This episode is MAJOR. There are some important themes here - slut-shaming, white privilege - and they're handled in a really smart, powerful and still entertaining way. There's a sex conquest ring at Riverdale High, and Betty and Veronica are on the case! Also Jughead (Juggy if you're
nasty adorable like Betty) joins Riverdale High's newspaper The Blue and Gold, Archie's going to become a songwriter for Josie and the Pussycats, and Alice Cooper is truly, truly evil. Oh yeah, and our girl Betts might be moderately crazy, no big.
After a date with golden boy jock Chuck Clayton, Veronica is slut-shamed with an Instagram post referring to something called a "Sticky Maple." (I'll let you head to Urban Dictionary yourself for that one.) Girlfriend is ready to go "scorched earth." Chuck seriously messed with the wrong girl.
Betty, Cheryl, Kevin Keller and previous Chuck victim Ethel Muggs (Shannon Purser, aka Stranger Things' Barb!) all team up with Veronica for vengeance and some intrepid investigating. Turns out there's a jock conquest book, and Betty's sister Polly was a victim. So now we know a bit more about what happened with Polly and Jason, and while that's useful information for us, it does NOT do wonders for Betty's sanity.
"Betty couldn't make it. So she sent me."
Betty and Veronica seduce Chuck, drug him, handcuff him, nearly boil him alive and get him to admit he's a lying slut-shamer. And then Betty goes even more HAM on him, calling him Jason and herself Polly, until Veronica shakes her out of it. My girl has some issues, which makes her a hell of a lot of fun.
Meanwhile, Archie's finally making some headway with his music, and after Cheryl owes him a favor for coming to the police with his information about the gunshot, Josie and the Pussycats agree to sit in on a few music sessions with him. When he tells them that he wants to write songs for them, Josie's like, "Do you think you, as a white male, are justified in writing songs for us, divas of color?" Archie stammers his way through this response, and Josie tells him what's up.
"Because we have to claw our way into rooms that you can just waltz into."
But after they try a few of his songs, they realize it's going to be a pretty good fit. And his dad's even coming around on his music! So everything's coming up Archie - until he starts hooking up with Miss Grundy again, ugh.
Alice Cooper is a righteous a-hole. She continues to bully Betty, slut-shames Veronica to her own mother ("that's what they call it when sluts get shamed."), and publishes Jason's gruesome autopsy results in the Riverdale Register. At least we get to watch Mrs. Blossom slap the living hell out of her! Also: I think Mr. Andrews might be falling for Miss Grundy. That could get awkward!
I love having Detective Juggy on the case!
He grills Scout Master Dilton Doiley about being at the Sweetwater River the morning of July 4th, and it comes out that Dilton was the one who shot the gun - because he's a "hard-core survivalist" and was trying to teach his scouts to defend themselves. To convince Betty and Jughead not to report his crime, he tells them that he saw Miss Grundy's car at the river that morning, which means Archie's dirty little secret's about to come out.
At the Chock'lit Shoppe
I love Seduction Mode Betty.
A Fine Line
After Cheryl calls her cheerleaders "sluts" in that supposedly chummy way mean girls have, Veronica wins my heart forever and ever:
I am going scorched earth on these privileged, despicable miscreants. You wanna get caught in that backdraft, Cheryl? Call me or any of these beautiful, young, strong, intelligent women ‘slut’ One. More. Time.
I truly love Josie's interactions with Archie. The character deepened from superficially cool to legitimately important in one short scene.
Most Meta Moment
In a nice little nod to Stranger Things that also fits in with Cheryl's character perfectly, after the slut-shaming ring is kicked off the football team (which will have repercussions for everyone, Jughead's voiceover promises us), Cheryl says "#justiceforethel."
Cheryl and Jason were definitely into twincest, no?
We can't trust Miss Grundy, can we? I mean, aside from the pedophilia thing. I have some theories HERE - as well as a primer on what we can expect from the upcoming Sabrina the Teenage Witch cameo on Riverdale!
Whaaaaaat is going on with our girl Betty? She severely lost her cool this week.
Next time on Riverdale: Miss Grundy is exposed!