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.
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.
But 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”:
PUSSY(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.
* 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.