Everything old at Riverdale High is new again. The gang is back in the halls, three weeks or seven years after they graduated, depending on which calendar you go by. But now they are teachers! Judging by this particular crop of teachers, you know times are desperate. Do any of them even have a teaching certification?
One of Jughead’s (Cole Sprouse) students has the same fake color orange hair that Archie has. It must be something in the Riverdale water. Heavy metal toxicity = rust orange hair.
Does Doritos sponsor Riverdale? Because Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) has a weird Doritos plug where he holds the bag up perfectly up to the camera while in conversation with Reggie (Charles Melton). Crunch all you want, Hiram.
After school, Veronica (Camila Mendes) wants to transform the seedy Blue Velvet video store, which for some reason still has all its inventory lining the shelves despite being out of business, into a high-end jewelry store. Solid business plan in an economically depressed town. And she’s the Economics teacher!
Archie flirts with Betty (Lilli Reinhart) with Jughead just outside the room. You can literally see him moving in the background in the other room. These two are going to get caught so fast.
Jughead wants to interview Pop’s granddaughter Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) for his new book. It turns out that she left a six-figure job in Chicago to come back and run Pop’s. It’s the thing to do in Riverdale, leave a lucrative life elsewhere to return to this purgatory.
Jughead has an awkward encounter of having to wait on his students from his day job in his night job.
Archie and Betty can’t get together at either of their own houses, so they find some alone time in Betty’s shop class car but are interrupted by some teenagers playing a prank, burning a trash can in the Riverdale High hallway. Archie spotted that the kids were Stonewall Prep football players. Unfortunately, they’re untouchable, because the Stonewall Prop football team is the only local team that wins games, and this town always lets high school kids get away with anything.
Stonewall’s football team is coached by Reggie. Archie confronts him at football practice, cold-cocking him, and warning him that the Bulldogs are going to destroy them on the field. Now to just start a football team to back that up.
Jughead’s students leave a tip jar on his desk. Well, the joke is on them because he pockets the tip. They get rewarded for their tip with a pop quiz on Of Mice and Men. Maybe tip higher next time, kids!
Chuckwick (Chris Mason) visits Veronica’s class and hangs out like a weird creep in the back of the room. I’m starting to understand why she bolted on him.
Archie pitches coaching the Riverdale football team to Weatherbee. But Principal Weatherbee explains that there’s no money in the budget. Archie says don’t worry about it, he’ll get the money.
Archie does not like meaning Chuckwick. Hey Archie, instead of staring him down, how about remember that you’re currently banging the girl next door, who is also in this conversation, watching to side-eye your ex’s husband.
Toni (Vanessa Morgan) gives Betty a tip as to Polly’s possible whereabouts. Apparently, Polly hooks at the truck stop just out of town.
Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) continues her weird painter-hermit subplot. She’s not the best at finances. The money she gave Toni has put a big dent in the house accounts, and has drained her dry. Time to jump feet first into the world of fine art counterfeiting!
As if to make their audience very, very jealous, the gang goes out for karaoke night. I miss karaoke night. Not cool, Riverdale. Veronica sings the first song of the night, Shallows, from A Star is Born. But who is going to join her for the Bradley Cooper part? Archie? Nope, Chuckwick joins in! He has a voice that doesn’t match his Wall St looks. The boy can sing! They make a cute couple on stage, which is weird considering how off their relationship has been since Chuckwick was introduced. My only complaint is that he doesn’t sing in Chuck Bass’s gravelly voice. If you’re going to blatantly rip off a Gossip Girl character, go all the way with it. Kevin (Casey Cott) cries at the end of the song. Someone likes Chadonica.
Karaoke night reignited the spark in Veronica’s marriage. She wakes up with a smile on her face in Chuckwick’s arms. He offers to stay in Riverdale for a few days. Fellow viewers, he’s definitely American Psycho, right?
Archie drafts the RROTC on the football team. He recruits exactly 11 players around the school, so they’ll all be playing offense and defense. Archie needs $20k for the team, and like everyone else in town, hits up Cheryl Blossom. Archie plays the “your dead brother was a Bulldog” card, but Cheryl sees through it and immediately kicks him out.
Betty drafts Kevin into her plan to stake out the truck stop where Polly regularly turns tricks. They spot other girls picking up truckers. Betty, in her FBI jacket (she’s the queen of subtlety), handcuffs and arrests the trucker who regularly met up with Polly. This seems like a big breach of ethics, considering she’s not even out of the academy yet. Sheriff Keller is cool with it though, as he lets her interrogate the trucker in his station house.
Jughead interviews an old guy on the outskirts of town about the mothmen, a local Riverdale legend. In his story, one of his coworkers would disappear one night, only to be returned the next, and another would be taken. Jughead is understandably suspicious, as am I. This mothmen story seems like a way for him to sell these mothmen iron statues he’s got littered about his yard. Oh, and he laments that he’s jealous he never got picked up by the mothmen. Rejection hurts no matter the circumstance, I guess.
Just as Archie is breaking it to his ad hoc football team that there’s money in the budget, Toni and the Vixens, in bright new uniforms, come marching down the halls. Archie questions how the school can have cheerleaders without a football team to cheer. Toni points out to him that cheerleading is its own sport, not a football game sideshow. I agree with her there, but would like to know how much money she earmarked in the school’s tiny budget for this.
Ms. Bell tips off Cheryl about Toni restarting the Vixens without her just as Cheryl gets the real painting of Jason Blossom authenticated with enough time to swap it out for her forgery.
Betty and Alice (Madchen Amick) find Polly’s purse on the side of the road. That’s not a good sign.
Chuckwick actually sounds like he wants to make things work with Veronica, though she gets suspicious when he talks about possibly going into business with her dad. To make things more awkward, Archie shows up looking for a $20,000 handout for his football team, and greets Chadwick with, “Oh hey, Chad, you’re still here?” Weird thing to say to someone’s husband, Archie. Veronica is very quick to donate money to the Bulldogs, which leads to Chuckwick having a catch. He wants Archie to renovate their apartment in exchange. Weird plan, Chad. Hire the muscular ex-boyfriend to be around all the time, getting sweaty in front of your wife. After Archie leaves $20,000 richer, Chad cops an attitude, acting like he didn’t love singing karaoke the other night. Not buying it with that voice, Chucky!
Jughead looks into the mothmen guys – they’re all dead! What are the chances that a group of old men is dead? I feel like high is the right answer? But whatever, it gives Jughead a new mystery to solve. No offense to Jughead’s mystery, but he’s definitely going the B-plot mystery compared to Betty’s.
Betty stops by Archie’s to tell him about Polly/get in his pants. But will she get out before Jughead gets back in? Betty hangs out in Archie’s bed after. You’re really pushing your luck here, Betty. But she does indeed make her escapes without Jughead spotting her.
Veronica packs Chad’s bags while he’s sleeping. What a rollercoaster these two are. Her explanation is that she can’t decide if she’s a Pop’s girl or a Mia’s (fancy Italian place) girl. They’ve been married all of one year and a couple of weeks. Good grief.
Cheryl isn’t happy that Toni restarted the Vixens without her, and tells her as much.
The Bulldogs show off their new uniforms, which leads to Ms. Bell calling Hiram. She says, “You should know what’s going on in the boy’s locker room,” which is easily the most unintentionally hilarious line of the episode. Hiram isn’t happy and wants Reggie to deal with it.
Question: why are Betty and Alice wearing matching outfits? Answer: I don’t know. But you’d think someone in wardrobe on Riverdale would notice this. And Kevin is too polite to comment to them on it. They search through a marsh late at night and find something! But what? I guess we’ll find out next week.
Jughead wakes Archie. Their front and back porches are ablaze. Damn, Reggie plays for keeps!