Riverdale :: Jingle Jangle, Baby

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To quote Cheryl Blossom, Riverdale, “You’re a stone cold bitch.” I mean, come on, first after barely using Reggie Mantle last season, now he finally gets some screen time and … he’s a drug dealer?! And even worse, the drug of choice it seems is something called Jingle Jangle. Any longtime fane of “The Archies” knows that’s the title of one of their hit songs from back in the day! So now Riverdale has taken a silly love song and turned it into an illicit drug that comes in what looks like Pixy Stix?! This is just too much for me to handle! Let’s get these terrible images out of our heads by taking a look at the original music video for “Jingle Jangle”.

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Okay, maybe that was even more disturbing. Moving on …

With the murder of Miss Grundy and the attempted murder of Fred Andrews, poor Archie is falling apart, spending his nights sitting up to protect his dad (Mom went back to Chicago already?) and going through his daily routine at school. And now he’s hitting up Reggie for something to help keep him awake? Reggie bringing the Jingle Jangle to Archie while wearing a black mask as a prank was not the best idea, but also showed him that perhaps Archie was wound just a little too tight to handle any more stimulation.

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And he’s convinced the incidents with his dad and Miss Grundy are related, even though no one else does. The evidence doesn’t hold up. Two different murder weapons, two different motives (robbery vs a crime of passion), and an airtight alibi for Grundy’s ex proves that he is not trying to exact revenge on Archie for his fling with the music teacher. But we still have no real clue as to who the killer is (unless Fred’s dream about the Blossom family was a clue … I’m still puzzled by that shot of the deceased Clifford turning and staring into the camera).

And after first accusing her mother, Veronica then accused her newly returned father for putting the hit on Fred (this was before the news of Miss Grundy was announced). Hiram assures Ronnie had nothing to do with trying to kill Fred, but she still has some issues with her parents including the letter Hiram sent her threatening Hermione if Ronnie didn’t testify on his behalf. Surprise, Hermione admitted to writing the letter because it was the only way she could get Veronica to testify. Ronnie seemed to buy the explanation but I don’t think she’s going to let them off that easily.

Meanwhile Jughead is a mess worried about his dad who is facing 20 years in prison IF he takes a plea deal. If the case goes to trial, he could get up to forty years. Some of FP’s Serpent friends suggest Juggie speak with a lawyer they know, Penny Peabody, who made it through college and law school thanks to the Serpents. She tells Jughead to get the victim’s family to offer forgiveness in front of the court and that could reduce his sentence. The advice came as a favor. Unfortunately, Jughead may have just gotten himself into some deep trouble if Penny ever calls in that favor (and FP warned him to not speak to her again).

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But can they get Cheryl and her mother to offer that forgiveness. Umm, that’s a big fat no. But Betty has an ace up her sleeve — the video of Cliff killing Jason. Should Cheryl choose not to help Jughead’s father, that video will go viral in a matter of minutes, and if Cheryl thought she’s just survived the darkest period of her life, she’s terribly wrong. Cheryl agrees to testify on the condition that she gets any copies of the video Betty has. She agrees but Betty needs one more thing — the Vixens cheerleading team to perform at Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe.

Cheryl does testify, actually perjures herself when her words of forgiveness don’t sway the judge, lying that Clifford threatened to do harm to Jughead, and the judge decides to take these newly extenuating circumstances into consideration. FP may not be spending any time behind bars. But why did Betty need the Vixens at Pop’s? Because ever since Fred was shot, the town’s landmark eatery has been labeled “Death Diner” (it was spray painted on the wall). Appealing to the mayor to make the joint a landmark didn’t work. She was perfectly fine with the place going under. And then word got out that Pop was selling … to an anonymous buyer.

Well that set off all kinds of bells and whistles for Veronica who accused her father of making the purchase just like he did the drive-in. But he didn’t. Turns out Pop sold the place to a liquor store chain. Pop, say it ain’t so! Betty was not about to allow that to happen because the place means so much to her and her friends, so a benefit is in order. Which is why she needed the Vixens to perform. She also promoted an appearance by Josie and the Pussycats, much to their surprise. Josie’s mom, the mayor, would flip out if she even knew Josie was in Pop’s, plus she was one Pussycat short. Cheryl quickly volunteered and the trio performed a 50s-style version of “Milk Shake” for the assembled crowd.

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With the diner packed, Pop had some great news. With the town’s support he will be able to keep the Chock’lit Shoppe open for many years to come, and with a sizable donation from Lodge Industries he’ll even have a cushion should any more disasters befall the joint. What no one, except Pop, knows is that Hiram DID buy the diner and agreed to let Pop continue running the place if he kept the secret. Hermione seemed quite pleased with her husband’s deception, and he was equally pleased with her loyalty, lying about writing the letter to protect him from Veronica’s wrath. Ooooh, this is getting juicy!

And Archie is finally getting some sleep now that he has a gun. Unfortunately, that sleep may be more uneasy as two more victims fall to the masked man — RIP Moose and Midge! And what happened to Smithers? Did Hiram actually fire him because he knows way too much dirt and doesn’t want him spilling the beans to Ronnie?

And I forgot to mention last time that the show is still continuing to use movie titles as episode titles. The season premiere, “A Kiss Before Dying” is the title of a movie from 1991 with Matt Dillon and Sean Young but I couldn’t find any connection. Then I discovered there is another movie from 1956 with the same title about a college student who murders his girlfriend and makes it look like a suicide. He tries to cozy up to her sister with the hope of marrying her but she puts the pieces together and tries to avenge her sister and save her own life. So, could this be a clue that the killer is someone that Archie already knows? Come to think of it, Betty’s dad Hal has been conspicuously absent, only seen briefly in the premiere (although actor Lochlyn Munro has blue eyes). I thought I had cracked the case.

This week’s episode is “Nighthawks” a 1981 film starring Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams and Rutger Hauer, which does involve a drug raid, murder and corrupt cops. So could Sheriff Keller, who doesn’t really seem all that on the ball about catching Fred’s attempted killer, be the masked man? But why would he want to kill Miss Grundy? Could he be her ex? Probably reaching a bit, but it’s fun to speculate. Tell us some of your theories!

What did you think of this episode premiere? has Jughead gotten in over his head? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

 

 

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