Okay — the title is a joke, "Riverdale" fans. Let’s face it though. We are at Chapter 66 and Riverdale is still going strong. The town seems to be processed. So I have to wonder sometimes if just where we stand with the Riverdale writers. Are we heading toward the "Blossoms 666" saga? We are definitely seeing a reworking of the Archie comic and why not visit the new Archie-verse. With the mention of Katy Keene can Sabrina be far behind? And it is the mid-season finale before Winter Break. After tonight, we won’t have a new episode until mid-January.
The episode tonight is called “Tangerine.” Now tangerine denotes a fruit that is orange in color to me. Riverdale’s Hiram is seeing "red" after Veronica’s declaration last week and I’m sure their war will start tonight. The only preview I saw of this week’s "Riverdale" had Alice sliding back into the cult and going after Betty. We don’t know what happened to Archie or Jughead and we have to wonder if Cheryl got rid of the body. What I want is these stories to come together somehow but this is "Riverdale" and it won’t happen anytime soon. So off we go.
Jughead and His Story
Wait a minute! Jughead has written his first Baxter Brother’s story and it was about a body being found in a lake. (Do I hear flash-forward here?) Bret and the rest aren’t happy as they watch Mr. Spooky (I mean DuPont) hand Jughead a contract. Of course, this sets Jug on a quest. He approaches Chuck (who might as well be on contract) for FBI help in finding dear old granddaddy and has success. When Jug gets to the location (looks like a trailer to me), grandpa comes out with a gun. Yep, this is the Jones’s men alrighty. Will shots be fired? No! Jughead goes inside.
Grandpa Jones tells Jughead that the stories FP told are probably true. Jughead wants to talk about DuPont’s stealing the Baxter Boys but FP-1 said that his assumptions are wrong. FP-1 did write the short story but sold it to Mr. Creepy for $5,000. He then left school Now the books are worth millions. FP is the one who sent daddy out for a pack of cigarettes. Jughead tells FP-1 that he’s the next ghostwriter and voices Jug’s concern that DuPont is murdering people. Jughead thinks he will be next. FP-1 suggests that Jug seize the opportunity and disappear. Now, why would Jughead do that? Take down DuPoint, yes, but disappear? That’s not Jughead’s style.
Jughead visits FP in the hospital (from helping Archie and tells him what has gone down. After talking, FP will meet with FP-1 if he wants to stop by the hospital. When Jughead goes back to granddaddy’s place has disappeared. Jughead returns to school, signs the paper and finds an invite under his door. When we think it’s a flash-forward, it turns out to be in the present time. Jug is initiated into the Pen and Quill Society.
Veronica and Dad Round Two, Three or More
Veronica got rejected from her second choice and looks like Hiram has sabotaged all of her choices because she refused Harvard. He suggests the Riverdale Community College although Columbia may still take her. Hiram is going to make it hard on Ron. Meanwhile, as mayor, Hiram has pulled Pop Tate’s liquor license which closes the speakeasy. Pop knows something about Hiram and I just wish they’d tell us. Yes, Pop! We all know he wasn’t raised right. Now Ron is going to take Hiram on with a big blow to daddy’s ego.
I love Ron’s one-upmanship (is that a word?). It is brilliant. Where would Hiram get the idea to make rum? With us not knowing enough about his background except Pop saying he was brought up wrong, we should have suspected family. Turns out the recipe belongs to Hiram’s mom who we finally get to see tonight. She gets upset when Ron fills her in with the info on what her son has been doing. She visits sonny boy and slaps his face. And, by the way, Ron tells dad. She has the recipe for the rum. This round to Ron.
At the closing of the speakeasy, Hiram shows up. Ron also has a surprise visitor from Columbia. Daddy dearest has pulled a fast one to set up the meeting. Ronnie excuses herself to go sing. While delivering the “Saturday, Saturday” number, we see her boyfriend Archie taking on Dodger. Archie wins but at a cost (which I’m not sure of yet). After the song, Hiram shows Ron a legal paper saying that he owns the rum recipe. As Ron apologizes to the Columbia rep, the rep looks impressed and tells Ron that Columbia is always looking for people with a story. After being asked to share “said” story, I think we can assume Ronnie will be heading to Columbia.
Archie and the Vigilante
FP shows up to question Archie about being the vigilante. Hey, Archie did admit he was but it was very evident as Archie showed his injuries. Archie and FP are discussing the Dodger’s situation when a young boxer tells them that Dodger is back and offers to help. Meanwhile, someone wants to buy Andrew’s Construction and we learn that Eddie has been beaten up and is in the hospital AGAIN.
Archie goes to FP after learning about Eddie. FP agrees to help but he needs to pick up something first — his leather Serpent jacket. As Archie confronts the Dodger family, and a fight looks imminent, FP arrives in his jacket. The only thing we know about this fight is that Archie and FP win and end up at Pop Tate’s. FP is glad to be back in his leather jacket and makes Archie promise the vigilante days are over. As they top to leave, we get a reply of the Fred shooting at Pop’s but with FP taking the bullet. This sets Archie off and he goes to catch the Dodger clan as they leave town. He beats up (maybe kills) Dodger and the Center kids saw the fight. (By the way producers. Wasn’t this bad enough with Fred’s shooting? It looks like Pop Tate’s is the hitman capital of Riverdale!)
Mary returns home to find Archie a basket case. He tells her all that has happened and he misses Fred. I think Archie realizes how dumb he’s been acting and knows Fred would hate it! Mary doesn’t know what to say to Archie. As he works at the Community Center, a man enters. Welcome Fred’s brother, Frank, to Riverdale. Could he be the one wanting to buy the construction company? It makes sense to me.
Is Betty and the Coopers All Nuts!
Betty finds out that Polly has attacked a nurse named Betty at the psychological site she’s using to get over Edgar. Polly is strapped down on the bed when Betty arrives. She remembers nothing of what happened. Of course, we know it has to be a hypnotic suggestion left by Edgar but what triggered it? Edgar lives from beyond the grave!
Betty tells Alice that Polly received a phone call before the incident. Immediately the phone rings and Alice goes zombie on us. She pulls a knife and heads toward Betty. Betty snaps her finger or does something that brings Alice out of the trance. Alice doesn’t remember anything.
Betty realizes that there is only one person who would know — Evelyn. Oh great! Another appearance by Evelyn the kidney transplant person married to Edgar. I thought her visit to high school was bad enough. Oh no! She’s as nutty psycho as Edgar was. She’s the one who placed the calls and gave the trigger word. What, you ask, was the trigger? The episode’s title, “Tangerine,” said three times. I wouldn’t have thought she said it three times to Alice. As Evelyn starts to say the word to Betty, I realize that the word has been planted in Betty’s mind also. Sure enough, the trigger isn’t strong enough to make Betty kill herself but it sends it into her childhood memory of killing Caramel.
Surprisingly enough, Betty gets Chuck/Chip/Charles (whatever he answers to tonight) to try an experiment. He says the word three times but Betty doesn’t seem to go zombie on us. She does go outside and relives the Caramel incident sending her younger self off to play. Should we shout that she’s cured? Come on! This is Riverdale and it wouldn’t be that easy.
Betty and the gang help Cheryl with something (wait for it). When Cheryl returns home, she goes to bed but tries the "tangerine" trigger again. It looks like she may not be cured as Alice hears something smashing upstairs. Betty does retain somewhat of a memory of what happened as she tells her mom she was trying the trigger word. I think she’s not cured (of course, she isn’t) as she smashed the mirror in her room.
Cheryl and the Mystery of the Gaslighting
When we first see Cheryl, she is surrounded by her brothers (yes, Jason and the doll) and she tells them she is going to put an end to the prison in which she is living. Just as we think Cheryl may die from the smell of gas, who should show up but Penelope. Cheryl now knows who was behind everything that happened to her. Penelope passes out as Cheryl wears a gas mask.
When Penelope awakes, Cheryl puts her on trial. She has chained Penelope to a chair but as Penelope used to torture (no I mean abuse) Cheryl. Penelope was always complaining about being abused as a child. Seems she practiced the same thing with Cheryl but I digress. Cheryl is going to hold a trial for Penelope with Titi, Granny, and Jason watching. The charges for Penelope are: gaslighting, trying to kill the core four, and killing Cheryl’s dad.
As Cheryl serves as district attorney and judge, we all know that Penelope will be found guilty. We all know Penelope’s crimes and she really doesn’t offer a defense. She tells Cheryl to put her in jail. Wonder if Penelope is hoping for a mayorial pardon? Instead, Cheryl has something better planned for her and asks Titi for the chloroform.
Penelope awakens to find herself in the D & D (whoops G & G) bunker. Here is where Penelope will serve her time. Evidently, Cheryl will make only occasional visits and Penelope isn’t happy. Cheryl ignores mommy dearest and heads back home to Titi. There she tells Cheryl that it’s time to let Jason have some peace. Surprisingly she calls Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead to be there and witness it.
Penelope wakes up in the D&D (whoops G & G) bunker. That’s where Penelope will serve her time. Penelope yells at Cheryl when she leaves. Cheryl returns home and talks to Titi about all the pain. She’s going to give Jason the peace he deserves. After telling Jason good-bye, she gets a torch and lights the boat with Jason in it. As it starts to burn, Archie and Jughead push the boat away from Cheryl. She hugs Titi as the boat drifts into the lake. Somehow, a Viking funeral suits this story. Let’s face it! The Blossom family could have inspired a Shakespearean play!
Now for our latest flash forward:
The title card reads: Four weeks later (only four weeks until Spring Break? What happened to mid-terms and Christmas?)
Archie leans over Jughead and says: "He’s dead. What did you do to him, Betty? (Or something to that effect.) Did Betty go "Betty zombie" and kill Jug, her love? Did she see him as Caramel and have to kill him? Well, it looks like it won’t be long until we find out although four weeks could be two months in Riverdale.
On returning: We get high school life and so much more. To be honest I can’t tell you all that happened in the preview. It went too fast but looks like we will FINALLY get the gang back together.