“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.
Let’s dive right in, because we’ve got prom and relationship drama and snuff films to talk about!
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?
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.
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.
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:
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!).
So, remember how Hiram was dying? (It’s okay if you didn’t; I almost didn’t.) Guess what! Now he’s cured!
Veronica continues to speak like she’s a bot that’s being fed dialogue from AOL Instant Messenger circa 1998.
Mr. Weatherbee is back, because apparently, ex–cult members are allowed a second shot at being school principal.
Jughead has an idea of someone to talk to for more information on ThE AuTeuR:
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.
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?
Lol, as a sidenote, in “Things I forgot happened on this show”: Former sheriff Tom Keller works at the El Royale gym now.
The best thing that came out of K.O. Kelly’s guest appearance was this exchange between him and Archie:
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:
Honestly, same energy:
And then Betty chimes in with the ~important~ question:
This still of Reggie and Cheryl from the fake snuff film is presented without comment:
We’re in luck because David happens to be throwing a “film festival/rave” this weekend…
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?
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!
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.
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.
Just one more quick moment of appreciation for these co–prom queens!
The show also brought THE Molly Ringwald back, basically to watch Archie fight and to say this line that made me full-body cringe:
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.
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:
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!
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.