Riverdale Recap: Unhappy Birthday

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

Birthday parties are lots of fun, right? Well, not on Riverdale, where they just lead to bitter arguments, problem drinking and uncomfortable secrets being revealed.

It’s Jughead’s birthday, but he doesn’t want anyone to know about it: He’s happy to celebrate by catching a double feature at the Bijou. Archie usually joins him, but this year, he suggests to Betty that she step in. She didn’t even know it was Jughead’s birthday, so she wants to throw him a surprise party. She even invites his dad F.P., and after he politely declines, she shows up at Fred’s work site to insist. F.P. laughs: “You don’t quit, do you?” No, she certainly does not!

Betty’s mood darkens, though, when she sees Chuck — the sexist football jerk she almost drowned in a hot tub — back at school after his suspension. She tries to get him to leave Ethel alone, but he just laughs her off and asks if she’s about to go “Dark Betty” on him again. (He actually says “Dark Betty,” so it’s not just us calling her that!) Betty holds it together on the surface… but she tightens her fists so tight, she leaves red marks on her palms. Again, Chuck, Betty Cooper does not quit.

Archie is bummed out because Fred is out of town finalizing his divorce from Archie’s mom Mary. (It’s been two years since she moved out, we learn.) It’s gotten so ugly that they can’t even meet without lawyers present, and hearing that sends Archie straight to Fred’s liquor stash. Not our innocent Archie! Plus, Veronica shows up Cheryl at cheer practice, beating her in a dance-off to claim the title of head cheerleader. This infuriates Cheryl, who heads to Pop’s and finds an ally in mischief in Chuck: “Wanna team up for a little destruction?”

While Betty distracts Jughead with a birthday matinee of An American Werewolf in London, Archie and Veronica set up for his surprise party. And Ronnie has her own problems: Her dad Hiram wants her to make a statement on his behalf at his embezzlement trial — and warns that if she doesn’t, Hermione might be in danger, too. So by the time Betty and Jughead show up to the party, Archie reeks of booze, and Veronica is sobbing in the kitchen. Good times!

Cheryl and Chuck show up to crash the party, bringing a couple of kegs and dozens of classmates with them. The party begins to rage, with a shirtless (of course) Archie drinking and dancing his cares away. But Jughead hides out alone in the garage; he’d rather not be “in the middle of a Seth Rogen movie.” F.P. does come by — with a gift and everything! Kevin’s boyfriend Joaquin pulls him aside, though, to share what he overheard when Veronica was complaining about Hiram. And across the street, Alice Cooper is peering in with binoculars. She is the head of the neighborhood watch, after all.

Betty finds Jughead in the garage, and he unloads on her, wondering why she would even think he would want a party: “I’m a weirdo… I don’t want to fit in.” Then he gets mean, accusing her of “slumming” with him while she waits for Archie to change his mind about her. (Ouch.) Things get worse when Cheryl kicks off a game of “Secrets and Sins,” which apparently involves picking a person you don’t like and putting them on blast for all of their misdeeds. Veronica makes fun of Cheryl’s “twincest,” Dilton spills about Archie’s affair with Miss Grundy and Chuck reveals his hot-tub moment with “Dark Betty.” That last one leads to an already-pissed Jughead taking a swing at Chuck.

F.P. breaks up the fight and kicks everyone out of the house. (Same time next year, guys?) Back at Pop’s, Jughead apologizes to Betty: “When people do nice things for me, I short-circuit.” She apologizes for not telling him about the whole Chuck debacle: “There’s this darkness in me that’s overwhelming sometimes.” She shows him the red marks on her palms, and he kisses them. Aw! Aren’t we all rooting for this sweet (and weird) couple? Speaking of couples: Archie and Veronica share their miseries after the party, and end up making out. Quick, what’s their shipper name? Archonica?

Riverdale Episode 10 Molly Ringwald Mary Luke Perry FredVeronica wakes up in Archie’s bed, but nothing happened: He slept on the floor (shirtless, of course). Jughead sees her sneaking out, and promises that his “lips are sealed.” After a chat with family butler Smithers, Ronnie decides to testify on her dad’s behalf — and gets a fresh necklace of pearls from Hiram as a thank-you. And Fred arrives back at home… with Archie’s mom Mary! Oh hi, Molly Ringwald!

Yearbook Notes:

* Seriously, though, how does Betty not know when Jughead’s birthday is? Not only is he her boyfriend, but they’ve known each other since they were kids. They never celebrated his birthday in elementary school? Not believable, Riverdale.

* Veronica also dug up a series of payments from the Blossoms to her dad’s company that date back 75 years, and that stopped when Hiram went to jail. So does that give Hiram a motive to hire someone to off the Blossom heir apparent?

* Betty told Jughead at their Werewolf matinee: “I’m all about the beast within.” She wasn’t kidding, was she? Is there a chance she’s involved with Jason’s death and just doesn’t remember because she blacked out, “Dark Betty”-style?

* That scene between F.P. and Alice when the party broke up was a fun little glimpse into their shared past. F.P. revealed that Alice used to live on the south side… and he still thinks she’s hot. Hey, she might be single soon!

* Had to giggle when Jughead reacted to Betty’s sweet (but odd) rendition of “Happy Birthday” with a deadpan “That was haunting, Betty.”

Got thoughts on tonight’s Riverdale? Drop ’em in a comment below.

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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32 Comments
  1. steven says:

    Is that a Fairly Oddparents shirt that Betty is wearing? Because that crown looks like a fairy crown.

  2. Kate says:

    We are rooting for them, something odd though I noticed is the seem to make them appear very similar in height and in real life Cole is about six inches taller than Lili.

  3. Karen says:

    I just don’t feel anything with Veronica and Archie. I preferred him with Val and I would prefer Betty and Archie as well.

  4. jrex says:

    Was it just me or did Betty sound a little Marilyn Monroe-ish while singing Happy Birthday?

  5. A. D. says:

    Love this show!

  6. Matthew Lawler says:

    How did Veronica’s dad know that she had destroyed the pearl necklace he gave her also I thought that all of the money that Hiram was able to hide before he went to jail was used to purchase the drive-in so how is he hiring thugs and sending expensive jewelry

    • bigdede says:

      Good question. I know he also hide some money that Veronica and her mother could live on. But I know he’s not getting any of that money otherwise the Feds would know about that hidden money. I would also like to know how he can hire thugs and send jewelry.

  7. Matthew Lawler says:

    Well I’m glad that somebody finally mention Miss Grundy that storyline was dropped kind of abprubtly also we finally saw Chuck again after being promised there would be repercussions from the suspension of the football team and for all the buildup and all the promotion of ma also we finally saw Chuck again after being promised there would be repercussions from the suspension of the football team and for all the buildup and all the promotion of Molly Ringwald premiering as Archie’s mom for her to only be there for the last second was a little disappointing

  8. Jim says:

    God I hope Betty’s a serial killer. That would be amazing, haha. The campier this show gets the more I enjoy it. Basically kept watching to see Cheryl devour the screen in every scene she’s in but the rest of the show is catching up for sheer goofy entertainment.

  9. fernando933 says:

    This episode proved that Verionca is the true HBIC in Riverdale, she can destroy Cheryl with a snap of a finger but Cheryl is still a force to be reckon with.

    Thought it was hilarious how Cheryl just walks into Archie house like it’s her party and then locking his door and not letting anyone out like it’s her house.

    It was nice finding out Ms.Copper was a snake back then.

    I’m so Team Veronica & Ariche

  10. Nathan says:

    Anyone else think betty is bipolar or something?

  11. bigdede says:

    Jughead and Betty and Veronica and Archie. Those are the couples with the chemistry. Archie and Veronica are destined to be together. They have way more chemistry than Betty and Archie (sorry don’t see it) and I like that the show didn’t put them together right away. Jughead and Betty are my new LoVe (Logan/Veronica) type couple. If F.P and Alice hook up they may be my new ship. I love this show

    • Lindsay says:

      Agreed on all counts. As far as the actors’ chemistry is concerned Betty and Jughead are fantastic together. I never thought about them as LoVe, I always compare them to Pacey and Joey. Because the original intention of Dawson’s Creek was for Dawson and Joey to be end game, but Pacey and Joey had the best chemistry. Sometimes you have to change the intended storyline because of how the actors mesh with each other. Also, kind of loving the idea of an Alice/FP hook up.

  12. V.J. says:

    I don’t find it hard to believe she didn’t know when his birthday was. People don’t remember stuff like that anymore unless it’s on Facebook. And if he didn’t celebrate his birthday the years before chance is she didn’t know especially if he didn’t want anyone to know. I ignore mine every year and I can count the people who remember when it is on one hand.

    • Gospino says:

      It is unbelievable. They’re childhood friends, and Archie knew and celebrated the birthday regularly.

      • kitsunesaru says:

        I was under the impression Archie going to the double feature with him was more when they were older than as young kids.
        If someone doesn’t celebrate their birthday it is very conceivable that even their friends don’t know when it is. I know because I speak from experience.

  13. Alice says:

    I sometime forget loved ones birthday, but for facebook…i get reminded about it

  14. Gospino says:

    That scene where Jughead unloaded on Betty… Wow. Really good. And they ended up talking about it later, too. I hate most portmanteau names (please never say Archona again), but Bughead is a hilarious name and can stay. And so can Betty/Jughead, love it. But yeah, she totally should have known the birthday of a childhood friend when Archie did and regularly celebrated at the movies with Jughead. There was no pressing story reason for her not to know. She could have known the date with Jughead still hating his birthday, and that would have made a lot more sense. A character like Betty knows when her friends were born!

  15. "A" says:

    Another awesome episode !!

  16. How can the recap not mention Betty’s sweater???

  17. Jody says:

    I loved this episode. It peels off new secrets every episode and tonights was that Alice Cooper was from the wrong side of the tracks, and by indication affiliated with the snakes. Also I dig Betty+Jughead couple and Archie + Veronica as a couple. Although I have a feeling Archie will probably kiss different girls every other episode!
    Plotwise, the show has soooooo many troublesome forshadows it’s like a mine field you don’t know which you are going to accidently step upon that would blow up. It is truly horrible and I live it!
    The unresolved Chuck drama, Alice Cooper’s past, Hiram somehow knowing Veronica needs new pearls, Polly as an under-cover, Hoaquin and FP and the bag witg Jason’s jacket, the mysterious perp who burned down Jason and Polly’s gettaway car, and Granma Blossom’s family ring about which Cheryl’s mom should NEVER find out. Boom!

  18. kirads09 says:

    I had a couple burning questions after this one:

    ONE: Could “Dark Betty” in some sort of fugue state be responsible for Jason’s murder? I mean maybe she thought he was abandoning/betraying Polly and…lost it? She even admitted she isn’t in total control.

    TWO: FP’s “conversation” with Alice at Archie’s house really made me wonder. Could FP be the real father of Alice’s unborn – not Hal? There certainly seems to be a “history” between them, no? Once again, I really need more Skeet Ulrich in my life. I really do.

    BTW – the actress who plays Betty has a lovely singing voice! I loved the perfect “hint” of Marilyn’s Happy Birthday Mr President in her rendition. And correct – Jughead’s deadpan response was classic.

  19. keenen says:

    Molly Ringwald=Mistake

  20. flower1petals says:

    I have just binged this show and am all caught up. I love it. I never pictured Cole Sprouse as Jughead. But it works. Hes so good.