Riverdale Recap: Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!


By: Packy Smith (@nerfedllamas)
Previously on Riverdale: Archie is having a tough time deciding between his music and football, and decides at first to pursue the captain spot on the football team. During his push to impress the coach, Archie hurts his wrist. Veronica helps him bandage his injury, but also tells him to protect his wrist, because it will be worth a million dollars one day. Valerie, of the Pussycats, convinces Archie to see a music specialist who is looking to mentor some new talent. The mentor ends up turning Archie down, but Valerie still manages to convince Archie to continue playing music. Even though he earns the captain’s spot as well, Archie ultimately turns it down to give himself more time to write music, and instead gives the honor to Reggie Mantle. Betty grills her father about her sister Polly, and he tells her that Polly is sick. According to her dad, Polly is in an institution because she tried to kill herself. Betty meets with a student named Trevor, who gives a lot of information about Jason Blossom, including that he was in love with Polly and that he was dealing drugs. Hermione Lodge is sent a scare package from the Southside Serpents as a warning that her husband, Hiram Lodge owes them more money for what they did back in episode 4. Meanwhile, the Blossoms hold a memorial for their recently deceased son, Jason Blossom. The night before, Veronica spent the night with Cheryl Blossom, and learned about how twisted the Blossom family truthfully is. During the memorial, Cheryl defies her parents and gives a eulogy for Jason despite all their best efforts to stop them. At the memorial, Betty and Jughead snoop in Jason’s room. They don’t find a clue, but Nana Blossom mistakes Betty for Polly and tells her all about how Polly was engaged to be married to Jason. Jughead places Betty’s parents on the peg board that they have been using for Jason Blossom’s murder investigation, indicating that they are now officially suspects.

Recap: Chapter Six – “Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!”

The episode opens with a flashback of Betty Cooper as a much younger child in bed at night. She is afraid, presumably of the dark, and her sister Polly is sitting on the edge of her bed to comfort her. Betty pleads for Polly to stay the night in her room. Jughead’s standard intro narration kicks in as he discusses fear, and how as kids we are afraid of a great many things. Young Polly replieas that she cannot stay in Betty’s room because mother will not allow it, but that she will turn on the night light before she leaves.
Back in present day, Betty is updating her diary first thing in the morning. As her mother, Alice, enters the room with a basket of freshly folded laundry, Betty lets her know that Jughead will be joining them for breakfast. Seemingly unimpressed, which appears to be Alice’s natural state of being, acknowledges this fact and moves on. Downstairs it is breakfast time, and whilst in mid pancake bite Jughead is immediately asked by Alice if he is responsible for Betty’s recent fascination with the Jason Blossom murder investigation. Betty defends her friend and rightly tells her mother that she actually recruited Jughead to become a journalist for the school newspaper, and that he has been assisting her on the Jason Blossom story. Jughead is silent the entire time, maintaining a strict Switzerland-like presence during the mother/daughter back and forth. Betty motions to Juggie, and he then asks to be pointed in the direction of the nearest restroom. Alice insists on showing him the way, which gives Betty the perfect opportunity to snoop through her mother’s purse and snag a quick photo of her checkbook ledger.
Jughead’s narration picks up once more and tells us about how fear can also grow up with us, and cripple us over time. All of this is stated as Archie takes the stage to try out for a Riverdale High School variety show. Kevin Keller calls to Archie to see if he is ready, as the redheaded singer is stuck on stage, frozen. A few moments later Archie snaps out of it, and when asked what his contribution will be, he says it’ll be a performance of an original song titled, “I’ll Try.” A few jocks in the back of the auditorium razz the nervous singer, and the damage is done. For all of his love of music, it would appear that Archie has stage fright. Kevin is respectful, and tells Archie to take his time. Veronica, who is sitting with Josie and the Pussycats, is worried for her friend as Josie mentions that “He is choking.” The pressure proves to be much. Archie excuses himself and rushes off of the stage.
A short time later, Archis is sitting in the school hallways with Valerie from the Pussycats. He tells he about how he froze up and how he doesn’t understand what happened. She assures him that it was just stage fright, but he insists that it had to be more because he is able to play football in a packed stadium with no issues. Valerie tells him that it is not the same, as perforimng music is deeply personal and makes you more vulnerable than any spectator sport could. He hears her, but keeps running with the football metaphor and insists that he needs a team to support him, and then asks her to sing a song on stage with him. She is flattered, but Valerie is first and foremost a Pussycat, and she tells him that she will already be performing at the variety show with her group. Archie pleads with her to sing both with him and with the Pussycats, just this once. She sees that Archie is in need of help, but tells him that he cannot step out on her band.
Meanwhile, Betty is at the school newspaper office scanning through the photos that she took early this morning. She zooms in on a check written by her mother to The Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Jughead looks them up and discovers that they are home for troubled youths. Betty surmises that this is likely where Polly has been sent by their parents.
Josie 1
During lunch break, Betty is talking to Jughead about how long Polly has been away, and about how her parents desperately want to keep her away from her sister. Archie and Valerie are present as well, and he asks if there is anything he can do to help. Jughead tells his pal that he and Betty are going to take on a stealth operation, and that bringing the whole “Scooby Gang” would throw too many red flags. Betty redirects Archie by telling him that he would likely be too busy getting ready for the variety show, but this is not the case, as Archie lets her know that he won’t be performing at the big show. However, Veronica shows up with Kevin and informs Archie that she has secured him a spot in show after all. Archie is appreciative, but is concerned that he is going to choke again onstage if he attempts to perform solo. Noting his problem, Veronica offers to sing with him, as she is an accomplished singer in her own right. She coyly asks the red headed teen if he’d like to be the “Jay to her Bey?” Archie smiles as he contemplates the idea of teaming up with her for another chance onstage.
A short time later, the Pussycats are having some issues during rehearsal. Josie is being more overbearing than usual, and Valerie and Melody are noticing it. Valerie asks Josie to relax and eplains that they are just performing in a school talent show, not at late night at the Apollo. Josie snaps back and says that every performance should be given at 150%, regardless of the venue. Valerie sighs, and Josie asks her bandmate if she has something she wants to say. Likely knowin the futility of it all, Valerie mentions that she doesn’t have to put up with all of this diva nonsense when she is working with Archie, explaining that she has been co-writing songs with Archie in her spare time. “Unacceptable!” Josie shrieks, as she tells Valerie straight up that she either sings with the Pussycats or with Archie, but not both. Dealing with ultimatums in the way that most folks seemingly do, Valerie shocks everyone and quits the Pussycats. Still in full on diva mode, Josie tells Valerie “don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” but is instantly remorseful when her friend takes her cat ears off and leaves the rehearsal.
At the office of Andrews Construction, Hermione Lodge is hard at work balancing the budget. Fred Andrews comes in from being out in the field with the construction crew to check on how things are going on her first day in the office. She immediately shows concerns over his books, stating that he only has enough money to cover roughly the next 3 weeks of payroll. He understands, but insists that they have to make it work because he can’t afford to let his team down. Hermione certainly understands the loyalty he has for his team, but is still concerned that he could put his company at risk of bankruptcy. Fred has a plan, a long shot admittedly, but he has been working on obtaining a rather large contract through townhall. He has set a dinner up with Mayor McCoy, wherein she has agreed to hear his bid for the project. Hoping for some support, Fred asks Hermione to co-host the dinner with him and shes says that she will help him. The 2 share a brief quiet moment together, gazing longingly at each other. Veronica is approaching the office with a delightful potted flower, a gift to celebrate her mother’s new job, when she is stopped in her tracks as she sees her mother and Fred making out through the office window.
Later that night, Archie is kicking back in bed playing his guitar. Fred stops by the teen’s room and let’s his son know that he bought tickets for the whole construction crew to go to the variety show. Mr. Andrews also bought a ticket for Hermione, and then breaks it to his son that they are attempting to date. Fred is embarassed to have the talk about dating, but Archie assures his father that it is OK. Ultimately, Archie just wants his father to be happy.
Meanwhile at the McCoy residence, Josie is letting her mother know about Valerie’s decision to leave the Pussycats. Mayor McCoy seems unphased, nonchalantly suggesting that Josie just find a replacement for the lost band member. However, Josie remarks that Valerie wrote the music and is irreplacable. Mrs. McCoy stops her daughter right there and tells her that the only irreplacable member of the Pussycats is Josie. Going a step further, her mother suggests that finding a new voice and a different sound would not be a bad thing because Josies’s father Mr. McCoy, a professional musician currently on tour, is flying into town to see the variety show and has not been impressed with the Pussycats latest sound. It is urgently stressed that Josie cannot let her father down with her performance at the show. Mayor McCoy reiterates the point by telling her daughter to find a young and skinny person of color to replace Valerie and that Josie absolutely cannot disappoint her father at the show.
At the Pembroke Apartments, Veronica is waiting patiently as Hermione finally comes home. Eager to confront her mother, Veronica asks if her mother is intending to get a divorce from Mr. Lodge. Cards on the table, Veronica admits that she saw her mother kissing Fred Andrews earlier. Hermione apologizes to Veronica, asserting that this was the first time the 2 had smooched and that, “it just happened.” Unfortunately, Hermione doesn’t have any answers as to what this means for their family, and admits that the situation is confusing. Hermione wants to help her daughter understand, but Veronica is not certain that there’s anything that can be done to make this better right now.
The next day at Riverdale High School, Archie and Valerie are singing a song together while the young lad strums his guitar. Veronica walks in as the duet draws to a close. Flustered, Veronica asks if she and Archie are adding another voice to their song. Archie attempts to diffuse the situation by stating that Valerie had just left the Pussycats. Veronica quips, “So that makes me what then, backup?” Again, the poor boy tries to let Ronnie off the hook, explaining that since she was just doing it as a favor that it shouldn’t be a big deal for him to sing with Valerie. Veronica is not having it, and goes on a diatribe about how Archie has no loyalty (or integrity for that matter), and that she’s still super pissed about Fred kissing her mom. Valerie suggests that it perhaps time for her to go, but Archie stops her. The ginger lad explains that his father genuinely likes Hermione, and with both of them being separated they should be allowed to date. He offers to go somewhere private and talk about it, even to continue to sing the duet with Veronica, but the damage is done. Veronica scoffs, and then walks out on him and his offer.
Josie 2
Which sends Veronica straight over to the music room, wherein she joins the Pussycats. Now a newly minted member of the group, Veronica joins fellow bandmates down the school hall, complete with cat ears on, as all of the students check them out. Valerie is particularly wounded by the display and especially by how smug Josie appears to be.
Across town, Betty and Jughead have made their way to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy home for troubled youths. The facility is stark with catholic symbolism, and Jughead remarks that they should not judge the place by its outward appearance. Betty tightens her ponytail and marches into the building. Once inside, Betty checks in, identifies herself to the receptionist, and then asks to see her sister Polly. Family only, so Jughead will have to sit this one out. The receptionist takes Betty on a quick tour of the hallways, and eventually leads the young lady to a flower garden where Polly is relaxing. The sisters have an emotional reunion, with a huge hug. Polly claims, “You found us,” revealing that she is pregnant with Jason Blossom’s child. Betty is incredibly happy for her sister, and apologizes for not coming sooner. In an interesting twist, Betty explains that she hasn’t visited because mom and dad wouldn’t allow it, and Polly claims that mom is telling her that Betty didn’t want to come visit her. Polly continues by stating that she isn’t sick or on drugs, but that mom and dad sent her here because they can’t control her. According to Polly, this is the story: She and Jason were dating, and mom and dad hated that. At one point, Jason was forced by his own parents to break up with her because of the family rivalry. However, once it was certain that Polly was pregnant, Jason was over the moon and the 2 of them planned a daring scheme to runaway from their respective families and start a new life together, away from scrutiny. They had even stashed a car aside for their getaway. On the morning of July 3rd, Polly packed a bag and was getting ready to meet with Jason, when her parents stopped her and had her admitted to the home for troubled youths. It was, by Polly’s account, jarring and played out more like an abduction scenario, claiming that the orderlies threw her into the back of a van as mother smugly watched. With story time being finished, Polly asks Betty if Jason has been asking about her. Betty tries to explain what happened to Jason, but before she can get a word in Polly goes off on how Betty can help her escape so that she can be with Jason again. Betty puts an end to it when she finally gets a chance to tell Polly that Jason has unfortunately met his demise. The receptionist approaches the young ladies and tells Betty that she needs to come to the front office with her immediately.
Back on campus, the Pussycats are rehearsing for their performance at the variety show. However things are not going well. Veronica is too distracted by her smartphone to sing on cue. Josie cuts to the chase and puts Veronica on blast. The young Ms. Lodge apologizes, as they have a brief heart to heart over their various daddy issues.
All the way over at Archie’s garage, he and Valerie are practicing their duet “I Got You.” Archie tries a little freestyle on his guitar, but it falls a touch flat and throws Valerie off her groove. She lashes out at Archie over the foible, and hoping to better understand what is going on, he asks her if everything is OK. She explains about how leaving the Pussycats and singing with him is a big risk for her. She then details the origin of the Pussycats, and how they met at the local record store and started practicing in the stockroom when they had free time. One day, Josie brought the band a cheap pair of cat ears from the Halloween store, and the Pussycats were born. Valerie specifically mentions that she found her voice with Josie and Melody.
Betty is waiting at the office of the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. She is desperately trying to get a call through to Jughead, but can’t seem to find any service on her phone. The door to the room swings wide open as Betty’s mother Alice enters the room. Betty is completely flumoxed over how her mother found it she was there, but the Alice let’s her know that she pays this facility ggod money and is always informed of when Polly receives a guest. Exiting the room, Betty and Alice are joined by Jughead and the receptionist for a jaunt down the hallway to the main lobby. On the way, Polly is being taken back to her room, and the troubled youth confronts her mother about being kepy in the dark about Jason’s death. Alice maintains that it was for Polly’s own good, but that just makes her daughter more upset. The orderlies start to push Polly inot her room, but before they can Betty gives her a giant hug and vows to get her out of there as soon as possible.
It is time for Fred Andrews’ dinner/business proposal and there is a large audience in attendance at the luxurious dining room in Hermione’s apartment, including Fred, Hermione, Josie, and Mr. & Mrs. McCoy. Fred starts off with a little small talk, asking Myles McCoy about his success as a jazz musician. They group discuss balancing art with commerce, striking that fine line. Hermione adds that she is excited to see her daughter perform with the Pussycats. This catches Mr. McCoy off guard and asks Josie when she was going to let him know about it. Josie explains that it just happened and that she had to do something because Valerie quit. Josie’s father is disappointed, noting that Valerie was a solid musician and that she gave the Pussycats some “much needed integrity.”Fred tries to lighten the mood by arguing that if the kids are having fun, then what does it really matter. Mr. McCoy disaggrees, and states that music is serious business for him and Josephine. Archie is intrigued by learning her full name, and her father adds that she was named after the legendary jazz singer Josephine Baker. Hermione thinks that it is perhaps time to switch gears and start the presentation, and seeing how severe Mr. McCoy has been, Fred agrees.
A confrontation of another kind is happening in Betty’s bedroom, as she and her parents hash things out. Betty maintains that Polly deserved to know the truth. Connecting the dots, Betty starts to see a pattern: hate for the Blossoms, Polly’s pregnancy, the break in at Sheriff Keller’s, not being at the closing of the drive-in. She bluntly asks her father if he murdered Jason Blossom. This accusation gets a hardy laugh from Alice, who argues that Betty’s father wouldn’t have the stomach for something as harsh as murder. Going one step further, Alice wishes that either she or her husband had killed Jason, just based on what he did to Polly. Alice then accuses Betty of sounding just as crazy as Polly. Betty takes offense to this urges them to stop calling her and Polly crazy. The issue comes to a head, and ultimately Betty tells them that she doesn’t believe their stories about the whole situation anymore.
Fred wraps up his proposal, adding that it would create new jobs in Riverdale and help stoke the town’s economy. Mr. McCoy is disappointed, but Mayor McCoy found his bid refreshing. The Mayor would like to award the contract to Andrews Construction, but there is another bid that is in the process of being accepted by the land owner, and it would take 2 signatures from the owner’s board of directors to change the agreement. Fred sighs, knowing that he tried his best but it wasn’t enough.
Later at Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe, Josie and Veronica are discussing the different styles of music, and how Josie can never seem to find the right balance that will satisfy her father’s rigoruous scrutiny. Having put all her cards on the table, Josie asks Veronica for her sob story. Veronica lays out the full story on what happened between Fred and Hermione earlier, and how that ruins her dream of her family getting back together once her father is released from jail. The newest Pussycat has angst over whether she should tell her father about it, or not. Josie advises her to get the whole story from Hermione before doing anything rash, arguing that there may be a valid reason for them hooking up that Veronica is not aware of.
Back at the Andrews’ residence, Archie and Fred are having a conversation about the variety show. Archie is concerned that he is going to blow it, big time. Fred assures his son that regardless of whether Archie does well or does poorly, that he will love him all the same. At the end of the day, Fred is proud that his son is dedicated to pursuing his passion.
The next day, Hermione approaches Veronica about signing a document that would allow Andrews Construction to perform the necessary work on their newly acquired land. Veroinca is confused as to why her signature is necessary, but Hernione explains that when Mr. Lodge was arrested, Veronica was made a legal officer of Lodge Industries, which means that if they both sign the document it would be enough to award Fred Andrews the contract. Veronica asks if her signature will mean that her mother will stop seeing Fred romantically, but Hermione is not inclined to agree to those terms. Frustrated, Veronica declines, stating that she cannot justify any action that would help her mother get closer with Archie’s father. After watching her daughter leave the room, Hermione, a true Lodge at heart, forges Veronica’s name on the document.
On campus, Archie walks in on Valerie playing keyboard, and he mentions how perfect it sounds when she plays their tune. She gloats a bit and says that they wrote a good song together. He wants to sing the song in public with her, but not tonight at the variety show. Not wanting to be responsible for breaking up the Pussycats, he urges her to reconcile with Josie and perform with them. Valerie is game, but not under teh old arrangement, she wants more creative freedom and the ability to take lead vocals occasionally. Archie adds that with Mr. McCoy in town, she might be able to convince Josie to new terms. Valerie wonders where that would leave Archie, but he isn’t concerned. He is going to go up on stage all by himself and get over his stage fright.
Jughead climbs a ladder up to Betty’s window. She is amused by his antics and lets him in her room. She tells Juggie that her parents are crazy. Jughead deadpans, “They’re Parents, they’re all crazy.” Adding to that, she wonders now if Polly isn’t genuinely crazy as well, and if so does that make her crazy just like her entire family. Jughead places his right hand on Betty’s shoulder and assures her that everyone is crazy, and that neither of them were anything like their parents. Jughead has something else he wants to say, but can’t seem to find the right words for it… instead he becomes a dashing man of action and plants a kiss on Betty’s lips. She gives a sly smile of approval, and then suddenly it hits her. The car! Polly had mentioned that she and Jason had stashed a car for the getaway. Jughead is a little deflated that their moment was sidelined by her rembrence of the car, but Betty is adamant that they have to find the car to see if Polly was telling the truth.
Josie 3
The Riverdale 75th Annual Variety Show is just getting underway, and Kevin Keller is getting the crowd hyped up. Backstage, Valerie is trying to discuss her return while Josie gets ready for the big show, mentioning that she’s not singing with Archie tonight and that Josie should have told the band that Mr. McCoy was in town. Josie deflects the entire conversation and states that she has already filled Valerie’s spot. Valerie is aware of her replacement, but counters that nobody can match Josie’s vocals better than she can. Knowing that it is the smart move, Josie invites her friend back into the band. Valerie is ahppy to come back, just so long as she can sing lead vocals occassionally. Josie agrees to co-lead vocals, and only on the bridge of certain songs. For now that is close enough for Valerie. The 2 go over the plan for the performance tonight.
Josie and the Pussycats take the stage and start an energetic rendition of Donna Summers’ hit song “I Feel Love.” During the song, a montage of sorts plays out. Mr. McCoy watches on unimpressed. Fred and Hermione applaud the performance. Valerie stares longlingly at Archie, who is off to the side of the stage watching behind the curtain. Betty and Jughead are out in the middle of nowhere when they locate the stashed car. Inside the trunk of the car is Jason’s letter jacket and a stash of illegal drugs. Jughead picks up the drugs, but Betty has him put it back, telling her friend that they needed to get Sheriff Keller and Polly. Jughead snaps a few pictures of teh trunk of the car for safe keeping, which is a good thing because it would appear that they are being watched by an unknown person. Back at the performance, Mr. McCoy has seen enough and walks away before the song is completed. Josie is heartbroken, but continues on until the song is done. Forcing a smile to the adoring crowd, Josie and the band leave the stage. Archie tells Valerie that they killed it, and Valerie tells him that he will do. Archie’s favorite Pussycat gives him a great big smile before disappearing back stage. Veronica rushes over to Archie to apologize for snapping at him earlier. She was upset with her mother and she took it out on Archie instead. The young man apologizes for his part in their argument as well, and admits that he is terrified that he might embarass himself in front of the entire town. Veronica offers to go on stage with him, buthe tells her that this is something that he has to do on his own. Before taking the stage, she offers him one last piece of advice, “If you freeze out there Red Troubadour, just focus on someone who makes you feel safe.” A few moments later, Archie is in front of the audience and for a moment it looks like he might choke again, but a smile from his father gives the little push he needs to start. Archie begins a performance of his new original song “I’ll Try” that captivates the entire audience. Josie in particular is seemingly blown away by his singing. As the chorus begins, Fred feels a great swell of pride watching his son perform with such heart and soul. Just outside the auditoruim, Betty and Jughead find Sheriff Keller and show him the pictures of the car, and immediately he asks them to take him to the vehicle. Archie finishes his song to roaring applause.
Now off stage, Archie walks through a gang of his fellow football teammates as they all cheer him on. Valerie finds him in the crowd, and he makes a b-line over to her. The two embrace, and after a brief moment, Archie gives her Valerie a kiss. She returns the kiss and the two walk away together, happy to be in each other’s company. Veronica sees Fred and Hermione talking, and decides to appraoch them in civil conversation. Fred tells Veronica that he was just awarded the construction contract, thanks to his lucky charm: Hermione. Veronica congratulates Mr. Andrews, stating that “it looks like you won.” She excuses herself, not sure what to do with the world that is falling apart around her.
Jughead’s narration about fear comes back, with an expanded discussion of the variety and complexities of the classic anxiety that plagues us all in some fashion. During this time, we see a distraught Josie being consoled by her mother. Meanwhile at the stashed car site, the vehicle has been set on fire. Betty and Jughead are back at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, running down the hallway to Polly’s room, but when they get there, Polly is nowhere to be found and her window has been shattered. Jughead wondered, now that Polly was free once more, what would she do and where would she go next?

My hot take on the fifth episode:

– Josie needs more character development and better interaction with the Pussycats. Ashleigh Murray is a perfectly capable actress, as evident by the range of emotions that she brought to this episode. I want to like Josie McCoy, I really, really do. Her severity is clearly born from the pressures of having the parents that she does. Both her mother and her father are monsters, in separate and yet equally frustrating ways. I understand why her character is the way it is. She is under a lot of stress. My issue is that I have a hard time reconciling the fun loving, ever-loyal Josie from the comic books and cartoon with this harsher, more driven TV version. If this is arc is taking her to a place where she can get out from under the shadow of her parents and become something more akin to what she is like in other representations. The Pussycats are supposed to be best friends, but you just don’t see that side of their relationship in Riverdale, and a lot lf that is due to Josie’s sever attitude. Also, somebody give Melody story of her own. We literally know nothing about Melody other than she is a Pussycat who plays drums.
– Fred and Hermione…they went there. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, having the season start with Archie in a forbidden romance only to have his father Fred start one after his son’s has ended. Whereas I am sure it has been done on purpose, I hope there is a valid point to it. Fred has quickly become one of my favorite characters on the show, and I hope this isn’t some ploy by Hermione that is purely designed to help Lodge Industries at the expense of Fred’s emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I like the pairing of Fred and Hermione (I said as much last week) as they have good chemistry and it makes for good teenage soapy drama, but I want it to be more than a fling until Hermione gets what she wants.
– Fred and Archie have developed one of the better father/son on screen relationships that I have seen in a good long while. I genuinely enjoy every time Luke Perry and KJ Apa (Fred and Archie, respectively) have a scene together. In just 6 episodes, they have come a long way. There has been an openness that has grown between them that is encouraging. As Fred starts to understand Archie better, it allows Fred agency to open up more with his son. Considering how broken the parenting is on this show, it’s a nice change of pace to see the Andrews boys working on being the exception in this series. A show like Riverdale is seemingly going for copious amounts of subversion, but it is nice for them to have a little slice of wholesomeness in there as well.
– I have said it before, and I will repeat it until it is not true: the music in this series terrific! Seriously, go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/riverdale-cast/ and purchase all of these songs right now. Trust me, they are that good! The work that has gone into Archie and the Josie and the Pussycats songs has been top notch. Although, that being said they’ve never released the Josie and the Pussycats “All For Me” track from episode 3, and that is a crime against humanity.
– Craziness and the Cooper family. There is a fascinating thread going throughout all of the episodes so far: are the Coopers in fact crazy? Betty certainly seemed unhinged during the “sticky maple” incident. Hal Cooper clearly stole the case files from Sheriff Keller and was manically looking for something in them, or possibly to cover something up by taking them away from the police. Alice Cooper is a control freak with a dark, almost sadistic side. And Polly, it’s hard to get an accurate read on Polly, but she is not all there either. Whether Polly’s condition was brought on by her betrayal at the hand of her parents and the “treatment” she was receiving at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy remains to be seen. One thing is quite clear, the Cooper family has some serious problems. It’ll be curious to see if either of the parents end up being responsible on any level for Jason’s death. 
– Jughead put the moves on Betty! I don’t know what is more odd, that Jughead initiated a kiss with Betty, or that he hasn’t eaten a cheeseburger yet on the show. Regardless, I figure this scene in particular has likely made some folks happy and made others a bit angry. There is a vocal contingency of viewers that were really hoping that Jughead would be portrayed as asexual. I find myself OK with Jughead liking a girl. This take on Riverdale is starkly different than the one presented in the comics. Each character has undergone some changes, some more drastic (like Moose being potentially bisexual), and others have been more muted (Archie’s major change is that he is less clumsy, right?). In the end, Jughead’s tone and humor is on point, and Cole Sprouse does a fantastic job of making the character unique. I’m interested to see if Jughead and Betty’s possible romance goes anywhere.
The reoccurring topic of fear was well played in this episode. Most of the characters had something on the line this episode. Betty’s pursuit of the truth may have opened a can of worms with her family. Archie had serious confidence issues in regards to his music. Veronica was dealing with her family imploding. Valerie took a serious risk by leaving the Pussycats to team up with Archie as a song-writing duo. Fred put all of his company’s potential future (or failure) in one make-or-break business deal. Josie had to deal with two parents that were pulling her in different directions. Polly found out that not only was Jason not waiting for her, but that he was in fact dead and no one told her until months afterwards. There was a lot going on in this episode! The stakes were high, and as long as this series can keep that kind of intensity, it should be a thrilling race through the back half of the season.
Be sure to tune in for the next episode as we learn all about Jughead, his relationship with his father, and find out why Sheriff Keller takes Juggie in for questioning!

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