Riverdale Recap: Chapter Five


By: Packy Smith (@nerfedllamas)
Previously on Riverdale: Betty confronted Archie about his relationship with Ms. Grundy (which she learned about at the end of episode 4). Both Betty and Veronica are shocked to find out that Archie was in fact involved in a romantic relationship with his music teacher. Hiram Lodge is anonymously buying up real estate in Riverdale (even though he is still in jail), including the Twilight Drive-In, where Jughead works. To make the property values of the real estate investments go down, Mr. Lodge is paying a local gang, the Southside Serpents, to cause enough mayhem to get people to leave. The problem is that Hiram is not paying the Southside Serpents the exact amount that they agreed to, which puts his wife, Hermione Lodge in a tough position when she has to deal with the head gang member in his stead. Veronica Lodge finds out what her parents have been up to, and is not pleased at all. On top of that, Hermione takes a huge cash money payout to Mayor McCoy and states that all better go according to the plan for the amount of money that they are donating to her campaign. Betty and Veronica break into Ms. Grundy’s car and find a pistol and an out of state ID with her picture, but a different name altogether. It turns out that Ms. Grundy had her name legally changed to make a clean get away from an abusive marriage. All of this information makes it to Betty’s mother, who takes it to Archie’s father Fred. An intervention of sorts takes place, and Ms. Grundy agrees to quit and move out of town the next day, as it is what will be best for Riverdale and for Archie. In exchange for leaving peacefully, Mrs. Cooper promises not to publish information about the forbidden relationship in the newspaper. The Twilight Drive-In has its official final movie shown, with many of the town’s residence in attendance, including Fred and Hermione apparently on a date. Kevin Keller meets a young member of the Southside Serpents, Joaquin, and the 2 potentially start a relationship. At the end of the night, the drive-in is officially closed and set for immediate demolition, which causes Jughead to lose not only his job but his home as it turns out that he was sleeping there as well. In a final twist, you find out that the leader of the Southside Serpents is in fact Jughead’s father.

Recap: Chapter Five – “Heart of Darkness”

Whilst ominous music fleets around in the background, Jughead narrates a tale of the spooky house, the one that kids avoid, in Riverdale: Thornhill, the mansion where the Blossoms live. Remote and seemingly cut off by design from the rest of the plebs in town, the mansion even has its own private cemetery exclusively for the Blossoms. Inside the mansion, a gothic scene of Cheryl Blossom in a red gown holding a three pronged candlestick holder full of lit candles, slowly makes her way down a long and dark corridor until she finally arrives at Jason Blossoms’ coffin. She opens the coffin, however there is no body inside, only bloody claw marks on the inside of the lid. Just behind Cheryl, an almost zombie like version of Jason emerges and reaches out for her. Screaming, Cheryl wakes up from this nightmare, desperately gasping for air. Cheryl’s mother is there in the doorway of the bedroom and she tells her daughter that there will be no more sleeping in Jason’s bed. Pointing to handwritten papers strewn about the bed, Cheryl points out that she was in there to help her write a eulogy for her brother. Mom shuts her down, and tells Cheryl not to bother as she will not be allowed to speak at the memorial for fear of embarrassing the family even further.
Meanwhile over at the Andrews residence, Archie is burning the midnight oil by pounding away at a heavy bag in his room. His pop, Fred, enters and tells “Rocky” that he’d rather hear his son play guitar than beat on that bag for the rest of the night. Archie apologizes, but he is dedicating himself to getting himself back into “fighting shape” so that he can become captain of the football team in order to secure a scholarship for his college future and ultimately continue his music education. Fred looks on at his son pensively, but ultimately leaves to let Archie continue his training.
Next morning at the office for the high school newspaper, the Blue and Gold, Kevin has set a new peg board up with as much information as he can remember from the one that was in his father’s office before it got destroyed. With Betty soaking all of the info from the wall in, Jughead asks if there any leads on the break in at Kevin’s home, but unfortunately there hasn’t been. Not even a single fingerprint or clue has been found. However, the crime was extensive, as whoever was responsible stole all of the files, background checks, and all of the audio/visual data including all of the sheriff’s many interviews of Riverdale citizens. Trevor Smith, a student and football player, walks in to the office to catch Betty’s attention to see if they were still on for their date tomorrow. Betty says, “absolutely, it’s a date,” as Kevin and Jughead witness with confusion written all over their foreheads. As Trevor leaves, Kevin asks Betty if her mother would approve of this date. Betty scoffs, and says that it’s cool because her mom is away at a journalism retreat for the next few days. Going in to full blown defensive mode, Betty walks it back and then tells her friends that it is not a “date” date. Jughead calls shenanigans on her and points out that she literally just called it a date when speaking with Trevor. Betty says the date is just a cover, that she is going out with Trevor to gather more information about Jason Blossom, and that they all should focus on gathering more information from the kids at the school.
On the football field, Archie is having a rough time on the field. Coach Clayton throws a big ol’ bus at Archie and then asks Reggie Mantle to come join the conversation. With Reggie in attendance, he makes the captain’s spot on the team a competition between the two teens. They have one week to prove which one of them deserves to be captain the most.
It’s lunchtime at Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe, and Fred Andrews is coming in to pick up his regular lunch order. Hermione Lodge has the bag ready to go, and is eager to meet her friend as he walks in the diner. Fred is appreciative and is also in need of a huge coffee to go as well, noting that his son is keeping him up at all hours of the night/morning. Going for broke, he asks Hermione if she would like to go to dinner with him later. She refuses, noting that although they are both currently separated from the spouses, they are still both in fact married. Fred is confused, seeing as Hermione had asked him to take her to the Twilight Drive-In closing the other night, and asks if how that didn’t constitute a date. When she can’t give him an answer, he simply says that it is clearly his misunderstanding and abruptly leaves with his lunch in hand. Hermione attempts to stop Fred from leaving so that they can talk, but his mind is made up.
Back at school, Betty, Kevin, Veronica, and Jughead meet up with Archie at the bleachers on the football field. Veronica notes that Betty is “radiating Nicholas Sparks” because of her proposed date with Trevor. Kevin interjects and says that according to Betty there is no date, just another interview for more information. Disappointed that Betty isn’t actually going on a date, Veronica turns her attention to Archie and asks how he is doing in a PG world, you know Post-Grundy. Archie glares at Veronica as she snarks, “what, too soon?” The red head teen deflects the question and states that with Coach Clayton getting ready to select the captain of the football team soon and that is the only thing that he is allowing himself to think about right now. Veronica is disgusted that Archie is back to being boring. Betty tells Archie that she thinks he’s throwing himself into football to avoid his feelings. He claims that he is not avoiding his feelings, simply trying to get his life back on track. Out of nowhere, Valerie from the Pussycats shows up and states that she can help with that. Valerie knows a great musician, Mr. Castillo from New York who is an adjunct professor at a nearby college campus, and that he is offering mentorships to promising songwriters, and she wants to help get Archie set up with him. The Pussycat places a scrap of paper with the mentor’s name and phone number in Archie’s shirt pocket and urges him to call as soon as possible. Archie wants to, but really thinks he needs to focus on football. Betty smacks the lunkhead and tells Valerie that Archie will definitely call the mentor. As Valerie leaves, Cheryl arrives and hands the teens each an invitation to her brother’s memorial service. Cheryl notes that she was surprised that her mother added Veronica to the invite list, and told her not to try and steal any of their valuables as they will be checking her bag on the way out. Just like that, Cheryl disappears. Betty turns to Veronica and tells her to remember that Cheryl is burying her brother, which is why she may be acting bitchier than usual.
In the hallways of Riverdale High, Veronica catches up with Cheryl and extends an olive branch. She doesn’t want the two of them to be enemies, as that will just lead to them mutual annihilation. Cheryl agrees, but wonders what can be done to remedy their situation. Veronica offers to be Cheryl’s friend, or at the very least they could be frenemies. Cheryl is intrigued by the proposal, and suggests that Veronica come to a sleepover at her mansion the night before the memorial, noting that she doesn’t want to spend the night before the memorial alone.
Archie is sitting in heavy contemplation in the locker room. Thoughts of football, his music, and Jason Blossom swirl around in his head. Ultimately he decides to call the mentor to set up an appointment.
At Carson College, Archie is meeting with Mr. Castillo, who prefers to be called by his given name Oscar. They discuss Archie’s music in brief detail. To cover Oscar’s questions, Archie informs him that he started writing music over the summer, shortly after Jason’s death, and that the first song that he wrote was about Jason. Oscar asks how many hours a day that Archie writes music, and the teen answers “at least a couple.” This is clearly not enough, as Oscar informs that he will need to start writing pretty much all day. The problem that Archie has is that his football schedule and practice will eat in to his available time for music studies. Mr. Castillo tells Archie that there is no short cut to success, and then asks the teen for a sample of his music. Archie produces a thumb drive, but that is not what Oscar is looking for. The potential mentor needs sheet music, and tells Archie that he needs to come back with the sheet music tomorrow if he wants to be considered for the mentorship.
Back over at Thornhill, Mr. & Mrs. Blossom are taking Sheriff Keller on a tour of where the memorial will be held. They let the sheriff know that they have invited a very specific list of people to the funeral, essentially all of the people that they believe might be a suspect in Jason’s murder. Cheryl walks in during their conversation with the sheriff and is not surprised at all at the dubious motives her parents had for inviting the Lodge family amongst others.
Later at Pop Tate’s, Betty and Trevor are on their “not-a-date” date. Trevor mentions that he thinks that is great that the Blue and Gold is trying to help solve Jason’s murder. Betty makes the connection between Jason and Trevor, and asks if they were close. Asking for her to keep things confidential, Trevor tells her that Jason had started acting strange a few months ago, very weird and secretive, supposedly over his relationship with Betty’s sister Polly. Out of nowhere, Jason didn’t return calls and was selling a lot of personal property in an attempt to make quick cash. On top of that, Trevor heard a rumor that Jason had started selling drugs too, but admits that he can’t substantiate that claim.
In his bedroom, Archie and Valerie are working on getting his music noted down on proper sheet music. Valerie tells him that she knows that it is obnoxious to write it all down like this, but that it will help make his music better to continue to do so. The red head teen dutifully notates his latest tune on the paper with relative ease. Just as she is complimenting Archie on catching so quickly, Fred barges in the room not expecting his son to have a lady in the room. Stammering for words, Fred says he’s Archie’s “old man.” Archie introduces Valerie to his did, and Fred instantly picks up that she is from the Pussycats. He’s a big fan, mentioning that they rocked hard at the Taste of Riverdale event a few weeks back. Desperate to finish all of the musical notation, Archie asks if they can finish up working on his music. Fred agrees and leaves the two to continue their work.
It’s late at night, and Betty’s father is in the garage performing some much needed maintenance on the family car. He asks for Betty to grab a wrench and help him out. She agrees to, and then asks for him to open about what is going on with Polly and with what happened between her and Jason. Mr. Cooper states that he didn’t know the full details of what went on between Jason and Polly, but that one day he came home and heard the bathwater overflowing. He asked if Polly was OK, but she did not respond. Ultimately he kicked the door open and found her badly injured in the bathtub, apparently trying to take her own life. Essentially, the reason that Polly is at the mental institution is because she is a danger to herself.
The following day, Betty is telling Jughead all about Polly. According to her father, Polly had been recovering, but the news of Jason’s death caused to have a major setback in her rehabilitation. Switching gears to focus on Jason, Jughead ponders why he might have been selling drugs. Was Jason really trying to run away from his parents, or was he in a different kind of trouble. It was a curious question that Betty points out that they can’t easily get an answer to, but Jughead has a plan. At the memorial, he wants to sneak away after the main service and take a peak in Jason’s bedroom.
On the football field, Archie is having a hard time remembering all of the plays that the quarterback is calling during practice. Reggie takes advantage of this by tackling Archie to the ground as many times as possible. Eventually, Archie finally gets a play right and makes a good impression with Coach Clayton. Archie ends up spraining his left wrist, but even though Reggie urges him to sit the rest of practice out to heal up, Archie chooses to keep playing.
Veronica is cruising down the halls with a small pack of Riverdale Vixens (cheerleaders), when she sees Archie off by himself on a bench wrapping his left wrist up. Deciding that he looks to pitiful for words, she sits next to him and rewraps his wrist properly. She lectures him about protecting his hand as it is his guitar playing hand and as such should be one of his most prized possessions. Veronica also asks him to stop punishing himself for what happened with Grundy. He states that he wasn’t punishing himself, but that he is over extending himself recently between football and late nights working on his music with Valerie. She takes special note of the fact that he is spending a lot of time with Valerie. Archie asks if she is jealous, to which she quickly replies, “please, I had my seven minutes in heaven with Archie Andrews.” Having finished the wrapping of his wrist, she gives it a cute little kiss. Before leaving, Veronica reminds him to take better care of his hand and tells him that it’ll be worth millions of dollars one day.
Oscar looks over the sheet music that Archie has brought in for their follow up meeting. The mentor indicates that the pages are fine, but look sloppy and rushed. Adding insult to injury, Oscar also mentions that after listening to the tunes, he thinks that Archie’s music is juvenile and repetitive. They are simple break up songs. Oscar ultimately turns down the opportunity to mentor Archie, as he believes that he cannot help the kid. Archie is visibly wounded by this rejection.
It is dinner time at Thornhill, and Veronica is the guest of honor… or is she? Veronica thanks the Blossom family for having her stay for the night. Mrs. Blossom curtly replies, “Cheryl invited you. I have no idea why you’re here.” Unfazed by the not-so-subtle comment, Veronica admits confusion as well, telling Mrs. Blossom that she thought this was supposed to be a sleepover with more of Cheryl’s friends present. Mr. Blossom asks if Nana Blossom, Cheryl’s grandmother, if she would like some more maple ham, but Nana just stairs vacantly at the wall while she chews her food. Moving on, Mr. Blossom asks Veronica if she would like more ham. She politely declines, but notes that the food has been quite delicious. Mr. Blossom then gives Veronica a brief history lesson about Riverdale. Apparently the town was founded on the maple syrup industry, which is how Sweetwater River got its name. Veronica admits to not knowing the details of the founding of Riverdale. Mr. Blossom suggests that she should ask her father about it sometime, and then follows up by asking how Hiram Lodge is doing. Uncomfortably, Veronica states that her father is doing “okay.” Mrs. Blossom states that there are worse things than prison, which prompts Cheryl to quip, “like this dinner party.” After an awkward silence, Mr. Blossom continues to twist the knife about Veronica’s father being sent to jail. Veronica takes it all in stride and tells them that the worst part of her father being taken away was that it all happened so quickly that she didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye. Attempting to sway the conversation away from the Lodge side of things, Veronica mentions that at least they will be able to say goodbye to Jason during the memorial tomorrow. “Not all of us,” Cheryl bemoans, which is countered immediately by Mrs. Blossom who insists that Cheryl will not be saying goodbye to Jason because she already did back on July 4th when Jason originally ran away.
After hours at Pop Tate’s, Hermione is cleaning up behind the counter. The door chime sounds off and before she can see who has come into the diner, the door closes with only a banker’s sized cardboard box left behind. Apprehensive but curious, Hermione lifts the lid and is totally shocked to find a full grown snake hissing at her!
Betty leaves her bedroom hearing what appears to be the sound of a young child laughing and talking. She follows the sounds all the way through the house, until finally she finds her father watching a home video of Polly on a TV in a basement office.
Close to bedtime at Thornhill, Cheryl and Veronica are looking at a scrapbook of Jason Blossom. Veronica mentions that he was handsome, and Cheryl concurs. Still wondering why she was invited at all, Veronica asks why Cheryl’s entourage of Riverdale Vixens aren’t over as well. Cheryl laments that they aren’t the comforting type, and that when she had her breakdown over Jason at the pep rally a few weeks back, that it was only Veronica that checked on her and made sure that she was okay. Veronica then tells Cheryl that she has every right to say goodbye to her brother at the memorial tomorrow. Cheryl is touched out the sentiment, and tells her friend that in light of all of the recent Riverdale drama, she is sorry for the part she played in it and that she just wants everyone to know that Jason deserved a better family than the one he got. Veronica is adamant that Veronica should speak at the memorial is determined to help her, stating that the Blossoms can do they worst afterwards. Cheryl admits that her parents will in fact do their worst, adding that “they’ll kill me.”
Way back over at Pop Tate’s, Fred enters the diner with an empty cardboard box, ya know… the one that had a snake in it beforehand. Mr. Andrews let’s Hermione know that he is there for her whenever she needs assistance, but is curious as to why she didn’t call the cops or animal control first. Still rattled by the incident, Hermione says that she didn’t call the cops because she didn’t trust them. The snake was clearly a message from the Southside Serpents because Hiram Lodge still owes them money. She thanks Fred for helping her out and tells him to leave it alone, as she doesn’t want him getting any further involved in the matter.
The next morning, Betty is getting ready to go to the memorial service. Jughead pops in her room and asks if she is ready to go into the belly of the beast. She seems more distracted by the fact that he is wearing a collared shirt and a tie. He nonchalantly replies, “it was the best I could do.” She smiles in approval of his effort.
Outside Thornhill, the Blossoms are greeting the guests for the memorial service at the door. Hermione gives her condolences, but then Mrs. Blossom pulls her close and tells Mrs. Lodge that she knows that she’s only there to gloat and to give warmest regards from her husband. Clearly, Hiram Lodge has wronged the Blossoms in some significant way, but it is not explained how at this point. Inside, Veronica and Cheryl are dressed from head to toe in black. Cheryl tells Veronica to go on ahead, as she will be shortly behind her. In the large den that is set up for the memorial, most of the invited guests are in attendance. Archie sees Mrs. Blossom, and hops up to offer his condolences and to give her Jason Blossom’s football jersey (the one Coach Clayton gave him way back in the premiere episode). Mrs. Blossom laments that Archie is so much like Jason, and then proceeds to awkwardly run her hand softly against the teenager’s hair and left cheek. Kevin, Jughead, and Betty witness the event with much awe and confusion. Mrs. Blossom thanks him for the thoughtful gesture, and moves on. Kevin questions what her petting of Archie was all about, while Betty compliments her friend on the niceness of his gift. Veronica makes it to the large den and tells her friends that the memorial puts things in perspective and makes her thankful that they are all still alive. Over by the bar, Mr. Cooper is pouring a drink as Betty looks on. Mr. Blossom tells Betty’s father to pace himself, as it would be unseemly to get a DUI on the way home from a memorial. Cheryl finally shows up and steals everyone’s attention when she arrives in the same white dress she was wearing when Jason went missing. Cheryl invites everyone to have a seat so that the memorial can start. Mr. and Mrs. Blossom are seriously unimpressed, but decide not to make a scene in front of everyone. Cheryl begins her eulogy by acknowledging the dress and its significance, stating that when she wears that outfit it feels like Jason is in the room with her. She tells a touching story about how even though they were twins, she always wanted a separate birthday party. One time, Jason convinced to have a combined party and it wasn’t until many years later that she found out why: nobody wanted to come to her parties (likely due to her personality), and he didn’t want to her to celebrate alone. Cheryl states that Jason protected her, and that she wished that she had protected him that day on the river. She turns to the casket and apologizes to her deceased brother, stating that the entire town had failed him. As Cheryl breaks down crying, Veronica rushes over to her and gives her a hug. Mrs. Blossom has seen enough, and invites everyone to the next room over for a light supper. Betty and Jughead use this opportunity to make their way to Jason’s room as the crowd flocks to the free food. Fred shows up to the memorial fashionably late. Hermione sees him and is glad to see that he could make it. He said he had to come and pay his respects, but since she’s there he also wanted to offer her the bookkeeping job that she applied for when she first moved back to Riverdale. He notes that there are no snakes, as a selling point. She is excited to accept the offer and gives him a great big hug, which comes off a bit more personal than she had perhaps intended.
In Jason’s room, Betty and Jughead quietly sneak in and start investigating. As they are snooping about it becomes clear that Nana Blossom has been in the room the entire time. Nana believes that Betty is actually Polly (which may mean that Nana’s vision isn’t what it used to be). Looking at Betty’s hand, Nana notes that she isn’t wearing the ring. Confused, Betty asks about the ring. Nana explains that it is a Blossom heirloom, passed down for generations and that she had given it to Jason to give to Polly for her hand in marriage. As macabre as humanly possible, Nana tells “Polly” to keep the ring close to her heart and to never tell Mrs. Blossom about, because she will literally snip it off her finger if she ever found out. Betty promises that she’ll never tell Mrs. Blossom about the ring. Nana laments that she was only living to see Jason’s marriage, but has compassion for Polly since she just lost the love of her young life. This deluge of new information proves to be more than Betty can take, as she excuses herself and rushes out of the room.
Mrs. Blossom ushers Cheryl into the teenager’s bedroom by her arm. Cheryl shouts that she had to do it because that is what Jason would have wanted. Disagreeing vehemently, Mrs. Blossom declares that this is in fact only what Cheryl wants, just as it always is with her. Mama Blossom lets Cheryl know that there will be no more River Vixens and that if she even thought they would take her, that Cheryl would be shipped off to a European boarding school tomorrow.
Meanwhile, at Pop Tate’s, Archie and Valerie are sitting in a booth talking about music. Archie is concerned that perhaps Ms. Grundy was lying to him about having talent. Mr. Castillo won’t mentor him because he doesn’t have the chops. Valerie is frustrated at Archie’s lack of confidence. Going on the defensive, Archie tells her that she wouldn’t understand, however she understands well enough. Valerie tells him that creating music is hard, nearly impossible, but that she thinks the only one telling him that he can’t continue writing music is himself.
At the Cooper residence, Betty’s father is beside himself. Apparently she dragged him home after her run in with Nana Blossom and didn’t talk to him the whole way home. Betty tells her father that Jason and Polly were engaged, and then asks if he knew. He attempts to stall, but it is clear that he knew. Betty sighs in disgust and asks if that is what he and Mr. Blossom were talking about at the memorial. Mr. Cooper tells her that it’s none of her business, but she disagrees and demands that he tell her what’s going on. Her father tells her that the rivalry between the Coopers and the Blossoms goes back many years, and was spawned when Cheryl’s great-grandfather killed Betty’s great-grandfather. Back in the early days of Riverdale, both families owned a maple syrup company, and according to the story the Blossoms didn’t want to share the profits anymore and so they killed the Cooper family member and claimed sole ownership of the company. Betty isn’t interested in some stupid blood feud that happened before any of them were born, but Mr. Cooper protests. He states that the Blossoms stole their livelihood, he wasn’t going to let them have his daughter too. Also, he continues by explaining that Polly is very sick, that Jason made her that way, and that she was not leaving the mental institution until she was better. Ending the conversation, he strongly urges Betty to leave the Polly situation alone going forward.
Later on at the Pembroke Apartments, Hermione is explaining to Veronica how there is a rivalry between the Blossoms and the Lodges. Apparently, the Blossoms hate everybody. Even still, she believes that losing a teenage son, especially as a murder victim, is a tragic thing for any family to endure. Veronica understands, and tells her mother about her bizarre night at the Blossom’s mansion. Happy to be back home, Veronica admits that the experience made her appreciate having a mother that protected her. In the spirit of her daughter’s wishes of maintaining truth between them, Hermione begins to tell the story of her bizarre night at Pop Tate’s and the snake that was left for her.
Back on campus at Riverdale High School, Coach Clayton is praising both Reggie and Archie for showing a lot of hustle and for giving their all. By his own estimation, it was nearly too close to determine who would become the next captain of the football team. Ultimately, he gives the captain spot to Archie, for giving Jason’s jersey back to his mother. Archie refuses the spot, telling Coach Clayton to give it to Reggie. He still wants to play, but in order to balance between his music and football, he can’t have the added pressure of being captain on top of that.
A little bit later, Archie is in the music room of the school strumming his guitar. Valerie walks in and is pleased to see that he chose to continue with his song writing.
Jughead brings the episode to a close, narrating the events of Jason’s burial, and going so far as to predict that something poisonous would happen directly because of it. During the burial, Cheryl looks on at her mother with disdain, but sees a vision of Jason and instantly a smile forms across her face. At the office of the school paper, Betty questions whether she even knows who her mom and dad are anymore. Jughead tells his friend that she needs to accept that if they lied to her about Polly and Jason, that there may be even more information that they have purposefully kept from her. Betty asks, “what do you mean?” The beanie crown wearing teen states that Mr. Cooper said he would do anything to protect, which leads to the next logical question: how far would he go to protect her? Taking Jughead’s words to heart, Betty figures that the person responsible for breaking into Sheriff Keller’s home and stealing all of the murder case investigation files was not at the Twilight Drive-In with the rest of Riverdale. She begrudgingly tells Juggie that her father was not at the drive-in that night. We see a quick glimpse of Mr. Cooper looking over a case file that has Sheriff Keller’s name on it. Jughead hands Betty an index card with her family’s name on it. Betty posts it to the murder peg board as Jughead tells her that they need to talk to Polly and get her side of the story.

My hot take on the fifth episode:

– The Blossoms are a messed up family, like super messed up. Mrs. Blossom is vindictive and hateful. Mr. Blossom is pointed and always looking to say something at someone else’s expense. Nana Blossom is straight out of a Stephen King horror novel. Cheryl would almost be the normal one, if it wasn’t for her narcissism and defiant attitude. On top of their eccentricities, the Blossoms harbor a grudge with nearly every family in town. All in all, Thornhill and the Blossoms are bad news and everyone in Riverdale should steer clear of them at all costs.
– Archie and Valerie is a good change of pace from the Ms. Grundy arc. Right off the top, pairing them off (whether it goes romantic or just as song-writing friends), is a nice nod to the original comic book, as their friendship/relationship was one of the better story arcs to come out before the “New Riverdale” started. More than that, it was great for one of the other Pussycats to get some screen time and some dialogue. Hopefully Melody will get some similar time on screen soon. Bottom line, it’s good for Archie to have a school based friend who can legitimately help him with his music and be supportive of his continued work.
– Mr. Castillo was a douche-nozzle. For reals. I’m frankly thrilled that Archie didn’t get selected for the mentorship. Mr. Castillo was not the type of person that seems like he would foster Archie’s creativity. He was harsh, pointed, and just downright unpleasant. Glad to see him gone so quickly.
– Jason Blossom’s murder is getting more interesting by the episode! The Jason Blossom mystery is getting deeper with each reveal. Now that the Coopers are on the murder board, it seems like anyone could be responsible. The marriage proposal between Jason and Polly was a solid twist, and puts an interesting spin on what Trevor said about Jason changing and trying to make money as quickly as possible. There is a lot going on, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t find out that the murder is a conspiracy orchestrated by the Lodge’s to keep the town from realizing the Hiram Lodge is buying the whole place out from underneath them so that he can fundamentally change the town into the money making real estate venture of his Scrooge McDuck like dreams.
– Fred and Hermione have some banging good chemistry. I imagine that the story is going to hook them up, even if just for a short affair. It would seem a shame not to, as the actors clearly have that chemistry. They just work well together. As different as this take on Riverdale is, I would actaully be thrilled to see Hermione leave Hiram for Fred, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. More than anything, I just want Hermione to choose to do something for the right reason, and not just to help the Lodge’s make big money.
– The scene with Nana Blossom and Betty Cooper was intense! It was all sorts of freaky. Not only was did it offer new information that changed the way Betty understand Polly’s relationship with Jason, but it also dovetailed back to Betty taking on the role of Polly during the “sticky maple” incident back in episode three. Clearly, Betty and Polly look a lot alike, and having the creepy grandmother mistake Betty for Polly will lead to some interesting narrative threads down the road.
– The football B-story was a little bland. Archie did not become the captain of the football team, which is another win for the redheaded lad. It’s like Veronica said, football was going to make Archie boring again. I don’t mind sports in TV shows and movies, but it seems so blatantly there only to give Archie the whole “being pulled in too many directions” drama. With him going back to being a player on the team and not jockying for the captain’s spot, perhaps the writer’s will come up with more exciting reasons for us to see Archie play on the team. Also, I think I speak for everyone when I say it is definitely time for Archie to sing more songs on the show.

Be sure to tune in for the next episode, when Archie has performance issues in front of an audience, Betty goes to meet Polly, The Pussycats have major drama, and Jughead discovers a huge piece of evidence that could blow the murder investigation wide open!

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