There’s a killer at large in Riverdale … again. This time, our favorite statutory rapist Ms. Grundy has died, and Archie is convinced that the killer is trying to hurt the ones he loves. He stays awake all night to protect his dad from the killer coming back, which means he needs uppers, which he gets from new and improved (?) Greaser Reggie. Meanwhile, Jughead is using the Serpents to get his dad out of jail and find the shooter. And, of course, no CW episode would be complete without an Event of the Week — in this case, Betty’s attempt at saving Pop’s. The Lodges lowkey buy it, which is presented as bad, but Veronica gets free milkshakes for life, and that sounds good to me.

Archie’s determined to catch the masked man, so like any good teenaged boy with the mental capacity of a golden retriever, he’s made flyers. Good ones, that say “Have you seen this man?” and everything.

Which man? The man wearing a mask. How are they supposed to catch the man in the mask if he doesn’t draw a picture?

Sheriff Keller shows greater restraint than I have by not promptly laughing at Archie and his fourth grade drawings.

While Archie and Jughead are trying to save their fathers, Veronica is working very hard to avoid hers – with the help of Smithers.

Unfortunately for Veronica, she catches on to Smither’s hints a moment too late. Fortunately for us, we get to see Hiram back from a run.

In an episode is full of Archiemotions, we don’t get any gratuitous pans down Archie’s torso. Instead, we’ll have to enjoy this little bit of Consuelust.

Also, is it just me or is all this home drama causing Veronica’s otherwise fabulous mane to look a little limp of late? Sure, she looks great in her family colors of blue and purple, but that hair is wilting under the stress of avoiding her parents at all hours.

 

Also awake at all hours is Archie. Why? Because Archie’s brilliant plan is to stay awake all night with a baseball bat to protect his father from the masked man. How’s that going?

Well, he nearly brained Jughead with the bat, so it’s pretty much going exactly like you’d expect. Except, of course, he’s falling asleep sitting upright so he’s on the hunt for that new drug all the kids are doing. You know, Jingle Jangle, the scourge of America’s youth. What’s that? You haven’t heard of it? Don’t worry, the writers won’t explain it but we will see that it’s dispensed through the common Pixie Stix dosing method.

 

As a result of the shooting at Pop’s, milkshake demand has dropped dramatically. Betty and Jughead are determined to save the Chocklit Shoppe, so they pay a visit to Mayor McCoy, the only woman allowed to wear neon in all of Riverdale.
 

On the advice of the Serpents, Jughead visits a lawyer with Serpent ties and a shocking resemblance to Betty.


100% expecting season 3 Betty to rock this look at some point, when she goes full “Sandy from Grease” and starts wearing black and riding on motorcycles without a helmet.

 

Speaking of Grease, new Reggie is leaning hard into the Danny Zuko vibes. It’s a bizarre and amazing character choice. Reggie is acting on an entirely different show, but I would watch the hell out of it.

He’s also dealing drugs! And that means we meet Midge! Look at how spunky she is with her cropped hair and putty motorcycle jacket.


So far what we know about Midge: she likes buying drugs from Reggie, she’s flirty and spunky, and she’s a welcome addition to this cast and isn’t just being introduced in this episode to be cruelly ripped away from us at the end.

 

Cheryl has returned to rule the Riverdale Vixens, and she’s recruited Josie because Josie needs more screen time and a connection to the rest of the cast.

Betty wants the Vixens to help save Pop’s diner, but Cheryl isn’t having it. Josie has no opinions on the matter, because even though she’s in more scenes, she doesn’t actually get any character development.

 

At school, Betty and Kevin are catching up with Veronica at school when who should appear but Hiram. Both Betty and Kevin react perfectly in character: Betty as a concerned friend, Kevin as a delighted observer.

To answer the unasked question: no, Betty’s wardrobe hasn’t improved suddenly. This is a pretty low fashion episode, but Betty’s grey sweater with lace collar is definitely cute and school appropriate.

 

Veronica is having some Daddy issues — she doesn’t trust him, and he’s upset that she’s avoiding him. They aren’t so different, though, as evidenced by the complimenting navies of their outfits.


Yet another noteworthy collar this episode with Ronnie’s contrasting green collar. Hiram may not be wearing a tie, but Ronnie’s baroque pearl makes for a fun menswear accent.

 

Because this is a school that cares very little about education, they announce the brutal murder of Miss Grundy in the middle of class.

You know the students are jaded when literally no one is reacting with appropriate horror except for Archie, who is now convinced that the murderer is after people close to him.

 

Veronica is trapped in a very uncomfortable and dimly lit family dinner, during which Veronica reveals the letter from last season — the one threatening Hermione’s safety. Hermione takes credit for the letter, earning her an approving nod from Hiram.


Leave it to Hermione to be wearing a plunging v-neck for a quiet dinner with her daughter and husband. There’s no question about where Veronica gets her daytime glamour from.

 

On the advice of Penny Peabody the Serpent lawyer, Jughead and Betty try to get the remaining Blossoms to forgive F.P., which would sway the judge to grant him leniency.


Cheryl’s looking venomous as always, even though her only plans for the evening were to get her Grey Gardens on with Mother Blossom.


It’s not exactly shocking that Riverdale is a hotbed of murder and intrigue when this is how the burn victims recuperate. What’s the turban for? DRAMA.

 

After Cheryl and Mother Blossom refuse to ask the judge for FP’s freedom, Betty tracks down Cheryl in the locker room for some “girl talk.”


Would Cheryl be a more pleasant person if she weren’t wearing wildly uncomfortable support garments to school? Possibly, but then she wouldn’t be our Cheryl.
Betty is … less than impressed with Cheryl’s undergarment situation.

I am making the same face at Betty’s outfit, which can only be described as “blackmailing girl next door.”

The girl threw a baggy pink cardigan over a ringer tee and called it a day. I love our Riverdale crew, but if they want to compete with the likes of Blair, these girls are going to have to step up their sartorial game when scheming.

 

Betty’s blackmail — or, as she likes to call it, “girl talk” — works, and Cheryl agrees to plead FP’s case before the judge and loan out the Vixens for PopFest 2017. In exchange, Cheryl gets all remaining video proof that Clifford Blossom killed Jason.

Cheryl knows that just because you’re on the witness stand doesn’t mean you can’t make a statement.

Is her outfit maple syrup sex cult levels of crazy? Of course. This is, by all appearances, a white mesh clubbing top underneath a black strapless dress with a matching black neckerchief. Those words, in that order, have never been typed before in the history of the English language. And yet, our Cheryl decided to pair these pieces together (with her signature spider brooch, of course). She left the house with this outfit on. She walked through a metal detector at the courthouse with the utmost confidence. And, because she is Cheryl Freaking Blossom, she made it work.

 

Meanwhile, Betty’s sitting in the crowd arching her eyebrows menacingly while wearing pointelle knits.

Tracy Flick would be proud of the outfit and Betty’s tactics, which result in FP being released.

 

At Pop’s for throwback night, the whole gang is decked out in their vintage Pops gear. Well, the boys are. The girls are in hotpants and crop tops, because I guess Pop is cool with objectifying minors if it means he can keep his doors open. But I’m not complaining, because the gang looks downright adorable.

I’m very much digging the rolled up sleeves on Jughead and Kevin. Maybe now that Pop’s has been saved, they can get after school jobs and keep the cute hats?

Josie and a Pussycat show up to perform, but Val has LackOfScreentimitis so they’re down a pussycat.


Fortunately, Cheryl is wearing her performing boots, so she joins Josie and Mel for a truly CW-worthy rooftop performance of “Milkshake.”

If you haven’t seen the performance yet, you need to. Immediately. Sure, in this shot, Archie is having a PTSD flashback, but he could just as easily be reacting to this truly bizarre performance.

This was my face during the whole performance, and I’m not staying up all night hopped up on jingle jangle.

 

Whether it’s the power of song or just good, old-fashioned corruption, by the end of the night Pop’s is saved — and now owned by the Lodges, who have quietly purchased the diner while claiming it was a generous donation. Is it just me, or does it feel like sometimes half of their sketchiness is self-inflicted?

Just look at this power couple! All they had to do was say they’re buying the diner, preserving it, and keeping Pop in charge. Who wouldn’t love these sharp dressed philanthropists? But instead, they’re being sketchy for the sake of sketch. I swear, the Lodges are basically that one friend who says “I hate drama” and then posts vague statuses on Facebook.

 

Upon returning home from Pop’s, the Lodges are greeted by Smithers. Well, a Smithers, but not the Smithers. Apparently, Hiram wasn’t pleased by Original Smithers tipping off Veronica to his schedule. This is bad news for Original Smithers, but good news for us, because New Smithers is fine.

If we don’t see him shirtless by the end of the season, I’ll be shocked.

We close out the episode with most of our faves making questionable choices on par with the Lodges’: the Blossom women watch the video of Clifford Blossom killing Jason.

I’m going to need like 200% more Grey Gardens from these two, because their loungewear is spectacular and deserving of more screentime.

 

FP is free and he’s just heard that Jughead owes Penny Peabody a favor, so he’s giving Jughead a panicked call.

He’s vague and doesn’t really offer much in the way of suggestions regarding how to solve the problem, but this is the closest we’ve seen FP get to parenting in a while, so let’s just be happy he’s trying.

 

On a dark, shadowy bridge, Archie meets Dilton to get a blackmarket gun.

This seems like a great addition to the arsenal of a jumpy teenager running on no sleep and a questionably named drug. Good call, Dilton. Good decision making, team.

 

To wrap up the night, we get to see our new favorite character Midge again! She’s in a parked car with Moose, doing Pixie Stix of jingle jangle.

It’s great to see our new favorite character Midge and ancillary character Moose hanging out! Nothing bad could possibly happen to them in these last thirty seconds, right?

Oh.