Riverdale: The sexy cabin in the woods

Welcome back to Riverdale, everyone! This winter hiatus has been killing me. We’ve still got a murder victim to identify, SoDale gentrification to fight, and burgers to get to Jughead.

Seriously, when was the last time that kid got a burger?

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Anyway, Betty is realizing how much it sucks to have Chick around the house. Not because he’s a shady dude who made Alice kill a guy, but because he’s doing typical, annoying brother stuff. You know: using her shower instead of his, drinking OJ straight from the jug, and creepily watching her eat.

Betty isn’t the only Riverdale resident unhappy with her home life. Cheryl is still annoyed her mother is a Pretty Woman, and Penelope is annoyed that Cheryl took away her shot at love with a good man. Cheryl scoffs. Hal, a good man?

Penelope tells Cheryl that she’s a spiteful emotional anorexic in this very scary voice, and then sweetly tells her to have a good day at school. Man, Cheryl should burn down the guest house with Penelope in it and get herself emancipated or something. The Blossom family sucks and she can do better. Side note: Madeline Petsch is pretty good actress for this CW soap opera. I spotted those tears welling up in her eyes during Penelope’s emotional abuse. I believe people who can cry on cue have some sort of superpower and should be respected and feared. Anyway, Hiram tells Archie and Veronica that he and Hermione won’t be able to go to the Lodge lodge (get it? Side note: Veronica also makes this pun in the episode), and offers it to the teens as a romantic getaway. What? These people are supposed to be teenagers, Hiram. Why on earth would you tell them, “Here, take the sexy keys to the sexy cabin and have a sexy time?” Veronica even insists on no chaperones and Hiram is cool with it. He even suggests inviting Betty and Jughead along!

Hiram pulls Archie aside and tells him that while the kids are away, the Mafia will play. Hiram is hosting a meeting with the New York families and he wants to keep Veronica out of town for her safety. He also tells Archie that Andre, that super hot driver, will be on standby, but not to tell Veronica.

At school, Kevin asks Moose to go see Love, Simon, the 2018 rom-com featuring a gay teen in the lead. I wonder how much that movie paid the Riverdale writers to make it a significant plot point here. Moose is already going with his girlfriend Midge, but says Kevin can come along. Midge is “open-minded” and knows about his hook ups with Kevin. Kevin still turns the invite down; he doesn’t want to be a third wheel.

Cheryl has no such qualms and tries to invite herself along to the Lodge lodge getaway, but Veronica firmly tells Cheryl that it’s couples only. Jughead is surprisingly eager to go on this love-dovey weekend trip and Betty pulls him aside to call him out on it. Jughead admits that he wants to interrogate Veronica for his expose on Hiram. Mr. Jughead is looking for new apartments, but Jughead hopes that a hard-hitting article in the school paper can be what he needs to save the trailer park.

“Can you please not investigate my best friend when she’s invited us to her family’s cabin?” asks Betty. Jughead agrees and picks her up at Casa Cooper. He meets Chick, who’s gotten much creepier lately. Chick knows that Jughead knows about the murder, and warns that if Jughead tells anyone what happened, it’ll be bad for Betty and Alice. This is technically true—Betty and Alice would certainly get in trouble for both the murder and trying to cover it up—but it feels like Chick is threatening to ruin the Cooper women too.

Thankfully, Betty and Jughead get away from Creepy Chick and head off to the admittedly gorgeous Lodge lodge. Veronica orders Andre not to come back until Sunday, but privately, Andre reminds Archie that he’s on standby. Archie sees his gun and gets a little nervous, but heads to the cabin. Another side note: Archie’s friends are a bunch of jerks. They left Archie to take everyone’s bags inside. I know he’s the most ripped guy in the group, but come on, you can tote your own tote.

As everyone settles in, Cheryl calls Jughead and does what she does best: dropping bombshells. She tells Jughead about the Archie/Betty Christmas kiss and then hangs up. I live for this drama!

Toni, however, does not. She overheard Cheryl’s call and asks why she tried to blow up someone’s relatiosnhip for no reason. Toni does that condescending shoulder pat and offers to talk to Cheryl about her pain. Cheryl tells Toni to keep her “Sapphic Serphent” hands to herself.

Back at the cabin, Jughead is upset by this revelation. The couples retreat to their respective bedrooms to deal with the fallout. Archie worries if Jughead and Betty will break up. Veronica reminds Archie that they didn’t break up, so there’s hope for “Bughead.” She thanks Archie for trusting her to confess to the kiss almost immediately. “It’s us against the world,” she tells him before they start having sex.

Jughead and Betty aren’t so lucky, because they aren’t getting lucky. Jughead isn’t mad; he’s just disappointed. And surprisingly, very understanding! He senses Betty didn’t tell him because she was afraid he would be jealous of Archie. Jughead tells Betty that they’ve been through so much—hello! murder! mysteries!—that one kiss with Archie can’t ruin what they have. This tender moment is ruined by the sounds of the bed springs in the next room squeaking.

“Is that their response to everything?” jokes Jughead.

Tensions defused, the teens chill with margaritas and Jughead tries to steer the convo to the Lodge business. Betty is embarrassed and shushes him. Veronica thinks they’re still fighting about the kiss, so she suggests getting into the hot tub to have fun. And as part of the fun, Veronica proposes that to make things even between the couples, she and Jughead should kiss. Jughead is very into it. A little too much, if you ask me. Jughead tries to make the case that in the future, he might try to use the Christmas kiss against Betty in a fight, but if they do a “Vughead” kiss (ugh, these kids and their ship names), now, then it could save “Bughead” in the future.

Veronica and Jughead kiss. Archie is jealous. Betty is uncomfortable.

But back in the bedroom, Betty is in a lighter mood. She teases that now Jughead and Archie need to kiss (cue the fanfic!) so that now everyone in their group can have swapped spit. As she changes from her shower, Betty asks Jughead if he liked the kiss. Jughead thinks Betty is picking a fight, but she’s actually setting up their foreplay. She comes out in her lingerie and janky wig and threatens to “punish” him if he did. She also says that she packed the lingerie to distract Jughead from grilling Veronica for his expose. “Consider me distracted,” he says.

Now the bed springs have turned. As Betty and Jughead get it on, Veronica and Archie get in a passive aggressive fight. Archie claims not to be jealous about the kiss, but does push-ups before bed and then claims to be too tired for sex. Veronica hears the bed springs squeaking in the next room and feels a little bummed. In the morning, she cheers up when she watches Archie chop wood in the forest. Archie gets a phone call, and he goes further into the woods to take it. Veronica gets suspicious, follows him, and finds Archie talking with Andre. She’s furious and tells Archie that she’s taking Betty into town because she wants space away from him.

Veronica and Betty go to the local general store and pick up some groceries. The cashier flirts with Veronica and she flirts back, but Betty reminds Veronica that fighting with Archie isn’t an excuse to be unfaithful. Veronica changes the subject, and she and Betty gossip about Betty’s sex life.

While the girls are away, Archie and Jughead talk. Jughead comments on how nice it is that they’re all so close, and for a moment there, I thought Jughead was angling for a four-way (cue the fanfic!). But then he darkly notes that their closeness makes them all a powder keg. “All it takes is one match and we’d all blow up,” he says.

The girls come back to the Lodge lodge and Veronica tells Archie that she forgives him if he promises to be loyal to her, not her dad. Jughead gets another call and Betty jokes that if it’s Cheryl, he should tell her that everyone has kissed everyone. But it’s not Cheryl dropping another bomb; it’s Mr. Jughead. He reports that Hiram bought the trailer park but is allowing the Serpents to stay. The Serpents are celebrating, but Jughead is suspicious. He turns on Veronica and accuses her father of trying to buy off the Serpents. Archie and Betty defend Veronica, pointing out that Hiram might be trying to make amends after Jughead’s first expose. “I know you love conspiracies, but take the win,” says Archie.

Back in Riverdale, Josie comes home to find Sheriff Keller and her mom, former Mayor McCoy (henceforth FMM) together, laughing and talking. FMM explains that she and Sheriff Keller are discussing security options for her new law firm. Josie is unhappy to see her mom and her boyfriend together, and when she finds out Mr. McCoy knows about the affair, she asks if her parents are getting divorced. Oh, weren’t they divorced already? I assumed so when Daddy McCoy rolled into town for his anti-disco visit. I wouldn’t want to be married to that douche bag.

Josie demands to know if Sheriff Keller is divorcing his wife. Good question. FMM admits that Sheriff Keller hasn’t told his wife or Kevin yet. She asks Josie to respect that.

Josie ignores her mother’s request and tells Kevin about their parents’ affair. He gets pissed at his dad and FMM gets pissed at Josie. Josie is pissed because her life has imploded. FMM shifts the blame to the Lodges, because if they hadn’t tried to blackmail her, then she and Sheriff Keller would still be knocking boots in secret and all this drama would be avoided. Josie realizes she hurt Kevin and should have stayed out it.

At Pop’s, Kevin is about to tuck into a burger when Moose and Midge come by. Midge invites him to join them. She asks if Kevin has a date for Love, Simon and offers to find him someone.

She suggests a Southside guy. Kevin says he doesn’t like Fang or Fogherty, the only other named characters. Moose says Fang is cute and Midge laughs, asking what he would know about cute guys. She asks how Moose and Kevin became friends. They make up a lie about being lab partners. Hmm. Seems like Midge isn’t “cool” if she doesn’t know how Moose and Kevin really know each other.

It seems like everyone is at the movie theater. How big is Riverdale, exactly? Vulture just did an article attempting to make sense of the small town’s geography, and this expansion doesn’t help either. Riverdale is so small that only one movie is shown at a time? I’m assuming it’s one movie because only Love, Simon is advertised at the movie theater. I went to college in a small town, and even the local theater had eight screens.

Josie sees Kevin at the screening and apologizes. Toni sees Cheryl, who’s also alone at the movies. Cheryl explains that she needed to get out of the house because Penelope has turned it into “her sexual play pen.”

We get a sneak peek of Love, Simon, where Jennifer Garner tells Simon that she loves him no matter what and she’s sad that he felt he had to hide his sexuality for so long. It’s not quite Michael Stuhlbarg’s monologue at the end of Call Me By Your Name, but it’s a nice scene. Afterwards at Pop’s, Cheryl cries as she tells Toni that everyone thinks she’s a loveless monster but she has feelings. “I loved someone who loved me, but my mother destroyed it,” she says. Toni thinks Cheryl is talking about Jason, but Cheryl is talking about her best friend from middle school, Heather. The two used to be super-close, but when Penelope found them sharing a bed together, she called Cheryl “deviant” and presumably kept the girls apart. Toni pats Cheryl’s hand, but it’s not condescending. Maybe it’s romantic? Perhaps there is a “Choni” in our future…

Also at Pop’s, the Kellers and the McCoys get together to work out how their possibly blended family might work.

Back at the Lodge lodge, the kids are playing Monopoly. Betty steps away to take a phone call. Archie and Betty wonder about Chick, and Jughead informs them that Chick is creepy. When Betty comes back, she’s upset. Hiram just bought her parents’ newspaper. She’s furious and demands to know if Veronica knew anything about it. The couples get in an argument with each other. Betty backs up Jughead on the Lodge conspiracies, and Veronica yells that she’s sick of Jughead’s vendetta against her family. Archie defends Veronica, and Jughead snaps that Veronica has him wrapped around her finger. “And other parts of her body,” snarks Betty.

Veronica shoots back that at least she and Archie don’t mope around and have to role play with costumes to get off.

Oh snap! I love these bombs being thrown around. The drama is amazing!

However, the drama turns dark when the teens hear a crashing sound and three masked men break into the house, carrying axes and baseball bats. The leader snarls about how the rich summer folks are always flashing cash that most townspeople don’t even make in a year. The leader demands Veronica’s wallet, which is in her room. Archie wants to go get it, but Veronica insists on going herself. The leader escorts Veronica to the room and when he’s not looking, she activates a silent button on the side of the drawer. She tells him that she knows he’s the cashier from the store and asks why he’s doing this.

He doesn’t answer, and when she gets the wallet, he escorts her back downstairs again. The other masked men want to leave, but the leader isn’t done with his power trip. He orders the teens to get on their knees and Archie gets a Black Hood PTSD flashback.

The leader makes to smash the coffee table (and maybe worse), but the sound of a ringing telephone interrupts him.

Veronica smugly informs them that’s the security company checking in and police are on their way. The would-be robbers make a break for it and against his friends’ protests, Archie chases after the leader. He tackles him in the woods. Andre appears and tells Archie to go back the cabin, and he’ll take it from here. Archie hesitates but obeys. On his way back, he hears a gunshot and Andre presumably shot the leader. Not to excuse the breaking and entering, but that seems like a pretty extreme fate for a townie who stole a wallet and a necklace.

The kids go back to Pop’s, where they make up. Veronica is relieved Andre stayed nearby, and thinks Archie didn’t catch up to the leader. Privately, Archie and Hiram debrief. Hiram asks Archie if it bothers him what Andre did. Archie says no. He regrets not killing the Black Hood when he had the chance, and he didn’t want to repeat the same mistake. “When it comes to protecting your loved ones, never hesitate,” says Hiram.

At Casa Cooper, Jughead drops Betty off and tells her to be careful around Chick. He tells Betty that sometimes home invaders aren’t random strangers breaking in, but people who were invited inside and turned out not to be trustworthy.

The Real Archie’s Weird Mysteries I Want Solved:

  • How did Cheryl get Jughead’s number? Are they even friends?
  • Why haven’t FMM and Mr. McCoy divorced earlier? It didn’t seem like a great marriage when he came around in that one episode. With him being away so much and him being such a douche about disco, I’m surprised FMM didn’t have an affair earlier.

Did Jughead get a burger?

No, but Kevin did.

Eat those feelings, kiddo. It gets better.

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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  • I liked that there was a good blend of “people making rational decisions” and “sometimes horny teens don’t make good decisions” this episode. It kept me on my toes.