By Samantha Highfill
January 20, 2021 at 09:01 PM EST
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Riverdale
Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

Honestly, if you expected anything other than beautiful dresses and utter chaos from Riverdale's prom, you haven't been paying attention. Although I do think this is the most chaos we've gotten in a season premiere, mostly because the show carried over prom and graduation, which they had originally planned for the end of season 4. Either way, let's get into it!

Little reminder: The Big Mysterious Bad we're currently dealing with is called the Auteur, officially the most pretentious villain name of all time. Now, he's upped his game from sending videotapes of people's homes to full-blown reenactments. Or, at least, enactments. In the most recent video, a group of people wearing masks of Archie and co. can be seen killing "Mr. Honey." (That was the subject of Jughead's short story.) But it's important to note that the real Mr. Honey is alive.

Still working with Charles — and for some reason fully trusting him — Jughead and Betty decide all roads lead to Blue Velvet Video, and specifically, David, the guy who works there. But David claims not to know anything about the ticket stubs that the FBI found, so Betty decides to accuse the front office lady at the high school of making the tape? Bold move. In high school, I was terrified of everyone in that front office, though for very different — read: normal teen — reasons.

While in the front office, Betty runs into Mr. Weatherbee, who's back to sum up how everyone's been feeling in quarantine: He says he's doing better because "I make it through most nights without waking up screaming." Who thought I'd relate most to Mr. Weatherbee on this show?

Running out of ideas, Jughead and Betty decide to go see Brett. And with the threat of Jughead's buddy War Baby paying Brett a visit, he shares the info that David runs underground screenings, but in order to attend them, you have to prove you're the real deal. His idea: Bring David a snuff film to impress him.

Of course, Betty and Jug can't actually kill someone, so they enlist Cheryl and Reggie to help them stage a snuff film. But when Betty and Kevin — David would recognize Jug — give it to David, he instantly knows it's a fake. So it's a good thing Betty brought a back up: The video of her father, the Black Hood, as a child. David loves it, and they score an invite to the next screening/festival/rave. (I'd also like to address that David watched what he thought was a real snuff film at the front counter of the video store in broad daylight with the volume up! Your screenings are top secret, so clearly you realize this isn't something everyone should see you doing?!)

Cut to the screening, and Betty sneaks Jug in through the backdoor. Their plan? To find the room where the Auteur's film is playing and ... unmask a stranger hoping it's their person? Honestly, if it was so difficult to get into this place, you'd think these two would think through a plan before arriving. But alas, they don't, and Jughead starts a fight before they spot someone in an owl mask and just decide that's definitely their guy? But they lose the owl mask when they bump into Jellybean and Jug has to switch to "protective brother" mode.

They take Jellybean to Pop's, where she mentions her friend found out about the rave from her brother who is on an email list? All I know is that email list will probably come back into play.

And that's the last we hear of the Auteur until prom. But first, let's not forget what Archie and Veronica are up to this week, which is: Getting Archie into the Naval Academy! But after the tour of Archie's community center doesn't impress, Veronica acts quickly, realizing they have to shift the conversation to Archie's best asset if he has any chance of getting in. And we're talking about his abs, obviously.

Apparently, it's down to Archie and one other candidate, and they're battling it out for the final spot. So, Veronica suggests a boxing match, because that's a thing that would happen. His opponent? K.O. Kelly, a.k.a. Katy Keene's boyfriend.

While Cheryl and Toni campaign to be prom queens — it's Cheryl's dream, obviously — Veronica introduces Archie and K.O., at which point Archie says "I'm bigger than I look, bro." BRO. Oh, Archie, you've never looked so small. And, twist, K.O. is staying at Archie's house? And sleeping on the floor of his room?! Why did these two have to bond so closely before fighting it out?

Before their big fight — but after an absurd gym competition — they all head to Veronica's speakeasy for a night out. And here's where things get REAL uncomfortable. To surprise Archie, Veronica starts singing the song she found in his bedroom. IT'S THE LOVE SONG HE WROTE FOR BETTY. What you're hearing now is the screams of thousands of shippers.

In other not-great couple news, Cheryl desperately wants to meet Toni's family before prom, but Toni pushes back. She's out to her grandparents, but Toni knows they're not ready for that. So when Cheryl goes over and meets them on her own, things come to a head. Turns out, their problem isn't with Cheryl being a woman. It's with Cheryl being a Blossom. And now, Toni's family doesn't want her so much as going to prom with Cheryl.

At Archie's boxing match, the two teens show off their adorable little robes before their fight comes down to the judges' decision ... and Archie loses. But when the Naval Academy guy says he'd like to stay in touch and maybe Archie could apply again in the fall, Archie says no thanks and storms off. This is why teens (and their hormones) shouldn't be allowed to make major life decisions!

And that gets us to prom! The good news is that Toni shows up, everyone looks great, and Hiram offers Archie a deputy mayor position. Actually, that last one probably isn't good. I will say I loved Betty's pink dress. With her hair down, I was getting major pilot flashbacks.

Speaking of the pilot, remember when Betty loved Archie? Okay, now remember when they kissed last season? Because that's about to become extremely relevant. On the dance floor, Veronica goes temporarily insane and suggests she defer school for a year to work with Archie. Archie, refusing to hold her back, tells her about the kiss with Betty.

After Cheryl and Toni are named prom queens — and Cheryl grabs Toni's ass all over the dance floor in a true power move — prom is interrupted. The lights go out, and a video starts to play. As "Psycho Killer" plays over the speakers, the video shows a group of people in their Archie and co. masks killing someone named David. Betty and Jughead shut it down and run off to see if the real David's still alive. Meanwhile, I'd like to know what was up with all the kids who started dancing while the video was on? Were they in on it or did they legit think that was a fun moment to start grinding??

At the end of the night, Toni tells Cheryl that although she chose her tonight, she has to be back home by midnight. Toni's sure they'll be able to work it out, but her family just needs some time.

As for Archie and Veronica, they agree not to tell Jughead about the kiss. No need to blow that relationship up too. Veronica, being incredibly reasonable about it, says there shouldn't be any big drama. They'll get to graduation and go their separate ways. She then cries on his shoulder in what might be the sweetest breakup scene I've ever seen. (Although considering Hiram overhears Veronica telling her mom about what happened, I'm guessing it won't remain a sweet and civil situation.)

The episode ends with Charles putting out an APB for David, and Archie coming home to a videotape on his doorstep. This one's a reenactment of the Black Hood putting a gun to Archie's head. So now we're going back into the crime archives?

And there you have it, Riverdale is back! I'd imagine the next couple of episodes, before the time jump, are going to be full of relationship (and Auteur) drama, and I say: Bring it on!

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