Riverdale: Chapter Twenty-Three – The Blackboard Jungle

Riverdale: Chapter Twenty-Three- The Blackboard Jungle | Season 2, Episode 10 | Rating: 8/11 |

While there’s currently no crazy murderer running around Riverdale for the moment, there’s still plenty of crazy going on in this not-so-sleepy little town.

Jughead & Toni Topaz

Once sworn enemies, the Northside and Southside high schoolers are now forced to integrate when Southside High is suddenly and abruptly shut down for being “toxic”. We can only assume this has something to do with the Lodge family and maybe a partnership with the mayor. It does in fact seem to be some kind of backroom deal when we hear the Lodges talk about quietly buying the land from under the school and a sizeable percentage will go to Mayor McCoy’s re-election campaign. However the backlash at the school is more massive than what could have been predicted. While Veronica and a small contingency are all for welcoming the Serpents into the school, the preppy cheer squad and football team are not at all on board. A few fights break out and after a snake is graffitied in the hall (probably by a Northside punk like Reggie) the Serpents are banned from wearing or showing any kind of gang affiliation; this includes jackets, tattoos, and other gang paraphernalia. Jughead is more than a little upset that he is being forced to integrate back into the school from whence he came and refuses point black to comply opting for suspension, instead. Thankfully his father FP had a talk with him to calm down the slightly hysterical and overboard Jughead. The talk was successful and lead Jughead to form a “gaming club” within the school,l but it’s really a cover for the Serpents. Way to go Jug.

Alice & Betty

Family Matters

Polly makes a surprise visit to the Cooper household to pick up the rest of her things and leave the family. She seems happy at this farm and had her twins but didn’t bother to tell anyone in the family. In fact, it seems she wants nothing more to do with them which is more than just a little upsetting for Betty and her mother, Alice. This abrupt departure of one family member leads Betty to track down another, her long lost brother. This means reaching out to Jughead but, thankfully, things are less awkward than they could be between the two. Jughead connects her with his social worker and she manages to get an address for him. Betty comes clean to her parents about Polly not coming back but when she offers up the long lost brother, her parents seem to want nothing to do with “the long lost Cooper” sibling, Charles. Betty’s mom has a change of heart but the family reunion doesn’t go at all well. Alice is devastated by the backlash from the son she never knew but, by a lucky chance, Betty went back to visit and walked in on Charles getting knifed in the arm. She helped bring him home and now he’s safely with his family but, the question is how safe are they now that he’s there?

New Alliances?

Veronica & Archie

The FBI has been keeping track of Archie (which is not at all creepy, right?) and they want his help to bring down Hiram Lodge. Initially against the whole idea, Archie gets persuaded when he hears about what happened to Nick St. Clair (you know, when he had an “accident” after nearly raping Cheryl and Veronica) and decides to do some of his own digging. An impromptu family dinner with the Lodges is enough to raise suspicions, especially given the fact that everyone in the room, even Veronica is acting a little suspicious. A visit to Nick under the guise of helping Cheryl get money for what he did is an opportunity for Archie to do some more digging but Nick isn’t stupid and figures out Archie’s game. He swears it was just a skiing accident but he gets cocky and insults Veronica. Needless to say, Archie losses his temper and beats up Nick. It’s a shame Archie can’t tell that Veronica is lying to him about the fact she told her parents about Nick. Poor Archie is headed down the rabbit hole of darkness with all the good intentions of a white knight.

Bits and Bobs

  • Cheryl’s mom has gotten a job in the world’s oldest profession and seems to really enjoy her new role as a high-class lady of the night. It’s a shame that it’s happening in the house with Cheryl there.
  • Jughead is the one who seems most upset about having to integrate into Riverdale high because they “had a place” and he had a home. On the other hand, Toni Topaz and Sweet Pea aren’t fussed because now they are at a better school. You know, one that has a computer lab, textbooks, and toilets that flush.
  • Cheryl tried to blackmail Archie to her Anti-Serpent side by means of the kiss she saw happen between him and Betty. He’s no too swayed by it especially since all participating parties were single at the time.

Favorite Quote:

  • “Cheryl. No one invited fascist Barbie to the party.”  (Veronica)