Riverdale — Going “Back to School” — Chapter 82

Riverdale, I missed you last week but I was on a deadline.  We now know that Hiram is, once again, a big bad.  He wants to close down the town we know so he can put a swanky housing development in that will make the taxes higher and his (er — I mean) the county’s coffers more wealthy.  To do this, we know that he must shut Riverdale down, get rid of the scum — the present residents — and make it just a ghost of what it had been.  He just forgot about Archie and company.  It also looks like his daughter is in on the scheme to make him fail.  I thought Hiram was supposed to be in the Caymans? And will we learn what happened to the girl from the truck pick up during the episode two weeks ago?  Oh well, on with the show.

High School Anyone

Let’s get logistics down first.  Jughead and Archie are sharing a house, Betty’s with her mom and the twins, Veronica at her family’s apartment, and Toni, Sweet Pea and Kevin are in an apartment.  The school has reopened much to Hiram’s disgust.  As Hiram tells Reggie that could be problematic as people feel ties to the high school.  Reggie figures there’s nothing to it, but we know there will be.  Wait for it!  So who are the teachers? Ronnie is teaching business, Archie — ROTC, Betty — auto-mechanics, Jughead — English and each have a set of students who just don’t care. At the end of the day, Archie and Betty meet to discuss the day and instead have a hot steamy car date at the school.  Well, their date didn’t last long as two students from the opposing high school Bulldogs try to set fire to Riverdale High (at Reggie’s urging, of course).  By the way, I’m going on record now and say that Reggie is a bigger creep than Hiram.  Hiram is, as least, somewhat out in the open with his dirty tricks.  Reggie relies on others.

The next day, Archie meets with Weatherbee and Toni to report what is happening.  They all figure out that the Bull Dogs were responsible for the fire but Mr. Kline says nothing can be done because Hiram owns the DA (so what else is new).  As the day progresses, and Archie finds out that Reggie is coaching the Bull Dogs (convenient right), he arranges to set up a team.  He recruits the players, including a girl named Britta, only to learn there is no money.  The athletic money has gone to Toni to arrange a cheer team called – what else – the Vixens with a goal of winning cheer competititions.  When Archie approaches Cheryl for $20,000 and mentions Jason, Cheryl tells him to get out and cries.  Well at least we know Cheryl still has emotions. 

Oh, and I did not mention that there is a spy in Riverdale High.  The principal’s secretary is giving information to both Cheryl and Hiram.  Hiram will use anyone to close the school  Archie has approached Veronica for money and she’s given it to him for the football team.  Of course, the principal’s secretary calls Hiram and Reggie is with him when the call comes in.  Looks like Reggie doesn’t teach, only coaches.  He plans to send a message to Archie through a visit.  More on that at the end.

And Cheryl and Her Money

Evidently, Cheryl’s plan didn’t go well.  Remember, she’s turning the Blossom home into another Winchester mansion. Cheryl does have an interesting hobby though with her painting.  She has decided to sale the portrait of Jason. Meeting with an art dealer, Cheryl and Nana learn that the picture is worth a quarter of a million dollars.  Cheryl says she will let the dealer sell the portrait but she wants to keep it one more night.  She’s goinig to finish the forgery and send that to the dealer to be sold.  Cheryl is a very good forager.

Meanwhile the snitch has called Cheryl and told her that Toni is setting up a cheer squad.  Toni walks into her office to find Cheryl behind her desk, issuing threats.  I can see Cheryl back cheering (as we see in previews).  If Cheryl gets in this mix, daddy Hiram and evil Reggie will not really stand a chance.

Jughead and His Writer’s Block

Jughead is teaching and working at Pop’s.  His students find out and has a jar of tips on his desk which he takes as funny.  He no longer has writer’s block but is working on a book about Riverdale.  Tabitha, Pop’s granddaughter, offers to help and gives him a name of an old man living near the swamp.  The man has a story to tell and Jughead goes to get it. 

Jughead spends time with the man and learns about a mysterious ship (can we say oh no) from the past.  It seems they were doing work and one man disappeared.  They couldn’t find him but when he returns, he talks about a ship and that Raven will be taken.  Sure enough, Raven disappears and returns two nights later missing an arm.  No one knows where they have gone but the man hands Jughead a book.  Jughead wonders why he never heard about it before but the man tells him that articles were written.  Later, Tabitha asks about the meeting and Jughead tells her everything.  He has also gone hunting for the men who worked with his source.  They all died of cancer.  Jughead says maybe from radioactive material like a spaceship.  Tabitha doesn’t believe it and I don’t think Jughead does either but he ways it makes a good story.  Some how I think it will tie in with another mystery coming.

Ronnie Needs Some Space

Let’s just say that Chad gives me the creeps.  He follows Ronnie to Riverdale and shows up during her class with the typical gift of candy and a gift.  She tells him she is teaching and he goes sits in the back to the classroom.  Later they go to Whyte Wurm to party having survived two days of teaching and Veronica is asked to sing.  Chad, of course, has to join her for the duet.  Archie doesn’t look happy but what should he care.  He and Betty are getting it on! 

Later at the apartment, Chad tries to convince Ronnie to leave.  This will be the theme of their time together.  Archie approaches Ronnie for a loan for the football equipment and she agrees.  Chad sticks his nose in and says with interest.  Then he decides that Archie can renovate the apartment for them.  Ronnie has a talk with Chad who lets it slip he has been talking to Hiram and offered a job selling real estate (and wait for it) in Pembroke.  If you have seen any of the Cheryl story in the comics, you know Pembroke was her stomping grounds.  She tells him that she needs some space. She has found that Riverdale is where she needs to be and Chad lays the blame on Archie.  He agrees to return to New York and later at the school, the snitch tells Hiram that Ronnie is downstairs with the football team.  Hiram tells Reggie that his money is sponsoring Archie’s team and Reggie plans a visit to Archie to get the message across.  Yep, Reggie is slim.

Betty and Kevin and the Mystery of Polly

Betty teams up with Kevin to find out where Polly is.  They have her email and finds out she met a man at the truck stop.  Kevin and Betty set a trap and she is waiting instead of Polly.  Arresting the poor guy, she takes him to jail only to learn that he did pick up Polly but she freaked out and left the truck.  He gives her information on the highway and Betty and Alice start searching.  They find her purse and identification but no phone.  With Alice driving Betty crazy, she goes to Archie and they have another fling with the next morning the information on Polly coming in.  Hmm! Wonder if Polly found her way back to Storybooke and is living there as Robin? (Oncer’s joke there folks.)

Betty has had Sheriff Kline and the FBI try and track the phone.  The GPO results say that she was in the marsh/swamp.  Betty, Kevin and Polly go looking and  find a hand protruding out of the mud.  This will be part of the ongoing mystery and another serial killer (I figure).  Could Jughead’s mysterious ship be tied to the things happening in the swamp.  Of course they can!

So where does that leave us as the show ends?  Would you believe Archie’s house on fire and no way out!  Let’s be honest.  We all know that he and Jughead escape.  We also all know that Reggie the slimy fire bug was behind it but how long will it be before Reggie’s delight with fire backfires?

Next week:  A body is found in the swamp.  Newspaper headlines reports the Mothman.  (If you don’t know the reference, Google Richard Gere, West Virginia and The Mothman Prophecy.)  Another fire breaks out (at the gym I supposed) and Cheryl comes back to cheering.

And not confirmed: As I prepared to write this, Twitter was abuzzed with a rumor that after the 13th episode, Riverdale will take it’s usual break. This season supposedly will end around July 13th.

Riverdale — Time Jump Into Purgatory — Chapter 80

Welcome back Riverdale fans!  Technically tonight marks the beginning of Riverdale’s season five as COVID cut the season short last season.  Tonight, we learn where the gang has been since high school.  Yes, we know Archie went to war and Betty to the FBI.  Jughead became a writer and Veronica seems to have made herself at home on Wall Street (I thought she and Hermarosa was running daddy’s business).  But something evil is ruining Riverdale and it seems to come from Hiram.  The good news is that Toni is going to have a key role this season.  So let’s prepare for the relaunch of Riverdale – six years laterand it is 2021).

Everything’s Archie

What no narrator?  Oh, that’s right!  We don’t know Jug’s future yet.  Archie’s future is quickly revealed.  Yes, he joined the army and became a sergeant.  As we open (and I knew it was a dream), Archie is mixing up a football game and a battle.  First he is in his fatigues then his uniform.  He thinks Reggie is there as he sees Cheryl off at the side cheering.  Then the battle gets intense and they try to retrieve one of their comrades.  People fall all around and, in his dream, he sees all around cheering him on.  He falls (I thought he was hit) and gets up to see Hiram Lodge with a gun in his face.  He shakes it off, retrieves his fellow soldier, and makes it off the field. 

Archie wakes up to find out that he’s in the VA hospital in Yonkers, New York.  He is being sent to Riverdale to be the ROTC teacher at a reactivated group at his old high school, Riverdale.   The room mate at the hospital is the man he saved, Jackson.  Archie apologizes and says he wishes he was the one is the bed.  Jackson tells him that he wouldn’t have been alive if it wasn’t for Archie.  Archie tells him he’s going to be in charge of a ROTC group in his hometown.  Jackson says it sounds nice and Archie gives him his address.  Jackson salutes but Archie wants a hand shake.

Returning to Riverdale, he finds a quiet, strange town.  At Pop Tate’s there is no Pop but he’s directed to the club down stairs.  It is now a Serpent club called Whyte Wurm that Toni and the her gang bought and she’s singing.  And I do mean sing!  Toni can sing!  (She’s also in a great costume).  Veronica’s club is now the biker’s club and Kevin and Sweet Pea are there also.  After the song, Toni comes off stage to Archie’s table.  He notices she is pregnant but she will not reveal the daddy.  They talk and . . .

Betty, FBI Trainee

Betty is running the obstacle course.  She has made it into the FBI and is a trainee.  She is also is coming out of a traumatic case.  Seems she was trying to catch a serial killer known as the “Trash Can Killer.”  It takes us forever to even get a glimpse of why she’s seeing a therapist and riding the cold case desk.  She had tracked the killer to a shack but the victim was dead.  Evidently, she was trapped by the TCK (the nickname) because she went in alone and suffered “trauma.”  She wants back in the field but no one thinks she’s ready except for Betty.  Oh, and she likes to remind people she was solving serial killer cases in high school.

Later we meet her boyfriend/partner (think Mulder and Scully of X-Files).  He doesn’t think she’s ready to return either.  She does have a theory that the TCK is migrating.  She also has a dream where the killer is in her house with his chain saw.  In the dream, she hears her cat and goes outside the apartment door where she sees a dismembered body with her cat licking it.  She turns around, sees the killer and wakes up.

Betty’s life doesn’t seem to be what she wants when when suddenly she gets a call from Archie.  She packs up and tells her partner/lover goodbye and leaves him to care for the cat.

Veronica Too

Veronica has married Chadwick (Chad for short).  When we see them, they are celebrating their one year anniversary and he asks when they will have children running around.  Ronnie wants to return to trading and get out of Lacey’s.  Chad doesn’t want her to be stressed because of the “accident.”  In true Veronica style, we get: “It’s 2021, haven’t you heard.  A woman can have it all.” Apparently, she was a stock trader before said “accident.” 

The next day, we find that Ron’s not working at Lacey’s but a high price jewelry store where she can make any sale she attempts while foiling shop lifting.  That night, Chad confronts her about her work location.  He had been to Laceys and saw Katie (as in Keene, remember the show) and learned she no longer an employee.  The next day, Ronnie visits Hermione who is now on the “Real Housewives” show and living with Andy in New York City.  Instead of being the “she-wolf of Wall Street,” Veronica feels like no one understands her and her life is over because of fear of stress.  Hermione points out that they were worried about her after the “accident.” 

Returning home, Chad is waiting to try a do-over on their anniversary celebration.  He explains that he almost lost her in the helicopter crash while they were traveling to Martha’s Vineyard and he wants everything life has to offer them.  Then she gets a call from . . . Archie.

Jughead (Forsyth) Jones

Jughead has had one best seller book (The Outcast).  He had it made, but now he can’t seem to get things together.  He has a bad case of writer’s block and a toxic relationship with Jet. (I think that’s her name.  She’s not there long enough to get to know her.)  His agent/manager has heard he is looking for newspaper job and tells him that the publisher may take his advance back because Jughead can’t produce.  Jughead  goes home and finds a note on his door and the old girlfriend leaving.  And evidently, he’s about to be evicted as there was some type of note on his door.  

Jughead goes to a bar where he can think about his life.  Let’s say he gets set up by a girl who “loves his writing.”  (He use to be smarter than that!)  They go home and have a wild time. (Jughead what are you doing?  You aren’t old enough for a mid-life crisis).  Oh, she’s smart.  She’s figured out a way to get her book read because she covers for Jughead when the bone crushers (I mean bill collectors show up).  He will now read her book and give it to his agent.  If he doesn’t, she’ll call the bone crushers and tell them where he is.  Jughead gets a call from Archie!

Cheryl and Toni

Archie asks Toni about her and Cheryl.  Toni got her college degree and is also teaching.  She had worked at the club.  After Toni revived the Serpents, they bought Veronica’s club out and opened it up as the Whyte Wurm.  Sweet Pea and Kevin back her up.  Kevin has a degree in drama and is teaching also at Riverdale High. 

Archie asks about Cheryl and we learn that Toni has visited her twice.  The first visit found Cheryl dressed primly in black.  On the second visit, Hiram is there with his assistant, Reggie (well, at least he is back).  Hiram wants Blossom’s property and Cheryl won’t put it on the market.  Toni and Cheryl have a talk while Cheryl paints her portrait.  As a recluse Cheryl lives quiet and paints.  Toni wants to know why she doesn’t come to town.  Cheryl knows all about Toni finishing college (with a 3.9 average) and Toni’s life.  Cheryl is glad that Toni’s grandmother will accept her now but will not get back with Toni because of the curse. 

First an accident and now a curse.  Cheryl tells Toni that she thinks the family is cursed because of the sudden deaths of her relatives (which her mother caused).  She is seeing herself like the Winchester lady who built the Winchester House in California.  She feels that the Blossoms are cursed like that family.  Toni asks her if that is why she is building onto the Blossom home.  Cheryl doesn’t deny it.  After Toni leaves, she finishes the portrait and sends it to Toni.  What Toni doesn’t know, is that Cheryl has copied it exactly.  Nana is impressed and wonders if Cheryl could make a perfect copy of say – a Rembrandt.  Oh, goodie – a fake art story.

Riverdale Today

Archie can’t move home because his mom has rented the house (which has been trashed).  He’s living out of the gym.  The town is a dump and Toni gives him a tour.  Most of the town has moved on because there is no funding for things like a fire department due to – guess.  That’s right!  Hiram is running things now.  Everyone is leaving, Toni explains, as they walk down what was known as Sketch Alley.  Now it is Skid Row where the homeless live and dogs are rabid.  (Maybe that’s what happened to Reggie.  He got bit by a Hiram Lodge rabid dog.)  As they tour, Toni comes to the old forest which smells of smoke.  Something is burning there every night because Hiram is opening a new development nearby.  He is shutting down Riverdale for a turnpike going to the new multi-million dollar home project.

And the Gang Reunites

After the tour, Archie wants to go to Pop Tate’s.  Pop’s back and gets to tell Archie the rest have gathered.  When Toni starts to leave the old gang of four alone, Archie tells her to stay.  She’s a part of their group which now numbers five.  As they talk, a young waitress goes up to the new waitress and quits.  She’s leaving the restaurant (which doesn’t seem to have many customers thanks to Hiram). 

And the New Mystery Starts

Well, it can’t be Riverdale without a mystery.  That young waitress that left?  She sets up the mystery when she gets in a tractor trailer heading to San Francisco.  Make a guess at what happens because she doesn’t make it!  I think I know where the TCK is! 

Next week…

Veronica returns to her waitress job in her blonde wig

Archie decides they must take the town back.                                                                                                              

Betty and Archie gets his house back

Hiram finds a new enemy.

Riverdale — Graduation Day — Chapter 79

Tonight’s episode of Riverdale is special.  After four seasons, the Riverdale gang graduate. And on the heels of getting ready for caps and gowns, we learn today (February 3, 2021) that Riverdale has been picked up for season six.  While I’d like to speculate on that, tonight should honor the fact that Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead, Kevin, Reggie, Cheryl, and Toni survived four years at Riverdale High without dying.  Let’s face it!  The mortality rate at Riverdale over the past four years been high.  Add to that cults, mind control, deadly games and Hiram Lodge and it is a miracle.  But graduation is a time for celebration so let the party begin.   By the way, would someone tell me the years this group have been in high school?

Last Day of School

Well, we open the night before the last day of school…Jughead does his usual narration and goes back through all the unique (I guess that’s a good word) for the craziness they have seen – cults, Gargoyle King, and on and on.  Jughead is looking at Jellybean’s masks and wondering how things go so out of hand.  Upstairs FP is talking to Jellybean and realizes that Riverdale isn’t the town for her.  When he comes down he surprises everyone (especially Alice) with an announcement that he is taking Jellybean and moving to Ohio.  (Another ship down as Ulrich is leaving the show).  He also knows where Jelly’s crew is hanging out – Archie’s gym.  FP and Jug goes to Archie’s house and also collect Mr. Kline.  Sure enough, they find Jelly’s gang under the boxing ring.  Somehow it caused a visit to Hiram also.  Later Jughead, Betty and Jellybean is in the living room and Jelly is very quiet.

Later that night, Jughead and Betty talk and question how they survived the last few years.  Meanwhile Archie has a dream of the gang getting their picture made at his house by Mary and Fred.  The memory of Luke Perry/Fred is another fitting tribute to his contribution to the show. 

School Time

The next morning, Mary is laying out Archie’s suit.  He reminds her that he may not graduate.  Cheryl is remembering Jason as she puts a pin (his, I think) on her blouse.  Veronica remembers a gift of her parents for her first day in high school – pearls of course.  She puts them back in their box because she doesn’t need them now.   Betty doesn’t get this type of memory.  Instead, she and Alice are talking and Alice is worried about being alone.  Betty assures her that she will always be there for her.

At the school, the seniors gather outside to open a time capsule.  Did they say it was from 1945?  Anyway, Mr. Weatherbee is there as items comes out.  The items included are newspaper, a menu (with burgers costing 15 cents), a comic book and a photography of four boys who entered the military the day after graduation.  As the gang gather in their common room, Betty and Veronica brings in the yearbooks.  Remember, Mr. Honeybee didn’t want these to be produced but they got them anyway.  The memories are from the last year with pictures of all of them. 

Later, in class, Jughead and Archie are called to Mr. Weatherbee’s office.  Good news for Jughead!  He gets to graduate but Archie must repeat the entire senior year.  Doesn’t matter that Archie had suffered through the years, he still must repat his senior years.  Mr. Weatherbee will allow him to walk with his class and perform the senior song (“Time of Your Life).”   As the last class ticks down to three, they wait patiently and celebrate as the bell rings.  Archie heads toward Veronica but Reggie interrupts.  As the rest go down the hall, Archie returns to look at the military picture from the time capsule.  (Yeah, we all know now rumors are true.  He’s going to enlist.) 

Jughead, Betty and Jellybean are in the living room talking.  Jellybean is quiet.  Veronica meanwhile returns some things to Archie.  She also wants to be with Archie on the night before graduation.  He can’t think of anything better.  She drops the box and they kiss.  The next morning Archie and Veronica discuss life after school.  Ronnie is afraid he’s going to join the military but he says summer school.  Later FP and Jughead are talking and FP says that Jughead is old enough to be on his own. 

Graduation Day

At school, all gather in their blue robes (except for Cheryl who has a designer red robe).  Tina and her grandmother are at her locker.  While her grandmother tells Tina how proud she is, Cheryl arrives but decides not to interrupt.  Archie sees all the family and misses his dad.  In the graduation address that Betty does, she remembers all the strange things that has happened to the gang.  She also remembers that Riverdale was a quiet, sleepy town.  She hopes it return to that.  While they do not get their degree in alphabetic order.  Surprisingly, Kevin and Sweet Pea walk across the stage together and Mr. Kline looks on proud.  All of this is bittersweet especially for Archie.  He looks at his empty folder.  As all exit outside, he stops at the military table and signs up for service.  A rumor is confirmed from the summer.  Archie is going into service like the 1945 series of Archie comics.

Later outside a pictures are made.  As families start to disperse, Cheryl gets a visit from her mom.  She’s turning herself in and feels that she will get off due to that.  Mom wants to see Cheryl graduate in four years from college, but Cheryl has other plans.  She plans to rebuild the family name.  FP and Jellybean are heading out to Ohio.  Alice asks if their story is over and FP says he doesn’t know (Falice is no more.)  He rides out of town with Jellybean in a side car in his Serpent jacket with others following him.   Ronnie takes a trip to see Pop Tate.  She gives him full ownership of Pop Tate’s.  While he’s surprised, he’s happy.  She tells him that she never thought she could call Riverdale home but Pop Tate’s made it feel like home.

One Final Act

The time capsule needs to be reburied.  Betty puts in papers.  Ron puts in a menu from Pop Tate’s.  , Reggie a football signed by the team.  Kevin does a musical play.  Cheryl gives her cheerleader suit while Toni puts in a Serpent’s jacket.  Jughead makes the ultimate sacrifice an dputs in his beanie and Archie guitar picks and his father’s hammer.  The capsule is then buried and Betty, Jughead Veronica and Archie sit and talk on the bleachers.  Archie spills that he’s joined the army and leaves the next day.  Ronnie gets upset.  There’s a war going on and she’s scared for him.  She leaves with Betty running after her.   

Cheryl also has made a hard decision.  She’s not going to college but staying behind.  Toni tells her she’ll stay also but Cheryl tells her no.  What Cheryl needs to do, she needs to do alone.  She’s going to remake the Blossom name and fix things with the town of Riverdale.  Toni does have some good news.  Her grandmother is more accepting of Cheryl.  They say they will always love each other and maybe be together after college.

Finally, we get Jughead and Betty.  Betty admits to kissing Archie and Ron knows and is upset (duh – of course she is).  She tells Jughead she only kissed Archie once.  She then tries to make Jughead forget what she has told just told him.  They kiss but the next morning there is a coldness between the two of them.  They talk love but he doesn’t kiss her as he goes to meet Archie to go to the station.

Life After Graduation

The day after graduation, Jughead goes to Archie’s house to walk with him to catch the bus to basic training.  They leave after Archie says goodbye to Vegas (his dog) and his mom.  Ronnie is still in tears at her house when Betty shows up.  They mend that fence and get the jalopy out to go see Archie off.  They arrive as Jughead is leaving in the old car that Archie and Fred had restored.  The bus as just picked Archie up and they decide to follow the bus for one last good-bye.  (We do get Archie day dreaming while the bus leaves of the fun they had had in the past.)  The gang catch up with the bus and Ronnie blows him a kiss.  They pass the bus and Archie gets the bus to stop.  Ronnie comes up and they talk, pledging their eternal love.  He goes over and does the “dude” message with Jughead and hugs Betty.  Ronnie walks with Archie back toward the bus but he goes up the steps alone.  It’s all set like a flashback to what I saw of the 1945 Archie comic (even the cars and bus look old???  What year is this show set in?)  Cheryl and her grandmother discuss the future as they go back through the gates to the old home place.  Jughead and the girls go to Pop’s where Ronnie says she’ heading to New York with her mom.  Betty and her mom leave on a trip.  Jughead feels lonely in the Cooper’s home and goes to Archie’s place to stay until they turn the power off.  Where does he go then?  The bomb shelter until he leaves for college!! 

The gang has made a pack to meet back every year but Jughead is the only one who shows up.  In his end narration, he tells us that it will be six years before the gang gets together again with a new crisis and mystery in Riverdale.

Note to the producers from me.  Yes, I know you wanted to do a salute to the 1945 series of Archie but if you are setting this up for a LOST style ending to the show, I will not be AMUSED.  I sat through that series after predicting during the first season that they were in purgatory.  Please don’t make this the same thing.

Next Year – A Move to Five or Six Years in the Future

Archie was in war and had to come home due to injury. Ronnie is married and apparently happy. Betty looks to be in the FBI and investigating everything. And Jughead?????  That’s a question to come.

Riverdale– Chapter 78 — Archie Comes Full Circle and Meet the Auteur

Riverdale is back in its glory.  Tonight, as we approach graduation, Riverdale promises to tie up at least some loose ends from season one to now.  I already have a new suspect as the auteur (I was wrong and surprised but no spoiler yet).  And with graduation next week, we have to have this week’s episode to set the stage for the jump five years as the series moves forward.

By the way, hold on to your seats.  From just the opening, it looks to be a wild, wild night that may not play well to my sarcasm.  It’s also a big Jones family night.

Archie’s Life Comes Full Circle

As Archie hits the boxing bags (and wakes his mom), he has a flashback to the shooting of Fred’s at Pop Tate’s.  I thought this was settled but evidently Archie’s guilt always goes there.  Mary tries to comfort him, but Archie isn’t having it.  He feels ashamed and runs off to the cemetery for a heart to hear with Fred.  Nice touch with honoring the memory of Luke Perry guys.  And I feel it was much needed honor.

Poor old Archie!  He just can’t buy a break as he arrives to caps and gowns delivery at school.  Remember Principal “Honey Bee” told Archie he probably wouldn’t graduate.  Cheryl is having a melt down because she doesn’t like the outfit and plans to do something about it (a fashionista to the end).  Veronica, on the other hand, tries to make everything seem as if she and Archie haven’t broke up over Betty.  Jughead and Betty walk up which for some reason makes Archie leave suddenly.  Ron goes after him and tells him to hold it together for graduation.  Yeah Archie – we know the jail time and Hiram. 

Sheesh!  I forgot how much Hiram had been involved in the story since joining in season two.  While Archie is lifting weights, Hiram shows up at the gym to get revenge for the break-up with Veronica.  When he can’t get the rise out of Archie (a fight) that he wants, he brings up Fred and Hermione.  That did it and Archie is ready to go but Mr. Kline is there to break it up!  (Well, at least one of the two remaining hunk dads were there to stop it.  It’s all in the day for Archie!

In addition to all else going on, Mary has been in touched with the lawyer of the may who killed Fred.  They want the family to write a letter so the punishment won’t be so bad.  Archie tries but can’t.  Guilt is back when the father shows up and admits that his son, Jeffrey, has admitted all to the police and pled guilty to the hit and run.  Archie tells him that the one thing he knew was that Fred didn’t deserve to die alone that way.  Archie would have not run but stayed and faced what he did.  He all but tells the boy’s father he can’t write the letter.

Later, Archie returns to see his mom watching the auteur tape that reminds Archie of all that has gone on (which arrived last week).  Mary is a basked case and even called Uncle Frank.  Archie gets upset and destroys the television and tape.  He runs upstairs and starts hitting the bag again but Frank Walks in.  He’s there to talk to Archie and Archie isn’t having it.  They have words that evolves into a fist fight with Archie throwing the fists.  In the end, Frank tells Archie to let the anger out and Archie realizes what he has done.  He falls in Frank’s arms and cries.

Later the family meets for a counseling session.  Frank tells Archie that Fred would have been proud of him.  Archie tells him that he didn’t have to come back but Frank admits that he’s feeling guilty himself.  He’s turning himself in for becoming a mercenary (I won’t say anything with what we’ve been through lately) and needs a lawyer.  Of course, Mary volunteers.   Archie and Frank then goes to visit Fred’s grave.  (Hey, we got a genuine Archie smile!)

The Preppie Murder Mystery

The night that Archie has his meltdown isn’t easy for Betty and Jughead either.  Brett calls Betty late at night and tells her he needs to talk.  He feels like he’s marked for death and will talk for a solitary cell.  When Betty and Jughead get to the prison, they find out that Brett is dead.  He hung himself in the cell.  The funny thing is that later they find out from their friendly morgue doctor that Brett had stab wounds on his abdomen.  Okay. Could it be worse.  This is Riverdale folks.  A murder is never that easy!  Brett’s was only hung and stabbed.  He has his eyes gorged out.  How gross is that.  (Betty’s face said it all.)

Next stop is, of course, friendly brother Chuck.  They decide to do some investigating with the smut store owner.  What do the three find?  Another death by hanging of course.  No answers there (it’s too easy and quick).  Hey!  That’s what Betty thinks.  When they get home though, Jughead gets good news.  He’s been accepted in the Writer’s Program at the university of his choice.  Jellybean though seems upset.  Is she hiding something g(well, I’m not telling you now!)

That night, Betty gets a call from another prep school baddie, Donna.  Donna needs help because now that Brett’s dead, she believes she’s next.  (Wonder why?  Could it be because she was his girlfriend and co-conspirator?)  Betty drops here because she was the one who framed Betty with Jughead’s fake death and hit Jug with the rock.  When they call the school asking for her friend, Jess, they learn that she is dead while walking home through the woods.  The murder weapon:  a blow to the back of the head with a rock.  Now just who would do this.

Later Betty and Jug find a videotape outside the door.  In this one, the auteur has gotten into the house and filed a knife on Jellybean’s face.  FP isn’t having anymore and tells the family to pack their bags to leave the house.  At the motel, Jughead and Betty realize that something just isn’t right.  They go back to the house and call Chuck.  When he arrives, Betty shows him the bug they found that he planted to listen in to the house.  He admits that he killed Brett and Jess and tried to kill Donna because they deserved to die.  He also made the first films of the houses but he isn’t responsible for the latest ones.  He knows who it but won’t tell.  They are smart.  They can figure it out.  And the rest will have to wait til the end of this recap.  (And some sympathy is shown for Alice with two supposed sons who are killers.)

So Where Is Veronica (and Hermarosa)?

Ronnie, before work, has a talk with her mom about Hiram’s return to his mobster’s way.  While tired of Hiram’s putting his life in danger, she wants Hermione to give Ronnie the stock in her dad’s business.  Mommy dearest loves the idea and allows it to happen and loves the thought of a hostile takeover which plays  out oin the board room but not before Ronnie is almost killed at Pop Tate’s while taking the trash out.  The Mallory’s are there seeking revenge.  Luckily they didn’t know that Hermarosa and Ronnie were meeting.  Hermarosa takes them out and the sisters are now ready to take on daddy dearest.  What follows is the interruption of a board meeting and an angry Hiram.  He does not want them messing with his business and he will continue to control things with a fist and a gun.  Good idea Hiram!   Tell Ronnie that later when you call her with your face smashed up.  Ronnie uses the knowledge to tell him that he ”may be a Scorpio” but is acting like a dog.  He’s battling his disease but still up to his old ways and goes to her room where Hermarosa is waiting.  Their next step is coming.

The next day, Hiram says he is thinking of retiring.  Ronnie and Hermarosa have decided that they can run the business.  They say Hiram can take a sabbatical in the Caymans.  He ways that he and Hermione will enjoy that.  Guess what Hiram!  Hermione has her own plans.  She is getting a divorce and heading back to New York to star in “The Real Housewives of New York.”  Bye, bye family!  Ronnie and Hermarosa are now in charge (and seemingly friends). 

Cheryl Blossom and the Future?

With Ti-Ti’s family calling it off between the two, they’re having problems.  Cheryl isn’t having much better luck with family issues.  She wants to sale some land and reopen the family business but the rest of the family won’t allow it and call it retribution for what Cheryl did by killing their brother (whatever — I can’t keep this family straight).   Cheryl visits her mother and she tells Cheryl to disappear.  I forgot how diabolical Mama Blossom could be.  Cheryl returns home later to find that her “family” all committed suicide by drinking poison but leaves everything to Cheryl.  She has no delusion on who caused it and the family may have bonded over the death (er murders). 

So Now for the Big Auteur Reveal

Sorry the post is so long but there was so much going on.  The auteur’s identity finally comes to Jughead and Betty when they realize that one person has had access to the house to film the last tape.  Since it wasn’t Chuck that only left one suspect.  Three guesses – oh let’s  don’t play that game.  It was Jellybean.  As Jughead tells FP, she did it to keep Jughead in Riverdale.  If she set up threats and mysteries, she was sure Jughead would stay behind.  It started out because of her ex-boyfriend’s return to town.  They started going to Blue Velvet which led to the films.  She and their friends would make the mini-movies complete with the costumes they designed and masks they made.  Jughead tells FP that he doesn’t think that Jellybean realizes just how serious what she did was.  FP goes home to talk to Jellybean and greets her with a hug.

So now everything looks wrapped up right.  We still have one episode to go with graduation.  How will that end and why are the masks show in the preview?  We have one more episode before the epic five year jump.

Fourth Sunday of Advent — Youth

FOUR SUNDAY OF ADVENT – YOUTH

SPECIAL STORY – THE STAR

Linda Martindale

(Note:  I use the term astrophysics in this piece.  I have a friend who is one.  It means:  someone who studies the stars and space.)

There’s been stories about the Saturn and Jupiter alignment in the news.  It’s being called the Christmas Star.  This alignment would not last long enough for the Wise Men to follow it though.  Today, I submit the following famous short story by Arthur C. Clarke for you to consider.   I am telling the story in my own words but with quotes.  The link to the story and video are at the end of the piece. 

“The Star,” written in London in 1954, appears in Clarke’s book, The Nine Billion Names of God:  The Best Short Stories of Arthur C. Clarke.  The story has been used twice as a script for the Twilight Zone

In the future, a spaceship visits a planet.  One of the astrophysicists is from the Vatican in Rome.  As a member of the Catholic church he studies the planets.  What he has just seen troubles his faith.  The reason?  Their latest stop has been on a planet where they have found proof of life.  The people have left records that he is studying. 

Most of the others on the ship are not Christians.  The crew has had a hard time with having a Catholic priest on board.

Dr. Chandler, for instance, could never get over it (Why are medical men such notorious atheists?) Sometimes he would meet me on the observation deck, where the lights are always low so that the stars shine with undiminished glory. He would come up to me in the gloom and stand staring out of the great oval port, while the heavens crawled slowly around us as the ship turned over and over with the residual spin we had never bothered to correct.

“Well, Father,” he would say at last, “it goes on forever and forever, and perhaps Something made it. But how you can believe that Something has a special interest in us and our miserable little world—that just beats me.”

But no matter the arguments, the crew found it funny that a priest had been assigned to the ship.  The area they were investigating was a small nebula called the Phoenix.  It surrounded what had once been . . . a star.

The priest now was staring into space and praying.  Some would say he questioned God.

What would you, Father (note:  his teacher), have made of this knowledge that has come into my keeping, so far from the little world that was all the Universe you knew? Would your faith have risen to the challenge, as mine has failed to do?

As the first ship to reach the Phoenix Nebula, no one was prepared for what they found.  The priest looks at a book from the planet, “AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAN.“ Even for us who might not understand Latin, we can see Glorian as Glory.  The priest knows that every year stars explode. 

But three or four times in every thousand years occurs something beside which even a nova pales into total insignificance. When a star becomes a supernova, it may for a little while outshine all the massed suns of the Galaxy. The Chinese astronomers watched this happen in A.D. 1054, not knowing what it was they saw. Five centuries later, in 1572, a supernova blazed in Cassiopeia so brilliantly that it was visible in the daylight sky.

He and the crew are here to find out what had happened, when and why.  The crew had seen what remained of the star first.  As they started searching for planets, they really hadn’t expected to find one.  It wasn’t until they reached the outermost area of the star’s system that they found a “shrunken” planet.  The people had left their records in an underground vault with a marker over the top.  The people who had lived here had lived in harmony and peace with no war.  They traveled to other planets.  They created great things of beauty.  They were warned that the star would explode and had hidden their history, art and music so their story could live for the future.  When the crew opened the vault, the pictures showed life as we know it here on earth.  They had left a key to decode their language. 

The priest had dated the year the star went supernova.  It happened during a key earth event and it troubled him.  Why did these people have to die in such a way at that time?  He knew now when the light from that explosion reached earth.  Knowing he shouldn’t question, he found it hard.

Now, from the astronomical evidence and the record in the rocks of that one surviving planet, I have been able to date it very exactly. I know in what year the light of this colossal conflagration reached the Earth. I know how brilliantly the supernova whose corpse now dwindles behind our speeding ship once shone in terrestrial skies. I know how it must have blazed low in the east before sunrise, like a beacon in that oriental dawn. There can be no reasonable doubt: the ancient mystery is solved at last. Yet, oh God, there were so many stars you could have used. What was the need to give these people to the fire, that the symbol of their passing might shine above Bethlehem?

The Twilight Zone takes it a step further.  His friend shows up with a new document from the surface. A poem has been found on the planet.  He hopes that it offers peace for the priest.  The poem goes:

Mourn not for us—for we have seen the light.

Have looked on beauty.

Have lived in peace and love.

Grieve but for those who go alone,

Unwise, to die in darkness

and never see the sun.

The Twilight Zone, aired December 20, 1985.

Link to the story:  https://sites.uni.edu/morgans/astro/course/TheStar.pdf

Link to The Twilight Zone.  You can find it on the CBS site but the YouTube site comes up faster.  Part One:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SECLzGKDTgY

Part Two:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgjX9MJTdtM

Question:

What would you have done if you were the priest and discovered what had caused the Christmas star?  Would you question God?  Would you accept it?               

Let me know the answer because I’m interested in your thoughts.

Fourth Sunday of Advent — Children

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT! 

The Wise Men Came

By Linda Martindale

If you have heard the news, you have heard about the Christmas Star that will appear in the sky soon.  Well, as a child I had my own Christmas star.  It is brightest during the November/December season and always in what we see as east.  But let’s think really about the Christmas Star that led the Wise Men.  They followed it for two years.  Here’s the story as we’re told in the Bible.

When Jesus was born not only did the shepherds see the angels, but at least three wise men (there may have been more) saw a star of great light shining in the East.  This star stayed in the same position every night and didn’t move like stars do.  They knew it was a signal that something important had happened and they knew that they had to find what it was showing.

Now these men didn’t live in the area around Nazareth.  They lived far away.  Some people say India, some people say even further than that.  Remember, they didn’t have planes or cars to take to see what they wanted to see.  They mounted camels and set out to find the reason for the light.

The Wise Men traveled for two years.  Think of it – riding a camel, not being home – what a hardship!  To them it was a mission that they had to complete.  With them came gifts to what they supposed was a king of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Each was valuable and proper to honor someone that was important.

They arrived in Israel and stopped by the palace in Jerusalem.  If a king or someone important had been born that would be where he would be they thought.  The king, Herod, knew nothing but called his religious leaders and asked them.  These leaders consulted their scrolls and found that Nazareth would likely be the site of whatever the Wise Men sought.  The King informed them of this and sent them on their way.  All he asked was that they returned and tell him what they found so he could go and see this Child.

The Wise Men followed the star to Nazareth where Mary and Joseph was living.  They found the three in a house, not stable, and knelt and worshipped the Child.  They presented their gifts.  That night, God sent an angel and told the Wise Men to go an alternate path back to their homeland.  They could not tell the king anything.  The Wise Men followed this advice.

Now the king got very mad and ordered some terrible things be done but Jesus was safe.  An angel had told Joseph to take Mary and Jesus and go to Egypt.  They packed their supplies and went to Egypt where they stayed until King Herod died which was around two years. 

So Jesus’s life was very different and not as easy as we think.  He was given to us as a Gift but some people just couldn’t accept him.  We should remember that there are times things are hidden under a plain wrapper like Jesus’ birth with no big party.  All people should be celebrated and help.

As you go through Christmas, think of people you have already helped.  I am so proud of you kids at Emmanuel for all you have done to feed the hungry.  When this virus is over, let’s plan our next goal.

Third Sunday of Advent: Youth

A Christmas Carol

Third Sunday Meditation for Youth

By Linda Martindale

One of the Christmas stories I love is called simply A Christmas Carol. Written by Charles Dickens in Victorian England, it tells the story of a man named Ebenezer Scrooge who didn’t believe in Christmas.  In fact, he was so mean that he made people work at Christmas.  That is until the year that he was visited by his dead business partner, Jacob Marley. 

Marley had been just like Scrooge – money before the true meaning of Christmas.  Now, he wore chains. His message to Scrooge was simply this.  You will be visited by three ghosts tonight and if you don’t change you will suffer my fate.  The fate was to be chained for life to the misery of the world.

Now Scrooge didn’t believe, at least not a first.  Then he was awakened by the first of the three ghosts.    The First, Christmas Past, showed him scenes from his childhood and youth.  It was joyous.  He celebrated.  He had friends and family that he didn’t treat shabbily.  The next ghost, that of Christmas Present, showed him what his actions had done and what kind of lives his employee, Bob Cratchitt, and Bob’s family had.  He saw his clerk’s family barely getting by and their very sick son, Tiny Tim.  He saw his nephew and wife celebrating with their friends.  His nephew‘s wife even told all that she had known Scrooge wouldn’t come.  The final Ghost was of Christmas Future.  Scrooge had died.  No one came to pay their respects except his nephew and his family.  He saw his employee’s Christmas but there was no Tiny Tim.  When he asked about Tiny Tim, the Ghost of Christmas Future, who didn’t speak, just shook his head.

Ebenezer woke up from the dream and found out that it was Christmas morning.  He went down and started spreading the Christmas spirit that Christ would want him to spread.  He woke up the butcher and order a nice fat goose for his employee, Bob Cratchit.  He went back and dressed up and set out for his nephew’s house.  He went in as a grump but suddenly, the true Christmas spirit shown and  he gave gifts to all in attendance.  The book tells us that he surprised everyone with his Christmas spirit.  We also learn that Ebenezer never forgot and always kept Christmas in his heart.  And little Tiny Tim, well Scrooge help Bob Cratchit take care of the boy and watched him as he grew up.

This year seems to have made Christmas extremely different for us.  Some of my friends consider it a Scrooge year (or better yet the Grinch year).  So maybe we should adopt a more positive attitude than Ebenezer Scrooge.  Maybe we should look for the good in this year.  Let’s try this.

For our Ghost of Christmas Past – remember the good things and fun stuff you have done in the past.

For our Ghost of Christmas Present – think of the good and not the bad.  Sure, we may not be with our friends, but don’t turn into a Scrooge.  Share smiles, phone calls or socially distanced season visits. 

And for our Ghosts of Christmas Future – let’s look at how next year we can celebrate with love and joy.  We will, hopefully, be back together with no sign of a virus and can celebrate with parties, music and song.  But most important of all, we need to adopt the true meaning of Christmas just like Scrooge.  Here is my take:  Jesus came to give us joy.  Look for the good in every situation and for the best.  With this, maybe, just maybe the season will seem a little brighter.

Third Sunday of Advent — Children

Shepherds Came

By Linda Martindale

Luke 2: 8-20

Imagine yourself outside.  There are no car noises, no televisions, no sirens.  All you can hear are birds.  There are no city lights.  All that can be seen are the stars.  The Milky Way looks like a path across the sky but something seems off.

That is what happened to the shepherds.  They were in a field outside of Bethlehem with their sheep.  It was quiet.  They could not hear anything that might attack the sheep.  The sky was bright with no clouds to see and the stars – the stars kept getting brighter. 

All of a sudden one seemed to fall to earth.  As it came nearer, the shepherds became afraid.  What would they do?  Would this star kill them?  Wasn’t it taught in the synagogue (church) to beware of things falling from the sky. 

Suddenly, out of the light from that star, an angel appeared.  Now they knew they should be afraid.  Angels appeared to important people like Jacob and Elijah.  They didn’t appear to common shepherds in the fields.  Then the angel spoke:

“Do not be afraid.”  The angel then told them: “I am here to tell you some good news from God.  It will bring you great joy and is meant for you and all people.  Today in the city of David, Bethlehem, a Savior, the Messiah, the Lord has been born.  And you are to go and find him.  This will be a sign to let you know that you have found Him.  He will be wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Now if this hadn’t startled the shepherds enough, suddenly more angels appeared.  And they were praising God saying:  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill to all men.”

The angels disappeared as suddenly as they came.  The shepherds look at each other.  They knew their flock would be alright if they left.  God would protect their sheep.  They agreed that they HAD to go to Bethlehem and see this thing that the angels had told them.

They ran straight to Bethlehem where they found Mary, Joseph and the Baby who was lying in the manger as the angel said.  They were amazed but knew that they needed to praise this Child and tell all they saw about the Child.  As they spread the news, all were amazed but Mary treasured the memory in her heart from that day forward.

Now who would think that God would tell common shepherds after He told all in heaven?  Why didn’t God tell the Kings.  That is no mystery.  Jesus is the Savior of everyone.  It is right that God told the common man first because they were the Ones in need of knowing that the Savior who brought the love of God had come.  They were the one in need of hope which this world has always needed.

As you walk outside during Christmas, it probably won’t be as quiet as the world the shepherds live in.  Yet, listen carefully.  Can you hear the angels’ song?  I think you can if you listen carefully.  

Second Sunday of Advent — Youth

The one for today is taken from A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle’s) adult fiction.  I had the pleasure of meeting her and she was a wonderful woman.  Let me know what you think.

First Coming
Madeleine L’Engle

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine.

He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

Children’s Meditation — Second Sunday of Advent

The Trip to Bethlehem

Linda Martindale

Mary and Joseph were to be married but Mary was pregnant with God’s son.  Joseph could have walked away from the marriage but he didn’t.  He was engaged to Mary which meant in those days that they were already married.  What Mary and Joseph didn’t expect was that the government was going to ask them to do something.  The ruler of Rome, Caesar Augustus decided that he needed to know just how many people lived in Israel.  He sent out a message that said that everyone needed to go to their parents’ family home town.  They couldn’t go to their hometown counting office where they lived.  For Mary and Joseph this meant they had to go to the birthplace of King David.  They both belonged to his family tree although it was in the long-distanced past.  This meant they had to go to Bethlehem.

What were they to do?  It was a long trip because they didn’t have cars.  The wealthy people rode camels and travelled by caravan on donkeys.  They were part of a big crowd of people who could have every opportunity.  Joseph and Mary were poor so they had to figure out a way to go by themselves.

So Joseph went out and found a donkey and brought it home to Mary.  Together they packed up and placed on the donkey enough food and clothing for the long journey.  Since Joseph could only find one donkey, he had Mary ride it as she was going to have her baby very soon.  He walked the long distance on foot with them stopping to sleep and eat.

When they arrived in Bethlehem, their home place, there was no room available anywhere.  Each inn they stopped at sent them away.  Finally they got to one innkeeper.  Now don’t be mad at the guy.  He gave Mary and Joseph a place to stay.  It was in a stable which was really a cave.  There was straw and the animals were more than pleased to share their space with them. 

That night a wonderful thing happened.  Jesus came into the world.  He was special.  The cows and lambs were quiet or softly singing in sheep and cattle song,.  But nothing bothered the family.  They were together in a warm safe place.  They knew that God would take care of them and His Son.