Aug 17, 2021
Riverdale: The Riverdale-ian Candidate
It’s party time in Riverdale–political party time, that is. This week’s episode focuses on small town politics, in both mayoral and high school elections. But first, we pick up right where last week’s episode left off, with Betty confronting Chick about his lack of Blossom/Cooper blood.
She takes the test results to Alice, expecting Alice to kick the impostor out, but it turns out Chick may not be an impostor. Alice reveals that Hal is not Chick’s father, although she refuses to admit who is. I still think something is up with Chick, given the creepy, smug smile he flashes at Betty behind Alice’s back.
Well, now we know what Mystery of the Week is going to occupy Betty’s time.
Now that Hal has sold the Register to Hiram, he’s now reporting on the Lodges, but now with a positive spin. He interviews Hermione about her mayoral campaign, and she claims the prison will boost the local economy. Hal asks Veronica if she has political ambitions too and points out the Riverdale High student body elections are coming up. Then… Andy Cohen shows up to proclaim Hermione an excellent candidate for some reason.
It’s too soon for Riverdale to have celebrity stunt casting like this, writers. Seriously though, I want to know how this conversation went: Did Andy Cohen ask to be on a show? Did the writers want some celebrity endorsement and they just let anyone with a talk show have a guest spot?
After the interview, Hermione tells Veronica to keep her head down at school and not draw any attention, like running for student elections. The family needs to let the prison controversy die down, but it’s still going strong at the Andrews household. Fred is unhappy that Archie is siding with the Lodges here, especially since Fred is severing all ties with SoDale and Lodge Industries.
At school, Jughead announces that he is going on a hunger strike to protest Lodge Industries. Archie scoffs at this, saying that Jughead is always eating. Lies! When’s the last time Jughead had a burger from Pop’s? Jughead practically never eats on this show. Regardless, the Archie gang takes Veronica’s side in this whole thing, saying it’s not her fault her parents are evil or whatever. Then Ethel shows up with a milkshake, and proclaims Veronica “guilty” of the same crimes as her parents. She splashes the milkshake in Veronica’s face.
Side note: when Veronica cleans up in the bathroom, she complains that Ethel splashed her with a milkshake from Pop’s, so Ethel drove over to the diner, bought the shake, and then took it to school all to publicly humiliate Veronica. That’s a new achievement in pettiness.
In the school hallway, Reggie makes fun of Veronica for the milkshake incident and for her parents wanting to run a prison. Like Betty, she curls her hand into an angry fist. Unlike Betty, she actually does something with it. She slugs Reggie and knocks him right out.
Veronica then decides that she’ll stand up for herself by running for student body president against Reggie. Jughead snarks, “Your parents are taking over Riverdale, so you want to take over the school?” But Archie and Betty are annoyingly supportive. Betty even agrees to be Veronica’s running mate.
Meanwhile, Toni has become a Vixen, so Cheryl announces to the “inner Vixens” that they’ll have a slumber party at her house to celebrate. They reenact the hairbrushing scene from Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” music video, and then Cheryl informs them that she’s worried that her mother and uncle are plotting to kill her. At first, the other girls think Cheryl is being hysterical, but then Betty hijacks the conversation to talk about how Chick is the evil in her house so she knows what Cheryl is talking about.
Later that night, Cheryl and Toni are in bed while the other plebeians sleep on the floor. Cheryl tells Toni that she wanted the two of them to be alone, but Cheryl knows her homophobic mother would get suspicious if it was just the two of them. Just as the two are about to kiss (#TeamChoni), they all hear an awful crash down the hall. They go down to investigate and find Nana Blossom at the bottom of the staircase.
Or was she pushed? Cheryl immediately suspects her mother and uncle, who seem a little disappointed that Nana Blossom survived the fall. Cheryl also notices that Claudius is wearing her father’s pajamas and is creeped out.
Hiram hears about Jughead’s hunger strike and is apparently threatened. He decides to move up the demolition of South Side High to the end of the week, and asks Archie to deliver the message. He and Jughead meet at Pop’s (where Jughead doesn’t eat anything, I might add) and Archie tries to justify his whole ordeal with the Black Hood as a reason why the prison is a good idea. Jughead snarks back, “You remember I was raised on the South Side, right?” He gives a big speech about how he wants Riverdale to be a home for his mother and sister Jellybean to return to, but they can’t, as long as Hiram Lodge is running things. Archie admits Fred is against the prison too, and Jughead is surprised Archie is going against his own father, especially considering that the Lodges are taking their sweet time ending their partnership with Fred.
Molly Ringwald, Teen Queen and Lawyer Extraordinaire, comes back into town to help Fred untangle these legal loopholes so he can end his business with the Lodges. “I’m sure Hiram will be fair,” says Archie. Fred and Molly scoff, pointing out that they’ve known Hiram a lot longer than Archie has. Privately, Molly tries to have a chat with Archie about Hiram, telling him that she wants to be sure that he’s not being “led astray.” Archie insists that everything is fine. God, he is so dumb.
Back at school, Veronica hosts a kissing/cupcake booth to win votes. Ethel snarks that Veronica may win over the boys this way, but she won’t get the pink vote. Veronica tries to get back in Ethel’s good graces by promising her dad a job at the prison. Veronica continues her campaign by asking Josie to be her celebrity endorsement by promising Josie a guest spot performing on Andy Cohen’s show. Josie gets excited and agrees. Am I just an old who’s out of touch, or do the kids today really like Andy Cohen and Watch What Happens Live? I went to go check out the show’s Wikipedia page, and it’s quite underdeveloped for something that’s been running for 14 seasons.
At Casa Cooper, Betty finds Kevin and Chick hanging out. Chick confronts Betty about the catfishing scheme she tried to pull, and Betty gets mad at Kevin for selling her out like this. Me too! Kevin has no sense of loyalty. I get it; he’s the openly gay kid in town, and his FWB isn’t dumping his girlfriend and he’s not allowed to go cruising in the woods, and Chick is the only other gay guy within a 100 mile radius, but that’s no excuse to betray a friend like this.
Betty has to take things into her own hands. In the middle of the night, she sneaks into Chick’s room and wakes him up by lighting a Zippo under his face. She tells him that she’s caught Clifford Blossom, and the Sugarman, and the Black Hood, and she’ll get him too. “I catch bad men,” she says. Unfortunately for Betty, her threat backfires in the morning when Chick tattles to mommy and Alice yells at Betty. Chick also shows Alice that janky black wig that Betty wears during sex with Jughead, and Alice stops being angry and just starts being horrified that her baby girl is doing the deed. Later, she awkwardly asks Betty if she and Jughead are being “safe”, and reminisces about how she too knows the allure of the Jones men. Betty quickly worries that Chick is Mr. Jughead’s son, but Alice shuts that theory down quickly.
Alice also tells Betty to be nice to Chick. She knows he’s weird and creepy, but Alice blames it on his tragic upbringing. Betty is still not convinced.
At school, Josie and Veronica host a mini-assembly to announce Josie’s endorsement. They then sing a song together, because any time Josie has screen time, she has to sing. As they duet, Ethel starts handing out flyers to the crowd, which have a picture of Veronica along with a listing of her various wrongs. The biggest one is that she had prior knowledge of the prison construction. The crowd turns against Veronica, and Betty is also horrified. She drops out as Veronica’s running mate.
Veronica is confused why Ethel would do this when they’ve made peace. Ethel snarks, “You mean your half-hearted bribe? Too little, too late.” As Veronica flees the scene crying, Josie joins Ethel. She was the one who gave Ethel the info about the prison. Josie wants revenge on behalf of her mom, and is willing to help take the Lodges down.
At the Lodge Penthouse, Hermione starts to scold Veronica abut running for election even though Hermione told her not to, but Veronica sobs that it’s unfair that everyone treats her like a criminal just because her parents are criminals. Well, you did just try to bribe several people to help your campaign, so…
Meanwhile, Jughead has rallied the teen Serpents to chain themselves to South Side High. The Serpents eventually take a break to get some food, so Mr. Jughead brings his son some burgers from Pop’s. Jughead breaks his fast (yes!) and the two have a heart to heart. Mr. Jughead tells his son that Hiram has offered to set aside low-income housing in SoDale, so maybe the Jones family can finally reunite. Jughead still insists on carrying on his protest to try to keep Riverdale from being corrupted.
Back at the Andrews house, the family is having its own heart to heart. After Archie accuses Fred of fighting the Lodges because he’s afraid to have a vision for Riverdale, Molly Ringwald, Teen Queen and Mother Extraordinaire, finally gives Archie a stern talking to about disrespecting Fred. She snaps, “Your father has a vision, one that doesn’t end with everyone working in a penal colony!” It’s amazing! Can Molly Ringwald stay every week and tell Archie what’s wrong with him?
Cheryl is at the hospital with Nana Blossom, and the doctor tells her that they found trace amounts of poisonous tannis root in Nana’s system. However, Penelope has already hand-waved this away by saying that Nana Blossom has a tendency to wander and eat inedible stuff, so they’re ignoring it. Cheryl tries to report this as elder abuse, but Penelope whisks her away. On the car ride home, Cheryl confronts Penelope about the attempted murder, but Penelope ignores her, saying that Cheryl is going mad and they have no choice but to send her away.
Back at Casa Cooper, Betty tries to call a truce with Chick by pointing out that she can tell the cops about the guy Alice killed for him. However, Chick points out that he didn’t touch the body, and he didn’t take the dead person’s cell phone, and he didn’t dump the dead person’s car… unlike some people.
Betty realizes she has been bested… for now.
Speaking of being bested, Jughead loses the battle against Hiram in this one, but maybe not the war. Hiram orders Archie to remove Jughead and his friends from their protest, and Archie agrees in exchange for Hiram letting Fred out of his contract. Jughead is disappointed that his friend has turned against him, but hopes social media coverage of the protest will continue the fight for him. Also, he’s running for student body president, and Betty will be his running mate. She’ll also being moving in with him, since she can’t stand to live with Chick. Similar to Jughead, Fred has decided to get involved with politics and has decided to run for mayor after all. Plus, Molly Ringwald will be staying to help with his campaign.
Yay! My favorite redhead is staying, but what about the other one? Toni goes looking for Cheryl, and Penelope claims Cheryl has been sent to boarding school. Toni knows something is wrong and she’s right: Cheryl is trapped at a rundown psychiatric hospital where gay conversion therapy is still a thing. Poor Cheryl. Let’s hope next week someone will come and save this poor girl, interrupted.
The Real Archie’s Weird Mysteries I Want Solved:
- So Chick isn’t Hal’s son, so I was half-right about him not being a real Cooper. I still think he’s an impostor, but now the question is, who’s Alice’s real baby daddy? It’s gotta be someone she went to high school with, so maybe it’s Fred? Those two went to high school together, right?
- Claudius is getting awfully cozy with his dead brother’s wife, and in his home, too. Is it possible that Claudius is Clifford Blossom, who faked his death and is coming back for revenge?
Did Jughead get a burger? Yep!
Mr. Jughead claims he brought twelve burgers for the Serpent teens, but I’m pretty sure Jughead ate all of them.