Riverdale, Season 1, Episode 02: Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil

I’m sorry that this is late. I have a confession to make: I’m horrible with time management. I don’t know how I was able to get a new “Hey Dude” review up almost every Wednesday (with few exceptions) for over a year. Of course, my other hobbies had to take a back seat during that time. I do get easily distracted, though, mostly by YouTube (and, more recently, reddit). “Ooh, [insert name] uploaded a new video!” “Ooh, the new [movie] trailer is up!” “Ooh, someone replied to my post!”

I’ve realized something, though: I don’t need to review a new episode of “Riverdale” every other week, because I won’t be able to start reviewing season 2 until it hits DVD late next year, anyway. So why rush season 1?

So here’s what’s gonna happen. “Riverdale” is gonna come out every fourth week. Between that will be “The New Archies” and “Archie’s Weird Mysteries”. That should be more manageable.

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Original Air Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017
Length: 42:20

Episode title reference

First, there’s a 50-second “Previously on ‘Riverdale'” recap, which I’m a bit surprised was retained for the home video release. It’s unnecessary here. Remove it, and the episode is only 41:30. Remove the end credits, and we’re left with only 41:01 of actual story (including those many seconds of black space where the commercial breaks went).

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-001-Riverdale-signRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-002-Pop'sRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-003-Jughead-laptopThe episode proper starts with Jughead narrating as he types his novel at Pop’s at night.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-004-Jughead-lockerRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-005-Reggie-JasonHe imagines seeing Jason in school on Monday morning…

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-006-Cheryl-Jason-booth…and seeing him and Cheryl at Pop’s.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-007-Blossoms-1Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-008-Blossoms-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-009-Blossoms-3Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-010-Jason-corpseThat’s bullshit, of course.

By the way, considering how Cheryl’s reacting to Jason’s “bloated, water-logged body”, I seriously doubt she’d appreciate Jughead’s description of it in his novel. Seriously, dude, what the fuck?

Another thing: why is Jughead writing a novel about Jason’s death? He’d need permission from the family to sell it.

Finally, note how Clifford doesn’t react at all to seeing his son’s corpse.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-011-coronerLooks like the autopsy is about to begin.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-012-Andrews-houseRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-013-Archie-bedRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-014-Grundy-braRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-015-Grundy-Archie-kissRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-016-Archie-Grundy-kissRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-017-Grundy-Archie-startledAt Archie’s house, Archie’s being kept awake by the guilt of not saying anything about hearing the gunshot on July 4.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-018-Archie-phoneHe texts Betty.

Betty is awake and reading a book in bed.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-019-Betty-bedRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-020-Betty-phoneHa.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-021-Betty-bed-2“I so don’t wanna deal with your bullshit right now.”

Archie looks out the window.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-022-Archie-phone-2Dude’s persistent.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-023-Betty-windowBetty shakes her head and turns off her lamp.

There’s only one thing for Archie to do:

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-024-Archie-runs-1Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-025-Archie-runs-2Go running. Topless. In the middle of the night. Of course.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-026-Grundy-houseDude, no.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-027-GrundyRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-028-ArchieThey argue over what they heard. Archie suggests contacting the police anonymously. She shoots it down and talks about her losing her job, him being expelled, and them going to jail. Nothing would happen to him; she’s just trying to instill fear in him.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-029-Andrews-houseRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-030-Fred-VegasThe next morning, Fred feeds Vegas.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-031-Fred-ArchieArchie comes downstairs. Fred asks him where he sneaked off to last night. We learn Archie’s been sneaking off since he was eight years old, going to Jughead’s tree house.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-032-ArchieRealizing his dad has dad skills, Archie bullshits about insomnia and tiring himself out.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-033-FredFred asks if Archie has something on his mind. Archie kind of tells the truth (it has to do with Jason). Fred tells him no more midnight runs until the killer is caught. His opinion of the town has lowered.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-034-Betty-diaryRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-035-BettyBetty’s writing in her diary.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-036-CoopersHer parents come in to explain they’re gonna have a lot of late nights. Alice hopes to exploit Jason’s murder. Hal tries to tell Alice to have some fucking respect, but she sends him to warm up the car.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-037-Betty-AliceAlice starts talking about loving how Betty always wants to see the good in people – even “people like” Cheryl, Veronica, and Archie.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-038-Alice“But they betrayed you! They’re eeeviiil, right?!”

Betty somewhat agrees, so Alice blacklists Cheryl, Veronica, and Archie from her daughter’s life.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-039-ArchieRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-040-BettyWell, that didn’t last long.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-041-Archie-Betty-walk-1Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-042-Archie-Betty-walk-2As Archie and Betty walk to school, Betty says she needed “time to process”.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-043-Archie-Betty-walk-3“My mom’s kinda cray-cray.”

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-044-Archie-Betty-walk-4Betty still wants them to be best friends. Archie’s a bit surprised but wants it, too. Betty admits his rejection hurts, and he apologizes. He thought it would be better in the long run, and she says it will be. She tells him to not tell her mom that they’re friends again. She walks ahead of him, leaving him a bit confused.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-045-RHSThe establishing shot of Riverdale High School isn’t the exact same one from the first episode, but it seems to be from the same shoot, since it features the same three girls (on the right) wearing the exact same clothes.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-080-Riverdale-High-SchoolRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-046-Jason-memorialRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-047-Archie-JugheadA memorial to Jason has been set up. There’s no fucking way that lit candles would be allowed in a school hallway – particularly not on the floor and next to a bunch of flammable material.

Jughead comes by and wants to know if he can use Jason’s death as an excuse to get out of PE. Archie tells him to not joke about Jason. Jughead doesn’t see the big deal, saying sardonic humor is just his way of relating to the world.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-048-Reggie-MooseSpotting Chuck, Reggie, and Moose, Jughead calls them “the rich kids from ‘The Goonies‘”. Um, Reggie is fairly wealthy, but Chuck and Moose have never been rich.

Jughead leaves, going in their direction.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-049-Reggie-Moose-JugheadReggie says “Watch it, Wednesday Addams!”

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-050-Betty-KevinMeanwhile, Kevin questions Archie’s sexuality. Goddess, how can Betty tolerate him? I could never hang out with someone that yaps as much as he does.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-051-Betty-Kevin-2“Dear friend, please shut the fuck up.”

Betty asks if he’s recovered from finding Jason’s body. He says it was more traumatizing having to explain why he was with Moose at the river. We learn Kevin is the sheriff’s son. This is different from the comics, where Kevin’s dad is an army general, and Kevin has to frequently move around (he’s fairly new to Riverdale, not a lifelong resident). Also in the comics, Kevin can go toe-to-toe with Jughead in eating contests. Remove those things, and the Kevin Keller on this show is “mildly annoying gay kid”. He’s not even that close with Betty in the comics; he’s close with Veronica. Veronica wanting to immediately befriend him in the first episode was probably a reference to that.

They enter the main office and discover flowers, which Kevin guesses is for Betty.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-052-PhilipsThe receptionist is Mrs. Philips, who is basically supposed to be Ms. Phlips from the comics. I guess the showrunners either decided that name was a bit too unusual or thought it was a typo.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-053-Betty-Kevin-flowersRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-054-VeronicaThe flowers are from Veronica as an apology for the closet incident. She also had magnolia cupcakes flown in from New York. As her mom likes to say: “There’s no wrong the right cupcake can’t fix.” She also booked them for hers and hers mani-pedis at Chez Salon – blowouts, too. Veronica apologizes for her “basic bitch move”.

Bitch Count: Veronica: 4

Veronica says it was like she was possessed by, and Kevin interrupts with “Madam Satan“.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-055-Betty-eyes-closed“Shut up, dude.”

Veronica says “the old Veronica”. She swears on her mother’s pearls that she’ll never do anything like that to Betty again. She begs Betty for one more chance.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-056-Betty-okay“It’s all good, yo.”

Both Veronica and Kevin are surprised. Veronica says Betty won’t regret it, and she’ll bring the cupcakes to lunch, so they can celebrate.

A bell rings. Veronica leaves. Kevin looks to Betty for an explanation. Betty tells “Kev” that it’s “the path of least resistance”; she has no intention of actually being friends with Veronica, believing Veronica will forget her and latch on to some other girl to “destroy”. Okay, lying to Veronica like that is a classic bitch move. If you don’t trust her, say so! Don’t pretend you’re besties!

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-057-Weatherbee-signRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-058-Cheryl-Keller-WeatherbeeWe get our first looks at Sheriff Keller (Martin Cummins) and Mr. Weatherbee (Peter Bryant), who weren’t yet cast when the pilot was filmed. Mr. Weatherbee makes an announcement to clear up students’ confusion over the pep rally, which will go on as scheduled.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-059-CherylCheryl’s happy about that, no doubt because it gives her the chance to be the center of attention.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-060-PussycatsThen Mr. Weatherbee turns it over to Sheriff Keller, who mentions Jason’s body was found late Saturday night and is now being treated as a homicide.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-061-Moose-ChuckWe get our first good look at Chuck Clayton.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-062-Kevin-BettyIt looks like Riverdale High has a student lounge. My high school certainly didn’t have anything like that; that’s more of a college thing (and the student lounge at my community college had basic tables and metal chairs). Do any actual high schools have student lounges?

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-063-GrundyRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-064-Cheryl-intercomRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-065-Cheryl-intercom-2Cheryl just fucking interrupts the sheriff, swearing righteous vengeance on the killer. She mentions she has her suspicions.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-066-Cheryl-intercom-3“#RiverdaleStrong”

Okay, I don’t care how implausible that this situation is (really, the only reason that Cheryl was in the office at all was so she could interrupt); that was fucking hilarious. Kudos to Madelaine Petsch.

Sheriff Keller gets back on the intercom, asking students to come forward with information.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-067-Archie-memorialWait, there’s already a memorial to Jason in the trophy case. So was the one on the floor just a second one near his old locker or something?

Archie goes and looks through the window of Mr. Weatherbee’s office (which, I guess, isn’t within the main office; that’s kinda weird).

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-068-Cheryl-Weatherbee-KellerMr. Weatherbee notices him.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-069-Archie-looksArchie hesitates for a moment and then leaves.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-070-Jughead-noticesJughead notices.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-071-Jughead-confrontsRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-072-ArchieHe confronts Archie about Archie bailing on him at the last minute from their planned road trip over the July 4th weekend. So this was the beginning of the falling-out between them.

After the commercial break, Archie walks into Biology class and passes Jughead without a word.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-073-Cheryl-BFFsCheryl’s besties confront her over her drowning story in light of the evidence that Jason was shot.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-074-Cheryl-offendedCheryl’s offended. She sticks to her story and theorizes maybe Jason made it to the other side of the river, and someone shot him there.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-075-Archie-teacher-VeronicaIn the grand tradition of frog dissection in this franchise, “Riverdale” gets a scene, too. Archie calls dibs on Cheryl, and Veronica calls dibs on Betty.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-076-Betty-KevinBetty wants to partner with Kevin.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-077-Kevin-MooseHowever, Moose claims Kevin for himself. Kevin accepts. Veronica and Betty pair up. Kevin tells Moose that Moose has “more demons than ‘The Exorcist‘” (meaning he’s straight) and tells him to stick with girls.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-078-Cheryl-ArchieArchie and Cheryl haven’t talked since the summer, so he offers his condolences and help. She doesn’t think he can help unless he was there and knows who shot Jason. He asks her if the police have any leads. She tells the “ghoul” (that’s rude) that they don’t. However, her “twintuition” (I love that word) is telling her that it’s someone that they all know.

Archie moves on to a more pleasant subject:

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-079-frogHe offers to do the deed.

Cheryl sees her besties watching her obsessively and…

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-080-frog-knifeRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-081-besties-gaspRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-082-Cheryl-ArchieHahahahahaha!

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-083-Alice-doctorAlice is collecting autopsy info for her article. Oh, yeah, in this continuity, Alice and Hal run the town’s newspaper, the Riverdale Register. That’s a change from the comics, where Reggie’s dad, Ricky Mantle, ran the paper. Hell, even “The New Archies” had kept that. I guess they moved the job over to Alice, because Betty is a more prominent character than Reggie.

The coroner points out that Jason’s wrists were bound, and his body seems to have been frozen.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-084-Alice-JasonAlice is bribing the doctor to get this info.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-085-Betty-Kevin-VeronicaAt lunch, Veronica asks Kevin about Moose. Kevin compares himself to a pre-accident Montgomery Clift. Veronica says she ships Kevin/Moose. Kevin calls Veronica “a big-city girl with loose morals”. Asshole. Betty and Veronica are shocked and don’t know how to respond. Kevin “meant” Moose has an “official girlfriend”, Midge, and wishes Moose would stay in the closet.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-086-Archie“Heeeeeeyyyyyy, how’s it goin’?”

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-087-Betty-Kevin-Veronica-ArchieSensing the awkward timing, Kevin tries to clarify his statement.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-088-Betty-Kevin-Veronica-Archie-2Veronica tries to break the awkwardness by offering to listen to Archie’s new music. He hesitates.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-089-VeronicaShe begs him.

Betty sits down and asks him to share it as well.

He says he’s still working on the lyrics but agrees to play it.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-090-Archie-plays.jpgSong: “Dance Dance Dance” by Archie Andrews

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-091-Betty-sadRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-092-Archie-concernedRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-093-Betty-Kevin-VeronicaBetty has sad flashbacks to dancing with Archie at the semi-formal and her conversation with Archie at the end of the night. Veronica and Kevin applaud, but Betty has stopped paying attention.

Archie asks if she’s okay. Betty breaks down, saying it’s “too much too fast”. She walks away. Archie goes after her. Veronica and Kevin look on in concern.

Betty unloads on Archie about not being able to get over the stuff from the first episode and leaves. He tries to go after her, but…

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-094-Archie-Weatherbee…Mr. Weatherbee wants a word.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-095-Weatherbee-ArchieMr. Weatherbee asks him about the incident in the hallway. Archie tries to bullshit, but Mr. Weatherbee persists.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-096-ArchieRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-097-GrundyArchie goes to tell Ms. Grundy and asks if their relationship is real. Fuck, dude. He says, if it’s not real, then he doesn’t know what he’s protecting. After some hesitation, she says it is real.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-098-Archie-Grundy-handsShe says that’s why they can’t go to Mr. Weatherbee, because then they’ll never see each other again. That might not be true, depending on where Riverdale is located. It varies from state to state, but the age of consent is either 16 or 17. At most, Ms. Grundy would lose her job.

Anyway, she says she’s putting herself in Archie’s hands.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-099-Jughead-headphonesHere comes Jughead, wearing headphones like in the old days.

He does that thing where he walks by the door and then backs up to double-check what he thought he saw.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-100-Jughead-windowRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-101-Archie-Grundy--windowRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-102-Jughead-window-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-103-Veronica-VixensRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-104-Veronica-Vixens-2After the commercial break, the River Vixens rehearse.

Song: “Let’s Go” by Headbands

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-105-Cheryl-interruptsCheryl hilariously stops their performance – and the music…somehow.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-106-HBICHehehe, cute shirt. 🙂

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-107-Cheryl-lecturesAnyway, Cheryl lectures them that she, the “beautiful, exotic hothouse flower”, will be the center of attention because of Jason’s death.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-108-VixensI love how most of the Vixens are sending silent fuck-yous at Cheryl – all except the second from the left, who seems to have resigned herself to Cheryl’s ranting by now.

Oh, if you’re wondering if all of these River Vixens are supposed to be characters from the comic books, the answer is probably not. While Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and several b-list characters have been part of the cheerleading squad at one time or another, there are also plenty of generic characters added in.

Cheryl suddenly decides she needs the Pussycats and goes to make a call.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-109-Veronica-BettyVeronica decides she needs a pedicure after this. Why? Anyway, she asks Betty, who says she has homework. Veronica stretches and talks about Cheryl hosting a pep rally to cope with her loss. Betty says at least Cheryl’s not putting on an act, pretending she’s a butterfly instead of a wasp.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-110-VeronicaVeronica shows remarkable restraint. She explains she went into the closet with Archie, so Cheryl wouldn’t. Betty asks if nothing happened between Veronica and Archie in the closet (after previously not wanting to know).

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-111-Veronica-mouthProbably the editor’s fault, but Betty judges Veronica before her mouth opens.

They argue over Betty and Archie’s relationship (or lack thereof).

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-112-Veronica-Betty“It’s not my fucking fault that he doesn’t like your introverted ass!”

Veronica lectures Betty about the reality of relationships and how they’re most often one-sided. They keep arguing until…

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-113-Betty-Cheryl-Veronica“Pussycats are in, woo-hoo!”

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-114-Cheryl-Veronica-BettyBetty decides to treat Cheryl to mani-pedis and blowouts using the hitherto-unmentioned gift certificate that Veronica had given her. Total bitch move. Betty’s being a bitch to both girls. Veronica is obvious. As for Cheryl, Betty is using her to piss off Veronica. She’s going out with Cheryl not because she particularly likes her, but because it will hurt Veronica.

Anyway, Veronica objects. Cheryl tells the “closet monster” to mind her own fucking business and accepts Betty’s offer (she never says no to a pedi), claiming she was just about to suggest the same thing (no, she totally wasn’t). Cheryl asks Veronica if she can steal Betty and then…

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-115-Cheryl-Betty-hold-handsOh, my shipper heart can barely take this. Those of you that have known me a long time know I’m a Beryl shipper. It all goes back to this story.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-116-BettyBetty is clearly trying to make Veronica jealous.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-117-VeronicaRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-118-Pop'sOoh, beautiful establishing shot.

Song: “Forever Mine” by Andra Day

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-119-Hermione-workingHermione’s gotten a job at Pop’s.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-120-Hermione-VeronicaVeronica compliments her on her work. Hermione thinks about Hiram’s reaction to this. Veronica compliments her mother’s appearance.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-121-Hermione-hairHermione’s going for a “Joan CrawfordMildred Pierce‘ thing” and asks if it’s working. Amused, Veronica says it is.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-122-Archie-hiRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-123-Veronica-hiArchie walks in, and he and Veronica awkwardly greet each other.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-124-Hermione-ArchieArchie’s picking up an order, and Hermione realizes he’s Fred’s son. Veronica tries to leave to go home, but Hermione, trying to set them up, suggests Archie escort her.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-125-Archie-VeronicaSong: “Sa Riera” by T.R.O.

Veronica asks Archie if Betty is still mad at him. Archie says she’s back to no texting. He asks about her.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-126-Archie-Veronica-2Veronica sarcastically calls herself “the shallow, toxic rich bitch”.

Bitch Count: Veronica: 5

Veronica starts talking about her and Betty being best friends as “destiny”. Cute. 🙂 She also feels like she “missed” the “train” to the rest of her life.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-127-Archie-Veronica-3Archie says he and Betty have been next-door neighbors since they were four. They’ve always gone to the same school and been in the same class. In the second grade, he was having trouble reading, and his teacher told his parents that he should stay back a year to get caught up. Betty was so against them not being in the same grade, and she took it upon herself to tutor him every single day. Veronica is in disbelief. When he passed, he kissed Betty and asked her to marry him. She told “Little Archie” to ask her when they turn 18, and she’ll say yes. Veronica is kinda amazed.

Archie hates that he hurt Betty. Veronica tells Archie to give Betty time. She doesn’t think his “story with Betty” is over.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-128-Cooper-houseSong: “Rendezvous Girl” by Santigold <— Omigoddess, this sounds so ’80s! It’s awesome!

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-129-Cheryl-mirrorThat evening, after their date, Betty has Cheryl over.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-130-Cheryl-mirror-2Cheryl compliments Betty’s “sweet” room – not sweet as in cool but sweet as in, well, sweet.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-131-Betty-CherylBetty says it’s “too pink” and doesn’t “feel right” anymore.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-132-Betty-Cheryl-2Cheryl disputes that, saying she likes that it’s “girly” and adds her room is, too. She then does Betty’s makeup.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-133-BettyCheryl invites Betty to come over sometime and see her room – but just her, not “evil incarnate” Veronica. Betty doesn’t reply.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-134-Betty-Cheryl-3Since they’re supposedly friends now, Cheryl apologizes for being “such a witchy witch” to her. After Polly and Jason’s “epic demise”, she was angry at everyone, but she took it out on Betty, which was “super unfair”. Cheryl says, in a way, they both lost siblings.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-135-Betty-2Cheryl asks how Polly is and if she’s still in the group home. Betty nods. Cheryl asks if Betty thinks she knows what happened to Jason (that he was murdered). Betty’s not sure. Cheryl asks for Betty’s guess of what “went down” between Polly and Jason. Betty doesn’t know. Cheryl asks what her parents say. Betty says not a lot. Cheryl says the same for her parents. She keeps thinking maybe Jason or Polly said something to the other. She asks about a “big fight” that she thinks Polly and Jason had this summer.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-136-Betty-3Betty interrupts, wanting to know why Cheryl’s asking her so many questions about Polly. Um, maybe because Polly’s the former girlfriend of Cheryl’s dead brother? It makes sense that Cheryl would seek answers from Betty.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-137-CherylThe camera slowly zooms in as Cheryl looks down on at Betty.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-138-Betty-4“Don’t hurt me, mistress.”

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-139-Cheryl-2Cheryl tells the “dumb cow” that she thinks her “crazy, tweeked-out sister” shot Jason.

Okay, let’s pause for a moment. It’s obvious that Cheryl has been trying to get information out of Betty. That’s actually fine. It’s normal. It’s understandable. Here’s the thing, though: Cheryl wasn’t using Betty. It wasn’t Cheryl’s idea to hook up with Betty today. Cheryl had no idea of the rift between Betty and Veronica. Betty used Cheryl to hurt Veronica. Did Cheryl know that’s what was going on? Oh, unfuckingdoubtedly. She saw how Veronica reacted to Betty’s offer. And then she took advantage of the opportunity that was presented to her. Was it wrong? Maybe. Was Cheryl being manipulative and just pretending to be friends with Betty? Possibly. But it’s nowhere near the “classic bitch move” that Betty pulled. So I don’t sympathize with Betty. She used one person to hurt another. She deserves a little venom right now. Is the “dumb cow” remark too much? Maybe. Cheryl’s no saint. Then again, neither is Betty (this is true in the comics as well, despite her perpetual status as the “nice” girl).

This situation is still salvageable, though. Maybe Betty will propose talking like civilized people (no name-calling, no blame) and exchanging information, thoughts, theories, and feelings about the situation. You know, like friends. Let’s see how Betty does.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-140-Betty-crazy-1Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-141-Cheryl-3Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-142-Betty-crazy-2“Get the hell out of my fucking house before I fucking kill you, you fucking bitch!”

Well, shit.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-143-Cheryl-4“Mommy…”

Nice going, “nice” girl.

By the way, I wasn’t exaggerating much. Betty did indeed threaten to kill Cheryl. That actually isn’t far off from Betty’s portrayal in older comics; she was downright stalkery and insane in some of those. One story was even devoted to Betty finding different ways to try to murder Archie. No joke. The tone between the comics and this show is vastly different, but Betty’s characterization is chillingly similar.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-144-ArchieRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-145-JugheadArchie comes home and finds Jughead waiting. Jughead confronts him about Ms. Grundy, insisting he’s trying to help him and be his friend, even though they’re not anymore. He asks Archie how long (about Ms. Grundy). Archie says since the summer and adds he likes her. Jughead laughs at it and guesses she’s the reason that Archie’s been acting “weird” since summer. Archie tells him about the gunshot. Jughead says Archie has to tell somebody. Archie says no and tells him to keep quiet as well. They argue over it. Jughead calls Ms. Grundy a “cougar” (which she isn’t), and Archie gets mad at him for it. They continue arguing. Jughead tries to leave. Archie stops him and seems to almost start threatening his life.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-146-Jughead-2“What the fuck you gonna do, numb nuts?”

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-147-Jughead-Fred-ArchieFred comes out and offers Jughead free food in the form of take-out from Pop’s. Archie sends Jughead away.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-148-Cooper-houseRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-149-BettyAfter the commercial break, there’s some creepy horror-sounding music as we see Betty alone in her room.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-150-Betty-2Suddenly, the door opens! Betty looks!

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-151-Alice-sageOh. It’s just Alice. You’re trying too hard, show. Don’t make it seem like something scary’s happening when nothing is.

Anyway, Alice cleanses Betty’s room with sage to “banish the evil spirits”.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-152-Betty-3“It’s too early in the morning for your bullshit, Mom.”

Anyway, is Alice just being a dick, or is she a neopagan? I’m kinda curious.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-153-Betty-AliceAlice calls the Blossom family “pure evil” and wonders if they killed Jason themselves and sacrificed him to “some dark pagan god”. Well, I guess that answers that. No actual pagan would equate paganism with evil.

Betty asks if Polly knows about Jason. Alice claims she told her but that Polly’s usually out of it. Betty asks why Alice was so against them being together. Alice says “Many reasons” but then just singles out the Blossoms.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-154-Betty-Alice-2Betty suggests going to visit Polly.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-155-Betty-Alice-3Alice quickly changes the subject, expressing pride at Betty for standing up to the “dragoness” but then asking why Cheryl was over in the first place. She then starts asking about Veronica and Archie and holds Betty’s chin in a controlling manner.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-156-Betty-4Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-157-Alice-2Betty gives a sarcastic-as-fuck response that Alice doesn’t like, but she drops the subject and leaves.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-158-Betty-5Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-159-RHSRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-160-Veronica-Betty-lockersRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-161-BettyRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-162-VeronicaAt Riverdale High School, Betty admits Veronica was right about Archie and then adds her mother’s crazy, and she’s afraid that she’ll never see her sister again.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-163-Veronica-BettyVeronica says Archie loves her (seemingly as a friend) and is miserable without her. Veronica passes along some advice from her mom: sometimes, a friend is better than a boyfriend.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-164-student-loungeRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-165-groupIn the student lounge (again, my high school never had one, and why isn’t there a room number on the door?), “Mantle the Magnificent” complains about being grilled by Sheriff Keller.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-166-Reggie-questionsRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-167-MooseReggie questions Moose over what he and Kevin were doing at the river. Then he questions Kevin.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-168-Kevin-BettySensing where Reggie’s going with this, Betty tells “Kev” that Reggie’s just being a “blowhard”. I see what you did.

Kevin claims to not care what Reggie says.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-169-Archie-JugheadArchie and Jughead have to listen to Reggie’s theory about some loser virgin kid murdering Jason. Then Reggie specifically names Jughead.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-170-JugheadJughead is trying so hard to ignore him, but Reggie questions “Suicide Squad” about the murder. He asks if Jughead performed necrophilia on the body (without using the word). Jughead supplies the word and asks Reggie if he can spell it. Reggie comes at him. Archie gets between them, shoves Reggie, and tells him to shut the fuck up.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-171-VeronicaVeronica, coffee in hand, puts on her best adult voice.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-172-Reggie-Jughead-ArchieReggie accuses Archie and “Donnie Darko” of killing Jason together. Archie shoves Reggie.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-173-Reggie-Archie-fightReggie shoves Archie into the vending machine, smashing the glass.

Song: “Mess Around” by Cage the Elephant

The two fuckheads end up on the floor. Their fellow students gather around. Reggie punches Archie in the face.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-174-Archie-black-eyeAfter the commercial break, Archie’s got a black eye.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-175-FredFred asks if he got it in a fight with Jughead. Archie says no, Reggie. He says he and Jughead were disagreeing about a girl, and I don’t think Fred buys it (although it’s technically true). Archie talks about his dilemma vaguely. Fred is glad that Archie wants to do the right thing and tells him that he has to.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-176-RiverdaleCool high-speed shot of the city as a thunderstorm approaches

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-177-pep-rallyIt’s the night of the pep rally. Nice touch with the blue and gold balloons, but what are the white ones for? Are they a reference to Riverdale High’s colors in the 1996 Sabrina movie? Maybe I’m reaching. The logos are sorta similar, though:

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-267-title-2sabrina-movie-288-sabrina-runsRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-178-Keller-Weatherbee.jpgSheriff Keller’s here to keep an eye on things.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-179-cheerleadersRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-180-Alice-HalAlice and Hal are here. I guess Alice is waving to Betty.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-181-Archie-GrundyJughead watches as Archie interacts with Ms. Grundy. Archie’s gonna tell Mr. Weatherbee tomorrow and invites her to come along. If she doesn’t, he’s gonna try to keep her out of it. He apologizes to her.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-182-JugheadRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-183-ArchieArchie finds Jughead and tells him what’s up. He also apologizes for what he said earlier. Jughead accepts his apology.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-184-Jughead-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-185-Archie-2Jughead rules out hugging – to Archie’s amusement. He then suggests an amusing alternative. Archie asks about their friendship, and Jughead says it will “be discussed over many burgers and many days”.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-186-Archie-BettyArchie runs into Betty.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-187-BettyRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-188-Archie-black-eyeShe expresses surprise over his eye. Did he avoid her for the rest of the day?

He abruptly leaves.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-189-Betty-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-190-Clayton-Mc-Coy-WeatherbeeMr. Weatherbee turns the microphone over to Mayor McCoy (Robin Givens) to kick off the pep rally. Josie’s mom is the mayor? Okay, that’s different. In the comics, Riverdale’s had various mayors, probably few of which have made more than one appearance. A notable exception is Elena Martinez, Riverdale’s major in the “Occupy Riverdale” story in Archie, No. 635 (cover-dated September of 2012, on-sale date: July 25, 2012), a spoof of the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protest movement. She later showed up as a zombie in the AU Afterlife with Archie, No. 3 (cover-dated February of 2014, on-sale date: January 8, 2014). As for Josie’s mom, I don’t recall ever seeing her in the comics.

Anyway, Mayor McCoy dedicates the pep rally to Jason’s memory.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-191-CherylCheryl’s taking it hard.

Mayor McCoy introduces the River Vixens and Josie and the Pussycats.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-192-JosieRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-193-Josie-MelodyRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-194-Vixens-PussycatsRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-195-Valerie-JosieRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-196-Cheryl-liftedRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-197-Josie-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-198-River-VixensRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-199-ValerieRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-200-Josie-3Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-201-drumlineRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-202-Cheryl-blows-kissRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-203-BettyRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-204-Valerie-Josie-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-205-CherylSong: “Candy Girl (Sugar Sugar)” by Josie and the Pussycats

So this is interesting. Josie and the Pussycats perform a cover of a Flo Rida song that uses some lyrics and melody from “Sugar, Sugar“, the 1969 hit song from the old Filmation cartoon series. So…who wrote this song in “Riverdale” continuity? Is it a Josie and the Pussycats original, or is this another case of them performing only their own songs unless Cheryl pays them?

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-206-VeronicaRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-207-Veronica-2I’m kinda surprised that Cheryl gave Veronica such a prominent part in the routine and didn’t keep it for herself.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-208-Cheryl-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-209-MelodyRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-210-River-Vixens-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-211-Betty-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-212-Cheryl-blows-kissesRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-213-Cheryl-runsCheryl abruptly runs off.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-214-Cheryl-PussycatsShe joins the Pussycats on-stage with a microphone.

Okay, here’s where things get confusing. The song ends, the crowd cheers, and then Cheryl and Josie are shown hugging each other. What the fuck? Well, here’s the fuck, courtesy of a video posted to the official Archie Comics YouTube channel on February 1, the day before this episode originally aired:

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-215-Cheryl-Josie-1Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-216-Cheryl-Josie-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-217-Valerie-Cheryl-JosieRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-218-Cheryl-Josie-3Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-219-Cheryl-PussycatsRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-220-Cheryl-Josie-4Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-221-Cheryl-Josie-5Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-222-Cheryl-Josie-6Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-223-Valerie-Cheryl-Josie-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-224-River-VixensRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-225-ValerieRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-226-MelodyRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-227-Cheryl-Josie-7Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-228-Cheryl-Josie-8Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-229-Cheryl-PussycatsThe sequence was originally longer (by around 21 seconds), having Cheryl join Josie in a rap. That’s just like Cheryl. She always has to be the center of attention. Footage from this part was shown in the episode 2 preview (The CW seems to have removed all episode promos and some other material from their YouTube channel; I guess they’re up for a limited time only). So why was it cut from the actual episode? Because it’s quite obvious that Madelaine Petsch isn’t singing. Her voice is nowhere to be found. I guess they realized it looked stupid and cut it. You can see the full sequence here:

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-230-River-VixensRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-231-Cheryl-Josie-hugRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-232-Cheryl-Josie-hug-2Daw, that’s adorable. I don’t think Cheryl and Josie have had any interaction in the comics.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-233-ClaytonCoach Clayton introduces the football team.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-234-Cheryl-Josie-MelodyRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-235-BulldogsRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-236-Cheryl-Josie-applaudRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-237-ArchieRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-238-Cheryl-Josie-applaud-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-239-CherylRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-240-JasonOh, shit.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-241-Cheryl-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-242-Cheryl-3Cheryl starts having flashbacks to July 4 – and then seeing his corpse on the autopsy table.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-243-River-VixensRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-244-Keller-WeatherbeeRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-245-Penelope-CliffordRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-246-Pussycats-ClaytonRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-247-Cheryl-runsShe can’t stand it and just runs off, surprising everyone and probably arousing Sheriff Keller’s suspicion. Veronica gives chase, and Betty follows.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-248-Cheryl-locker-roomRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-249-Cheryl-VeronicaVeronica finds Cheryl crying in the girls’ locker room. Cheryl has finally accepted Jason’s gone.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-250-Cheryl-Veronica-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-251-Cheryl-Veronica-3She also says Jason “was supposed to come back”.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-252-Cheryl-Veronica-4Veronica repeats this in silence, trying to figure out what it means.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-253-BettyBetty arrives and watches them in silence. I wonder what’s going through her mind right now.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-254-Cheryl-Veronica-5Cheryl says she’s all alone.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-255-Cheryl-Veronica-6Veronica says she isn’t.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-256-Cheryl-Veronica-hugThis scene was very well done: the acting, the lighting, the soft piano music. Powerful stuff.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-257-Veronica-BettyAfter the commercial break, Betty finds Veronica. She’s impressed by what she did for Cheryl. Veronica admits she’s had her share of emotional breakdowns. Betty invites Veronica for a milkshake at Pop’s. Veronica teases her about it but gladly accepts.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-258-Pop'sRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-259-Betty-Veronica-waiterAt Pop’s, an unnamed waiter serves the milkshakes. Veronica gets a “double chocolate”, and Betty gets an “old-fashioned vanilla”. Symbolism! They thank him.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-260-Veronica-shakeRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-261-Betty-shakeVeronica proposes making a vow. Betty agrees. Veronica proposes no boy will ever come between them again. It’s a deal.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-262-Betty-Veronica-clinkLook, it’s all official and shit.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-263-Jughead-ArchieRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-264-Betty-Veronica-lookWell, it was nice while it lasted.

Betty looks at Veronica and then invites the guys to join them. Jughead agrees on the condition that they’re treating, which gets laughs from the girls (I can’t tell if he’s joking or not).

Veronica and Jughead exchange names. Jughead calls him “Jughead Jones the Third”, which isn’t accurate unless both his father and grandfather went by the nickname “Jughead”. His name is Forsythe Pendleton Jones III.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-265-Jughead-climbsBitch, scoot over to be by your bestie, so Jughead doesn’t have to climb over the table.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-266-Jughead-VeronicaRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-267-Archie-BettySong: “Trouble” by Cage the Elephant

Jughead’s narration suddenly comes back on, and he kinda talks about being ignored in a poetic way.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-268-Weatherbee-office-doorRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-269-ArchieThe next day, Archie shows up at Mr. Weatherbee’s office to tell him what he knows.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-270-Weatherbee-Keller-ArchieHowever, Mr. Weatherbee and Sheriff Keller come out at that moment and walk past him. Mr. Weatherbee looks at Archie for a moment but doesn’t stop. Odd, considering his interest in Archie yesterday.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-271-Weatherbee-Keller-classWeatherbee and Keller arrive in biology class.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-272-JugheadRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-273-Kevin-BettyRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-274-Cheryl-VeronicaOmigoddess, who are they here for?!

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-275-Cheryl-standsCheryl guesses they’re here for her regarding the autopsy. Mr. Weatherbee says they don’t need to do this in front of her classmates.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-276-CherylCheryl tells “Principal Weatherbee” (so oddly formal) that it’s all right.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-277-Cheryl-handsShe says they’ll find out soon enough. Sheriff Keller tells her that the handcuffs won’t be necessary.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-278-Cheryl-Veronica-2Veronica asks what they’ll find out about.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-279-Cheryl-2Cheryl briefly looks at her and then says she’s guilty.

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-280-Kevin-Betty-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-281-Jughead-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-282-Keller-Cheryl-WeatherbeeRiverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-283-Archie-2Hang on. At the end of episode 1, Jughead said the autopsy was performed on Monday, and the first arrest was made on Tuesday during fifth period. 1) What took so long? 2) If this is fifth period, why did Archie wait so long into the school day to go to Weatherbee? 3) Slight spoiler for the next episode: it’s a fucking lie; Cheryl’s not under arrest. I’m convinced Jughead’s just constantly high.

Speaking of Jughead, his narration informs us that the autopsy revealed Jason didn’t die on July 4 – but over a week later. Okay, so Cheryl didn’t do it (not that I ever seriously considered her to be a suspect, and the showrunners actually never did at all).

Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-284-CoverGirl-Cheryl-1Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-285-CoverGirl-Cheryl-2Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-286-CoverGirl-Cheryl-3Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-287-CoverGirl-Cheryl-4Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-288-CoverGirl-Cheryl-5Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-289-CoverGirl-Cheryl-6Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-290-CoverGirl-Cheryl-7Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-291-CoverGirl-Cheryl-8Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-292-CoverGirl-Cheryl-9Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-293-CoverGirl-Cheryl-10Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-294-CoverGirl-Cheryl-11Riverdale-1-02-A-Touch-of-Evil-295-CoverGirl-Cheryl-12During the original airing of this episode, The CW aired a behind-the-scenes featurette by CoverGirl (the show’s new sponsor once it got picked up to series) of Madelaine being made up; she also talked in voice-over about what Cheryl’s fashion says about her character. This stuff used to be online officially but no longer.

Song from next episode preview (not included on the DVD set): “Here We Go” by Extreme Music

This was another good episode. Everyone’s great, of course. In particular, I have to single out Madelaine Petsch, Lily Reinhart, and Camila Mendes. These ladies fucking stepped up and delivered. I wouldn’t have minded if the show centered solely on these three.

The only real flaw that I see is Betty’s behavior throughout. I won’t rehash it here. Just take note of what she does and don’t do it if you find yourself in similar situations! Don’t be a bitch to your friend. Don’t use people. Don’t fucking threaten to murder people! Talk. Work things out.

Tune in next Wednesday!

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Comics – Betty and Veronica Spectacular, No. 78

Due to Hurricane Irma knocking out the power down here for a while, I have to substitute a quickie comic review this week. Sorry. So get ready to read about the first issue that I pulled out of a storage box.

Betty-and-Veronica-Spectacular-78
Title: Let’s Talk Tiki
Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Barry Grossman
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Betty and Veronica Spectacular, No. 78
Cover Date: July, 2007
Length: 11 pages

Normally, I don’t review a complete issue in one post unless it’s an issue-length story (well, if you wanna get technical, I normally don’t review comics, since this is a television blog, but I digress). However, this series is a bit different.

For the first 68 issues of its 90-issue run, “Betty and Veronica Spectacular” was indistinguishable from its parent title. It was just an extra title featuring Betty and Veronica (nothing spectacular about it). In fact, if Archie Comics had simply treated these as issues of the parent series, “Betty and Veronica” would have reached a total of 368 issues before being cancelled.

Starting with issue #69, the format was changed to a magazine style (though still in regular comic size and on regular paper). The title was stylized “b&v spectacular”. There was a story plus a bunch of extra stuff (fashions, lists, etc.).

So I’m gonna review the featured story and then note the extra stuff afterward.

Before the story, there’s an “in this issue” page.

Betty walks by Veronica outside and realizes Veronica got her invitation. Veronica is surprised that Betty is having a tiki party (a supplement after this story reveals the party is held on Saturday at 8:00 PM). Betty’s excited, but Veronica thinks it’s silly and suggests picking a more mature theme, like a debutante ball. Betty points out that Veronica’s the only debutante around, and Veronica agrees. Does Cheryl not count?

Archie, Maria, and Frankie come by, all being up for the party. Frankie even says he’ll bring his ukulele. Maria Rodriguez was kinda the token female Hispanic character for a while (her dad’s been vice principal at one point). Frankie Valdez is her boyfriend and an aspiring musician. That’s…really all that you need to know about them.

Anyway, Veronica’s not convinced, but then some random guy named Ryan Jacobs comes by with his invitation and thanks Betty. Veronica gets a lady-boner. The fact that the “hunkiest guy in school” is interested is enough to get Veronica interested enough to help Betty throw the event. If this dude showed up in any other story, I’m not aware of it. Seems like a random love interest.

Anyway, Veronica claims she left her name off the invitations out of modesty. Ryan leaves. Betty calls Veronica out on her bullshit. Veronica readily agrees and pulls Betty along to start planning their party.

Some time later (they’re wearing different clothes), Veronica comes over to Betty’s and asks how the planning’s coming along. Wait, so Veronica isn’t there every step of the way? That was an abrupt situational shift.

Anyway, Betty shows off a box full of “cute” decorations that she bought. Veronica has some guys back up a truck and unload a shit-ton of decorations. Betty says it’s not in her budget. Veronica’s like “I got this, yo.” Betty asks where they’ll fit this shit. Veronica hadn’t considered that but then suggests moving the party to her house. Betty’s firmly against it. Veronica relents – and insults Betty’s house.

On another day, Veronica notes Betty’s planning a hula contest. Betty has been practicing to an instructional DVD. Veronica suspects it’s to impress Ryan and decides to get her “hula groove on”.

Later, a hula instructor named Mona Kai arrives at Lodge Manor. She says the hula represents the spirit of the Earth (eh, it’s supposedly tied to a creation myth). Veronica just wants to impress a guy. She also wants to dance fast instead of slow. She declares she’ll be the hit of the party.

On Saturday, Betty says they have to decorate, but Veronica has hired help for that and declares they’ll get manicures in the meantime. Betty basically calls Veronica a friend with benefits.

When they come back to Betty’s house, Betty’s astonished to find it’s been completely hula-ized and wonders what her parents will say. Veronica insists they’ll love it. Hal and Alice arrive home and are shocked, but Veronica says their house will be back to normal after the party.

The first guests (Archie and Jughead) arrive. Jughead is enthralled with the volcano that erupts chocolate syrup and decides to spend the evening there. Chuck is impressed with the fire. Veronica says they’re having a roast and invites them to help themselves to “some special tiki-style refreshments”. Ethel orders a tropical punch.

That night, the party’s going great. Betty gives Veronica the credit, but Veronica says it was Betty’s idea. Betty agrees. Veronica and at least two other girls (Betty, Nancy, Ethel, and Ginger are all present) start dancing the hula for Ryan. Archie feels left out. Veronica says she can dance for him anytime, which seems to make him sad. Archie enjoys the dancing, anyway. Jughead sticks to the chocolate volcano.

Twenty minutes later, Nancy and Maria stop dancing, exhausted. Veronica tells the drummer to speed up the beat in the hope of making the other girls drop out. Ginger immediately drops out. Veronica curses Betty and her “athletic prowess”.

Soon, both girls are in pain, but Veronica refuses to give up. She hurts her back and calls for help. Archie goes off with her. Betty feels bad for her. Ginger tells Betty that Veronica was just trying to keep up with her.

Later, Ryan hopes Veronica is okay. An amused Betty notes Veronica has found a way to “cope”. The “queen of the tiki party” returns, lying on a comfortable bed carried by four hot, shirtless guys. Veronica notes Ryan only in passing. Archie looks like he knows he’s lost out. Ryan asks if Veronica is for real. Betty says it’s “100% pure Veronica”.

This story is pretty fun. It’s mostly B&V-centered, so the other characters (and there are many) don’t get a chance to do much. Also, it’s interrupted with so many ads – including an insert glossy “The Batman” comic featuring Cal Ripken, Jr. (I’m not fucking kidding).

After this story, there’s a “B&V Tiki Fashions” page, a “more B&V Tiki Fashions” page, and a 4-page “Betty & Veronica present How to Throw a Great Tiki Party!” thing. The tips include: design a snazzy invitation, make a good first impression by giving your (house) entrance a tiki makeover, welcome your guests by having a basket full of Hawaiian leis to wear, dress up a table with a grass skirt, tell your guests to wear Hawaiian shirts (optional: contest for the loudest shirt; Archie won this year), make a cool tiki refreshment stand, create a fun picture opportunity for your friends, use hollowed-out coconuts for drinks, make shish kabobs [sic], have a limbo contest, and have fun. After that, there’s a 2-page “B&V’s Tiki Recipes!” (Hawaiian Ambrosia, Tiki Strawberry Punch, E*Z Coconut Pudding, Chili Dip, Sunflower Seed Salad, and Hawaiian Kabobs [sic]) and a 1-page “Tiki Fashions for the Guys” (featuring Reggie, Jughead, Archie, and Chuck).

Overall, this issue is pretty fun. The inside-back cover previews the upcoming “Bad Boy Trouble” storyline with all four covers and the on-sale dates: #151 (May 15), #152 (June 19), #153 (July 24), #154 (September 4). The back cover has an ad for Archie Italian charms and accessories by Pugster.

Tune in next Wednesday!

The New Archies, Segment 15 – Telegraph, Telephone, Tell Reggie

TNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-01-title
Writers: Eleanor Burian-Mohr & Jack Hanrahan
Director: Jim Simon
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 31, 1987 (assumed)
Length: 11:20

First of all, really awkward, cumbersome title.

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The segment opens with an aerial view of Riverdale.

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Archie and Jughead are being lazy-ass motherfuckers, forcing their dogs to give them rides.

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Jughead has the nerve to talk about exercise and “the sweet sound of nature” while avoiding both. Admittedly, Archie calls him out on it, but even he’s avoiding exercise.

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Veronica and Betty know how it’s done.

Veronica’s pissed at Reggie because of an incident yesterday.

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They were out in the rain.

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Reggie “drove right past in his father’s limo”. Um, Reggie wasn’t driving. Even if he was in the back seat, the limo was probably going too fast for him to see the girls clearly – if he was even looking out the window at all.

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Betty seemed somewhat amused by it.

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Back in the present, Archie has handed Red off to Jughead in favor of getting some exercise. This might be a bit too much speed for Jughead.

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That’s what happens, man.

Why does Archie’s face look like an ape’s? He says “That’s nothing! This morning, we were supposed to play football.” What? Was one of Jughead’s lines cut?

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Anyway, we get a flashback to this event.

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Reggie got mad, because it wasn’t his turn to be quarterback, so he took his football and left. The others gave chase, because kids fight over the stupidest things.

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Back in the present, Archie helps Jughead out of the bushes. “Archie, I didn’t know you liked me that way!”

The guys take off. The girls jog by and see:

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This is Reggie’s dog, Lance.

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Reggie tells the guys to wait up, because Lance has a “treat” for their “mutts”.

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“Ha, ha!”

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“So much sausage! I’m so jealous!”

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“Us, too!”

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Only in Riverdale would you see something like this.

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The guys soon fall into the bushes.

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Later, the gang’s sitting on a bench. Veronica and Archie try to think up punishments for Reggie.

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Ms. Grundy waves as she jogs over to them.

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The gang stands and greets her (rather stiffly and unenthusiastically). Force of habit, I guess.

Judging by their expressions, Ms. Grundy asks if “Reginald” is “at it” again.

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The gang unloads on Ms. Grundy.

I love the following exchange:

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Ms. Grundy: “Vengeance isn’t the answer, my dears.”

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Veronica: “Sure, it is!”

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Cute. 🙂

Ms. Grundy suggests using kindness to turn Reggie around.

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“Aw, fuck no, bitch!”

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Later, the gang meets outside Archie’s house. They’re gonna throw Reggie a surprise party. Veronica gives Archie a “phone tree” (actually just a list of phone numbers) and then leaves to go shopping for a new outfit. Betty leaves with her. Archie will call Jughead as soon as he checks with his folks. Archie reminds…someone to not say anything to Reggie. Um, big fucking duh.

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Are you sure you wanna do that, Jughead?

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“The fuck you still here for?”

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Told ya.

In the next shot, Jughead shows them that he has nothing in his hands, which means he ate the rest of the burger while the dogs were staring at him. Ewww!

He and Hot Dog leave.

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Later, inside a spacious room, Archie starts making calls.

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First, he calls Jughead.

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As Jughead drops the phone into the cake, Archie tells him that they can have the party in his rec room and to bring records and the cake; he tells Jughead to pass it on.

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Fucking ewww!

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After Jughead hangs up, he points for Hot Dog to get away from anywhere near the cake. He wonders “what the rest of the gang’s gonna eat”. He’s such an asshole.

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Due to shitty continuity, Jughead’s briefly wearing his headphones.

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Reggie knocks at the front door and tells Jughead to open up.

Jughead panics, trying to find a place to stash the cake. The fridge and closet are full.

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That’ll work.

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“Hiiiiii!”

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Jughead tries to slam the door on him, but Reggie barges in, saying he has two tickets to the ball game tonight. Jughead says he can’t go.

TNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-50-Hot-Dog-eats-cake
Reason #1

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Reggie is suspicious of Jughead’s refusal. He says they’re “great tickets”. Jughead starts to bullshit about something that he and Archie have to do, but then he notices Hot Dog running off and takes off after him, following him outside and yelling “That’s the cake for the party!” Dumbass.

TNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-52-Reggie-wonders
Reggie wonders about that and, probably thinking the party is for someone else, starts thinking of ways to sabotage it.

TNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-53-Jughead-Eugene-phoneLater, Jughead has made another cake. He calls Eugene and tells him that the party is in Archie’s “back room”. Why is Jughead calling? I thought Veronica gave the phone tree to Archie.

Anyway, Eugene can hardly hear Jughead.

TNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-54-Eugene-room
He accuses Jughead of eating something, and, holy shit, look at Eugene’s bedroom.

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Anyway, visibly offended, Jughead says that’s Hot Dog. Hot Dog then goes for the cake, and Jughead whines about having to bake another one.

TNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-56-Eugene-eye-roll
Check out Eugene’s expression. He’s like “Suuuuuure.”

Anyway, Jughead tells Eugene to bring tapes and pass it on. So this is some kind of phone-tag method of party preparation?

Anyway, Eugene nods in response but doesn’t say anything. I think the animators Eugene forgot Jughead’s not video conferencing.

Eugene gets up and goes over to a cabinet. He takes out all of “Reggie’s favorites”. Bullshit. I doubt these two have any music in common. Anyway, Eugene names a few but then abruptly stops talking, resulting in a few seconds of awkward silence. Then…

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Reggie apparently has nothing better to do today than to show up unannounced at the houses of the only kids that will talk to him.

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“The fuck, dude?! Get out! I mean…wassup?”

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“Cool! Let’s pirate this shit!”

Eugene says he can’t, because he’s lending them to Archie.

TNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-60-Eugene-pushes-Reggie
Eugene literally pushes Reggie out the door, saying “My modem will call your modem.”

This raises Reggie’s suspicion. He sees Moose come by and hides in the bushes.

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Eugene whispers instructions in Moose’s ear (only a handful of words are audible) and then sends a confused Moose off on his errand.

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Moose jogs in place for a while – for no reason other than for Reggie to overhear all of the secret stuff that he repeats out loud. What a dumbass.

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Reggie then reveals himself, startling Moose.

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A nervous Moose then inadvertently spills everything. He then runs off.

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If this is an animation error, it’s fucking sloppy. If it’s a sight gag, it’s fucking stupid.

Reggie is happy that the truth is out but is confused as to its meaning (Moose mentioned “Archie’s party”, not specifically that it’s for Reggie) and runs off.

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Moose arrives at Lodge Manor.

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Reggie has followed him. Moose pounds on the front door and yells for Veronica. Do the Lodges not have a doorbell?

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Okay, genuine LOL moment. 🙂

Veronica tells Moose to take it slow and just give her the message.

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Moose says Eugene invited a baboon to Archie’s backyard and tells Veronica to bring him something to eat.

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“…the fuck?”

Moose “almost forgot” something.

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This gives Veronica renewed hope. She waits in eager anticipation.

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“…the fuck?”

Moose says “Pass it on” and fucking leaves.

Okay, this entire scene was pretty damn funny. 🙂

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Reggie vows revenge on Archie for inviting a baboon but not him.

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At Betty’s house, Betty and Amani listen to Betty’s answering machine and get a laugh over Veronica ordering bananas for the baboon. They’re like “What the fuck?” Veronica then suggests Betty bring something for them to eat. Amani notes it sounds like Veronica was using a blowdryer and tells Betty to play it again.

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Bullshit. Tapes can get tangled in devices (we said the tape was “eaten” or the device “ate” the tape back in the day), but it wouldn’t pop out like that.

Betty fixes the tape, puts it back in the answering machine, and then…doesn’t play it. She simply guesses Veronica actually said “balloons” and “banana splits”. Amani suggests going to Pop’s and getting “lots of gooey toppings”. Why not go to the supermarket? It’d be a lot cheaper. Then again, this is a franchise where kids routinely hang out in a diner and drop money on food there instead of, y’know, having each other over for lunch or whatever.

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There’s a needlessly long shot in which Betty and Amani walk toward the already-open front door. Yeah, keep your doors wide open, kids; it’s okay; nothing bad will happen. If they wanted to waste this much time, they should have had the door be closed, so Betty could spend some time opening it.

And what the fuck’s up with this ’80s porn music score? Seriously, it sounds like something out of “Debbie Does Dallas” or a Traci Lords film.

Anyway, they leave, Betty closes the door, and then we hear Betty laugh about the baboon again.

TNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-79-Muggs-houseTNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-80-Ethel-works-out-1
At Ethel’s house, she’s lifting weights, because girls doing “boys’ stuff” is funny. Dur-hur-hur. Fuck this show.

Anyway, she suddenly starts counting as she nears the end of her workout.

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Someone (presumably meant to be a parent but sounding like Jughead to me) tells “Big Ethel” (yes, that’s what he calls her) that Betty called and told her to bring a “paper face” (I think) for Reggie. Ethel’s happy now that she realizes they know she’s a great artist.

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At twilight, Reggie vows to “fix their backyard baboon party”.

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He shows up at Archie’s house to set booby traps. I realize he’s approaching from the back, but who has a gate in their backyard?

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Meanwhile, some of the guests have arrived at Archie’s house, and Archie is on the phone with someone, trying to determine Reggie’s location.

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Yeah, Ethel, Reggie’ll love that. Archie compliments her, calling the drawing “dude-ular” or something.

Archie calls Pop’s to find out if Reggie is over there. We don’t get an answer, because…

TNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-87-Veronica-bananas-Archie
…Archie goes positively orgasmic over Veronica’s bananas. Does he think they’ll gonna take turns plunging them into her depths or something?

Oh, and he hangs up on Pop without saying thanks or bye.

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Veronica realizes Archie wasn’t expecting this and calls for Moose’s fucking head.

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Betty and Amani come by with some “wild toppings” for the banana splits. Veronica takes credit (along with Moose) for the banana splits to save face.

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Moose informs Jughead that Reggie isn’t at the ballpark either. I guess “lack of communication” is a secondary theme in this story (the primary theme being “miscommunication”), because why the fuck don’t they call up Reggie’s house and ask his parents where he is?

Jughead asks where they put the ribs. When was he asked to cook ribs?

Archie goes to look for the “guest of honor”. Veronica and Jughead talk about the miscommunications. Jughead says something that I can’t quite understand and then tosses some food into his mouth. Whatever.

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It’s now dark, and Reggie has set up his favorite go-to prank: water balloons.

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He wonders where Archie and his “honored guests” are.

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Jughead opens the covers of the storm cellar. At least, that’s what it looks like. He’s really just letting cool air into the rec room.

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Reggie hears Eugene and Betty talking about him and realizes the party is for him.

Archie shines a flashlight and calls out to Reggie. Reggie warns him to not come out.

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Too late. Lights come on, and a siren goes off.

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Everyone except Ethel goes to the window to see what the fuck’s going on.

Reggie lets go of the balloons and…

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Everyone laughs at him. Then…

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…he sets off the sprinklers. How much did Reggie spend on this prank? More importantly, how did he set everything up without Archie’s parents (or any of the kids) seeing him?

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Anyway, this goes on for quite a while. It’s almost as if they’re padding the story!

Reggie gets caught up in the spinning laundry thing and…

TNA-15-Telegraph-Telephone-Tell-Reggie-101-Reggie-mummy
…comes out a mummy. Get it? Because this aired on Halloween. Actually, it’s probably just a coincidence.

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He then gets covered in laundry.

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The gang (except Ethel) laughs and cheers.

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Reggie tells “Arch” that he feels like a “perfect jerk”. Archie helps him up and tells him that nobody’s perfect.

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He invites his “buddy” to the party, saying there’s a banana split with his name on it.

This segment was pretty good. There were some genuinely funny moments. But I think a bunch of junior high students would do a better job of coordinating a party than just saying “Here’s what to do. Pass it on.”

Tune in next Wednesday!

Riverdale, Season 1, Episode 01: Chapter One: The River’s Edge

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Original Air Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017
Length: 46:29/46:48*

*The different running times are the video file that I’d originally downloaded after the premiere versus the DVD. A total of ten seconds’ difference had accumulated by the time of the final shot of the episode. I’m guessing it’s purely due to different frame rates. I didn’t notice any extra material in the DVD version of the episode.

So here we are: the first episode of “Riverdale”. I know it’s been a while coming. Sorry, I had to wait until it came out on DVD before I could take proper screen captures.

I’ve already watched the first season twice (once on TV and once on Netflix). I know how it turns out. But I won’t spoil that here.

To read about how we got to this point in the long, storied history of Archie on television (as well as a look at the actors), see my Getting to Riverdale post.

A few music notes before we dive in:

Song from the “Series Premiere” and “Deeper” trailers: “Paint the Pictures” by Of Verona

Song from the “Perfect Town” trailer: “High” by Vanic

Okay, let’s check the first episode out:

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-001-RiverdaleRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-002-Riverdale-streetRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-003-newspaper-deliveryRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-004-Riverdale-RegisterRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-005-railroad-tracksRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-006-Pop'sRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-007-cemeteryRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-008-Sheriff's-stationRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-009-MLJ-ComicsThe opening shows off the town, which has some fun in-jokes. Jughead is our narrator. He’s like “Seemingly perfect small town but darkness underneath.”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-010-Twilight-Drive-InFor some reason, the drive-in closing is indicated as proof of this.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-011-Riverdale-High-SchoolRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-012-Riverdale-signRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-013-car-bridgeSong: “Tell Me (feat. Saoirse Ronan)” by Johnny Jewel

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-014-Cheryl-hairRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-015-Jason-hairRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-016-car-forestRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-017-Blossoms-car-1Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-018-Blossoms-car-2Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-019-Cheryl-handRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-020-Cheryl-heelRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-021-Blossoms-riverOn the Fourth of July, over the summer, the Blossom twins, Jason and Cheryl, go out rowing on Sweetwater River (interesting name) just after dawn. Why? And why the fuck is Cheryl so dressed up for this?

By the way, Jason and Cheryl could be seen riding through the town in the earlier shots (although I didn’t get them in one of them). For Cheryl’s first appearance ever outside print, it’s totally awesome that she (along with Jason) is the first character that we see. Other than Jughead’s narration, she’s also the first character that we hear speak.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-022-Jason-Cheryl-hold-handsUm, okay. This incest teasing (Cheryl’s actor, Madelaine Petsch, denies there’s any incest) is courtesy of the episode’s writer, who also wrote possible Blossom incest into “Afterlife with Archie”. Let’s just move on.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-023-CherylCheryl asks Jason if he’s scared.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-024-JasonHe shakes his head. Spoiler: Jason never has any lines. He’s portrayed by Trevor Stines.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-025-Cheryl-Jason-boat-1Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-026-Cheryl-Jason-boat-2Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-027-Cheryl-Jason-boat-3Wow, I’ll say this: this series is gorgeous to look at. It’s got some truly beautiful shots.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-028-birdsA gun shot scares some birds. Ominous!

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-029-Dilton-scoutsRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-030-Cheryl-wetRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-031-Dilton-scouts-2Dilton Doiley is leading Riverdale’s Boy Scout troop on a bird-watching expedition and comes upon Cheryl, wet and anguished, by the river’s edge (hence the episode’s title, which, as all titles, comes from the name of a film; in this case, it could be this one or this one). Y’know, it makes sense that a town named Riverdale would have a river, but I don’t recall it being prominent (if seen at all) in any prior work of fiction. I’m sure that it’s been seen at some point, but I couldn’t tell you where.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-032-Cheryl-wet-2Cheryl says Jason’s name in a haunting way.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-033-Blossoms-search-1Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-034-Blossoms-search-2Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-035-Cheryl-traumatizedCheryl’s parents join their traumatized daughter in a search of the river for Jason. Clifford doesn’t look like he gives a shit.

Riverdale Police drag Sweetwater River for Jason’s body but don’t find it.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-036-Hal-AliceHal and Alice Cooper watch Clifford and Penelope talking with someone. Alice hopes, if Jason is dead, he suffered in his last moments and is now burning in Hell.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-037-Hal-Alice-2“What the fuck, bitch?! That’s harsh!”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-038-JugheadJughead’s here as well.

A week later, the Blossom family buried an empty casket, and Jason’s death was ruled an accident.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-039-documentRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-040-Jughead-boothJughead’s typing all of this up on his laptop at Pop’s. It’s basically a longer version of his opening narration.

Cheryl’s version of events: she accidentally dropped a glove in the water; Jason reached down to get it, accidentally tipped the boat, panicked, and drowned.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-041-Cheryl-criesCheryl cries while looking at photos of Jason in an album.

Everyone else was still talking about the July 4th tragedy on the last day of summer vacation, when a “new mystery rolled into town”. What a minute. The laptop. The narration. Mystery. Is this series basically “Jughead’s Weird Mysteries“?

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-042-Veronica-carAnyway, it’s Veronica Lodge, yo! She rolls down her window and gets her first look at her new home.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-043-Veronica-HermioneShe’s still looking at it as she and her mom get out of the car.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-044-PembrookeIt’s an apartment building. Fun bit of trivia: Pembrooke is the name of the town (or community within Riverdale) that Cheryl used to live in in the comics. Yeah, they just borrowed the name for something completely unrelated.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-045-Hermione-VeronicaHermione tells Veronica to brace herself, because the apartment’s small. Apparently, the Lodge family motto (or whatever) is “quality always”. This building is the only piece of property in Hermione’s name and not Hiram’s.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-046-Hermione-Veronica-lobbyThey go inside, and, damn, this place is huge.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-047-SmithersSmithers welcomes “Miss Hermione” home.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-048-Smithers-Hermione-VeronicaHermione is happy to see him.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-049-Veronica-SmithersRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-050-Smithers-VeronicaAfter some small talk, Hermione introduces Smithers to Veronica. So…they’ve never met before? How does Smithers know Hermione but not know Veronica?

Smithers goes to get the bags and offers Hermione some menus, so she can order in. Hermione, however, has been craving one of Pop Tate’s cheeseburgers since noon. She asks if his Chock’lit Shoppe is still open. Veronica is confused over what that is and why it sells burgers. Cute. 🙂

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-051-Cooper-houseSong: “Can’t Get Enough of Myself” by Santigold

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-052-Betty-lipstickRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-053-Betty-make-upRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-054-Betty-ponytailAt the Cooper house, Betty is listening to tunes while dolling herself up.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-055-KevinBetty’s gay best friend, Kevin Keller, asks Betty if she’s excited or nervous.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-056-Betty-braShe admits she’s both. She hasn’t seen “him” all summer. Kevin says they agreed it’s time and explains Betty and this unnamed guy like each other. Betty wonders why he’s never said or done anything. Kevin says Archie’s “swell” (a throwback to the kind of language used in the old comics). He explains, “like most millennial straight guys”, Archie needs to be told what he wants, so Kevin tells Betty to tell Archie: “You want my hot body fucking yours hard and fast all night long!” Betty isn’t sure. Kevin interrupts with important news:

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-057-Archie-hot“Archie got hot!”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-058-Kevin-BettyKevin basically tells Betty to ride Archie hard and fast tonight.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-059-Pop'sRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-060-BettyRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-061-ArchieAt Pop’s, Archie asks Betty about the highlight of her summer internship. She says the Toni Morrison book-release party that she organized. At the end of the night, Toni Morrison, her “literary hero”, told Betty to not rush this time, because it goes by so fast at her age, and one summer can change everything. Archie is surprised, saying it’s “so true”.

Betty asks Archie how working for his dad went. Archie feels it was boring, describing it as “pouring concrete every day, all day long”. To pass time, he would start composing poems in his head, and he’d go home at night and write them down. Betty points out that he doesn’t even like reading poetry. He clarifies they were song lyrics (even though he had said “poems”). He feels this is something “real” that he should do with his life, starting this year, tomorrow. Betty says “Amazing”, but I can’t tell if she’s really interested or not. She asks him if he’ll ask Ms. Grundy to tutor him. He’s not sure. She asks about football and if he can do both. He’ll try out. She asks if he’s told his dad. He hasn’t and isn’t telling anyone except her until he’s “got things more figured out”. She agrees to it.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-062-Archie-Betty-Pop-train.jpgRiverdale is a train town in this continuity. That’s been the case in some of the comic stories as well. Even the 1990 TV movie hinted at it.

Betty would love to hear his songs some time. He’s finishing a couple demos tonight. She starts talking about their friendship, but Archie notices someone that walks into Pop’s:

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-063-VeronicaRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-064-Archie-bonerRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-065-Veronica-2And so it begins.

Song: “No Surprise (Bonus Track)” by The Shacks

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-066-Pop-Veronica-Archie-BettyVeronica had called in an order for two burgers. Pop says they’re almost ready.

Veronica and Archie exchange greetings. She asks how the onion rings are here. Archie says so good. She adds them to her order. She says she and her mom just moved here from New York. She asks if they go to Riverdale High. They say yeah, and Archie adds they’re sophomores. Veronica says she is, too, and adds she’s “filled with dread”. Archie asks why. Veronica asks if he’s familiar with the works of Truman Capote. He is. Veronica says “I’m ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s‘, but this place is strictly ‘In Cold Blood‘.” Get ready for plenty of pop culture references throughout this series. Archie laughs. Betty doesn’t get it. Veronica and Archie introduce themselves.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-067-Betty-WTF“What the fuck, dude?! I’m right here and ready to fuck you!”

Archie introduces Betty. Veronica realizes Betty is supposed to give her her tour tomorrow. Betty is Veronica’s peer mentor. Archie invites Veronica to join them.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-068-Betty-WTF-2“The fuck, dude?!”

Archie says he and Betty will “unfill” Veronica “with dread”. And fill her with something else, he hopes. Veronica declines, saying her mom is waiting for her, but adds “to be continued”. She leaves, and Archie briefly raises his eyes at Betty, like “Yeah, she’s a hottie, ain’t she?” He then asks Betty what she had been saying, but Betty drops the subject, figuring Archie’s mind is elsewhere.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-069-Andrews-houseThe next morning, Archie hurries down the stairs, telling his dad that he’s already late on the first day of school. Typical Archie.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-070-Archie-VegasArchie pets his dog, Vegas, who Archie had only fairly recently been given in the comics. Teenage Archie typically didn’t have a dog.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-071-ArchieRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-072-FredFred owns a construction company in this continuity (the comics never really explain what he does, as far as I know), and he wants Archie to stop by the site later, so they can get Archie going in the office, so he’s not on the crew next summer. Archie says he’s got football tryouts, which is okay with Fred, who wishes him good luck. Archie leaves.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-073-Cooper-houseRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-074-AliceRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-075-Betty-AliceAt Betty’s house, Alice Cooper puts pressure on her daughter to ACHIEVE! – and also not be labelled as the school bitch and/or slut.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-076-Betty-WTF“Seriously?! I’m a fucking sophomore, bitch!”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-077-Betty-Alice-2Alice is trying to be cautious, so nothing with “jeopardize” Betty’s many (unspecified) previous accomplishments. She brings up Betty’s “poor sister”, who was a “shining star” before she “let that Blossom boy ruin” her. Betty says she’s not Polly. Alice brings up the fact that Betty “missed curfew last night” in a somewhat judgmental tone. Betty points out that it was by seven fucking minutes, and she was with Archie, who’s nothing like Jason Blossom.

Alice says all boys are like Jason Blossom before saying she loves “Elizabeth” so much. Yes, Elizabeth is Betty’s actual name in the comics, although it’s rarely brought up. She needs Betty to be “smart”. Betty agrees. Alice tells Betty to “stay focused” is a somewhat eerie tone. She adds she refilled Betty’s Adderall. Yeah, Alice is one of those parents in this continuity – in contrast to the comics, where she’s…a generic nice parent.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-078-Betty-WTF-2“What the fuck, bitch? You’re creeping me out…”

Alice notes Betty “forgot” to pick up her prescription and then leaves the room.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-079-Betty-AdderallOkay, you can’t really see this clearly in standard def (which, sorry, DVD is the only home video source that I can get screencaps from without it being a pain in the ass), but, under Betty’s name, it says “Riverdale, USA”, and the state is also missing from the address of Riverdale Drugs. This would never be the case in the real world. What is it with Archie productions showing off stuff that should have the state written on them but doesn’t?

Also, Betty’s bottle clearly says “No Refills – Dr. Authorization”. So how did Alice get it refilled? Did she go to the doctor and say “My daughter really needs these!”?

Finally, how does Alice figure Betty forgot to pick up her prescription? She clearly did pick it up. Whatever.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-080-Riverdale-High-SchoolSong: “Laser Gun (feat. Mai Lan)” by M83

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-081-lyricsAt Riverdale High School, Archie’s looking over his song lyrics.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-082-Archie-ReggieRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-083-Archie-Reggie-2Reggie comes by and compliments Archie’s football-ready bod. He begs Archie for tips and asks if he’s taking any shit. This dude is so “Hook me up, bro!”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-084-Reggie-ArchieArchie finally tells him that it’s from working construction, and Reggie remembers. Reggie calls out to Moose.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-085-Moose-ReggieRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-086-Reggie-Archie-MooseReggie asks Archie if he tapped some cougar ass this summer. Archie calls it a fantasy from Reggie’s “wank bank” and leaves. Reggie and Moose agree Archie fucked an older lady this summer.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-087-Veronica-BettyAs the warning (or tardy) bell rings, Betty takes her sweet-ass time just now getting started on the tour that she’s giving Veronica. Neither girl seems concerned that they’ll be late for class. Betty starts with a history of the school, something that no teen would realistically give a shit about. The school was founded in 1941, the same year that Pep Comics #22 (the first appearance of Betty, Archie, and Jughead, though not the school itself) came out. Veronica jokes around and says she feels like she’s “wandering through the lost epilogue of ‘Our Town‘”. Apparently, Veronica reads a lot, but I don’t buy she would read this stuff if not for a school assignment. Also, a quick Google search turns up no evidence of a “lost epilogue” to this play.

Veronica asks about the social scene in Riverdale.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-088-Kevin“A strip club called The Hoe Zone and a tragic gay bar called Innuendo.” <— actual quote from Kevin Keller, and I can’t tell if he’s joking or not. He also mentions football games on Friday nights, followed by tailgate parties at the “Malmart” parking lot. Yeah, you know they want him to say “Walmart”, because I can imagine this shit happening in a small town in an actual Walmart parking lot, but I guess they didn’t wanna get sued. Saturday night is movie night, regardless of what’s playing at the bijou. And Sunday nights?

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-089-Veronica-Betty-Kevin“Thank God for HBO.” Why the fuck is Kevin getting so close to Betty when he says this?

Betty awkwardly makes the introductions. Veronica is eager to be best friends with Betty’s gay best friend. Kevin asks about the rumors about Veronica’s dad, which, according to Veronica, is that he’s the Devil incarnate. She stands by him. She asks if everyone here knows. They don’t answer. Taking it as a yes, Veronica laments being the Blue Jasmine of Riverdale High ten minutes in.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-090-Betty-Kevin“Asshole.”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-091-Pussycats-rehearseSong: “Fear Nothing” by Josie and the Pussycats

Later, Archie finds Josie and the Pussycats, a local band, rehearsing. They’re usually based in the nearby town of Midvale in the comics, so it’s nice that they’re based in Riverdale in this continuity. It makes things easier.

Josie abruptly stops the performance and tells Archie that this is a closed rehearsal.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-092-Archie-papersArchie apologizes but hopes he can talk with Josie about his songs.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-093-JosieJosie is all bitchy to Archie. Melody gets one line in.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-094-ValerieArchie takes an interest in Valerie.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-095-Josie-byeJosie sends “Justin Gingerlake” away.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-096-Betty-Veronica-KevinBetty mentions the back-to-school semi-formal dance this weekend. Veronica pulls Betty close when she spots the “hottie” (Archie). She calls him “the red-headed Ansel Elgort“. Veronica asks Betty if he’s her boyfriend, but both Betty and Kevin answer in the negative. That was pretty cute. 🙂 Veronica asks Betty to put in a word for her, because she’s “had every flavor of boy but orange”. Kevin declares Betty and Archie are endgame.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-097-Betty-Veronica-Kevin-2“Okay, fine, whatfuckingever, you obviously know me better than I know myself…”

Veronica suggests Betty ask Archie to the semi-formal. Kevin agrees, but he heard it might be getting canceled due to Jason’s death; they’re gonna tell them at the assembly. Veronica asks about Jason. They stop walking, and Betty and Kevin seem unsure on how to proceed.