
Alexandra (Camille Hyde), Veronica’s investor, wants to see the last 20 years of finances from Pop’s. I hope Pop kept good records.
Robin Givens returns as Josie’s mom. She also directed this episode. Josie’s dad passed away, which is why Josie is back in town. Josie found out in the middle of her world tour, in Berlin. Josie missed the funeral. Her father’s last request was to have his ashes scattered around the country, so Josie will take them on tour with her. Her mom shows her his dad’s unrecorded songbook, which has a song he was working on for Josie.
Mel breaks the news to Val that Tyler Perry wants a big actress to star in Summer Storm, and because of that, Melody isn’t going with Tyler Perry to turn her novel into a movie.
Alexandra wants to reprice everything. She also wants to replace the milk in the milkshakes with instant milk. That’s a dealbreaker for Tabitha, who cites that the Pop’s milkshake is their signature item and the recipe hasn’t changed since its creation decades ago. That’s not great news for Veronica, who now has to hand over Alexandra’s money, which she definitely does not have, to her. Luckily for Veronica, the banks are already closed.
Val and Mel found out about Josie’s dad’s passing. They feel bad about what they said to her.
Josie and the Pussycats decide to reunite. They want to help save Riverdale with a one-night-only reunion concert at the Whyte Worm.
The whole town of Riverdale shows up for the Pussycats reunion, including Dr. Curdle (huge fan). The girls come out to a sultry version of the Josie and the Pussycats theme song. All three girls sing. This is much more girl group than band. There’s a drum on stage, but no one is playing it.