Did Cheryl kill Jason? That was the big question we were left with at the end of last week’s Riverdale, when Cheryl confessed to being guilty and was escorted away by Principal Weatherbee. This week’s episode picks up right where we left off, but we find Cheryl explaining she didn’t kill Jason. She loved her brother. What she IS guilty about is lying about the details surrounding his death. SCANDAL!
Cheryl says that when she last saw her brother, on that fateful July Fourth day, they had concocted an elaborate plan that included Jason leaving Riverdale for good. The two staged the boating accident so that Jason’s parents wouldn’t go after him, and Jason promised to contact her when he was safely on the other side of the river. Obviously, Jason never made it there. Even more obviously, Principal Weatherbee is totally skeptical, believing it’s just a cover-up for his murder. Cheryl adamantly claims she’s innocent, describing the gunshot that she heard on July Fourth. Why didn’t she come forward sooner? Um, would YOU do that if you were upset about your brother’s murder?
Meanwhile, Betty’s mom is positively giddy to find out that Cheryl is apparently guilty. She’s gotta inform the people! Betty doesn’t think her mom should be taking advantage of Polly and Jason to get this story out, so her mom suggests that Betty write the story, because she has such strong ideas. Challenge accepted. Archie, for his part, finally does come through with the confession he was going to make in the last episode. He goes to Weatherbee’s office and tells them that he heard the gunshot, which leads him to be questioned about what he was doing so early in the morning. Obviously not spilling ALL the beans, Archie says he was working on songs. He does almost reveal he was with Miss Grundy but covers at the last minute. It’s only a little consolation, because when his dad finds out he wasn’t with Jughead on a road trip like they previously planned, he totally gets grounded.
Miss Grundy confronts Archie, asking why he told Weatherbee about the gunshot. She’s worried that even though she wasn’t mentioned, it could jeopardize their relationship. Music lessons? Suspended! What’s not suspended? The school newspaper, which Betty convinces Jughead to reboot. She thinks people want to hear Jughead’s story — you know, the one we’ve been hearing him “write” since the pilot — and surprisingly, Jughead agrees. Betty tells him to interview Dilton Doiley, who also happened to be at the river the night Jason disappeared.
Veronica, it turns out, is having issues of her own. She goes on a date with Chuck Clayton, and they have a sweet talk followed by a make-out session in Pop’s parking lot. (Complete with a selfie!) She’s nonchalant when Betty asks her about her date, though, but then Cheryl shows up and, well… let’s just say that everyone at school gets a picture of Veronica and Chuck with something photoshopped over Veronica’s face. Veronica is understandably upset, and wants revenge. Betty suggests that she tell Weatherbee, or at the very least, let her write about it in a journalistic revenge way. Veronica is having none of that, though. She goes straight to the locker room (basically a chance for us to see #HotArchie half-naked) and confronts Chuck about the picture, but he couldn’t care less. Ugh. Boys.
But Betty comes through. She gets a group of girls together and calls in Veronica, telling her that all of them were harassed by members of the football team. One girl in particular, Ethel (shout out to Stranger Things‘ Barb Holland!) mentions that Chuck started rumors about her after just 10 minutes of conversation. She tells them about a secret book — ya know, like Regina George’s “burn book” — that the guys use to keep track of their “success.” But Cheryl overhears and announces Jason, former captain of the football team, would NEVER have acted like that.
Looks like Cheryl is about to be owned, because the girls get a hint of where that book actually is. Ethel finds the book in a supply closet and they find Polly’s name under Jason’s “conquests,” which leads Cheryl to admit maybe she didn’t know her brother that well after all. Betty has a plan on how to get revenge for the book. She puts on her darkest, most awesome makeup (and most revealing outfit) and shows up at Pops, where Chuck is. It doesn’t take a lot for Chuck to agree to meet with her, and Betty suggests they meet up at Ethel’s place. When Chuck shows up, Veronica meets him, and tells him her and Betty plan to share him. To the hot tub they go!
Betty gives Chuck a muscle relaxer via a drink, hoping it will get him to tell the truth about the burn book And man, Betty? She’s NOT letting anyone push her around. Chuck is all truthful about what happened to Veronica, but Betty won’t let up on “torturing” him about the information until Veronica stops her. Betty has ISSUES. I mean, she’s hot and all, but she’s got issues. (Seriously, who pours a bottle of maple syrup on someone?!)
Later, Veronica brings up how much Betty acted like Polly during the “interrogation,” but Betty claims she doesn’t fully remember it. Either way, Chuck got a lesson, right? Oh yeah, he did. The group was cut from the football team, and Jughead, in a voiceover, reveals that it would have consequences for weeks. As for Betty and Veronica’s friendship? Well, we can safely say that after this particular situation, there’s nothing these two don’t trust each other with. The burn book is literally burned, and Cheryl even apologizes for Jason hurting Polly. Maybe Cheryl DOES have a heart, after all!
Where is Archie in all of this? He’s getting a favor from Cheryl, which involves sitting in on the Pussycats rehearsal. Why does he want to be there so badly? Archie wants the band to play his songs. Josie tells him about his “white male privilege” (GO JOSIE) and says she doesn’t think his songs will fit the band’s aesthetic. So Archie instead helps them with a troublesome lyric, and it turns out, they LIKE Archie’s songs. Yay!
Dilton is found by Jughead, who questions him about July Fourth. Dilton is less than helpful with information, but it turns out one of the Boy Scouts from his troop is — when Jughead asks him, the kid mentions Dilton shot the “gun heard round the world” on July Fourth while teaching them how to shoot. But Dilton begs him not to talk about his involvement, and offers up a “better story.” What story? Dilton admits he saw Miss Grundy’s car by the river. So where does this leave Jughead? He’ll do anything to protect his friend, but there’s not much he can do if the secrets get out…