Riverdale :: Changing Loyalties

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This week’s Riverdale title, “Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!”, is a riff on the cult classic from director Russ Meyer and … there’s really nothing in the episode that I can find to relate to the film except that the movie focuses on three strong (and dangerous) women, something the Pussycats definitely are not. And the episode relegates Pussycat Mel to the background as Josie and Valerie get more story. If anything, the episode did focus more on the female characters this week, but none of them actually killed anyone (that we know of).

The main thrust of the plot was the tension within the Pussycats, especially when Josie learned Val was helping — and singing with — Archie. All because Josie refuses to let Val sing on the bridge of a song. So Val quits right before the big Riverdale High talent show to duet with Archie — who has some performance issues on stage by himself — but manages to step on Veronica’s toes in the process. Ronnie volunteered to duet with Archie after his disastrous audition after Val said she was a Pussycat first, but once she was out of the group, Archie welcomed her back, sending Ronnie over to the Pussycats.

But we learned the Pussycats aren’t just some high school band. Josie’s dad is a famed jazz musician and her mom, the town mayor, is making sure the band sticks to its branding, which apparently is three, powerful women of color. She doesn’t seem to blink an eye when Josie allows Veronica to join, because she’s Latina, but her dad isn’t so thrilled especially when they decided to perform a cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”. But the collaboration between Archie and Val didn’t quite work out so she went back to the Pussycats (and Ronnie was allowed to remain) and Archie overcame his stage fright and wowed the audience, even the football team that razzed him at the audition and when he took to the stage.

We didn’t see any of Cheryl Blossom this week, but Betty and Jughead are still on the case. In a scene reminiscent of the awkward dinner Veronica had at the Blossom mansion, Jughead had an equally awkward breakfast at the Cooper home, with Alice obviously not impressed with Betty’s choice of friend. I loved the way she kept emphasizing his name with such disdain, “JUG head.” But there actually was an ulterior motive for his being there: Betty must have known her mother would insist on showing Juggie the way to the bathroom (Alice obviously assumed he would steal a few things on the way), giving her an opportunity to take some pictures of her mom’s checkbook.

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An entry for a home for wayward girls (do they still have those?) led Betty to the person she’s been longing to see, her sister Polly. Finding her in the Garden of Silent Reflection, Betty was in for a major surprise — Polly isn’t crazy, she’s pregnant! Polly told Betty about how their parents made her and Jason break up, but on the morning of July 4th she had packed her things and was planning to run away with him. There was a car hidden down by Sweetwater River and the two were supposed to meet on the other side (which is why Cheryl was row, row, rowing that boat). But the Coopers were on to her little scheme and had people from the facility there to cart her away, eventually telling her that Betty didn’t want to see her, and telling Betty that Polly was insane. But, when someone like Alice Cooper makes sizable payments to such a facility, she also is notified when Polly gets visitors, and it’s not long before she arrives to drag Betty and Jughead home.

But not before confronting Polly who did give off a bit of the cray. Back home Betty started questioning her parents, accusing her father of stealing Sheriff Keller’s evidence about the murder and asking if he killed Jason. The response was Betty’s mother was chilling. What sounded at first like sobbing turned into almost mad laughter as she basically called her husband a weakling who would never have the stomach to pull the trigger. Could she about to be admitting, in a moment of hysteria, that she was the one who did it? Unfortunately, she said she wished she’d killed Jason, so perhaps that lets her off the hook but after the encounter, it left Betty questioning not only her sister’s sanity, but her parents’ and even her own. Luckily Jughead popped up at her bedroom window (no one noticed the ladder?) and consoled her … with a kiss! Betty and Jughead kissed!

But Betty broke the moment when she remembered the car Polly had told them about, much to Juggie’s disappointment. But they set out to the river’s edge and found the car, just as Polly had described, full of Jason’s belongings … and drugs. Betty and Jughead showed Sheriff Keller the pictures they took and he went to the location to find the car engulfed in flames. Would anything survive to prove Polly’s claims?

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This and That

  • I liked that Melanie’s drum had the classic Josie and the Pussycats logo, but did anyone notice the backdrop was the same cat shape as in the classic cartoon opening?
  • What’s Val’s story???
  • Archie is apparently a fan of DC Comics judging by the posters on his wall. Nice touch there, Greg Berlanti.
  • What’s up with Hermione Lodge? Is she using Fred Andrews, or does she genuinely care for him? She went so far as to forge Veronica’s signature to get him the contracting job for the old drive-in, but does she have something else up her sleeve, and what happens when her husband gets out of jail?
  • What is the significance of the werewolf mask Archie had and why does he imagine the entire football team wearing them while he’s on stage at the audition and before his performance?
  • The Sisters of Quiet Mercy facility where Polly is living is an actual facility in Vancouver called Riverview Hospital.
  • Who didn’t love Veronica’s condemnation of Archie when he tossed her aside for Val: “Ginger Judas!”
  • Betty and Jughead weren’t the only pair to share a kiss. Veronica caught Fred and her mother in a lip-lock, and Archie made his move on Val after the variety show was finally behind them.
  • With Val back in the Pussycats, will Josie (or her mother) allow Veronica to be in the band?
  • Who was watching Betty and Jughead from the bushes when they found the car … and who could have known they were going to be there in the first place?

What did you think of this week’s episode? Is Alice more guilty than she lets on? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

 

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