Mary and Kelli are still trapped in the hell we call Riverdale for a few more episodes, and this week they're giving you a rundown of what happened in "Primary Colors," the latest ep. Enjoy the madness with us and don't forget to let us know what you thought!
Part I: Mary
We start with Betty and Chic arguing about who Chic REALLY is. Alice says that Chic is related to them, he just has a different father. She’s pretty adamant that it doesn’t matter who the father is--which is probably true. He’s how old? The creepy look Chic gives Betty says that while who his father is might not matter, HE IS STILL VERY CREEPY AND NEEDS TO BE WATCHED.
Hermione gives Hal Cooper an interview, telling him that she is very pleased that Lodge Industries is going to build a for-profit prison. Y’know, a school is getting demolished to do this, but that’s OK because the Lodges are going to build a new wing at Riverdale High. It all evens out.
Weirdly, Hal asks Veronica if she’s going to run for student body president and “follow in the footsteps” of Hermione, as if being mayor and being involved in the student body are the same things. Even though this is an interview for the NEWSPAPER, Hal says in a very stilted way, “We have a special guest with us here today, Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen!”
Don’t get me wrong, I like Andy Cohen fine. I’m not going to act like I haven’t seen many a season of the real housewives of...everywhere. But I’m officially going to say, Greg Berlanti, you have gone too far. There is no need for Andy Cohen to be on this show, no matter how much he wants to be.
I do believe that it’s believable that Andy and Hermione could be friends, that in some alternate reality Hermione and Andy might have once talked about the Lodges joining the Real Housewives of New York, or maybe they met while at the same lavish New York gala. But please, PLEASE try to explain to me why Andy Cohen would show up in supposedly-small-town Riverdale to promote Hermione in a WRITTEN INTERVIEW (still not sure how that works. Is Hal just going to write, Oh, and Andy Cohen was here?). It makes no sense. Between the Love, Simon promo and this, Greg Berlanti needs to be stopped. It’s an abuse of power!
Or does he think the show is so off the rails anyway that it doesn’t matter?
Hermione tells Veronica she needs to keep a low profile because everyone will be carefully watching the Lodges. Is she gonna do that? We shall see!
Archie is really becoming even more of a little turd than he already was. He comes in the kitchen, seemingly just to argue with Fred. This will become a thing. The next day at school, Jughead announces he’s going on a hunger strike and Ethel Muggs throws a milkshake from Pop’s in Veronica’s face. It’s a pink milkshake, I’m guessing strawberry, which is the most ~aesthetic~ isnt’ it?
Ronnie and Betty talk about how Hiram is the reason the Muggs family lost everything, and, as Ronnie rubs milkshake out of her hair in the bathroom, she and Betty begin to break up.
Wait what? No, you heard me correctly.
Oh, and Veronica punches Reggie in the face as soon as they leave the bathroom because he’s talking trash to her. Can’t say I blame her, tbh.
The Blossoms continue their evil schemes over at Thistlehouse, forcing poison tea into Nana Rose. Whenever I see Thistlehouse, I just want to live there. It’s my gothic dreamhouse, and I would love to have dinner in a greenhouse like the Blossoms do.
Veronica officially announces her candidacy for student body president against “Reggie The-Misogynist Mantle.” OK. She asks Betty to run with her and Betty agrees--hesitantly. Veronica proudly says, “B and V! Now that’s a team you can believe in!” The girls don’t know it yet, but B and V sound very similar. Once, I played a D&D character named Tabi who had a twin named Tavi. Everyone got mad because they were so confused. Eventually, even I was confused at what twin I was. It’s not a good campaign slogan, girls.
Toni does a sexy dance for all the cheerleaders, and Cheryl declares it so perfect that the rest of practice is cancelled. Cheryl tells her inner circle that they’re all invited to a sleepover at Thistlehouse, “dressing gowns are appreciated.” YES. I WANT NOTHING MORE THAN A SLEEPOVER AT THISTLEHOUSE.
Archie tries to convince Jughead that the prison thing is a good idea, but gosh he does a terrible job of it.
Let’s get to this sleepover. There are classic activities like brushing each others’ hair in a line. Cheryl also debuts her new nickname for Toni--TT. It’s so cute and I’m shipping it hard. Cheryl admits to the inner circle that she’s scared to be alone in the house because her uncle is crazy and out to get her. Betty agrees that there’s a stranger at her house too. LET CHERYL HAVE HER MOMENT, BETTY.
Later, in bed with Toni, Cheryl admits that she “craved” some alone time with Toni, and just as they are about to kiss, a CRASH wakes them. Cheryl does her signature scream and we cut to a shot of Nana Rose on the floor! She “fell.” MMMHM. But she’s still alive! Uncle Claudius is wearing Clifford’s pajamas when the EMTs come. Cheryl takes that as a sign.
Molly Ringwald is back as Archie’s mom! She’s back in Riverdale to help Fred get out of his contract with the Lodges. I still don’t entirely understand their relationship. They’re not married, but they act like they are, more or less.
Veronica tells Ethel that Hiram is going to offer Mr. Muggs a job offer very soon as “reparations.” I don’t know if she’s aware of the history of that word, but she seems to be using it a little flippantly.
The Serpent teens talk about how they can best protest peacefully, and settle on chaining themselves to Southside High. As a side note, this D&D club Jughead started really needs to actually play D&D sometime. I think they’d enjoy it and maybe get some emotions out.
Kevin and Chic are buds now, I guess, and we all feel weird about it. Betty confronts Chic, telling him not to mess with her friends, and Chic tries to act all innocent. Betty tells him, “You know nothing of my darkness...but you will.” Sure, Betty. I somehow don’t think Dark Betty will work on Chic.
Veronica secures Josie for her campaign as a “celebrity endorsement,” throwing out Andy Cohen as a carrot for Josie to chase. This won’t end badly at all.
Part II: Kelli
Archie shows up at the protest to try to talk some sense into the Serpents. He should know better; no one in this goddamn town has any sense at all.
Meanwhile, in the dead of night, Betty wakes Chic up by flicking a lighter on and off in his face. Interesting tactic. When he wakes up, she goes all Dark Betty and tells him that he isn’t the only one who can scare people by being crazy. She says she’s going to bring him down, because she “catches bad men.” Chic acts like he’s scared, but I’ve gotta say, I don’t buy it. His fake cry face gets less and less convincing every time he uses it.
The next morning before school, not at all tired from torturing her brother in his sleep, Betty brings soup (?) to Jughead at the protest. I thought he was on a hunger strike? Maybe it’s coffee, but it’s in a very soupy looking thermos. I didn’t realize his strike allowed for liquid foods. Weak. Betty is worried that Jughead and the others are going to get arrested, but Jughead says it’s going to look ugly if Sheriff Keller tries to manhandle students peacefully protesting. He’s got a point — in that case, it might even go viral, which would only help their cause. Plus, the adult Serpents are standing across the street, keeping an eye on their baby snakes just in case anything goes down. (Is there a word for baby snake? Snakeling?)
Once she’s fed baby snake Jughead his liquids, Betty (or Tracy Flick, as he aptly nicknames her) heads off to school to continue her work on the campaign trail. They’ve staged a ‘celebrity endorsement’ concert with Josie, who gives a short speech about how important it is for women to vote in this school election. Josie and Veronica then begin to sing a weirdly educational song about suffrage from Schoolhouse Rock called “Sufferin Till Suffrage.” It’s so bad, guys. Picture this, but somehow worse:
I’m not even going to get into all the problems with this song, because I don’t have the energy for it — and anyway, it doesn’t really matter, because about 20 seconds in, Barb from Stranger Things (or Ethel, I guess) walks in and starts handing out flyers with Veronica’s face on them. It’s very Mean Girls Burn Book-esque; all of her ‘faults’ and ‘lies’ are scribbled around her photo. Veronica is horrified that someone leaked this information to Ethel, and Betty is upset because something she sees on the flyer obviously hits home. Betty storms out and Veronica follows her; once they’re gone, we learn that Josie was the one who gave Ethel the intel because she’s still mad at Veronica for… I literally don’t even remember.
In the bathroom, B and V face off. Betty can’t believe Veronica acted like she didn’t know about Southside closing, and Veronica says she feels like she can’t say no to her parents. Betty obviously disagrees, since she says no to her parents on the reg, but also her parents aren’t in the mob so it’s not exactly a fair comparison. Either way, Betty wishes Veronica would have been honest with her, and she tells her she can no longer be her running mate because she can’t trust her.
Distraught, Veronica returns home to find her mom waiting for her. Hermione found out about the campaign, and predictably, she’s pissed. Veronica says the only reason she’s doing it is because she feels like she needs a way to connect to her fellow students, who all look at her like she’s a criminal. Hermione seems to have no sympathy. Again, I ask: what happened to Season 1 Hermione? Did that character ever even exist, or did I make her up in my head?
Over at Southside, Jughead is the last remaining child chained up to the school while all the other teens are off being normal. FP shows up with a bag of 12 burgers, and he convinces Jughead to eat about 6 of them since no one is around to see him breaking his hunger strike. FP tells Jughead that Hiram is yet again trying to bribe them: this time with a fancy penthouse apartment at the top of the low income housing which would be big enough for their whole family. Jughead gets all dramatic and says that he can imagine standing on the balcony looking over the remains of the Southside. Jellybean would grow up in a town where her best/only option would be to work for the prison. FP agrees; he hung up on Hiram and went to buy burgers instead. They share a tender father/son hug.
I’m glad they got to have a ~moment,~ but also: for what reason would Jellybean’s BEST OPTION be to work for the prison? Would she not be going to Riverdale High, where she would have more opportunities because it’s a better school than Southside ever was? Does Jughead know that after high school graduation, you’re allowed to move to another town, or even to a city? Is he just counting on his little sister growing up to be a failure? I’m confused.
Back at the hospital, Cheryl is sitting with Nana. I think she’s mostly just using Nana’s hospitalization as a reason to not be in Thistlehouse, because I never really got the feeling that Cheryl and Nana were particularly close. The doctor tells Cheryl that trace amounts of tannis were found in Nana’s bloodstream. It’s Chekhov’s poisonous tea! Before Cheryl can explain this to the doctor, Penelope shows up to take Cheryl home.
In the car, Cheryl tells her mother that she figured out her plan: paralyzing Nana with the tannis and then pushing her down the stairs. Penelope’s like, ‘oh silly Cheryl, you so crazy. But seriously, you’re crazy, and you’ve left us no choice. We’re going to make you all better.’ Hm. I wonder where this is going.
Betty comes home from school to find Alice and Chic waiting to confront her about her ‘crazy sister’ routine. Alice is in possession of the Dark Betty wig, and when she asks what it’s for, Chic goes, “SHE WEARS IT WHILE SHE HAS SEX WITH JUGHEAD.” It is a deeply uncomfortable moment. Alice, of course, acts like it’s not weird at all that Chic has been thinking about Betty’s sex life, and instead takes this moment to get all concerned about whether or not Betty and Jughead are having sex. Betty’s like, ‘er, yeah, we are,’ and Alice freaks out and leaves.
Later, Alice comes to Betty’s room and they have a chat about safe sex. Alice says she is ‘well-acquainted with how alluring the Jones men are,’ and Betty’s like, ‘omg mom, you and FP?’ Betty, I’m sorry, were you not there for the prison pick-up?
Anyway, they establish that there’s ‘no way’ FP is Chic’s father (he probably is tho), and move onto the subject of Chic himself. Betty says he’s dangerous, and Alice says that he might be a little weird, but it’s just because he’s been unloved for 25 years and he really needs them now.
Taking this sentiment to heart, Betty approaches Chic for a truce, but he isn’t having it; why would he trust her when she just wants to get rid of him? Betty says if she wanted to get rid of him she’d just call the police, which is when Chic points out that there’s no evidence of him being anywhere near the dead body — all of those prints on the body, on the cell phone, they belong to Betty, not him. He says that he’s the one who should be calling the police. “You scare me Betty,” he says. “Can’t you see that? You’re scaring me.” You’re fucking scaring me, Chic. Jesus.
At the Andrew’s residence, Archie is having dinner with his mom and dad. Archie keeps standing up for Hiram during their conversation, and eventually his mom freaks out on him for being so disrespectful to Fred. Every single thing she says is true. You go, Molly Ringwald. How is it that the worst child on this show is the only one who has halfway-decent parents?
Of course, Archie immediately heads to the Lodges’ after dinner because Hiram has a job for him. He wants Archie and his wrestling goons to remove the Serpents from Southside High. He reasons that if other students do it, it won’t look as bad as adults removing teens by force. Archie refuses at first, but then Hiram reminds him about that lil blood pact situation, and so Archie has no choice but to oblige. He at least gets Hiram to agree to release Fred from all of his commitments to Lodge Industries.
Archie and the wrestlers show up at Southside wearing their team tees and carrying bolt cutters. It’s like a field trip, but for assholes. Archie stands in front of Jughead and apologizes, but Jughead isn’t having it. There’s a big crowd and everyone is already recording on their phones. Jughead says he isn’t going to fight, and he encourages Archie to cut the chains. “I want them to see you do it,” he says dramatically. So, of course, Archie does it. As the crowd boos and the other wrestlers cut down the other Serpents, Jughead and Archie lock eyes and stare at each other in slow-mo, which isn’t particularly effective since they’re already standing still. I wasn’t counting, but this scene goes on for at LEAST twenty-five minutes.
Back at the Jones trailer when all is said and done, Jughead and Betty chat. Jughead tells Betty that he doesn’t want to lose Riverdale like he lost Southside, so he’s going to run for student body president — and he wants her to run alongside him. She immediately says yes. Poor Ronnie. She also makes Jughead agree to let her stay with him, because she can’t stay in the same house as Chic anymore. Welcome to domestic bliss, Bughead. I’m sure this won’t blow up in your faces.
Hiram keeps his word and lets Fred out of the building contract. We find out that Archie’s mom is going to stick around for a while, because she’s going to help Fred in his pursuit to run for mayor against Hermione.
Finally, to close out the episode, we see Toni at Thistlehouse’s door. Penelope answers and informs her that Cheryl has gone to an all-girls boarding school in Switzerland. Toni, again, serves as the audience surrogate: “That doesn’t make any sense.” Yeah, Toni. Join the club.
Of course, Cheryl isn’t actually at boarding school… she’s at THE SISTERS OF QUIET MERCY. She’s been locked up in a tiny cell, and she’s wearing her hair in pigtails. I have to wonder if the hairstyle was Cheryl’s choice or the nuns’, and in either case: why? Sister Woodhouse greets Cheryl with a huge-ass syringe which we can only assume is a sedative of some kind. She promises Cheryl that tomorrow, after she rests, ‘the conversion begins.’
Mary: I'm here for a few things this episode, mainly the sleepover at Thistlehouse. I majorly ship Cheryl and Toni and want good things for them, which made Cheryl's conversion therapy reveal that much more heartbreaking. I understand that Penelope Blossom is horrible and everything, but can't we have nice things on this show? Does Riverdale have to follow in the footsteps of so many other shows in killing off their bisexual characters? Please, CW, get with the times.
Kelli: I only really have two things to say here. First of all, Toni’s cheer routine was the best part of the episode, and the second best part was the bed scene with Cheryl. I stan so hard for this couple, I don’t even know what’s come over me.
Second of all, ANDY COHEN? Seriously? Please don’t try to pretend like teenagers are into Andy Cohen. It’s not a thing.