Since we had a week off for Thanksgiving we decided to watch the ‘Previously On’ to remind ourselves of what’s going on.
In Summary: someone is sending creepy video tapes of the fronts of people’s houses, there’s a haunted doll, Hiram is mayor and Archie is a masked vigilante. Welcome to Riverdale.
The creepy video tapes are back, only this time with footage much closer to people’s front doors. I still find it remarkable that every single household in Riverdale seems to own a VCR player.
More disturbing than the tapes is the fact that Cheryl is sat watching her tape with Julian, who is closer to the TV than either of them, making for a very creepy shot.
WARN FOR THE CREEPY DOLL!
Jughead, in his weekly exposition, explains that as college acceptances and rejections start coming in the school guidance counselor (who apparently has always been there) has been asked to extend her hours to help the students who need it.
Hils: Holy shit is that Gina Torres???
I figured we’d remember the guidance counselor if it was Gina Torres
Betty comes home from school to find that her mother has opened her mail and searched her room. Which is at least in-keeping with Alice’s behaviour in the early season.
After finding Betty’s hidden stash of birth control pills Alice thinks Betty didn’t get into Yale because she’s having sex with Jughead. I’m sure the whole year Betty and Polly were in a cult, or the year Betty found out her dad was a serial killer, had nothing at all to do with her lack of focus.
Lindsey: SERIOUSLY ALICE
not great parenting
Betty decides to visit the guidance counselor and, of course, Alice shows up too because she wants someone help her deal with Betty.
Lindsey: To be fair I would crash my daughter’s therapy session if Gina Torres was gonna be there
Hils: I love how ridiculous it sounds when Betty sums up everything that’s happened over the past few years. This show, honestly.
Mrs Burble listens quietly, takes in everything Betty is saying without judgement or reaction. Yes, that’s her job, but Riverdale and the people who live there do not have your average teenage problems.
Alice keeps repeating that Betty is too young to make these sorts of decisions, and that she raised her to be smarter than to have sex with her boyfriend.
Betty points out that taking birth control is the smart thing to do because she doesn’t want to end up pregnant at 16 the same way Alice and Polly both did.
Lindsey: OOF she makes a really good point about not wanting to be pregnant at 16
Hils: Right! Taking birth control IS the mature thing to do
Lindsey: Like most of the time, I find children in these shows super annoying but I am 100% on Betty’s side
Mrs Burble suggests that Alice is being so controlling because she’s scared of losing Betty.
Lindsey: STOP TALKING SENSE, GINA
THIS IS RIVERDALE
Alice tearfully admits that she loves Betty more than her other children before she gets up and leaves the room.
Lindsey: SHE LOVES BETTY THE MOST
OH YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE FAVOURITES, ALICE
Archie, presumably exhausted from his night work as a masked vigilante, falls asleep in class and is sent to see Mrs Burble.
Hils: Bit harsh sending a kid to the school counselor for falling asleep in class
Lindsey: Look they’ve clearly never had one before so they don’t know how to use her
When Archie admits that he goes out at night, Mrs Burble asks if he means cruising in Fox Forest.
Hils: “Archie. are you horny?”
When Archie explains that he puts on a mask to try and help people Mrs Burble makes the obvious comic book analogy of characters who suffer a great tragedy and create their persona out of rage.
Hils: I think Gina Torres just told Archie he’s Batman
Archie breaks down and says he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do, how he’s supposed to help people when helping people puts his loved ones in danger.
Hils: Oh, Archie, that kid needs a hug
Mrs Burble suggests that Archie channel his emotions into the community centre, and if that doesn’t feel like enough to extend its reach by enlisting more volunteers and maybe setting up a helpline for kids to call.
Archie goes home and tells his mom he’s moving out to keep her safe.
Lindsey: Oh my god Archie this is NOT what Gina meant
Hils: No. No it is not.
He’s a good kid but he is also a major dumbass
Lindsey: He really really is the moron he claims not to be
Principal Honey tells Cheryl that due to the amount of school that she’s missed he’s bringing in an external coach for the cheerleading squad, and that he will only let Cheryl back into the role if Mrs Burble agrees she can.
Lindsey: Ohhhhhh Cheryl’s counselling session will be vastly weird
While Betty’s list of experiences over the last few years sound almost ridiculous, Cheryl’s are downright tragic by comparison. The only one that Cheryl is quick to correct is her ‘near death experience in Sweetwater River’ which Cheryl explains away as an accident.
We know that it wasn’t an accident. She left a note. But she doesn’t want anyone else to know that.
Her face when Mrs Burble says it would be okay if it wasn’t an accident, after enduring ‘lifetimes of trauma’, is as though it’s the first time anyone has openly told her it’s okay to not be okay.
She admits that she talks to Jason, and that she thinks he talks back to her. She wonders aloud if she’s losing her mind and if so when it happened.
Lindsey: Oh Cheryl honey
Hils: Oh Cheryl. God I want to hug everyone
Mrs Burble tells Cheryl that she’s not crazy, and that Jason isn’t speaking to her it’s just Cheryl’s grief and guilt manifesting itself. She hears Jason because she wants to.
“Your life may be defined by gothic tropes but you’re being haunted by grief and guilt.”
Hils: ‘gothic tropes’ I’VE BEEN SAYING THAT SINCE THE FIRST EPISODE
Mrs Burble very calmly suggests that Cheryl is not being haunted by Julian and, instead, someone is gaslighting her to make her think she’s insane. She tells Cheryl there’s a test that will determine whether she absorbed a fetus in the womb or not.
Lucky for us one of our contributors is a qualified medical professional
Hils: Lindsey…is that a real thing?
Lindsey: Theoretically, yes, but i was unaware if there’s real testing for it
Veronica received a call from the Dean of Admissions at Harvard to advise her she’s been awarded a place.
Hils: What sort of Dean calls a kid in the middle of school
While she’s still celebrating the Dean asks Veronica to pass along his regards to her father.
Lindsey: One who’s just been given a lot of money by her dad
OMG OMG of course Hiram bribed Harvard
Veronica takes herself to see Mrs Burble who very quickly identifies that Veronica and Hiram are obsessed with each other.
Lindsey: Of COURSE Veronica has daddy issues
Hils: I want Gina Torres to go home to her hot wife (because Mrs Burble is totally gay) and be all ‘JFC you have no idea what this town is like’
Like imagine if this was your first day and you have to deal with the complete insanity of what’s going on with Betty, Archie, Cheryl, Veronica and Jughead
Lindsey: I think I’d quit and write a whole bunch of journal articles
Jughead is advised by Mr Dupont that no teacher at Stonewall Prep will write him a letter of recommendation for college and suggests he speak to the teachers at Riverdale High.
Lindsey: Ahahah what a great way to get Jughead to see Gina
Mrs Burble deals Jughead some harsh truths, pointing out that instead of trying to prove that his abusive grandfather was a wronged hero, he should be looking at what this quest is doing to do his father, who was the subject of the abuse.
Hils: OH GINA LAYING IT DOWN!
I love her!
Lindsey: SOMEONE NEEDED TO TELL JUGHEAD
Underpaid and overqualified
Jughead immediately goes home, hugs his dad and tells him how much he loves and appreciates him.
Lindsey: AAAAAH JUGHEAD AND HIS DAD
Hils: OH NO I’M CRYING
Lindsey: Honestly i’m kind of here for kids appreciating their parents
Archie, following Mrs Burble’s advice, sets up a hotline at the community centre and throws his mask away. Unfortunately after one call he picks the mask back up and heads out to help the kid who called.
Hils: ARCHIE NO DO NOT GO BACK TO BEING BATMAN
Cheryl gets her test results back, surprisingly fast. Over to Dr Lindsey for her opinion:
Lindsey: Okay there is no way you’d get results that fast
is this some same-day turnaround shit
normal, no chimerism
(I did some digging while writing up this recap and while you can test for chimerism there have only been around 100 cases in modern medical history and it’s highly unlikely that it would be caused by absorbing a fetus in the womb)
This, however, means that as Mrs Burble suggested, someone is trying to make Cheryl think she is insane.
Lindsey: Oh god please don’t be Toni gaslighting Cheryl, I don’t need that
Hils: So. who has access to the house? It has to be Toni or Nana Rose
Nana Rose is the one who told the story about Julian
Ooh, or Penelope is still on the loose
Lindsey: Penelope would make a lot of sense
Veronica confronts her father and says that in order to be free of him she needs to kill him. Not in a literal sense but she says she is going to take him down in the field of business. Because that plan is definitely what I got out of the scene with Veronica and Mrs Burble.
Hils: Uh….Veronia…that is not what Gina said
Lindsey: it’s really not
And the flashforwards are back again. Donna and Bret identify Betty, Archie and Veronica as the ones who murdered Jughead.
Hils: That was a really good episode!
Lindsey: It didn’t progress the plot massively but it really put things into neat perspective
Hils: Yeah, it was a nice step back and ‘okay, let’s just sit down and deal with everything that’s happened so far’
Cheryl, Jughead and Betty seem better at dealing than Archie and Veronica