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Riverdale 2x10: The Blackboard Jungle

The South Side and The North Side collide for good, and it goes about as well as the time that happened in U.S. history.

Riverdale 2x10: The Blackboard Jungle

Previously, on Riverdale: We learned the Black Hood's identity, everyone exchanged Christmas pressies, Juggie became a little too comfy with a knife, and Archie and Betty VERY UNWISELY kissed while Cheryl Blossom got her peepin' on.

The Rundown

Southside High has been shut down, which means Jughead and all his Serpent buds are heading to Riverdale HS. That should go well, right? (It doesn't.) Archie starts working for the FBI which makes me SOL (snort out loud) and Betty finds her long-lost brother, who looks like a straight-up sexual predator, I'm sorry to say.

The Teens

Archie and Veronica are back together and all is fine with the world, except Cheryl's blackmailing Archie over that whole kissing Betty thing. Why is Cheryl blackmailing him, other than the fact that she is pure, unadulterated, glorious evil? Because Penelope is TOTALLY HAVING SEX FOR MONEY since the Blossoms are now broke, and Cheryl wants Archie to strong-arm Nick St. Clair into writing over another check that she presumably won't throw into a fire this time.

Archie takes care of it, but then he goes ahead and comes clean to Veronica about the kiss anyway, which is good, and she forgives him very sweetly, which is good, but I doubt their renewed honeymoon period will last. Here's why: dumb ol' Archie is now investigating V's family for the FBI (maaaaybe? I mean, does Archie even do his due diligence to ensure that Special Agent Adams is legit? Of course he doesn't! This guy could be anyone!), presumably to protect his dad and Veronica from any jail time for their respective Lodge-related nefarious dealings. Archie's intentions may be good, but if Dawson's Creek taught me anything (it did), it's that girls really don't like it when boys put their dads in prison.

Polly's had her babies, named Dagwood and Juniper - Betty's reaction mirrors our own - and she doesn't even tell Alice, which makes Betty sad for her mom. So Betty tracks down her long-lost brother to cheer Alice up, I guess. This would be a fine plan except a) Hal Cooper is vehemently opposed to acknowledging the boy's existence and b) Chic Cooper is a skeezy weirdo who works in the "fantasy fulfillment" arena (Penelope Blossom's new field!), gets into fist fights and looms over Betty's bed while she's sleeping. So, this should be interesting. 

Finally! Southside High has been shut down due to more Lodge-related nefarious dealings, and the Serpents and Bulldogs/River Vixens aren't getting along so great. Cheryl and Reggie are extra against the idea, in the most dramatic way possible.

They frame the Serpents by tagging the school seal, so Principal Weatherbee refuses to let the Serpents engage in any "gang-related activity" like wearing leather jackets or showing tattoos. Juggie is affronted that he's being forced to shed his serpent skin, so he organizes a "Swords & Serpents" RPG group, approved by Weatherbee, which is really just the Serpents disguised as a group of clean-cut, nerdy gamers.

"We’re not shedding our skins. We’re lying low in the tall grass." Whatever you say, Jughead. You're a little too tough guy for my tastes these days. 

The Grown-Ups

The Lodges are still shady as heck, Fred's all, "Oh cool, my hospital bill's been paid, whatevs!", Alice seems less charmed by her creepy weirdo son than Betty does and PENELOPE BLOSSOM IS A COURTESAN. Like, even after Cheryl hands over Nick's money, Penelope sticks to her new career path. She just WANTS to be a courtesan. Get it, Penelope!

The Clues

Not a ton of forward motion on any mystery, except at the end when Archie asks so-called Special Agent Adams, "In your expert opinion, Agent Adams, do you think we got the right guy? I haven’t told anyone about this, but I’m not sure we did."

Kevin's New Serpent Stud

I approve! 

Outfit MVP

Penelope's woman of the night garb is cracking me the hell up. 

Also Cracking Me Up? 

This insaaaaane height discrepancy. Toni is tiny! 

A Fine Line

Veronica, as the Serpents and Bulldogs face off, "I am so over the toxic masculinity in this hallway right now." Girl, same. 

Gif of the Episode

Burning Questions

Is Archie right, and Svenson isn't really the Black Hood? Is Archie ever right about anything? Are we going to get another mystery arc in this latter half of the season, à la Veronica Mars S3

What's Coming

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Meredith Borders's photo About the Author: Meredith Borders is a brewpub owner and freelance writer/editor living in Houston. Her dog's middle name is Hermione, and she makes purse decisions based almost entirely on their capacity to hold books.
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