An absent mother returns to Riverdale


The title of this week’s episode, “To Riverdale and Back Again”, was perplexing as all the others had been actual movie titles. Turns out this one is taken from a TV movie … based on Archie Comics characters! In the TV movie (also known as Archie: Return to Riverdale in the US, Archie’s Weekend Reunion in Australia and just Weekend Reunion in Britain) it’s Archie who return to his hometown fifteen years after graduation. In this episode, it’s Archie’s mother who returns just in time for homecoming.

It’s great to see Molly Ringwald as Mary Andrews, but she really wasn’t given a whole lot to do. Her surprise return to town with Fred gave Archie pause, wondering if the two were going to patch things up. But Mary seems fully aware of — and okay with — Fred’s relationship with Hermione Lodge, not to mention Archie’s budding relationship with Veronica. She even insisted on Hermione being her and Fred’s date to the Homecoming!


Meanwhile, as Cheryl Blossom prepares for the big night, she alerts Betty and the gang that Polly will be her date to the Homecoming, and that the pair will be running for the title of Co-Queens of the Homecoming. So everyone get out and vote! But Polly’s getting herself into a whole mess of trouble back at Thorn Hill. First she goes snooping around the east wing where Penelope and Clifford’s quarters are, spying Clifford’s really freaky wig room … which finally explains that nagging question I’ve had since the first episode about Clifford’s terrible wigs! I thought it was just a budget thing with the show, but it turns out Clifford Blossom has a wig for every mood, according to Cheryl.

And what is going on with Penelope? There is nothing comforting about her when she interacts with Polly, and all she seems to be feeding the girl is strawberry milkshakes. The way she says “drink your millkshake” would make me not want to drink the milkshake. And after Polly gets particularly nosy about the ring Jason gave her, Penelope gives her another shake that knocks her out, forcing Cheryl to attend Homecoming alone, having to concoct a lie to explain Polly’s absence. Not sure Betty was buying it though.


The real focus of the episode, however, was Alice Cooper’s drive to get to the bottom of Jason’s murder and her number one suspect is FP Jones. When she invites FP and Jughead to dinner, Betty thinks it’s a nice gesture to get to know the Joneses, but she soon realizes this dinner is going to turn into an interrogation. So she secretly invites her father to thwart her plans, and it just becomes another uncomfortable night at the Cooper home.

What Betty didn’t know what that Archie and Veronica also suspect FP had something to do with Jason’s death and were working with Alice to do some digging, with the dinner as a way to get FP out of his trailer so they can get in (thanks to that “key under the doormat”) and search the place. But they came up empty-handed. When the two finally arrived at the homecoming dance, Betty saw them talking to Alice and got suspicious. Confronting them, she was not happy to find out what they did, but Archie and Ronnie had to get on stage to perform.


What she didn’t know was Sheriff Keller and his officers were raiding FP’s trailer at that moment, completely ransacking the place (that FP had finally cleaned up!). Archie and Veronica again try to explain what they were doing at FP’s, and the clueless Jughead wanders into the conversation and then assumes Betty was in on the plan, only inviting them to her house so Archie and Ronnie could play Nancy Drew and a Hardy Boy. Kevin rushes in with the news of FP’s arrest for Jason’s murder after finding a gun hidden in the back of a closet, and Jughead rushes back to the trailer.

Back at home, Betty confronts her mother, who insists she did not tip off the police, but Betty tells her she is in no mood to deal with her at the moment. She leaves to go find Jughead. At Pop’s, Archie and Ronnie ask Pop if he’s seen Jughead and he says no but they aren’t the only ones looking for him. Betty is there too, and they have some startling news for her … the gun the police found was not in the trailer when they were there, so someone else planted it there and called the police to frame FP. But who? Could this be the work of Hiram Lodge?

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


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