Riverdale: Let me hit you with that pep rally

It’s only episode 2 and I already hate Jughead’s melodramatic narrations. I get he’s going for an “In Cold Blood” feel, but Truman Capote he isn’t. Give this man his hamburgers instead!

Archie texts Betty to check on her but she is still upset he rejected her and is all, “New phone, who dis?” Archie thinks about the time he hooked up with Ms. Grundy and runs to her house to talk about how they need to tell the police about the gunshot they heard on the day Jason died. While shirtless.


Ms. Grundy protests that if they come forward now, they will both go to jail. No, Ms. Grundy.  Providing information for an ongoing investigation does not send you to jail. Having sex with a minor does.

Anyway, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper tell Betty that they’re going to be working late nights because they’re working on Jason’s case. Mrs. Cooper warns Betty to stay away from “evil” people like Cheryl and Veronica and Betty, still upset from the dance, adds Archie to the list. However, she still shows up at his door to walk to school together.

Betty tells Archie that they can be friends again, but just not in front of her mom, who is weirdly obsessed with hating the Blossoms and anyone who remotely looks like them. Betty also forgives Veronica, but only so Veronica will stop sending her roses or cupcakes from Magnolia bakery at school.

Jesus, Veronica is putting a lot of effort to win back Betty’s friendship. These are the kinds of gestures people do in romantic relationships to win forgiveness.

Principal Weatherbee announces over the P.A. system that school pep rally will continue as schedules and Sheriff Keller announces that Jason’s death has been ruled as a homicide and asks any student with information to come forward. This causes a crisis of conscience in Archie so when lab partners are assigned in science class, he makes sure he’s paired up with Cheryl to check if anyone else came in with a lead. Also, we learn that Jughead and Archie were supposed to go on a road trip 4th of July weekend but then Archie bailed and I think that’s the reason their friendship fell apart.

Jughead has stricter travel cancellation polices than Delta Airlines.

After class, Betty, Veronica, and Kevin gossip how Moose is still after Kevin even though he’s dating Midge. Archie plays them his latest song, but it’s not “Sugar, Sugar” so I don’t care and neither should you. Betty gets upset because Archie sang a love song and she realizes it will never be about her. She runs away and cries.

Archie tries to go after Betty but Principal Weatherbee intercepts him. He tells Archie that he has been acting strangely and if he knows anything about Jason’s death, he should come forward. Archie checks with Ms. Grundy to make sure it’s okay that he does and asks if their attraction is real or all in his head. “It is real. Maybe it’s not right, but it’s real,” she tells him.

They almost kiss and Jughead sees them through the classroom window.

At cheerleading practice, the girls practice their pep rally routine, which includes some sad twerking. Cheryl tells the team that the whole town will be watching so they need to be extra peppy so no one pities Cheryl for her brother’s death. Cheryl decides to call in Josie and The Pussycats to be the backing band for their routine. Privately, Veronica tells Betty that it’s psychotic that Cheryl is coping with her grief by obsessing over dumb high school stuff. Betty shoots back that it’s psychotic to try to set up a new friend with her crush and then make out with said friend’s crush at a party. Veronica is hurt that Betty still holds a grudge even after the roses and cupcakes.

“It is not my fault he doesn’t like you,” she tells Betty. “Romeo and Juliet are the exception,  not the rule.”

Nevertheless, Betty is still pissed and invites Cheryl to mani-pedis after school with Veronica’s gift certificate. Having nothing better to do, Veronica goes to Pop’s to watch her mom work as a waitress. “I’m going for this Joan Crawford ‘Mildred Pierce’ thing,” says Hermione.

Now we know where Veronica gets her pretentious literary references from.

Archie stops by Pop’s to pick up an order and walks Veronica home. They talk about how Betty is still not speaking to them, which upsets Veronica more than Archie. “I thought we were meant to be best friends. Like it was destiny,” Veronica tells Archie.

My God, she is really obsessed with Betty.

Luckily for her, Cheryl turns out to be the bitch we all knew she was. At the Cooper house, Cheryl and Betty are giving each other makeovers and Cheryl keep asking about Polly and her relationship with Jason. Betty realizes that Cheryl thinks Polly killed Jason and kicks her out of her house. Mrs. Cooper is not pleased that a Blossom was in her house and actually lights sage in Betty’s room to remove Cheryl’s presence.

Jughead waits for Archie outside the Andrews house and confronts him about Ms. Grundy. Archie admits to their “affair” and that they heard a gun shot by the river on the day Jason died. Jughead urges Archie to go to the police, pointing out that Ms. Grundy is only telling Archie not to come forward because she’s concerned with protecting herself.

If the waving of sage wasn’t enough, Betty realizes her mom is crazy when she compliments Betty for cutting out “poisonous people” like Cheryl and Veronica. Betty makes up with Veronica because now that she’s not speaking to Archie, she only has a Sassy Gay Friend and there’s only so many brunches and RuPaul Drag Race marathons she can take.

At school, Reggie shares his theories on who killed Jason and points to Jughead as suspect number one. He also mockingly asks Jughead if he “did stuff” with the body afterwards. Archie stands up for Jughead and gets into a fistfight with Reggie. I want to note that Reggie in this incarnation sucks even more than Reggie normally does. Reggie was never a totally likeable character but he never was this paper-thin jock stereotype who says obnoxious and borderline homophobic stuff all the time.

Fred Andrews sees Archie’s shiner from the fight and asks what happened. Archie tells his dad a long winded story without naming names about how he likes a girl and they need to do the right thing, even though it might be wrong. Fred tells Archie that if it’s the right thing, he should do it no matter what the girl says.

At the pep rally, Archie tells Ms. Grundy that he’s going to the police and he’ll try to leave her out of it. He also tells Jughead of his plan, much to Jughead’s approval. Archie asks if they are friends again. Jughead says it’s a matter to be discussed. “Over many burgers, over many days,” he says.


It’s time for the cheerleader’s routine and Josie and the Pussycats play an updated version of “Sugar, Sugar.” It’s very terrible. There is a rap segment in it, which says it all. But, they did the song and I suppose that’s what counts.

After the routine, Cheryl runs off because the pep rally brings up memories of Jason and she feels sad. Veronica and Betty chases after her and find her crying in the bathroom. “He was supposed to come back,” sobs Cheryl. Veronica and Betty don’t know what she’s talking about and assume she’s just hysterical from grief. Betty invites Veronica for a milkshake and at Pop’s, Veronica proposes they make a vow to never let a boy come between them again–other than Archie, of course.

Archie and Jughead join them at the booth and Jughead closes out with another dumb narration about how he’s the outsider and Archie is the perfect golden boy or whatever. Maybe if Jughead finally got his damn hamburger, he wouldn’t be angsting about how perfect Archie is.

In the morning, Archie goes to Weatherbee’s office to confess but Weatherbee and Sheriff Keller blow past him to get Cheryl. Cheryl admits she is guilty and it is revealed that Jason died a week after he disappeared.

The Real Archie Mysteries That I Want Solved:

  • Why did Betty tell her mom that she’s not friends with Archie when she is? I don’t understand.
  • Why do the jocks hate Jughead so much and mock him with lame pop culture references?
  • Is Reggie going to get a bigger role in this series? He’s been in the background so far.
  • When will Jughead get his burger?

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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