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27 Things That Actually Happened On “Riverdale” This Week

“Why does every one of our dances turn into a Jamie Lee Curtis movie?”

New year, new Riverdale! Glad to be back! I’d like to start this recap with the caveat that even though I’m about to type a bunch of words, I don’t have a clear grasp of what’s going on anymore on Riverdale. So I’m going to try my very best, but much like Archie’s mauling — bear with me.

Archie's


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If you do need a refresher on the events of last season, here ya go.

Let’s dive right in, because we’ve got prom and relationship drama and snuff films to talk about!

Cheryl and Toni talking about prom with the caption


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1.

Alright, back up, so — where did we leave off last season??? I guess there was a videotape of people in classic Archie Comics masks “murdering” somebody who was supposed to be “Principal Honey,” and Jughead, Betty, and Charles are in the cabin where they found it?

Jughead with the quote


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Oh yes, the “auteur” previously known as the “voyeur” — the villain whose biggest crime is probably using VHS tapes in the year 2021! And also, I guess, the part where he’s been filming creepy surveillance tapes around Riverdale and also now staging gruesome murders on camera??? K. At least he was ahead of the times with the mask wearing.

2.

And then Jughead is like, “Welllllll, there’s just a teeny, tiny thing you need to know…I actually wrote a creepy fic about MURDERING MY PRINCIPAL,” and we’re supposed to focus on the fact that someone made this video, and not on the fact that Jughead was fantasizing about murdering his principal in the first place. K.

Jughead talking about writing a fictionalize story about killing mr. honey


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Jughead and Betty are still trusting Charles, their half brother/FBI agent who is secretly ~ in love ~ with Chic, who previously posed as their half brother. Normal family shit.

3.

They find movie ticket stubs that say “BV” on them, which leads them down a rabbit hole to Blue Velvet Video and its owner, David, who…runs a creepy-ass underground film festival rave? More on this shortly.

Betty thinks BV stands for


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4.

There’s a whole subplot about Archie vying for a spot at the Naval Academy, which I honestly don’t care much about, but I do care about this line actually uttered by Veronica:

Veronica calls archie teenage Thor


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Calling Archie a “teenage Thor” is honestly so disrespectful not only to Thor but to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. The way that Veronica has somehow been brainwashed to believe that Archie is special/cool/interesting/not awful is truly remarkable. Girl, you’re an entrepreneur with a thriving rum business (right? That’s still a thing, yes?), a speakeasy underneath a diner, and a spot at Barnard next year. Forget about this clown.

5.

The interesting thing to point out is that Archie’s biggest competition for a spot at the Naval Academy is ~conveniently~ K.O. Kelly, boyfriend of Katy Keene, star of the late Katy Keene series (formerly on the CW 9/8c, RIP!).

Picture of KO


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Archie has to fight against K.O. for a spot at the Naval Academy because…plot!

6.

So, remember how Hiram was dying? (It’s okay if you didn’t; I almost didn’t.) Guess what! Now he’s cured!

Hiram with the caption


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7.

Veronica continues to speak like she’s a bot that’s being fed dialogue from AOL Instant Messenger circa 1998.

Veronica talking to the doctor with internet lingo


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All jokes aside, it’s completely bonkers that this family is acting FUNCTIONAL now after all of the horrible things they’ve done to one another and to other humans.

8.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, Betty accuses Ms. Bell of being the auteur???

Betty accuses Ms. Bell


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My money wasn’t on the school receptionist, but I’m no ~expert detective~ like Elizabeth Cooper.

9.

Mr. Weatherbee is back, because apparently, ex–cult members are allowed a second shot at being school principal.

Betty sees Mr. Weatherbee and flashes back to when he lost a finger


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10.

Jughead has an idea of someone to talk to for more information on ThE AuTeuR:

Jughead saying the one caveat being he's tried to kill me


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My brain is so broken that this isn’t a particularly weird line uttered on Riverdale, and also, he doesn’t even know WHICH person it is who has tried to kill him because there are so many.

11.

Turns out, Betty and Jughead go to visit Bret Weston Wallis, who did in fact attempt to murder Jughead last season but who might have intel because, as we know, he is a creep who sells sex tapes. And what’s a lil’ attempted murder in Riverdale? Anyway, Jughead scares Bret into talking by threatening him.

Jughead threatens Bret with War Baby


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WAR BABY!!!! My brain is absolutely melting. I assumed that War Baby was just a fake friend that Jughead made up, but according to this Riverdale wiki, we’ve ACTUALLY met War Baby before, but I feel like I’m experiencing a twisted Mandela effect because I WOULD HAVE REMEMBERED a name as ridiculous as WAR BABY, wouldn’t I have??? Also, the number of times that Betty and Jughead have visited this prison is truly unprecedented.

12.

Anyway, this is when Bret informs us all that David from the video store throws, like, weird, creepy, snuff film rave parties??? Idk. And Betty and Jughead need to submit a film of their own to get an invite?

Bret with the caption


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13.

Lol, as a sidenote, in “Things I forgot happened on this show”: Former sheriff Tom Keller works at the El Royale gym now.

Tom Keller says Hi I exist


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14.

The best thing that came out of K.O. Kelly’s guest appearance was this exchange between him and Archie:

Archie and KO talk about Veronica's speakeasy


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I appreciate when an outsider comes to town and reminds me how batshit everything is and how much my brain has accepted as “normal.” Also, Archie loses his fight and whines like a baby about it. Typical.

15.

So, anyway, Jughead asks Kevin to bring their snuff film to Video Store David, which leads to this wild arrangement of words that were actually spoken on this show:

Jughead and Kevin exchange words about a snuff film


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Honestly, same energy:

Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire but saying you had me at snuff film


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16.

And then Betty chimes in with the ~important~ question:

Betty asks where to get a snuff film in Riverdale


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The answer, of course, is to use Jellybean’s famous fake blood from Halloween and borrow AV Club equipment to film it. I wish they had shown us the scene where they explain to the AV Club what they’re working on…

17.

This still of Reggie and Cheryl from the fake snuff film is presented without comment:

Reggie and Cheryl filming a snuff film


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18.

We’re in luck because David happens to be throwing a “film festival/rave” this weekend…

A picture of David


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I just need to mention that as a great nod to LAST SEASON’s Ticklegate plot, they show a tickling video at the rave. We love a throwback.

19.

I…just…like…so Betty and Jughead had to create a fake snuff film AND submit a creepy home video of the Black Hood just to get on the list, but SURE, 11-year-old Jellybean is just there because her friend Lauren from soccer heard about it? LIKE…WHAT?

Jellybean at the rave


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20.

Hiram asks Archie to be his deputy mayor (????), and it’s WILD that they act all chummy after everything Hiram did to Archie, including but not limited to the time that he had him framed for murder and sent to jail and forced into a fighting ring, and subsequently was indirectly responsible for Archie fleeing and getting mauled by a bear. BUT COOL! BYGONES ARE BYGONES, I SUPPOSE!

Hiram and a picture of Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football


CW / CBS

21.

Okay, so there’s another kinda important plot thing we need to talk about, which is that Veronica found the song Archie wrote for Betty, and then sang it at the Bonne Nuit without realizing — the whole thing made me super uncomfy, which is saying a lot for an episode that’s 99% about snuff films.

Veronica speaking and singing at Le Bonne Nuit


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Also, did the Bonne Nuit somehow quadruple in size? And also, every time I remember that this is all literally happening under Pop’s, I cackle.

22.

The funny thing is that I kind of almost forgot to mention that all of this is actually THE PROM EPISODE! The prom leads us to the one storyline that genuinely tugged at my heartstrings — Toni and Cheryl’s relationship.

Cheryl and Toni posing for prom pics


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We finally learn more about Toni’s family, and it turns out that they (rightfully) hate the Blossom family — which means that Toni has kept her relationship with Cheryl a secret. We do get to see these two take adorable prom photos together (I love Nana Rose!) and get crowned prom queens, but things seem pretty rocky in the end for them, and we see Cheryl weeping to Nana Rose about being cursed by her family.

23.

Just one more quick moment of appreciation for these co–prom queens!

Toni and Cheryl as Prom Queens


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I love them.

24.

The show also brought THE Molly Ringwald back, basically to watch Archie fight and to say this line that made me full-body cringe:

Mary taking prom pics with the caption


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I love that Mary’s girlfriend Brooke is still around, but how ’bout next time she gets some actual dialogue, @Riverdale writers??? All she’s done so far is try to save Archie’s ass with a spot at the Naval Academy, and Archie repaid her by being a little brat baby. Classic.

25.

At prom, Veronica finds out that Archie’s song was really for Betty, so Archie comes clean about that kiss last season. Love some good old-fashioned love triangle drama as a palate cleanser for snuff film drama.

Archie and Veronica at prom


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This leads Archie and Ronnie to break up, but they decide not to tell Betty and Jughead. So much for endgame???

26.

At prom, there was a giant TV screen, and the second I saw it, I was like, “For fuck’s sake, the ~auteur~ is totally gonna play a video here,” and let me just say that I LOVE being right! In the immortal words of Jughead Jones:

Jughead asks why ever dance turns into a Jamie Lee Curtis movie


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BTW, in case you were curious, the video was of Video Store David getting fake-murdered (or for-real murdered? Who can say!), and it was set to “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads.

27.

Finally, Hiram overhears Veronica talking about her breakup with Archie and gets a very murdery look on his face, and then the episode ends with Archie getting an auteur video replicating the time he was almost shot at Pop’s; coincidence? I think not — or actually, who the f knows in Riverdale! Maybe it was!

Archie getting a video from the auteur


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And that’s all for this week! Alexa, play “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer (another highlight of this episode, tbh)! So what the heck do you think is going on here? Is Hiram the auteur? Do you have any other theories? If you’re still here with me, please talk to me about this show that I will simply never quit.

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