Riverdale Presents: The Gun In Betty Coop's Handbag
Okay, it wasn't in her handbag, it was in her dresser drawer. Still, Betty's sleuthing gets Miss Grundy (or whatever her real name is) in some hot water. Meanwhile, Jughead loves movies.
In a week where we find out that both Jughead and Betty are just two regular, normal high-schoolers who love Rebel Without A Cause, the closing of the local drive-in is a shame for Riverdale's cinephiles, its parking-lot cruisers, and its secret Scream stars.
Archie stands by helpless while Miss Grundy gets smacked down for child endangerment. Jughead stands by helpless while the drive-in stakes in the "SALE" sign. Miss Grundy stands by helpless as her real name is paraded out for anyone to see. But who tops our rankings this week?
- Miss Grundy
Ugh. This one. She starts off the episode by openly flirting with Archie's dad with Archie right there. Later on, ace reporter Betty Cooper discovers that Grundy 1) used to tutor Jason Blossom; 2) has a gun in her glove compartment; and 3) is really named Jennifer Gibson. When the truth comes out, she tells some terrible story, which may or may not be true, about having an abusive ex. And then, after Alice Cooper calls Miss Grundy out for shtupping a student and gets her fired, she starts making eyes at other boys in the parking lot. She's trouble. So much trouble. Without much reward.
- Alice (Betty's Mom)
Alice goes in HARD on Archie this week. And not in the way you or I might. She's so intense in her desire that Betty never associate with the boy next door again that she storms over and asks Fred to keep Archie away. And when that doesn't work, she exposes Miss Grundy. You know, broken clock, twice a day.
- Fred (Archie's Dad)
So apparently Fred once fired Jughead's dad for cause? And it's still something of a sore spot for Jug? The more you know.
Kind of a passive week for Archie. He's powerless when faced with a Betty/Veronica double-team (and not the kind you or I might want) on the subject of Miss Grundy. Then he just sort of stands idly by while his lady is eviscerated by Alice and Fred. Of course, when Archie does get proactive, he does idiot things like pawn his guitar so that he can buy Grundy a new bow for her cello. Lame.
In between using Sleuthster for all her internet sleuthing needs, Betty is trying hard to juggle between her mom screeching for Archie Andrews's head, and her investigation of the shady truths behind Miss Grundy. Still loving Betty's dorky-reporter side.
Poor Jug is taking the closing of the local drive-in hard. It makes sense once we learn that he's been sleeping there. After making an unsuccessful but heartfelt plea to the mayor to save the drive-in, we get our farewell lineup: The Room and Rebel Without A Cause. God, it would probably be insufferable to know Jughead in real life.
...Oh, and Skeet Ulrich, scummy member of the Southside Serpent gang, is apparently Jug's dad.
Cheryl's occupying a kind of middle ground between queen bitch and damaged outcast this week. She manages to unload on Veronica on multiple occasions about V's scandal-plagued mom. But she also joins Kev and Veronica on the Outcast Car at the drive-in, so that's interesting.
Kev stans for The Talented Mr. Ripley, so a million bonus points for that. We also appear to get confirmation this week that he's the only gay guy at school (that he knows about) (besides Moose), but he does okay whilst cruising around town. So we're getting a more complete picture of his life, which I appreciate -- and he manages to score one of the Hell's Serpents gang members or whatever the hell they're supposed to be called.
Veronica is quippy as hell this week, and the air is still thick with references. (Of course Veronica would be into Audrey Hepburn.) But "My mom's a waitress, Cheryl, not Fantine" is a good piece of business. V picks up a healthy dose of skepticism about her mom this week after she spies her having a shady interaction with Skeet Ulrich. If I had a nickel.
- Hermione (Veronica's mom)
Hermione has a GREAT week. Not only does it turn out that she's the mysterious investor who bought the local drive-in; she's also very good to her manservant, who's named Smithers, and she shuts down Cheryl's attempt at poorly-disguised bitchiness: "I went to high school with your mother. She didn't know the difference between money and class either." YOW!