Riverdale Recap: Betty Boils Over

Need to catch up? Check out our previous Riverdale recap here.

After barreling though a ton of murder plot in its first two weeks, Riverdale dialed it back a bit this week to give us a Very Special Episode on the topic of slut-shaming… and to show us a scary new side to Betty Cooper.

Veronica goes out on a date with football star (and coach’s son) Chuck, but then gets taunted by girls at school, asking if she enjoyed her “sticky maple” last night. Chuck apparently posted a photo of himself with Veronica, except he added maple syrup over her half of the photo. (“It’s a Riverdale thing,” Kevin shrugs.) Ronnie insists all they did was kiss, so she marches into the boys’ locker room — oh hi, Archie’s abs! — and demands that Chuck take the photo down. But the jerk just laughs at her, telling her to take the sticky-maple treatment as “a badge of honor.”

And she’s not the only one wearing that badge: Betty gathers a group of Riverdale girls who have all received similar treatment from football players, even if they didn’t actually do anything sexual with them. Ethel — played by Stranger Things‘ Barb, Shannon Purser — says the players even share a secret notebook where they rate the girls they’ve been with. Still defensive about Jason, Cheryl says that book is just a rumor and tells all the “sluts” to get back to cheer practice. Yeah, maybe not the best choice of words, Cheryl.

RELATED Riverdale Recap: Blossom Prison Blues

The girls sneak into school at night and find the notorious “playbook,” and Betty finds her sister Polly’s name in there… next to Jason Blossom. That sends her into a blind rage, so she puts on some of Polly’s bright-red lipstick and hatches a plan to go all Sweet/Vicious on Chuck. She and Veronica lure him over to Ethel’s house while her parents are away, where a pool and hot tub await. Betty even comes out wearing a lacy bra and a jet-black Mia-from-Pulp Fiction wig, which stuns Chuck and Veronica… and anyone with functioning eyes, really.

Riverdale SpoilersBut she goes a little overboard, slipping a muscle relaxer into Chuck’s drink to act as a “truth serum” (?). Next thing Chuck knows, he’s handcuffed in the hot tub with Veronica filming him and Betty slowly increasing the tub’s heat to a boil. She demands an apology — and even after he does, she stuffs his head under the water and wants another apology, for Polly. She even calls him “Jason” and herself “Polly,” which freaks out Veronica. They eventually let Chuck go, but Betty seems to not even know what she did. Dissociative episode, perhaps?

Betty gets her revenge by publishing an exposé about the playbook in the school paper, leading to Chuck and his cronies getting cut from the football team. And she and Cheryl come to some kind of truce, teaming up to torch the playbook. But wow, Betty really took two steps over the crazy line this week, didn’t she? Could she have been somehow involved in Jason’s death? And will we see Dark Betty again if someone else crosses her… even if it’s her beloved Archie?

Let’s see what else is going on in “Body Double”:

RiverdalePUSSY(CATS) GALORE | Archie (almost) comes clean to Weatherbee, telling him he heard a gunshot on the Fourth of July — but not telling him Miss Grundy was with him. And now his dad Fred knows he was lying about where he was on the Fourth, so Archie’s grounded. But Cheryl sets him up with Josie and the Pussycats, who invite him to sit in on rehearsals. This is too good of an opportunity to pass up, so Archie sneaks out of the house to meet them — and even manages to get a lyric of his into one of their songs.

Archie gets caught by Fred, who forbids him from attending the event Josie and the Cats are performing at. But Fred does approach Miss Grundy, asking her if she thinks Archie has any real talent. She says he does, and thinks he should at least try to make a career in music. That’s enough to convince Fred to soundproof his garage so Archie can practice there (aw!) and to send Archie back to Miss Grundy for more “lessons” (yuck!).

SCOUT’S HONOR | Cheryl’s big “I’m guilty” declaration last week wasn’t that she killed Jason; it’s that she lied to cover up the fact that Jason planned to fake his own death to escape Riverdale. But he ended up not-fake dead a week later. Still on the case, Betty enlists Jughead to join the school paper and find out what Dilton and his Boy Scout troop saw on the Fourth of July.

Dilton insists he didn’t hear a gunshot, but one of his scouts looks guilty, so Jughead later corners him in a booth at Pop’s. The scout admits: The gunshot was from Dilton, teaching the scouts target practice. So Jughead confronts Dilton, who confesses, but doesn’t want the truth to get out; it’ll ruin his scouting career. In exchange, he offers Betty and Jughead an even bigger story. Dilton did see something on the Fourth: Miss Grundy’s car, parked by the river. Uh-oh.

Yearbook Notes:

* If you’re wondering what Betty and Veronica meant by going Full Dark, No Stars: It’s a collection of short stories by horror master Stephen King, one of which involves a violated woman exacting revenge on her attacker.

* Archie beams to Jughead when Josie and the Pussycats play at the event, telling his old pal: “I helped write that song.” Um, you did? You added one line. Sloooow it down there, Bob Dylan.

* Curious to see what Jughead meant when he said that Chuck and his friends getting kicked off the football team “would have terrible consequences for the weeks to come.” Don’t think he’s just talking about losing football games.

* Kind of gross when Fred says to Archie about Miss Grundy: “They did not look like that in my day, son.” Ew… Archie’s dad is hot for the same type of woman his son is!

* Chuck is described as a “golden boy” at one point. But wasn’t Jason Blossom the school’s “golden boy”? And what about Archie? Isn’t he a golden boy, too? How many golden boys does Riverdale have, anyway?

Intrigued, or terrified, by this new side to Betty? Let us know what you thought of this week’s Riverdale in the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. padraicjacob says:

    To be fair, Archie was also offering suggestions about reversing the verses too. So I think he can say he helped

  2. John036 says:

    so ummmm betty just got a whole lot more interesting this episode

    • Josh says:

      LOL my thoughts exactly I already loved Betty but yes she got even more interesting. She has an alter! Shows you that her mom sucks lol Betty and Polly are both screwed up. Dad Cooper is probably the one who killed Jason .

  3. steven says:

    Ooooooooooooh kayyyyyyyyyyyy! I think Archie’s dad just made grounding look cool.

  4. Greg says:

    This show is so much better than i expected, its dark and the mystery adds a nice layer of intrigue thats beyond the usual high school day to day drama.

  5. Sheldon W. says:

    This week’s episode of Twin Peaks: Dawson Creek Edition… er… Riverdale was very entertaining. I don’t understand why its ratings are so soft. (Maybe because you have to really pay attention? But you have to pay attention to The 100, too, and that seems to be doing better than Riverdale…).

    I guess it’s a good thing we’re promised an answer to the Jason Blossom mystery by season’s end – ’cause it doesn’t look like there’ll be a second season…

    Also, Miss Grundy isn’t really Miss Grundy? Next week’s teaser just raised the show’s game another notch! (YIKES!)

    • Diego Alexandrino says:

      The show is being streamed on Netflix as well, only 12 hours later. So I guess the ratings are pretty decent and the fact that Netflix is helping producing the show, it will probably have a home for a second season if CW decides to drop the project.

    • My worry about the show is that people just don’t have patience for shows that don’t have supernatural or mystical bits anymore. But I’d put Riverdale right next to Stranger Things, Westworld, Supergirl, The Good Place, and Crazy Ex Girlfriend as standouts over the past couple years.

  6. Jeremy says:

    I’m loving Riverdale more and more each episode! Hopefully more people find the show so it can survive!

  7. Erick Voshel says:

    Loved the episode! Loved Dark Betty as well.

  8. HeyThere says:

    hashtag justice for Ethel! i love that!

  9. Well, they were all golden boys. Jug does say Riverdale was once a wholesome place.

  10. Top says:

    Veronica when Betty showed up in the bra and wig: “I have the weirdest boner”

  11. mrmcgee says:

    Nothing about the Mama Blossom punching Bettys mother or said mother being awful to Ronnie’s mom? Riverdale 20 years ago?

    • Josh says:

      Bettys mom has been shown to kind of awful already no surprise she was awful earlier in life. Willing to bet Veronicas mom isn’t so good herself

  12. kn1231 says:

    Veronica is Blair Waldorf reincarnated, and I LOVE it! I’m also here for a Betty and Veronica hook up! This show is so much better than I thought it would be!

  13. Z says:

    I really don’t trust Ethel. I mean I wanted to, but it seemed too easy to get that playbook and her looking in while the girls were getting payback on Chuck, there’s something off about her that I’m sure will be revealed towards the end of the season. The Archie/Grundy thing creeps me out to no end, hopefully with where things go in the next episode that will either totally end or start heading out the door. There’s definitely a part of me worried for Betty, I’m very interested to see where they take her storyline, loving Veronica more and more each episode. Hope they expand Kevin’s character beyond the “gay best friend” stereotype. All in all I’m loving this show far more than I thought I would.

    • Andrea says:

      I was getting a weird vibe from Ethel too.

    • zmurrayweb says:

      Was it weird that most if not all of the information they had on the alleged play book flowed though Ethel. True the others had stories about being shamed but the idea of a play book kept by Chuck and gang and unknown to Cheryl seems possible but not likely. I think I smell something hinky…

    • ScottJ says:

      The “sticky maple” things happened, and there were too many other girls involved for that part of it to be a set-up. If the ledger was a fake though..it had different handwriting all though the bits we saw, but I doubt Ethel would have known about Polly and Jason.

      I’m more suspicious about Betty though. There were a couple of things in the episode that had me thinking Polly and Betty were the same person – although that wouldn’t gel with Archie’s history with Betty.

      • Sarah says:

        I had the same theory too about Betty having a dissociative identity which makes her act like Polly with black hair and Betty with blonde hair.

        Another theory I have is that Polly and her might be twins with Polly having slight differences to her and there was a switch between them, where present Betty is actually Polly and mental Polly is real Betty.

  14. Jeanne says:

    Something that we’ve noticed in some scenes such as the pool scene, is that Betty changes into another person. For example, when Betty and Veronica were getting revenge on Chuck, sweet, kind Betty went crazy and called herself Polly and called Chuck Jason. Another small detail that many of us might have forgotten is that at the very beginning of the series, Betty’s mom told Betty that she forgot to pick up her prescription. Her prescription for what? No illness or disorder of some sort was ever mentioned through the series. Or was it? One BIG clue on the prescription Betty received is the NAME of the drug. Dextroamphetamine, is a stimulant used to help with Dissociative Identity Disorder. This suggests that Betty could have Dissociative Identity Disorder which means she has multiple personalities.

    Although we don’t have much detail as to what Jason was doing during the time between July 4-11th, we can imagine that Betty would have been pretty distraught after Polly was taken away. Especially because, as we have seen, they were so very close. My theory is that Betty went looking for Jason in anger because her parents filled her head with lies. In that time, her split personality took over and she murdered Jason without her even knowing it. How she didn’t know? Well, she didn’t remember calling herself Polly or calling Chuck Jason? Could Betty be the long pursued murderer of Jason Blossoms? 🤔🤔🤔🤔

    • Jeanne says:

      Of course I’m still working on it, please don’t take this and call it yours.

      • Caya says:

        I agree with Betty having split personality disorder because when Betty and Veronica went looking through Mrs Grundys car they found a ID with Mrs.Grundys real name on it. A little while later Betty and her mom are talking in her room and Betty says something like just say my real name mom and her mom says the same name that was on the ID. So idk?