“Chapter Seven: In a Lonely Place”
Warning Contains Spoilers
I don’t understand how the teenagers in this town can get through each day with the parents they have.This whole episode pretty much revolved around the lies and deceit of the parents. They all grew up together, it seems, so they have a lot of history that they haven’t quite resolved yet.
We learned a bit more about Jughead’s home life this week. He has been living in the school since the drive-in closed. Apparently he does have a home, it’s just not that livable since his father, FP Jones, is an unemployed alcoholic. Jughead also reveals what happened to his mother and sister. They aren’t dead after all; his mother couldn’t handle his dad’s choices anymore, took Jellybean, and fled. It wasn’t clear why she left Jughead behind, but maybe he wanted to stay since his life is in Riverdale. He also probably didn’t want to abandon his father all together.
Archie finds out Jughead has been living in the school for weeks and offers to talk to his dad about Jughead’s father. Fred Andrews fired FP a while ago and he hasn’t been able to find work ever since–legal work that is. He is the leader of the Southside Serpents, so his work isn’t always on the legitimate side. Jughead really wants his family back together, so when Fred offers to give FP another chance, he begs his father to accept it. Feeling guilty about ruining his family, FP meets with Fred and takes the job. He wants Jughead to be proud of him. He’s still very much active with the Serpents though, as we find out during a conversation between him and Hermione Lodge about the deal they made with Veronica’s father over the drive-in. He said i,f “Here’s the thing about snakes: if you don’t step on them, they have no a reason to bite,” in a very threatening way.
Fred, FP, Archie, and Jughead go out for dinner at Pop’s and reminisce about the good old days. FP and Fred were best friends in high school and were even in a band together: Ths Fred Heads. There’s history there and resentment– apparently Fred and FP opened Andrew’s Construction together. FP fell off the wagon and took some shady jobs to support his family. One of those jobs landed him in jail and Fred had to bail him out and dissolved their partnership. They both have different sides to the story, so it’s hard to know what’s the truth. I’m more inclined to believe Fred’s side since his head is in the right place, but in this town you never know who’s telling the truth.
It was really heartbreaking to see Jughead with his dad. He wants so much to talk to his father and have a better relationship, but his dad is a mess! Jughead is brought into questioning over Jason Blossom’s murder since he has a record. They pulled Betty and Jughead’s prints from the car–even though it was set on fire–which wasn’t surprising since they put there hands on all the evidence. What was surprising was that Jughead’s prints showed that he has a record of attempted arson and in school he’s has been bullied by the football team. The Sheriff profiled him and is accusing him of murder. Archie can’t find FP, so he enlists his father’s help and Fred lies to the Sheriff about Jughead’s alibi; he forges documents to corroborate his story that Jughead was working for him the week of the murder. He was so quick to come up with that lie and he obviously has forged documents before. This was a whole new side to Fred Andrews– he’s hiding something.
When FP finally makes it to the station he almost makes things worse. I can see he’s trying to be a good father, but he needs time to make things right for himself before he can have Jughead and the rest of his family around. He agrees that his home is unfit for Jughead and allows him to live at Archie’s. This was an emotional scene! It was great to see more emotion out of Jughead than his usual brooding. It was also great to see Archie actually be a good friend! This show really knows how to showcase the emotional depth of its characters. This storyline is left with the discovery that FP has Jason’s letterman jacket in his closet! Oh no! Why does he have that jacket? Did FP burn the car? Or did he kill Jason? This show does a great job at keeping us on our toes.
The feud between the Coopers and the Blossoms continues this week with the search for Polly. Betty and the gang are outwardly discussing Polly running away and say that the Blossoms can’t find out. They are talking openly at school, so someone hears and tells Cheryl. She tells her mom and the Sheriff! Not smart, gang! When Betty organizes a search party the Blossoms show up with bloodhounds. Also during this search Archie tells Betty he’s sorry he wasn’t there for her, so I guess this is the episode where he remembers who his friends are. I welcomed this because the Archie-Betty relationship hasn’t been touched on in a while. I didn’t understand why Mr. and Mrs. Cooper were at the search party, as if they care about their daughter at all! It was probably for appearances mostly, seeing as the second they knew the Blossoms were on to them, they held a press conference; they told the entire town about Polly and the baby. They only care about one upping the Blossoms, not their daughter or her safety. I feel like Mr. Blossom might care more than Alice, but she wears the pants in their family.
Once the Blossoms know about Polly’s pregnancy they try to act all nice and caring about the baby to Betty; they convince her they are going to help Polly. They actually want to prove she’s an unfit mother. Cheryl on the other hand doesn’t want to go along with her parents. She knows that Jason would want his child protected. I love what they’ve done with Cheryl. She really loves her brother and the thought of having a piece of him in her niece or nephew really changes things for her. Sure she’s a mean girl, but she has a heart. This show really works against type. Polly actually goes to live at Veronica’s place and Hermione is okay with it, saying, “anything for Alice Cooper’s daughters”. I’m sorry are they friends? Does Alice Cooper have friends? These parents are seriously weird.
Speaking of Hermione, she and Veronica continue their feud this week as well. Veronica feels betrayed by her mother because she forged her signature on the document giving Fred the construction job. Veronica explained to her friends that when everything was being taken from her during her father’s scandal, her mother sat her down and told her the one thing they can’t take is your name; then her mom does just that. She is playing a game trying to get an apology from her mother: she’s spending money they don’t have and staying out late clubbing. Veronica, Kevin, Josie, and Reggie go to a club and dance the night away. I loved the clubbing scene because they looked like they were having a lot of fun, which, with everything going on, is needed. I also wondered how there was a club in this small town; it was very out of the norm for the town of Riverdale.
Hermione is basically letting her do whatever she wants. She eventually stops acting her daughter’s age and tries parenting by reporting Veronica’s credit card stolen. Veronica take this as a sign that Hermione is ready to negotiate terms. They end up coming to an agreement that Hermione is allowed to date Fred as long as it’s not under her roof and she has to call Veronica’s dad and tell him that Veronica isn’t the one that signed that paper. She still loves her father and doesn’t want him to think she betrayed him. In the end they seemed to be close again.
Jughead and Betty’s relationship has progressed to hand holding and showing affection in public. Archie and Veronica find out about them and they seem okay with it. Veronica is the ever supportive best friend and loves seeing a big smile on Betty’s face, especially with is going on in her home life. I know Jughead and Betty won’t last, so maybe their relationship is how Jughead realizes he’s actually asexual; then Betty is free to be with Veronica–if only. Veronica and Archie will probably end up together at the end of this season and then next season will be about the love triangle again. That’s not what I would write, but it’s a high school show.
At the end Jughead narrates, “hope, a word so close to home”. He talks about how it’s gets tricky when you want your town to feel safe and to find Jason’s killer, but that hope keeps dwindling. It must be difficult to live in a town full of so many disappointments. Just when they think they might’ve solved it, new evidence or a new suspect gets thrown in that changes everything; now, we have FP Jones to add to the list. It’s exciting for the audience, but for the characters it must terribly frustrating.
So the case isn’t solved yet, but I’m glad they are dragging it out so much. It keeps the audience guessing. I hope it’s the biggest surprise when we find out who killed Jason! Riverdale returns with new episodes Thursday, March 30th.