This week, the Riverdale writers finally remembered that they casually dropped a plot about mysterious videotapes and then never mentioned it again.
And then our trusty narrator Jughead delivers one HELL of a transition: “As if those deliveries weren’t unsettling enough, colleges and universities had started sending out their first wave of envelopes.”
This has the EXACT SAME ENERGY as this week’s Riverdale:
Anyway, this leads us to the rest of the episode, in which our beloved characters FINALLY go to therapy!!!!
The first therapy session is with Betty and Alice. Mere months (weeks? What is time in Riverdale?) after leaving the farm, Alice is back on her bullshit.
But then Betty delivers a Shakespearean monologue for the ages! Theater kids ’round the world will audition with this one day. The poetry! The details! The emotional depth! I have to just leave the entire transcript below, because nothing I say could ever do it justice:
Mrs. Burble, definitely:
Side note: I don’t understand the logic of when Riverdale renames brands and when it doesn’t. Like, Mrs. Burble offers “Skit-Skat,” “Three Buccaneers” and “Butterflinger” bars throughout, but Betty and Veronica apply to Harvard and Yale (instead of, like, Starvard and Kale) and Jughead has a Macbook. *shrugs*
Next up, Archie’s session with Mrs. Burble. He’s not applying to college because he’s, “needed here in Riverdale.” (lololololololololol k.)
Mrs. Burble asks why Archie has given up on the epic highs and lows of high school football, and he looks at her like she’s on another planet.
After his session, Archie decides to move into the El Royale to keep Mary safe, and he launches an old school answering machine hotline for people to report crimes, because apparently 911 is broken? He also continues his streak of making the world’s stupidest signs:
Cheryl meets with Principal Honey who points out that she has 26 absences this year and threatens to take the River Vixens from her. Cheryl, who deserves WAY better, reminds us all how much she’s been through:
Cheryl begins her session with a quote that finally reminded me of the Cheryl Blossom we all know and love:
Cheryl comes clean about everything — including hoarding JJ’s corpse (which Mrs. B is way too chill about), doll Julian, and of course about how she ate the real Julian in the womb. And Mrs. Burble is immediately like:
In all sincerity, Madelaine acts the hell out of this episode and it’s a good reminder of all the trauma Cheryl has been through with hardly any support.
Veronica Luna (lol) inexplicably believed she could get into Harvard on her own merits, and is EXTREMELY PISSED OFF when she finds out Hiram bought her way in.
Mrs. Burble diagnoses Veronica’s severe daddy issues and also suggests that she should murder him, except not actually. She also tries to talk like the youths:
Then we finally get to Jughead’s story! He’s back for a guidance counselor session at Riverdale High for PLOT PURPOSES OKAY?
Mrs. Burble points out to Jughead that he’s kind of been a selfish ass to FP, which leads to this purely adorable father/son moment.
Veronica decides to open a competing rum business to defeat her father once and for all. Because, as we have all known for three whole episodes, RUM is HiRUM’s biggest life passion, okay???
Archie pulls his mask out of the trash. The mask days are far from behind him.
Betty and Jughead, the finest detective minds of a generation, are seemingly the only people who have ever pieced together that a bunch of original Quill & Skull members died in horrible “accidents”. THEY SMELL MURDER, which is basically just Bughead foreplay.
Meanwhile, in the flash forward, there’s a dramatic lineup moment where Bret and Donna identify Betty, Archie, and Veronica as the people who killed Jughead, a thing that totally 100% did not actually happen!
This was seemingly the healthiest episode of Riverdale yet (and admittedly least fun to recap!) and Mrs. Burble is the only adult who deserves an adult card in this town. Things are really getting back to normal. I can just feel it! A total return to Season 1 vibes! Oh wait, fuck —
And that’s all I’ve got this week! See ya next week for the killer midseason finale!