Well, if you’ve been missing Riverdale, this week involves a robbery, Archie chopping wood in a wife beater, a hot tub kiss, Archie doing shirtless push-ups, and Cheryl coming out. So yeah, IT’S BACK.
We start with a truly creepy montage of all the ways that Chic is not a normal human being. His hobbies include: staring at his sister while she reads the newspaper, eating cereal like some sort of animal who’s never used a spoon before, drinking orange juice out of the carton, and using his sister’s shower because it has better “water pressure.” So it’s no surprise that Betty needs a break, and that’s exactly why she jumps at the opportunity for a weekend getaway.
What getaway, you ask? Oh just Hiram’s latest painfully obvious ploy to get his daughter out of Riverdale so that he can conduct some business. After offering his teenage daughter and her boyfriend an unchaperoned weekend at the lake house — which raises zero flags for these clueless teens —Hiram tells Archie the real story: He will be hosting a meeting in Riverdale with some “major New York families” to help settle the “unrest” that came about as a result of Papa Poutine’s death. Hiram wants to make sure Veronica is safe, so he’s letting his BFF Archie know that André (and the gun on his hip) will be close by if they need anything. Hiram then asks Archie to keep everything he just said between them. You know, man to man. (And not man to CHILD.)
So while the core four get ready for their getaway, Cheryl is having a pretty terrible day. First, her mother is still working as a prostitute, and there’s a good chance Penelope just called her daughter an emotional anorexic? Cool. Also, when poor Cheryl tries to invite herself to the lake house getaway, Veronica tells her that she can’t sit with them unless she’s part of a couple…which she’s not. Then again, neither is Kevin, who just wants to go see Greg Berlanti’s new movie, Love, Simon, with Moose. But Moose is still hiding in his relationship with Midge, and it’s all very sad. Also, did you hear about Berlanti’s new movie, Love, Simon?! Because you’re about to, approximately 100 more times.
After Jughead and Betty stop by her house to grab some things for the trip — where Chic tells Jug that if he tells anyone about the murder, “it’ll be bad for Betty and Alice” — they all head to the cabin. After Archie carries literally everyone’s bags inside — they have to make sure he knows his place — Cheryl calls Jughead to make sure their trip is terrible: She tells Jug about Betty and Archie’s kiss. (She then dodges Toni when the Serpent asks what’s bothering her.)
At the cabin, the couples deal with the news as they always do: Veronica and Archie have sex while Jughead and Betty look sad and talk it out. Jughead promises he’s not mad about the kiss, but he does want to know why Betty didn’t tell him about it when he confessed his kiss with Toni. Sure, Jug used to be bothered by Archie and Betty’s past, but he says he’s not intimated by a “Black Hood prompted kiss.” And, just like that, they hear Veronica’s bed squeaking. As Jug and Betty laugh (!!!), Jug, in my favorite moment of his ever, says, “Is that their response to everything? Can’t they ever just have like a conversation?” No Jug, they’re horny teens!!
Once all the couples have reconciled in their various ways, Jughead attempts to grill Veronica about the Shadow Lake private community. But when Betty shuts that down, Veronica suggests a new activity: the hot tub. There, Veronica admits that the Barchie kiss has haunted her for the past few weeks, so with that in mind, she has an idea: She and Jughead should kiss in order to clear the air, or level the playing field, if you will. And Jughead is IN. After spinning some ridiculous teen logic about how this kiss will prevent future Bughead fights, Jughead and Veronica kiss.
After that, the couples separate so that Betty can erase that kiss from Jughead’s memory by putting on her Dark Betty lingerie — wig included — and rocking his world. Meanwhile, Archie is doing push-ups before getting into bed because “I’m just getting my daily workout in.” BEFORE CLIMBING INTO BED?! Honestly, I thought that was the funniest line in this entire episode. Arch, just #gettingitin before bed. And speaking of getting it in — sorry — now it’s Varchie’s turn to listen to a bed squeaking. (One question about that: That house is huge. If you can hear one another having sex through a wall, why not, I don’t know, MOVE ROOMS?!)
The next morning, Archie’s daily wood chopping session is interrupted when André texts him. But because Archie has the intelligence of, well, Archie, he doesn’t realize that Veronica’s watching him. She follows him into the woods, discovers André, and then storms off to grab Betty and have a girl day in town. Their girl day consists of buying a candle from a cashier named Cassidy at the local store, but sure, seems fun-adjacent. (Next: Hiram makes another big move)
As for Archie, he spends the day hanging out with Jug and talking about the one time their girlfriends kissed during cheerleading tryouts. (It’s never been more apparent that these guys are teens than in this episode.) Archie does take the opportunity to apologize to Jug about the kiss, but he swears he’s all good. When it comes to the four of them, it’s a miracle they’re so close. As Jug puts it, the four of them are in a powder keg…one match and they’d all blow up. (Well, I guess we can expect them blowing up to happen sometime soon.)
By the time the girls return to the cabin, Veronica forgives Archie, and I swear this episode has the most smiling of any episode thus far in the series. I didn’t know these teens had teeth! But it all stops when Jughead gets a call that the Serpents don’t have to leave the trailer park…because Hiram bought it. Naturally, this sends Jughead into an angry panic where he screams about Hiram’s “tactics” to Veronica. But once Archie convinces him to “take the win, bro,” they all come back together for a fun game of Monopoly. And what’s a game of Monopoly without a real-life robbery, right?!
After Betty’s mom calls with the update that Hiram also bought the Riverdale Register — and Archie once again shows us how clueless he is when he doesn’t think buying the only newspaper in town is a big deal — the powder keg explodes. Everyone’s yelling at everyone! Veronica calls Betty out for her sexual role playing! And then it all stops when the cashier from the store in town shows up with some buddies and some ski masks to rob V!
With an ax and a bat in hand, they break into the house. Archie thankfully doesn’t try to fight them, and ultimately, it’s V who saves the day. When she goes to grab her purse, she hits a silent alarm. On the way out, the guy steals V’s necklace, and that’s when Vigilante Archie shows up. (No! I thought we’d gotten rid of him!) Archie chases after the guy, tackles him in the woods, and then leaves him to André…who shoots him. Aaaaand that’s the end of the lake house.
Back in Riverdale, the core four sit around a booth at Pop’s and make amends purely by putting their hands together like they’re the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Archie then pays Hiram a visit, where Hiram asks if Archie is upset that André killed the kid. But Archie’s only response is how he regrets that he wasn’t the one who shot the Black Hood. The lesson? Never hesitate, Hiram says, before handing Archie Veronica’s necklace. So does that mean Hiram staged this whole thing to test Archie?! I’m confused!
Then there’s Jug, who takes Betty home and warns her that there’s more than one kind of home invasion. In other words, Chic is a home invader, you’re not safe, and Jug is totally fine leaving you there alone!
Okay, while all of that was happening, the rest of Riverdale went to see Love, Simon. (Have you heard of Love, Simon?! Because you’re going to get to watch a little bit of it in this episode of RIVERDALE.) First, there’s Josie and Kevin, who meet up and forge a friendship about the fact that their parents are hooking up and ruining marriages. (Josie’s clearly never seen Sheriff Keller shirtless if she’s questioning her mother’s judgment.) Then there’s Toni and Cheryl, who form an unexpected friendship that ends with Cheryl confiding in Toni at Pop’s after the movie. Thanks to Simon’s journey, Cheryl has been inspired to share hers. Cheryl tells Toni that everyone might think she’s loveless but she was in love once, before her mother destroyed it. Her name was Heather, and she was Cheryl’s best friend in junior high. But the moment Penelope caught Cheryl and Heather in bed together, she told her daughter that she was “deviant.” But Toni’s here to let Cheryl know that the only thing she is is “sensational.” And cue the hand hold and cue the romance.
I’m not entirely sure what to say at this point. This episode was strange. Some of the lake house stuff was fun…until the robbery. Then there’s all the in-your-face Love, Simon promotion. So I guess what I’m saying is: Welcome back to Riverdale, where you never know just how bonkers things are going to get.