Writers: Eleanor Burian-Mohr & Jack Hanrahan
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 31, 1987 (assumed)
Yes, that’s actually the title. It’s not a typo – at least, not on my part.
The segment opens on the gang’s hitherto-unmentioned tree house, which is near some train tracks. They’re throwing a paper airplane around.
Betty rides over and carelessly drops her bike on its side. It’s not like she has to worry about money or anything. Oh, wait.
She climbs the ladder. She has exciting news for the others.
There’s a zoom-in on a window of the tree house for no apparent reason except to eat up time.
Betty announces “they’re gonna build a warehouse”.
I can only guess these are the “before” pic and an artist’s concept drawing. If so, more than just the tree house would be torn down, because they’re planning to build a bunch of skyscrapers.
Archie reads the article and says they’re gonna cut down their old oak tree to build a freight warehouse (which makes sense, next to the railroad tracks). Jughead and Veronica protest.
Reggie hits them with the cold truth that they can’t do shit about it. He makes a paper airplane and throws it out the window.
The airplane flies back into the tree house. Archie unwraps the paper and confronts Reggie over the fact that his dad owns the newspaper, and he could have told them about the tree being cut down. Reggie asks what good it’d do, since they’re cutting it down tomorrow.
Veronica says this is the place where Betty gave her her first (I think) permanent.
We then get a flashback of it. Why would Veronica allow Betty to touch her hair, much less style it in a tree house?
Jughead has fond memories of him and Archie catching the mumps in the tree house and having to stay for a whole weekend.
Flashback time. Even if they did have to stay here (instead of being brought home), why didn’t their parents take care of them?
In the time that it took for that flashback to occur, Amani joined them. Or maybe she had come in earlier and stood quietly off to the side.
Anyway, Archie says this is the place where all of them held their “annual get-dizzy-on-the-swing contest”.
Archie asks if they’re gonna take this sitting down.
Hehe, okay, that’s pretty funny.
Archie asks if they’re gonna do something about it. Jughead and Veronica say yeah. Actually, Veronica exclaims “To the max!”
So the gang, excluding Reggie, gets in a huddle. Archie says they’ll get the whole gang together, and then he goes into that cartoon whisper where you can’t hear anything that he says.
Veronica single-handedly lifts Reggie to his feet and pulls him into the huddle. Damn, she’s strong.
That evening, the gang (sans Reggie) meets at the tree.
Eugene’s filling twenty water balloons “to the max”. (See what they did?) This would ordinarily be a Reggie task, I’m sure, but he can’t be bothered to do anything in a plan that he has no confidence in.
Eugene fails at basic science.
At least, he can laugh over his own ineptitude.
As Veronica and Betty chain Moose to the tree, he happily sings a song: “I’m chained to the tree, and I’ll stay here forever ’til they don’t cut it down, cut it down.” He then asks them how they like his protest song.
That says it all.
Betty says it’s “very nice”, no doubt to spare his feelings. She asks if the chains are too tight. He briefly struggles and says no, adding he could stay here all night.
“That’s the whole idea, you dumbass.”
Moose starts singing his protest song again, but Betty telling him to shut the fuck up, because someone’s coming.
It’s Amani with a beehive for Archie. Where the fuck did she get a beehive? Anyway, he slips it in the knothole in the tree.
Eugene calls out to Reggie for help with the water balloons, but he’s a no-show, so Amani eagerly offers to help Eugene.
Jughead complains to Archie and Ethel (who’s suddenly here) about how Reggie’s always late when there’s work to do. He then asks if it’s bedtime yet. Ha.
Archie climbs up the ladder. As Jughead’s about to climb up, Ethel gives him a bedtime snack. Seriously, she’s got a serving tray. Is she the official caterer for the protest group?
Later, the guys apparently decided to sleep on the ground. Okay. Jughead talks about french fries in his sleep.
Moose sings his stupid protest song in his sleep.
Someone cuts Moose’s chain in one or two spots, and this is apparently all that it takes to completely free him. Bullshit!
The fall doesn’t wake Moose, who continues singing his stupid protest song.
Someone pours honey into the beehive.
standing sitting guard outside the tree house and nodding off.
The girls are asleep inside and having wet dreams. No, seriously, they’re moaning.
An improbably shadowy figure (who could it be?!) climbs up the ladder and lets the water out of the water balloons.
At sunrise, the guys wake up on their own (bullshit), and Archie yells for the alarm to be turned off. What?
Betty points out the arrival of the eeeviiil lumberjacks while not noticing the lack of water balloons.
Archie stands up and barks orders.
Moose gets up to climb the ladder. He wants everyone to sing with him but then realizes he’s no longer chained to the tree.
Archie feels water drip on his head, looks up, and sees their water balloons have been “sabotaged”.
Eugene says someone fed honey to the bees, and they won’t be chasing anyone for a while. Jughead asks if there’s any honey left for breakfast. Asshole.
Archie and Moose try to defend the tree. They and the others sing Moose’s stupid protest song despite not being chained to the tree.
A red limousine arrives.
So does a reporter from WRIV, Riverdale’s local radio station. WRIV is in the comics as well, except it’s a TV station there. In real life, WRIV is an AM radio station in Riverhead, New York.
Ms. Grundy also jogs by at that moment.
Holy shit, it’s the fucking mayor! We know, because he says so! He’s there to “officially pronounce” the murder of the tree. He even brought an axe to hold on TV. So, just to be clear, Riverdale is a sleepy, shitty-ass town where the mayor can take the time to hold an axe to a tree, even though there’s no newspaper photographer in sight, for a piece on the shitty local morning-drive show.
Why is Reggie suddenly with them? Did he have a change of heart? Ha! You obviously haven’t been following along to know the real reason: shitty continuity.
Anyway, the non-chained protestors sing the stupid protest song about being chained to the tree.
Ms. Grundy tells Melvin (the mayor) that he has a little protest on his hands. He addresses her as “Ms. Grundy”. I wonder if he’s one of her former students.
Anyway, then he realizes he’s the motherfucking mayor and yells at the kids to knock this shit off, or he’ll throw them in the fucking slammer, where there are bald, goatee-wearing men that do bad things to little kiddies.
The RIV reporter asks him to repeat that for the live audience. Um, I think her microphone probably picked that up, but whatever. The mayor tries to cover his ass on the radio. Ms. Grundy asks “Melvin” what he’s gonna do about it. The mayor struggles to come up with anything. Can you believe the people voted for someone so incompetent?
Ms. Grundy suggests forming a committee. He agrees and adds they’ll postpone action for one week.
The gang (including Reggie) cheers.
The mayor tries to hog the airwaves, but…
…the reporter swipes the microphone from him. Hehehe. Guess who’s not voting for you in the next election, asshole.
After the commercial break (I guess), at Riverdale Junior High School, Ms. Grundy quotes Thomas Jefferson regarding rebellion. This gets Archie jazzed up. What the fuck is Moose playing with? He tells “Ms. G” that he thinks he has a new song.
She snatches away his thing and says there are legal, peaceful methods of protest.
Reggie continues to talk like all hope is lost.
Ms. Grundy goes over things that they can do:
*circulate a petition to gather signatures
Although maybe not from the guy that you’re opposing.
I’m pretty sure that this is illegal. I should note the mayor seems utterly incapable of tearing up paper.
Luckily, the local intrepid reporter is on the scene to capture…absolutely nothing.
Somehow, the mayor thinks he’s been caught and decides to sign the petition. Why? Just hand it back.
Who took this photo?
Ms. Grundy tells them to get plenty of publicity for their cause.
Ethel points out to Mr. Weatherbee that even the mayor signed. He’s impressed and signs as well. Ethel thanks him for his support.
Hmmm, it seems Mr. Weatherbee has a personal reason to save this tree.
At city hall, the mayor calls for a vote on murdering the tree.
The gang rushes in.
Eugene cites a city bylaw that requires the opposition to be heard. Um, cutting it kinda close, aren’t you? Why wasn’t this set up well ahead of time?
Anyway, the mayor cuts him off and tells Archie to just fucking speak already. Archie talks about them loving their tree.
Betty shows off the signatures that they’ve gathered – including the mayor’s.
The mayor invites questions from the audience.
A woman brings up that the town is “littered with leaflets”.
More people agree. The mayor happily declares the tree comes down tomorrow.
He then keeps banging his gavel and calling for order (alternating between serious and happy), but the crowd is rowdy.
Later, Betty, Veronica, and Amani pick up the leaflets in the park. Betty says someone’s out to sabotage them.
Archie finds and pockets a paper airplane. I wonder whose it is. He hopes their token black friends find something at the library; it’s their “last hope”.
At the library, stacks of books randomly fall off the table. Amani and Eugene don’t acknowledge it. It’s not meant to be a scene transition, because there was already a wipe. Beats the hell outta me what that was about.
Actual quoted dialogue:
Amani (regarding a newspaper page with pieces cut out): “That’s it!”
Eugene: “Could be! Of course, it would help if we knew what it was.”
I…have no idea what they’re talking about.
As Eugene says his line, the lights seemingly flicker, but this goes unacknowledged, which leads me to believe the shot simply darkens a few times due to some kind of error.
There’s an unnecessary shot of them walking to the exit. Could this be…padding?!
That night, the gang’s in the tree house, packing up their stuff. There’s a lot of commotion.
Reggie makes a paper airplane.
Jughead is “eating to forget”.
Taking down an old picture, Archie says they had a lot of good times here. Care to fill us in on any of them? ‘Cause you all have shared shitty memories so far.
Archie can’t understand how someone that they know and trust could do this. Reggie throws his airplane at Archie. Archie takes out the one that he’d picked up earlier in the park and places it next to Reggie’s airplane. They’re identical. He says he can’t understand. ARE YOU A FUCKING IDIOT?!
Reggie tells him to knock it off.
Ethel announces Eugene and Amani’s arrival.
Eugene says they have a “clue” but don’t know what it is.
While Jughead talks, Amani and Eugene switch places. Amani shows off a copy of an early Riverdale Gazette. It’s an article about Horace Riverdale, the town founder. Seriously, show? Riverdale is named after someone named Horace Riverdale?
Eugene says someone tore out a piece of the article. Um, it looks like someone tore out two pieces.
Eugene says that’s the missing clue. How the fuck does he know? Is there something in the article that led him to believe the answer to their problems is in those missing pieces?
Reggie quietly sneaks out.
The next morning, at sunrise, the gang and Ms. Grundy are sitting in front of the tree.
The mayor doesn’t want any “trouble”.
Reggie shows up.
The gang is shocked.
Reggie found this “clipping” (looks like a full page to me) in his father’s newspaper files. The mayor reads it silently. Ms. Grundy tells “Melvin” to read it aloud.
He takes too damn long, so Ms. Grundy takes the paper away from him.
The oak tree is a historical monument, dedicated by Horace Riverdale. So…only the caption under the photo made this clear? It wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the article itself? Furthermore, isn’t there a record of this somewhere other than this newspaper article? Doesn’t Riverdale have a preservation society or something? Wouldn’t they raise a stink about the mayor trying to chop down the tree?
Also, isn’t this supposed to be an old article? Just how long has the gang had the tree house here?
The gang (or some of them, anyway) cheers. The crowd disperses. The WRIV reporter doesn’t bother conducting any interviews.
Moose sings his stupid protest song, because he’s a dumbass.
In a shocking twist that no one saw coming, Reggie confesses to sabotaging everything.
Betty asks why.
Reggie says his Uncle Cyrus wanted to build the warehouse here, and he promised Reggie a mountain bike if he helped, but Reggie decided friends were more important.
Veronica tells “Reg” that he did the right thing, adding this is the tree where he pledged his love to her.
Reggie discovers even Horace T. Riverdale pledged his love to…no one…here.
Moose leads the gang in one last encore of the stupid protest song as the camera zooms in on Horace’s heart carving. The end.
This segment was a mixed bag. It was hilarious in some spots (mostly the protest song), dull in others (walking, paper airplanes), and bullshit in most of it. Seriously, these kids don’t have any happy memories of the tree house, no one questions the mayor’s decision to destroy a historical landmark, and pertinent information seemingly exists solely in a photo in an old newspaper article. You can do better, show.
Tune in next Wednesday!