From an historical perspective, this week’s Riverdale episode titled “The Lost Weekend” bears very little connection to the source of the title, a book and a movie of the same name which deals with the lead character on an alcoholic binge. The bulk of episode does take place on a weekend night and does involve some underage drinking, but that’s about it.
The weekend in question is a Saturday on which Betty decides to throw Jughead a surprise birthday party, something any good girlfriend would do … except she’s just learning it’s Jughead’s birthday and he’s been quite clear that he hates even thinking about his birthday, much less celebrating it. Even after being warned by Archie that it’s not a good idea, Betty plows ahead, planning a small soirée with their inner circle of friends … and to Jughead that means him, Betty and Archie, not Veronica, Kevin (plus his “boyfriend” Joaquin) and Ethel (and Reggie is still far on the outside of this group for some reason).
Of course word travels fast in Riverdale High and it isn’t long before Cheryl finds out about the shindig and plots to bring her own brand of mayhem to the party (along with the newly un-suspended Chuck, who is looking to get back at Betty for that little incident in the hot tub). The day started out fine with Betty and Jughead taking in a double feature of John Landis movies, a yearly tradition that only Archie was privvy to, and then back to Archie’s for the surprise. A stunned Jughead was more than a little disturbed by Betty’s sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday” (very Marilyn Monroe-esque), but did anyone else catch that the cake was in the design of a burger?! Many viewers have wondered when we’d see Juggie eat a burger, and … well, he didn’t even get a minute to partake in the cake version of one.
It wasn’t long before Cheryl and her entourage barged in, and instead of tossing them out, an already inebriated Archie saw the keg on Moose’s shoulder and told them to join the party. Bad move, Archie, really bad move. The result was Jughead isolating himself in another room, and it only got worse when his dad showed up. But Jughead actually seemed a bit happier to see that his dad even bothered, and FP advised him that Betty was a keeper.
But being completely overwhelmed by everything, Jughead verbally lashed out at Betty, telling her he’s just wired differently, he’s the weirdo and she’s the good girl (but he’s about to get another surprise about that topic), and they’re just on borrowed time. It seemed like the end for our favorite love birds, but then Cheryl decided the party needed a little bit of her own version of Truth or Dare, this time everyone would just reveal their darkest secrets.
The best part of the game was Cheryl coming after Veronica who calmly turned the whole thing back on Cheryl and even suggested a bit of “twincest” in her relationship with her brother. Yes, she went there! Then it was revealed that Miss Grundy’s car was seen at the river on July 4th … and that Archie was there too, so everyone put two-and-two together, but it was Chuck who really brought things to a screeching halt when he told everyone about “Dark Betty,” dressed like a prostitute, thinking she was Polly, almost drowning him until he said what she wanted to hear. It was enough to set Jughead off, punching Chuck in the face but ending up getting flung across the room. Luckily FP stepped in to break things up before they got too destructive and told everyone to go home. But he stopped Jughead and told him not to screw things up with Betty, and they did talk and reconcile. Whew, that was a close one!
With Jughead’s birthday being the focus of the episode, there were only little tidbits of other storylines to deal with.
- Veronica had to decide whether or not to make a statement regarding her father’s character that could help secure him an early prison release. But after all she learned about him last week, she had no plans to stick up for him. Archie’s news that the Blossoms are the reason Hiram went to prison in the first place helped change her mind, and sent her on a new investigative adventure.
- Why and what have the Blossoms been paying to the Lodges for the past 75 years? This is our first hint that the Lodge family has been around in Riverdale as long as the Blossoms and the Coopers.
- Are Archie and Veronica now an item? If so that would certainly help allay any fears Juggie may have of Archie wanting Betty back.
- Where did Betty get that awesome Jughead crown sweater???
- Alice seems like a changed person now that she’s tossed Hal out on his ear, softening her stance on Jughead, and eager to be an advisor on the school’s newspaper. But, after spying on Archie’s house with binoculars (appointing herself the neighborhood watch) we also know now that she has a history of sorts with FP, and that she is also from “the wrong side of the tracks.” Which opens up a whole new discussion about her abortion. Could the baby have been FP’s?
- We have to ask ourselves if Betty is a bit off-kilter. Her interaction with Chuck in the lunchroom led to her digging her nails into her palms so deeply that she left marks that were just painful to look at. Is she a rage beast ready to snap? Perhaps the relationship with Juggie will keep her balanced.
- For the first time this season, Jughead took off his hat during his make up conversation with Betty at Pop’s! And Betty was still wearing that sweater!
- Is Joaquin really falling for Kevin? He seemed a little put off when he was trying to have a moment with Kevin and FP barged in with some snide comments. But will his feelings for Kevin cloud his job with the Serpents?
- It was interesting that Val, who has made it quite and embarrassingly clear that she is done with Archie, turned up at the party with Melody. But where’s Josie been hiding?
- Veronica decided to speak on her father’s behalf after a letter sent by her father inferred that Hermione was in deeper than Ronnie realized. But when asking Smithers if her father was a good man — to which Smithers refused to answer — and if her mother was good, to which he answered “unequivocally,” that changed her mind. She did it for her mother, not her father, but that decision could turn around and bite her.
- Jughead’s “Oh, it’s Kevin” during an awkward hug at his party was hilarious.
- Fred’s sojourn out of town to finalize the divorce with his ex-wife is what led to the house being free for the party. So after teasing us with meeting Archie’s mom, we finally got our first glimpse of Molly Ringwald … during the episode’s final fifteen seconds! Which was basically shown in the previews last week!
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.