With Fred Andrews on the mend from an attempt on his life, let’s watch the gang try and save a burger joint.
…Okay, more than that obviously happens. Let’s go!
1. Trauma For Everybody!
Throughout this episode, we have seen how the trauma of events have been pushing our characters. From Archie’s continuing flashing back to the events of Pop’s to Jughead trying to deal with his father’s impending incarceration, to Veronica’s family reunion causing her to be more on edge. The illusions that are ripped from teenagers that the world around them isn’t a safe place continues to compound as another death is revealed, the death of Ms. Grundy. Now, I’m not exactly shedding tears for her -she was a creepy ebophile- but it’s another chipping away at our protagonists, as a pattern of the victims being close to Archie begins to form.
2. Saving Some Semblance of Normalcy
With all the Bad Things happening, one could make the argument of Betty’s battle to save Pop’s diner out of place, but honestly, it works. As I (and Betty) said, they are all having their world break apart around them with no sign of slowing down, so having a place like Pop’s still going serves as an anchor. Something rock steady for them to cling onto as the flood waters rise up. Plus, the location serves as a nexus for plot points at the end of the episode, seeing the Southside Serpents influence grow more.
Also. The Pussycats doing a cover of “Milkshake.” Never let it be said Riverdale was subtle.
3. Teenage Sons of Anarchy
Jughead and Betty are sure getting pulled more into the darkness, aren’t they? It’s not just Pop’s that is trying to be saved. FP is looking at minimum of twenty years in prison, despite not being involved in Jason Blossom’s murder. Mayor McCoy won’t help on either front, so the two are going to further lengths, whether it’s Jughead meeting with the Serpent’s rather unscrupulous lawyer (as FP attests to at the end of the episode) or with Betty straight up blackmailing Cheryl into forgiving FP on the witness stand to try and get a lean sentence. It’s showing that Betty and Juggie are not playing around anymore, and that there’s still a long path for them with the Serpents.
4. They Fuck You Up, Your Mum and Dad
Man, the Lodges are just terrible, huh? And they’re also great? Hiram shows that he is a ruthless and controlling dude here and Hermione is not exactly better. Hiram wastes little time in trying to get back in his daughter’s good graces, like offering to buy Pop’s (and then eventually buying it anyway when Veronica told him not to). That said, he shows his manipulative side by having Hermione take the fall for the letter he wrote to Veronica to get her to testify in his favor that got him out of prison. It’s dastardly, and both Mark Consuelos and Marisol Nichols are fantastic in their roles.
5. Murder Murder Murder MURDAH!
So, there just gonna be a murder every episode? Hell, we got two in this one as the ending stinger. And this season isn’t thirteen episodes like the previous one. We still got twenty episodes to go. It’s gonna look like the fucking Somme by the season finale. Why am I imagining the scene in Reservoir Dogs with Archie and the Black Hood, drenched in blood, guns pointed at one another? Wholesome, Family “Archie”!
Also, we were introduced to the recasted Reggie Mantle here and he was quite good for his bits. More of him, please.