Riverdale: Chapter 2 – A Touch of Evil

I steadfastly hated the pilot episode of this show. Did episode two change my mind? Read on.

PREVIOUSLY | Archie and Betty have the whitest of problems when he kisses Veronica after spending 7 minutes in a closet after Spin the Bottle. Veronica’s mom is broke af and hits up Luke Perry for a job, eventually working at Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe. We already foreshadow years of tumblr fights with the declaration and Archie and Betty are endgame. Incest Twin Jason is dead af and shot in the head, floats up on riverbank.

ARCHIE, THE DRIEST WHITE GUY OF ALL TIME | No offense to KJ Apa (Archie Andrews) but homeboy looks like Chuck Bass meets Dexter.

There are multiple shirtless shots which still can’t distract from this face. Anyway, Archie feels guilty about not reporting the gunshot that he and Grundy heard on the 4th of July. He tries to vent to Betty but she doesn’t want anything to do with him initially (because of his betrayal with Veronica) but later forgives him. Grundy is hesitant to report the gunshot because she doesn’t want them to go to jail or to lose her job for sleeping with a student. Grundy promises Archie she has real feelings for him.It’s Jughead who figures out that Archie is covering for Grundy and encourages him to come forward.

BETTY  AND VERONICA 4 EVA | Betty is one of two MVPs of this episode. Her mother, excellently played by Twin Peaks alum Madchen Amick is delightfully ruthless. Betty tries to play the complacent good girl and forgives Archie. (f-f-f-fashion note, I am loving Betty’s sweater in this scene)

Also seeking forgiveness? Veronica, who has dozens of yellow roses (for friendship!) cupcakes, blowouts and a day of mani/pedis to show her good faith for a quote “basic bitch move”. Betty relents until they’re all at lunch listening to Archie try to be Ed Sheeran with his guitar but Archie’s betrayal is too much for Betty and she runs off in tears.

This is further blown up in gym class during cheer leading rehearsal (because of course) when Ronnie bullshittingly says she only went in the closet with Archie to make sure no one else would kiss him (lol k) and then caps it off Regina George style with “It’s not my fault he doesn’t like you!” but immediately regrets it. “It’s just how it is, not everyone we like will like us back

Betty retaliates against Ronnie by taking Cheryl (and her fake lips) to all the activities Ronnie had planned for them earlier.

CHERYL AND HER FAKE LIPS | Jason’s death is classified as a homicide and his Kylie-Cheryl sister “has her suspicions #RiverdaleStrong“. The coroner (and Betty’s mom for some reason?) examine Jason’s body and then she pays him off for details for her article.

Cheryl shows up to Betty’s house asking about Betty’s sister, Polly, who went insane after her breakup with Fake Cheryl’s twin brother. Betty inquires about her curiosity to which Fake Cheryl epically replies: “Because you dumb cow, someone shot my brother and I think it was your crazy, tweaked out sister“. Betty snaps and tells her to GTFO with some serious crazy eyes.

This moment and the scene in the pilot where Betty has to dig her nails into her hands to the point of bleeding, hint at dear Ms. Cooper having some serious anger management issues and that there is way more than meets the eye. Cheryl’s bitchery leads to Betty and Ronnie reconciling.

Archie is given Dead Incest Twin Jason’s old football jersey number and seeing him wearing it at the game throws Fake Cheryl off the deep end who breaks down and sobs “He was supposed to come back” to Veronica.

JUGHEAD | Jughead is bullied by Reggie about Jason’s death. Archie steps in to defend him and gets in a fight resulting in a black eye.

Archie decides to come forward about what he knows and it leads to his reconciliation with Jughead. They’re cute, flirt and say they’ll discuss things over lots of hamburgers. I ship it!

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS | The episode ends with Ronnie and Betty on a date pledging to never let a boy come between them again. On cue, Archie and Jughead walk in and Betty nods for them to come over. FRIENDS FOREVER guys! Ronnie and Jughead meet for the first time. It slow pans with everyone laughing and having fun while Jughead waxes philosophically in a voice-over.

The coroner’s report comes in just as Archie goes to Principal Weatherbee’s office to confess to hearing the gunshot. But he doesn’t have to, they already have a suspect. Archie follows them to class and the camera lingers on Jughead for a bit before Fake Cheryl stands up. “You’re here for me aren’t you? Because of the autopsy?” Even though they offer to not handcuff her in front of her classmates, Fake Cheryl doesn’t care, “it’s alright, they’ll find out soon enough anyway… that I’m guilty

Jughead’s voice-over tells us Jason’s autopsy brought a lot of things to light, namely that he hadn’t been killed on July 4th, in fact he died over a week later. So if Jason didn’t die on July 4th, when did he die? and who shot him?

Grade C

The dialogue is still cringey but Betty, Jughead and Madchen (Betty’s mom) are the standouts of the ep. Markedly better than the first episode. I’ll be tuning in to episode three. I’m on board… for now.

Speculations for further episodes: I don’t think Polly is in a mental institution because of her breakup with Jason, I think Betty hurt her. I also think Fake Cheryl was completely having sex with her twin brother and that they were adopted, he was off to find their real parents and was murdered by their adoptive parents, likely because they’re hiding some deep dark family secret.

NEXT:

Riverdale 1×03 “Body Double”  – After new information surrounding Jason’s death comes to light, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) finds herself under a cloud of suspicion and forced to come clean about the last time she saw her brother. Meanwhile, Archie (KJ Apa) makes a tough decision that puts a major strain on his relationship with Miss Grundy (guest star Sarah Habel). Elsewhere, Betty (Lili Reinhart) decides to revive the school newspaper and asks for Jughead’s (Cole Sprouse) help in investigating Jason’s death, while Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Ethel (guest star Shannon Purser) work on exposing some of Riverdale High’s football players after rumors of a “shame book” begin to circulate. Finally, after getting grounded by his dad Fred (Luke Perry), Archie must figure out a way to make it to the Taste of Riverdale event where Josie (Ashleigh Murray) and the Pussycats will be performing a song he helped write. Lee Toland Kreiger directed the episode written by Yolonda E. Lawrence (#103.) Original airdate 2/9/2017

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