Riverdale: Chapter 46 and A New Master Mind Is Revealed

Okay – I’m 35 minutes into Riverdale tonight and I am hoping that this episode is another one of Jughead’s story.  If not, we either will get answers or more confusion.  Yet, this is Riverdale and are there ever any answers?  Of course not!  That’s why we keep coming back. So, let’s get into the story and see just what happens.  By the way, Riverdale producers, did you stage the sound mess up intentionally??

Archie the Angry Drunk

Archie has decided that college isn’t for him and he wants to work with Fred.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t go smoothly as Archie’s anger and drinking get out of control.  Add to that he gets fired and Fred catches him drinking and lectures him (yeah Dylan schooling Archie on drinking is funny — 90210 reference here).  He goes to Veronica’s club and Reggie refuses to serve him because Archie had had too much already  to drink.  Josie cools him off in a cold shower and Archie tells her about the dream/vision during the bear attack.  Josie offers him an alternative – music.

Archie decides that he has to confront Hiram and goes to the hospital with a gun (don’t ask me how or where Archie got the gun or how he got it into the hospital).  As Archie gets ready to shot, a masked gunman arrives (more about this later because it’s too confusing).  Archie shots at the masked man who runs (and yes, this will be revealed later).

Archie calls Veronica who comes to the hospital.  Hiram is alive and awake and wants to see Archie (as far as I can tell since the sound messed up and I was reading captions).  Hiram thanks him for being there and saving his life.  Archie says he only wants to live in peace.  They now have a truce sealed with a handshake.  Archie goes to the club and talks to Josie.  Have we got a new romance going?  Or is he going to take her suggestion and do music?  Well he does want to “jam” with her.

Betty and Her Family’s Mystery

Meanwhile Betty is off on a new mission because she’s suspicious of all the murders.  Her take is that it is Penelope Blossom.  Betty crashes Claudius’ funeral then meets back up with Jughead.  They decide to work together but Betty gets a call to meet the coroner.  Long story short (and to make the most sense), Claudius didn’t have an autopsy performed but the coroner found Clifford’s records.  Clifford didn’t commit suicide by hanging.  He had been killed by poison (or drugs) prior to the rope  being tightened around his neck.

Betty goes back to see Penelope at her sex club, Maple.  Betty’s figured it out.  Penelope has been killing the men who have died but why not women. Penelope admits that she did the crime and only murdered men because of the Blossoms adopting her at eight and her treatment as a child.  If Betty turns Penelope in, Penelope will tell about the person Betty killed.  Betty ends up visiting her father (again) who (again) asks for forgiveness.

Jughead’s Solves a Mystery (Almost) for Ronnie

Let’s be honest! If you know anything about Jughead on Riverdale, you know he writes about everything.  He’s writing when Ron shows up and gives him a case.  She wants to know who shot her dad.  Oh, and like the Philip Marlowe stories, Ron’s willing to pay.  So Jughead has a new mystery to solve (and we begin to get clues on what the surprise is for tonight).

Some of Jug’s clues are tied to Betty’s case but not all. Jughead is very suspicious of Hermione and starts to question her.  She’s the one who will get the most from Hiram’s death but she has an alibi.  Hermione was on a call when he was shot.  Hermione is upset because she had Hiram followed and gotten pictures of him with his mistress (played by Kelly Ripa).  Betty and Jughead cross paths here, but Jughead gets the most details later.  It seems that the runoff from the drug processing plant had ended up in the  Sweetwater Reservoir.  This caused the girls to have a seizure.  Hiram’s mistress had been called in to investigate and wrote the fake report that got the town quarantined (well that’s part of the quarantine mystery, I guess).

Jughead  had had Sweet Pea watching Hermione.  Sweet Pea calls Jughead and they find out about a mystery man in her life and the plot to frame FP with Hiram’s murder.  Instead FP turns the situation around and throws it back on Hermione.  And why may you ask?  Keep reading!

AND THE NEW MASTERMIND IS . . .

Hermione.  That’s right!  Hermione Lodge may have been a party to her husband’s game but says she was against the drugs (yeah, because it hurt Veronia).  She faked Sheriff Minette’s death and they had a “cabin” in the woods.  Jughead and Sweet Pea tracked them to their tryst (read sex) and heard the plan to frame FP for Hiram’s murder in the hospital room.  Only thing was Archie stopped that.

Then the sound on this episode messed up.  From what I read, FP turned the story on her and set up Tall Boy to do the shooting of Hiram Lodge.  Tall Boy was caught and died on the way to jail.  By the way, FP had called Alice to tape the story and Hermione wasn’t happy at that.  Hermione knows that Minette failed so she goes to the cabin and shots him.

Why you ask?  Well, she wanted the money to pay off someone off for something (which was highly distorted by the sound issue).  Hermione needed the money that Hiram got for protection and the sale of the drug to complete whatever she’s doing.  With Ronnie and Reggie destroying the drugs, Hermione doesn’t have her part of the bargain for  the deal (don’t ask me about this because we weren’t told).  Now, Hermione is wanting revenge on both FP and Jughead.  And Riverdale is just Rivproerdale according to jughead.

Riverdale – American Graffiti (Chapter 127)

Riverdale, somehow I don’t think this will be the “graffiti” known today.  To present day young adults, graffiti means artwork/words on buildings, sidewalks, etc.  That’s what I’m familiar with and evidently part of the seinor prank at one of our high schools.  Maybe Riverdale plans to pay tribute to the movie by the same name.  The movie, “American Grafffiti” was about coming of age in the 1950s but there was no murder mystery or coffee shop.  It was about a diner like Pop Tate’s though so maybe that is why they are calling it.  Tonight, we have a double date for Archie/Betty and Reggie/Veronica.  Does Alice know (or care)?  Probably not.  Her mothering skills were as bad in the 50s as today.

Jughead and Tabitha Solve a Crime

We open where we left off.  Jughead talking to Sheriff Kline about Ray Bradberry.  Jughead tells the sheriff he is going to try and find out more about Ray Bradberry (especially his wife).  It doesn’t compute to Jughead, and he enlists Tabitha as his assistant.  He tells her that Ray’s death doesn’t make sense.   At Mr. Bradberry’s, they find a photo of an African-American woman named June.  She lives in South Carolina.  Apparently, there was something special between the two.

Tabitha convinces Jughead to call her.  Is that “Mrs. Simpson” he asks for.  Never mind.  Jughead introduces himself and tells her what happened.  She wants to know if it is the house on Magnolia Street.  Jughead tells her yes and promises to be there to meet her on her arrival.  It seems they were married in Los Angeles and could live as a couple in a few cities.  In South Carolina, it was a different story.  Their marriage was held against the couple and rocks were thrown through the window.  Ray left to protect them both.  Jughead and Tabitha are now convinced Ray was killed.

When Jughead presents the theory to Sheriff Kline, the sheriff gives Jughead two thick files.  What Kline has discovered (or made up/been given) says that Ray was a card carrying member of the Communist Party and dodged the draft.  He has evidence that Ray had spent some time in a mental hospital.  Again, Jughead must question if Ray took his own life.  I have to ask:  “Who had Ray killed?”  Also, did Kline try to over sale this story?

When Ray’s wife, June, arrives she looks at the letter and remembers the past.  Ray and June had planned to go to Paris where they could be free.  Jughead asks about Ray belonging to the Communist Party and June says it wasn’t for long.  Ray also had scholarships and awards.  He worked at the “maple factory” (I thought:  Blossom’s Maple Factory, oh no) and felt there were better things around the corner.  Jughead wonders if she has any idea on who killed Ray, but she doesn’t.  She has seen many terrible things but won’t stop Jughead from asking the questions.  She does want him to finish Ray’s book and Jughead agrees and plans to give the proceeds to June when it is published.  Then June embarrasses Tabitha and Jughead by asking if they are going steady to which both say a nervous no.  She leaves and tells them to take care of each other.  Has the “bending toward justice” started in this moment.

Later at Pop’s, Jughead and Tabitha talk.  Tabitha would like to talk to her mom but doesn’t know if it is the right time.  Jughead feels like that in some ways also.  Later, as Jughead goes through things at Ray’s apartment, the neighbor knocks on the door.  She needs milk for her cat and wonders if Ray had some.  Looking in the refrigerator, they find it empty and the neighbor remarks on how strange that is.  She had heard the milk man at a strange time with milk.  Where is it now?  Jughead suddenly knows who the killer is!

The Double Date

Archie and Reggie are having breakfast when Uncle Frank enters.  He has something for Archie.  Since Archie got his grades up, Frank has his car keys and the boys are gone.  Archie tells Reggie that the car was rescued from the dump.  His father, Fred, helped Archie rebuild it.  The two take the car to school where Betty and Veronica watch them while plotting.  Those two wanted to be independent women but the car may have changed that.

sVeronica asks Reggie to have another chance at a date.  He agrees and Reggie asks to borrow the car.  Archie agrees but a little later is approached by Betty.  Archie and Betty decide to go on a date even though they don’t have a ride.  They’ll walk to the diner.   Both couples go on their dates, but it wasn’t what the girls expected.  Archie kept watching for his car while Reggie tells Archie he went for a ride on the highway.  Some bad blood build over that but we learn more later.

The next morning, Uncle Frank asks Archie what happened last night, and Archie confesses.  Frank tells Archie that he and Fred had a similar relationship. Frank brings Archie around to treating Reggie like family.  Meanwhile Betty and Veronica are talking about the problems with their dates.  They make the decision to double date and go to Centerville for Fang’s concert.  The guys agree.

On the date, they stop at Pop’s for a meal.  Reggie and Archie are obsessed with a car magazine and the girls suggest that it’s time to leave.  Both Archie and Reggie reach for the keys but Archie claims the car.  They start off to Centerville and run out of gas.  While Archie and Reggie start off to Pop’s for gas, Betty and Veronica sit in the car and wait.  The boys fight like brothers over different things on the way to the gas pump while the girls get a ride from Cheryl to the concert.  While getting gas, Pop offers his old truck to Reggie and Reggie takes it and promises to fix it up.  As the guys walk back to the car, Reggie admits that he took the car to visit his folks.  Reggie has been homesick and needed to see his mom and dad.  Archie admits that he misses Fred.  Their friendship gets deeper.  They arrive back to an empty car.

The next day, Archie finds Reggie at a garage working away on the truck.  What surprises Archie is who else shows up to help.  Apparently, Betty can repair cars and is helping Reggie.  She also takes the time to rub it in that Fangs was fantastic. 

The Book Group

This story was not what I had hoped it would be.  While we have Toni, Clay, Tabitha and other talking about books about African-Americans.  They have not invited any others like Cheryl and Kevin to come.  .  Cheryl asks if she can attend so she can be with Toni.  Eventually both she and Kevin join the group.  They are reading Native Son by Richard Wright.   Kevin offers his thoughts while Cheryl seems afraid to talk about what she got out of the book.  After all the others leave, Cheryl tells Toni that the “white family” in the book is too much like her family.  Cheryl calls the book powerful and she’s afraid that what she would say wouldn’t be accepted by others in the group.   Cheryl and Toni grasps hands after Cheryl makes sure no one is watching.  Toni invites her to go to Fang’s concert in Centerville and Cheryl agrees.  Later we learn that they had Midge in the car and picked up Betty and Veronica.

Fangs and Midge

At school, Fangs tells Midge that he wants to make a life for her and the baby.  He plans to play at Centerville and make a name for himself as producers will be there.  Midge wants to come but Fangs is worried that it’s not a good town and a rumble might happen. 

Well, we already know Midge goes with Cheryl.  The day after the concert, people ask Fangs for his autograph.  He gives it but Midge walks away.  When he catches up with her, he has good news.  Midge is his lucky charm.  A record producer wants to work with him.  They kiss as this could be the way they become a family.

Next Week: Veronica decides to host a Halloween night.  Do murders occur?  Is there a new love triangle forming between Reggie, Archie and Betty?

Riverdale – A Triggering Device — Wednesday (May 24, 2023)

Riverdale has now caused a stir.  I haven’t seen anything about the relationship of Cheryl and Toni or Kevin’s search for identity.  It’s not even that they went on the strange journey of superpowers from last year.  This year the big issue may come down to folks being “triggered” over the Betty and Veronica episode.  Now what in the year 1955 could have caused this.  Let’s dive into the episode and see.

Riverdale has never been shy about addressing issues. Most of the time, they are camouflage, and you don’t see what the issue is until the end of the story.  We’ve been seeing that already this year with the LGBTQ+, the Civil Rights movement (early), and even the abuse a child of an international family can cause for his place in society (who knew that Reggie was half Korean).  I have seen none of this discussed on Twitter.  The trigger came from the Betty part of the episode and her dreams of sex.  And to be honest, I was questioning this whole set up before now.

Let’s deal with the set-up.  I’ll take it from the late 1960s/early 1970s.  As a teen, we played the usual games like “spin the bottle” and other kissing games.  I’m sure there was some “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine” going on (except in the rural areas where this was harder).  Those two parts in the episode told me that this wasn’t the normal 50s.  I had a feeling that this was all building to something more which began with the “peep show” episode.

I admit I got creeped out by some of the things done in the “Betty and Veronica” episode.  Thursday morning, I woke up to see messages on Twitter about how people were being triggered by the sex dream of Betty teaching and having sex with a student.  I’ll be honest.  I never heard anything about this as a child.  I’ll also be honest that today the story makes the news at least once a week.  It surprised me that people were calling the show out on this.  I’m not objecting but found it surprising after some of the other stories like the body organ farm that Riverdale has done.  I guess the harvesting of organs isn’t as pronounced as the “teacher having sex with a child.”

I’m sure that the executive producers and writers know of the news stories.  How can they not!  I know that they built this episode around the possibility that some may have objections.  I also know that we as people need to be aware of what is going on in the world around us.  While in the old days, no one knew about it, today it is common. 

When I was growing up, I think things were different.  Schools were smaller and community based.  Everyone knew everyone else.  Riverdale chose to address the situation head on.  Betty admitted to having dreams about sex.  She even described them.  The real problem I had with it is that they had a psychologist in school asking students to describe the dreams behind a closed door without a woman in the room.  In our society today, as Betty pointed out to him, the door should have been left open.  She was afraid to meet with him after this because she thought he might be a pervert himself.   But to me, the dreams weren’t the only issue.

After seeing the trigger comment, let me point out that there were several other issues in this story that could have served as triggers.  I’ve mentioned that the counselor, a male, saw Betty with no one else present.  Then, we have the book he kept locked in his drawer.  I have never heard of Lolita.  I googled it to see what it was (and will never read it).  The things that really triggered me on the Betty side is that she was the only one blamed.  In “Peep Show,” Archie was just as guilty and they gave him a pass.  In the “Riverdale Dance,” Betty was punished for swirling her dress up.  Never mind that Marilyn Monroe had stood on a vent and her dressed blew up for a movie (Seven Year Itch, I believe).  The things that really (and I’m using this loosely) is that the men looked at women as beneath them.  The principal and counselor saw them as “objects” that were not to be mentioned.  Here’s what I saw as worse.  The minister Alice called in for the exorcism, seemed to ogle Betty and made the comment that she had changed since the children’s choir.  That comment was over the top.

And let’s not forget the major issue I had with the Veronica end of this.  Her parents are unreal for this era (or any era).  Who sends their teen daughter off to live by herself at sixteen.  Sure, there was a butler but now she has no “real home.”  Veronica’s parents are so wrapped up in themselves, television, and money that when their daughter outsmarted them and bought the movie theater they wanted, they punished her.  What parent would deprive their children of a home and make them live at a movie theater.  Oh, right!  This is the Lodges.

One more thing that wasn’t addressed.  When Betty came in and her mother exploded over the counselor cancelling the sessions, Betty asked her just to sit and talk with her.  Hal heard this and exploded.  We must remember that Hal, in present day, was the Black Mask Killer.  I seem to remember that he seemed to have a strange fascination with Betty.  To be honest, his attitude toward her creeped me out. Alice told Betty once that she went along with Hal’s killing spree to protect Betty.  Could there have been a hint of this infatuation in the earlier episodes of the series.  I think so.  To me, in this episode, I saw signs of Alice being abused by Hal.  Could he threaten Betty?  I’m afraid the answer is yes.

I’m not as triggered as students growing up in the 2000s with the sex because I didn’t know it as a school student.  It wasn’t an issue.  Today, even where I live, it is.  The thing we need to step back and realize is this.  Riverdale is subtly using the setting of 1950s small town to show us what today’s world has become.  The theme is “bend towards justice” and I see where it’s going.  I will wait until a little later to elaborate on this and how I think it will happen.  What I think is that we need to be triggered but not by this one incident.  We need to be triggered today but not only about the “sexual issues” but about the hostility but the other attitudes that exist today which the adults on Riverdale (1955) seem to see as normal.  I expect we will see much more of our present echoed in their past.

Riverdale – Chapter 126 – Betty and Veronica Double Digest

Riverdale, Riverdale, what have you done?  You are planning to do the “B & V Comic Digest” tonight.  Two stories and I’m betting neither one would fit into the 1955 comic digest that got printed.  Let’s face it, there is definitely too much sex on this show for it to be that.

When we left off last week with the previews for Riverdale, we saw that Betty having to do “counseling” sessions with the school creep – I mean counselor.  It seems she has a vivid imagination. en on YouTube, I found the Veronica story which deals with the Babylonium.  She’s trying to get the teens back to the theater.  Maybe Riverdale is a small town, but what else do they do there for fun.  Why should it be this hard to pack a theater in the 1950s.  So, this story may be interesting.

Tonight we open with Jughead looking at Ray Bradbury things Then straight to Betty.

Betty

The counselor asks Betty if high school is highly sexualized, and Betty says basically yes.  Mr. Snarky disagrees and tells her it is for academic advancement.  (I will not use the counselor’s name.)  She’s there because of the peep show and dance on live tv.  The counselor considers her highly sexualized.  He wants to know what her first sexual memory is.  The memory is of playing “Operation” with Archie.  She lies saying that she doesn’t remember.  The counselor sets her day dreams off.  He wants to know how often she thinks of sex. Well, in the morning as she gets ready for school, it’s Archie.  On arriving, it’s Fangs in a car.  In the hall, it’s Jughead followed by Reggie in the shower.  In gym, she’s with Veronica but we don’t see who she things about in science.  sThe counselor interrupts.  Wow!  Does she have an active imagination.  Again, he demands a number and she tells him that Dr. Kingsley said every seven seconds.  The counselor says that only for boys.  Betty points out her dad has “girly” magazine hidden in his bedroom (remembering her parent’s double beds).  The counselor says he’s a child therapist and not an adult.  Betty then announces she doesn’t think she wants to get married but have an impact on the world instead.

That evening, Alice brings wedding fashion magazine (wait, that Veronica’s angle).  Alice gives them to Betty so she can daydream about her wedding dress.  Betty suddenly realizes that the doctor has told Alice everything about the session and asks why?  Alice hedges and says that she (Alice) can’t wait because Betty’s wedding will be the happiest day of her life?  Wait Alice?  Are you planning to go on the honeymoon also? And what about Polly?   Or is there something more sinister?

The counselor asks about her dreams and if they’re sexual.  He wants to know the dreams so Betty shares.  In them, she’s a teacher.  She’s tutoring a student with the boy varying.  She starts by kissing them (thinking Archie), then moves on to getting him on the floor and undressed.  Suddenly, she realizes that the whole class is watching but she continues.  Mr. Snarky wants to know if she shares the dreams with others and Betty tells him no. 

His note taking is getting to Betty so she asks him about it but doesn’t get an answer.  His notes are for himself like a diary.  He wants to know where this urge comes from and why.  She thinks it is coming from her wanting to be seen, desired and determination.  She wonders if understanding sex is about understanding who she is.  To understand the person, you must understand yourself. 

Later Betty arrives home and sees Alice and a priest from First Reformed Church.  He’s going to hear her confession and do an exorcism (if necessary).  Alice went through Betty’s room and found her diary.  Alice read them due to the therapist suggestion.  Betty accuses Alice of ‘breaking and entering’ and storms out.  She decides to do a little B & E of her own.

Betty gets into the therapist office at the school and finds a locked drawer.  When she opens it, she finds a knife, sling shot, and book.  She goes to Pop’s and finds Jughead.  She has a book called Lolita.  Jughead wants to know where it came from.  The book is salacious according to the review and it’s about a 12 year old girl and an adult man.  Jughead asks if she has read it and off Betty goes to read.  (Note:  I loved the reference to Trixie Belden which I read in the 6th and 7th grade.)

Next day, the counselor stops Betty for their meeting, but Betty is busy.  Sure, she is.  She’s headed home to finish the book.  The next day, she goes in his office, slaps the book on his desk and gets him to admit he has read it.  He tells her he was reading it to compare her to Lolita.  Betty points out the book is about a 12-year old that is coerced into doing sexual acts by an older man.  Is the counselor doing the same thing.  He’s manipulating the sessions and she asks what he does with the notes at night.  Is the old man obsessed with sex?  She will not meet with him alone behind closed doors again.

After school, Alice confronts Betty and tells her that the counselor wants to end the sessions. Alice admits that she’s trying to fix Betty through these sessions.  When Alice starts to call the doctor, Betty says just talk to her!  Alice looks to be in shock.  Betty doesn’t want a doctor, but her mother to be honest with her.  Betty has realized that Alice is afraid of her and wants to know why.  As it looks like Alice may answer, Hal arrives and stops Alice from talking.  While Hal calls Alice the most wonderful wife and mother, Alice just seems more nervous and scared.  Hal sends Betty to her room until she realizes what Alice has sacrificed for her.  (Are we getting the serial killer Hal showing up.  At the very least, I think he’s an abusive husband.)

The next morning, Betty comes downstairs.  Betty wants to talk to Alice about the path forward but it will not be the doctor.  Alice agrees and tells her that the doctor will not press charges.  Also Alice has decided that Betty may not need protection or Alice’s sacrifices anymore.  So, Betty no longer has a mother.  Alice walks out telling Betty to get her own breakfast.  Could this be the start of the “Hal wants to abuse Betty story” we had a hint of during a prior season.  Does Alice need to do something to bend this to justice? 

Veronica

Veronica is giving away tickets when Cheryl interrupts.  She has questions about the James Dean films Veronica will show.  Cheryl’s seen them.  Why should she come and Veronica offers her free popcorn.  Veronica tells Kevin and Clay that money comes from the popcorn and soda (today the sandwiches, nachos, etc.).  Veronica leaves advertisements everywhere (even in the boy’s locker room). 

It works!  The theater has a full house.  She tells Reggie to save her a seat, but Kevin interrupts her.  The copy of the James Dean’s movies arrived overexposed.  Veronica tells the house with Cheryl demanding a refund (and popcorn flies).  By the time Veronica finishes refunding the money, she’s tired.  She tells Reggie the milk shake date must wait.

The next day Veronica, Kevin and Clay try to get to the bottom of the overexposed movie.  The distributor apologizes but doesn’t come through with the copy of East of Eden that Ronnie wants.  He doesn’t have any as it’s the biggest movie of the day.  She tries other major distributors and gets turned down.  Finally, one lets slip that it is due to her parents.  They’re trying to do business with the Lodges.  She tells Kevin and Clay that her parents only believe in television and wants everyone to forget film.  The companies also see Riverdale as not a good market for these films.   

Clay suggests that they show B movies (the ones like “Planet Nine”) and Veronica goes to Pop’s. She sees Jughead who explains the movie to her and so Veronica gets her hands on it and shows it to some students.  Cheryl realizes that the movie was shown two years ago as a 3-D movie.  Veronica says it will be 4-D and Dilton says 4-D is time (another hint of bending to justice maybe).  That’s not what Veronica has planned.  She’s going to use gimmicks (special effects) to scare people during the movie.  She hires (cons) Archie and Reggie into being the space monsters and all is set.

Cheryl doesn’t seem to happy about a 3-D movie and that Midge is helping Veronica out.  She does go into the movie and sits down in the front row.  As the movie plays, suddenly Cheryl senses smoke in the theater.  The next thing that happens is monsters (Reggie and Archie) come out and scare the audience.  Veronica has a hit on her hands. 

The next night, the 7:00 show sells out and there’s a line for the 9:00 show.  Archie and Reggie talk to Veronica and quit.  They have basketball games and practice and can’t do it.  She tries a raise to no avail so she decides that Clay and Kevin can do it.  Reggie asks for a date and Veronica says maybe the next day.

The next day, Reggie waits for Veronica but she is on the phone.  Variety has run a piece about the success and she’s talking to the distributor about East of Eden (which she gets).  When Veronica comes downstairs, she finds flowers but no Reggie.

When she arrives at her apartment, her key won’t unlock the door.  Poor Smithers has to tell her that she’s been locked out.  Since she succeeded and made the Babylonium a success, Ronnie will not get any financial support from her parents (typical Hiram).  Smithers has had her belongings taken to the Babylonium.  Veronica’s office has become her new home.  Veronica doesn’t seem worried.  As she looks at her first feature movie, she’s smiling.  I see a scheme beginning.

The show ends with Jughead finishing one of his mentor’s books.  He realizes that time passes, seasons change and life goes on he tells Pop.  As he starts to leave, we see flashing red lights.  Sheriff Kline comes in and needs Jughead’s help to solve the mystery.  Was Jughead seeing a way to bend toward justice?  Was Kline unknowing sent to stop it?  Next time:  Tabitha and Jughead talk.  Kline questions some things found in the apartment and Jughead remembers the milk man.

Is Network Television Dying?

What is the future of television?  If you are a commentator or recap, you dread the answer.  Casual viewers (general public) probably do not even know that the writers associated with the WGA is striking.  What may have an even worse impact is if the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) decide to walk also?  That’s a strong possibility and could happen sooner than people realize.

But let’s step back.  What impact has it had in the few weeks that it has happened?  The 2022-2023 season is all but over.  The American audience is used to hit and miss programming and sports during the summer.  The real effect will come in September and October when all eyes will turn to watch Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, Law and Order, and other favorites.  As we wait (impatiently) for the shows to air, we get crickets.  Well, not crickets but in the case of ABC, it will be reality, game shows, news, Disney, and sports. CW claims to have two new shows but also plans reality and their News Max programming (shudder).  Fox, NBC, and CBS have revealed no contingency plans. 

So, I decided to dive back into the previous Writer’s Strike.  That one hit hard as it happened in 2007 and 2008.  A new season of shows had hit the airwaves and we were enjoying our routine of 24, LOST, Heroes (among others). Suddenly, in many cases, halfway through the season, they disappeared or went to repeats.

I must admit.  I like the mini-season breaks of our favorite shows.  If they end on a cliff hanger for their break, it definitely makes me tune back in.  But, when the break is sudden and the action is no where near a cliff-hanger planned break, you are (no pun intended) lost.  We were coming up on major developments in 2007-2008.  What did we get?  For me, the most forgettable (and annoying) was Big Brother 9 (or the season we don’t mention). 

But let me mention that what gets hit the hardest is soap operas (or as they prefer, daytime dramas).  Back in 2007, I had ended my soap opera period of research and just started prime time recapping.  I still had contacts that were or had been in the soap industry.  To the soap opera industry, it was dire.  They had, at the most, three or four weeks of episodes shot.  Once they were gone, so was the new stories to keep people tuned in. 

Soap operas had no where to turn except old episodes that had been fan favorites.  The scary thing is that fan favorites of old had actors that may no longer be with the show (or who have actually died).  That meant all sorts of problems due to the fact that new viewers might not know the history of the people in the story.  I personally saw that with One Life to Live.  During the 1990s, the show had focused on issues that were “real” in the world – AIDS, breast cancer, lupus.  Suddenly, they had to fill a period of months with episodes that had people no one knew.  Plus, the soaps had returned to being just that – stories dealing with money, affairs, and missing children.  How could the new casual viewer relate to the “real issue” stories. 

They didn’t.  Soap opera viewing was on the decline.  The 2007-2008 saw viewership decline even more.  Those who had been unhappy with the stories now knew why they were unhappy.  New viewers couldn’t identify with what they were seeing.  Sure, the networks brought them back but they eventually faded.  I remember the 1990s having at least nine soap operas on three networks.  Now we are down (basically) to three soap operas on two networks.  I really don’t see how soaps can continue.

Let’s now move on to prime time.  I was beginning to recap for such shows as LOST and the break was surprising.  Where was my Sunday dose of Desperate Housewives?  LOST had taken us into the jungle to solve a mystery.  24 was showing us the mid-day level of  the recent security breach.  Suddenly, they were gone.  Instead, we saw networks scrambling for shows.  They could show repeats but that wasn’t what viewers wanted.  Movie nights didn’t seem to work.  CBS decided to run a second season of Big Brother (winter version) which was quickly pulled together.  It showed.  Season 9 of Big Brother was the season many of us wanted to forget.

We were promised that our shows would return.  They did but by the time they did, the damage had been done.  For comedies, they had begun to fade after 9-11.  I thought that it was because our hearts were still hurting.  The only one who seemed to “get it” was Chuck Lorre.  He tried to keep comedy on an even track while others tried to reinvent the genre.  The dramas had not maintained the interest due to where they had broken off.  LOST and Desperate Housewives tried to treat it as normal but 24 and Heroes couldn’t.  They had lost their momentum.  They had lost viewers.  Soon these shows would disappear from the airwaves only to be replaced with cop shows or remakes of 1960s/70s shows.  The cop shows spawned more with the same titles.  The jury, for me, is still out about the remakes.  While I can watch Hawaii 5-O, it isn’t the same as the original.

This year’s strike happens as the networks are going to summer programming.  Yet, television does not live on summer programming alone.  They must use the summer to set the scripts for new shows.  With what I term the dumbing down of network shows, I fear what will happen in the future.  Yes, I have watched reality (Masked Singer which is getting boring) but I also know that reality music and game only last as long as they entertain and are interesting.  The dramas and comedies are all but gone.  Dramas on network television are really cop shows.  The shows that are really intriguing are on streaming now as networks do not feel the need to program them.

Oh, and one more thing.  If you think streaming is safe and will continue to be new and amazing, don’t count on it.  If it was filmed prior to the beginning of the writer’s strike then you may have new shows.  If it was in the process of being filmed, there lies the question.

I don’t blame the writers for striking.  Residuals, writer’s room, and their other demands are valid.  I blame the ones who see cash as being more important than imagination.  With the state that our world is in, I fear we are heading to network programming that features reality, made-up news, and fake people.  Gone will be the shows you want to see because of story.  Instead, networks will go for cheap angles and “court” shows.  That has already started on the cable networks.  At least the 2007-2008 strike brought us such gems as Once Upon a Time and Riverdale where you must forget reality and live in the story being told.

Riverdale – Basketball for All – Chapter 125

Riverdale, Riverdale, rah rah rah.  Basketball title we must succeed.  Okay, I might be exaggerating but that’s what I expect to see tonight.  The basketball team is legendary (really), a legacy.  Then why is Julian Blossom such a fraud and big mouth?  And, add to that, Tabitha (number 2) returns.  What does this suggest?  Is it the real Tabitha, the angel of Riverdale, or still the one who knows nothing.

The Student Lounge

I’m putting this here because it doesn’t fit anywhere else.  So, Archie introduces Reggie Mantle to the gang.  Reggie is staying with Archie.  Ronnie immediately likes him while Cheryl doesn’t seem to accept Reggie.  Betty and Kevin introduce themselves before Ronnie takes back over.  She invites him to the movies, but Reggie isn’t interested.  His parents don’t even have a television set.  He heads to the gym.  Meanwhile at the lockers, Tabitha asks for the homework assignment and Jughead forgot to get it.  He tells her he’s been busy writing comics and Tabitha is excited.  When she finds out that Mr. Bradberry is serving as Jughead’s mentor, she wants to meet him and she and Jughead plan to stop by his apartment. 

Basketball for All – Not Really

We open with the basketball team playing (and losing).  I mean they really lost.  The cheerleaders are upset.  The locker room has Julian blaming everyone else but himself.  If Julian is the captain, he should lead and inspire the others.  The only thing Julian says is that they should be unstoppable.  I guess that means cheat.  Archie talks to Frank and Frank has a plan.  Frank is going to get Reggie “The Player” Mantle on the team. 

Reggie is working on the family farm and evidently there is not much money coming in.  Archie offers to help and it gets refused.  Of course, Archie wants to know why Reggie doesn’t play basketball and Reggie admits he dropped out of school.  Frank sends Reggie to talk to his mom and the next thing we know, he is living with the Andrews family and sharing Archie’s room (apparently).  He sees Betty in her room and Archie closes the blinds fast. 

The next basketball practice has Frank introducing Reggie to the team. Julian is all mouth and Frank decides that they will skirmish with Reggie and Julian as captain.  Archie and one other go to Reggie while the rest is on Julian’s team.  Reggie suggests that Dilton joins his team which makes Julian laugh.  The game starts with Reggie showing just how good he is.  Julian though can score also and doesn’t mind spooking Dilton and messing up a play.  The final score comes from Dilton’s basket which upsets Julian.  When Archie suggests going out for a team builder, Reggie says he has homework to catch up on and Julian doesn’t seem surprised.

In the gym, Reggie is practicing, and Archie enters and wants to understand why Reggie is having a hard time with the team.  When Archie brings up the invitation to the mixer that Julian plans, Reggie doesn’t want anything to do with it.  When Reggie was a sophomore, he was on the basketball team.  Because he was different (poor), the other boys made fun of him by stuffing his locker with corn.  During the first practice, they fouled him intentionally.  This is what Reggie feels Julian has planned and he will not meet anyone halfway.  Archie feels for Reggie and won’t give the other players (especially Julian) the opportunity. 

At the mixer, the team and cheerleaders are there.  Betty and Archie talk, and Betty feels she won’t be a cheerleader much longer.  She figures that when Alice finds out she’s supposed to have a basketball player assigned as her “friend,” Alice will pitch a fit.  Archie meets Mr. Blossom who calls him rooming with Reggie a sacrifice.  Archie says that Reggie realizes what this means to his family and doesn’t want to fall behind on his school work (yeah, and Reggie went to the movies).  Much of what Mr. Blossom says sounds like a threat.  Even Frank looks strange at the way Mr. Blossom talks. 

Archie returns home and Reggie asks about the mixer, but Archie doesn’t want to talk about it.  The next day, at practice, Julian says it is time for warmups.  Reggie says he’s leading the team that day.  Julian insults Reggie and Archie slugs Julian.  Archie then turns on the team.  Archie doesn’t care what they think of Reggie.  As long as they are in the gym, they’re a team and they need to act like one.  Reggie can help them make the playoffs.  If they can’t accept Reggie as a teammate, they can leave.  Archie includes Julian in this statement.  Archie does the right thing after Julian seems to agree and helps him up.

Archie and Reggie talk.  Archie doesn’t want to believe Reggie about the town but says maybe they (Riverdale) are as messed up as other places.  Archie just doesn’t know and Reggie looks at Archie in a different light.  They have now bonded, and a friendship is growing. 

Betty and the Cheerleaders

Betty, meanwhile, finds out that Hal Cooper has talked to her “doctor” who advises that Betty needs exercise to get rid of excessive energy.  The doctor has decided she needs to spend time with “nice, god girls.”  Betty’s relieved to find out that it won’t be on the dance show but not happy to learn that it’s as a cheerleader for the Vixens (led by Cheryl).  From dancing to cheerleading, Betty can’t win.

When Cheryl assigns players to support for each cheerleader, she gives Betty as Reggie as her support and Toni for Archie.  When Betty helps Reggie with his studies, she admits that she’s supposed to be Reggie’s cheer responsibility and bake him things.  What’s this?  Betty tells Reggie that cheerleading is part of her punishment.  Of course, Reggie wants to know why and Betty tells him about the Swirl from the dance show and how she flashed everyone in a Marilyn Monroe style.  Reggie asks if that’s why Archie keeps his curtain closed and she admits the peep show from their windows.  Reggie get up to leave and Betty tries to stop him by saying nothing happened.  Reggie tells her that he is living with Archie and they don’t play those games in his home town.  Now Betty is embarrassed. 

Cheryl and Toni Explore Their Relationship

Meanwhile, Cheryl and Toni are having a romantic interlude.  Cheryl wants them to go steady, but Toni realizes that it won’t work.  Toni points out they can’t hold hands in the hall or walk together.  So going steady is out.  Well, Cheryl pushes until Toni agrees to secretly go steady.  Let’s see how that works.

Cheryl and Toni talk about stopping the secret going steady.  Toni realizes that it just won’t work, and Cheryl thinks it’s because Toni was paired with Archie.  Toni assures her that isn’t the case, but the secret love bit is making her feel like she has lost herself.  She needs to figure out for herself who she is. 

Toni wants to join the newspaper staff.  She admits that she has given up cheer.  Tabitha, Clay and Toni decide to use Blue and Gold to do a journal of thoughts.  When Clay points out that he has a relationship with Kevin — like Toni and Cheryl — Toni tells him they are different as Kevin and Clay are preppies.  When they need funding for the journal, Toni goes to Cheryl for help.  Cheryl stops by with a donation that will fund the magazine.  As she starts to leave, Toni stops Cheryl and says she wants to try again.  Is that a tear I see on Cheryl’s cheek? They decide to go to the Dark Room and try again.

Tabitha and Jughead

Tabitha returns to school and Toni asks about the tour.  The tour seems to have been depressing as they saw how people are treated.  Tabitha asks what Toni has been up to and Toni admits she hasn’t been writing. 

sJughead takes Tabitha to meet Mr. Rayberry.  When they get there, he doesn’t answer the door.  No matter!  Jughead and Tabitha decide to continue growing their friendship and go to the movies.  Veronica is surprised to see them together and calls it interesting.  At her make-out party, she felt Jughead was a loser. Later, at Pop’s, Tabitha gives Jughead a book called Dark Waters.  It is a science fiction book by a Civil Rights author.  In it, everyone on earth dies except for two people.  The problem is that Jim is black and Julia is white. (I only type what they said.  Don’t blame me for terminology.)  Jughead can’t wait to read it and Tabitha suggests they do it together.

Jughead returns to Mr. Rayberry’s to find the door open and Sheriff Kline there.  It appears that Mr. Rayberry has killed himself saying in his note that he couldn’t go on like this anymore.  Just who did it?  Who is the Milkman.

The Babylonium

Veronica is at work at the movie theater when Kevin stops by.  Instead of watching a movie, Kevin wants a job.  Ronnie asks him about Clay.  It seems Clay already has a job as a projectionist.  Ronnie wants Kevin to help her get Clay interested in her.  Kevin says maybe and she gives him a job.

It seems that Ronnie is making a study of people.  When Tabitha and Jughead show up, it surprises her because Ronnie had labeled Jughead a loser.  She wants someone more continental.

At the theater later, Ronnie asks Kevin about Clay.  Kevin tells Ronnie that she’s coming on too strong.  Finally, Kevin admits that Clay isn’t interested in girls.  Ronnie realizes that there is something between Kevin and Clay and calls them “secret friends of Dorothy.”  I checked the term, and it comes from the LGBQ community and was used during the 20th century (Wikipedia).  The term isn’t used often today.  Ronnie tells Kevin she’s okay with it.  Ronnie thought this was the case but wanted to test her theory.  Ronnie says it is okay because she likes having hunky guys for friends.  She promises to get Kevin up to snuff with the terminology and that she is finding this hick town more like home.

And Next Week: When Betty sees a counsellor, she is asked about sex.  Boy, oh boy, does Betty have these and it seems like it is all the time!

Riverdale – Basketball for All – Chapter 125

Riverdale, Riverdale, rah rah rah.  Basketball title we must succeed.  Okay, I might be exaggerating but that’s what I expect to see tonight.  The basketball team is legendary (really), a legacy.  Then why is Julian Blossom such a fraud and big mouth?  And, add to that, Tabitha (number 2) returns.  What does this suggest?  Is it the real Tabitha, the angel of Riverdale, or still the one who knows nothing.

The Student Lounge

I’m putting this here because it doesn’t fit anywhere else.  So, Archie introduces Reggie Mantle to the gang.  Reggie is staying with Archie.  Ronnie immediately likes him while Cheryl doesn’t seem to accept Reggie.  Betty and Kevin introduce themselves before Ronnie takes back over.  She invites him to the movies, but Reggie isn’t interested.  His parents don’t even have a television set.  He heads to the gym.  Meanwhile at the lockers, Tabitha asks for the homework assignment and Jughead forgot to get it.  He tells her he’s been busy writing comics and Tabitha is excited.  When she finds out that Mr. Bradberry is serving as Jughead’s mentor, she wants to meet him and she and Jughead plan to stop by his apartment. 

Basketball for All – Not Really

We open with the basketball team playing (and losing).  I mean they really lost.  The cheerleaders are upset.  The locker room has Julian blaming everyone else but himself.  If Julian is the captain, he should lead and inspire the others.  The only thing Julian says is that they should be unstoppable.  I guess that means cheat.  Archie talks to Frank and Frank has a plan.  Frank is going to get Reggie “The Player” Mantle on the team. 

Reggie is working on the family farm and evidently there is not much money coming in.  Archie offers to help and it gets refused.  Of course, Archie wants to know why Reggie doesn’t play basketball and Reggie admits he dropped out of school.  Frank sends Reggie to talk to his mom and the next thing we know, he is living with the Andrews family and sharing Archie’s room (apparently).  He sees Betty in her room and Archie closes the blinds fast. 

The next basketball practice has Frank introducing Reggie to the team. Julian is all mouth and Frank decides that they will skirmish with Reggie and Julian as captain.  Archie and one other go to Reggie while the rest is on Julian’s team.  Reggie suggests that Dilton joins his team which makes Julian laugh.  The game starts with Reggie showing just how good he is.  Julian though can score also and doesn’t mind spooking Dilton and messing up a play.  The final score comes from Dilton’s basket which upsets Julian.  When Archie suggests going out for a team builder, Reggie says he has homework to catch up on and Julian doesn’t seem surprised.

In the gym, Reggie is practicing, and Archie enters and wants to understand why Reggie is having a hard time with the team.  When Archie brings up the invitation to the mixer that Julian plans, Reggie doesn’t want anything to do with it.  When Reggie was a sophomore, he was on the basketball team.  Because he was different (poor), the other boys made fun of him by stuffing his locker with corn.  During the first practice, they fouled him intentionally.  This is what Reggie feels Julian has planned and he will not meet anyone halfway.  Archie feels for Reggie and won’t give the other players (especially Julian) the opportunity. 

At the mixer, the team and cheerleaders are there.  Betty and Archie talk, and Betty feels she won’t be a cheerleader much longer.  She figures that when Alice finds out she’s supposed to have a basketball player assigned as her “friend,” Alice will pitch a fit.  Archie meets Mr. Blossom who calls him rooming with Reggie a sacrifice.  Archie says that Reggie realizes what this means to his family and doesn’t want to fall behind on his school work (yeah, and Reggie went to the movies).  Much of what Mr. Blossom says sounds like a threat.  Even Frank looks strange at the way Mr. Blossom talks. 

Archie returns home and Reggie asks about the mixer, but Archie doesn’t want to talk about it.  The next day, at practice, Julian says it is time for warmups.  Reggie says he’s leading the team that day.  Julian insults Reggie and Archie slugs Julian.  Archie then turns on the team.  Archie doesn’t care what they think of Reggie.  As long as they are in the gym, they’re a team and they need to act like one.  Reggie can help them make the playoffs.  If they can’t accept Reggie as a teammate, they can leave.  Archie includes Julian in this statement.  Archie does the right thing after Julian seems to agree and helps him up.

Archie and Reggie talk.  Archie doesn’t want to believe Reggie about the town but says maybe they (Riverdale) are as messed up as other places.  Archie just doesn’t know and Reggie looks at Archie in a different light.  They have now bonded, and a friendship is growing. 

Betty and the Cheerleaders

Betty, meanwhile, finds out that Hal Cooper has talked to her “doctor” who advises that Betty needs exercise to get rid of excessive energy.  The doctor has decided she needs to spend time with “nice, god girls.”  Betty’s relieved to find out that it won’t be on the dance show but not happy to learn that it’s as a cheerleader for the Vixens (led by Cheryl).  From dancing to cheerleading, Betty can’t win.

When Cheryl assigns players to support for each cheerleader, she gives Betty as Reggie as her support and Toni for Archie.  When Betty helps Reggie with his studies, she admits that she’s supposed to be Reggie’s cheer responsibility and bake him things.  What’s this?  Betty tells Reggie that cheerleading is part of her punishment.  Of course, Reggie wants to know why and Betty tells him about the Swirl from the dance show and how she flashed everyone in a Marilyn Monroe style.  Reggie asks if that’s why Archie keeps his curtain closed and she admits the peep show from their windows.  Reggie get up to leave and Betty tries to stop him by saying nothing happened.  Reggie tells her that he is living with Archie and they don’t play those games in his home town.  Now Betty is embarrassed. 

Cheryl and Toni Explore Their Relationship

Meanwhile, Cheryl and Toni are having a romantic interlude.  Cheryl wants them to go steady, but Toni realizes that it won’t work.  Toni points out they can’t hold hands in the hall or walk together.  So going steady is out.  Well, Cheryl pushes until Toni agrees to secretly go steady.  Let’s see how that works.

Cheryl and Toni talk about stopping the secret going steady.  Toni realizes that it just won’t work, and Cheryl thinks it’s because Toni was paired with Archie.  Toni assures her that isn’t the case, but the secret love bit is making her feel like she has lost herself.  She needs to figure out for herself who she is. 

Toni wants to join the newspaper staff.  She admits that she has given up cheer.  Tabitha, Clay and Toni decide to use Blue and Gold to do a journal of thoughts.  When Clay points out that he has a relationship with Kevin — like Toni and Cheryl — Toni tells him they are different as Kevin and Clay are preppies.  When they need funding for the journal, Toni goes to Cheryl for help.  Cheryl stops by with a donation that will fund the magazine.  As she starts to leave, Toni stops Cheryl and says she wants to try again.  Is that a tear I see on Cheryl’s cheek? They decide to go to the Dark Room and try again.

Tabitha and Jughead

Tabitha returns to school and Toni asks about the tour.  The tour seems to have been depressing as they saw how people are treated.  Tabitha asks what Toni has been up to and Toni admits she hasn’t been writing. 

sJughead takes Tabitha to meet Mr. Rayberry.  When they get there, he doesn’t answer the door.  No matter!  Jughead and Tabitha decide to continue growing their friendship and go to the movies.  Veronica is surprised to see them together and calls it interesting.  At her make-out party, she felt Jughead was a loser. Later, at Pop’s, Tabitha gives Jughead a book called Dark Waters.  It is a science fiction book by a Civil Rights author.  In it, everyone on earth dies except for two people.  The problem is that Jim is black and Julia is white. (I only type what they said.  Don’t blame me for terminology.)  Jughead can’t wait to read it and Tabitha suggests they do it together.

Jughead returns to Mr. Rayberry’s to find the door open and Sheriff Kline there.  It appears that Mr. Rayberry has killed himself saying in his note that he couldn’t go on like this anymore.  Just who did it?  Who is the Milkman.

The Babylonium

Veronica is at work at the movie theater when Kevin stops by.  Instead of watching a movie, Kevin wants a job.  Ronnie asks him about Clay.  It seems Clay already has a job as a projectionist.  Ronnie wants Kevin to help her get Clay interested in her.  Kevin says maybe and she gives him a job.

It seems that Ronnie is making a study of people.  When Tabitha and Jughead show up, it surprises her because Ronnie had labeled Jughead a loser.  She wants someone more continental.

At the theater later, Ronnie asks Kevin about Clay.  Kevin tells Ronnie that she’s coming on too strong.  Finally, Kevin admits that Clay isn’t interested in girls.  Ronnie realizes that there is something between Kevin and Clay and calls them “secret friends of Dorothy.”  I checked the term, and it comes from the LGBQ community and was used during the 20th century (Wikipedia).  The term isn’t used often today.  Ronnie tells Kevin she’s okay with it.  Ronnie thought this was the case but wanted to test her theory.  Ronnie says it is okay because she likes having hunky guys for friends.  She promises to get Kevin up to snuff with the terminology and that she is finding this hick town more like home.

And Next Week: When Betty sees a counsellor, she is asked about sex.  Boy, oh boy, does Betty have these and it seems like it is all the time!

Riverdale – Dirty Dancing or Hairspray? Chapter 124

Riverdale, you keep upping your game as we move through the final season.  Tonight, you have us wondering just what we will see.  Will we see “Dirty Dancing?”  “Hairspray?”  “American Bandstand?”  These are all movies I love or television shows geared to my generation.  There are signs from the preview that it will have “Hairspray” elements but “American Bandstand” what also used in that show.  And will Betty be “put in the corner” as Babe was in “Dirty Dancing.”  The dancing will have me intrigue as none of these young adults have been exposed to it!

The Aftermath and Repercussions

Well, I wondered if there would be repercussions and there are.  Mr. Cooper has told Alice that Betty was dancing in a negligee while Archie watched.  Alice starts calling parents and they all get upset.  Mary won’t talk to Archie but Frank will explain that what Archie did was normal for a boy his age.  Alice tells Betty to keep away from Archie and that she will be dancing on Riverdale Grandstand (American Bandstand—first reference).   Ronnie’s parents got a call about Ronnie part in all this, and she’s been cut off from her allowance and must work at the Babylonium theater.

What about Kevin and Jughead?  Were there repercussions for them.  Well, Sheriff Kline found the man magazine and questions what is going on with Kevin.  Sheriff Kline decides that Kevin needs to be with “the guys” and so convinced Frank to put Kevin on the team.  Frank tells Archie that the Sheriff thinks that will help Kevin be more manly.  Jughead, while upset that he’s lost the friendship of Mr. Rayberry, has more problems that he knows.  The principal and guidance counsellor called him in and tell him to stop writing the violence comics or he will be expelled from school.  Jughead is proud of his work but the two adults see it on the same level as pornography.

Aftermath and Riverdale Grandstand

At school the next day, Archie gets cheers and Betty gets rude looks and comments.  Later, Ronnie and Betty talk during gym.  Cheryl enters and she’s dance captain on Riverdale Grandstand (shades of Hairspray starting?).  She gives Betty the rules which include no kissing and no groping.  Meanwhile in the boy’s basketball practice, they are interrupted by Kevin’s arrival.  Frank accepts Kevin as a member of the team, but Julian isn’t happy.  Ronnie goes to work only to find out that the movie theater, They Babylonium, is in danger of closing.  They have a skeleton crew. 

Riverdale Grandstand has a disk jockey and Alice at the music podium controlling the show.  Cheryl has a geek picked out to dance with Betty.  Betty doesn’t want to dance but must and with Cheryl’s pick.  Archie works on his bike and Frank enters to tell him that Sheriff Kline wants Frank, Archie and the team to get Kevin into sports and with the guys to straighten Kevin out.  Archie talks to Kevin (who is with Clay) and invites him to hang-out.  Kevin doesn’t want to and before practice they talk.  Archie wants to know what is going on.  They’ve known each other since kindergarten.  Kevin doesn’t think they have anything in common.  Kevin tells Archie that he just wants to be himself.  After practice, Julian is talking about another team member who has gone “all the way.”  Julian wants to know who will be next.  Julian goads Kevin into saying that he will.  Kevin’s scared but what can he do. 

Jughead has skipped school and gone to Pep.  Mr. Rayberry (could they mean Bradbury as in the author, Ray Bradbury) comes in to get his check cashed.  Seems Rayberry is smart.  He doesn’t trust the bank.  Jughead again apologizes and Mr. Rayberry wants to know why Jug isn’t at school.  Later, at Pop’s, they talk and Mr. Rayberry accepts Jughead’s apology and agrees to be his mentor.  There is a condition.  Jughead returns to school.  Mr. Rayberry says it is a Freudian knot.  They decide that Jughead will continue to write comics like Super Duck and write the violent ones under a pen name. 

At the theater, Ronnie is talking to Nick and he has pipe dreams about filming movies.  Ronnie doesn’t like being in front of cameras but near them.  They decide Ronnie will produce and Nick will film.  Ronnie suggests that the owner do a commercial to build traffic to the theater.  She and Nick do one where Ronnie says to return to the theater for the magic.  The owner loves it but there’s a problem.  Ronnie’s parents are buying the theater to turn it into a parking lot (oh, I hope this means Hiram will return).

Cheryl’s parents own the television station so of course she and Julian (and Penelope) do a commercial for Blossom syrup.  They kids go back to dancing.  What.  This isn’t dancing, it’s pretend.  Alice can bump the DJ but the kids have to keep a distance.  Troy asks Betty for a dance and she agrees (wasn’t there a Troy in Hairspray).  Anyway, Troy comes on to Betty who slaps him.  Of course, the camera catches it.  Of course, Betty gets blamed.  Alice won’t let her off the show but will tell the boys they cannot dance with Betty.

More Problems

Kevin has his own dilemma.  He must have sex and asks Archie for advice.  Archie admits to being a virgin also and they decide to use the woman who Julian had sex with. When Kevin arrives, she’s waiting and tries to get Kevin to dance.  He breaks down in tears. 

Jughead and Mr. Rayberry has come up with a plan.  They visit the principal and the guidance counsellor.  The principal isn’t happy that Mr. Rayberry has become Jughead’s mentor.  Mr. Rayberry explains the comics Jughead will write and that he (Rayberry) will serve as Jughead’s mentor.  Jughead will continue to write for Pep with a comic called Super Duck (and produces a copy).  Mr. Rayberry points out its not porn but the counsellor and principal doesn’t seem happy.  Mr. Rayberry says that if they keep pressuring Jughead, he and his mentee will file a lawsuit and take it to the Supreme Court.  Jughead returns to school but I’m even more suspicious about these two who are in charge of Riverdale High.  Oh, and Mr. Rayberry later tells Jughead he’s going to release his book.

At Pop’s, Archie sees Betty and asks if Kevin is “girly.”  Betty tells Archie that she won’t kiss and tell and Archie let’s slip what Kevin is doing.  She makes Archie think and he goes to get Kevin who he finds sitting on the bed.  The woman tells Archie that nothing happened and comes on to Archie.  He refuses and helps Kevin up and out. Of course, she assumes Archie is gay also.  At the school, they sit on the steps.  Kevin is upset and wants to know why Archie came.  Archie tells Kevin that Archie felt he had to stop Kevin before he became scarred for life.  He asks Archie what will he tells the guys and Archie says they will come up with something and Archie will back him up to the guys.

At home, Ronnie is upset and then suddenly she looks at a painting on her wall.  She realizes that it is worth a lot of money.  She’s going to sale that painting and buy the Babylonia.  The next day, she gives the painting to the movie theater’s owner in exchange for the movie theater.  At home, she asks the butler to send a message to her parents that she is now the proud owner of the theater and to forget the parking lot.

Kevin goes home where his father is waiting.  Sheriff Kline had started the plan to have Kevin lose his virginity.  He knows all that happened.  Sheriff Kline storms off upset.  The next morning at breakfast, Frank tells Archie that Kevin has quit the team.  Sheriff Kline had called.  Archie leaves the table without finishing breakfast which makes Frank ask why.  Archie says he has no appetite.  At school, Archie walks up to Kevin and Clay and asks them to lunch.  They can talk about anything because Archie likes poetry and drama also.

Betty and Archie are in the student lounge and Cheryl enters with an invitation to Riverdale Grandstand.  It seems her parents want more fresh faces on camera, so Cheryl is handing out invitations.  Betty and Archie talk about the false image that Riverdale Grandstand is presenting.  They both feel that the show presents everyone as being perfect, peachy keen and doing no wrong.  In other words, boring and not as they really are.  The image isn’t true.  Parents (adults) are dictating everything about the kids’ lives.  Betty has an idea, and I don’t think she told Archie. 

That afternoon, Alice and the DJ are at the podium and Cheryl and Julian are on camera.  Ronnie and Archie are dancing and Betty has to watch.  Alice even goes so far as to stick her tongue out at Betty.  They announce that it’s time for a new dance, the Swirl. Of course, Cheryl and four others come up to perform it.  All the dance consist of is turning in circles.  I’d get dizzy.  Suddenly, Betty comes up and tells all that she’s going to show the audience (and dancers) what the Swirl is really like.  She starts turning in circles with her dress rising higher and higher.  Wait a minute.  My parents were teens in the 50s and they didn’t dance like that!  My dad was the jitter bug champ.  As Betty “swirls,” her skirt rises higher and higher until you see her panties and bare skin.  Alice stops the filming by going to a commercial (another Hairspray reference).  All leave but Alice and Betty who have a heart to heart.  Alice yells at Betty and is very upset with her.  Betty tells Alice to let her off the show and Alice does.  Alice tells Betty that she’s broken Alice’s heart.  And of course, the control force meet Betty at school the next day.  The counsellor calls Betty ini for a meeting.  He tells her that Alice is concerned about Betty’s actions recently.  Betty tells him that she has a mind and desires of her own.  The counsellor is trying to decide what to do with Betty.

Jughead meanwhile is writing all the time.  He does his Pep work but he’s also working on a novel it seems about high school.  He goes to show Rayberry who seems happy.  When Jughead leaves, a mysterious looking stranger (and it definitely isn’t FP!).

Next week. 

The basketball team starts playing.  And did Jughead mention dope? Okay , I’ve been through body organ cults, Dungeon and Dragons, and so many other strange plot twists.  Fans of the show knows villains are always trying to control the gang.  As I see it now, we need to watch the principal and counsellor as they are the real ones behind the control while the parents have lessons to learn.  The gang will “bend to justice” everything but at what cost to the adults!

Riverdale – 123 – Peep Show or Secrets

Riverdale, we’ve already had you address issues that are in our real world every day.  So, what do you have for us tonight.  A reminder of when we first saw Betty looking out her window at Archie’s bod?  Archie returning the favor?  And what about the adults stand on Pep and Jughead’s writing for them?  Hopefully we’ll get a few answers on whether things are doing what the message said:  bend toward justice.

Tonight’s episode seems to be multiple stories again.  I’ll try to do this as they ran but know that I didn’t get a few names.  Sorry about that but they went off closed captioning before I got them.

Jughead and Pep Comics

Jughead opens the episode with narration about how Pep is plagiarizing stories from 10 years before.  The next day, he approaches his boss at Pep and tells him what he has found.  Of course, the editor denies it, but Jughead is upset and plans to investigate.

Jughead finds the author and tells him that his work is being plagiarized by Pep.  He’s even brought proof but the writer doesn’t want to talk to Jughead.  In fact, he slams the door in Jughead’s face. The next day, Jughead is watching his comic come off the press.  The author walks in and confronts Jughead’s editor who denies and claims to have the best New York lawyer (like who wouldn’t make that claim).  Jughead has an idea.  For each story of the author that Pep has used, the author will get a royalty.  (What have we here?  Jughead doing Writer’s Strike stuff.) The editor promises to pay the author $2 for each story that they’ve used (and that is 8 stories so far folks).

Jughead and the author share a meal at Pop’s.  Jughead is asked where his father is.  Now we learn that FP has fled Riverdale because of a robbery charge. (Guess Kline isn’t much of a sheriff?)  The author agrees to read Jughead’s work.  After he finishes a story, Jughead drops it off and is offered tea.  Seeing a box, Jughead gets nosy, opens the box, and finds a story.  He slips the story into his backpack and later reads it.  Jughead returns it to the author and urges the author to get it published.  Jughead offers to help.  Instead he flees when the author gets mad, calls him a thief (which he is) and throws something at him.  (Is this supposed to be Jughead’s grandfather?)

Shortly thereafter, Jughead’s comic is out and Dilton loved it.  Yeah, Dilton smart.  A teacher finds it in Dilton’s possession.  Of course, it is taken to the principal who thinks it is just more of the same until the teacher points to the author, Jughead Jones.

The Archie Problem

Frank has a talk with Archie about Mary’s concern.  Archie’s grades are slipping and so Frank goes for the jugular and takes Archie’s car.  Frank thinks this is happening because of Fred’s death.  Low blow Frank because you know Archie promised to take care of his mom.  Archie goes and apologizes to Mary and starts to get ready for bed.  Little does he know he’s doing a peep show because Betty is watching everything.

Archie promises to do better with his school work to the principal.  The principal wants a word with Frank in private (this can’t be good).  Frank has been asked to become the basketball coach and guess who the star player is:  Julian Blossom.  He adds new meaning to the word jock.  Frank decides Archie needs to get involved in basketball, but Archie doesn’t want to play.   Frank makes him water boy.  Julian, as soon as he finds out, decides to make Archie’s life miserable.

Frank decides to teach Archie “responsibility.”  In addition to school and basketball, Frank gets Archie a job at the service station next to Pop’s.  Julian shows up and makes fun of Archie as a grease monkey.  Pop Tate sees Julian’s behavior and brings Archie some coffee.  Pop tells Archie that he use to go to the games and watch Fred play.  Fred was a star!

One day, Archie almost throws some baskets but something stops him.  Later, in the Lounge, Julian makes fun of Fred.  Julian’s goal is to break Fred’s records (and rub Archie’s nose in it).  This leads to a fight and Mary is called.  Frank tries to stop Mary from going in the office but Mary tells Frank that she’s Archie’s mother and will handle it.

Mary talks to Archie and learns why Archie refuses to play.  She thought it must have something to do with Frank but Archie confesses that it isn’t Frank.  To Archie, basketball was something he did with his dad.  He’s afraid that if he picks up a ball and starts to play, he’ll look for Fred because he would want Fred there.  Archie is afraid of tarnishing Fred’s reputation.  Mary tells Archie that Fred would be proud.  It would make Fred happy and make Mary happy for him to join the team.

Archie shows up for practice ready to play.  Julian denies him the opportunity because he doesn’t think that Archie can make a basket.  Archie gets the ball and sinks a shot from what looked to be our three-point line.  Guess who’s on the team.

Sexuality at Riverdale High

Both Betty and Cheryl are having trouble understanding their sexuality (as they call it).  Betty turns to Veronica who admits she never has “gone all the way.”  Betty wants to know Ronnie’s secret about looking/acting sexy and Ronnie gives Betty her trade secret:  lingerie.  After school she also gives Betty a black, sexy lingerie piece and tells her to wear it and say:  “I look gorgeous.” 

Ronnie isn’t happy when she finds out Betty just couldn’t wear the lingerie.  Betty feels nervous and Ronnie asks her if there is anyone special at school Betty likes.  Of course, it’s Archie (which doesn’t surprise Ronnie).  Ronnie has invited Archie to meet her in the lounge then sends Betty to the meeting instead.  Betty asks Archie for a movie date, but he can’t as Frank has decided to run his life.  They’ll do it in a few weeks.  Betty cries to Ronnie who moves on to step two.  They need to date men (not high school boys).

Ronnie finds dates for her and Betty.  These older men are flirty and make suggestions but for Betty it does no good.  She can see Archie at work next door.  Ronnie realizes that this didn’t work.  Betty admits she watches Archie from her bedroom window undress.  Ronnie wants to watch too so they both wait and watch for Archie to get home the next night.  Something goes wrong as Archie sees them and confronts them the next day.

Archie and Betty talk.  They agree that they like each other and can communicate (yeah sure) and watch each other from their bedroom windows.  They agree to meet at the window (wait didn’t they do this before – must rewatch season one).  That night they “meet” and each nod to undress.  (It’s the old “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours game).  As they get to the final piece of clothing, Betty is interrupted as her bedroom light comes on and her parents enter.  Seems like someone called and Archie’s light comes on but we get the most reaction on Betty’s side.

As if sexuality between these two isn’t enough, Cheryl is facing her own sexual feelings.  She returns Toni’s book to her, and Toni wants to know what Cheryl thought about it.  Cheryl replies she loved the cover and Toni says they need to talk more at the Dark Room.

As the Vixen cheerleaders start practice, Toni comes in.  She has decided to try out.  Midge seems to be okay with this but Evelyn Evernever doesn’t want Toni on the team.  Cheryl reminds Evelyn that she’s in charge and gives Toni the chance to audition.  Toni’s audition is amazing but for Cheryl it takes her to another place (a world of her own).  She gives Toni a spot which Evelyn doesn’t like (look your cult doesn’t exist.  Leave Cheryl and Toni alone.) 

In the locker room after practice, Evelyn tells Cheryl she doesn’t want a girl like Toni on the squad.  Evelyn says all know that Toni is a lesbian, but Cheryl won’t hear that word.  Cheryl calls Evelyn intolerant and has no proof.  Meanwhile Toni and Midge talk about Toni joining the squad.  I get the impression Midge knows and doesn’t hold it against Toni.  In fact, Toni uses the term Latino instead.

Evelyn just won’t let it drop.  She decides to have a look at Toni’s gym locker and finds the book.  Toni finds Evelyn looking at her things, but Evelyn won’t back down.  Evelyn talks about Toni liking girls to girls (preaching Evelyn?) but hasn’t learned not to mess with Toni.  Toni tells her to leave her alone and watch out.

Toni tells Cheryl that Evelyn is going to be a problem.  She talking to everyone, and Cheryl isn’t helping.  Cheryl admits to trying to protect Toni, but Toni asks why.  Toni’s not ashamed and this causes Cheryl to apologize.  Toni is mad and starts to leave but Cheryl stops her.  Cheryl admits that she’s attracted to girls, especially Toni.  Things are changing in Riverdale.

Later Toni and Cheryl meet to talk more.  Cheryl tells Toni that an incident happened when she was 10.  Her mother had found Cheryl with Aunt Carol.  Aunt Carol left and Penelope and Carol had a falling out over sex.  Since then, Cheryl knew she was different.  For Toni, she realized it early and her parents found out.  They kicked her out of her home, but her grandmother took her in.  Her grandmother knows and doesn’t seem to mind.  Toni hated the thought of going through it alone but wanted to be her own person.  Cheryl knows she is no longer alone.

At cheer squad, Cheryl makes an announcement.  There’s a new “flyer” on the team – Toni.  This upsets Evelyn as she has always been the flyer (I could make a joke about Evel Knievel but won’t.)  Cheryl gives Evelyn a choice.  The choice is to accept the change or quit.  Evelyn accepts the change, but I doubt it’s over.  Later, in the bathroom, Toni and Cheryl share a kiss (and is this bending toward justice I ask).

Next  Week:  We have Riverdale’s version of American Bandstand showing up.  This was a standard show of teens in the 1960s and 1970s with Dick Clark counting down the week’s top ten, musical acts and dancing.  Betty shocks everyone when she shows up.  In fact, Alice tries to cut the camera.  Oh, we are revisiting Hair Spray and American Bandstand.  Betty must have shown up in a sexy outfit ith a sexy dance.

Riverdale #122 – Are Comics Evil

Riverdale – how did you know?  In the 1960s, my mom refused to buy us comics because it was not “educational” enough.  Well, that didn’t stop my courtesy “brother,” Tony, from sneaking them to me.  I got Superman, Supergirl and some Batman.  Once he snuck an Archie’s comic in with them.  Mom found them and accused my dad of giving them to my sister and me but Tony “fessed up.”  Mom checked the Archie and said:  “Well, it’s not as bad as the others.”  My knowledge of Riverdale had begun.

With Riverdale centering around “Pep Comics” (from which Archie came), I thought this would be a good opening.  I have an English BA now that focused on the 14th, 15th, 16th centuries and the 1960s thus the notes I often make.  Tonight, I am interested in how Principal Featherhead will stop comics from being read.  It would be like trying to stop arcade/computer games on the phone/computer.  So with four stories to be told, let’s get started.

General Set-Up

Tonight, remember Veronica got him out of jail so we now have Verhead (whatever).  Featherhead, Clyde Blossom, and the scary school counsellor are talking about comics.  They don’t want Kline included.  Could “Pep Comics” be where this “bend to justice” happens and are theses three behind the Mugs case.  In their view,  the comics are about tyranny and violence.  Are we seeing the true villians of the piece with men with money and wanting to control young minds.  Will they do anything that creates a problem? 

Meanwhile, Jughead meets with the editor of Pep magazine.  The editor is impressed by the stories and wants him to write four stories overnight.  The more I think about this, the more I see that the adults who are in control are worried about the students learning what the world is like.  Definitely a illustration of making the world “bend toward justice.”

Jughead looks at the suggestions and decides to set up a high school narrator in the form of a creepy custodian.  Ronnie has stopped by and likes the idea of using the high school.  Jughead has no time to go out for dinner because he has to write an entire issue by the morning.  While they talk of using a teacher, the creepy custodian is how they go.  Jughead’s story ideas will include all his friends from the sex party.  Note:  There was no way to get the stories titles, so after the first they will be listed Story Two, Three and Four with an interlude between each.

Keep Your Head in the Game

Story one introduces the narrator, a creepy janitor.  At midnight, the school becomes a house of horrors.  Dilton seems to be featured in the first one.  He’s not very athletic and can’t make a basket.  Julian Blossom is the bully and punishes Dilly for not being able to score.  He calls Dilly a “dead man” who should settle for water boy.  Justin shoves Dilly into a locker which Archie doesn’t like.  Archie, though, doesn’t stop Justin or get Dilly out. 

While in the locker, Dilly becomes psychotic.  When the lock is gone the next morning, Dilly leaves and gets an axe.  He returns and waits for his team and revenge.  The next day, the coach finds Dilton making baskets. The coach finds Julian’s head at his feet.  Looking at the bench, Dilly has put his teammates (sans heads) there and Archie’s head is the next to be used as a ball.  And story one is done.

Interlude

Jughead says comics can be over the top to Ronnie.  He explains that people have to be punished when they do the wrong thing.  Hey Jughead!  How does Dilly get punished?

Story Two

The second story features Archie.  His car has a flat and he ends up at the Blossom mansion.  Granny tells him she will call the garage and Archie reminds her it is closed.  She’ll allow him to stay the night.  After a cup of tea, Granny takes him to his room.  Archie has seen Cheryl’s portrait and Granny tells him that it is of her granddaughter.  She’s the reason he must lock his door at night and not leave the room.  Cheryl has a craving for sex and Granny wants to protect Archie.  (Yeah right, I smell a set-up.) 

That night, Archie unlocks his door and in comes Cheryl.  They have a wonderful night of heavy petting (or so he tells her granny).  Granny admits that Archie was set-up.  She put the nails in the road.  She did it for Cheryl who is lonely.  She had gone on a trip to a jungle and got exposed to an incurable leprosy.  It’s highly contagious to the young and since Archie was with her, he’s exposed also.  Cheryl comes up, heavily veiled, and tells Archie they will always be together.  Archie looks shocked as we fade to black.

Interlude

For story three, Jughead and Ronnie talk about high school again.  Jughead thinks that the story with Cheryl represents that curiosity kills the cat (even with heavy petting).  Ronnie suggests that God created high school so boys can chase girls which sets up the next story about Betty.

Story Three

This story has Betty wanting boys to lust after her.  She’s tired of being seen as the nice girl that boys think is to pure to touch and girls envy.  She goes to a beauty shop (and think hairdresser is like John Travolta’s character in Hair Spray) and the hairdresser has a new style that she will use on Betty.  The style is the beehive and the stylist will use Betty’s hair, extensions, tease it, and wind it up so it looks like a beehive.  The problem is that Betty can’t ever wash it and must use a special hairspray at all times.  Of course, Betty jumps at the opportunity to get the jump on the other girls and promises to use the hairspray religiously. 

The next day, Betty arrives with her new hair style.  The boys are crazy for it and the girls are envious.  Archie and Julian vie for her attention and Cheryl and Ronnie show their jealousy in the girls’ bathroom.  Betty continually sprays her hair.  She even sprays the hair spray in Archie’s face but he isn’t deterred. 

Later, a very bad thing happens.  Archie takes Betty on a date to Pop’s.  He compliments her hair and Pop tells him that Betty has always been special.  Archie invites her to dance and they do but suddenly Betty gets dizzy and falls to the floor vomiting.  She dies at Pop’s.  When the medical examiner starts to saw through her hair, he finds the answer to the question.  The beehive hair style was an actual beehive.  The bees had burrowed into her brain and hatched eggs.  He runs out as we see the bees coming out of Betty’s hair and down on her face.  Kudos to Lili Reinhart if she actually let the bees on her face.

Interlude

Ronnie and Jughead are talking about wh at the plot should be for the final comic.  Ronnie has a suggestion:  a love story with romance.  Jughead jumps on it and sets up a love triangle with the girls in charge.  And of course, it features, Archie, Betty and Ronnie – the original love triangle of Archie comics. 

Story Four

Again, the custodian tells the story and tells us that Archie is a good boy but has trouble with the simple life.  He’s studying triangles and doesn’t seem to understand you can’t have both.  He can’t choose between Betty (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and Ronnie (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).  By Sunday, Archie is tired and rests.  Rest of the week, he’s hyped up on coffee.

Archie doesn’t realize that the girls are aware of what he is doing.  They each want him for their own but Archie tells each what they want to hear.  As he tells the basketball team, just tell each that “You’re my favorite.”   It seems to be working until Valentine’s Day when both girls demand that he make a choice.  It falls on a Sunday when he takes the day off and Archie says that he’s taking his mom out as it will be her first Valentine’s Day alone.  Before you say that he’s being sweet, he isn’t.  Betty and Ronnie treat each other to a date only to see Archie and Cheryl enter Pop’s.  When Ronnie wants to confront him, Betty stops her.  She has a better plan.

The next day, Betty and Ronnie want to know how his mother liked the special date and Archie lies.  Betty and Ronnie suggest that he take both on a special date.  Archie plans Lover’s Lane but Betty and Ronnie tell him no.  They want him to come to the Shop Class that night. 

When Archie arrives, he finds candles and flowers everywhere.  Betty gives him his coffee (with a sleeping pill addition) and Archie drinks awakening on the lumber saw.  Betty and Ronnie laugh at him as they start the saw, splitting him in half.  Each will always have a part of Archie – Ronnie his head, Betty the bottom half.  Why not cut him down the middle instead of splitting him in two, Roberto?  You could have had the “Perils of Pauline” that way.

The Big Finish (or Is It?)

Ronnie reviews the stories and isn’t happy.  She asks if that is how Jughead sees women (the last one).  Ronnie has seen a pattern.  The sexual politics are troubling to “say the least.”  She doesn’t like the girls as crazy killers.  She sees him as trivializing women and he’s disagrees.  He offers to take her to Babylonia but she turns him down.  The next day, Ronnie ignores him.  Is he the villain?

Of course, the school counselor has written an editorial that condemns the comics as being a corrupt influence on the youth of the day.  Blossom, Featherhead and he agree that the comics are a link between the violence (like the Muggs) and inspires teens to commit the acts.  The youth of the day’s innocence must be preserved at all costs.  They burn the copies they have and plan to remove those who write the stories. 

Jughead goes to Pep where he tells the editor about his girl troubles.  The editor informs Jughead due to his stellar work that he is getting his own byline, Jughead “Jugular” Jones.  The editor tells Jughead:  “Girls come and go but your name in print last forever.”  And the story isn’t over as the end card says it will be continued. 

But apparently not next week!  Previews show Betty and Archie deciding to go all the way.  Ronnie gives Betty advice.

When I was young, my hometown didn’t have the violent type used in tonight’s story.  We had DC comics which seemed to end with good winning, war comics (which my dad read), and Archie comics.  Archie was the only ones that mom approved and she wonders why I recap Riverdale.  The answer is simple.  It is a continuation of my youth!

Riverdale Chapter 120: Sex Education

Okay, Riverdale, one question?  Are you borrowing from movies again? The reason I ask is because I was reminded of a sequel to the movie, ‘Grease.’ If the episode is true, where did you dig up the charts used in ‘Grease 2’ and will the kids break into the movie’s song “Where does the pollen go.”  No seriously, in my days they separated the girls and boys to teach us about how our hormones were changing.  I really don’t remember much more than that.  It was, after all, middle school.  Riverdale, you combined both groups together waited until the junior year.  I doubt it is for a biology class.

Tonight’s show begins with Jughead talking about the sock hop and Ethel being accused of her parents’ murder.  Sheriff Kline is back, and Betty gives Ethel a place to spend the night.  Ethel has realized that the sheriff thinks she did the deed and has no alibi.  Jughead is trying to figure out why this is so familiar to him.

The next day, Jughead slips in after they finish questioning Ethel.  She says that they think she did it because of the picture the principal saw at school.  It’s of a girl that looks like Ethel killing her dad.  Ethel has something that might help her in her trunk (hope chest) in her room.  Jughead goes and finds it with other items including a comic book about a serial killer that all have read.  He is interrupted by Betty who Alice has sent for clothes for Ethel.  Betty also finds a book on Human Sexuality and ends up taking it.

Jughead is called into the principal’s office to be questioned by Sheriff Kline.  He was seen and identified (by the crown) as being in Ethel’s room.  Let’s face it!  Jughead is always at the center of the action.  The principal calls him a loner and asks if he is Ethel’s boyfriend.  He denies it and tells them he’s going to a party that night with the “cool kids.”  (This is of course Veronica’s make-out party.)

School In Session

School is buzzing about the killings and the principal and guidance office is trying to divert attention.  They decide to hold the PTA sex education class which the counselor will lead.  Before that happens though, Julian has been tasked by Penelope to get Cheryl a date.  After seeing Cheryl and Toni together, Penelope is worried about what Cheryl is thinking and doing.  Well, Cheryl is painting nude women.  Penelope seems to take an active look at Cheryl’s “development” and wants Julian to find his sister a date.

At school, Ronnie tries to apologize to Archie and hints she wants a date.  Archie is wiser than they think.  He tells her that she’s too hip for him.  Julian afterwards approaches Archie and suggests he dates Cheryl.  Julian tells Archie that Cheryl has experience with college guys after Archie questions Cheryl’s – well – coldness.  So, of course, Archie decides to ask Cheryl out.  Cheryl, meanwhile, has been approached by Toni to attend a poetry reading at the Dark Room that night.  When Cheryl doesn’t seem interested and walks away, Toni is approached by another girl from the Serpents.  Is this the new Midge?

When Betty arrives, Kevin hides and Chuck is in the room.  Chuck gives him an invite to the coffee house reading but Kevin seems to be scared to go.  Chuck (or is it Fangs – I don’t think so), tells him no one will know.  Archie has tracked down Cheryl who is painting (a nude no less).  She accepts his date invite but changes it to the Dark Room.  Archie seems interested in poetry reading as he has just started writing.  Julian asks Ronnie for a date and spills the beans that Archie and Cheryl will be at the Dark Room.  Of course, that’s where Ronnie wants to go because she WANTS Archie now.

At the Dark Room, the coffee house scene is going strong.  While Kevin is engrossed in the action, Betty is bored.  Neither understand the clicking of fingers after the poet finishes.  Sorry, gang.  That’s tradition!  Toni is next in a traditional coffee house outfit – tight fitting black pants and shirt.  Cheryl begins to look anxious (or is it scared) about feelings toward Toni.  She doesn’t even seem to understand what Toni is saying due to watching her dance/performance.  (The beatnik lives at the Dark Room.) 

Sex Education (Betty Style)

Betty has taken the Human Sexuality book home and starts reading the chapter on Arousal.  She realizes that this is not what she has with Kevin.  She has dreams that night of make-out sessions.  First it is Archie and Cheryl followed by Cheryl watching Archie and Ronnie.  Then Cheryl moves on on Toni.  Betty dreams that Kevin and Chuck are having the experience too.  Finally, Betty gets her turn — with Archie.  What!  Is Betty teaching the class?  Well at least she got scared.

The next day, Kevin and Betty talk about the poems.  Betty calls the poetry, especially Toni’s, sexy.  Archie and Cheryl are walking the hall together getting stares as they hold hands.  Cheryl waves at Ronnie, Justin and Toni.  Cheryl is in denial folks. 

In class, they all look anxious and nervous.  The teacher, the counselor, tells them their bodies are changing and they have many questions. He pulls down the flower diagram (definitely like ‘Grease 2’ but without the song).  The counselor doesn’t even sing about how the flower’s sole purpose is to be pollinated.  Later, we learn that the gang thought the talk was stupid.  Betty tells that she has a book that has the real story.  Of course, Ronnie is aware of the real action and plans to have a make-out party.  The whole gang is invited and there will be kissing games.  Honestly, I was thinking key party like ‘The Big Chill.’  Betty tells all that she got her hands on a copy of Human Sexuality with the real story.  Veronica is having a make-out party and the gang is invited.  It’s a kissing game.  Ronnie explains that nothing will be the same again we get the sage Jughead with the remark that Ronnie is the flower and Archie the bee.

Make-Out Party Plans for All

Betty and Ronnie adjourn to the ladies’ room and Betty expresses her concern.  Ronnie tells her that boys only think they’re in charge but it’s really the ladies.  Ronnie spills that she’s rigging the game so she will be with Archie.  Of course, Cheryl entered the bathroom and overhead the talk.  Mad when she leaves school, Cheryl is approached by Toni about poetry reading.  Cheryl announces she is now with Archie.  Toni says that she is going to the make-out party and it seems that Cheryl begins to protest too much.  Betty orders Kevin to go to the party but he’s not happy.  Kevin’s confused about his feelings, and it only becomes worse after seeing Chuck nearly naked in the locker room.  Chuck announces he likes boys scaring Kevin.  Kevin does pat Chuck’s chest as Kevin leaves.  Is Kevin embracing his feelings now?  Well, he hasn’t told anyone.

Archie visits Betty with a poem he has written for Cheryl.  They sit on the bed and Betty decides to try things from the book.  She says she’s teaching Archie about how to approach Cheryl.  Boy, Betty has changed.  She’s more aggressive than we’ve ever seen and appears to wanting a make-out session with Archie. 

The party starts out with the game of post office.  Ronnie gives each boy a number that links them to a girl.  Cheryl gets Fangs who only gets Cheryl’s cheek.  Kevin gets Midge (I think) and they have a lack-lustered kiss.  Jughead gets Betty and after shaking hands, we get a lip-lock like the old Bughead days.  In fact, both look surprised.  Archie gets Ronnie (of course) who calls it a date and goes in for a kiss that doesn’t seem to end.  And Toni ends up with Julian who gets a lip-lock.  Cheryl calls the games over and each slip away to a dark room – Cheryl/Archie, Betty/Kevin, Ronnie/Jughead, Toni/Julian.  Toni calls it a night and tells Julian to take her home.  Ronnie and Jughead spend the time talking and they seem content.  Do we have Ronhead now?  He tells her about his interest in writing (comics).  Jughead also tells her that if she wants Archie to stop dropping names.  Kevin and Betty have problems with the “sex” part while Cheryl and Archie lose all inhibitions and go to it.    

Later, Betty writes that the make-out party was a disaster as she watches Archie in his bedroom across the street.  Penelope and Julian talk about Cheryl’s love life and her possibly going steady with Archie.  Cheryl interrupts their breakfast with the news that she and Archie went “all the way” and that he is an “animal.”  She leaves them stunned as he stops by to pick her up for school.  Betty and Kevin talk and she gives him the Human Sexuality book.  He needs to read it. 

Jughead and Ethel walk into the student lounge and he tells her not to be afraid but talk to them.  Just as they start to move into the room, the principal calls them to the office and they are confronted by Kline, the principal and the counselor.  Seems the sheriff knows all about the make-out party and searched Jughead’s room.  He found damning evidence in the form of comics and Ethel’s drawings.  Will they be arrested or have an explanation?  We’ll hopefully know next week but I know I don’t like any of the adults so far.  Please let the principal and counselor be somehow involved in any evil going on. 

Next week:

Cheryl and Archie are getting married and people aren’t happy.  Fights break out and that’s about all they give us. My guess is that there is something underhanded going on with the principal and counselor.  Ethel’s parents were involved.  My real question is how does this meet the ‘bend to justice’ theme?