In the ‘Riverdale’ recap, the investigation into Jason’s murder begins while Archie tries to deal with the fallout between himself, Betty and Veronica…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Following a debut episode that introduced all the moving parts inside ‘Riverdale’, the series quickly shifted course this week as the murder mystery behind who killed Jason Blossom started to unfold.
Jason’s death was originally ruled an accident after he allegedly tipped over a boat he occupied with his sister Cheryl on the Sweetwater River on the morning of July 4. She returned to shore but he never did.
The truth was much, much different after Kevin and his secret rendezvous fling Moose found his body washed up out of the water with a bullet hole lodged directly in the middle of his forehead.
From there it didn’t take long for everybody to start pointing fingers at each other — from Cheryl directing her rage at Betty’s hospitalized sister, who happened to be Jason’s ex-girlfriend to Reggie looking at social outcast Jughead because his brooding demeanor must mean he’s also containing a whole lot of murderous rage.
And then there’s Archie Andrews, who is holding onto a secret that may help to find the real killer, but he can’t tell a soul because he heard a gunshot on the morning Jason was killed only because he was mid-coitus with his music teacher Miss Grundy.
Between the secrets being withheld and the accusations getting flung around, ‘Riverdale’ just got mired in a whole lot of drama.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Riverdale’ titled ‘Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil’…
The night after the first formal of the year, Archie is haunted by a sleepless night — both dealing with the fallout from losing his best bud Betty after she was placed in the friend zone and also because he heard a gunshot on the morning Jason Blossom wound up dead but he can’t tell anybody because he was in the middle of a tryst with his high school music teacher at the time. To make matters worse, Archie’s attempts to reach out to Betty are rebuffed with extreme prejudice so he’s really all alone.
At school, Veronica does her best to make an overture to Betty — complete with cupcakes and a pedicure — to apologize for spending five minutes in heaven with Archie. Veronica forgives but can’t quite forget, especially after hearing Archie belt out a tune at lunch that day and realizing that he’s not singing about her. Betty’s best attempts to rebuild the friendship with Archie are failing miserably because she clearly still wants so much more.
It also doesn’t help that her mother Alice seemingly hates everybody she’s friends with or attracted to short of her gay best friend Kevin. Things get so volatile that when Veronica finally snaps and hits Betty with the hard truth — that Archie’s just not into her and it had nothing to do with their time alone in a closet during a high school party — she fires back with both barrels.
In other words, Betty opts to befriend Cheryl Blossom while shutting out Veronica at the same exact time.
Meanwhile, Archie is still tormented about the information he knows about the morning Jason was killed yet Miss Grundy insists that he keep it a secret for both their sakes. To make matters worse, he can’t even vent to his best friend Betty because she’s shunned him after that awkward confession of love a week ago.
Archie ultimately cozies up to Cheryl Blossom during biology class to avoid awkward encounters with Betty or Veronica and they proceed to slice and dice a frog together but despite her crocodile tears, she seems all too happy to carve up the dead amphibian with a swing of her scalpel.
As Principal Weatherbee and Sheriff Keller (who is Kevin’s father) inform the students that an investigation is underway to find Jason’s killer, everybody in school suddenly becomes a suspect whether they are guilty or not. Cheryl’s frog dissection with a smile has everyone looking at her from the corner of their eyes while ultra jock Reggie stares down Jughead because he fits the profile of socially awkward serial killer.
Reggie’s jabs eventually force Archie to step into defend his former friend but his gallant effort to spare Jughead ends with him wearing a black eye the next day.
It’s clear Jason Blossom’s murder is going to leave more than a few bruises around Riverdale.
Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid
Archie’s guilt keeps carrying back into the orbit of Miss Grundy, who constantly tries to talk him out of going to the police to confess what he heard on the morning of Jason’s disappearance. When the two of them get a little too close for comfort including some incidental hand holding — directly in front of the music room window — Jughead wanders by and finally figures out why Archie ditched him for their summer road trip this year.
While we still don’t know the full extent of what caused a rift between Archie and Jughead, being blown off while he’s too hot for teacher seems to be a start.
So when Archie returns home from picking up dinner, Jughead confronts him about what he witnessed earlier that day. Archie confesses to Jughead about his illicit affair with Miss Grundy and how she’s doing her best to talk him out of telling the police what he heard that morning. Jughead believes that she has ulterior motives — namely protecting her own ass — but Archie refuses to give her up.
Judging by the nature of their relationship and Archie suddenly becoming attractive over the summer, it seems like Miss Grundy is hiding a lot more the affair they started a couple of months ago. Perhaps, Miss Grundy once had a thing for Jason Blossom before moving onto his younger doppelganger Archie during the summer?
At Betty’s house, she’s enjoying a makeover night with her new bestie Cheryl, who seems as sweet as apple pie until she starts grilling her about her sister Polly and the nature of her relationship with Jason. Remember, Jason and Polly dated but then the breakup was so bad that Betty’s sister ended up in a mental institution.
The questions start getting more and more personal until Cheryl finally explodes and accuses Polly of killing Jason. And for the first time, Betty stops being walked over and erupts by telling Cheryl to get the hell out of her house before she winds up on a slab right next to her brother.
Speaking of her brother, Betty’s mother Alice shows up at the coroner’s office with an envelope full of money to get the full autopsy results on Jason before they are released to the public. Is this just for a good story in the local paper or does she have a vested interest in knowing how he died before everyone else?
Pep Rally Wake
Following Jason’s death, Cheryl helps to organize a pep rally to memorialize her brother complete with a performance by Josie and the Pussycats and a dance number by the River Vixens. The Riverdale Bulldogs football team even makes an appearance because why the hell not?
Actually, Archie leading the charge for the varsity team wearing the same jersey that once belonged to Jason Blossom sends Cheryl running for the locker room as she’s haunted by visions of her brother when seeing his number on someone else. Also is anyone else picking up on some weird Jamie and Cersei Lannister vibes in those flashbacks with Cheryl and Jason?
Meanwhile, Archie’s pep rally is spent telling Miss Grundy that he can’t take it anymore — he’s going to confess to Principal Weatherbee and the sheriff the next morning and she’s welcome to join him but he can’t hold this inside any longer.
Before leaving, Archie even makes amends with Jughead while telling his old friend that he will confess what happened on the morning of Jason’s disappearance and the two of them resign to rebuild their friendship over many burger’s at Pop’s Chock-lit Shoppe.
Back in the locker room, Veronica chases after Cheryl and consoles her as she mourns for her brother, but that’s not all she does. Chery’s moment of emotion also leads to a confession of sorts…
“You don’t understand. He was supposed to come back”
Now that certainly sounds like Jason didn’t exactly fall out of the boat but instead that entire scene was staged, which would eventually lead to his triumphant return days later. Now he’s dead and perhaps that was never part of the plan?
While all of this is going on, Betty witnesses Veronica’s compassion and that leads to her giving their friendship another chance. The two of them even end up back at Pop’s later that night for milkshakes when they run into reunited friends, Archie and Jughead.
After a lot of tension between these four through the first two episodes, they end up sitting down at the same booth and share a few smiles and some delicious ice cream together. Of course judging by what happens next, happiness may be on short supply in Riverdale soon enough.
Guilty as Charged
The next day, Archie is prepared to go to confess to Principal Weatherbee and Sheriff Keller when they blow right past him as they leave the front office. They head straight for the biology classroom to confront a suspect in Jason’s murder.
For a moment it appears that they are looking directly at Jughead before Cheryl rises from her seat and offers up her wrists for a set of handcuffs. Cheryl already knew they were coming for her because Jason’s autopsy was completed and it revealed something rather interesting — he didn’t die until a week after he first disappeared on July 4.
Cheryl offers no excuses other than to proclaim herself guilty to the shock and awe of all her classmates.
The song featured at the end of the episode was ‘Trouble’ by Cage the Elephant
‘Riverdale’ returns with a brand new episode next Thursday night at 9pm ET on the CW