Monday, July 15, 2024

Riverdale Tackles Slut Shaming

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This time, Riverdale gives center stage to the consequences of slut shaming while adding to Jason Blossom’s murder. As a plus, it delivers a strange crossover that is incredibly pleasing!

We start off with a direct continuation from last week as Cheryl Blossom is being escorted out of class by a police officer after she claimed to be guilty. They gather at the principal’s office and she explains that she didn’t kill Jason, but that she lied about it. They went to the river on Fourth of July to stage the accident so Jason could flee from Riverdale to a better place and never come back. She also mentions the gunshot she heard, but the cops are not buying.

At the Cooper’s house, Alice shows Betty the newspaper with the story she wrote about Cheryl’s lie. Betty complains to her mom about how she is sensationalizing the story instead of pursuing the real story due to her bias and hatred against the Blossoms.

Archie finally decides to come clean about being the source of the gunshot after the cops refused to believe Cheryl. He tells the police officer and the principal about being in the woods that day, but lies about his intentions and Ms. Grundy’s presence.

Veronica tells Archie, Kevin, and Betty about her date with Chuck, the football’s coach son and a football/women player himself. Kevin equates this happening to Veronica dating the Riverdale equivalent to the Kennedys.

Betty decides to reopen the school’s paper and invited Jughead to write for it as he is currently writing a book about Jason’s murder. It takes some convincing, but eventually accepts and gets his first assignment: interviewing the Boys Scouts that found Cheryl in the woods that morning.

Mr. Andrews reprimands Archie for lying about the 4th of July roadtrip that never happened and grounds Archie with early curfew for two weeks. Besides, Ms. Grundy takes it bad that Archie told about him being in the woods that day and suspends their music lessons together.

Veronica’s and Chuck’s date is going well so far. They take a selfie, he shows interest about her life and what she misses most about New York, and end up making out in his car. However, the next morning, some girls start teasing Veronica about something called a “Sticky Maple” and they see that Chuck posted that selfie of theirs with maple syrup added all over Veronica’s face. She calls it for what it is – slut shaming – and is understandably furious, and wants revenge, asking Betty’s help.

The duo march to the boys’ locker room to confront Chuck. Veronica demands the picture to be taken down, but Chuck is in his “territory” and refuses to be intimidated by either of the girls, being his worst fuckboy self, and talking down on her.

Jughead goes to talk to the leader Boy Scout, be he is not a lot of help. Jughead spots another one of the scouts that seems to be uneasy with what the leader was saying.

Cheryl tells Archie that she is grateful for what he did getting others to believe in her and will grant him one wish that is not her body. He cashes in this favor by asking Cheryl to get Josie to help on his music. Josie agrees to let Archie sit in their rehearsals that week as they will perform on a city event.


Veronica checks her Fauxtagram to see a bunch of mean comments left on the picture when Betty asks her to come to the school where she is holding a reunion with a bunch of girls who have been “sticky maple’d” by five out of all the football players. We hear the story of Ethel (played by, spoiler alert, Shannon Purser aka Stranger Things’ Barb), a girl who helped Chuck with a math problem, but got as reward a story about letting Chuck do sexual stuff with her.

Cheryl interrupts Ethel’s story with her usually annoying high-on-attitude-self, calls Veronica “Frida Shallow” – apparently, it’s Mock Veronica’s Eyebrows Week -, spouts a terrible “boys will be boys”, and basically dismisses Ethel’s story that the football players keep score on their “conquests” with a playbook because Jason would have told her about it. Veronica takes the opportunity to take down Cheryl a peg with a pointedly well written female empowering speech and how she will make Chuck pay.

Jughead meets the uneasy boy scout from before, steals his ice cream, and gets the scoop: the boy scout leader had been the one to fire the gunshot as he is a radical survivalist and wanted to teach the boys a lesson.

Archie sneaks out of the house at night to go to Josie’s rehearsal, but she makes it clear that they will not take lyrics from Archie because the band is about their struggles and experiences as “divas of color”, giving him a positive lesson on his privilege as a white man, while pointing out the hate mail her mother, the Mayor, still gets.

“Do you know why we are called the Pussycats? Because we have to claw our way into the same rooms you can just waltz into.” – Josie.

Ethel takes a former football player, who claims to know where the playbook is, to Betty. At night, Betty, Veronica, Kevin, and Ethel break into the school to get the book and are interrupted by Cheryl who joins in on the fun. They find it only for Betty and Cheryl to see that Jason had written Polly Cooper’s name on it. Cheryl is taken aback by seeing that her brother might not have been who she thought, but Betty comes up a plan for vengeance.

The Pussycats are having some troubles with one of their lyrics and Archie makes a timely suggestion to which the girls actually like. They perform acoustic (heart eyes!!!) and Josie consents to see what Archie can bring to the table.

Betty is at her room preparing herself for the plan. She’s putting on a “seducing” red lipstick on when her mom interrupts. Betty argues that the lipstick, which used to be Polly’s, makes her feel empowered, but Alice clearly disproves it to the point of getting a wipe and taking the lipstick off herself.

However, that doesn’t stop Betty. She goes to Pop’s, wearing the lipstick and in a crop top, to talk to Chuck. He tells her he wants her to be more like Veronica “in the sexy way”. Chuck makes a very bad move when he mentions how much of a bad girl Polly was when she was with Jason which only puts more wood in Betty’s fire. She invites Chuck for a meet, the next night, at Ethel’s house because it has a pool and a hot tub.

Mr. Andrews catches Archie sneaking back in and they have a confrontation about the dad’s supposed lack of support for his son’s music interest.

The next night, Chuck arrives at Ethel’s and is greeted by a charming Veronica. He gets Chuck inside as she goes inside the hot tub. At this point, Betty comes out wearing a black wig and sensual lingerie saying “Betty couldn’t come so she sent me instead”.

At the city event, Archie’s dad talks to Ms. Grundy about his son’s musical talent and if he can make an actual living of it. The professor tells Mr. Andrews that Archie is a special and talented kid, but plays coy about how she has been raping him.

Alice Cooper is taking shots at everyone for whatever reason, telling Veronica’s mom about the slut shaming, calling Veronica a slut, and poking Mr. and Mrs. Blossom’s wound. Mrs. Blossom, however, slaps Alice in the face for leaking the autopsy reports.

Betty slips a muscle relaxer into Chuck’s drink as Veronica is starting to see a brand new side of Betty. They end up chaining Chuck to the hot tub: Betty is asking questions while Veronica is filming. They get the dude to admit to not getting anything but kissing from Veronica, but Betty doesn’t stop there: she starts referring to herself as Polly and Chuck as Jason, demanding that he apologize to her, and dropping a bunch of maple syrup on Chuck’s head. Ethel sees the scene and laughs while Veronica is able to, thankfully, talk Betty down.

Archie sneaks out again to see the Pussycats perform the song he helped write. Jughead confronts the Scout Leader and tells him to go to the journal room at the school to tell the truth.

The following day, Archie sees his dad soundproofing the garage to give some incentive for his musical career. Betty gives Veronica a copy from the school’s paper that contains the exposé on the playbook. Veronica asks her about the night before and how she dissociated from her usual self, but Betty says she doesn’t remember taking on Polly’s identity.

Principal Weatherbee cuts Chuck and his fuckboy squad from the football team, but an ominous narration by Jughead says that this decision would lead to bad consequences for weeks. As the girls see justice done, Cheryl spills out a “#JusticeForEthel” before helping Betty burn the book and apologizing for Jason’s behavior towards Polly.

Finally, Archie goes to talk to Ms. Grundy about what she had told his dad the previous night while the lead scout talks to Jughead and Betty about the gunshot. Fearing for his position in the Boy Scouts, he says he has better information: he saw Ms. Grundy’s car at the woods that morning. Jughead ends “Chapter Three: Body Double” on the note that, as much as he wants to protect his friend, he can’t save Archie now.

Images courtesy of the CW.

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