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S05.E05: Chapter Eighty-One: The Homecoming

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Toni, Alice, Archie, and Kevin fight to keep Riverdale High open after learning that its budget has been cut;  Veronica gets creative when she discovers Chad is having her followed; Jughead starts a new job after debt collectors show up in Riverdale.

Airdate:  17 February, 2021

Didn't see a thread for this episode, so I decided to start one.  I was wanting to see everyone's comments.  Apologies if this is against forum etiquette somehow.

Edited by rmontro

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11 minutes ago, rmontro said:

Didn't see a thread for this episode, so I decided to start one.  I was wanting to see everyone's comments.  Apologies if this is against forum etiquette somehow.

(I’m not the mod of this show, but it should be fine. You could edit your top post to include the original airdate.)

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I've been reading a lot of media about last night's episode, and how much people loved it...and I'm wondering if we watched the same show. What a bucket o' cliches. 

And please stop sacrificing character development for the sake of drama. Please?

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Ugh. I don't like this Betty/Archie thing. The only reason I'm willing to tolerate it is the possibility that it will finally lead to a look at the original Betty/Archie/Veronica triangle, and that's for canon reasons.

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17 minutes ago, ruby24 said:

Ugh. I don't like this Betty/Archie thing. The only reason I'm willing to tolerate it is the possibility that it will finally lead to a look at the original Betty/Archie/Veronica triangle, and that's for canon reasons.

I have to admit I also don't like the Betty/Archie thing.  I'm not even sure why, it just seems so lascivious somehow.  I guess for dramatic purposes, it's the most interesting thing going on right now.  And even with the seven year gap, there's still a feeling of betrayal somehow.  Maybe not technically, but there still seems to be a suggestion of it.  I'm probably biased though, being as I've always been more of a Bughead shipper.

I don't know what's funnier, the core four becoming teachers, or the fact that they're all willing to put their lives on hold to do so. 

I guess Archie used Betty's connections to run some sort of FBI sting on the Ghoulies?  Was the sheriff in on that bust?  I don't remember seeing him.  I know when Archie was talking to him, he said something like "When I have enough information, we'll move".  I'm just wondering on whose authority it was done.  I guess the way to hookup with Betty is to solve crimes with her.  Her FBI jacket did look pretty impressive.

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The writers had clearly been wanting to do Betty/Archie for years, so good that they finally felt free enough to go there, rather than the occasional brush-passes with the idea.

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ok I'm still going to watch this crazy train but honestly Riverdale for me has offically gone to the Ryan Murphy show levels of unreality. I'm talking Glee levels here, a show that I love still to this day. Remember when in the final episode when Sam took over the Glee club even though he had no college degree? That's what I'm talking about. With the exception of Kevin and possibly Fangs....none of them have any teaching skills. What are they going to teach these kids anyway?

oh and buh-bye Polly.....guess the twins are kinda doomed

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1 hour ago, ruby24 said:

Ugh. I don't like this Betty/Archie thing. The only reason I'm willing to tolerate it is the possibility that it will finally lead to a look at the original Betty/Archie/Veronica triangle, and that's for canon reasons.

Id rather not see Betty and Veronica fighting over the Fuckboy. Mr slept with almost straight female on the show that he can 

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New fan theory: Hiram Lodge is the hero of this story, bravely trying to destroy the evil town of Riverdale before it ruins more lives.

The town council meeting reminded me of everything I hate about this town, and everything I hate about this show. Namely, that it seems like it's written by one of those algorithms that generates plot points based on narrative conventions without understanding the meaning behind them. Like... you can't just stand up and say, "We declare ourselves a private school."

1 hour ago, rmontro said:

I have to admit I also don't like the Betty/Archie thing.  I'm not even sure why, it just seems so lascivious somehow.

I like it in theory, but I wish that they hadn't basically repeated the same shower scene he had with Veronica. Betty and Archie's relationship has a different vibe, and I wish they'd gotten a scene that was more personal and specific to that.

I tentatively like Jughead with Pop Tate's granddaughter. I tentatively predict this means Veronica gets back together with Reggie.

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Toni, it is not an evil expose by Hiram stating the School Counselor at Riverdale is the leader of a gang and the owner of the speakeasy when it is true. Here a thought, you can't be in a gang and also be a role model for students.

I thought Betty was dating the FBI guy.

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2 hours ago, SourK said:

I like it in theory, but I wish that they hadn't basically repeated the same shower scene he had with Veronica.

Maybe it's Archie's go to move.  Betty actually suggested it, but you could argue Archie set her up for it.

 

1 hour ago, nilyank said:

I thought Betty was dating the FBI guy.

She was.  I get the feeling relationship ethics are getting a whole lot looser on this show.  But maybe her and the FBI guy weren't in a committed relationship.  

It is pretty funny that one of the new teachers is a gang leader.  And no one seems to have a problem with it, outside of Hiram.  Only in Riverdale.

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Cool, we finally got an episode thread!  I thought I was missing something for a second.

So, at long last, Archie and Betty finally hook-up.  Since I'm kind of indifferent to all of the romances here, I'm not against it and; honestly; I actually felt like K.J. Apa and Lili Reinhart had some good romantic/sexual chemistry with each other for once; but it feel rushed and almost random, like they just wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way.  Of course, both of them are trying to act like this was just a friendly, casual hook-up, but come one: no doubt their feelings will be stronger than that and drama will no doubt ensue.  This is Riverdale after-all!

It's still kind of weird that I find myself enjoy Archie the most post-time skip and feel like he's the one that is on more stable footing compared to the rest of the core group.  You've got Betty getting thrusted back into her family drama, Veronica not only continues to let her dad mess with her mind, but seems to be stuck in what might be one of the most loveless marriages on television right now, and Jughead seeming to crater to the lowest of the lows, where he is not only literally hiding behind counters to avoid debt collectors, but almost everyone in Riverdale hates his ass, because his successful book was actually just a retread of these past seasons, and they hate how they were portrayed (although in some cases, could Jughead really make them come off worse than they already did?)  It's almost refreshing seeing Archie just being his normal naive, but well-meaning self, wanting to save this silly town.  In some ways, he's the perfect hero for Riverdale!

Despite the hilariousness of a gang leader actually being the guidance counselor, I like that Toni seems to be more involved this season.

Seriously, Hiram, it's really hard to take you seriously when your right-hand man is freaking Reggie of all people.

The grand plan to save Riverdale High and maybe the town itself is.... the Core Four leave their current jobs and become teachers?  Okay.....

Hey, Polly returns!  Mainly to be a jerk and apparently the next victim of this mysterious trucker.

Can't wait to see where this crazy train goes next! 

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50 minutes ago, thuganomics85 said:

Despite the hilariousness of a gang leader actually being the guidance counselor, I like that Toni seems to be more involved this season.

"So you want to go to college?  Are you sure about that?  Have you ever thought about getting into a gang?"

I actually like Reggie as Hiram's right hand man though.  His character's been mostly useless up until now, and giving him something villainous to do is a good idea.

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7 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

 

Despite the hilariousness of a gang leader actually being the guidance counselor, I like that Toni seems to be more 

Well 7 years ago, chief of police. And Jug used to be the gang leader and will now teach. Why not guidance counselor? I bet the gang  ends up manning the volunteer fire department too. Very community minded gang. 

Edited by Affogato · Reason: Added plural
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Oh my God, everyone coming back to teach at their old high school is so fanfic-y, its cracking me up. These people have zero ability or qualifications to teach, but this is Riverdale. They're probably just crossing their fingers that a few of their teachers aren't cult members or serial killers. 

Betty and Archie hook up and...it feels weird somehow. Possibly because of their unsavory hook up that started them off, but it just feels off for some reason. I guess I just never got much romantic chemistry between them, they always read more as pals to me. 

So does Toni sometimes recruit kids to join the totally respectable and unjustifiably oppressed Serpents? I do like Toni getting more to actually do as a character, but of course that cant last too long and she gets immediately dragged back towards Cheryl. I am really amused by the fact that it sounds like Jugheads Magnum Opus is just a thinly veiled version of what actually happened to him in high school, and that his old friends are annoyed with him for using their lives for his book. And for making them look ridiculous, but thats not too hard to do... 

Its always something with Polly. She actually makes Betty look like the normal one in comparison. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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Is it actually normal in a small group of close friends for everyone to have slept with each other? I don't know, I know it's always happened on shows all the time but in reality I think it'd be weird. Especially since they made such a big deal out of the "four of them" being so close. I mean, if Archie/Betty are now together is it not weird for them to be in Jughead's presence? If Jughead and Betty got back together would it not be weird for them to hang out with Archie? Same with Veronica- if she and Archie got back together, how would it ever not be weird to hang out with Betty?

If they had gone the comics route of actually making the Archies a bigger group of names rather than emphasizing that it's really just a close foursome, maybe it'd seem less awkward to play musical beds. But going so hard all these years on the couples of Jughead/Betty and Archie/Veronica being "true loves" makes this look like it'd have an especially weird impact on the group.

And how old are Polly's twins supposed to be now, because they still looked pretty young, and they should be at least eight or nine by my calculations.

Edited by ruby24
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It's great the FBI has such a generous sabbatical program where new agents can take off six months or more to go teach at a school.

Toni is a true Renaissance woman.  School guidance counselor, speakeasy barmaid and singer, and leader of a street gang.

Now that Archie is hooking up with Betty for the first time since season one, and Jughead is free, maybe he can hook up with Ronnie.  Rughead sounds good.  Too bad Cheryl is gay, because I like the ring of Chughead.

Looks like they are getting the obligatory "sister that no one wants" episodes out of the way early this season before Polly ends up Silenced of the Lambs.

Was there ever even a Riverdale?  Or did Hiram just dissolve a fantasy in the minds of these characters like a Twilight Zone episode?  I don't know if the show is deep enough to tackle this metaphysical question.

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On 2/19/2021 at 8:52 PM, ruby24 said:

Is it actually normal in a small group of close friends for everyone to have slept with each other? I don't know

I don't know either.  But in a group where the four friends are this hot, maybe it's not so unusual.  I'm sure it at least crosses people's minds.

I did like SourK's suggestion of Jughead being with Pop Tate's granddaughter, I could see some chemistry there.

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The Core Four becoming teachers is pretty obviously a stretch, but since it was either that or the school dies, I can't really fault them for it. It's also hilarious how unintentionally fortuitous this offer was for them. Veronica was literally about to run from her marriage, Betty's FBI career looks like it's dead in the water and Jughead has to work 2 jobs to pay off his debt.

The Serpents are still a ridiculous concept, but I howled at everyone being pissed at Jughead for his thin pastiche of a book. Could he have made it any less obvious?

Hiram waiting 7 years to throw Veronica's words back in her face was also pretty funny. Hiram has literally thrown off the veneer and is proceeding through life at full saltiness.

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On 2/18/2021 at 8:17 PM, SourK said:

New fan theory: Hiram Lodge is the hero of this story, bravely trying to destroy the evil town of Riverdale before it ruins more lives.

The town council meeting reminded me of everything I hate about this town, and everything I hate about this show. Namely, that it seems like it's written by one of those algorithms that generates plot points based on narrative conventions without understanding the meaning behind them. Like... you can't just stand up and say, "We declare ourselves a private school."

I like it in theory, but I wish that they hadn't basically repeated the same shower scene he had with Veronica. Betty and Archie's relationship has a different vibe, and I wish they'd gotten a scene that was more personal and specific to that.

I tentatively like Jughead with Pop Tate's granddaughter. I tentatively predict this means Veronica gets back together with Reggie.

I'm liking it too but how old is Tabitha supposed to be? Is she a teenager? Because Jug is supposed to be 25 at this point.

I'm not upset about Archie and Betty hooking up. They're both adults now, why not?

 

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22 hours ago, MaggieG said:

I'm liking it too but how old is Tabitha supposed to be? Is she a teenager? Because Jug is supposed to be 25 at this point.

I don't think she's supposed to be a teenager, since it seems like she runs the diner, so she could be around the age of the Core Four, or a bit younger (and the actress is in her mid-30s so...)

I figured there would be a convoluted reason for everyone to stay in Riverdale. For Archie, it makes sense for him to become a teacher since he was coming back to Riverdale to recruit, anyway. For Jughead, he's a struggling writer who doesn't really have any ties at the moment so him returning to Riverdale also makes sense. But for Veronica and Betty? Veronica is married and has a job in the city, so her leaving her husband for months (because, let's face it, she's not returning to the city full time until the series ends or if there's another time jump) just to teach and help Riverdale is flimsy, at best. However, if they explained more clearly that this was Veronica's way to escape her husband for a while, I could buy it more. I assume it partially is but they didn't make it as clear cut.

And the FBI program likely would not give Betty two months off to do another job. It would have been much better if the serial killer she was tracking was said to be around Riverdale and she was assigned the case there. And, I assume the mystery truck that keeps chasing those women, including Polly, is the TBK. 

They just needed to give better reasons for Veronica and Betty to stick around.

Toni gets more things to do! Hooray! Hopefully we can see more of her and Archie sleuthing because their interactions have been gold. They're the two most dedicated to saving Riverdale, and it's nice to see Archie and Toni get to bond with others. 

Betty/Archie hook up! I guess it's a way to get these two to explore something together, and there's a big enough time jump from high school where it's not the worst thing for them to do. I wish the build-up to their sex scene was more fun, but the plot overall works for me.

I loved the Serpents getting mad at Jughead for their depictions in his book. I mean, the Serpents in general are kind of ridiculous but Jughead basically making it obvious who is who? I love that they got to call him out on it. 

Veronica's husband is still a dick. I hate that they resorted to Hiram 2.0 because Veronica can't escape the awfulness that is Daddykins. It's just annoying that we're in season 5 and we still have Veronica vs Hiram, even if it's another version of Hiram. Give poor Camila something different to do!

I'm guessing Polly is done for and Betty is gonna be searching for her sister, and then her sister's killer, who is quite obviously the TBK (still a stupid ass name).

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On 2/21/2021 at 10:48 PM, Diapason Untuned said:

Hiram waiting 7 years to throw Veronica's words back in her face was also pretty funny. Hiram has literally thrown off the veneer and is proceeding through life at full saltiness.

Well, returning to evil did cure his mystery disease, so...

12 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

And the FBI program likely would not give Betty two months off to do another job. It would have been much better if the serial killer she was tracking was said to be around Riverdale and she was assigned the case there. And, I assume the mystery truck that keeps chasing those women, including Polly, is the TBK. 

They just needed to give better reasons for Veronica and Betty to stick around.

I love how everyone's acting like it's such a normal PTO request to make, too. Like, "Hey, I went home for the weekend and it turned out my town was disincorperated, so now I'm a teacher. Should I use my vacation or take emergency leave?"

Actually, as I type that, I want Riverdale to have one of those credit sequences that explains the premise of the series. And that is the premise it explains.

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On 2/23/2021 at 1:05 PM, Lady Calypso said:

I don't think she's supposed to be a teenager, since it seems like she runs the diner, so she could be around the age of the Core Four, or a bit younger (and the actress is in her mid-30s so...)

I figured she was slightly younger than the Core Four, enough so that she wouldn't have run in their circles.

 

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 Veronica is married and has a job in the city, so her leaving her husband for months (because, let's face it, she's not returning to the city full time until the series ends or if there's another time jump) just to teach and help Riverdale is flimsy, at best. However, if they explained more clearly that this was Veronica's way to escape her husband for a while, I could buy it more. I assume it partially is but they didn't make it as clear cut.

I mean, she was looking to buy a car with cash and run away to Florida. Her job in New York is obviously not in the cards for her at the moment, nor her marriage, which she more or less ended.

 

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And the FBI program likely would not give Betty two months off to do another job. It would have been much better if the serial killer she was tracking was said to be around Riverdale and she was assigned the case there. And, I assume the mystery truck that keeps chasing those women, including Polly, is the TBK. 

It seemed clear to me that her career in the FBI was pretty much over since she messed up the hunt for the serial killer and she was basically relegated to grunt work.

 

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I loved the Serpents getting mad at Jughead for their depictions in his book. I mean, the Serpents in general are kind of ridiculous but Jughead basically making it obvious who is who? I love that they got to call him out on it. 

Exactly. I've never really been a fan of the Serpents but that was hilarious.

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I liked this episode a lot, ridiculousness aside. But how much of a financial wizard (pardon me, a She Wolf of Wall Street) if she makes most of the money but her husband can still freeze her out of the family funds? Yikes.

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On 2/18/2021 at 5:17 PM, SourK said:

New fan theory: Hiram Lodge is the hero of this story, bravely trying to destroy the evil town of Riverdale before it ruins more lives.

The town council meeting reminded me of everything I hate about this town, and everything I hate about this show. Namely, that it seems like it's written by one of those algorithms that generates plot points based on narrative conventions without understanding the meaning behind them. Like... you can't just stand up and say, "We declare ourselves a private school."

Mark Consuelos has the best reaction shots, he was hysterical rubbing Veronica's face in turning her down. "I'm sure you won't need me to show you the door," followed by that smile. I would love to use that line someday and have that scene play out like that. And then that subtle but very pointed death glare when Veronica stood up at the council meeting.

They really did think they could do exactly that and it would all work out. "We...are now a private school!"

On 2/18/2021 at 6:21 PM, nilyank said:

Toni, it is not an evil expose by Hiram stating the School Counselor at Riverdale is the leader of a gang and the owner of the speakeasy when it is true. Here a thought, you can't be in a gang and also be a role model for students.

I loved how offended she was that a newspaper called her a guidance counselor who runs a seedy bar and snake dances. It would have been hilarious if she'd slapped the newspaper onto the table as she left.

On 2/19/2021 at 6:19 PM, Dobian said:

Toni is a true Renaissance woman.  School guidance counselor, speakeasy barmaid and singer, and leader of a street gang.

Now that Archie is hooking up with Betty for the first time since season one, and Jughead is free, maybe he can hook up with Ronnie.  Rughead sounds good.  Too bad Cheryl is gay, because I like the ring of Chughead.

Have Veronica and Jughead ever shared a scene together? They're like the Chandler and Rachel of this show; in 10 seasons of Friends, those two were only paired together twice, when Chandler dated her boss, and when they ate cheesecake off the floor.

Remember, this is the show where 16-year-old temptresses can run a successful rum empire, and a speakeasy (and wasn't there also a brothel at some point?). Veronica obviously gave Toni pointers on forcing your customers to watch you sing and shimmy.

Maybe that's what they can do at Riverdale High now that they're teachers, walk into class and sing and do a seductive number for their students.

I think I've seen Archie shirtless so many times now, that he was looking super-hot in those tight sweaters and jeans, especially the green one. And speaking of green sweaters, Jughead looked great in his. Wonder if Cole is relieved at not having to wear the beanie all the damn time.

I loved that last scene from a visual standpoint: Betty calming leaving a voicemail, cut to Polly running, screaming, while trucker headlights flood her from behind, running until her terrified face fills the screen, then boom! RIVERDALE. I also appreciated that there was no musical stinger, only Betty's voice and a minimal score that turned slightly ominous.

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