Welcome to my favorite episode of the season thus far! I loved the format of this hour — the way the episode was divided into character chapters — and I loved the chapters themselves. By focusing in on one story at a time, we really got to explore certain plots in new ways. Honestly, I’d love if every week were formatted this way. Let’s get into it.
Archie & Jughead
The first chapter takes us on the road with the two young men who have been walking for days in constant fear that Hiram Lodge might catch up to them. If they’re so worried about Hiram catching up, might I suggest they do something other than WALK?! What do you want to bet they’re only like 50 miles outside of Riverdale, max?
They stop at a payphone so Jug can update Betty, but when she doesn’t pick up, Arch suggests Jug go back. But as Jug reminds him, Betty once took down a serial killer and Archie can’t go five minutes without being kidnapped, which is a solid point. And speaking of Archie’s tendency for dumb ideas, he finds a farm where he suggests they bunk for the night. Within minutes of walking onto the property, a young girl pulls a rifle on them. They introduce themselves as Cal and Biff from Centerville — obviously, Archie is Biff, Jug could never pull that one off. They meet Laurie Lake and Gracie, the girl with the gun. “Biff” claims they were robbed on the train, so Laurie offers them some dinner.
Over dinner, it’s clear that Laurie likes her some Biff, so she suggests the boys spend the night in the barn. She says they can repay her with farm work the next day, and seeing as how Archie is a teenage boy and Laurie is hot, he agrees, despite Jug’s objections. The next morning, Archie is moving bales of hay without a shirt on — you can’t expect him to wear clothes for this! — when Jug decides to head into town to take some pictures.
Jug, still a little suspicious over the lack of people at the farm, finds out that the town is also strangely empty. The town of Athens is covered in G&G symbols, and there are no men to be found. According to a homeless woman, the introduction of fizzle rocks changed the town, and now, all the man have left to work on building a prison where they’ll make fizzle rocks. Those men? They work for the “Man in Black,” otherwise known as Hiram Lodge. So to connect the dots for you, Hiram’s prison will be used to make fizzle rocks, which are directly connected to G&G.
Realizing that Laurie and Gracie’s father works for Hiram, Jug rushes home, but he’s already too late. After Laurie gave Archie a quick shave — a totally normal thing to do — and briefly made out with him, Archie pulled an Archie and stupidly told her his true name and the fact that he’s running from Hiram Lodge. So naturally, Laurie knocked him out, tied him up, and called Hiram. Laurie’s hoping that Hiram will exchange her father and brother for Archie, and Hiram agrees.
But don’t worry! Jug gets back in time to untie Archie, but instead of running, Archie wants to stay and fight. THIS KID. For some reason, dumb Archie thinks he can kill Hiram with hedge clippers despite the fact that Laurie and Gracie have rifles and also despite the fact that HIRAM IS STILL VERONICA’S FATHER. Thankfully, Jughead remembers to play the Veronica card before it’s too late, so the two of them take off before Hiram can find them. (Special shout-out to Jug for running without losing the shirt tied around his waist. That takes skill. Either that or it’s permanently attached to him.)
Once they escape that situation, Jug comes up with an idea: They’re going to see Jug’s mom. And so, they hit the road once again. (Next: Betty meets the Gargoyle King)