Broody Jughead? Check. Archie making stupid decisions? Check. Betty kicking ass? Check. Cheryl being fabulous? Check. Josie, Kevin, & Reggie still pretty wallpaper? Check. Archie and the gang are back!
Riverdale Recap: “Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle”
Airdate: January 17, 2018
Tim Hunter directed the episode written by Britta Lundin & Brian E. Paterson (#210).
Riverdale returned from hiatus with a Serpent/Bulldog fight, a psycho looking long lost sibling, and a highly suspect FBI agent. Apparently the “farm” Polly lives at is a cult or The Biggest Loser Ranch: She gave birth to the twins and can bounce quarters off her stomach. Juniper and Dagwood are the names bestowed upon said twins. Yes, you read that correctly. Juniper. And. Dagwood. K.
Moving on, Polly has decided to keep the twins birth a secret from her parents and Betty lies for her to spare Alice’s hurt feelings. To fill the void, she thinks it’s a great idea to track down her long lost brother, Charles Smith, also known as the fantasy fulfilling Chic. Fantasy Fulfillment, as in client’s with kinky sexual ideas acted out… you get the idea. He’s not super excited about meeting his mother, not sure why anyone thought this would be a run of the mill family reunion. Alice is in tears and Betty, of course, is determined. She goes back to see Chic and finds him getting attacked and stabbed by a very large man. She blasts him with pepper spray and drags her bleeding, stranger of a sibling back to… her house! No, not the hospital, her home, where Alice patches him up and tucks him into bed. This dude is seriously unhinged and based on his creepy, standing over Betty while she sleeps move, he catapulted to the top of my “Possibly Actually the Black Hood” list.
Southside High got closed down by Mayor McCoy, another move in the Lodge Industries plot of buying up land on the Southside. Jughead, (who should be back at Riverdale High anyway since FP is out of jail), Toni, SweetPea, and Fangs make waves their first day matriculating with the Riverdale High kids and prompt Weatherbee to institute a dress code banning all Serpent jackets and tattoos.
The Serpent kids don’t seem to care much, but Jughead decides this is the hill to die on and finds himself suspended for violating the leather jacket code. A suspension even FP tells him is useless, just wear your jacket after school. This plot is shaky and makes Jughead several shades of irritating, but by episodes end, he’s conformed with the caveat he starts a “Swords and Serpents” Club at school.
Meanwhile, an “FBI Agent” approaches Archie about spying on Hiram Lodge. He wants him to find out exactly what happened to Nick St Claire which leads Archie to Cheryl, who in turn blackmails him with knowledge of the Barchie kiss. Archie pays Nick a visit at school in NYC, beats him up for assaulting Veronica, gets Cheryl a new check (which she wants so her mother will stop prostituting. Yes prostituting.), and returns home all before lunchtime. Veronica isn’t happy when she finds out he beat the piss out of Nick, but is forgiving when Archie confesses to kissing Betty. He doesn’t, however, reveal the truth about the FBI Agent, whom I think we can all agree is definitely not an FBI Agent.
Archie’s an easy target, so this shady dude definitely picked the best moron out of the crew. What’s this guy’s angle? My money’s on Hiram hiring this guy to pose as an FBI Agent to test Archie’s loyalty.
Elsewhere, Josie, Reggie, and Kevin continue to give us minimal one liners and act as pretty wallpaper. Can these characters please have a STORY like we were promised they would?