In the ‘Riverdale’ recap, Veronica and Betty go after some slut shaming football players while Archie and Cheryl come clean about the morning of Jason’s death…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
That was the word uttered by Cheryl Blossom last week on ‘Riverdale’ that left everyone wondering exactly what she knew about her brother’s death after it was discovered that he didn’t die on the morning of July 4 but instead was shot and murdered a week later before his body was dumped in Sweetwater River.
When the sheriff and Principal Weatherbee came to speak to Cheryl, she extended her arms for the handcuffs that she felt would inevitably get clamped on, but to no one’s surprise she wasn’t actually the person who pulled the trigger to take her brother’s life.
Instead, Cheryl confessed to the plan that she concocted with her brother to fake his death so he could escape Riverdale and their overbearing parents.
According to Cheryl, Jason decided to leave town forever but the only way he knew he could get away from their parents was if they thought he was dead. So they orchestrated the plan to make it look like he drowned in the river and then washed up stream so his body was never found. Cheryl would pass along the proper details and then at some point in the future — within a month to be exact — Jason would contact her to let her know that he was OK and set up in a new place.
Obviously that call never came.
The only other information Cheryl could pass along was that she heard a gunshot the morning of Jason’s disappearance, but clearly that couldn’t have been the bullet that killed him because he didn’t die until a week later. Of course, no one seems to believe Cheryl considering she already lied so much about her brother’s death but before long somebody else comes forward to corroborate her story and that only stands to open a Pandora’s box full of information that will ruin a few more lives inside Riverdale.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Riverdale’ titled ‘Body Double’…
The Truth Shall Set You Free
Following Cheryl’s confession to the police, Archie finally decides to come forward and tell the authorities that he could back up her claim about the gunshot heard on the morning of July 4 before Jason disappeared.
What Archie fails to tell the police is that he was there that morning with his teacher Geraldine Grundy getting a few private tutoring sessions sans clothing. Instead, Archie tells them he was there with his dog while writing songs as he continues to pursue his new interest in music. Of course when Ms. Grundy finds out about Archie’s confession she decides to cut ties with him and cancel their music lessons despite the fact that he kept her name out of the story he told.
Meanwhile, Cheryl is so pleased that Archie backed up her story that she offers him one wish — short of her body — and she will grant it. Archie asks for Cheryl to put in a good word with Josie and the Pussycats to work with him on his music since Ms. Grundy is no longer an options.
Archie is overjoyed when Josie grants him access to their practices ahead of a show they are playing at the ‘Taste of Riverdale’ but his excitement is soon muted when his father grounds him for two weeks for lying about what he knew regarding Jason’s death and then failing to consult him before just going to the police about it.
Of course, Archie isn’t going to miss out on a chance to work with Josie or the Pussycats so he sneaks out to make their practice sessions. Things get off to a rocky start at first, but eventually Archie helps them write a song for the upcoming festivities and a friendship with the band starts to truly evolve.
Needless to say, Archie’s dad is none too please when he finds out his son has been sneaking out despite his punishment. Archie pleads with his father to let him go to the ‘Taste of Riverdale’ to see Josie and the Pussycats perform his song, but his request is quickly shot down. That’s when Archie hits his dad with some hard truth — if this was a football game, there’s no chance he’d have to stay home and skip it even if he was grounded.
Archie’s words hit home and at the ‘Taste of Riverdale’, Fred Andrews speaks with Miss Grundy about his son’s musical aspirations and despite some early nervousness about talking to her underage lover’s father, she confirms that he’s a talented kid with a bright future. Archie saw it all unfold because he definitely snuck out of the house again to see the performance at the ‘Taste of Riverdale’.
The conversation with Ms. Grundy does yield positive results as Fred decides to turn the family garage into a sound studio for Archie so he can practice his music while he’s being punished. It’s clear Fred wants to support his son and if that means music over football, then so be it.
Miss Grundy’s glowing review about Archie’s musical talent gets her a visit from him as well as the two of them look to rekindle their “lessons” after a heated and tense moment in the classroom. Judging by the preview from next week’s episode, Miss Grundy is going under the microscope in a big way very soon.
The Book of Shame
While the murder investigation largely took a backseat this week, the main story involved an asshole group of football players who celebrate slut shaming the girls at Riverdale High.
It all starts when Veronica accepts an invitation for a night out with Chuck Clayton, the captian of the football team and the coach’s son. The date goes well enough with Chuck and Veronica connecting before eventually kissing, but things go south in a hurry when the rumor mill starts churning the next day at school.
Chuck puts a photo up on his Instagram page that shows the two of them together with Veronica covered in maple syrup. The ‘sticky maple’ as it’s called is Riverdale legend and now Veronica has just been initiated even though she didn’t do anything more than kiss the star of the football team.
When she decides to confront him in the locker room, Chuck plays it off and tells Veronica that she should appreciate the initiation into Riverdale High because his ‘sticky maple’ is a great badge of honor.
His attitude puts Veronica on a mission of revenge but she’s teaming up with Betty, who has decided to restart the school newspaper in an effort to tell the truth about Riverdale after a not-so-friendly conversation with her mother Alice, who happens to own and run the local paper. Alice tosses journalist integrity out the window in favor of sensationalized headlines, especially when it comes to the Jason Blossom murder investigation — considering the rocky breakup he had with her daughter Polly that landed her in a mental ward — but Betty wants to do things the right way.
Her first big story is finding a group of girls at Riverdale who have all experienced the same slut shaming that Veronica did courtesy of Chuck Clayton. Leading the way is Ethel Muggs — played by ‘Stranger Things’ favorite Shannon Purser — who admits to her own encounter with Chuck after she offered to help tutor him only to end up as another in a long line of girls associated with his sexual conquests across Riverdale. According to Ethel, Chuck and his group of cronies even keep a book that lists the girls they’ve duped and that gives Betty the lead she needs to take them down.
Thanks to a tip to find the location of Chuck’s “book of shame’, Betty, Veronica and the others go searching for the evidence and they are joined by Cheryl Blossom, who can’t believe this is actually true considering her brother was one of his best friends. Cheryl says Jason told her everything and there’s no way he would keep something like this from her.
Unfortunately, when they find the book, Cheryl sees Jason’s name etched in the ‘book of shame’ next to Polly Cooper’s name along with a series of points that each player scored for the girls they added to the list. This serves as confirmation that Jason used Polly and their relationship ended with her in a mental institution as a result. As for Veronica, she was added for bonus points since she was the ‘new girl’ and Ethel was considered another scoring plus because she was ‘the big girl’.
All of this information leaves Betty incensed and now it’s time for Chuck to pay.
Full Dark, No Stars
Throughout the episode, Veronica and Betty continue to say ‘full dark, no stars’ which is a reference to a Stephen King book, which features four short stories focused on retribution. One of them involves a woman who is brutally assaulted, who then later seeks vengeance on her attacker.
While Betty and Veronica’s plan doesn’t get anyone killed, it certainly makes a point when they lure Chuck to Ethel’s house under the guise of a real ‘sticky maple’ being handed out when he’s invited to participate in a threesome.
Veronica entices Chuck inside but both of them are shocked when Betty emerges complete with a black Mia Wallace from ‘Pulp Fiction’ style wig and a lacey bra that leaves little to the imagination. Betty’s plans are much more nefarious than just embarrassing Chuck because she ends up dosing him with a muscle relaxer before handcuffing him inside the hot tub while gradually increasing the heat while he’s locked in the water.
Veronica records Chuck’s confession about what really happened on their date as well as the book of shame but Betty’s not done with him yet. She ends up putting her heel on his head and pushing him into the water before pouring maple syrup all over him. To make matters worse, Betty keeps calling herself Polly and referring to Chuck as Jason.
The tense situation ends shortly thereafter but the really troubling part comes the next day when Betty feigns ignorance when Veronica confronts her about what happened the night before. Betty has no memory of the wig, calling herself Polly or nearly drowning Chuck in vat of boiling water. Perhaps the mental illness in her sister is a family trait passed along ot Betty as well.
Finally, Betty does release her expose on Chuck and the book of shame, which ends in his father booting him from the football team along with his group of cronies. Of course as Jughead tells us as the narrator, their exit from the football team leads to disastrous consequences in Riverdale but clearly that’s something we’ll find out down the road.
In the end, Betty burns the book of shame and settles the grudge with Cheryl, who admits she may not have known her brother as well as she thought. Thankfully with the newspaper article out there now, the girls in the book of shame have found peace including hash tag ‘justice for Ethel’, which is a nice homage to the summertime Twitter hash tag ‘justice for Barb’ when Purser’s ‘Stranger Things’ character was left dead in the Upside Down.
A Bigger Story
Betty starting the school paper again also led to Jughead being hired as her special investigative reporter to look into Jason Blossom’s death. While the police are still fumbling around and Alice Cooper has devoted her time to a campaign to embarrass the entire Blossom family after what Jason did to her daughter, Jughead really wants to find out what happened to the town’s golden boy.
The biggest lead Jughead could investigate leads him to the gunshot on the morning of Jason’s disappearance. As it turns out, Cheryl and Archie weren’t the only two people near Sweetwater River that morning.
Dilton Doiley was leading a pack of ‘Adventure Scouts’ on an expedition through the woods that day as well. While he tries to lie to Jughead about the gunshot, one of his scouts rats him out and tells him that Dilton is secretly a survivalist who was teaching them about guns and shooting for target practice.
Jughead confronts Dilton about the gunplay, which leads him to offering an even bigger secret to keep his name out of this investigation. Dilton reveals that on the morning of Jason’s disappearance as he walked into the woods near Sweetwater River, he saw Miss Grundy’s car parked nearby.
As much as Archie wanted to keep Miss Grundy out of the spotlight after they both heard the gunshot the morning of Jason’s disappearance, she’s now been outed with a second witness placing her at the scene. Jughead always wanted to protect his best friend but it’s clear Archie and Miss Grundy’s secrets are about to become the latest scandal to rock Riverdale.
“Shut Up” by Anya Marina
‘Riverdale’ returns next Thursday night at 9pm ET on the CW.