Riverdale: Four Subplots and a Funeral

I almost entitled this recap “Funeral Flowers in the Attic” because we got heavy really heavy on the Blossom family and their campy, possibly incestuous ways. They live in a Gothic mansion called “Thornhill” and the Blossom women appear to wander the mansion dressed in full length satin and lace nightgown and full make up. It’s too soon to talk spin-offs but I think I would watch a family saga soap opera featuring the Blossom family. If that ever happens, I want credit, CW!

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Mrs. Blossom tells Cheryl, who was sleeping in Jason’s bedroom because her obsession knows no bounds, that she is not allowed to give a eulogy at the funeral because the Blossoms don’t want Cheryl to embarrass them any further. Cheryl tried to help Jason fake his death, lied to the police about it, and is way too obsessed with pep rallies. The family can’t stand any more shame.

Meanwhile, Archie boxes in his room to help with his football practice.

At school, Kevin, Jughead, and Betty recreate the “Who Killed Jason?” Board in the newsroom but important files were stolen from the Keller house. Trev, some character who only exists for this episode, comes in to ask Betty if they are still on for their meeting. Jughead and Kevin to tease her and Betty insists she’s only gathering information about Jason’s case.

Archie told his dad that he’s giving up music to focus on getting a football scholarship, but so far, Archie isn’t even good enough for the Texas A&M Aggies. HEY-YOOOOOO! I’m from Texas and my sister went to Texas Tech so that was a pretty major burn. No Texas fans? Okay, let’s look at a some butts and move on.

Coach threatens to replace Reggie as team captain if Archie doesn’t shape up. He gives Archie a week to get it together and Reggie becomes excited that the prospect of more screen time. I feel so sorry for Reggie in this incarnation. He’s been pushed in the background and has no personality, despite being a major Archie character.  I guess I have to watch Archie’s Weird Mysteries to see the Reggie I love to hate.

Fred stops by Pop’s tell to Hermione that he’s worried about Archie and asks her for a date. Hermione turns him down because they’re both still married and he’s got Molly Ringwald and she can’t compete with that. Fred is bummed; he thought the night at the drive-in meant something.

The gang asks Archie how he’s doing in a PG AKA Post Grundy world. They are concerned he is throwing himself into football because music reminds him too much of his ex-girlfriend/sexual predator. Valerie from the Pussycats comes up to Archie and gives him the number a music mentor to work with. Mr. Music Mentor was a professional songwriter, is a professor at a music program, and knows it’s wrong to get involved with underage students. He’s perfect!

Cheryl approaches the group to invite them to Jason’s memorial, even Veronica. I think she only got an invitation so Cheryl could make a crack about how the Lodges steal everything. Veronica asks Cheryl if they can be friends and as a peace offering, Cheryl invites Veronica to sleep over the night before Jason’s funeral.

Archie meets with Mr. Music Mentor, who is not impressed with Archie’s sudden interest in music, his cheesy material, and almost total lack of experience. He doesn’t even have sheet music! Luckily, Valerie comes by his house to help him out. Fred is glad to see his son found an age appropriate love interest.

Betty meets with Trev, who gives the dirt on Jason. He explains that after Jason got together with Polly, he started acting secretive and selling off his possessions. There were even rumors that he was selling drugs. Polly goes to her father and as they fix up a car (Love that they kept that character trait, btw), she asks for the truth about Polly and Jason. Mr. Cooper claims that Jason and Polly had a major fight that devastated Polly so much that she tried to kill herself. Jughead and Betty  decide they need more information and agree to go to use Jason’s funeral as an opportunity to snoop for clues.

Meanwhile, at football practice, Archie has to resort to writing the plays on his arm to remember what to do.

Archie gets slammed and injures himself and has to be sent to the nurse. Veronica passes him on her way to Vixens practices and scolds him for injuring his guitar hand. Archie laments he can’t balance sports and music. “How did Troy Bolton do this?” he asks.

Meanwhile, Cheryl overhears her parents and Sheriff Keller discuss the break-in at Keller’s house. The Blossoms think Jason’s murderer must be someone who has a grudge against their family AKA the Lodges. Cheryl thinks it’s ridiculous that they are using the funeral as an excuse to investigate the Lodges and accuses of them of being just as manipulative as she is. This indignation doesn’t make any sense to me but the writers have decided that Cheryl is going to be nice to Veronica in this episode so let’s roll with it.

Veronica has dinner with the Blossoms, who are all dressed like they are from the 1900s. Their conversation topics are also from the 1900s too! Mr. Blossom lectures Veronica on Riverdale history and how the town was founded on the maple syrup business. He also makes snide comments about her shady father and his prison sentence. It’s basically the worst dinner ever and not just because they served maple ham, which is disgusting by the way.

Hermione closes up Pop’s and notices a mysterious package on the floor. She screams when she opens it.

Hermione calls Fred to help dispose of the snake and admits that Hiram owes the South Side Serpents money.

Back at Thornhill, Cheryl and Veronica are finally bonding and I suspect satin nightgowns have something to do with it. They look at old photos of Jason, whom Veronica says was handsome. No insult to the actor, but Jason was a generic pretty boy with a bad dye job so I can’t understand why everyone is fawning over him. #DoBetter, everyone. Cheryl explains she needs to give Jason’s eulogy because it’s her chance to set the rumors straight. Veronica offers her support, elder Blossoms be damned.

The day of the funeral, the Blossoms act weirder than usual. Mrs. Blossom accuses Hermione of only coming to the funeral to gloat about Jason’s death and pets Archie’s hair when he gives her Jason’s old jersey. Important sidenotes: 1) Betty looks just like January Jones with her hair down and it’s uncanny and 2) How disrespectful is it that Archie showed up to a goddamn funeral in a letterman jacket? Jughead is homeless and he scrounged up a dark suit.

Anyway, I thought we weren’t going to do a Petty Level rating in this episode because Mrs. Cooper is gone but then Cheryl enters dressed in the same all white outfit she wore on the day of Jason’s disappearance.

The only thing better than Cheryl’s achievement in pettiness is everyone’s reaction to it:

For her eulogy, Cheryl tells a story how Jasons convinced her not to have separate birthday parties to cover up the fact that no one would come to hers. Jason protected Cheryl and her main regret is that she didn’t protect him too. Then she cries and apologizes to the casket and Mrs. Blossom is all, “Food in the next room! Let’s eat y’all!”

But the drama just continues! Fred offers Hermione the bookkeeping job at his company so he can keep her safe from the Serpents and actually sniffs her hair when she hugs him. Then, Betty and Jughead poke around Jason’s room and are caught by Grandmother Blossom. Luckily, Grandma Blossom has dementia and thinks Betty is Polly. She asks why Polly isn’t wearing her engagement ring and sighs how hard it must be to lose her fiance.

Archie sulks about his bad songs but Valerie gives him a pep talk to keep moving forward. The two are later seen having eye sex at the end of the episode. Again, I’m really happy Archie has an age appropriate love interest. Coach is impressed with Archie giving Jason’s jersey to the Blossom family and offers to let him stay as captain. Archie turns it down to focus on music.

Meanwhile, Betty reveals to her dad what she learns and demands to know why her family hates the Blossoms. Mr. Cooper explains that Cheryl’s great-grandfather murdered Betty’s great-grandfather to get control of the maple business. “Full offense, but that’s the dumbest reason I have ever heard,” says Betty. She demands to see Polly but Mr. Cooper refuses. She and Jughead agree that the Coopers are acting suspicious and they need to track down Polly.

Veronica and Hermione dish about how crazy the Blossoms are and how lucky they are to have each other. Hermione admits the South Side Serpents thing and Veronica begins to wonder if it would be so bad to be in the Blossom family after all.

Well, considering that the family’s got a creepy private graveyard in the back, I would say yes.

The real Archie’s mysteries I want solved:

  • It’s been five episodes. Where are Jughead’s burgers?
  • When are they going to treat Reggie’s character right?
  • So where has Mrs. Andrews been all this time? Putting out another jazz album?
  • Why does Grandma Blossom only have one red streak in her hair? Why not dye the whole head?

Susan Velazquez

Susan is a recent college grad and writer who enjoys all things from the 1980s, snarking on dumb television, and reveling in celebrity gossip. Oh, and she has serious interests like reading historical fiction, getting involved in social issues, and consuming French fries.

TV Show: Riverdale

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