Comics – Sweetwater

Riverdale-One-Shot.jpg
Writer: Brian E. Paterson
Art: Elliot Fernandez
Colors: Thomas Chu
Letters: John Workman
Original Publication: Riverdale One-Shot
Cover Date: April, 2017
On-Sale Date: March 1, 2017
Length: 10 pages

I’m sorry that this is a bit late. This can be blamed on two things: thunderstorms (today) and a drunken redneck country karaoke party with fireworks (yesterday). Imagine the worst goddamn country music that you can think of and then imagine it being sung by a bunch of drunks…while shooting off fireworks…pretty much right in your backyard.

Anyway, let’s get to the story. This is the first of four in this issue, which serves as a sort of prequel to the first episode.

Archie’s hanging out by himself at Pop’s. He narrates about stuff. Wait, who’s he narrating to and why? Anyway, he thinks about a movie quote. Betty left Riverdale for a summer internship in L.A. a week ago. He and Jughead had a falling out. With no school, no friends, and no football practices (Archie practiced football before the show?), he decided to help his dad full-time at Andrews Construction. He has a feeling that “there’s something big coming”.

So we get a montage. Basically, Archie bulks up (getting looks from the ladies in the process) and composes poems in his head.

One day, Fred decides to clean out the garage – after Archie has worked a ten-hour shift. Basically, Fred’s a packrat and doesn’t wanna throw any useless shit out. He has a Stratocaster from back in the day. Archie’s surprised that Fred used to play and wants to borrow it, but he has to be content with the acoustic guitar that his dad got him for his sixteenth birthday.

Then we get the flashback from the first episode where Ms. Grundy picked Archie up after work, but it doesn’t exactly match the scene in the episode. Every night, she picks him up after work, they drive out to Sweetwater River, and they fuck. Archie has some mixed feelings and is insecure. Typical teenage stuff.

One day, “Geraldine” drops him off at home and notices the guitar on his front porch. They go up to the porch, and he plays for her. She says he has potential and suggests “private lessons”. He agrees.

One day, toward the end of June, he stops by Pop’s after work, because he wants to surprise Ms. Grundy with dinner. Jughead’s there, typing on his laptop, and he invites Archie to catch up with him. He does. Suddenly, Jughead suggests they take a road trip down to Centerville on the Fourth of July to see fireworks, like they used to when they were kids. Archie agrees, although he’s not sure why.

On July 3rd, Archie’s hanging out with Ms. Grundy outside somewhere. They both love summer. He asks what she’s doing for the Fourth. She says going camping down by Sweetwater River. She invites him to come, and he agrees.

Then we get the July 4th flashback from Archie’s perspective that we saw in episode 02, except, again, it’s not quite the same, since the comic adds a campfire and a blanket.

They’re mostly silent during the ride home and tell themselves that it was a hunter, shooting a deer, or fireworks. Archie asks who’s lighting fireworks at 6:00 AM on July 4th, but, from what I’ve witnessed around here, idiots light fireworks at all times of the day, even before July 4th.

Anyway, then they hear the whole thing about Cheryl and Jason. Clifford looks way too blue-collar (literally) and shows more compassion in this comic than he did on the show. Ms. Grundy turns into a nervous wreck, suddenly feels it was all wrong, and makes Archie promise to keep quiet. She breaks it off with him and drops him off at home. He understands it’s right and for the best, but it still hurts like hell.

On July 6th, Archie’s with Jughead at Pop’s. He’d forgotten about their broken date. Jughead is upset and questions Archie about it. Archie nervously says his dad needed his help, but Jughead sees through his lie and leaves.

After that, Archie puts his poems to paper and realizes they’re song lyrics about dying young and losing friends.

By July 26th, he’s filled up the notebook with song lyrics.

On August 13th, he picks up his guitar (which he’d already picked up on July 26th) and “[writes his] guts out” until the last day of summer vacation.

Then Betty texts him. She’s back home from her internship and invites him to Pop’s. He considers telling her everything but doesn’t because of his promise to Ms. Grundy. He accepts her invitation.

Then we get what I guess is the beginning of their meeting at Pop’s from the first episode, but their outfits don’t match at all. Archie had ordered milkshakes (strawberry for him, vanilla for her). They hug.

He wonders how different that things might have been if he’d just been honest with Betty that night instead of pretending nothing had happened.

This was a pretty good. story. Apparently, it will be continued, but I’m not sure if it means on the show or in the next story in the issue (which isn’t a continuation).

Tune in next Wednesday!

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Comics – Bring It On

Riverdale-1
Writer: Michael Grassi
Art: Joe Eisma
Colors: Andre Szymanowicz
Letters: John Workman
Original Publication: Riverdale, No. 1
Cover Date: May, 2017
On-Sale Date: April 5, 2017
Length: 10 pages

One evening (or overcast day), Cheryl leaves flowers for Jason on the bank of Sweetwater River. She’s sad but also angry. Art note: Cheryl’s eye color has been inconsistent over the decades. In the classic comics, it’s usually green but sometimes blue. The front cover of Riverdale One-Shot (a.k.a. Riverdale #0) has them as brown. Her eyes are blue in this story.

Anyway, Jason was her first greatest love. Her second is being captain of the River Vixens. During practice, Betty and Veronica have to hold Cheryl up (and are none-too-pleased about it) as she proudly cheers “Be aggressive! Be-be aggressive!” Interesting cheer. Cheryl thinks of herself as their “Red Queen”. I’ll refrain from making a Resident Evil joke.

As Cheryl walks with her besties, Ginger and Tina, down a hallway, the latter two insult Betty. There’s a cute background gag of someone (Chuck?) checking out the girls and then walking into an open locker door.

Cheryl assures her “little lip-tinted creatures” that she’ll torture Betty and get her to quit the team by having a “hell week” just like the football team. Polly used to be a River Vixen, and Cheryl ain’t having another Cooper on her squad.

As they approach Betty and Veronica, Betty tries to make pleasant small talk with Cheryl, but Cheryl gives Betty her first task: wear a special Vixen uniform, provided by Cheryl, for an entire school day.

After school, Betty has Veronica over at her house. After receiving the very skimpy outfit, Betty writes in her diary that Cheryl is demonic. Veronica, lying on Betty’s bed and reading a magazine, calls it “some basic bitch psychological warfare”, except “bitch” is censored. Let me make this clear: a tie-in coic for the show censors a word that is often uttered on said show. This is a motherfucking Teen-rated title; why is “bitch” not allowed?

Anyway, Veronica says she used to do the same to the girls at Spence and tells Betty to fuck it. Betty says Polly loved being a River Vixen and would be captain instead of Cheryl. She refuses to let Cheryl win and needs to do this for Polly. She takes off her clothes and puts on the uniform, surprising Veronica.

The next day, at school, Betty proudly struts down on a hallway in the skimpy outfit (which somehow doesn’t get her sent home). Veronica, by her side, announces “hotness” coming through. Archie and Jughead are amazed. Cheryl’s besties are amazed that Betty actually did it. Tina says Betty looks “amazing”, but Cheryl tells her “minion” to shut up and declares Betty dead.

At practice, Cheryl congratulates Betty on surviving round one. She then explains the backstory for round two: last year, Baxter High creamed them at spirit regionals, because Betty’s” meth-head sister Polly” flubbed the routine and lost them the Golden Whistle. Betty declares they’ll win it back at this year’s competition. Cheryl loves Betty’s “can-do Cooper attitude” but wants her to break into Baxter High and steal it back. If it’s not sitting around Cheryl’s “elegant and slender neck” by morning practice, Betty’s off the squad.

Betty goes through with it and rags on Veronica for wearing heels to a break-in. Veronica tells Betty to lay off the “choos”, claiming they’re good luck.

Betty opens a window into the boys’ bathroom, climbs in, and helps Veronica in. Veronica asks why and how she’s so good at this. Betty claims she’s “mechanically inclined” and learned to pick locks at an early age, because her mom’s a chronic door-locker. Veronica is amazed.

They find the trophy case. Betty is in awe of the stupid-ass Golden Whistle. She can’t get the case open. Veronica warns “Nancy Drew” before smashing the glass with a fire extinguisher.

As Betty recounts in her diary, someone called in an anonymous tip to the Sheriff’s office, so Sheriff Keller comes in, busts them, and hauls their asses to the station. Betty guesses it was Cheryl’s doing. The moms are called. Hermione is understanding toward “mija”, but Alice drags Betty away, assuming Veronica put her up to this. Betty says she didn’t. Alice lectures Betty for hours and grounds her for a month (this has no bearing on the show). But it doesn’t matter, because Betty has the Golden Whistle (which she stupidly openly displays while her angry mom is driving her home).

The next day, after Betty presents the Golden Whistle to Cheryl, Cheryl’s narration informs us that she hates everyone. She rags on Sheriff Keller for once again proving to be useless. As she silently plans to “hit Betty where it hurts”, Cheryl is outwardly impressed. As Cheryl starts talking about Betty’s final task, Betty’s diary entry goes into a sixth-grade class trip to Riot Park. She, Cheryl, Polly, and Jason were all there. Remembering Betty was too scared to ride the Behemoth, and in order to make sure Betty can sit astride the top of the pyramid, Cheryl forces Betty to prove she’s not still scared of heights by standing on the ledge of the school roof for five minutes after school.

After school, Cheryl, Archie, Jughead, Chuck, and a bunch of other students gather outside. Cheryl predicts, if Betty shows up, she won’t last thirty seconds. Betty does show up. She’s scared shitless but calms herself. She admits Cheryl’s right: she’s terrified of heights. However, Cheryl forgot one thing: Betty conquered her fear that day in sixth grade; she rode the Behemoth, clutching hands with Polly, who didn’t let go of her hand for the entire ride.

Betty admits she couldn’t do this alone, and she doesn’t have her big sister to save her this time, but she has the next best thing: a new BFF. Lucky for her, Cheryl never said she had to do it alone, so Veronica joins Betty on the roof’s ledge, and they join hands. Betty barely survived hell week, but it was worth it, if only to see the look on Cheryl’s face. Betty’s proud and believes Polly would be proud also. Cheryl, however, while admitting Betty survived hell week, swears on Jason’s ghost that she won’t stop until Betty and Veronica feel the same pain that she does.

This was a nice story! Apparently, it will be continued (unlike the previous story, which is stated to be the end), but this story seems complete in itself. It’s interesting to look back and see Cheryl so antagonistic to the girls (and Betty in particular), knowing the three of them eventually become close friends on the show.

After the story is a lightweight, five-page “special look” at the show, a one-page cover gallery, and the cover for the next issue.

Tune in next Wednesday!

Comics – Bloodsport

Riverdale-1.jpg
Writer: Will Ewing
Art: Joe Eisma
Colors: Andre Szymanowicz
Letters: Janice Chiang
Original Publication: Riverdale, No. 1
Cover Date: May, 2017
On-Sale Date: April 5, 2017
Length: 10 pages

I’m sorry that this is so late. Real Life has been crazy-busy lately.

During varsity football practice, Archie is still getting used to it. After practice, in the boys’ locker room, Coach Clayton gives Archie Jason’s old jersey (#9), even though he’d already done that in the first episode. Reggie’s in awe, but Archie doesn’t know how he’s going to live up to it.

Archie gets looks from the ladies while walking down the hall in his varsity jacket. He feels good. Then Chuck (the team captain, coach’s son, and “king of the jocks”) pulls him into a classroom filled with the varsity football team. Archie and Reggie are forced to their knees. Chuck welcomes them to “hell week”.

So the legendary football hell week is kind of like an initiation into a secret society – only much more violent and humiliating. Reggie, Archie, and Moose strip in the boys’ locker room and then streak across the football field in front of girls (including, possibly, Betty). Archie covers his dick. Moose looks embarrassed as well. Reggie, however, proudly lets his “freak flag” fly.

Then they have to stick a bunch of plastic forks in the football field of their arch-rivals. In this continuity, it’s Baxter High (instead of the usual Central High).

Then they toilet-paper Mr. Weatherbee’s house at night. He isn’t amused. Jughead also walks by and observes this.

At lunch one day, Jughead is amazed at the amount of food that Archie’s eating. Archie says Chuck says he needs to put on weight. Jughead wonders why Archie gives a shit about what Chuck says. Jughead asks about Archie’s music. Archie basically says he can do both that and football. He brings up getting Jason’s jersey and says he owes it to Jason to try.

That night, the pledges are told to come to school in only their bathing suits. Archie, Reggie, Moose, and two other guys get in the back of Chuck’s truck. He drives them out to Sweetwater River, where the entire team is gathered. In order to prove they’re “tough enough to be a Bulldog”, they must pass the final test: swim across Sweetwater River and back. It’s at least 100 yards to the other side, and the water is freezing. Um, I’m guessing this is supposed to occur roughly around the same time as the first episode, which means probably around early September. Does water get that cold at night in upstate New York at that time of year?

Anyway, Reggie and Archie whine. Chuck yells at Archie, saying Jason did it, and offers Archie the option of quitting the team.

Archie and Reggie do it. Moose says he can’t swim, so Archie volunteers to do it again in his place. A concerned Reggie tries to talk him out of it. Chuck says Archie can’t do it for Moose, because no weak links (meaning Moose). Archie takes another swim over Chuck’s protest.

During the swim, the cold gets to Archie, and he thinks he sees Jason’s corpse, wearing his varsity jacket. Archie keeps going and makes it. Moose thanks him. Reggie offers Archie a towel. Chuck’s pissed, saying Archie earned another week of hell. Archie tells him to bring it. Another player, though, calls Chuck out on his bullshit, saying Archie did it. Eventually, Chuck backs off, having no other choice.

For all of their trouble, though, Archie, Reggie, and Moose end up as bench-warmers. Coach Clayton puts Archie in the game for the next play, so Chuck can take a breather. When Archie goes to tell him, though, Chuck pushes him and says the number on his chest is a bullseye. As Archie plays, we briefly see Betty and Veronica cheering.

After the game, Archie looks in a mirror in the boys’ locker room and sees Jason’s corpse staring back at him. He feels he’s a dead man walking. Well, that’s creepy as fuck.

Slight continuity hiccup aside, this was pretty good story.

Tune in next Wednesday!

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!

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.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-098-Cheryl-speaksRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-099-Cheryl-assemblyAt the assembly, Cheryl addresses the crowd after a moment of silence. She calls Jason her “soulmate”.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-100-Jughead-laptopWow, Riverdale High has some lax rules, allowing Jughead to use his laptop during an assembly. As my high school, as soon as a faculty member spotted any electronic gadget, they’d either tell us to shut it off or confiscate it.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-101-Cheryl-speaks-2Anyway, Cheryl’s like “Jason would want us to party”; she asked the school board to keep the semi-formal on. This earns cheers and applause. Cheryl says they’ll use it as a way to heal and celebrate Jason’s life.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-102-Archie-MooseArchie spots someone.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-103-facultyRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-104-GrundyIt’s Ms. Grundy, the music teacher.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-105-Grundy-looksShe looks back at him.

Flashback time!

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-106-Grundy-carCheck out that generic license plate that doesn’t reveal the state. It’s on the front of Ms. Grundy’s car for whatever reason.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-107-Archie-sweatyArchie’s looking all sweaty, salty, and fine after a hard day on the job.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-108-Grundy-drinkMs. Grundy’s looking for a different way to quench her thirst.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-109-Archie-heyArchie makes it very easy for her.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-110-Grundy“Mmm, yummy…”

She offers him a “ride”. We don’t get his answer. We cut back to the assembly briefly, where everyone applauds – except Archie and Ms. Grundy, who are still staring at each other.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-111-Archie-Grundy-fuckYep, Archie totally fucked Ms. Grundy (who really doesn’t qualify as a cougar, so Reggie’s actually wrong)…in her nerd car…during a thunderstorm.

Back at the assembly, Ms. Grundy faces forward, breaking eye contact with Archie, and applauds. Archie joins in as well.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-112-titleWe just now get the series title.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-113-ArchieAfter the commercial break, Archie follows Ms. Grundy up a staircase, calling her. She ignores him until he calls her “Geraldine”. He wants to talk about “music”.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-114-GrundyShe tells him to make an appointment during her “official office hours” and then leaves before he can say anything else.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-115-Andrews-ConstructionAt Andrews Construction, Fred and Hermione have an awkward conversation. It’s clear that they know each other. He offers to get her a water.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-116-HermioneShe wants a job; she saw on his website that he’s looking for a seasonal hire: a bookkeeper. Fred explains his guy is on paternity leave. Hermione guesses Veronica and Archie are going to school together. She mentions (for no reason except exposition) she and Fred had dated for a little while – until she chose Hiram (or, as Fred calls him, “the rich kid”). She mentions a reversal of fortune. After a pause, she asks how Mary (his wife) is doing. Fred says she’s in Chicago; they split up but are “civil”. He asks how she’s holding up “really”. She has a little money saved. She was “praying” he would give her the benefit of the doubt.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-117-FredWe learn Hiram is on trial for fraud and embezzlement. Due to Fred’s concerns of what his clients would think, he can’t hire Hermione to balance his books. Hermione is disappointed but understands.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-118-Veronica-lunchSong: “The Song That Everyone Sings” by Archie Andrews

Back at Riverdale High, Veronica goes outside to eat lunch. She hears music.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-119-Cheryl-BFFsCheryl notices Veronica. So does one of her BFFs (Tina). If you don’t know who she is, Tina Patel is Raj’s younger sister. If you don’t know who Raj is, check out the list of characters on the Introduction page. Basically, Tina is a Z-lister in the comics, so, by being part of Cheryl’s clique, she’s already more relevant on this show than she ever was in the comics. The other girl is Ginger Lopez, who is a B-lister in the comics but kind of redundant as a character. She’s basically a nicer, Hispanic version of Cheryl. She even worked on a magazine (“Sparkle”), just like Cheryl (“Fresh”) – but, unlike Cheryl, she didn’t own it. Also, no joke, back in the 2000s, there was a period when Archie Comics thought people didn’t really want Cheryl and sent her away (it was brief enough that she was back before I’d even noticed her absence); they also altered Cheryl’s appearance in reprints and renamed her Ginger! It was really bizarre. Thankfully, this seems to have ended, and the Queen B is back! Also, total poetic justice that Ginger is now one of Cheryl’s bitches.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-120-ReggieReggie takes notice of Veronica.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-121-Betty-ArchieAnyway, Archie is letting Betty hear one of his songs on his laptop (dude has a Dell).

Veronica asks to join. The song ends. Archie closes the laptop. Betty agrees. Veronica sits down.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-122-Kevin-Veronica-ArchieVeronica asks what’s up. Betty explains. Kevin says “it’s…actually really good”. Veronica is surprised. Archie says it’s rough. Betty says it’s great. Veronica says it’s incredible. She and Archie talk about Archie’s plan to be a musician. Archie asks Veronica about her first day. Before Veronica can say it, Kevin predicts Veronica’s disappointment at people not being obsessed with her.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-123-CherylThis year, it’s all about Cheryl.

Archie leaves to go to his “meeting with Grundy” and then football tryouts. Veronica is surprised that Archie also plays football and asks what he doesn’t do. This is a joking reference to the comics, where, if you add all of the stories together, the kids seem to have an insane number of hobbies.

Kevin tells “Blue Jasmine” that Betty hasn’t invited Archie to the dance.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-124-Betty-paranoid“Shhh! They can hear us!”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-125-Betty-mad“Don’t talk about him, gay BFF!”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-126-Cheryl-arrivesCheryl comes by, having “heard whisperings” about Veronica, and introduces herself. She asks to sit but then immediately decides to do so.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-127-Betty-scoots“Why?! Why do I have to be the one to scoot?!” Seriously, though, why is Betty taking up that much room? Archie had just left.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-128-CherylCheryl asks what the “three hens” are gossiping about. Cheryl compares Archie’s new hot look to Zac Efron. Betty shakes her head at Veronica, an indication to keep quiet about the fact that, yes, they were just talking about Archie. Veronica is kinda truthful when she mentions extracurriculars. She also mentions Mr. Weatherbee wants her to sign up for a few. This makes no sense. I was never asked to sign up for anything in high school.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-129-Cheryl-hairIt’s here only so, in a bit of contrived writing, Cheryl can suggest cheerleading. She’s senior captain of the River Vixens. Kevin asks if cheerleading is still a thing.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-130-Cheryl-burnsCheryl doesn’t take that shit; she asks Kevin if being the gay best friend is still a thing. By the way, nice touch with the cherries on Cheryl’s shirt.

Cheryl says “Some people say it’s retro; I say it’s eternal and iconic.” I assume she’s talking about cheerleading.

Veronica says, at Spence, she “sat at the top of the elites pyramid”; she’s in. She tells Betty that she’s trying out, too.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-131-Betty-fuck“Fuuuuuuck, you’re making me hang around this bitch?!”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-132-Betty-smiles“That would be lovely.”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-133-Cheryl-BettyCheryl’s all for it; anyone’s welcome to try out.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-134-Cheryl-Betty-2“But Betty’s already got…so much…on her plate right now.” I see what Cheryl’s doing, but the joke doesn’t work if Betty’s not scarfing down burgers and slices of pizza. That is a fucking salad, an apple, a muffin, and a bottled water – just about the blandest, most inoffensive meal possible.

Anyway, Cheryl says “being a Vixen is kind of a full-time thing, but…open to all!” Okay, so Cheryl doesn’t want Betty on the squad. It’s not really clear why. I mean, in the comics, they’re not exactly best friends (except when they are), but whatever.

Before leaving, Cheryl invites Veronica to follow her on Twitter, saying she’ll do the same. Veronica agrees. Cheryl’s handle is @CherylBombshell. Cute.

Cheryl leaves. Veronica invites Betty to hate on cheerleading, but apparently she’s doing this for “hipster Prince Harry“. Betty admits she’d love to be a chearleader (pausing then explaining it would look great on her college application; suuure, Betty), but, when she tried out last year:

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-135-Betty“Cheryl said I was too fat.” Why does Betty look almost…fond of this memory?

Kevin quotes Cheryl as saying “Too season 5 Betty Draper” and admits it was a great line but not at all true. Veronica says Betty is “a total smoke show” now.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-136-Betty-2“Awww, stop it, you.”

Veronica calls Betty “hot” and “smart” and says she should be “the Queen Bae of this drab hive”. She offers to help Betty prep, claiming she has moves.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-137-Betty-3Betty briefly checks Veronica out (I’m not kidding) and then says “Show me your moves.”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-138-Archie-Grundy.jpgArchie plays songs for Ms. Grundy on his laptop. She says they’re “very real” and “very personal”. Archie says he took her advice of writing them down and polishing them, but he’s wondering if she can “help” him. She asks with what. Yeah, they’ve gotten to the point that they have to ask for clarification. We learn Ms. Grundy went to Julliard. Archie claims he’s looked, and there’s no one else in Riverdale that he can take lessons from. Ms. Grundy doesn’t think it’s a good idea and adds she doesn’t think they should be alone together. She suspects him of wanting to fuck her, but he insists this is legit. He also needs to talk with her about what happened.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-139-Grundy-Archie-river-1Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-140-Grundy-riverRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-141-Grundy-Archie-river-2They heard a gunshot but didn’t do or say anything. Ms. Grundy pretends it was “fireworks”. Archie calls bullshit; it was 6:00 AM. Ms. Grundy’s like “We made a choice to keep quiet…for good reason. We gotta live with it.” She advises him to pursue his music – but not with her.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-142-Veronica-Betty-performRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-143-Veronica-Betty-perform-2Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-144-Cheryl-BFFsRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-145-Betty-Veronica-performAfter the commercial break, Veronica and Betty try out for the River Vixens in front of Cheryl, her besties, and the rest of the squad.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-146-Veronica-Betty-finishVeronica clearly is outgoing and enthusiastic. Betty clearly isn’t.

Cheryl is unimpressed, asking about the “heat” and “sizzle”. Veronica mentions their “big finish”. Pulling Betty close, Veronica tells her to not freak out and just trust her. Betty’s suspicious.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-147-Betty-Veronica-kissYeah, it’s total queerbaiting, but at least we finally got a canonical Betty/Veronica kiss. This is more than the comics have been willing to do (well, except for an old story called “The Kisser”, where Betty went around kissing girls, but that doesn’t count, because no lip-to-lip contact was shown).

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-148-Cheryl-BFFs-2“Whatever.”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-149-Betty-Veronica-kiss-2Veronica moves in a little closer before finally finishing.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-150-Betty-Veronica“I’m not sure what I’m supposed to feel right now…”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-151-Cheryl-BFFs-3“Bitches, please.”

Cheryl moves on to the interview portion and asks Betty about her sister. Betty claims Polly is fine and thanks Cheryl for asking. Cheryl basically forces Betty to tell Veronica that Polly and Jason dated (in the comics, I’m pretty sure that Polly and Jason have had zero interaction). Cheryl laughs. Betty admits it didn’t end well. According to Cheryl, Jason’s probably why Polly had a nervous breakdown and now lives in a group home. Betty admits her parents think that.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-152-Veronica-Betty-angryCheryl asks what Betty has to say about it and invites her to fucking unleash it.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-153-Betty-clenches-fistBetty’s getting pissed.

She starts to speak. Cheryl has been anticipating this moment.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-154-Betty-bloody-hand-1Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-155-Betty-bloody-hand-2Oh, shit, Betty’s gonna explode!

Instead, Betty apologizes to Cheryl for what happened to Jason.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-156-Cheryl-disappointedCheryl is disappointed in this response. She welcomes Veronica – but not Betty – to the River Vixens.

Veronica won’t have it, though. She unleashes on Cheryl while also fighting for Betty, and it’s glorious.

Oh! Oh! I’m gonna start a Bitch Count. Whenever one of the girls calls someone a bitch, she (the caller) gets a point.

Bitch Count: Veronica: 1

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-157-Veronica-unleashesRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-158-Betty-impressedRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-159-Betty-happy“Awww, she’s doing this for lil ol’ me?! She really does love me!”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-160-Veronica-unleashes-2Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-161-Cheryl-scared“I want my mommy…”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-162-Clayton-1Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-163-Clayton-2At football tryouts, Coach Clayton calls on Archie.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-164-Archie-ClaytonRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-165-jerseyHe gives him Jason’s old jersey.

Coach Clayton explains sophomores usually play only junior varsity, but, this year, they’ve got an open spot on varsity. So would Jason have been a senior if he hadn’t been killed? And is Cheryl a senior now? That’s certainly different from the comics, where everyone’s in the same grade. Also, it’s a bit short-sighted for this series. It means Cheryl will graduate at the end of this year (whatever that means in the timeline of this series), and then what? I suppose she could still be around and interacting with the gang, but it wouldn’t be as easy.

Anyway, due to the bigger commitment with varsity, Archie tries to “think about it”. When pressed, he cites his dad’s company. Coach Clayton tells him to “sleep on it”.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-166-Veronica-zips-Betty-1Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-167-Veronica-zips-Betty-2Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-168-Veronica-feels-Betty-1Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-169-Veronica-feels-Betty-2Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-170-Veronica-feels-Betty-3Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-171-Veronica-feels-Betty-4Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-172-Veronica-feels-Betty-5Stop teasing me, show!

On second thought, don’t.

Veronica calls Betty “very Betty Draper, season 1”. Betty asks Veronica why she defended her.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-173-Veronica-Betty-walkVeronica waits until they’re walking home to answer her question. Her dad’s arrest was the “worst thing ever”. The trolls came out, bullying Veronica and her family.

Bitch Count: Veronica: 2

Veronica admits she was “worse than Cheryl”.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-174-Betty-Veronica-walkShe’s using Riverdale as an opportunity to better herself.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-175-Betty-walksBetty says that’s a lot of pressure.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-176-Veronica-windRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-177-Betty-huhPerhaps a bit uncomfortable with the fuck-eyes that Veronica’s giving her, Betty stumbles for a bit and then turns the conversation to Polly and Jason’s relationship; it meant everything to Polly and nothing to Jason; things got “super intense” and “weird” and “toxic”. Her mom turned on Polly, disowning her and saying a lot of awful things to her. Betty says Jason hurt Polly, but her mom broke her.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-178-Veronica-tongueVeronica doesn’t know what to say to that. She sees Archie and calls him over, basically forcing Betty to ask him to the dance right now.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-179-Reggie-Archie-MooseVeronica addresses Archie as “Teen Outlander“. Side note: Archie is indeed of Scottish descent in the comics – as is Cheryl. Clan Andrews and Clan Blossom used to be fierce enemies, but Archie and Cheryl each had an ancestor that was in a Romeo & Juliet relationship with the other. They died before they could run off together, but Archie and Cheryl helped them reunite as spirits in the present day. Seriously. Check out the story in Cheryl Blossom #31 (available digitally on Amazon) from 2000.

Anyway, Archie compliments their outfits.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-180-BettyI swear Lili Reinhart makes the best faces.

Veronica gives a preamble to Betty’s question, basically giving away what it is.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-181-Betty-2“Well? Go on, bitch.”

Betty awkwardly asks Archie if he wants to “come with both of [them]”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-182-Archie-WTF“What the fuck?”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-183-Veronica-WTF“What the fuck?”

Betty “explains” this by saying Veronica should have someone to go with, even if it’s “just a friend”, to her first dance at Riverdale High. Veronica accepts. Archie declines. Betty says that’s okay.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-184-Betty-Veronica“Totally unacceptable, Archiekins.” *sigh* I’d been hoping this series wouldn’t use that stupid nickname.

Veronica insists they need an escort. Ah, okay, so Betty and Veronica are going on a date together, and Archie has to escort them. Got it.

Anyway, Archie agrees.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-185-Betty-grins“Looks like we’ll both have what we want.”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-186-Betty-celebratesSong: “Number One” by Tove Styrke

Later, Betty celebrates her dual victories by dancing around her room.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-187-Alice-WTFAlice shuts off the music and is like “What the fuck?”

After Betty explains, Alice is like “Jason was evil, and Cheryl is, too! Strip down, bitch!” Betty refuses, and Alice is actually shocked by this.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-188-Betty-stands-upBetty stands up to her mother and then brushes past her to go buy a dress, which she also explains. Alice has an issue with Veronica as well.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-189-Betty-yells“Shut up, you twatwaffle!”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-190-PembrookeRiverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-191-Smithers-HermioneAt the Pembrooke, Hermione thanks Smithers for…taking out the trash?

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-192-bagShe asks about a bag sitting nearby. Smithers explains the car service found and dropped off her “missing bag”. Hermione’s like “What the fuck?”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-193-bag-2Those seem to be her initials.

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-194-money“Oh, shit. What the fuck, Hiram?”

Riverdale-1-01-The-River's-Edge-195-Fred-ArchieArchie’s practicing guitar on the front porch. Fred comes by and calls Archie out on lying to both him and Coach Clayton. Archie makes clear that he wants to study music; he doesn’t care about playing football, going to college, going to business school, and coming back here to work for (or “with”) his dad; he does