Betty, Jughead, Archie, and Veronica leave Riverdale for a romantic getaway, while Hiram makes drastic business deals.
In The CW’s Riverdale 2×14, Hiram (Mark Consuelos) is unable to get away for the weekend with his family due to business. He suggests that Veronica (Camila Mendes), Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) go to their lake house for the weekend and make it a relaxing getaway. Hiram has ulterior motives and makes several business deals in their weekend away. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) drops a bombshell of information on Jughead which causes tension between the core four. They deal with the secret Betty kept from Jughead about her kiss with Archie, although a bit unconventionally. Andre (Stephan Miers) keeps a close look out for the teenagers at the lake house, but things take a dangerous turn when they’re robbed at gunpoint.
Back in Riverdale, Hiram makes a shocking business deal by purchasing the Riverdale Register from Hal (Lochlyn Munro), and seemingly settles the debts of the Sunnyside trailer park residents, causing Jughead and Betty to become increasingly suspicious of his motives. Josie (Ashleigh Murray) reveals to Kevin (Casey Cott) that their parents are having an affair. We see another side of Cheryl as Toni (Vanessa Morgan) initiates an unlikely friendship. Chic (Hart Denton) continues to cause friction in the Cooper household as Jughead becomes suspicious of the Cooper’s new guest. The Riverdale writers balance multiple storylines and pack a ton of information into this week’s episode!
Here to discuss Hiram’s decision to purchase the Sunnyside trailer park and the Riverdale Register, some of our favorite ships, Cheryl’s vulnerable side, and more is our roundtable:
Maggie (@jugsangel) – wannabe Veronica Lodge with a passion for fictional character analysis.
Bre (@NancyRiverDrew) – Almost graduate, journo, Team Bughead, likes to say she’s a Betty, but she’s probably more of an Ethel.
Kelsey (@MsKelsey_H) – Writer, editor, and lipstick connoisseur.
Jeanette (@Twirl4meK) – Sales associate, Howard alum, Disney fanatic, television aficionado.
Heather (@xoheatherkw) – Quality control scientist, writer for TV After Dark, dog mom, and fangirl extraordinaire.
1. What was your reaction to Veronica and Jughead’s solution to level the playing field regarding the kiss that Betty and Archie shared?
Maggie (@jugsangel): Honestly the whole thing was just really funny to me. It started with Veronica’s misunderstanding of what Betty and Jughead were arguing about when they were all talking about the “fancy neighbors” and then it just escalated. To be completely honest I don’t even think Jughead was being 100% serious when he went on about kissing Veronica, you can see it by the reaction he had when she walked towards him. I guess the kiss could be seen as petty, but it’s an amount of it that I don’t mind, seeing Archie’s and Betty’s reactions made me crack up a little bit as well. Overall I didn’t take it too seriously.
Bre (@NancyRiverDrew): Those were some of the most cringe-worthy seconds on television. It was just a ridiculous stunt to generate talk about the show, but it is so high school of them. I do not see any chance of a Jeronica (not “Vughead”) relationship, so I don’t know if it is exactly even-stevens. But it led to that scene in the woods where Jughead and Archie talk about Betty and Veronica kissing in the pilot, and that was kind of funny (It’s okay, Jughead, I didn’t get it either).
Kelsey (@MsKelsey_H): I thought this was a super weird way to justify the Jeronica kiss in the promo for the episode, just like they did for the B&V kiss in the pilot. Look, the EPs are smart. They needed a big, splashy promo to generate interest in a show coming off a long break. So they decided that the thing that would enrage/excite shippers to get them to tune back in. So the writers must have had to write around that mandate from above and never really got it.
Jeanette (@Twirl4meK): Laughter. Veronica clearly thought she was doing Bughead a favor because she assumed the tension between them was about the Barchie kiss (when really it was about her dad and the SoDale project and Jughead’s attempt to sleuth it out). But then even though Jughead had told Betty the kiss itself didn’t really bother him, apparently it DID, because he sure was staring Archie down as he was insisting on kissing his girlfriend in front of him. As in a kind of, “You had mine now I get to have yours” kind of way. Veronica was right when she said there was a lot of testosterone at play there. Boys…
Heather (@xoheatherkw): I don’t understand why Veronica and Jughead thought it was a good idea. Their kiss was under entirely different circumstances than Betty and Archie’s kiss, mainly that they were broken up from their respective significant others and Jughead and Veronica were already in relationships for their kiss. I just think it was for the sake of adding unnecessary drama to the show, but that’s Riverdale!
2. Hiram gave the Southside community a gesture of goodwill by settling any back rent that was owed, but Betty and Jughead had differing opinions of Hiram’s actions. Do you have any new theories on what Lodge Industries has for the Southside (and now the Riverdale Register)?
Maggie: I think my theory stays the same, Hiram’s trying to take over the Southside and maybe even the Northside. They’ve already taken Sierra McCoy out of her job as Mayor so I could see Hiram maybe going in for her place. I agree with what Jughead said about the Register, Hiram most likely bought it to make sure there wasn’t going to be any bad press written about him, which is a smart move.
Bre: I think now that Hiram bought The Register, Betty and Jughead are on the same page, because now Hiram can control what The Register reports. Especially with Betty and Jughead suspended from The Blue & Gold, he has a monopoly on what information is getting to the public. Maybe Alice will team up with them like in season one, and they’ll create their own Riverdale news website instead. Working at The Register could possibly provide a glimpse into what the Lodges are actually doing, though, too. Clearly, they are looking to buy up the Southside (though I’m still confused with what money since Hermione and Veronica were struggling financially in season one) and develop it. That might force many Southsiders from town, but I feel like there is something even more conniving the Lodges are planning.
Kelsey: It’s SUPER suspicious. I think Hiram’s going to try and gentrify the neighborhood, and get the Serpents to go along with it by making them his own personal goon squad.
Jeanette: I don’t have any specific ideas, but I’m kind of on Jughead’s side on this. There’s clearly something fishy and potentially sinister about this because from what we’ve seen of Hiram, he doesn’t do anything purely out of goodwill or the goodness of his heart. There’s going to be strings attached to him buying out the trailer park and the Serpents who live there. In a way, he kind of “owns” them now. And buying out a newspaper while in the middle of controversy? That’s just textbook “shady businessman” right there.
Heather: I was not expecting Hiram to purchase the Riverdale Register, although I can see why he did. Jughead is definitely onto Hiram with controlling what’s printed in the news so that Hiram can continue his plans for the Southside and not worry about bad press. I’m not sure what his endgame is for the Southside, or if he wants to tear down the trailer park to build something else? It’s a strange way to go about it by smoothing things over right now by settling their debts. The only thing I can think of is if Hiram needs to purchase more land in the Southside for his ultimate goal, then he’s waiting for everything to be in place before he reveals his plans.
3. They packed a ton of information into this week’s episode with other series regulars like Cheryl, Kevin, Josie, and FP. What was your favorite storyline, and why?
Maggie: My favorite storyline was Cheryl’s, there’s so much to her as a character that hasn’t been explored. And since the last season, we know she is the way she is for a reason and it’s actually just to hide how hurt she truly is. I liked how in this episode we got to see her walls coming down and we saw her open up to Toni which was really nice. I hope we get to see more of her in the next episodes and I hope her walls keep lowering and she keeps getting the support she needs from friends because she clearly isn’t getting any of that at home with Penelope.
Bre: I am not sure I had a favorite storyline, but it was nice to see the kids hanging out together and going to the movies like regular teenagers. B&V were back and shopping together, and Archie and Jughead were playing catch and talking. I liked the friendship development between Josie and Kevin. And it was good to see Cheryl finally open up to someone.
Kelsey: My baby, Cheryl for sure. I mean, Penelope has always been trash but now we know for sure she’s bigoted. Honestly, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was made clear that Cheryl has always been attracted to girls. There’s an old myth that women who have been sexually assaulted “turn gay” because of it, and I was afraid that was going to be Cheryl. Instead, Cheroni is so close I can taste it!
Jeanette: Kevin and Josie and their parents. For one thing, Mayor McCoy and Sheriff Keller deserved to finally get called out for their behavior and dishonesty. For another thing, I hope this means we’ll get more Josie and Kevin friendship and screen time (especially if they eventually become step-siblings, a la Kelly and David on Beverly Hills, 90210).
Heather: I was pleasantly surprised by Cheryl’s character growth this episode, without a doubt. We finally get to see a look into why she puts up this tough exterior and hurts others first so that she won’t open herself up to be hurt first. Penelope doesn’t have a healthy relationship with her daughter, and I can’t believe she would do that to her own daughter. Cheryl deserves all the hugs and healthy friendships and relationships. I was also amused by Midge and Moose trying to set up Kevin with one of the Southside Serpents. Maybe they’ll be successful in the future!
4. Hal shockingly sold the Riverdale Register to Hiram. Do you think Hal might be ‘in’ on Hiram’s business plan?
Maggie: I don’t think so. Hiram probably wouldn’t share his plans with someone he doesn’t trust or someone he’s not keeping an eye on constantly like he does with Archie. Hal probably agreed to sell the Register because he wanted the money.
Bre: No, I do not think Hal is in on Hiram’s business plan. If anything, he was just a pawn, but I am curious to know what made him sell. It had to have been blackmail of some sort. Maybe he threatened to reveal his affair with Penelope?
Kelsey: No, I think Hal’s probably being blackmailed. He had an affair with Riverdale‘s resident madam and Hiram found out and now Hiram’s pressing his advantage.
Jeanette: Not sure at this point, but it sure would be interesting to get a flashback or two to THOSE conversations…
Heather: I think Hiram forced Hal into selling it, either by blackmailing with knowledge of Hal’s affair or threatening his family. I really wish we got to see their conversation about selling the Register. I was also surprised that Hal is the sole owner (or majority owner) of the Register since Alice was completely blindsided by the sale. I don’t think Alice will go down without a fight though, so maybe Jughead and Betty will have help investigating Hiram.
5. Hiram and Andre are ruthless in protecting their own, and to an extent Archie as well. Do you agree with how they handle threats to the Lodge family?
Maggie: I agree that protecting their loved ones should be the number one priority but not on how they do it. I don’t think killing everyone who threatens them is the best idea, it was probably one of the reasons Hiram ended up in jail in the first place. In this episode, for example, I don’t think Andre should’ve killed that guy, they should have just held them until the police arrived.
Bre: Um, no. Cassidy was unarmed and running away. There was no reason to shoot. I think Archie knows this, too, no matter what he told Hiram afterward. The promo for next week says that Archie snitched and that Hiram will not be happy about it. Perhaps it has something to do with this? What is for sure: Archie is going to be put in a place where he will have to choose between the right thing and Hiram’s mafia ways.
Kelsey: It was handled poorly. And violently.
Jeanette: I don’t necessarily agree, but the Lodges are clearly Riverdale’s equivalent of a mob family, and that’s how mob families, especially in fiction, operate… What’s really interesting to me though, is how Archie has been responding to and processing this. After the shooting at Pop’s, he’s been wrestling with issues of powerlessness in the face of threat, and wanting to protect those he loves by any means necessary, and take his power back (the almost PTSD flashback he had when the Core 4 were being robbed and forced to kneel was a good nod to this). So I see how the kind of power and confidence Hiram wields, especially when it comes to protecting his own, could be tempting and even understandable for Archie.
Heather: No! It wasn’t even in self-defense. Archie caught the guy and then just handed him over to Andre, who presumably murdered him. I’m actually surprised that Hiram and their family haven’t been caught by the authorities, especially if they murder first and ask questions later. Eventually, it has to catch up with them and Andre will likely take the fall since he carried it out.
6. It didn’t take very long for Jughead to become suspicious of Chic. What would be your ideal solution to resolve the tension in the Cooper household?
Maggie: I think Alice and Betty should just sit Chic down and actually try to get some sort of information out of him. We didn’t get to see Alice this episode but I hope in the next one she tries to talk to Chic about what happened the night he murdered that guy. I just want to know more about Chic and his intentions, in this episode he was nothing but creepy to both Betty and Jughead. I don’t know if trying to talk to him would solve the tension in the Cooper household but they have to start somewhere.
Bre: Kick him out, or better yet, drop him off at the police station for a psychological evaluation with a note about him killing someone. I understand Alice’s guilt, but she is doing more to harm her family than help it right now. They’re having to hide dead bodies and Betty feels unsafe in her own home. The best thing Alice could do right now is to get both of her children counselors and find another place for Chic to live for now.
Kelsey: We really need to find out what really went down when Chic or Alice or both killed that guy. After that Chic will need to get going.
Jeanette: I think Alice and Betty need to figure out or find out just what the heck Chic wants or where he’s coming from and go from there. Because as of now he’s still a creepy enigma.
Heather: Alice and Betty should be more cautious about who they invite into their home. I understand why Betty originally brought Chic over, but he’s causing more harm than good with drug dealers being murdered and getting Betty working as a webcam girl. Honestly, the whole Cooper family could benefit from therapy. Chic had a difficult life growing up in the foster system and he would probably benefit the most from working through some of his issues.
7. This episode explored so many ships, whether they were already established or teasing some new pairings. What is your favorite ship (romantic, platonic, or family) on the show, and why?
Maggie: My favorite ship is Bughead. I’ve been shipping them since episode 3 of last season and I just love how much they do for each other, it puts them in complicated situations but they always come back from it and come back to each other. I genuinely think there’s nothing they wouldn’t do for one another, we’ve already seen Jughead help cover up a murder for Betty. They’ve had their fair share of issues this season but I always love seeing them work it out in the end, they work better as a team and I always love when they investigate things together and how well they balance each other out.
Bre: My favorite ship is Bughead because Betty and Jughead make a great team. They have an equality about them in their intellect, curiosity, and morality, but they also balance each other with their lighter and darker sides. They are there for each other and are learning to be honest with each other. Plus, they are just so cute together!
Kelsey: I really love the bonds between Bughead and Varchie. That scene in the woods between Archie and Jughead was nice anti-toxic-masculinity moment where they can just love and forgive each other. Plus the fact that they all love each other (platonically and romantically) is my favorite thing about the show.
Jeanette: I multi-ship the heck out of this show, and I like or love almost every dynamic, couple, and potential pairing. But my OTP is Falice, Alice and FP. The hinting and references to their shared past (“…the same mistakes we made!” “They weren’t all mistakes.” WHAAAT??) have been so tantalizing, and their chemistry in the present is just awesome. It’s clear they still have a soft for each other, which I can’t wait to see explored even more.
Heather: Bughead! I’ve shipped them from the beginning. Especially in season one, and now the second half of season two, they communicate well and lean on each other when they need help. They seem like polar opposites, but they share their underlying darkness and understanding of how to manage it. I honestly enjoy most ships on the show, and I’m really enjoying the possibility of FP x Alice, and now Cheryl x Toni this season. They all deserve happiness!
Final Verdict: Riverdale’s Bughead and Varchie survive a secret (and a home invasion) while Hiram continues to move forward in his business plans.
It was refreshing to see Riverdale focus on so many characters this episode, while still maintaining continuity. The core four solidified their friendships and romantic relationships, until that hiccup with Hiram going after the Riverdale Register. Archie caught one of the invaders, only to turn him over to Andre. Breaking and entering is a crime, but it shouldn’t be up to Andre to be judge, jury, and executioner, especially when no one was hurt. The Keller and McCoy families try to deal with their parents’ affair and how to move forward from their respective marriages. Chic is mysterious, as always, and Jughead starts to question Chic’s motives for staying with the Coopers. Cheryl puts up a tough exterior, and we finally see why she walls herself off from forming meaningful relationships. We can only hope to see Cheryl grow as a person from opening up to Toni.
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The writing was phenomenal this episode. It’s difficult to juggle a larger cast of series regulars, and this was the most balanced episode that Riverdale has had in a while. We got to see more of Cheryl, Kevin, Josie, and FP, which has been lacking in recent episodes. The Riverdale writers balanced multiple storylines and teased a few new pairings- Cheryl x Toni, Kevin x Fangs (possibly), and the friendship between Kevin and Josie. The writers were able to focus on exploring new stories as well as continuing the stories for other main characters like Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and Archie. It’s a delicate balance, and we hope that they continue to showcase all the series regulars equally – or as equally as possible.
In the next episode, Jughead continues his investigation into Lodge Industries and what Hiram could be planning for the Southside community. It appears that Archie is giving Jughead information, and is accused of snitching on Hiram by Veronica. We finally get to meet Polly’s twins, Juniper and Dagwood. Cheryl and Toni grow closer, as Penelope becomes suspicious of their friendship. And the drama continues to unfold between the Cooper and Blossom families. Luckily, we only have to wait a week until the next episode of Riverdale!