I hope you all got your fill of summer vacation because it’s once again time for these kids to pretend like they attend school and/or study! With one day of summer left, Jughead fills us in on how the past weeks have gone: Basically, since Fred’s death, the core four have spent every day together helping Archie grieve and attempt to move forward. And now, on their last night before the school year, they’re hanging out at Veronica’s place — where there are no parents anywhere despite everyone here being a child — and reminiscing about how they suck as reminiscing.
And apparently, getting sentimental makes Betty horny because she starts passionately making out with Jughead while Veronica and Archie are still in the room!!! The couples then break off into separate rooms — Varchie gets the bedroom, Bughead gets the couch — to have sex. Again, these are teens, breaking off to have sex and then oversleeping HIGH SCHOOL the next morning because they’re entirely unsupervised. But at least we learned something useful during the sex montage: The most impressive thing Archie’s ever done is unhooking a bra strap with one hand.
The next morning, as the core four run into school late, they meet their new principal. Weatherbee is out, and Mr. Honey (played by Kerr Smith!) is in … so we went from a bee to honey. Get it? And it seems Mr. Honey is more sticky than sweet because he is NOT okay with their tardiness.
At school, Archie invites Mad Dog — who goes by Monroe now — to join the Bulldogs, a move that royally pisses off Team Captain Reggie, mostly because Monroe makes Reggie look bad at practice, and Reggie’s abusive father watches every practice. Long story short, Veronica tells Archie about Reggie’s dad, Archie confronts him during practice one day, and then Reggie takes matters into his own hands and takes a baseball bat to his dad’s car windshield. Apparently, it works and they end up talking out their problems? That seems highly suspicious but whatever. 20 bucks says Reggie murdered his father because there’s no way a man who hit his son for dropping a football was willing to chat after his son destroyed his car.
Elsewhere at school, Jughead is called to the principal’s office to meet Mr. Chipping, a teacher over at Stonewall Prep who served as a judge in a writing contest over the summer. It seems Jughead had submitted a short story, and even though it didn’t win, it left an impression on Mr. Chipping, who invites Jughead to switch schools. Jughead’s not interested, but when FP gets involved, he agrees to take a tour of the place.
The tour turns into Jughead sitting in on an English class where they discuss Moby Dick and Jughead is over the moon with the fact that everyone actually read the book. You know, just in case you were wondering what kind of education everyone at Riverdale High was getting, the answer is A BAD ONE. It’s Betty who ultimately tells Jughead he should transfer schools, so let’s take bets now: How creepy is this new school? Surely someone’s running a fight club/gambling ring/cult in the basement, right? No normal high school cafeteria has vegan, keto vegan, and raw keto vegan options. Plus, there’s the fact that we know Jughead goes missing come spring break, so there’s a chance his new schoolmates had something to do with it. (Most likely the ones on the raw keto vegan diet, tbh.)
As for Betty, she spends the episode plotting with Charles. It seems Alice missed another check-in with the FBI, and Betty’s worried. And when Kevin comes to her and tries to apologize for the way he treated her — dragging her into an operating room so Edgar could harvest her organs — Charles sees an opportunity. After he catches Betty reading classified information, he just decides to tell her everything — this guy is a truly terrible FBI agent — and explains that Kevin still texts with Fangs. But Fangs has refused to meet with him in person. So, Betty pretends to forgive Kevin and tells him some fake information about how the FBI has found someone to testify against the Farm, and just like that, Fangs meets with Kevin to get the intel. BUT the Farm won’t let Kevin back in unless he finds out the identity of the witness.
Of course, Betty quickly calls Kevin out on meeting with Fangs, and together with Charles, she interrogates him. But when Kevin claims he was lonely all summer and Fangs was the only person who texted him back, Betty believes him. She then goes against Charles’ advice — because a high schooler knows better than an FBI agent, clearly — and tells Kevin the truth about her mom being an informant. She then asks Kevin to help her find out where the Farm is hiding. She believes that if Kevin tells Fangs that Penelope Blossom is the informant, they’ll give him that information.
And it works! Fangs takes Kevin to the Farm’s new digs at an abandoned motel, and though he didn’t see Alice, he did see Edgar. And the man was armed (with more than a great vest).
In less exciting rivalries, Cheryl declares Mr. Honey her new enemy after he cancels the back-to-school dance because people were murdered at the last one, which honesty seems fair. Instead, Cheryl throws a back-to-school party, which is quickly broken up by the police after Mr. Honey calls in a noise complaint. Cut to Cheryl dropping a literal beehive on the new principal’s desk. As she told him earlier in the episode, “Your name may be honey, but I will always be the Queen Bee.” Honestly, Cheryl’s had better storylines. Like the fact that she’s clearly gone insane with the whole talking-to-her-brother’s-corpse thing!
Also butting heads with Mr. Honey? Veronica, who finds herself at the center of a media scandal when an article comes out claiming that she’s responsible for the crimes that put her father behind bars. And apparently, the paparazzi are allowed INSIDE the high school? That seems wrong. But with her parents’ court dates coming up, she’s being pushed to pick a side and release a statement. After visiting Hiram in jail and asking why he leaked the story about her crimes — because he’s evil, duh — she makes a decision: She’s going to change her last name to Gomez, her mother’s maiden name, and she’s going to release a statement to the press … but only after forcing them all to sit through a performance of “All That Jazz”???
In what is truly one of the most random things this show has ever done, Veronica invites the press to her club for a press conference, which comes after a “special performance.” She then takes the stage with Toni and Cheryl and performs “All That Jazz” for no apparent reason?? I mean, it’s a great performance but WHY?
At the press conference, she admits to doing everything the article said she did, but she says she did it under duress. She claims Hiram threatened her. As for which parent she supports in the upcoming trials? “Neither of them,” she says. “From this day forward I stand only with, and for, myself.”
As for the episode overall, I thought it was fine. Some stories worked better than others, but we can only ignore the lack of guardians in this town for so long…
- Watch Veronica cover ‘All That Jazz’ in Riverdale sneak peek
- The story behind Riverdale season 4 premiere’s Luke Perry tribute and Shannen Doherty’s cameo
- Riverdale recap: A heartfelt farewell to Luke Perry’s Fred
- Riverdale cast says Luke Perry tribute premiere was ‘most important thing that we had to do’