Writer: Brian Swenlin
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 23, 1999
Note: This episode is placed fifth on the DVD.
The episode opens during gym glass.
Archie and Reggie smile, wave, and greet Veronica and Betty as they run by.
The girls flirtily say hi to them.
Archie and Reggie argue over who the girls are interested in.
Reggie shows off one of his “magnificent Mantle smiles”.
He tries it on the girls. They laugh. When Veronica talks, her voice sounds off. It honestly sounds more like Betty.
Convinced of his success, Reggie elbows Archie in the chest. Ass.
Archie decides to give the girls “a healthy dose of Triple A” (Archie Andrews Action).
Let Katy and Sabrina show you how it’s done.
Reggie is unusually surprised at this.
Reggie asks if Archie would have pole-vaulted if no one had been watching him. Archie says sure and adds “The important thing is to do your best, especially when no one’s around to see you do it.” Reggie says “When no one’s watching is when you can get away with all sorts of things.” Archie says Reggie’s “warped”. Reggie lets Archie know the girls weren’t even looking at him.
It turns out that Veronica and Betty are gaga over Robbie Dobkins, the Riverdale “super jock” that edged Reggie off the track team.
Somewhat impressed, Archie says Robbie’s put on some muscle since last year. Robbie says hi to Reggie and apologizes for taking his place on the team. Reggie’s clearly irritated but pretends it’s no big deal. Archie brings up Robbie’s muscles. The girls compliment him in the flirtiest way possible. Robbie says he’s been working out. Betty exposits Robbie’s going to be in the track meet today after school. Robbie decides to practice his pole vaulting. The girls are incredibly turned on by that and decide to watch him. Archie’s jealous. Reggie comments on how guys like Dobkins make “suckers” like them “invisible” to girls.
Later, in Chemistry class, an unusually angry Professor Flutesnoot has the class choose lab partners for tomorrow’s assignment.
Seriously, why does he look so pissed?
Reggie offers himself to the girls. They pass on him…
…and go for the “super jock”. Betty claims she’s “really good at Chemistry”. Veronica admits she isn’t but promises expensive tutors, courtesy of “Daddy”.
Archie invades Veronica’s personal space, shocking her. Veronica cozies up to “Robbiekins” (ugh).
Reggie says “We’re just a couple of invisible guys.” Archie asks how they’re supposed to compete with muscles like that. Suddenly, there’s an explosion.
Huh, that’s a twist. Usually, it’s Archie causing the lab explosions.
In a funny bit, Archie has to wipe shit off Dilton’s goggles, because he can’t see anything (and apparently can’t recognize Archie by the sound of his voice).
Dilton says “Oh” before his lips start moving. He explains he already finished this week’s assignment last week. He’s running his own experiment using the school’s resources now, which he claims is one benefit of getting ahead in class. Wow, that’s pretty generous.
Dilton’s current experiment is a physique-enhancing formula. One external application does it.
Reggie and Archie are impressed. Dilton says it lasts only a few hours, and then the reptile returns to normal, “experiencing temporary feelings of inadequacy”.
Archie inadvertently gives Reggie an idea, and Reggie’s so inspired that his lips keep moving after he’s done talking. That’s followed by a shot that lasts less than a half-second.
Anyway, Reggie wants to buy a shot of the “muscle juice”. Dilton, however, is principled, saying it’s not for sale, and he’s never tried it on a human test subject before. Reggie volunteers. Dilton says it’s extremely unstable.
Reggie is willing to take the chance and gets in Dilton’s face about it.
Dilton pushes Reggie away from him and tells him to forget it. He closes the fridge.
Archie tells Reggie – in a *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* kind of way – that he was “just kidding around”. Reggie goes along with it. Dilton looks completely unconvinced.
After class lets out, Reggie seems to not be looking forward to his last class of the day: History with Grundy. Dilton abruptly stops and randomly says he’ll have to check with Professor Flutesnoot. Was a line cut or something? Archie thought “old Flutesnoot” didn’t teach in the lab this period. Dilton says he doesn’t, but, as soon as he turns in this assignment, he’s got permission to come back and work on his formula. Wait, I thought Dilton already finished this week’s assignment last week. Why’s he only now turning it in? Was it so Professor Flutesnoot wouldn’t lose it? Also, why does Dilton have permission to come back after Chemistry class to work on his formula? What about his last class of the day?
Fade out. Fade in.
Who didn’t see this coming?
Archie, having forgotten his backpack, catches Reggie and gets judgmental. They argue about it and grab the flask from each other. Guess where this is going.
Well, it doesn’t go exactly as you think. Reggie tries to pour some on himself, except you don’t really see it happen (it’s a POV shot from the top of Reggie’s head, I think), and Archie tries to stop him, so it goes on Reggie’s shirt; then Archie gets some on his shirt and jacket…
…and then stupidly wipes it with his hand.
Reggie apologizes, although he doesn’t sound sorry.
Nothing seems to happen, disappointing Reggie. Reggie claims to have learned his lesson and puts what’s left of the formula back in the fridge. They’re gonna pretend this never happened, but Archie will tell the truth if asked by Dilton.
Archie hurries on his way to his next class but then feels kind of funny and heads into the restroom.
He figures he’s gotten paranoid. He splashes some water on himself and…
He soon becomes entirely invisible.
So, for those of you trying to keep track, this episode’s plot revolves around a performance-enhancing formula that, when haphazardly applied to clothes and combined with a splash of water on the face, renders the subject invisible. (Oddly enough, Archie’s left hand, the only area to be exposed to both the formula and water, is one of the last to disappear.) Got that? Okay, moving on. It’s worth noting this is the first episode of the series where the problem is caused by one of Dilton’s inventions, not the general “weirdness” that the town has become a magnet for. In fact, I’m going to start keeping a tally at the end of each review to see which is the source of more conflicts in this series, the general weirdness or Dilton’s inventions.
Fade out. Fade in.
As Reggie disappears, he feels “kind of light-headed”. Why is Reggie disappearing? Is the water a catalyst or not?
Okay, Reggie’s gone completely invisible, so let me take this opportunity to say I’m particularly fond of this nameless extra.
Somehow being completely unaware that he’s invisible, Reggie warms up the “magnificent Mantle smile” for Veronica. He’s surprised when she ignores him.
Reggie wants to give Moose a high five. Moose is momentarily confused but then shrugs and moves on. Reggie thinks it’s “weird”.
The bell rings, and Reggie heads to class.
Do schools use handles instead of knobs now? Did they in 1999? I graduated in 1996, and I don’t remember if we used knobs or handles. I believe we used handles in college.
Meanwhile, Dilton checks on his formula and notices something’s up. It’s less than the 80 milliliters that he’d filled it to, and it’s “too soon for evaporation to take effect”. What the hell’s the boiling point of this formula?
Archie comes in and calls for Dilton, who’s startled and drops the flask (but catches it). Dilton is confused, so Archie says he’s invisible.
Dilton thinks it’s a gag, so Archie proves it. Dilton asks how it happened, and Archie explains. Dilton admonishes him. Archie says it was an accident. Dilton is intrigued and asks if Reggie’s with him. Archie guesses Reggie’s still in Grundy’s History class.
That clock is nowhere close to the correct time.
Ms. Grundy wants the class to pass up their homework while she takes attendance.
How does Reggie not fucking notice he’s fucking invisible?! And why is his homework unaffected?
Reggie’s pissed at being skipped over, so he gets the attention of the girl in front of him.
She’s probably high as fuck. That’s the only explanation for her non-reaction.
Reggie’s surprised that Ms. Grundy thinks he’s absent. She doesn’t hear him when he asks “Huh?” Then again, she’s not using an actual attendance log to take attendance, so maybe she’s got a few issues of her own.
It’s only now that Reggie realizes he’s invisible. The class laughs. Ms. Grundy thinks she’s being pranked, but she doesn’t know by who, despite clearly hearing Reggie’s voice. She gets on with class.
Reggie wonders what he’s going to do. He decides to do whatever he wants.
Back in the lab, there’s a cute gag where Dilton’s addressing Archie while facing in the wrong direction.
They discuss the problem. By Dilton’s calculations, Archie is “going to completely fade from existence within a few hours”. Archie freaks out, but Dilton is all scientific about it until he finally realizes, yes, this actually is a serious situation. That’s pretty funny.
Dilton gets to work on an antidote. He tells Archie to find Reggie and bring him back here as soon as possible. Archie asks how.
So…did Archie get naked or just put all of that stuff on top of his regular clothes?
Dilton makes a joke about Archie’s appearance and then sends him on his way.
Back in History class, Reggie’s pranking Ms. Grundy – to the amusement of the class.
Oh, and that damn clock still isn’t right.
And what’s with the diagrams on the walls? Is this a multi-subject classroom or something?
Yeah, that’ll show him. Great job, Grundy.
Just kidding. The class keeps laughing, further pissing her off.
Archie arrives just as Reggie’s leaving. Wait. Was one of Reggie’s pranks replacing the door’s handle with a knob?
Reggie fucks around and tries to scare Archie. They argue for a bit. Reggie refuses to get visible until he’s “had some fun with Dobkins and the girls”. He leaves. Archie tries to go after him but…
Fade out. Fade in.
Mr. Weatherbee wants Archie to take off that “ridiculous get-up”. Archie bullshits about having a “skin condition”, which makes him “very sensitive to light”. There actually is such a thing, but Weatherbee doesn’t question it further. Instead, he wants to see a hall pass, which Archie doesn’t have.
Weatherbee takes great delight in taking Archie back to his office for detention. Archie tries to get out of it – to no avail.
Reggie walks outside and realizes he has time for some fun before the track meet.
He spots Robbie, out of class early for track practice.
Reggie changes the direction of the spigot on the water fountain (hmmm, can you really do that?), getting Robbie wet. After Robbie leaves, Reggie points the spigot back in the proper direction.
Later, at the track meet, Betty and Veronica cheer for “Riverdale Robbie”.
Reggie goes for a classic prank.
But his expectations are subverted!
Meanwhile, Mr. Weatherbee has been back-in-my-daying at Archie. Archie asks to leave. Weatherbee takes a phone call. It’s a Mrs. Hudsucker. While Weatherbee’s got his back turned, Archie strips (though he is neither seen nor heard leaving the office). When Weatherbee gets off the phone, he’s very confused.
Dilton’s finished the antidote just as Archie arrives. Archie again calls for him, again making him drop the flask. He catches it, though, and tells Archie to cut that shit out. Archie apologizes. Dilton invites him to try the antidote.
Success! Archie used everything that’s in the flask on himself, though.
Dilton asks about Reggie. Archie remembers and guesses where he is.
Dilton’s confused, and then he does this weird thing where he looks at the empty flask, smiles, and nods, like he’s so fucking proud of himself. He follows Archie.
Archie and Dilton arrive at the track meet. Dilton says time’s running out for Reggie and doesn’t think they’ll find him.
Archie gets an idea – and a seriously fucking creepy look on his face.
Dilton is impressed.
Whew! It’s a good thing that Dilton had more of that antidote, which he must have pulled out of his ass, because he was holding an empty flask when he followed Archie out of the lab.
Because Reggie’s a fucking dumbass in this episode, he doesn’t realize he’s visible again, so he sneaks over to Robbie and…
Betty and Veronica seek to avoid witnessing as much of the carnage as possible.
Dilton and Archie celebrate.
The scene fades directly to the scene where Archie’s typing up his column instead of doing a fade out and fade in as usual.
As usual, there’s no sign of Archie’s car in the garage – nor his parents’ car(s), for that matter. Also, if Archie’s parents went out, couldn’t they have stopped by the post office instead of leaving mail in their box for the mail carrier to pick up the next day?
“Poor Reggie” thinks he was the victim of their practical joke. Why didn’t Archie and Dilton explain they were saving his life? Also, Reggie got “clobbered” in the process, but that was his own fault.
Archie hopes, the next time that Reggie’s invisible, he won’t use it as an excuse to cause trouble…
…in a little town called Riverdale.
This was a pretty good episode. But let’s talk invisibility. If Reggie’s retinas were invisible, he’d been blind. That aside, he’d have to deal with constantly seeing things, since his eyelids were invisible.
Regarding time placement for this episode, outside California, outside high school track season lasts from March through June.
General Weirdness: 3
Dilton’s Inventions: 1