The search for Polly is on in this week’s episode of RIVERDALE, “In a Lonely Place.” With word out to the Blossoms of Polly’s escape from the convent, the race to find Betty’s pregnant sister gets heated. Also coming out into the public light is Bughead, as subtle and sweet as ever. Definitely my favorite match of the season so far.
Naturally, the show is making up for a Jughead-light start to the season by giving us a lot of Jughead now, which only adds to an already enthralling show. Jughead is arguably the most dynamic and intriguing character on the show. Since the close of the drive-in movie theater, Jughead has been sleeping in a janitor’s closet at the school. When he runs into Archie in the locker room showers one morning, he comes clean – literally – about being homeless. He tells Archie about his dad dropping off the edge after being fired by Archie’s dad. Archie naturally offers Jughead a place at his house, and Jughead naturally turns him down. But they both agree to try and talk Archie’s dad into offering Jughead’s dad a job again, and Jughead’s dad into accepting.
Meanwhile, Cheryl gets wind that Polly has escaped from the convent – the asylum, as Cheryl thinks it is – and the witch hunt is on to find Polly before the Blossoms do. Both Betty and Cheryl have organized their own search parties, but to no avail on either side. Betty begins to really fret, but her parents do some major damage control by organizing a public statement that reveals Polly’s pregnancy. With this news out in the open, the Blossoms reconsider Polly’s innocence in Jason’s death.
On a minor note, Veronica organizes a bender to teach her mom a lesson for forging her signature. It’s a deep dive into Veronica’s rich-girl past, but it has its merits. The tango between Veronica and her mother that she describes is highly observant and deeply insightful on Veronica’s part. And the moment when Veronica reveals the real reason why her mother forging her signature bothers her so much is a truly deep moment for the character. It’s a moment the show has a talent of drizzling in at unexpected times; a deep scene among much teen angst.
Back on the Jughead front, Jughead convinces his dad to go work for Archie’s dad. After a good day at work, the two sons and two dads go out for dinner at Pop’s, and then a jam session in Archie’s garage, where Jughead’s dad tells Archie that Archie’s dad practically cheated him out of his share of the construction company, of which he was a partner, not just an employee. Yeah, it’s just as super awkward a moment as it sounds. Archie confronts his dad about it, and of course, his dad tells him that he has his own version of events. Given how drunk and floundering on rock bottom Jughead’s dad is, I’m willing to bet Archie’s dad has a viable version of events very different from Mr. Jones’s.
Back on the Blossom/Polly front, an idea sparked by Jughead gives Betty the answer to where Polly is, and sure enough, she’s been hiding in the attic the whole time! If Jeff Foxworthy lived in Riverdale this is the point where he’d probably pop up with a ‘you might be a bad parent if’ joke. But of course, Jeff Foxworthy doesn’t live in Riverdale, and Betty’s parents can’t be terrible forever – or can they?
Polly doesn’t want to reveal to her parents that she’s been hiding right above their noses the whole time because she knows they’ll force her to put the baby up for adoption, which Polly does not want. After a little chat with her parents, Betty realizes that Polly’s fears are well founded. Lucky for them – or is it? – Cheryl approaches Betty with an olive branch at school – not literally – and offers to help in any way that she can. Polly carrying Jason’s baby is apparently a game changer, and Cheryl and her parents are more than happy to cough up money to help Polly get the housing and medical attention she needs for a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately for Polly, the Blossom parents want her out of the picture – or so Cheryl gathers from their pointed questions and conversations. Lucky for Polly – surprising! – Cheryl has enough insight to figure this out and get a step ahead of her parents, warning Polly to leave before they have a chance to get their hands on her. In the greatest bit of luck yet, but a surprisingly easy loophole that we probably could have just turned to in the first place and not worried about the rest of this drama, Veronica offers up her apartment with her mom, who is totally cool with it. So looky there, Polly has a home outside of her parent’s -and the Blossoms – pockets.
Back in Jughead land, Jughead gets called into the police station for questioning about Jason’s murder. Turns out Jughead might be a slightly unreliable narrator, which frankly only makes him more fascinating. He’s not so great with the grades and he’s had a lot of teasing, as well as a history of – playing with matches? Okay, this is some real B.S. up in here, and the sheriff is totally trying to find a scapegoat to pin this never-ending murder investigation on. It’s a good thing the sheriff has a totally awesome gay son who makes up in rainbows of personality what this man damages with shady behavior.
Archie’s dad bails Jughead out and even forges an alibi for him, though we still don’t know what Jughead was really doing the day Jason was killed. Jughead’s dad finally shows up, drunk and rowdy, but Jughead asks him not to make things worse and he agrees. He tells Jughead he needs a couple months to get back on his feet, but then he’s going to solve everything and get Jughead’s mom and sister to come back home so they can all be under one roof again. So, in a heartfelt goodbye-with-only-our-eyes, Jughead parts ways with his father and crashes at Archie’s house.
The show ends on a closeup of Jason’s letterman’s jacket (wasn’t that in the car? How many jackets does this kid have?) in the coat closet in Jughead’s dad’s trailer. So there’s a twist for ya.
Season 1, Episode 7 (S01E07)
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.
Tasha Cerny | Contributor