Okay, whodunit people, WHODUNIT?? On this week’s episode of RIVERDALE, “Chapter Eleven: To Riverdale And Back Again.” This week’s episode was full of strange, shocking twists and turns. As we near the end of the first season, I’m stumped as to who killed Jason Blossom. We’ve been left with a town full of suspects, and unfortunately, Jughead’s dad is the scapegoat. The episode was dark, and full of drama, but not as much of the fluffy, soapy stuff we’ve been inhaling since the season’s start – don’t get me wrong, that stuff is in there, too – this episode was just more so rife with heartache and betrayal.
From the first episode I’ve been trying to put my finger on why I love this show so much. And no, it’s not because of Jughead, it’s not the cinematography, it’s not the murder mystery or the teen story – though all of these contribute to my appreciation for this show. Watching tonight’s episode, I finally figured it out: the special sauce to Riverdale that makes this show so, well, saucy and delicious. The show is a drama about class, at its core. And no, I don’t mean high school class, I’m talking about social class. The Blossoms, the Lodges, the Coopers, the Andrews, the Joneses – they all represent different rungs on the ladder. The Blossoms are old money, the Lodges are new money, the Coopers are the upper middle class, unjustly knocked down a peg generations ago by the Blossoms. The Andrews are the kind, hardworking middle class that are also woefully oblivious to the scheming and malintent around them. And, of course, the universe isn’t trying to keep up with the Joneses, the Joneses are the lower class, just trying to keep up with the universe.
So why do I contribute liking this show so much to the show’s depiction of class? Well, because the show is exploring all sorts of prejudices, dynamics, and injustices caused by the influence of class, but through the lense of these teens, trying to uncover the mystery of their classmate’s murder. Mix into that small town politics and you’ve got one heck of a juicy show. And Jughead really being at the center of the show, not Archie, says something very poignant about American society and class today. We feel for Jughead – we feel what Jughead is feeling, because at the end of the day, the crap that he’s gone through and continues to go through just really isn’t fair. And try as they might, the other kids in the Archie gang don’t, and can never, quite understand Jughead’s turmoil. But as viewers, we get to, and in a lot of ways, that’s better.
Okay, but back to this episode in particular. It’s the week of homecoming, and Betty has her hands full planning the dance and continuing the investigation into Jason’s murder. When Mrs. Cooper asks Betty and Veronica to help her question FP Jones about his possible connection to Jason’s murder, Betty refuses, trusting Jughead’s judgment about his dad and not wanting to betray Jughead’s trust in her. Veronica isn’t so firmly against the idea, however, and agrees to help Mrs. Cooper behind Betty’s back, in the hopes of finally having some proof as to whether or not her father hired someone to kill Jason.
Polly, in the meantime, is trying to find her own clues about Jason’s murder at the Blossom’s mansion. She’s been forbidden (as has everyone that’s not Mr. and Mrs. Blossom) from entering the east wing, which is where Mr. and Mrs. Blossom’s bedroom is. Polly snoops anyways, and gets caught and reprimanded after seeing Mr. Blossom’s collection of wigs. It’s creepy how obsessed this family is with red hair.
Also awkward in this episode is Mrs. Andrews’ presence. It clearly makes Hermione uncomfortable, and even Archie isn’t sure how he feels about it – though he’d never admit that. However, Molly Ringwa – ahem – Mrs. Andrews’ is a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man. Besides, she’s not planning to stay in Riverdale, anyways. She has to get back to Chicago, and she wants Archie to come with her. He tells her he’ll think about it.
Here’s where the fun part starts: Cheryl finds Nana Blossom’s ring that she gifted to Jason and Polly in Mr. and Mrs. Blossom’s bedroom. Polly is there as well, and when she sees it she flips out. Cheryl warns Polly that just because she’s carrying Jason’s kids doesn’t mean she’s safe. Really taking this warning to heart (sarcasm here), Polly confronts Mr. and Mrs. Blossom about the ring, and they drug her with sleeping meds after telling her that Jason gave the ring back to them when he disowned them. I seriously don’t know what they plan to do with her. She’s alive, that’s all we know.
Meanwhile, Archie and Veronica search FP’s trailer house while FP joins Mrs. Cooper and Betty for dinner with Jughead. It’s an uncomfortable situation, but at least Archie and Veronica don’t find anything incriminating. When Betty puts the pieces together later, Jughead also finds out, and feeling betrayed by all of them – not just Archie, but Betty, too – Jughead tells Betty in anger that he’s going to go to Toledo to be with his dad and the rest of his family, because FP has finally stopped drinking and has been getting his life back in order. Betty only has a few moments to cry about this before the news hits them: someone tipped the police off about FP, they got a warrant to search his home, and they found the gun used to kill Jason. In absolute shock, Jughead runs off on his own.
And that’s pretty much where the story ends for this week. So much and yet so little. Can’t wait to put some of the pieces of the puzzle together next week!
Season 1, Episode 11 (S01E11)
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.
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.
Tasha Cerny | Contributor