‘Riverdale’ Recap ‘Chapter Seven: In a Lonely Place’: Snake in the Grass

In the latest ‘Riverdale’ recap, Jughead tries to reconnect with his father, Betty protects her sister Polly and Veronica gets revenge on her mother…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

The latest episode of ‘Riverdale’ spent the majority of the hour focused on the Jones family and it ultimately played out as one of the best of the season.

While Jughead Jones has been a central character all along, his father FP Jones is finally starting to make his presence known more but far beyond his status as one of the Southside Serpents doing back alley deals with Hiram Lodge.

Instead this week we learn how FP was once partners with Fred Andrews on a construction business only to wash it all away by constantly walking outside the lines of the law. FP’s downward spiral eventually lead to his wife leaving and taking their daughter with her while Jughead wanted so desperately to get away from home that he ended up sleeping in the drive-in theater’s backroom before moving into a janitor’s closet at the high school.

Some truly heartbreaking stuff between Jughead and his father and for any of you who have lived with an lifelong alcoholic, these scenes will ring true and very accurate to what often happens in real life.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Riverdale’ titled ‘Chapter Seven: In a Lonely Place’…

Father of Mine

Jughead doesn’t get much sleep these days but when he does manage to get a few winks, he dreams of an idyllic life spent with family and friends that looks very much like the ‘Archie’ comics best known before ‘Riverdale’ became a series. Of course, Jughead’s dreams soon turn to nightmares when he’s haunted by visions of Archie walking around with a knife in his back while making eyes at Betty, clearly feeling guilt over his new relationship with the girl next door.

Since the drive-in was torn down, Jughead has secretly been living in a janitor’s closet inside Riverdale High, but his latest trip to the gym showers to get ready for classes ends up with an encounter with his best bud Archie — this time without a knife in his back. It doesn’t take much for Archie to figure out Jughead wasn’t there after a morning workout — he’s been living in the school for weeks.

Of course, Archie wants Jughead to come stay at his house but they come up with another plan instead. Jughead desperately wants his family to get back together again and the only way to do that would be for his father to gain a steady job and quit drinking so his mother might consider moving back home with his little sister, Jellybean.

So Archie asks his father to take FP back on board at the construction company and Jughead tries to convince his dad to ask for forgiveness from being fired previously.

While it takes a little pride getting set aside, Fred hires FP back to work construction for his company.

An awkward encounter takes place the same day when FP runs into Hermoine, who is now handling the bookkeeping duties at Andrews Construction. One look at FP makes Hermoine believe he’s there for a shakedown after she allegedly didn’t pay him enough money for the Southside Serpents to drive down the value of the land where the drive-in once sat.

Thankfully, FP says that Hiram made good on his debts and he’s now trying to do the right thing by his son. FP wants a fresh start and even asks Hermoine to keep it from Fred that he’s a member of the Southside Serpents. This is his attempt to get his life back in order and Hermoine agrees to keep things quiet…for now.

After a first day at work, Fred, Archie, Jughead and FP go for dinner together at Pop’s where everybody starts to reminisce about the good old days.

Fred remembers his high school band — The Fred Heads — and FP looks back at his girl chasing days from being a teenager. Of course the good times can’t last forever because the tension ratchets up a few notches when FP insists on paying for the check and intimating that Fred still owes him one from a past encounter.

Back at the Andrews’ house after belting out a few songs together, Archie asks FP what his father did to him that he now owes him one. FP tells Archie that he helped Fred start his construction company and they were partners together until he was forced to live outside the law to provide for his family. When he got arrested, Fred bailed him out and then forced him to sign over his half of the company as restitution while also doing his best to keep the construction business from getting caught in his wave of destruction.

Archie’s father tells him a much different version of the same story — one where FP was out of control, getting arrested on a regular basis before stealing supplies from the job site that eventually led to his termination. Either way, there’s a long history between the Jones and Andrews families — some good, some bad but it’s clear they will be connected for quite some time to come.

Later that night, Jughead takes his father home after he knocks back one too many drinks and while trying to give him an update on his mom and Jellybean, FP passes out drunk on the count. Jughead really wants to give his father a second chance but FP is doing everything in his power to ruin it.

Polly Wants a Cracker

Polly going missing from her nun-induced reformation home has Betty concerned, especially considering how the Blossom family would surely react if they found out the convenient timing of her escape coupled with Jason’s car being torched simultaneously. It would surely point the finger in her direction as the top murder suspect in the case.

Betty shares all of this with her besties — while Jughead consoles her by putting his arm around her, which comes as a bit of a surprise to both Archie and Veronica. Jealousy is ugly, Archie.

Meanwhile, Betty fails to see one of Cheryl’s minions lurking in the background, which results in a Twitter bomb that claims Polly killed Jason along with a laundry list of accusatory hash tags. Once the Blossom family finds out, they demand that Sheriff Keller put out a search party to find Polly while Betty enlists all of her friends to do the same in an effort to not only protect her sister but to prove her innocent.

Rather than sit back and wait for Polly to be found, Alice Cooper goes on the offensive and holds a press conference to explain why her daughter was hospitalized after they discovered she was pregnant with Jason Blossom’s child.

Game changer!

The only problem is nobody knows where Polly is hiding until Betty enjoys a walk home with her new boy toy Jughead and realizes that this isn’t the first time her sister ran away. After planting a kiss on Jughead, Betty runs inside, goes up to the attic and finds her sister exactly in the same place where she disappeared when she was nine years old.

Betty promises to help her sister but needs Polly to stay hidden long enough to get some answers from their parents to make sure it’s safe she finally reveals herself. Unfortunately, Betty doesn’t get the answers she wants from her parents because Alice lies and says that Polly agreed to give up her baby for adoption, which is the exact opposite of what her sister said. According to Polly, it was Alice who demanded that she give up the baby without allowing her much of a choice in the matter.

That puts Betty back to square one in regards to what to do with her sister.

That’s when the Blossom family comes to the rescue. Cheryl extends an olive branch for her family to care for Polly and make sure she has everything she could ever need, which pleases Betty to no end. Sadly it’s Cheryl who sees through their rouse after her mother question her about Polly’s “habits” outside of school, which sends up a red flag that the Blossom’s plan on caring for the eldest Cooper daughter until she gives birth and then paint her as an unfit parent so they get the baby for themselves.

Cheryl rushes to tell Betty and Polly not to take the Blossom’s up on their deal and instead get as far away from them as possible or risk losing her baby forever. Finally it’s Veronica and Hermoine who come to the rescue by offering to keep Polly in their palatial apartment where she can have peace, quiet and no family bickering as she tries to get back on track before giving birth.

Meanwhile, the war between the Coopers and Blossom families is just getting started and will only get worse now that there is a child involved.

The Snake and the Mongoose

Veronica is still lashing out at her mother after finding out that she’s been cheating on her father with Fred Andrews, not to mention forging her name on documents that gave a lucrative construction contract to her new boyfriend’s company.

Retail therapy helps but what will really get Hermoine’s attention is clubbing on a school night with her wild friend (Josie), her gay friend (Kevin) and some muscled up arm candy (Reggie). The plan works to perfection when Veronica’s credit card is declined at the club, which means her mother had to call that in as a signal to come home and work things out.

Back at home, Veronica confronts her mother over everything that’s happened and Hermoine explains that things haven’t been good with Hiram for some time but going to prison only escalated the situation. Now she’s not sure what’s going on with Fred Andrews just yet but Hermoine agrees to tell Hiram about the deal to give him the bid for the construction at the site of the old drive-in theater.

It’s not perfect but it’s a step in the right direction to mend the fences torn down between mother and daughter.

Snake in the Grass

The police are still clutching at straws for Jason’s murder investigation but when they find Jughead’s own ‘True Detective’ style bulletin board put together at school, it gives them a lead to look into him a little bit more. Of course it doesn’t help that Jughead was the one who found Jason’s car, left it there, and then when the sheriff returned it was in flames.

It also turns out, Jughead has a juvenile record from a few years ago when he was accused of trying to burn down the elementary school. Of course, Jughead explains that he was just playing with matches but the result ended up as a strike on his record. Sheriff Keller also questions him about the tumultuous relationship he had with the football team where Jughead was often the subject of ridicule and bullying — including particularly rough torment from Jason Blossom.

It all adds up to a lot of circumstantial evidence but enough that the sheriff has to consider Jughead as a suspect.

That is until Fred Andrews saves the day by explaining that Jughead couldn’t have murdered Jason because he was working as part of his construction crew on the day the captain of the football team met his demise. Yes, Fred is lying and he even doctors some time cards to prove Jughead was there but he knows the kid wasn’t guilty and this was just a poor attempt at the sheriff’s department to railroad somebody from the wrong side of the tracks.

Outside the school, FP finally shows up — hours after he was called but only just now arrived following another all night bender — and he’s raging with anger about the police treating his son with such disrespect. FP is all about avenging his son but Jughead eventually talks him down.

FP is clearly upset that Fred had to come to Jughead’s rescue while he’s really stuck in a mode of self-loathing knowing that he let his son down yet again. Finally, FP makes a good decision for his son — he tells Jughead to go live with the Andrews family but just give him a month or two to clean up his act and he will put the Jones family back together again.

Jughead returns home with Archie while FP goes back to his place to drown his sorrows in a bottle of liquor. Before passing out on the couch, FP walks past his closet which is filled with jackets and his Southside Serpents cut but the one item that absolutely doesn’t belong there is a letterman’s jacket.

A letterman’s jacket belonging to Jason Blossom.

The same letterman’s jacket that was inside the car that Betty and Jughead found that was burned just hours later. The same letterman’s jacket that was covering up bricks of drugs that Jason was allegedly selling. This seems rather obvious that FP may have had something to do with Jason’s murder, but perhaps he was the connection for the drugs? Maybe Jason got in too deep with the Southside Serpents and they finally had to seek retribution?

Whatever the reason, Jason’s jacket definitely does not belong there and now there’s a brand new suspect in his murder.

SOUNDTRACK:

“I Can Feel You Now” by Wild Future

“Bury” by Unions

‘Riverdale’ is off for the next two weeks before returning on March 30 with brand new episodes.

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