Riverdale begins with Jughead (Cole Sprouse) organizing his comic collection at the coffee table, and it is painful to watch. Jughead, treat those books a little gentler! He’s just tossing them around, unbagged and unboarded. Make it stop.
When Archie (KJ Apa) runs into Percival Pickins (Chris O’Shea) and his new apprentice Darth Reggie (Charles Melton), Reggie says, “I know you think I’m an idiot Archie,” and man, Reggie, I hate to break it to you, it’s not just Archie. Archie threatens Pickins, but Pickins has a Palladium ring, just like Lex Luthor’s kryptonite ring, and tells Archie he’d gladly beat him up in front of everyone again, though he doubts Archie could handle it.
Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) stalked his junior high unrequited love Heather online. She’s now a librarian in nearby Greendale. Cheryl asks a Magic 8 Ball if she should contact her, but the answer is inconclusive.
Tabitha is still in Albany, trying to get Pop’s declared a historic landmark. It was only a few weeks ago that we had a Erinn Westbrook-centered episode, but now we’ve been without her for two weeks! Bring back Erinn!!
When Archie complains about Pickins’ palladium ring, Jughead tells him that Superman once built up an immunity to kryptonite by exposing himself to it in small, controlled doses.
Dr. Curdle tells Veronica (Camila Mendes) that her body is producing toxins in her sweat, tears, and every other secretion. He tells her to avoid all physical contact until they figure things out.
Betty (Lili Reinhart) asks Jughead to read her subconscious mind. He’s not sure if he even can, but he agrees to research how.
Cheryl gives Archie a piece of palladium to borrow. Archie trains at the gym with the palladium on his neck until he’s bloody, so bloody that he can’t even open a jar afterward. The palladium doesn’t just rob him of his powers, it makes him weaker and more vulnerable than before he had superpowers.
Veronica only wears black now. She looks like an Italian grandmother in mourning.
Reggie calls a meeting of the casino’s investors. He’s calling for a vote of no confidence on her since the Babylonian hasn’t turned a profit yet. One of the investors says they found a buyer for the casino. I wonder if it’s Pickins.
Jughead tries to access Betty’s subconscious. He finds a bunch of Betty comics that he read through. He digs through issues, trying to find the memories she’s searching for. Jughead finds a memory of Betty’s dad with her shortly after she killed her cat as a kid. Hal told young Betty that she wasn’t to blame, that their cat was a sinner.
When Archie goes to Cheryl for help, Cheryl gives Archie the Rasputin method: making Archie some palladium soup.
Veronica confronts Reggie in Pickins’ room. She calls him a 6’2″ 220 lb jellyfish. Her spittle poisons him. Veronica flees when Reggie’s nose starts bleeding.
Archie drinks down some Palladiumade and gets to training, going until failure.
Dr. Curdle examines Veronica again only to find out the toxins in her system are increasing not decreasing, despite the dialysis he’s put her on. He thinks she’ll eventually die from these toxins.
Cheryl asks for more advice from the Magic 8 Ball but gets another inconclusive answer. She calls the library and gets Heather on the phone, but hangs up before she can even say hello.
Archie weighs in at 135, which he hasn’t weighed since junior high. He dumps the Palladiumade down the drain.
Betty and Jughead attempt another go at her subconscious. Jughead rifles through more issues of Betty. Betty is young again. Hal made them all get genetic testing and is excited that they have the serial killer gene, Alice included. Betty in the present feels betrayed by her mother.
Veronica calls Betty, asking if she’ll get a drink with her. Veronica, shouldn’t you be avoiding everyone? Betty calls Archie and invites him along too. The three friends throw back many shots of tequila. Veronica is the only one not drunk. She doesn’t even feel the alcohol. Veronica can’t get drunk. Interesting side effect of her poison body. She tells them about her kiss of death.
Random thought: is Hiram the Professor X of the Riverdale X-Men? To me, my R-Men!
Archie finds out he has anemia. Cheryl theorizes that Archie may have poisoned his body too much with the palladium.
Betty confronts Alice. At the farm, Polly and Betty said Betty was the only one who had it, but Alice had it all along too. Betty confronts Alice about Hal grooming Betty into becoming a serial killer, but Alice tries to gaslight her.
Veronica visits Cheryl and borrows a bunch of poisons from her, including Hemlock.
Betty now wants Jughead to dig around Alice’s mind. Jughead isn’t completely down with that. But he does it. Jughead picks up on a memory from Alice. She hid something under the floorboards in the dining room.
Cheryl has a solution to Archie’s problem. She will work an alchemy spell on him to transform the palladium in him to iron, not only saving him but forging him into something stronger. Only problem: it also might kill him.
Veronica samples various poisons in a bubble bath. No effect whatsoever. She’s completely immune to them all. And according to the book on spiders she reads, their poisons don’t affect themselves, and they can control how much poison they secrete. Veronica theorizes that if she can control her emotions, she won’t’ be a harm to people. Cheryl gives her that spider brooch from a few episodes back on Riverdale.
Betty and Jughead dig up a body in the dining room. Who is it? A Riverdale deputy that came to investigate Hal. Hall threatened to blame Alice if she didn’t help him bury the body. Betty asks her again if she knew Hal was grooming her. Alice gives a tearful, long-winded answer that basically says yes.
Cheryl works her spell on a shirtless (of course – This is Riverdale) Archie. He reads the spell while she works her pyrokinesis. He burns so hot, that the paper catches fire.
Reggie threatens Veronica with a hostile takeover. He has photos of her on dialysis. She tells him to go ahead and try.
Archie runs a knife across his hand. nothing, even with palladium around his neck. Watch out Pickins! The Redhead of Steel is here!
Veronica proves her health in front of her investors and customers with a musical number of Toxic. Veronica is feeling great. Why? Because Betty and Archie proposed an idea to Veronica. She kisses Archie since he’s invulnerable. Physical touch gets Veronica her groove back. Archie is a little too into this song as Veronica dances. Maybe letting him kiss her was a bad idea, Betty.
Jughead is plagued by memories of kissing Betty from Riverdale seasons past when they were together just as Tabitha texts him that she’s on her way home. Finally!
And then Cheryl gets her heart’s desire: Heather shows up at Thornhill.