Finally. Here we go again. Back to school means back to absolute complete nonsense that I look forward to every week.
Ah, the last night of summer before senior year- how shall we celebrate? Oh, yes, let us all hang out as foursome for twenty seconds before we split up by couple to go have sex. Immediately after agreeing that Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead need to slow down and enjoy life more. Why spend time with your friends when you can make out with your boyfriend while your friends make out in the other room.
We are introduced to a new character- the new principal named Mr. Honey. How sweet. Except, he is not sweet. He is indeed very mean. Especially to Cheryl and Toni who just want to throw a back to school dance even though multiple students go murdered at last year’s dance. Here at Riverdale High, murder does not affect our school functions and it never will!
Archie decides to take his prison buddy, Mad Dog, to high school with him with this year. No paperwork is signed. Mad Dog does not meet with the new principal, Mr. Honey. We do not know how much schooling Mad Dog has had in the past. However, he just waltzes into school with Archie at his hip and everyone is okay with it, except now he goes by Munroe Moore. How classy.
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Ugh, why doesn’t anyone at my school ever do their assigned reading?! I just want to make literary references all day long that people actually understand! This was my impression of Jughead, especially after he was scouted to attend a new school, Stonewall Prep, following his remarkable short story submission (which did not win). Jughead and Betty go to visit this new school and they IMMEDIATELY insult Betty’s intelligence based on her…overalls? These snobs have gone too far. Still, they actually care about symbolism and metafiction so Jughead is sucked into their scheme. Did I already know that Jughead was going to transfer schools before I started this season? Yes. Am I still crushed at Betty and Jughead being separated? Absolutely.
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Since Cheryl and Toni cannot throw another murder dance, they throw a party at Thistlehouse. Don’t go in the basement though because Cheryl’s dead brother is hanging out down there and does not want to be disturbed. If you have attended any number of high school parties in your lifetime, you know that this is the norm.
Now that Munroe has joined Riverdale High and the football team of course, Reggie and Archie’s bromance is in jeopardy. In an effort to make Reggie relevant and sympathetic as a character after Veronica broke up with him, they introduce an abuse plot point from Reggie’s father. Archie and Reggie make up after Archie stands up for Reggie in front of his father. No jokes can be made on this subject.
Now, it’s time to spend a little time thinking about Kevin—something the Riverdale writers have never said. Arguably the best character on Riverdale, Kevin gets screwed over again and again on this show and it will never stop saddening me. I don’t care about fighting bears or singing Milkshake on top of a diner or cheering for a football game at a jail. The worst moment in Riverdale was when the writers allowed Kevin to be happy for ten minutes when Moose came out to his father and then by the end of the episode, make him move away. In the course of forty minutes, Kevin had his happiness handed to him and stolen away just like that. It angers me to this day.
Now, Kevin, fresh from a cult, has no friends and his “boyfriend” is still a member of said cult and the two must mingle in the forest to exchange pleasantries. Throughout the episode, Kevin starts to mend his relationship with Betty, which we all miss, and even joins Betty and Charles’ investigation into taking down The Farm. What started as Kevin feeding Fangs information in the woods turned into Kevin leading Betty and Charles straight to the source where Alice still remains undercover, working from the inside.
Maybe this season will come Kevin’s redemption arc. I just want him to be happy. And to sing more.
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Veronica is under duress because her parents’ trial is beginning and she must choose a side. Instead, she chooses herself, of course, and invites the press to her secret speakeasy to make an official statement about the court case. In true Veronica Lodge fashion, she has to perform for the press first. She sings “All That Jazz” from Chicago and it’s…not bad. I hate to say it but I did not hate it. Was it necessary? Absolutely not. Oh, and then she changes her last name to Gomez because I wouldn’t want to be a Lodge either.
If this episode wasn’t stressful enough, the ending again alluded to that fateful day where Jughead goes missing and the entire town searches through the woods for him. Now that we know he will be attending prep school every week, more possibilities arise as to what could have happened to him. Maybe he’s just at his new school and everyone forgot.
I don’t claim to be SparkNotes for Riverdale episodes. But, if that does exist, please hire me. I feel as though I may use a little too much snark for SparkNotes though. SnarkNotes, if you will. I really hope you will.