Riverdale – To Riverdale and Back Again
By: Jay Smith
Josie (Ashleigh Murray) and The Pussycats, Val (Hayley Law) and Melody (Asha Bromfield), are singing the school anthem while Jughead (Cole Sprouse) narrates about homecoming coming up. We get a glimpse of Homecoming night of Archie (KJ Apa) getting ready in the boys locker room while Veronica (Camila Mendes) puts on makeup and Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) stretching in their locker room. Betty (Lili Reinhart) is trying to compromise with Weatherbee (Peter Bryant) on homecoming duties, but he isn’t budging. Back to the present, Archie is having breakfast and Mama Andrews (Molly Ringwald) opens up on why she’s back and Archie gives her an update on his life. Hermione (Marisol Nichols) is on the phone and it is Hiram’s attorney stating he could be home soon. Veronica questions the things he’s done to be in jail and reiterates her point of Hiram being a probable suspect in Jason’s murder. Hermione doesn’t want to hear this. Jughead has coffees and he’s surprised to see his childhood and his father clean. Papa Jones (Skeet Ulrich) gives his feedback and then asks Jughead questions related to the manuscript like who does Jughead think killed Jason.
Archie catches up to Veronica in the hallway and apologizes for not calling. Veronica wasn’t offended and has to explain to Archie that they shared a moment and nothing more can happen on her end. Archie wants more, but will settle for a duet at the homecoming dance. Veronica gets a text and leaves. Betty and Veronica are in the newsroom where Alice (Mädchen Amick) has texted them and proclaim that everyone who isn’t in the room is a murder suspect. Alice asks questions about Hiram and Veronica thinks he hired someone like Papa Jones to kill Jason. Alice wants someone to asks questions to Jughead or Papa Jones to get more information and Betty is completely against it and washes her hands of being involved. She leaves to go continue planning for the dance and Veronica, who seems conflicted, follows. Polly (Tiera Skovbye) is walking around the Blossom estate when she stumbles upon a room with red wigs and sees a grey haired Cliff (Barclay Hope). He sees her and immediately slams the door. Alice is still in the newsroom when Veronica doubles back and agrees to work with Alice to get to the bottom of their suspicions. Cheryl tells the lunch table she’s bringing Polly as her date and they’ll be campaigning for Co-Queens because if Jason was alive he’d be king. After Cheryl leaves, Archie asks Betty if he can play some songs but stops once he sees the annoyed angry face she forms. Betty tells him the dance needs to be upbeat and Jughead with cosigns from Veronica and Kevin (Casey Cott) informs him his music isn’t. Veronica saves Archie and agrees they’ll be singing upbeat covers together at the dance. Veronica takes Archie to an empty classroom and he thinks she’s changed her mind about them hooking up again, but she really just wants his help to investigate Papa Jones and tells him of the plan. Archie wants to tell Jughead, but she’s against it. Archie states that Papa Jones has changed and Veronica hopes he’s has too or Jughead will be implemented in to the drama.
Mama Andrews sees Hermione in the trailer and they have a pleasant exchange and they talk about homecoming. Betty is decorating the gym when Polly calls. Polly gives an update and Betty reiterates the agreement of her leaving the estate after homecoming is over. Polly hangs up the phone when Penelope (Nathalie Boltt) comes in with her daily milkshake. She informs her the east wing is out of bounds because they value their privacy. Jughead has a box of decorations when he asks Betty why didn’t she tell him about the dinner. Betty is confused until he explains that Alice invited him and his father to dinner before the dance. Jughead notices Betty’s face and she lies saying that she did know. Jughead is exceptionally excited especially since this would He great for them because they’re getting so close. Betty storms home and tries to stop Alice’s ambush. Alice plays the Jughead card and it makes Betty reconsider telling Jughead about the ambush. Archie comes home and the nostalgia of having Fred (Luke Perry) and Mary together again is almost too much for him. Jughead comes down and the conversation turns to homecoming. Mama Andrews says they’ll be there with Hermione, who she invited, and the parents are going together because they want to hear Archie play. The boys are getting ready for bed and Archie reveals his parents getting back together is a younger Archie’s pipe dream now. Jughead gives insight on his life and wanting to move back home. He reveals the changes in Papa Jones like his appearance and his thoughtfulness into his story. The mentioning of Papa Jones being interested in Jughead’s thoughts on the killer makes Archie get up to lie about leaving, to which Jughead jokes that he’s going to see Veronica and leaves. Archie does end up at the Lodge residence and Veronica informs him she’s not engaging in a booty call and he has changed his mind on helping. They both agree that Jughead and Betty can’t find out about then snooping.
Cheryl and Polly are getting ready when Polly suggests they go to the parents’ room for retro jewels and such. They enter the room and we see the wigs again. Cheryl tells the tale of how her father turned grey and iterates that the Blossom family lives by their red hair. Polly is sly snooping when Cheryl stops talking and holds her Nana’s ring. Polly wants to know why and how Penelope has the ring when Jason gave it to her. Polly reaches to snatch it back but Cheryl grabs her arms and while tightening her grip threatens Polly. Jughead and Papa Jones thank Alice for the food and the invite. Alice starts her investigation and before Papa Jones can react to one of Alice’s intrusive questions, the bell rings and it’s Hal (Lochlyn Munro). Archie and Veronica use a hidden key to break into Papa Jones’ house. A tearful Penelope tells their side of why they have the ring and informs Polly the day Jason washed his hands of the family he threw the ring at Cliff and she kept it for safe keeping. Polly tells her she thought it was lost and Penelope says nothing is lost forever, it always comes back. She wipes her tears and leaves Polly with a milkshake and to continue to get ready for the dance. Hal asks Papa Jones if the trailer park has any opening because he’s essentially homeless and because of the brick Alice threw into the window, the office is extra chilly. Papa Jones starts to reminisce on an argument the young Coopers had at their homecoming when he ends the story with a threat to Alice. Betty relishes in this moment of Alice’s defeat and states her and Jughead should be leaving for the dance. There’s an empty milkshake cup by Polly’s bed and Cheryl asks what did her parents give to the sleeping expecting mother. Penelope reveals she gave her something to sleep until morning and it isn’t harmful to the babies. Cheryl asks if the ring acquiring story was true and Cliff agrees it is. He expresses regret for grooming Jason over Cheryl because she embodies their beliefs and actions. Before Cheryl can go Penelope asks for the ring and Cheryl tells them she flushed it in case Polly says anything to anyone about it. Archie tries to calm down Veronica who isn’t okay with finding nothing. She reveals she wants to find out and he promises to be by her side when her father does come on and if they do find something out. Veronica smiles at Archie being her current light in the darkness and the pair share a kiss. Veronica gets a texts from Alice and the two split from the house.
Papa Jones drops the couple off and Jughead stays behind to talk to his father. Jughead expresses his want to come back home and Papa Jones tells his plan of being a family again and going to Toledo. Jughead asks about Riverdale and while Papa Jones tells him about how the town sees them, he looks to see Betty waiting for him. Hermione, Fred, and Mama Andrews walk into the dance like Betty, Veronica, and Archie did when Veronica first moved to town. Mama Andrews reminisces on them being in high school while Jughead leads Betty to their table and he tells her they need to talk later. Betty sees Cheryl, gives Jughead a kiss, and leaves to talk to her. Betty asks about Polly and Cheryl says she sugar crashed leaving her to go alone. She expresses not doing anyone else anymore favors and abruptly leaves. Alice sees Mama Andrews in the bathroom and starts being messy about her coming to the dance with Fred and Hermione. Mama Andrews doesn’t give into the bait and before Alice can retort back she gets a call and leaves. Betty sees Kevin and asks him about Archie and Veronica. The two appear and before Betty gets to the them, Alice stops them and Betty sees the three of them talking. Weatherbee and Mayor McCoy (Robin Givens) stop Betty in her tracks to go over tonight’s itinerary and Betty is too distracted by what’s unfolding on the other side of the room. Betty finally focuses and politely denies McCoy’s request and asks Weatherbee to do it before leaving to talk to Jughead, Archie, and Veronica. She asks the pair where we’re they and the lie to say they were at Pop’s before heading to the stage. The pair sing “We’re The Kids Of America” while on the other side of town Sheriff Keller (Martin Cummins) with other officers pull up to Papa Jones’ house with a search warrant. We get glimpses of the crowd as the performance progresses and we see a sad Cheryl, a furious Betty next to a happy Jughead, Moose (Cody Kearsley) rocking out and The Andrews enjoying the performance. Papa Jones watches his house being torn apart and Cheryl, no longer able to fact it, leaves the dance. Betty inches closer to the stage, Archie gets more into the performance, and Kevin and Joaquin (Rob Raco) cozy up more. Before the performance is finally over, a lockbox is discovered in Papa Jones’ closet and it contains a gun.
The Andrews share a dance as Mama Andrews tries to keep up with Archie’s love life and joke about the Andrews men being irresistible as a lonely Hermione sits at a table by her lonesome. Kevin and Joaquin are sharing a dance as well and Kevin opens up about this being the first time he’s had a boyfriend and bringing one to the dance. Jughead approaches the pair about Betty’s whereabouts and Kevin half jokes that they all need tracking devices before telling him the direction of Betty, Archie, and Veronica. Sheriff Keller comes to the dance and talks to the Mayor and Kevin notices. He leaves to go see what’s going on and Joaquin slowly fades into the shadows. Archie and Veronica try to explain their side of the situation and when Jughead comes near he can see something is wrong. Archie admits to invading Papa Jones’ space on command of Alice. Jughead pieces together that the dinner was a cover up and attacks Betty for somehow being involved and not warning him. He also reveals that he thought about passing up Toledo for her. Kevin and the parents find them all in the hallway and Kevin informs Jughead that Papa Jones has been arrested for Jason’s murder. Jughead runs out of the dance with a teary eyed Betty, Archie, and Veronica watching him.
Jughead breaks into the home and destroys it before breaking down and crying. He recalls his father saying he isn’t a perfect father or a murder and storms out the trailer. Betty asks Alice if she was the one who tipped Keller and she admits she didn’t and is glad Betty is done with that family. Betty shuts down the statement and states she loves Jughead and that he is her family. Alice tries to stop the angry teen from leaving to go search for her boyfriend but Betty threatens to put up a fight and leaves once Alice sees she’s not in the mood. The Lodge women are sitting on their couch and Hermione agrees to cut ties with Hiram if he is indeed involved in some kind of way. Veronica warns that it might not be so easy to get away from her father. Mama Andrews and Archie are in the kitchen and Archie is remorseful that Papa Jones probably really didn’t change and Mama Andrews tells him most people don’t. Fred is coming down the stairs when he stops to listen to the conversation. Mama Andrews takes this opportunity to tell him that she was originally going to ask him to move to Chicago with her to be safe and he can study his music. She expresses her concern some more and Archie promises to think about the move, making Fred slightly upset on the stairs. Cheryl arrives back home, enters Polly’s room and tests to see if the girl is alive by sticking a mirror under nose. Once she sees she is, Cheryl pulls the covers on to the sleeping Polly and leaves. Cheryl passes her parents room and Penelope is hysterically crying in Cliff’s arms about Papa Jones being the one that took Jason from them. Cheryl looks down at her hand and it has Nana’s ring. Betty enters Pop’s (Alvin Sanders) and he tells her he hasn’t come by and she’s not the only one looking for him. Archie and Veronica approach Betty, who informs them she’s not ever talking to them again, when they reveal when they originally cased the house they found nothing so someone put the gun there after they left and framed Papa Jones