Parents Go to the School Dance in Riverdale and Ruin Everything

first_img Last episode of Riverdale, we had an out-of-control teen kegger. This week? The big school dance. We are burning through teen drama set pieces like the season’s about to end. That’s appropriate, considering after last night, there are only two more episodes of Riverdale season one. And since the mystery of Jason Blossom’s murder won’t be dragged into season two, we’re at most two weeks away from learning whodunnit.For most of this episode, Riverdale really wants to think it’s FP. From the very beginning, when Jughead finds that his dad has shaved and cleaned his place up. Before we can spend too much time marveling at baby-faced Skeet Ulrich, he immediately starts asking Jughead about the story he’s written. Specifically, he wants to know who Jughead thinks committed the murder. When Jughead says the story is more about what kind of place Riverdale is, whether it’s good or evil, FP tells him to drop it. That’s a little suspicious.You know who definitely suspects FP killed Jason? Alice Cooper. Were you starting to feel some sympathy for Betty’s mom after she kicked her husband out for arranging a forced abortion for their daughter behind her back? Well, this episode is here to remind you that she’s still the worst. And that hiring her as the school newspaper’s professional adviser was a terrible idea. She continues using journalism to settle old high school grudges. Which… man, I didn’t even know that was an option. Hey… football player whose name I can’t remember: You were kind of a jerk sometimes. Huh. That doesn’t feel good. Maybe I’m not cut out for this whole petty journalistic revenge thing. Alice, on the other hand, wants Betty and Veronica to investigate FP. Betty, being a nice person who trusts her boyfriend when he says he doesn’t suspect his dad, refuses. Veronica wants to make sure her dad didn’t hire the South Side Serpents to commit murder and goes behind her friend’s back. Yeah, there’s a lot of that in this episode.Skeet Ulrich as FP Jones (Photo: Katie Yu/The CW)The friendships have been the best part of Riverdale. The teenagers have such great chemistry together that you want to see them all make it out of high school together. The show is at its most fun when it’s Betty and Veronica, and Archie and Jughead against the world. You get the sense that their parents weren’t as close to each other back in the day as these kids are now, and that’s what causes all the trouble in this small town. That’s why these episodes where they lie to each other work as well as they do. They don’t (and shouldn’t) happen often, but when they do, it makes for some great drama. Especially in this episode, because Archie and Veronica have good, understandable reasons for going behind their friends’ backs. As hard as it is to see, because we all know it’s going to end badly, their actions make sense.We get a supremely uncomfortable dinner scene where Alice invites FP and Jughead to dinner before the big homecoming dance. She is not subtle at all about asking her interview questions, and the scene turns into an uncomfortable interrogation as well. It gets even better when Betty invites her dad to join just to screw with her mother. Yes, he’s a horrible person, but it’s fun to see Betty get one over on her mom. Meanwhile, Archie and Veronica search FP’s trailer for evidence and find nothing. The scene does a good job of making you feel like they could be caught any second. The lighting shifts throughout the scene like a car is driving up to the trailer. They get out before anyone notices they’re there, though.Casey Cott as Kevin Keller and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper (Photo: Katie Yu/The CW)The dance scene is also particularly well-done. Looking back on the episode as a whole, it had some of the best-directed sequences all season. As Archie and Veronica sing “Kids in America,” with percussion and bass guitar coming from nowhere, the song slowly takes on a foreboding undertone. The scene is inter-cut with shots of the police, following an anonymous tip, searching FP’s house, finding the gun that killed Jason, and arresting him. After the song is over, we get to the scene we all knew was coming. The truth of Archie and Veronica breaking into FP’s place comes out. Betty’s mad at them, Jughead’s mad at Betty for keeping her mom’s suspicions a sequence, it’s a whole thing.The fight is only interrupted by the news that FP’s been arrested. Betty’s ready to never speak to Archie and Veronica again, which can’t happen. She and Veronica are too perfect together. Archie’s OK too, I guess. The fight is temporarily put aside when Veronica tells Betty that there was no gun when they searched FP’s place. It was planted there later. Someone is trying to frame FP.There’s one more important piece of evidence that popped up this episode: The Blossom family ring. Jason gave it to Polly before he died, but somehow it ended up in Mrs. Blossom’s jewelry box. She tells Cheryl a story about Jason throwing the ring at them before he left, but it doesn’t look like she buys it. She tells them she flushed the ring down the toilet, but is holding onto it. That’s going to be important in next week’s episode. I’m not sure how, but we won’t have to wait too long to find out.Luke Perry as Fred Andrews and Molly Ringwald as Mary Andrews (Photo: Katie Yu/The CW)I also love Molly Ringwald as Archie’s mom. It’s great to see her get back to her teen drama routes, even if she was a film actress in her heyday, rather than TV. Her presence adds some real conflict to Archie’s storyline, which it desperately needed. He wants to study music, but he also loves his friends. His mom offers to take him back with her to Chicago because we can’t have enough John Hughes references. There, he can study music, but he’d also be leaving behind Jughead, Betty, and Veronica. We all know he’s going to stay in Riverdale, but it’s an interesting dilemma nonetheless, and I’m looking forward to seeing it play out. Though it is funny that she, concerned for her son’s safety in Riverdale following the recent murder, offers to bring him to Chicago. A city where no murders have ever occurred. Stay on target SDCC 2019: ‘Riverdale’ Cast Spills Details on Core ‘Mystery’ for Season 4Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019 last_img read more