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.
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!