Previously, on Riverdale: Polly's baby shower brought out some long-simmering tensions between the Blossoms and the Coopers, and we suddenly like Alice now? Plus Fred's got business troubles and Hiram's to blame, with an assist from Clifford Blossom.
The Blossoms are doing their damnedest to seduce Archie Andrews, of all inexplicable people, likely solely because he has red hair and sort of looks like Jason.
Meanwhile, Veronica's befriended Ethel partially out of Daddy-related shame but mostly because Ethel rules and so does Veronica. And Betty's the only Cooper who's keeping her head on straight - until we realize that Polly's just as intrepid as her little sister!
The Blossoms are suuuuuper obsessed with Archibald this week, and honestly, I could watch an entire series of Cheryl Blossom's seduction attempts.
Turns out it's the annual Maple Syrup Festival And Banquet or some shit, because this show is never not about maple syrup, somehow, and I love it. Archie's needed to escort Cheryl because her entire family is sexist and thinks she needs a man to run a business. Archie plays along, because he wants help getting into a summer music program and for Clifford to leave his dad's business alone. And he really is sweet to Cheryl at first, defending her to her crappy family - with her help, of course.
It even leads to a kiss, and Archie takes longer to pull away than he should, considering he has a girlfriend. Of course, maybe that's because Cheryl tastes like maple syrup.
But in the end, he just ends up alienating both Cheryl, who thought he was one of the few people in Riverdale with no ulterior motives when it comes to her family, and Val, who's tired of always being Archie's runner-up. Val dumps him, and right on, Val!, but Cheryl takes a more Blossom Approach, scratching his and Polly's faces out with a red marker in a group photo and embarking on a vendetta against them. Like the Blossoms don't already have enough blood feuds on their plate!
Meanwhile, Polly's been avoiding Betty and Alice, which has the Cooper ladies very upset. Alice wants to write a generations-spanning exposé about the diabolical Blossoms, but Hal fires her from the paper first, because Hal suuuuuucks. So Alice throws a rock through his window, because Alice ruuuuules. Poor Betty's feeling torn apart by all of the family drama, but thankfully she has the most wonderful boyfriend in the world, and Juggie talks her through it. And then Polly tells Archie that she's pretending to be Team Blossom so she can suss out whether they have anything to do with Jason's death. Alice and Betty are so relieved - and then Juggie invites Alice to write her exposé for the Blue and Gold!
Finally, Veronica's befriended sweet Ethel after a poem-reading feels like a cry for help. Turns out Ethel's dad is one of the many people Hiram Lodge has screwed, and Veronica wants to make amends, for that and for her past Mean Girl life. When Ethel's dad attempts suicide, Veronica feels TERRIBLE, but thank goodness Betty is there to pick up the pieces, because these girls are the world's best friends.
When Veronica goes to the hospital to apologize, Mrs. Muggs is NOT having it, but sweet Ethel forgives Veronica easily, and this is another friendship I can tell I'm going to fall in love with on this show.
Most of the adult action this week centers around the teens, like the Blossoms' bizarre obsession with Riverdale's most tepid citizen and Alice and Betty's new and interesting détente. But Hermione finally tells Fred that he's been secretly working with Lodge Industries all along, and he's furious that she dragged him into a war between Clifford and Hiram. He finally demands a 20% share and dumps her. Both of the Andrews men are single now, ladies!
Polly's having twins and working undercover to avenge her boyfriend's death, because you can't keep those Cooper girls down. Maple syrup DEFINITELY has something to do with Jason's death. A) it's mentioned way too often not to be a driving force in his murder and B) everyone involved with that industry appears bugshit crazy.
Ethel in Veronica's clothes HEART EYES
A Fine Line
It's really more the delivery than the line itself. Cheryl KILLED IT this week.
The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week
Case in point.
Can Someone Please Say This To Me
Brutally Hot Chemistry
How does Veronica do it? One line and a look and she makes Archie interesting.
OMG, NEXT WEEK!
Is Polly brave or stupid (or both) for undertaking this dangerous endeavor in the name of the truth? And how the hell wasn't Hiram on Juggie's murder board already?