Riverdale has slowly been ticking off its high school tropes in the past few episodes, we’ve had dances, we’ve had football games, we’ve had the very overused trope of high school music teacher sleeping with a student then turning out to be someone that stole the real Ms. Grundy identity.
Now we’ve got the school talent show and a Josie centric episode to boot. Tonally this episode is worlds away from the gothic horror of the previous episode moreover no one seems to notice that Cheryl Blossom got sent away to a boarding school last episode.
Josie’s has been something of a type-a enigma for most of the season, always there with purfect performance or a biting one-liner. This episode we learn her father is a jazz musician and kind of a massive douche, looking down on his daughter’s pop aspirations. This mixed with her mother’s pushy attitude we begin to see how Josie’s facade is built via mounting pressure no teen should have to worry about.
We see how this pressure leads her to fight with the very lovely Val after she agrees to sing with Archie due to his stage fright.
This leads us to Archie who seems to be the most disconnected main character on television as the main meat of the Riverdale story which is the Jason Blossom murder. The significant disconnect this week is when he asks Veronica to help with his performance before replacing her with Val with little regard for anyone’s feelings.
Thus bringing us once again to my theory that Riverdale might just be the origin story for Archie Andrews, the fuckboy.
In retaliation, Veronica decides to join the Pussycats as they begin to work on a Donna Summer cover in order to impress Josie’s real shitty dad.
Although talent show drama isn’t the only thing going on this week, Jughead and Betty delve deeper into the Jason Blossom case and finally go talk with Polly who has been sent to a convent. Now as we all suspected Betty reunites with her sister who’s pregnant (come on, why else do you send your teenager to a nunnery.) She talks about how she and Jason were going to run away that fourth of July weekend before Mrs Cooper had her taken away. Polly goes on to explain they had a car stashed away and exactly where Betty can find it.
The whole Cooper storyline just seems macabre, in a suburban horror movie-like way. Tossing your kid into a convent when you can’t control them anymore and manipulating your other daughter into submission. A part of me is willing to bet that one or more Coopers killed Jason.
Although the Coopers aren’t the only shifty parents in Riverdale, Hermoine Lodge restarts things with Mr Andrews much to Veronica’s chagrin. With her dad locked up in jail, she’s less than impressed when Hermoine tries to make her sign some developing contract over to Mr Andrews and decides to forge her daughter’s signature anyway.
If Riverdale is planning on doing a murder a season I suspect that the next one is going to be one of the parents in a vigilante justice motif.
After the making up and the breaking up, Val rejoins the Pussycats for a wonderful rendition of Feel Love and then proceeds to leave halfway through.
Seriously, dude you fly out and miss three concerts, give your sixteen-year-old daughter grief for not doing ‘real music’ and then leave halfway through a three-minute song. Asshole.
But this is also the episode where everyone gets coupled up, Val and Archie kiss and Jughead and Betty also kiss. I don’t hate either pairing but I do think that Val probably deserves someone a lil better unless Archie steps his game up.
Towards the end Jughead and Betty find the car Polly was talking about and do the responsible thing of taking pictures of the evidence and going immediately to the authorities (Pretty Little Liars girls take note!) Because when they get back it’s up in smoke which could mean whoever killed Jason followed them to the car and knew it’d be incriminating.
Overall I don’t think this was the best episode of Riverdale, I think we’ve got better to come but it was a great balance of the high school world mixed with the mystery and the parent’s douchebaggery.
And you can check out the trailer for next weeks episode right here: