Writer: Jamie Lee Rotante
Line Art: Sandra Lanz
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty & Veronica, Vol. 4, No. 2
Cover Date: March, 2019
On-Sale Date: January 30, 2019
Length: 20 pages
Before the story, there’s a recap of the previous issue on the credits page.
Veronica is working as the new editorial intern at Sparkle Publishing. She’s in the middle of a phone call, makes a Baby Spice reference, and then has to convince the person that she’s speaking with that she knows who that is. Cute. 🙂 Ginger comes by and asks Veronica if she’s busy. Nah, of course not. That’s why she was in the middle of a business call.
Outside, Ginger asks Veronica how she likes the internship so far. Veronica likes it. It comes natural to her. Ginger’s dad has taken notice of how Veronica dealt with a minor situation in the break room, so Ginger brings up Veronica having her own column in print. In print?! Holy shit! Um, who cares? What teen is gonna go out and read a column in a print magazine? Anyway, Veronica is excited, assuming it’s a fashion column, but it’s actually an advice column. Veronica doubts she’s the right person for it and suggests Betty as a better fit. Rather than address that, Ginger asks about Betty, noting she hardly sees her anymore.
Veronica flashes back to the pinky-swear pact and learning from Reggie that Betty’s with Archie. Ginger calls Veronica back to the present. Veronica says they’re busy and can’t even meet up themselves. Ginger asks about the advice column, and Veronica doesn’t seem to have an answer.
Betty’s volunteering at a Habitat For Humanity knockoff, and Jughead comes by and pesters her to let him interview her for The Blue and Gold about it, despite her wanting to stay out of the spotlight.
Archie’s here, shirtless and showing off for the ladies. Betty asks Jughead about it. Jughead guesses it’s just another stop on his Bettering Himself Tour. Betty flashes back to drunkenly kissing Archie on the cheek. Raj let Jughead borrow his camera to get some “action shots” of Betty at work. Betty abruptly asks Jughead for the time (because it’s not like she has a cell phone or anything). Jughead seems to guess 4:15. Betty was supposed to tutor Moose at 4:00. Abandoning the tools and her current work, she runs off, saying they’ll have to reschedule the interview. Jughead says it’s due tomorrow, but Betty either doesn’t hear him or doesn’t give a shit.
Betty arrives at Moose’s house and sees Midge outside. He’s still home, and Midge is hoping Betty can get through to him. Betty tries to reassure her of Moose’s feelings for her, but Midge isn’t convinced and angrily leaves.
In the living room, Betty asks Moose if he’s okay. Moose asks her if she thinks he’s an idiot. She says no. He’s convinced everyone else at Riverdale High thinks he is. He can’t do anything except play football, and he can’t even do that anymore, losing out on every football scholarship that he’d applied for. He’s convinced he’s gonna work at his dad’s fishing shop for the rest of his life. Betty tries to encourage him. Moose is doubtful, having missed a month of school. Betty is confident. Moose compares her favorably to Veronica.
Later, as Betty arrives home, she checks her messages. She got a text from Veronica at 4:45 PM, inviting her to Pop’s “around 6ish”. Betty apologizes, saying her tutoring session ran long. She also apologizes to her mom for being late for dinner. Alice informs her that Hal lost his job today. Hal explains there were a lot of layoffs. Betty offers to get a part-time job at the bijou. Hal says she’s too busy and tells her to leave it to them. He also mentions they have an emergency college fund for her but then says no more about it. I wonder what the implication is. Are they gonna dip into it? Alice seconds what Hal said. Hal is hopeful that Betty will get a Pickens scholarship, which will help them out.
Meanwhile, at Lodge Manor, Veronica is checking her texts. She and Betty have to keep putting off seeing each other, due to school obligations. I don’t know if students’ lives during senior year are so hectic today, but I certainly don’t remember being that busy when I was in high school (I graduated in 1996). Of course, I pretty much knew I’d just be attending the local community college, which was near my high school, anyway, so that might explain why I didn’t feel so much pressure. I never did the whole “go away to college” thing. Any younger readers, what are your thoughts on how this series portrays the lives of high school seniors today?
Anyway, Hermione and Hiram come in. Hermione asks Veronica how her day was. It was busy, full of hard work. Veronica senses something’s up. Hiram pretty much insists Veronica attend Hitchens. Veronica agrees to send her application in on Monday. Hiram dismisses that, deciding to pull some strings. Veronica shuts that down right away. She learns from Hiram that the lumber factory just laid off ten people, including Betty’s dad (Hiram is more concerned about how this affects his architectural firm). Veronica needs to call Betty and makes her parents put off their discussion until later.
Veronica calls Betty, and the two of them catch up. Neither of them have applied to Pickens yet, so Betty suggests they both do it now, together, while on the phone. Veronica uses her laptop. Betty fills out a paper application, shockingly seeming to not have a computer. I really don’t find that credible. My parents and I have never held great jobs, but I’m currently on my fourth PC, and my mom has a PC and a laptop. I also have a tablet. We both worked at Walmart until a little over three years ago; now, it’s just me; my dad died five years ago and hadn’t worked for years before that. Betty seems to imply her mom works, so both of her parents were working until just today. And they couldn’t buy even one cheap computer at Walmart for use by the entire family?
Also, before I move on, I need to address the (rejection?) letters that Veronica got from various colleges. There’s Midvale College, Central State, University of Greendale, and Hitchens. Midvale is where Josie and the Pussycats live (in some continuities). Greendale is where Sabrina lives (again, in some continuities). Central is one of Riverdale High’s rivals. Those, in addition to the local Pickens University, total four local institutes of higher learning. There is one college and one technical institute in my county, so Riverdale’s definitely gotta be a more urban environment, yet the lumber factory is one of its “largest industries”. Is Riverdale supposed to be the size of Tampa, Florida, or Forks, Washington?
Some time later, Betty and Toni are walking along a sidewalk. Leaves are falling. Halloween decorations have been set up. Toni asks how college applications are going. Betty’s sent out a bunch and is focusing on scholarship essays now. That’s something else that I never did. Toni’s sent out one application, because it costs $60.00 to apply each time. Betty never thought of that, because her parents have been helping her out with that. They arrive at the park (I guess) and sit on a bench. Toni says Betty’s lucky. Betty agrees but isn’t happy about it. Toni asks her about her and Veronica’s matching Halloween costumes for the dance. They’ve been so busy that they haven’t had the time. Betty watches Archie and Jughead throw a football back and forth and seems to feel guilty about the near-kiss.
Throughout October, Betty and Veronica go into overdrive. Oddly, they both pose in the same weird black dress for their yearbook photos, looking almost gothy but not quite. Betty doesn’t even smile.
On Monday morning, at Riverdale High School, Veronica’s applying her lipstick while looking in her locker’s mirror and casually greets Betty when the latter sleepily bangs her head into the next locker. Veronica has been meaning to talk to her about that night at Pickens. Before she can say anything, though, a pissed Ehtel comes by and manhandles (womanhandles?) Betty off to the cafeteria for the student election meeting. Apparently, in addition to being Ethel’s campaign manager, Betty is also “potential vice president of the student council”. I wonder if Betty had any input in that. Betty apologetically looks at Veronica as she’s dragged off.
In homeroom, Ginger comes by and gives Veronica something that she forgot to give her on Friday: an envelope full of money. Veronica protests, since she’s interning for college credit. Ginger (and George, the head editor at Sparkle) insists. Ginger wants Veronica to pass on a greeting from George to Hiram. Veronica is pissed.
In the cafeteria, Ms. Grundy leads the student election meeting, which Betty sleeps through, which pisses Ethel off. After the meeting. Ethel yells at Betty, and so does Midge, who’s jealous of Betty’s tutoring lessons with Moose. Betty’s like “The fuck?!” Seriously, it was Midge’s idea for Betty to tutor Moose. Betty seriously should just tell both of these bitches to fuck off.
Veronica’s on the phone with her dad and is arguing with him about him pulling strings. She angrily tears down and crumples a flier from the bulletin board for a Lodge Enterprises internship. She and Betty run into each other in a hallway and hug. Betty asks Veronica about Pickens. Veronica puts it off in favor of discussing Halloween costumes.
On Halloween, Betty and Veronica walk arm-in-arm into the Riverdale High gym for the party. Betty’s a devil, and Veronica’s an angel. Veronica excuses herself to take a piss and/or shit. Betty tries to talk to Ethel, but Ethel goes and sits with someone else, so Betty banters for a bit with Jughead.
In the hallway, Veronica meets up with Reggie. Reggie wants her to get him some alone time with Betty. After a moment, Veronica seems to agree. Betty comes out, looking for Ronnie. She sees Veronica and Reggie seeming to kiss (it isn’t clearly shown) and walks off, upset. Veronica calls out to her and goes outside, but Betty’s nowhere to be seen, just leaves blowing in the wind.
The next story will supposedly offer resolutions.
After the story is a one-page cover gallery for this issue, a page of fan art, an ad for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix, and the cover for the next issue (occurring during New Year’s Eve) with a blurb that teases more drama.
This is another good issue. I look forward to the next one.