Writer: Eleanor Burian-Mohr & Jack Hanrahan
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 24, 1987 (assumed)
Kudos for using a title card featuring Red.
The segment opens with an unusually long, slow zoom-in on Riverdale Junior High School. Might this be a budgetary move?
Then we get a poorly-composited shot where Ms. Grundy is barely visible.
Anyway, Ms. Grundy is looking over this year’s “unusual” science projects, despite the fact that they already did science projects earlier.
Betty is listening to Veronica gossip on one of those tin-can phones, which better not be a science project, because that’s fucking lazy, and this is from a guy that did the fresh-water-versus-salt-water-plant-growth project; yeah, I got a low grade.
Anyway, there’s a funny split-screen gag where Ms. Grundy yanks the “phone” away from them.
Veronica apologizes. Nice touch with Ms. Grundy’s shadow falling over her.
Veronica explains she was just demonstrating her “silver-plated tin-can phone”. Ooh, it’s silver-plated?! That makes it better.
Ms. Grundy merely lifts her foot slightly higher to step over the string (this necessitates a sound effect for some reason).
Jughead thinks he’s found “spontaneous life” in his onion rings. That’s…disgusting.
“What the fuck kind of lazy-ass bullshit is this?!”
Ms. Grundy is impressed by Eugene’s “lunar-powered photosynthetic photographic synthesystem”. He calls it the “Luncam”. Let’s file it under B for “Bullshit”.
Ms. Grundy gets a little sassy with “Reginald” over his “invisible project”. That earns her some laughs.
Reggie blames Archie, saying Archie’s dog ate his “bread mold” project. That’s morbidly hilarious.
Archie disputes it, saying he tied Red up with a half-inch nylon that a truck couldn’t break…
Son of a fuck.
Red immediately eats Jughead’s hamburger.
There’s a go-to-black effect, even though this isn’t anywhere close to a commercial break.
The same effect in reverse brings us to the next scene, where Archie is giving Red a bath.
Meanwhile, Veronica and Betty are prettying-up Jughead’s dog, Hot Dog. Betty doesn’t believe Red’s the culprit. Veronica doesn’t even believe Reggie did a science project.
An old woman gets Archie’s attention. The gang isn’t happy to see her but greet her anyway. Then Veronica adds a little laugh at the end. She’s awesome.
Red really isn’t happy to see this woman.
The bitch on the bike is Mrs. Schweckner, a rip-off of Miss Gulch from “The Wizard of Oz”. Also, Red is the same breed as Toto. What’s with the Wizard of Oz references on this series?
Anyway, Mrs. Schweckner rants about all of the shit that Red’s done to her and her cat, and then we see that she keeps her cat, Muffin, unsecured in a basket on the back of her bike. Fuck this bitch.
“I’ve got a fucking list, asshole!”
Archie insists Red loves Muffin.
And, yeah, Red does indeed want to mate with her.
“Get your fucking dog away from my pussy!”
Mrs. Schweckner declares she’s reporting this “vicious beast” to Animal Control and rides off, consoling Muffin and threatening Red at the same time. Red jumps back in the bath and hides beneath the bubbles.
Archie makes a half-assed attempt at calling after Mrs. Schweckner and then takes Red out of the bath.
Jughead feels so bad for Red that he offers him some of his hamburger to cheer him up. Awww…
Muffin escapes from Mrs. Schweckner’s basket, and she doesn’t even notice, because she’s grossly negligent and shouldn’t be allowed to have pets.
The shot, which zooms in on Mrs. Schweckner’s head, goes on too long. Maybe the script was under time?
Before we move on, I wanna say I love the dark sky in this scene, like it’s about ready to storm.
That night, sure enough! Kudos for not making this a simple establishing shot.
Eugene declares his Luncam “works!” and should photograph everything that moves. Well, supposedly, anything that moves that’s attached by a string to the camera. Seriously, there are a bunch of strings coming from the camera.
Jughead covers the trash cans (which have been tied with the strings). He then knocks them over, because he’s an uncoordinated dumbass.
Archie, with Red, thanks “Gene” for helping them clear Red’s name.
Later that night, a noise outside wakes up Archie. He tries to alert Jughead (who’s sleeping over and…has his own bed), but dude’s sound asleep, so…
The Luncam takes pics of the shenanigans going on outside, including a bunch of boxes and trash cans falling over. That’s great, but the pics are taken after they fall over, which won’t prove anything.
Jughead so doesn’t give a shit.
Archie and Jughead run outside to investigate. Jughead has to bring along food, of course.
They completely run around a square fence and wind up back where they started before they see the knocked-over trash cans and boxes. Um,…stupidity for the sake of padding?
Archie and Jughead go over and spy on Mrs. Schweckner, who had one of Riverdale’s Animal Control officers come over to her house (it’s the next morning, I guess), so she could complain about Red’s supposed misdeeds.
A dejected Archie declares his life is over. Jughead declares it’s enough to make a guy lose his appetite.
“Caught ya, ya fuckin’ hoodlums!”
“Your foul creature is goin’ to the slammer! It’s official and shit!”
“Sorry, kid, you’re shit outta luck; she has a warrant.”
Archie again insists Red loves Muffin and then says he’s gone. Mrs. Schweckner is gonna “help” Archie find “that vicious animal”. The old hag then yanks the Animal Control officer along. Yeah, no fucking way.
Jughead declares he can’t eat – while chewing some food.
Later, Archie, Jughead, and Hot Dog go to Eugene’s to drop off the Luncam. Archie insists on Red’s innocence. Eugene says he’ll have prints for them later. Archie thanks him.
Archie flags down Reggie, who’s riding his bike…in the pouring rain (is he delivering newspapers?). He begs Reggie to help them find Red. Reggie gives a half-assed, not-at-all-convincing “too busy” excuse, reconsiders his explanation, sticks with it, and then just pedals away. Kinda funny. 🙂
“Too much bread mold?” Also kinda funny. 🙂
Archie’s mom told Veronica and Betty about Red, so they rush over to help look for him.
Archie suggests they split up.
Later, Hot Dog’s picked up Red’s scent.
Mrs. Schweckner forces the Animal Control schmuck to drive slowly behind her as she pedals toward the gang in rage! She gets off her bike and runs toward them.
“The fuck, you crazy old bitch?!”
She dives into the bushes!
Archie “tries” to “warn” her, but…
…the springs are so strong that they expel her from the bushes, and she lands on her ass.
The crazy bitch actually tells Archie that he’ll “rue this day”. “Rue”! Fucking “rue”! WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?!
Anyway, Archie says he already does.
The Animal Control guy laughs, no doubt at the bitch’s misfortune.
Meanwhile, Eugene is having difficulty developing the film. This is a guy that has his own personal darkroom! I didn’t have this much trouble when I took Photography class in high school. Michael from “Maniac Mansion” would kick Eugene’s ass out of a sense of shame!
Jughead thinks they’re on to something, because it’s not like Hot Dog’s been wrong so far.
Archie tells Hot Dog to find his buddy.
The girls are walking a bit behind them. Veronica has a delayed reaction to Jughead’s announcement…
…and then delays in picking up the pace.
The bitch and Barney Fife (that should be the name of a tragicomedy) are in hot pursuit.
Jughead declares Hot Dog’s nose is “infallible”.
Yeah, as infallible as the fucking pope.
Betty asks Jughead if Hot Dog comes here (the butcher shop) often. Jughead says every day.
“Well, what did you expect, you dickcheese?”
The old hag catches up with them. The butcher tosses the bone up in the air (I guess so Hot Dog could catch it). The bitch threatens to get the butcher’s license revoked for “aiding and abetting”. Seriously. Then, though:
More problems for Eugene in the darkroom. He pounds the counter in frustration! In the writers’ efforts to delay the resolution, they’ve made Eugene into an incompetent idiot.
After the commercial break, Betty and Veronica have come across dog paw prints, but Veronica guesses they’re kind of big for Red. Betty claims prints look bigger in the mud (um, okay) and urges Veronica to come the fuck on. They walk for a bit and come across this:
Veronica calms Hot Dog down, while Betty frees the guys. Veronica realizes they’ve been following Hot Dog (after checking his paw against a paw print). Betty says splitting up is a bust and suggests sticking together.
Jughead sits down to eat (because it’s not like time is of the essence or anything). Veronica’s like “Your pooch be cray-cray.” Jughead dismisses it with “Hunger makes him cray-cray.”
He tosses Hot Dog a big sandwich for “lunch” (it’s noon already?).
Jughead also tosses a hamburger to himself, catches it in his mouth, and gets the whole thing inside before he starts chewing. Bullshit.
The old bitch is still on their tail. She leads the poor Animal Control officer by the hand and then swipes his net from him. He advises her against whatever she’s about to do. She proceeds to catch:
Jughead offers the bitch a sandwich, which is a lot kinder than how I would have reacted.
Back in the darkroom, Eugene is down to the last three shots, so he’s gotta get it right. Wait, so he’s been fucking up potential evidence this whole time? I don’t remember much about photography from high school, but I thought, as long as you don’t expose the film to light, you could try making prints as many times as you want.
Anyway, he’s excited, because he thinks he’s got something. He turns on a fan to help the pictures dry faster, and the first one flies off the line and lands in the developing tray.
The gang’s walking along.
They come to “Old Man Murray’s barn”. Betty mentions Red loves to play hide-and-seek in his haystack (even though this location seems way out of the way). The gang rushes toward it.
Suddenly, Hot Dog turns and wants to go the other way, barking.
“This way, you stupid fucknugget!”
The bitch is making the poor Animal Control officer follow her on foot as she follows these underage kids around town (and beyond). He warns her against a swamp, but she thinks he’s lying to help the kids. She does indeed fall into a swamp (off-screen) and yells at him to get her out. Leave her, dude.
Jughead has let Hot Dog loose, because he (Jughead) has heard Mrs. Schweckner “or a wet bobcat”.
They arrive at the swamp. Jughead sees her hat and declares “She melted!” Okay, enough referencing of “The Wizard of Oz”. Just wrap this up.
“That makes no sense, you fucking idiot! Snap out of it!”
The Animal Control officer is pulling the bitch out with a rope, which I guess he threw to her and told her to tie around herself. The net went missing after she accidentally nabbed Jughead and Hot Dog.
We check in with Eugene again.
It turns out that Red was “taking the rap” for a family of raccoons.
Eugene jokes this news is too late for the evening edition. Quit dicking around and get to the gang, asshole!
We see Reggie carrying a stack of papers while his (unseen) dad (Ricky Mantle) chews him out for blaming Red for eating a “non-existent” science project (so Veronica was right). Reggie is sentenced to three months of doing…something…for his dad. If they’re going by the comics, Reggie’s dad is the editor (or editor-in-chief or owner) of the town’s newspaper, so Reggie could be helping him there. He was probably delivering newspapers for his dad earlier, and he didn’t wanna let anyone know.
The gang is searching. Jughead suggests calling off the search.
Suddenly, Archie slips, falls, and slides backward, crashing into the others and causing Veronica to lose her hat.
The Animal Control officer seconds Jughead’s suggestion. Suddenly, Archie hears and recognizes Red’s bark. He gets up and runs toward the sound.
We get a slow zoom-in on the haystack. Then:
“Don’t you fucking smile at me! Officer, arrest that fucker!”
Her tune suddenly changes, though, when she sees:
It turns out that Red was helping Muffin out after she got knocked up.
Licks are given all around, and the segment ends with no apology from the bitch and Eugene’s subplot being rendered entirely pointless.
This segment was pretty good. Not great, though. Eugene’s whole film-development subplot really was pointless (and nonsensical – and would be obsolete if this story was made today). Reggie was barely in the segment, and his subplot (which we didn’t even know was a subplot until toward the end) was pointless as well. Still, I love animals, and this was a pretty sweet story that showed them being awesome.
We have reached the halfway point of the series.
Before I end this post, I have two announcements:
The first season of “Riverdale” comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on August 15 – less than two weeks from now. Once that happens, I’ll start reviewing it on this blog. Depending on how fast that I’m able to review a 40-minute episode (in general, live-action seems to go faster for me, probably because it’s less densely packed than animation), I’ll either review the season straight through or alternate from week to week with “The New Archies” (which is the more likely approach).
Tune in next Wednesday!