Riverdale prepares for the Pickens’ Day Celebration, with backlash from the Southside when the truth is exposed regarding the town’s founder.
The CW’s Riverdale plans their annual celebration of their town’s founding member, General Pickens. Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) interviews the oldest living Serpent, Toni’s grandfather, and uncovers the thoughtless genocide of the native people by General Pickens. In trying to expose the needless slaughter, Jughead inadvertently calls Toni’s grandfather helpless and unable to speak against the more prominent and privileged citizens of Riverdale. In an attempt to smooth over the Sodale project in the Southside, the Lodge family holds a business meeting with Fred Andrews (Luke Perry), Sierra McCoy (Robin Givens), and Tom Keller (Martin Cummins). Tensions become high between Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) after Mayor McCoy divulges information about the Lodge Industries business practices to her daughter. The audience is still in the dark regarding the full scope of the Sodale project, and has us asking- who can we trust?
Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) attempts to learn more about her brother, Chic (Hart Denton). Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) reveals that Chic is actually a webcam model and video gigolo. That leaves Betty unsure of how to bring up that subject with Chic, or if she should even bring it up at all. Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) attempts to get one on one time with Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos), at the request of Agent Adams (John Behlmann). Archie finds that his initial “in” is wrestling, as that was Hiram’s sport of choice in high school and he is helping fund the current Riverdale wrestling team. Archie is sure juggling a lot these days, and we’re wondering if he has what it takes to uncover Hiram’s business plan and possibly illegal actions.
Riverdale has viewers on the edge of their seats every week. Here to discuss secretive business dealings, Betty and Chic’s dynamic, and the devastating history of Riverdale, is our roundtable:
Yari (@msluvchocolate) – Fangirl before it was cool. My favorite quote is “Live long and prosper… Peace and long life.”
Jess (@lilixcoIe) – When I’m not at concerts, I’m obsessing over Bughead
Linda (@linda_toven) – Student, coffee addict, binge watcher and workout super fan!
Rachelle (@hombriarachelle) – Fangirl, one direction, and kali <3
Łukasz (@CiesielL) – Student, geek, popculture enthusiast, #BugheadIsEndgame
1. Were you surprised by Chic’s profession?
Yari (@msluvchocolate): No, not really surprised. I was however that he wanted to give details.
Jess (@lilixcoIe): Not really, I mean I didn’t exactly know what his profession was going to be before the episode, but I had a feeling it would be something sketchy.
Linda (@linda_toven): To be honest. I wasn’t surprised by Chic’s profession. In the last episode, he spoke of dream fulfillment. But I think this kind of work is a topic to talk about. We don’t know how many people have to do something like that because they have no other choice or possibilities. I’m very interested in Chic and his personality.
Rachelle (@hombriarachelle): No, not at all.
Łukasz (@CiesielL): I actually wasn’t surprised by Chic’s profession. I kinda saw it coming since the last episode, so the reveal of his “job” makes sense for me.
2. The McCoy family isn’t too thrilled about Lodge Industries and their business practices. Based on what we know, who would you side with?
Yari: I don’t trust either. Mayor McCoy knew what she was and is getting in to.
Jess: I would side with the McCoy family. I don’t like either but I think I trust the McCoys’ just a slight bit more.
Linda: I am convinced that the Lodges still have big plans for Riverdale. But they will definitely have their own well-being in mind. However, Mayor McCoy is also not entirely innocent. She has already taken bribes from the Lodges. So she knows what happens when you work with them. Actually, she should try to keep the city together. But she does not succeed very well. That’s why I would side with the Lodges. With them, I can be sure that they are only pursuing their own interests. I’m curious what they are planning.
Rachelle: The Lodges, of course.
Łukasz: I stand with Lodges on that one. Normally I don’t appreciate what they’re doing but here I Just don’t like Sierra McCoy’s behavior. She’s been doing business with Lodges for a while now and suddenly she acts like she’s so much better? That’s a no-no for me.
3. What did you think of the newly minted Veronica and the Pussycats?
Yari: I literally gasped out loud. However, not really surprised. She is doing all she can to be a part of the parents’ plans.
Jess: I mean Veronica can sing and has a lovely voice, but nothing beats the original Josie and the Pussycats.
Linda: First of all I love Josie and the Pussycats. And I love that Veronica joined the band. But Josie definitely belongs to them. Veronica only wanted Pickens Day to be a success first with Josie then without her. The people are supposed to have fun. She used the Pussycats as a brand. She showed Josie her power and did not care about Josie’s feelings. I think Josie was shocked and sad that Veronica stole her band. This will certainly provide for controversy between the two in the next episodes.
Rachelle: Good, but I think they still need Josie.
Łukasz: Veronica fits perfectly to the band although I do feel sorry for how Melody and Val are treated on the show. It seems like they do nothing with their lives since Josie left the Pussycats. They’re just waiting for an opportunity to sing in the background…
4. What are your thoughts on Archie inserting himself into Hiram’s life and business as a way to get more information for Agent Adams?
Yari: This whole thing with the FBI is way above Archie’s pay grade. I get wanting to get his father’s business back and trying to protect Veronica. But he is in way over his head. I’m not saying it isn’t a smart move. It is, I’m just afraid that Hiram will catch on. Or does he already know, that’s why he offered him the position.
Jess: I understand what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, I just think that Agent Adams shouldn’t have asked him to put him in this situation as Archie is a teenager.
Linda: I think Archie only went in first to help the FBI agent. But then Archie really wanted to earn Hiram’s respect. After he got his respect Archie has become interested more and more about the mystery and life of the Lodges. He discovers a little bit of a dark side in himself and is curious about it. So he does not want to answer the agent’s call. I hope he doesn’t forget about his dreams of playing basketball and music.
Rachelle: I think that’s not a good idea.
Łukasz: For me, he’s doing all of it too fast. He should be more careful while dealing with Hiram. Lodge is definitely much smarter than Archie. He probably already knows all about Archie’s contacts with the FBI…
5. Tensions seem higher than ever after the exposé that Jughead wrote on Pickens and the needless slaughter of hundreds of innocent lives. What did you think of Hiram stepping in and interrupting Toni’s speech?
Yari: He spun that around so quickly I almost got whiplash.
Jess: I don’t think Hiram stepping in was necessary, I think it added fuel to the fire and is only the start of the whole northside vs southside feud.
Linda: Hiram was surprised by the demonstration of the Serpents. But he has responded smartly and quickly and has taken advantage of the situation. Hiram demoralizes the Serpents. As consequence, the demonstration of the Serpents is not important anymore at this point. I think the Serpents will not put up with that.
Rachelle: Disrespectful. I think the Serpents are right.
Łukasz: It was very Hiram-y. He wanted to protect his own business and Toni’s speech was a huge inconvenience for the man. I do hope that Toni will eventually be listened to and that someone helps her bring justice to all of those people including her grandfather.
6. Looks like Betty and Chic have bonded over their shared darkness. What do you think of their developing relationship?
Yari: Betty. I just want to give her a big hug. Chic, on the other hand, can go back to the hotel. Archie and Veronica are putting themselves in positions that we know are not going to end well. Betty, however, means well. Yes, she has this darkness inside her that she is trying to figure out. There has to be a better way for her to do that.
Jess: Based on the episode 12 promo, I do not like it at all. If he is turning her into a cam girl to help her deal with her darkness, I think they’re going about this the wrong way. Betty’s mental health issues need to be addressed properly, but that is the writer’s responsibility.
Linda: I love to see Betty and Chic approach each other. They discover that they share an inner darkness. It’s good that they talk about it. However, I believe that Chic’s way of dealing with his darkness is the wrong way and it’s because he was left alone early and had nobody to talk to. I hope Betty does not get too deeply into Chic’s world. But for the moment she is on the way to get to know her inner darkness better.
Rachelle: Good! They’ve started opening up.
Łukasz: I’m very scared for my favorite character Betty. I hope she won’t regret finding Chic. Also, he was supposed to show her how to handle her darkness, but while he was opening the laptop… Well… I hope they won’t make Betty do an online porn…
7. Who is your guess for the decapitation of the Pickens’ statue?
Yari: I know most people will say and think the Serpents. I, however, think it could have been Cheryl. I know it’s out there and I could be wrong but I’m going with the last person you would expect.
Jess: I was going to say Southside Serpents but that would seem very obvious. I reckon if the show was to do a plot twist, it would be Cheryl as she seemed to side with them during Toni’s speech.
Linda: I guess Hiram is responsible for the decapitation so it would harm the Serpents.
Rachelle: The Serpents, lol.
Łukasz: Cheryl! I feel like she was very moved by Toni’s speech and was very disappointed, back in the episode, when she found out what her ancestors did to all of those people. Also… I know that those red stains supposed to make an illusion of blood, but red is also definitely Cheryl’s color, so…
Final Verdict: Riverdale shows us that the underdogs are not going down without a fight. But how will they fair against larger corporations and bribed officials?
The tensions between the Northside and Southside are even higher in this week’s episode. Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) informs Jughead about the error of his ways and he goes to Toni’s grandfather to make amends for how he reported the situation. Toni speaks out about the injustice to her ancestors, with the support of the Southside Serpents. Even Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) abandons her mother to show her support for Toni and the injustice against the native people of Riverdale; when she previously supported her ancestors, who played a role in the founding of Riverdale. Toni’s speech is cut short by Hiram in an attempt to keep the peace, as well as keep his Sodale project on track. Archie surprises us all by winning a match against Chuck Clayton (Jordan Calloway), who is in a higher weight class than Archie. Josie, armed with information that she’s being manipulated by Veronica, drops out of the Pickens Day celebration and the subsequent reunion of the Pussycats. Veronica and the Pussycats make their debut for the celebration. And Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro) discovers what Chic really does for a living, using his journalist detective skills. The Cooper family is at odds with each other regarding their new family member, Chic.
The core four have a lot on their plates. Archie is an undercover spy for Agent Adams. Veronica is helping Lodge Industries with their plan for the Southside. Jughead is trying to manage his newfound family with the Serpents while blending that with school on the Northside. That leaves Betty, who is struggling with her own darkness and has no one else to turn to except for her brother Chic. Chic clearly hasn’t had the easiest time growing up in foster care, but he’s found his own ways of dealing with his inner darkness. The way it sets up for next episode, however, is not for the faint of heart. Riverdale is shining a light on the stigma surrounding sex workers, with Chic Cooper and Penelope Blossom (Nathalie Boltt). While there isn’t anything wrong with the profession, it is when it involves a child. Betty’s darkness isn’t exactly a secret in the Cooper family, but can we please address her anxieties and darkness in a constructive and healthy manner?! Please get this girl some help, rather than sexualizing and exposing her to the dark underworld that is online webcams and video gigolos. She’s a minor, after all! Perhaps Alice and Hal think her anxieties will go away on its own, meanwhile, Betty is trying the only outlet that works for someone else. Depending on how far Betty goes into that world, will Riverdale be addressing child pornography? The actress may not be a minor, but Betty Cooper sure is!
Riverdale continues to bring up important political topics that relate to our daily lives, as well as the dark history that we prefer to forget. What exactly is Lodge Industries planning for the Southside? And just how far down the rabbit hole will Betty go? Can Archie find definitive proof of illegal activities for Agent Adams? The repercussions of defacing the Pickens statue will likely cause tensions to rise even higher between the two sides of the town. Penny Peabody (Brit Morgan) is making an appearance next week, and viewers will be on the edge of their seats to see the aftermath of the Serpents running her out of town due to illegal drug trafficking.