In case there was any doubt at the end of last week’s episode of Riverdale, Jughead has gone full 1955. He doesn’t even have any lingering wisps of memories in this episode. No trying to figure out the cryptic “bend. towards. justice.” Nope. Just trying to figure out how to sue Pep Comics

You see, Jughead submitted a story to Pep Comics on spec. They rejected that story, but soon published a story just like it. Jughead storms the Pep Comics office. He gives Al Fieldstone, the Editor-In-Chief, a piece of his mind. Al rebuffs Jughead’s claim of malfeasance. He shows Jughead rows of filing cabinets filled with story ideas waiting for a writer and artist to turn them into a story. Jughead jumps at the opportunity, somehow convincing Fieldstone to give him a shot. Fieldstone gives Jughead 24 hours to come up with a 7 page script from a log line. 

When Jughead returns the next day, his story impresses Fieldstone enough to buy it from him for one whole dollar per page. Fieldstone is about to hand Jughead’s script off to an artist when Jughead offers up an artist of his own: Ethel Muggs (Shannon Purser). 

That’s right, Ethel is alive and well in Riverdale 1955, as is Dilton Doiley (Major Curda). Ethel is a talented artist, but her art lands her in trouble with school administrators. Her teacher catches her drawing comic book pages in class, and they’re not what you’d associate with real world Pep Comics of the 1950s. At the start of this week’s episode of Riverdale, Jughead soliloquizes on “the popularity and cultural impact of comics books in our time cannot be overstated.” Remember, dear reader, this is 1955 Jughead, he’s not talking about the MCU. He goes on to say that superheroes have waned in popularity, replaced by crime and horror comics. The Pep Comics of Riverdale 1955 publishes stories more akin to real world EC stories. 

Ethel was drawing a Tales From the Crypt style story when she was caught in class. Principal Featherhead (William MacDonald) and Dr. Frederich Werthers (Malcolm Stewart). Dr Frederich Werthers being a stand in for real life comics enemy Dr. Fredric Wertham, author of Seduction of the InnocentEthel pleads her case, but lands in detention. Her parents, an alcoholic mother and abusive father, don’t like finding out this news. 

Archie (KJ Apa) asks Veronica (Camila Mendes) to the upcoming sock hop. She doesn’t say no, but does invite him dinner first. She doesn’t tell him dinner won’t be one on one. Instead, Veronica is fielding her very own version of The Bachelorette. It’s Archie versus other potential suitors, including Julian Blossom (Nicholas Barasch). Archie writes a poem about Veronica before heading to the dinner and before knowing it was going to be a weird group dinner. Dinner doesn’t go well, and Archie storms out to stop himself from decking Julian. He throws the poem, unread, in the trash on the way out. 

Luckily for Archie, the poem is retrieved by Smithers, who brings it to Veronica. She’s impressed, and lets Archie know. He asks if that means she’ll go with him to the dance, but she announces she’ll be going solo. 

Despite Kevin Keller (Casey Cott), Toni (Vanessa Morgan) and Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) all seeming straight last episode, their true selves start revealing themselves this week. Kevin and Betty (Lili Reinhart) hit a rough patch in their relationship. New student Clay Walker (Karl Walcott) introduces himself to Kevin. They immediately connect. Clay marries Kevin in the Life With Archie comics series. Toni flirts with Cheryl, who seems to both like it and not like it. He made a cameo last episode, getting off the bus with Tabitha and other students, but he has his first lines this episode. 

Cheryl and Toni Riverdale S7E2

In perhaps, the most fun move of 1955 Riverdale, besides Jughead’s crown, the Serpents don’t hang out at a biker bar. Instead, they hang out at a coffee house called The Dark Room. It’s full of cafe tables and jazz musicians. 

Fangs Fogarty performs on Riverdale

But back to the dance. While Fangs performs his best Elvis by way of Little Richard, Ethel bursts in covered in blood. But is it her own?