“Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil”
Warning Contains Spoilers
Here we are, episode two of this new series Riverdale. We already have a big question looming over our heads: who killed Jason Blossom? At the end of last week’s episode his body was discovered by Kevin and Moose–neither seem too upset this week about finding a body by the way–when they were having a secret rendezvous in the woods. We get a tad closer by the end of this episode to finding the answer.
Last week, Veronica kissed Archie which is a big no no for her friendship with Betty–who is in love with Archie; the famous love triangle is in full force. This week is damage control time for Veronica and Archie to win back Betty’s friendship. Archie totally broke Betty’s heart when he turned her down, so she was devastated at the beginning of this episode. Her mother, Alice Cooper, decides it is her decision who Betty hangs out with so she tells her, “No Cheryl, No Veronica, No Archie”. This seems like it could be a nice mother move; your daughter is betrayed and she shouldn’t see any of them anymore, sounds right. She just does this in such a controlling and final way that it’s no longer about her daughter; it’s about what she wants and needs. Alice even goes to see Jason’s body at the morgue for a story– something’s not right with her.
Even though Betty agrees with her mother’s wishes–it never seems like a choice–she immediately goes back to Archie. I can understand this, not wanting anything to change; not wanting to lose your safe space. To Betty, Archie is her home base, she can’t imagine life without him even if all she gets is just friendship. Being a total guy, Archie takes this as “everything is back to normal, yay!”; he doesn’t see right away that Betty is still hurting. I don’t know how you can miss any feeling she has; it shows in her big sad eyes. They’ve been friends since they were four and have always been in the same school and same grade– they’ve been through everything together. You don’t throw away that much history without trying to fix it. It isn’t until Archie starts playing a new song he wrote that Betty realizes that she needs more time. She runs away crying, saying the nice girl would stay but she just can’t, it hurts too much. When Archie runs after her–not understanding–she throws what he said to her last episode back at him: “I can’t give you the answer you want.” Good girl, Betty, I’m proud of you. It’s the best thing when you can throw something that hurt you back at the person who originally said it– it’s justice.
Archie isn’t the only one who tries to get back into Betty’s good graces; Veronica also tries her hardest to be friends with Betty again. She bought Betty flowers (yellow for friendship), a gift card for bestie mani/pedis and even flew in Magnolia cupcakes from New York! Now, I don’t know if any of you have had Magnolia cupcakes, but they are some of the best cupcakes I have ever tasted! So I would forgive anyone who bought me these cupcakes– they are that good. Betty, being the nice girl, forgives her–much to Kevin’s dismay. She explains that Veronica is going to find some other girl by next week to be friends with and forget all about her, so being nice now saves energy. Veronica genuinely feels awful about kissing Archie and betraying Betty. She even tells Archie, “Even though I only just met Betty, it really feels like we were meant to be best friends, like it was our destiny.” Like her forgiveness to Archie, Betty takes it back from Veronica as well by using her gift card with Cheryl instead.
If you recall, Cheryl is the resident mean girl and twin of the deceased Jason Blossom. She also is hated by Betty’s family because Jason caused her sister’s breakdown. So on a lot of counts, hanging out with Cheryl might not be the best idea– or it could be the greatest idea if you don’t want to be the nice girl anymore. Cheryl even goes over to Betty’s house to swap makeup tips. While there, Cheryl seems like a nice girl: helping Betty with her makeup, telling her how pretty she is etc. She quickly flips a switch, though, and starts interrogating Betty about her sister Polly. Cheryl gets pretty creepy and angry about it and accuses Polly of killing Jason. Cheryl is wound pretty tight and tries to keep a straight face about her feelings towards her brother’s death. I guess enough was enough, since she freaked out at Betty. Later at the pep rally honoring Jason, she imagines him running out instead of Archie; she has a total breakdown running off the field. Veronica, of all people, runs after her and comforts her. It was nice to see Cheryl be more of a human this episode than the stepford wife she was painted as last week. I love a good mean girl, but hating her makes it too easy for her to be the killer and now that we see her softer side, the killer could be someone else. She’s still the obvious choice being the last person to see Jason, but this early on we don’t want easy or obvious.
Archie is still feeling awful about not telling anyone that he heard a gunshot on the morning of the Fourth of July–the day Jason disappeared. He runs to Miss Grundy’s house in the middle of the night to express his concerns. Miss Grundy is terrified that she will lose her job, or worse go to jail for sleeping with her fifteen year old student that she begs Archie to let it go. He can’t though. He keeps thinking and worrying about it. He meets her in her classroom to ask her if what they have is real or not; if it’s not real he doesn’t understand what he’s protecting. She tells him of course it’s real and holds him close. I don’t know if she’s manipulating him into not going to the police or if she really does have legitimate feelings for him. It seems to me she’s manipulating him, which is super easy for her to do. She’s a beautiful older woman and he’s an impressionable fifteen year old boy; just holding his hand can make him change his mind.
While this is happening, Jughead peers into the classroom and sees the whole thing. When he confronts Archie about it, they get in a huge fight and choice words were said. Seeing this exchange made me feel like the possibility of a Jughead-Archie friendship rekindling wasn’t in the future. Also if Jughead could figure out the affair, someone else probably could too; they weren’t exactly cautious holding each other in a classroom with a door with a window. I loved getting to see more of Jughead in this episode. Last week we saw him maybe once and only heard him in a narrator capacity. This week we dove into his character and saw his quick wit and that he really does care about Archie. He really tries to talk to him, but Archie is always taken away by Reggie–one of the mean football players who insults Jughead to no end–or Archie just blows him off. Later in the student lounge, Reggie accuses Jughead of murdering Jason which ignites a fist fight that Archie jumps in and takes a mean punch to the eye. It was brutal but also pretty great to see Archie defending Jughead, it meant a glimmer of hope for their friendship. At the pep rally, he tells Jughead that he is coming clean about hearing the gunshot and apologizes for what he said about him. They kiss and makeup (not literally) and the bromance begins to reform; comic fans everywhere rejoice!
After the pep rally, Betty tells Veronica how great it was that she was there for Cheryl. Veronica mentions she’s had her share of breakdowns so she understands. Veronica tells her that friends are better than boyfriends anyday. Betty was able to see that Veronica does care and genuinely wants their friendship. They also get to kiss and makeup (also not literally) and meet for milkshakes at Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe–the neighborhood diner and hangout spot–and vow to never let a guy come between them; let’s see how long that lasts. I’m so happy they are friends again! They just work so well together and I love the girl power of it all. Every show needs that true friendship and this one is it. They even have Archie and Jughead join them and the four of them look like the best of friends. Something is bound to come between them again of course, this is a high school drama.
We didn’t get to learn too much more about Josie and Kevin other than Josie’s mother is the mayor and Kevin’s father is the sheriff; the parents in this show play big roles and add more secrets. Kevin also turns down Moose, a football player a lot like his comic book counterpart and also in the closet, but will keep Moose’s secret. I love Kevin, he seems like a side character right now but I’m sure we’ll see more of him soon. I wish we saw more of Josie though. She sang an amazing song that is still stuck in my head but that was all she wrote. It’s only the second episode and it’s an ensemble cast so it’s hard to give everyone an ample amount of screentime. I–being a musician– just love musicians and want to know their lives.
At the end of last week’s episode Jughead–through narration–tells us that by Tuesday someone will be arrested; that person was none other than Cheryl Blossom herself. She knew that they would find something in her brother’s autopsy and come get her, and she said she was guilty. Guilty of what, we don’t know yet because the results of the autopsy aren’t revealed in full. What is revealed is that Jason Blossom didn’t die on the fourth of july but a week later. DUN DUN DUN! The plot thickens.
We are left with more questions than who killed Jason Blossom? We now have: What is Cheryl guilty for? What is Alice Cooper up to? Will others find out about Miss Grundy and Archie? Good thing this is only the second episode because we’ll have time to get these questions answered.