Riverdale recap: Archie and Veronica take on Hiram... again
The Riverdale time jump was exciting for a number of reasons: It presented new mysteries, it gave us a few new characters, and most importantly, it gave us different versions of the characters we'd come to know. Suddenly, we were watching Betty and Archie figure out their relationship as adults. We were watching Toni basically run the town. But then... this week happened. And now I feel like I'm watching old Riverdale again?
The biggest story this week is that Riverdale High's football team sucks, so much so that Veronica offers the first Bulldog to score this season $10,000. Because that's how you teach teenagers great ethics! Veronica then gets Tabitha to agree to have Pop's sponsor the Bulldogs and throw a free pancake breakfast. She even gets Cheryl to promise to put on a show at the next game with the Vixens. And when Reggie delivers the news that the team is so bad that the commissioner wants them to withdraw from the league, Veronica makes a little wager with her father: Bulldogs vs. Stallions. If the Bulldogs score, he leaves them alone. If it's a shutout, they'll voluntarily withdraw from the league.
Can you all believe how much I just wrote about boring high school football stuff?! Neither can I! But it was the main thrust of this episode, because Veronica, once the She-Wolf of Wall Street, is apparently fulfilled by all of this? Please, that woman is so bored.
I'm going to sum the rest of this up as quickly as possible: Veronica finds a sale on teenagers, buys in bulk, and delivers Archie some new players! (None of that is true but where did she just find a bunch of football-loving teens?!) Then Cheryl sings "Stupid Love" while the one female on Archie's team scores. Also, Reggie is good again.
Elsewhere, Kevin is still struggling with everything. During a fake therapy session with Fangs and Cheryl, Kevin storms out after Fangs says he thinks Kevin is "ashamed" of being gay. But after a very misread moment with a stranger in a sauna leads to Kevin getting beaten up, he tells his dad the truth: He is ashamed. It seems there was a back-to-school shopping trip in his youth where his mom made some comments about how Kevin should dress, and it was that incident that first led Kevin to Fox Forest, even before he knew what it was used for. Now he's worried that cruising is hardwired into his DNA.
Cutting to Betty, things are not looking good for the Cooper family: Glenn calls to tell Betty that the blood on the phone booth matches Polly's (very rare) blood type. Betty, angry at Glenn for not coming to help, yells at the man who still has her cat, something she might want to keep in mind.
Betty then goes to Cheryl and asks if grieving Jason was easier once she knew the truth about what had happened to him. Cheryl says yes, but Betty still lies to her mom when she gets home. So that trip was pointless.
The next day, Betty ends up at Pop's, where Jughead has an idea. He takes her to visit the man he met who lives on the Lonely Highway, but Betty hears just a snippet of this guy's alien theory, and she's over it. As the camera cuts to a close-up on Betty's eyes, I have no idea what we're supposed to be interpreting, but I believe it's this: That darkness that she said was the reason she couldn't be with Archie? It's this look in her eye. Dark, right?
Betty then grabs her gun and heads to the truck stop, where she beats up the trucker she met earlier in the season. She's on the verge of shooting him when that darkness in her eye fades — I think. The camera was zoomed out at this point. Jughead calls and needs her help. His student, Lerman Logan — let that name sink in — is missing and believed to be on the Lonely Highway.
(Also, can I just say, "Lonely Highway" is the fanciest way to describe a two-lane road in a small town. Like, the kid is really just on Lee Street or something.)
Speaking of Lerman, he got Jug's attention earlier in the hour when he wrote a story about a kid held captive by mole people and then abducted by moth men. When Jug tried to talk to him about it, Lerman's parents requested he get a new teacher. (Is there another teacher? And if so, why is Jug still teaching?) Apparently, Lerman's parents didn't think it was appropriate for Jughead to ask a teen if anyone had ever TIED HIM UP. And they were right.
Betty finds Lerman on the Lonely Highway. Turns out he's a sleepwalker. And according to his parents, there was an entire week where he went missing that he can't account for. And now, Betty seems to be coming around a bit to the alien theory. So while she works on that, Glenn is going to work on Polly's case, because in the episode's final moments, he arrives, tells Alice the truth, and takes over the case. Also, WHERE IS BETTY'S CAT, DUDE?!
It seems we're quickly falling back into this show being Jug and Betty solving a mystery and Archie and Veronica doing something stupid that pisses off Hiram. I hope I'm wrong.