Riverdale – Chapter Twenty-Nine: Primary Colors | Season 2, Episode 16 | Rating: 9/11 |
Betrayal is a bitch and it’s going around in Riverdale like the flu. And not the backstabbing kind: I’m talking about the cementing of ill-advised alliances and bullheadedness-kind which are proving to be pretty strong influences for drawing lines in the sand.
The aftermath of Hiram’s plans for Riverdale is sending ripples through town at an alarming speed and everyone is suffering some kind of consequence. Despite the best efforts of the Lodge family to control the situation and put a good spin on everything from Hermione’s run for mayor to the for-profit prison being built on the back of a high school (what does that say about high school, in general?) it’s not going especially well. The person who is feeling the full brunt of everything is Veronica.
First, she punches Reggie Mantle after he teases her about her father and the prison and then throws a strawberry milkshake on Veronica for her “crimes against Riverdale.” At this point Veronica’s parents, Hermione and Hiram, remind her to be their good, obedient girl little girl until everything blows over. In true Veronica spirit, she decides to run for student body president, because there’s nothing like going against your parents’ wishes in high school. Unfortunately, this whole thing backfires on Veronica when Ethyl passes out a Mean Girls “Burn Book” style page on her, detailing all the atrocities she and her parents have committed. We can’t read everything, but we get the gist that “she’s the devil” and a liar which, in turn, leads to another break in the friendship between Betty and Veronica. Up until this point, Betty was still supporting Veronica and was her running mate until she found out (thanks to the Burn Book page) that Veronica had lied straight to her face about so many things related to Sodale and Southside High. Veronica admits to knowing these things but says she only got involved to keep her parents honest and because she felt like she couldn’t say no. Regardless, that’s one less friendship in our beloved Riverdale. And who gave Ethyl all the dirt on Veronica? It was Josie! She faked supporting Veronica’s run for student body president and teamed up with Ethyl since the families that have been burned by the Lodges ought to stick together.
Over in Archie’s world, momma’s home! Fred called his soon-to-be ex-wife, Mary, for her legal support and expertise in getting him out of his contract with Lodge Industries because he doesn’t support Hiram’s plan and doesn’t want to have any ties or association with them. Tensions are a little high in the house with Archie’s somewhat vocal support for Hiram and his vision until he gets unusually disrespectful towards his father and his mother loses it. She goes off on Archie about how hard his father worked to provide, how he turned nothing into something, how despite what Hiram says he won’t let Fred out of the contract, and so on and so forth. While this doesn’t immediately bring Archie back from his own dark side, it does impress a new perspective on him. We finally see Archie stand up to Hiram when he asks Archie to get the wrestling team to assist with the protest Jughead is leading. Archie’s first instinct is that he’s crossing a line (finally!) but Hiram reminds him of the blood pact they made and the fact that going against it has severe repercussions. Archie agrees to help but only if Hiram shows his own loyalty by letting his father out of the contract. It seems Hiram is as good as his word because after cutting Jughead’s chains to the school, Archie comes home to find that Hiram let his dad out of the contract, that his mom is sticking around awhile, and his dad is going to run for mayor after all.
Taking a Stand:
We all know Jughead loves a good cause but he’s taking the loss of Southside High really hard. His first protest method is a hunger strike, which leads to a rather grumpy Jughead (I can relate buddy!) and decides he needs to take more drastic action by rallying the teen Serpents into protesting in the hopes of bringing attention to the issues at hand. At first, it doesn’t go so well and at – one point – he’s the only one left chained to the school while the others go somewhere warm for the night. An earlier sit down with Archie at Pop’s reveals why Jughead is taking this so hard: while Jughead was only at Southside High for a short period of time, it’s where he grew up with his whole family unit. The loss of the high school is cementing the loss of his mother and sister Southside is the last bit of them that he has left to hold on to.
In the end, Jughead gets what he wants which is an audience. People surround the school with phones out to take note of what’s going on, especially when Archie and the wrestling team show up with bolt cutters to remove them from the school. Jughead goes along quietly because he accomplished his mission of raising awareness. Kudos!
Can’t Win For Losing:
Betty has had it with Chic. It could be the fact that he’s creepy, that her mother trusts him implicitly, or just a vibe that she gets. But Betty has the DNA results back and Chic has no Blossom blood, which means Betty’s father Hal, isn’t Chic’s dad. While it’s hard to imagine Alice Cooper fooling around with someone else while she was with Hal, she doesn’t want to talk about Chic’s father, whoever that is, because of old wounds. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not Jughead’s father, FP Jones. While we are left to wonder about that, Betty is trying different tactics to get rid of Chic and none of them seem to be working. In fact, she gets reprimanded for threatening Chic with a Zippo lighter. To top it off, Chic found Betty’s black wig and successfully guessed about her wearing it when she has sex with Jughead. After threatening one other with the knowledge of the dead body that was in the house that Betty and Alice cleaned up while Chic sat and cried, Betty tries to call a truce with Chic for her mother’s sake. She just can’t win in her own home anymore and, at the end of the episode, Jughead announces his desire to run for student body president and wanting Betty to be his running mate. She says yes, but only if she can stay with him because she can’t be under the same roof as Chic any longer.
A Blossom in Need:
If you thought that it wasn’t possible for Cheryl’s life to get any worse at home, you’d be very wrong. After overhearing her mother Penelope and uncle Claudius talk about clearing the way, first with Nana and then with Cheryl, she’s on edge in her own house. At first you might think she’s imaging things but she awoke one night to find someone trying to get into her room. On top of that, her mother and Claudius are having Nana drink some kind of tea, which is kind of fishy as is Penelope commenting about having Claudius take over stewardship of the syrup business which Nana refused by stating that she’s not senile and not handing the business over.
Next thing we know, during a sleepover with the core Vixen girls, Nana takes a tumble down the stairs and ends up in the hospital. It turns out that there was some sort of paralytic in Nana’s system which, according to Penelope, Nana chews on as it’s part of her Sundowner’s Syndrome – which she doesn’t have. Cheryl tries to tell the doctor hospital that Nana doesn’t have Sundowner’s and doesn’t chew on tannis root but Penelope intercedes before she gets the chance. Cheryl openly accuses her mother of conspiring with Claudius (who was spotted wearing her father’s robe the night Nana fell down the stairs) and her mother deflects by telling Cheryl that she is going crazy. Instead of taking Cheryl home, her mother takes her some place to get these bad thoughts out of her head. At first you might think it’s a psych ward but upon closer inspection and judging by the needles, the bed, and the cross worn by a Sister Woodhouse, it looks like Cheryl is at a conversion camp. Poor girl.
- Chic invited Kevin over to the house. They’ve been talking more and Kevin outted Betty about the catfishing scheme. Way to go Kevin.
- Toni Topaz is now a River Vixen!
- Cheryl had the sleepover because she didn’t feel safe at home which Betty could totally relate to. Cheryl would have just had Toni over but knew her mom would be hideous about it but it worked out well for everyone minus the whole Nana almost dead at the bottom of the stairs thing.
- We see Archie is still playing guitar despite all of the other stuff that’s going on. Good to know that’s still a thing.
- “Keep your head in the sand.” (Hiram)
- “Before it gets cut off.” (Hermione and Hiram to Veronica to let the storm blow over)