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  1. And is given a new laptop that is clearly stuffed full of spyware, Jughead, you moron! You need to follow your late teacher's example and hurl it out a window posthaste!
  2. I did appreciate the costumers recycling Hiram's ever so fabulous fur trimmed coat. They really have a fun time dressing him.
  3. THANK YOU. This is beyond ridiculous, especially the scene where two underage girls are openly doing shots at Pop's counter! At least when she and Reggie were underage drinking it was in her (also totally illegal) speakeasy. Since when do a bunch of teenagers know enough about producing hard liquor in sufficient quantities for sale to restaurants? I did appreciate the contrast of the Stonewall Prep also underage kids drinking Champagne in the headmaster's office, at his instigation, when Jughead gets his Yale bribe, though. That would be considered completely normal for "their type of people." I don't buy that whole "we all share our actionable secrets" crap at the Quill meeting, either. Betty would have called that out as a setup in two seconds. (Anybody notice that the only two people to actually "confess" were the white girl and boy? The Black kid at least got a line or two at the party but I don't think the Asian girl was even onscreen until the Champagne scene.) Things really didn't play out the way I thought they would at the game. Archie, in his stopped clock fashion, was absolutely correct in both pointing out that opioids (I assume that's what Shady Frank was offering) would probably mean Monroe would damage his knee beyond repair, and that the Stonewall Prep assholes would immediately target him on the field! Of course they would! I do wonder why they went so proactive in their evil, though--why take that kind of risk when they're clearly able to permanently maim during the game itself? Plus, Stonewall wins again, which I really didn't see coming, but I guess they're setting things up for Quiz Battle of the Titans or whatever. Mary being the only parent in town still, I see. Her grounding Archie was a breath of fresh air. And pushing back against the Saint Fred mythos that Archie's been building up is a good thing, too. Fred was a good man but he made some bad choices. Mary didn't leave him for no reason. Lastly, isn't Betty a Vixen? Shouldn't she have been cheering?
  4. Right next to Uncle Evil, so all the salmon can go "All right, Cajun food!" ('Cause it's blackened) (...I'll show myself out)
  5. It was some kind of coin or key, but I couldn't tell beyond that. It that's what happened, it was absolutely and completely ridiculous for Dupont not to say "I bought the rights fair and square, you little pissant" and leave it at that. It wasn't illegal or even sneaky, he apparently wrote the next several books himself, marketed the series effectively, etc. Nothing even slightly untoward! Why would he act so insanely suspicious and offended without setting Jughead straight? Why indeed? Because Riverdale gonna Riverdale, this is obviously a setup for the second crazy half of this crazy season on this crazy show. For God's sake, the entire group watched Mr. Chipping defenestrate himself out a damn window! That's the kind of shit any fancy-pantsy school would bring in tons of shrinks and investigators for, and more so after what's her name accused him of sexual misconduct! Why on earth Jughead is so important, now after years of three generations of his family living here, is yet to be shown.
  6. As I said over at A/V Club, does anybody think Penelope's going to be in that bunker for more than ten minutes? It's the clubhouse for just about every teenager in Riverdale, to the point where I think they have to sign up for rotating shifts so only one couple at a time is doing Jingle Jangle and boning on the filthy sheets. And who's paying the water/electric bills, by the by? While under normal circumstances I would agree that turning Penelope over to the authorities would be wise, who are we kidding, this is Riverdale. Not only is every "authority" figure beyond worthless and/or incompetent, let's not forget Penelope was most likely an eyewitness to Uncle Evil getting bonked/salmon chowed by Toni and Cheryl respectively. It's not like she'd hesitate to turn them in and Toni has been so robbed of all agency she'd probably spontaneously turn into a stuffed animal for Cheryl to cradle and then hide in a cave. Speaking of incompetent, I want to go to Shankshaw Prison if I ever commit a crime, because apparently they let convicted cult members/murderers/organ theft ring heads make rando phone calls to anyone whenever they want to! I wonder if it's occurred to Evelyn that she's probably got a whole bat colony of trigger words in her own noggin--it would be a riot if she's out in the yard and somebody says "Dustbuster, blanket, ceiling fan" and she just goes on a rampage. Somebody over at A/V speculated that that wasn't FP the First at all but a hired actor to tell Jug a convincing story, which is a very Riverdale take on things. I wish it would stay the way it is, though--I didn't trust my own abilities, sold myself cheap and blamed everybody for it.
  7. The whole season's been open plays on authors' names and works, so don't worry about references slipping by! This seemed like kind of a file-and-sort episode: kind of a clean out before setting up the second half and Jug's "murder." They sure brought back a lot of characters for one more turn around the dance floor--always good to see Penelope and Evelyn go through their crazy paces. (That said, we've got Betty all ready to go for this nutter-wise, so can we PLEASE put an end to the suffering cat motif? I really, really am done with that entire thing.) Veronica bringing her grandmama to slap Hiram's face was a nice touch--I hope she cottons on that she's strongest when she's playing to her own strengths--even the recruiter was "tell me your story." I hope she got a few sentences out without "Daddy" in them. Cheryl literally smoking out her horrid Mumsy was very nicely done, as was having Dagwood and Juniper in the background as the Family Blossom confronted her. I do think Cheryl's simply replaced Jason with Penelope but one step at a time. Madeline really does heartbroken well and that (ridiculously illegal) funeral pyre was saved by her performance. Archie's storyline is as dumb as ever, but Apa's acting is really bringing it. I believe this is a suffering kid in over his head who wants to save the world to make his dad proud and then beat it to a pulp for being so shitty and hard. His desperate search for alternate dad figures was really highlighted well when he goes to see FP and nearly walks into an actual father-son moment--and for once wisely, leaves. I also appreciated that Mary wasn't able to solve everything with a few words. She's clearly scared and worried for him but this isn't some kind of Very Special Episode problem that can't be resolved quickly. Speaking of Jughead, up until the last scene the entire "no, the guy didn't thieve your legacy" thing was a breath of fresh air. His teacher didn't steal, he legally purchased what FP Senior was willing to sell because his own demons had run him to ground. That Granddad couldn't get his shit together and caused a legacy of pain and bad choice making wasn't on Dupont. The disappointment and resignation on FP's face and Jughead finally realizing he's got to choose or not without hiding behind old feuds was well done. And then of course they blow it all to hell by having the idiot get a note saying "Go out into the dark woods" and just go! And see a bunch of torches and rings drawn in the dirt and not take off! Total Archie move! Why would you join this gang of puff adders, Jug?
  8. Who? Oh, you mean the kid abused by his dad until he deliberately took out all the windows of his precious car (Dark, gritty Ferris Bueller) and darkly informed Archie it was okay because he outweighs his dad by fifty pounds through the bleakest smile in Purgatory, also that young man who was cult-married to a guy who nearly went off a cliff for a rocket-riding psycho while giving up a kidney and being abandoned by every parental figure! Nah, they're fine. 🙄 It was beyond ridiculous, but for once I think that was the actual point. Alice is not only trying to sink her overprotective claws into Betty's flesh again, she's using the exact same arguments from before Betty found out her dad was a serial killer, helped Alice HIDE A DEAD BODY, and the usual plethora of lunacy. It's a sign of how desperate Alice is to forcibly drag Betty back to a more "controllable" level.
  9. Too bad she didn't say Brown; he would have probably stroked out right there. Anyway, bits I liked: The silly names for the candy and how everyone refuses any until Jug shamelessly shovels it into his pockets. This show is at its best when it remembers the characters have traits. Mary looking really pretty in that dark blue sweater and necklace. Sooo much better than that flowery abomination she had on last week. Apa's performance in his therapy session. When he finally snaps that he's not an idiot and he gets mad when he's treated like a moron, instead of laughing (I mean, come on) I went you know what? Yeah. His behavior is stupid and his choices ridiculous, but given the tidal bore of craziness he's pushing against? They make sense. Betty's core of sanity as she continually stands up against Alice's flailing. "I love you too, mom, but that's not an apology!" Damn straight, girl! Veronica, despite how weary the entire Daddy And Me: The Longest Day that is her storyline makes me, also makes sense considering that she was raised by two morally bankrupt scumbags and in the most enmeshed relationship since My Sweet Audrina. Telling her to walk away is like telling her to jump off a cliff--it's not a choice she's going to make. No wonder she and Archie seem so made for each other--both are addicted to variations on keeping themselves locked onto a target they can never reach.
  10. So was anyone else waiting for Ms. Burble to transform into a giant bat or have Principal Honey run into a Core Four member, hear them praise her, turn pale and say that Ms. Burble died in a train wreck fifteen years ago this very day, or something? If there's anybody in Riverdale I especially don't trust it's seemingly sane and kind authority figures who point out that this entire place is an open air lunatic asylum. Honestly, if she read more than two pages of Cheryl's file I think she'd decide that's the only way to engage her! You have to show Cheryl that her over the top extraness is not only not going to put you off, but you understand why she's doing it. I think that's why she hasn't flipped out on Toni yet, too, honestly. Let's face it, any normal mental health care professional would take one glance at Riverdale's day to day life and these kids' histories and recommend enough Thorazine to float a battleship and basket weaving lessons for the next ten years. Ms. Burble (love that name) very wisely has seemed to realize that to show these group she gets what's going on, she has to show that she understands that in Riverdale your actions aren't crazy--they're a natural outgrowth of a crazy situation. With Betty and Alice, she puts her finger on the pulse of their broken hearted, savage relationship--that Alice feels she's a total failure and she can't associate her child growing up with any kind of positive outcome. She sees it as doom closing in and her utter terror of blowing her last chance makes her do unforgivably intrusive things, and not only that but the same kind of intrusive things she's been doing for years, even as they make less sense of any kind given Betty's age and committed relationship with the man she shares a bed with. And of COURSE Betty is going to alternately control freak and lash out! That's what any sane person would do! It's almost nauseating how her sense of self has remained rock solid throughout this shitshow. Same for all the others: Archie's anger and insistence on choosing violence being the only way he can express his terror and helplessness, Veronica's fury at opening every different door and finding her dad behind each one because she refuses to actually leave, Cheryl's --everything, Jughead's family legacy of channeling expectation into abstract intellectualism and refusal to engage and stake any real emotion or hope in outcomes. Those coping mechanisms didn't grow out of nowhere. And of course a fifteen minute discussion, no matter how eye opening, isn't going to cure anybody or even give them coping skills. But now these guys can't say nobody told them, warned them, that staying on these paths is going to lead to ever more direness and disaster.
  11. Deep frying an entire, whole raw turkey is pretty recent, and also pretty dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. You immerse the bird in boiling oil and cook it at very high pressures (thus, the pressure cooker) until the skin is crispy. The advantages are very juicy, tasty bird that cooks a lot faster than roasting in an oven. The disadvantage is basically a bomb going off filled with boiling oil and flying shrapnel if you don't watch the gauge and allow the steam to build up (as is what happened here.) If the thing blows up outside, the chances are far lower of multiple scaldings, metal embedded in flesh, and fires being started because you've got a lot more space to run. Inside you're going to take everybody to the hospital and call the fire department.
  12. At this point I'm surprised Hot Dog isn't mayor. I did enjoy how they just went "and he ran unopposed and became Mayor five minutes later, shut up" because does anybody have the strength to watch Hiram campaign, even with his shirt off? Just get on with it. Query: does anybody know where the non-blown up replacement turkey at the gym came from?
  13. Man, unfair, show--yanking my heartstrings at the end like that. But I guess it's a Thanksgiving episode, so! (Did Archie have that plaque ready to go or what? Mary was wearing the same hideous blouse she had on for the scene right before, so, I guess so?) In that spirit, I'm most thankful for: Veronica yanking that tablecloth to hell and gone; go girl! I hope the show sticks to these guns for a while and doesn't try any "but Ronnie just wants her family to be together" nonsense again. They burned that bridge long ago and really, it's more fun to watch Mark go full Villain than to pretend these two have anything resembling a healthy relationship. Also, Boring Older Sister seems to have vanished back to Miami, yay! This triangle doesn't need any more sides. Betty whanging Bret The Most Punchable with a golf club. Then, when he and Donna have the platinum plated nerve to complain about said whanging, "Well, now he's bleeding and I'm guessing the infirmary's locked up tight." Extra points for the THREE STITCHES she put in with--what? regular thread?--and adding "maybe this will teach you not to put on a mask and threaten my boyfriend with an axe." Yank! Damn, girl, you cold! The DICKINSONS plotting the stupidest revenge ever for their comatose moron family member/bread winner, Dodger (and again, extra points for kidnapping said comatose man from the only hospital where no alarms go off at the nurses' station when the guy apparently flatlines after they unhook him from all his mechanical support.) Cheryl deciding every family needs to renact Titus Andronicus for their family get-together. Nana Rose playing her part right on cue made it extra special. Speaking of extra, gotta love Cheryl's cheerful chirping of her plans to get rid of Bedford; "The ice will keep him down all winter and by spring the salmon will have gobbled up his eyes!" Toni, I don't want to tell you your business but YOU IN DANGER, GIRL. Triple honorable mentions for: The Spartacus moment featuring three twelve year olds who collectively couldn't beat up a butterfly, let alone a full grown man. FP realizing that in Riverdale World there's no reason he can't openly be a gang member and sheriff--makes as much sense as anything else! And of course, Archie being Archie and deciding to deep fry a turkey inside.
  14. Honestly can't blame her--DAMN, Mark, I'd like to thank you personally, you know? I bet when Marisol got her sides for this scene she danced around her living room. As much as I want Veronica to tell this entire clown car to drive off a cliff with her blessing, I unfortunately see an actual psychological reason for her to not to be able to walk away. Remember, she has been raised by these codependent teleporting lunatics (seriously, how many damn places has Hiram lived/formed criminal empires in by now???) and her wiring is pretty much set, no matter how much insight she has and how consciously she rebels. She can't bear, any more than the Dreadful Hs can, to let her competition/supposed beloved family member "win." Even though she's going to have to drop her end of the rope in this tug of war to ever really be free or happy. Hermosa (if she's not just some chick Hiram hired for his nutjob game playing) can just have the whole ball of wax and Ronnie can keep running improbable businesses and donating thousands of dollars worth of product to Archie's latest ridiculously shortsighted scheme. Of course Hiram will double down because--Hiram, but really. Ronnie. He's not worth it. Speaking of Archie's latest twirling in place, that seemed like pretty much a lot of placeholding until Dodger turned up next to the dumpsters. I assume this was him having his boys beat him up and plant him as evidence so Archie can go on trial for the fiftieth time and he gets his runners back. OF FUCKING COURSE Charles and Chic are secret lovahs--although the idea of being intimate with Chic makes all the skin crawl off my body. Nice that that murdered guy wasn't completely forgotten, though. The theme of the episode in general seems to be "Oh my GOD just get out of there already" and Cheryl and Jug fall right in line. While Cheryl at least has always been written as coo coo for Cocoa Puffs, just knowing your grandpa wrote some book a thousand years ago seems kind of a reach for Jug's passion for justice, you know? Yeah yeah, class war and life work stolen or whatever, but frankly Forsyth the First had FUCKING DECADES to do something about this if he really wanted to. There was absolutely no reason for Jug to poke this snake ball of privileged assholes except further melodrama.
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