Riverdale – Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil
By: Jay Smith
We’re back at the diner with Jughead (Cole Sprouse) typing away on his laptop expressing how the town hoped that Jason hadn’t drowned and on the following school day he’d be at school roaming the hallways or at Pop’s with his sister. While Jughead is at the diner, Archie (K.J. Apa) is at home tossing, turning and thinking about his torrid affair with Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel) with the memory ending with the gunshot they heard on July 4th. He reaches for phone and texts Betty, hoping she will answer. She sees the message and replies “no” to his questions about talking. Archie makes a last ditch effort by texting and waiting by his window for a response. Betty (Lili Reinhart) looks at Archie and goes to bed. Needing to clear his head, Archie gets dressed and has a night run to Ms. Grundy’s house. Of course, she lets him in but doesn’t want to hear what he’s saying, especially about them being potential witnesses to Jason’s murder. And in true selfish form, Grundy forces Archie to drop the situation because they could go to jail. But based off all of their conversations, it’s because she doesn’t want to lose her reputation and go to jail for initiating an inappropriate relationship with her underage student.
In the morning Fred (Luke Perry) asks Archie why and where he went off to in the middle of the night. He tells Archie no more late night runs until the killer is caught. At Betty’s house, her father Hal (Lochlyn Munro) and mother (Madchen Amick) come into the room to discuss the week’s schedule. Of course, Alice makes a hateful statement about Jason before sending the father to go warm up the car. Alice gives Betty a speech on Cheryl’s, Veronica’s and Archie’s true colors. She demands that Betty no longer see them. As an act of rebellion, Betty goes to Archie’s house and lets him know she still wants to be friends in spite of her mother and everything happening.
Jughead goes up to Archie at his locker and jokes about using Jason’s death as an excuse to get out of P. E. Archie is offended and doesn’t want to hear stuff like that. As he’s walking away, Jughead is pushed by Reggie (Ross Butler) and Archie just watches. In the hall, Kevin (Casey Cott) asks Betty one more time if a relationship really isn’t in her and Archie’s cards and wants to know if he’s gay. Betty gives him a look and Kevin defends his question by saying “no straight man has that body.” The word “body” sends Betty into asking him if he’s okay after discovering Jason’s. Kevin states it was worse explaining to his father the Sheriff (Martin Cummins) what he was doing with Moose (Cody Kearsley) that late at the river than actually seeing it.
They arrive at the office to see a bouquet of gorgeous yellow roses. Veronica (Camila Mendes) makes it into the office to explain the color stands for friendship and asks for forgiveness while offering cupcakes. She also booked them appointments at a salon. Veronica keeps apologizing and swears she’ll never do it again. And without skipping a beat, Betty accepts the apology while Kevin is baffled. Betty explains that after a few weeks the girls will be strangers and this will just be the past. In his office Principal Weatherbee (Peter Bryant), with Cheryl and the Sheriff in his office as well, informs the students the upcoming prep rally will be happening. He gives the mic to the sheriff who tells everyone Jason’s murder has been classified as a homicide and the department is doing everything they can to close the case. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) takes the mic and angrily lets the school know that her and her family will not rest until the case is closed while stating she has suspicions on who is involved before ending the sentence with a Twitter hashtag. The sheriff urges for those with information to come forward. Archie catches a glimpse of Weatherbee’s face that shows concern for him. Archie heads to the water fountain to calm himself down when Jughead approaches him and wants the final piece to why Archie was missing from the road trip that was planned for the 4th of July.
We get to class and Archie avoids Jughead, Cheryl is being interrogated by her lackeys and the group awkwardly pairs up with each other up to avoid any more awkwardness (Archie with Cheryl, Veronica with Betty, Moose with Kevin and Jughead with the lackeys). Without a filter, Kevin tells Moose he’s hot and his type, but with him still being in the closet he has “more demons than the exorcist” and should stick with his current type. Archie shows remorse to Cheryl about her loss, but takes her aback when he asks about any leads. She suggests it’s someone they all know. Archie shows interest in leading in the investigation since Jason is being dissected at the very moment. Cheryl’s actions are very strange and uneasy to the other students.
The coroner is explaining to Mrs. Cooper that everybody tells a story and Jason’s body suggests more than just drowning and a gunshot are the cause of death. She gives him a small envelope with small bills for help and his silence on breaking the news to her first. At lunch time the girls and Kevin discuss Moose and the potential of them dating, but Kevin is hesitant and would rather Moose stay in the closet. Archie is at the table writing new music. He plays what he has so far and it makes Betty realize she can’t act normal and be okay with everything that happened over the weekend. He chases her to get a better understanding, but Mr. Weatherbee asks for his immediate attention. He asks Archie to open up about any information he has on Jason because of the worried looked they exchanged earlier that morning. In a panic, Archie goes to the music room to find Grundy and tells her about the exchange. Archie wants to know if her feelings for him are real because if they’re not he has no reason not to share his info on what happened over the summer. Grundy admits her feelings are real and admits the relationship is inappropriate. As they share this moment, Jughead spots them.
At cheerleading practice Cheryl is unimpressed and the ladies need to step it up. Veronica and Betty talk, but Betty isn’t here for Veronica’s snide remark on Cheryl and compares her to a wasp instead of the butterfly she portrays to be. Veronica admits she only went in the closet with Archie to protect her from Cheryl getting to him. Betty asks if anything happened in the closet, but Veronica isn’t fully given the chance to answer because they both know something did. The girls get into a catty back and forth that escalates quickly and ends with Betty asking a nosey Cheryl if she wants to join her for the salon appointment Veronica offered with the forgive me flowers from that morning.
At Pop’s we see Hermione (Marisol Nichols) is employed and Veronica is giving her praises. Archie walks in to pick up dinner. Hermione suggests he walk Veronica home since it’s on the way back to his house. As they’re walking they exchange their stories on how Betty is back to ignoring them both. Archie shares a sweet story on how Betty went out of her way to tutor Archie in the second grade so he wouldn’t get held back. He admits to kissing her and asking for hand, but she stated they were too young yet would say “I do” once they turned 18 years old. He can’t imagine not having her in his life and is upset he hurt her. Veronica gives him advice and lets him know their story isn’t over.
Cheryl is in Betty’s room admiring it and invites her over to hers without Veronica. She apologizes to Betty for being mean and uses Jason’s and Polly’s relationship ending as an excuse. She suggests that they both lost siblings and asks if her sister is okay and if anyone told her about Jason being murdered and what really happened in their relationship. Betty becomes annoyed at the twenty-one questions game Cheryl is playing with her and this brings out the real Cheryl. She calls Betty a dumb cow and accuses Polly of having something to do with it. Betty snaps and threatens to kill Cheryl if she doesn’t leave her house.
Jughead is waiting for Archie and wants to know how long he’s been with Grundy. Archie admits she’s one the reasons why he’s been acting weird and this confuses Jughead because there’s more. Archie finally admits out loud to someone that he and Grundy were at the river on July 4th when they heard the gunshot that killed Jason. Jughead gets angry that Archie wants to keep the information a secret to protect Grundy. Jughead tries to convey to Archie that she’s using him. As he’s leaving Archie grabs Jughead and slightly threatens him.
Back at the Cooper house Alice storms in with sage and makes another rude remark on how the family is evil and suggests that they killed Jason themselves. Betty asks if Polly knows about Jason and she admits she told her, but doesn’t think she remembers the information since she barely knows what day it is because of her current state. Alice opens up on not liking the union of the teenagers because of her distrust and distaste for the Blossom Family. Betty wants to go visit Polly, but Alice quickly changes the conversation to questioning Betty’s good heart about letting Veronica, Archie and Cheryl into her space. At school Betty admits to Veronica she was right about Cheryl and expresses her frustrations with her life. Veronica informs her Archie does love her and gives Betty words of wisdom about their friendship being better than a boyfriend. In the student lounge Reggie (Ross Butler) is being obnoxious and gives his lewd view on what type of person would kill a jock. He describes Jughead before finally calling him out by name. Reggie taunts Jughead some more, asking lewd questions. This makes Jughead retort by challenging his spelling of said accusations. Reggie jumps up, but Archie gets in the middle and stops him before he lays a hand on Jughead. Archie can’t take anymore of Reggie and they engage in a fight. Fred sees Archie in the kitchen icing his face and inquires on how he received it. Without telling on himself completely, Archie seeks his father’s advice on what to do with Grundy and wanting to do the right thing. Fred tells him Archie should do the right thing even if it means costing him something.
At the game everything seems back to normal. Archie sees Grundy at the water table and tells her he’s coming clean about what he knows about Jason’s murder. He wants her to join him, but he won’t mention her if she doesn’t. He apologizes to her and walks up to Jughead and tells him he’s coming forward as well. Archie apologizes to Jughead for being out of line and wants their friendship back. With another great retro reference Jughead jokes about them gradually being friends again over many burgers for weeks to come. Betty runs into Archie and without thinking grazing his bruised eye. Before he can really talk to her he’s rushed by his team to the field. Mayor Sierra McCoy (Robin Givens) gives a speech on how she’s proud of the school and the town for not remaining in sorrow about the tragedy at the moment. She dedicates the prep rally to Jason and introduces the River Vixens as well as her daughter Josie (Ashleigh Murray) with the Pussycats. After the performance, the football team runs out and while Archie is leading them all Cheryl sees is Jason and gets flashbacks. She sprints across the field leaving everyone in awe and confusion as to why. Veronica goes to the locker room to find Cheryl crying her eyes out. She opens up to Veronica and finally admits he’s gone and that she’s alone. Veronica comforts and informs her that she isn’t while Betty watches the interaction.
Back on the field Betty let’s Veronica know she saw what she did and invites her to get a milkshake at Pop’s. In a cute quiet reference to their personalities, we see Betty has ordered a plain vanilla milk shake and Veronica has a double chocolate one. In the booth they make a pact to not let a guy come between them. Archie and Jughead walk in and after a brief awkward pause Betty invites them to their booth and Jughead properly introduces himself to Veronica. Jughead narrates how it looked like four teenagers in that booth, but there were only three: a blonde haired girl, a raven haired girl and the luckiest redhead boy in the universe. The next day Archie is on his way to Weatherbee’s office when the door opens and he and the sheriff swiftly walk out. They arrive to the biology class where Cheryl stands up and holds her hands out for cuffs because she thinks she knows what the biopsy said about Jason’s body and everyone will know she’s guilty. Weatherbee and the Sheriff walk her out as Jughead explains that Jason’s body had given up secrets at the autopsy. The biggest is that Jason didn’t die on the 4th of July but a week later.