Continuing the homage to classic movies with the episode titles, this week’s “The Last Picture Show” does bear some plot similarities to the classic 1971 film in which a younger man has an affair with an older woman, and the town’s movie theater closes down. And this week, Archie’s affair with Miss Grundy comes to a head as the truth is revealed.
That Betty Cooper is one plucky gal, taking on an investigation into Miss Grundy’s background after learning from Dilton Doiley that her car was also by the river the morning of July 4th. Putting two and two together, Betty knew that she and Archie must have been together, and a confrontation with Archie only confirmed her suspicions.
Betty set up an interview with Grundy for the school paper, and then dug into the deep, dark web, aka Google, to discover that Geraldine Grundy actually died seven years ago … and finally answering that question we’ve all had about why Miss Grundy is not the old lady of the comic books. RIP Miss Grundy. But if this woman is not Miss Grundy, who is she? And even though Archie is upset with Betty for doing all that digging, he still needs to know what he’s gotten himself into.
It turns out, at least according to her, that Geraldine’s name is actually Jennifer Gibson (something Betty learned after she and Veronica broke into her car and found an ID … who leaves a Driver’s License in their car? Oh, and they also found a gun.), she was in an abusive marriage, after getting beat up one too many times she divorced the man, fled town, changed her name, and here she is, teaching music and having inappropriate relationships with students. Archie buys it, but should he?
What he doesn’t know, and what Betty tells him after he relates Jennifer’s story, is that she also taught Jason Bloom. So after assuming she had that gun for protection from her ex, could she have actually used it on Jason? And if so, Sheriff Keller is going to have a heck of a time trying to determine who the shooter was since Betty — and her mother! — have handled the gun, first when Betty stole it, and later when Alice found it in her dresser drawer.
And that wasn’t all Alice found … she also went through Betty’s diary (aren’t those things supposed to have locks?) and read all about Archie’s affair, grabbed the sheriff and Archie’s dad, and confronted the pair when everyone else in town was at the local drive-in for the very last screening. Alice wanted Grundy/Gibson arrested, Archie swore he wanted the relationship as much as she did, and Betty threatened to turn herself in as a thief if her mother insisted on persecuting Archie and Jennifer. Betty won, Jennifer offered to leave town, and Archie is heartbroken, but will she leave and is she now prime suspect number one in Jason Bloom’s death?
That was the main focus of this week’s episode. There really was no new information about the Blooms, but we did get to delve a bit deeper into Jughead’s life as the closure of the drive-in and the sale of the property have hit him hard. Juggy places a lot of social importance on the drive-in as a local gathering place, but as Veronica points out with things like Netflix available, no one really needs to go to these places which is actually a sad commentary on a society which has become so insular, having no need to attend social gatherings anymore (and a drive-in is certainly a much different social experience than going to a movie theater).
The sale of the movie theater also revealed a bit more about Hermione Lodge, who works as a waitress at Pop’s but still lives a rather lavish lifestyle. Remember that satchel full of money she had a couple of episodes back? Turns out that was payment to Riverdale’s mayor for the drive-in property, a sale the town was told that went to an anonymous bidder. And somehow the town’s local gang is involved, while Archie’s dad was awarded the contract to tear down the drive-in.
Jughead’s pleas to save the property fell on deaf ears after talking to the mayor and Fred Andrews, and then we learned something truly heartbreaking about Juggy … he’s homeless. He doesn’t just work there, he lives in the drive-in’s projection booth. And now he has nowhere to go. After packing up his meager belongings, Jughead left the property, confronted by the leader of the gang … his father (Skeet Ulrich)!
One other thing happened this week that may or may not have ramifications down the road — Kevin Keller had a hot makeout session with one of the gang members, Joaquin, behind the concession stand. Can a gang member and the sheriff’s son have a meaningful relationship? It could be a dangerous situation for them both, unless Joaquin is just using Kevin.
While this episode left us on the hook as far as Jason Bloom’s death, it did give us quite a few more mysteries to ponder.
What do you think of Riverdale? Is “Miss Grundy” Jason’s killer? Where will Jughead go? Will Kevin find happiness or heartache? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.