Okay, folks. Let’s get "Riverdale" underway. I’ve got to remember to check and see when the winter finale is. So far, "Riverdale" has been good but it all seems to be building to the Spring Break drama. I want all the principals together. "Riverdale," my question to you is: When will Cheryl, Toni, and Reggie be in the gang with Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead? It has to happen sometime, doesn’t it?
Riverdale is labeled “In Treatment” tonight. I’m beginning to think that after this season we, the fans, will need treatment. Shall we all admit it? The flash-forwards are confusing the heck out of us (bet you thought I’d say something else, right?). Over the holidays I plan to put a flash-forward list together at my blog and see what the clues tell us. But for now, let go to the show.
The Video Treatment
Well, it’s happening again. VCRs are showing up with the tapes of only the house know the being the focus. Boring, I say! Why have some weirdos in Riverdale but this seems to be getting out of hand? Who is behind it? Will we ever know? And why open with that if it has nothing else to do with the episode. At the 8:25 mark, it doesn’t look like it will! Personally, it’s a waste of time without any set-up for the potential storyline (like maybe next week’s episode?).
Guidance Help: Betty’s Turn
All the students are getting acceptance letters to their college choices but something just seems off. Apparently, Riverdale isn’t known for brains. Oh, right. They killed Dilton off with “Dungeons…” (whoops) “Griffins and Gargoyles.” Betty comes home to find her mom reading her mail. Poor Betty! No Yale for her. I guess she wasn’t told that Yale is a hard school to get accepted to. Oh, by the way, Alice opened the letter, got upset, then searched Betty’s room and found her diary. Seems Betty likes to talk about her sex life and her mom says that it is getting in the way of Betty’s study. Now let’s see. You are sharing a house with FP. Do you really have room to talk Alice?
Since Mr. Honey is worried about the student’s mindset at this time, he sets up times for the seniors to talk to the guidance counselor. Betty is first and guess who shows up and barges in? That’s right Alice! Alice thinks that Betty is having too much sex and Betty thinks her mother has caused most of her problems due to Alice’s psychotic behavior. Oh, and Alice is going by Smith now. Guess the Cooper name isn’t good enough.
This guidance session is getting good. Betty is finally letting Alice have it about joining a cult, giving away her college fund to said cult, working undercover for the FBI. Oh, let’s not forget the convent/mental institute that Alice put Betty in to “help her.” Betty hits her with the fact that both Alice and Polly enjoyed sex at 18 since both had babies then. Let’s face it. When Betty says she has had to take care of herself, she speaks the truth. Where has Alice been? Off crusading or doing whatever she wants!
Alice sees herself as protecting Betty but reading her diary took things a little far. Alice’s cry of “You will always be my daughter” rings halfway true but I have to wonder if she’d use the same line on Polly (the nuthouse resident, again). In the end, the guidance counselor hits the nail on its head by telling Alice that she gave away Betty’s college fund for control purposes. Alice admits that she doesn’t want to lose Betty like her other two children. The reason: “I love you best” (and that is a quote from Alice). I think that this town has more problems than we ever thought Guidance Counsel is smart. She knows Alice gave away the college fund to control Betty. Alice feels she lost her other children so she is trying to hold onto Betty. Alice loves her best.
Later at home, Betty finds Alice cooking and is told to set the table. Betty finds a check on the table and looks at her mom. Betty tells Alice that she loves her.
When Archie falls asleep in class (again), he’s sent to the guidance counselor who wants to know where Archie sees himself. Archie wants to stay in Riverdale, work at the community center, and fulfill Fred’s legacy of helping others. The counselor sees Archie’s bruised hands and becomes worried that he’s on drugs but Archie sets that record straight. He admits to his vigilante work and helping people in need. While she sees it as anger and comic book reactions, Archie relates what Dodger has been up to. She wants Archie to stop but he points out all the “crappy things” that have happened to him. He tells her he has a right to be angry and he’s tired of seeing his loved ones hurt. Let’s face it, folks! Shooting up the Andrews’ home was a little extreme. At least he sees that (and we thought he was dumb!).
After talking to the counselor, Archie goes home and tells his mom that he’s leaving. Hey, I see that he’s tired of putting his mom in danger but living at the community center is crazy Archie! Do you want to smell like a gym? Talk about stress! Oh, and Archie tries to get rid of the mask and actually does some good by setting up a hotline. Unfortunately, I think it will come back to bite him as he gets a call and picks up the mask – AGAIN!
Mr. Honey has decided that Cheryl isn’t mentally stable to be head cheerleader. Mr. Honey, my friend, being head cheerleader may be the only sane thing in Cheryl’s life right now. Unfortunately, he strips her of the title unless the guidance counselor clears her to stay as head. Cheryl has no choice but to visit the counselor’s office.
The counselor has a handle on Cheryl before they even talk. While Cheryl puts on a show that everything is fine, it’s not and wants to know what is going on with Cheryl after all she’s been through. Well, let’s face it. Cheryl had a brother die, a dad who committed suicide, and more trauma than I can relate here. Was it as bad as Archie’s? That is determined by how you describe the differences but anyway, let’s get back to Cheryl who admits to talking to Jason about her problems.
While the counselor sees this as normal, Cheryl then explains everything else – like she "ate her brother Justin while in the womb." The counselor says that this was impossible and offers her the information that there is a test out there that will reveal whether this happened of not through DNA. Hey, I like this counselor. She points out to Cheryl that she is not mad. Someone is trying to gaslight her. For the novices, this is a movie term for someone trying to make you think you are crazy. While Cheryl isn’t nuts, the counselor can’t allow Cheryl to stay in her head cheerleader role.
Cheryl does the test! Believe me, I haven’t researched this yet, but since the serial killer gene is real, I’m sure the Riverdale writers did their research on this also. I learned a long time ago with my soap research that strange things can happen! The test results come in and Cheryl goes to Pop Tate’s where she relates to Toni that the test came back negative. She did not eat her brother in the womb! Toni asks who is trying to drive Cheryl nuts. I guess that’s the next question but I’m betting that there is a real-life “Justin” somewhere who is doing it. Let’s face it! That would be a nice tie in “The Blossoms” alt-verse comic.
Veronica has applied to Harvard and dear old Hiram wants to know if she has been accepted. Veronica blows him off with a non-reply only to get a call from the Dean of Admissions at Harvard telling her she got in. The only problem with this is that the Dean hints that “daddy dearest” had a hand in it. I’m beginning to think that Ron needs to write a book and entitled it “Daddy Dearest.” He does make her life miserable.
Veronica’s next stop is the guidance counselor’s office where she lets out her anger at Hiram. The guidance counselor compares their interaction to an Oedipus Complex even though Hiram has been tormenting Veronica. Let’s remember some of the things “daddy dearest” has done. He gave her a business then demanded protection money, he tried to kill Archie in an illegal fight, he had Ron’s mom arrested for murder (but wait—she did try to kill him), and introduced the illegitimate daughter in a shocking manner. The guidance counselor is good. She walks Ron through all of them and in the endpoints out the obvious. Ron and Hiram are going to have to acknowledge each other’s existence. Ron though has to decide whether going to Harvard is a desire that is strong enough to keep her under “daddy dearest’s” thumb. The last question is the telling part. The counselor asks Ron: "who’s leading – him or you."
In the end, Veronica turns down Harvard and decides to beat daddy at his own game. She won’t have her life mapped out by him. Instead, she is cutting the “tie that binds” and going to do things her way. She is going to “murder him” but not physically. She’s going to destroy him in business. Now she’s still in high school, right? She’s underage, right? How can she beat him at the alcoholic “gin” game at that age? I’m not sure but Hiram was very upset when he found that she had opened the first bottle of his new label gin.
Jughead Talks to Riverdale’s Counselor
Will someone tell him just where Jughead is going to school? I thought he was in a prestigious prep school but I guess DuPont doesn’t lead to trust there. Jughead revisits his old stomping grounds to talk to Riverdale’s teen helpline, the guidance counselor. While he recognizes that she’s using psychobabble on him, she does open Jug’s mind to one thing. He may have a slight persecution complex over the conspiracy he sees with his grandfather. This leaves him blind to all his father has accomplished. Well, it’s not every day that a man pulls himself up from motorcycle gang leader to sheriff, now is it? She wants Jughead to write but not to put too much suspicion on Mr. DuPont. This, to me, is her first big misstep as I think I see another clue developing. I’m not going to drop that here though. I also loved how Jughead took all her candy out of the bowl when he left. (I have to wonder if this was in the script or an ad-lib that they decided to leave in the script?)
Later, FP arrives home to find Jughead who hugs him. Jughead then tells FP that he loves him and appreciates all FP has done in his life. Maybe Jughead is growing up. Maybe FP can open up. I doubt that but I can hope, can’t I?
Jughead also shares a draft of his writing with Betty who loves it. While he’s not focusing on the conspiracy, he has done some research as the counselor suggested. There seem to have been many “deaths” associated with connections to the Baxter Boys? So where does that lead us – to a flash-forward of course.
FLASH FORWARD TIME:
We see Betty, Archie, and Veronica in a police line up. Bret and Donna (I think that’s her name) identify them as being there when Jughead dies/disappears. And we fade to black!
Next week is the mid-season finale.
What do we get? Alice attacking Betty with a knife! Has the Body Farm cult gotten into Alice’s head again? Tune in to find out next week (or at least see the set up for the show’s return after a few weeks off).