Whip out the pomade and grab your switchblades for this week’s episode of RIVERDALE, “Chapter Eight: The Outsiders.” This week’s episode is all about town rivalries, pitting Blossom against Cooper, Andrews against Blossom, Lodge against Andrews, Blossom against Lodge, and Cooper against Cooper. Phew, that was a lot of last nights.
The episode takes a big step forward in advancing the drama taking place in the little timeless town of Riverdale. Stuff is going down, people, and unfortunately for everyone’s heartstrings, Archie’s dad, Fred, is the first in the line of fire. Let’s face it, except for Jughead (my personal favorite character) Fred is probably the most sympathetic and likeable character out of the whole bunch. He’s just a dad, trying to do right by his son and his business. On what should be a happy day for him – the first day of breaking ground on the Lodge’s construction project (that Fred doesn’t know is the Lodge’s construction project) – Fred’s entire crew gets bought out by the Blossoms, who are attempting to bleed out the Lodges (who the Blossoms still don’t know are the current property owners). Unfortunately, this project was supposed to be the lifesaver project that Fred needed to keep his business afloat. By bleeding out the Lodges, the Blossoms are also bleeding out Fred’s business.
Also in the line of rivalry fire is Polly and her baby. Veronica and Hermione agree to throw Polly a baby shower. Polly, being the ever-hopeful and naive decision maker that she is, informs Betty and Veronica that she wants the Blossoms and the Coopers to come to the baby shower. Betty is hesitant, but Veronica convinces her that it may just be the best opportunity to extend olive branches and build back trust.
Meanwhile, Jughead is struggling to keep his father’s involvement with the Serpents a secret. After Archie and his buddies volunteer to help Fred break ground on the construction project, a couple of mysterious hoodlums trash Fred’s equipment and beat Moose up. Poor Moose, he was no match for two hoodlums. Archie – as well as pretty much everyone except for Jughead – agrees that it was probably a couple of Serpents. Even though the Blossoms have more motive to hire someone to trash Fred’s equipment, that theory is quickly brushed aside and the fingers pointed at people who have less motive, but also less money, because naturally, that makes more sense. Ahh, the injustice of socioeconomic bias. Archie decides the smartest thing to do is walk right into a local Serpent bar, and start a fight with the first person Moose says looks kind of familiar. Of course, Jughead’s dad has to come break up the fight, and Jughead’s secret is blown wide open.
Archie’s half-baked plan actually brings about some positives, though. Fred tells Jughead’s dad that his business is struggling, and how he’s run into complications finding a crew and keeping his equipment safe on this new project. Jughead’s dad tells Fred that he’ll ask around and see if he can figure out who trashed Fred’s equipment. Olive branch numero uno. Olive branch number two, Archie, in another half-baked and immature move, crashes Polly’s baby shower to angrily confront Jughead about keeping his dad’s involvement with the Serpents a secret. Thus, the cat is now out of the bag to everyone, including Betty. I have to admit, it’s so fun watching Cole Sprouse play Jughead – the subtle facial expressions he gives the character let the audience know exactly what Jughead is thinking and feeling in moments like these, and it really adds to the emotion of each dramatic blow.
Lucky for Jughead, nobody really cares to hold his association with the Serpents against him. In fact, it brings him closer to both Betty and Archie. It also gives Betty and Jughead another lead in their own little private investigation, and they go question Jughead’s dad about the Serpents supposed drug involvement, which Jughead’s dad confirms, to Jughead’s disappointment, but acceptance.
Meanwhile, Mr. Cooper’s extreme feelings of hatred towards the Blossoms and Polly’s baby come out, much to the shock and anger of Mrs. Cooper, who kicks Mr. Cooper out and asks Polly to come back home to live with her and Betty. Unfortunately, Polly isn’t ready to forgive that easily, and instead, she takes the Blossoms up on their offer to come live at Thornhill, the Blossoms’ creepy, gothic mansion. Jughead’s dad gathers up a crew of men from his Serpent gang who are looking for work, and cautiously, Fred agrees to hire them as his construction crew. Jughead’s dad also informs Hermione that the hoodlums who trashed Fred’s equipment were from out of town – men who might know Mr. Lodge, which means Mr. Lodge has probably found out about Hermione’s little romance with Fred. Yikes.
All of this, of course is just a drop in the bucket compared to the serious show Jughead and his Serpents have been putting on for everyone in the town, including Jughead. We still don’t know exactly what the Serpents involvement with Jason’s death is, but it’s definitely more than what Jughead’s dad confessed to. He hands off Jason’s jacket to Joaquin, Kevin Keller’s current love interest, as “collateral,” and reminds Joaquin that he needs to continue faking a relationship with Keller to keep an eye and an ear on the police investigation, because they all “have our part to play.” Woah, could Jughead’s dad be faking his alcoholism? Why? This show just keeps getting crazier and more intriguing.
Season 1, Episode 8 (S01E08)
Riverdale airs Thursdays at 9PM on The CW
Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching TV, Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
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Tasha Cerny | Contributor