It’s finally time for the Pussycats to shine in this week’s episode of RIVERDALE, “Chapter Six: Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!” Though Josie and her Pussycats do get to spend most of the episode in a cat fight, the episode title seems a bit misleading and eccentric tonally, compared to the show’s other titles thus far. I’ll just come right out and break the news to you here: the Pussycats don’t kill anyone in this episode – at least, not that we know of (cue dramatic, suspenseful music here).
The episode continues on the show’s fine-line walk between thrilling, edgy mystery and teen drama drenched in cheesey angst. It’s a surprisingly entertaining line to watch. A guilty pleasure (with better dialogue than most guilty pleasures) that leaves you wanting more.
This episode, however, had more suspense and less cheese. A likely result of less parent-child screen time, as the show’s biggest weakness tends to be the childish behavior of its adults, and the resulting dialogue between adults and teens that stems from that characteristic. Instead, the big plot point this episode is Betty and Jughead’s search for Betty’s sister, Polly. There’s also plenty of drama happening back at Riverdale high between Veronica, her mother, Archie, and the Pussycats. But Polly and the budding partnership between Betty and Jughead is much more interesting.
With Jughead’s help, Betty uncovers the name of the facility where her parents are keeping Polly. Much to her surprise, Polly isn’t in a mental hospital at all, but a convent for “troubled youths.” With Jughead in tow, Betty pays Polly a visit, and as an audience we finally get the pleasure of meeting the mysterious sister we’ve heard so much about. In a big plot reveal we discover that Polly is pregnant and that Jason only broke up with her because his parents forced him to. When Polly told Jason about the baby, the two made plans to run away together, which is why Jason left on the fourth of July. Before Polly could escape, though, Betty’s parents somehow found out about the plan and that’s when Polly was taken away to the convent. Betty and Polly’s meeting is cut short when their mother shows up at the convent. However, not before Polly tells Betty about the car that Jason had stashed away for them in the forest, ready to go for their getaway trip. And not before Betty breaks the news to Polly that Jason is dead.
Back in Riverdale, the high school is getting ready for a talent showcase, where Archie is trying very hard to debut an original song, despite his stage fright and slightly anonymous bullying from the football team – which never gets addressed in any forward manner, by the way, which bothers me immensely; why would Archie continue to surround himself by such jerks and pretend they are his friends? But I digress. Meanwhile, the relationship between Veronica and her mother is slowly degrading as Veronica discovers the budding romance between her mom and Archie’s dad, despite the fact that the two are still technically married to other people. Not approving of the relationship, Veronica takes her anger at her mother out on Archie. When things get heated between Josie and Valerie, Valerie splits from the Pussycats to go sing with Archie instead. Seeing an opportunity to take her aggression out, Veronica takes Valerie’s place in the band.
All this one-on-one time practicing music together is sparking something deeper than friendship between Archie and Valerie. At the same time, all this one-on-one murder investigating is sparking something deeper than friendship between Betty and Jughead as well. Both couples share their first kiss in this episode, effectively sealing their status as a couple – at least, for now. Personally I’m very intrigued to see where – if anywhere – this ‘Bughead’ relationship will go. With each episode, Jughead’s slightly mysterious family and past gets more intriguing – how will this play into further episodes?
Speaking of Bughead, Betty and Jughead realize that if they’re going to definitively prove that Polly isn’t crazy, they need to find the car that Jason stashed away. Sure enough, the car is right where Polly said it would be, hidden away in the forest, still packed and ready to go. Along with Jason’s jacket, Jughead and Betty find what seems to be drugs packaged away in the back of the car as well. They go to the sheriff with their discovery, but someone’s been following them, and by the time the authorities get back out to the car, it’s on fire, burning whatever evidence and clues it had. Betty and Jughead go back to visit Polly, but Polly is also gone – she’s broken out of the convent, and no one is sure where she’s run off to.
The episode ends with Veronica making amends with Archie and Valerie rejoining the Pussycats. Veronica’s relationship with her mother is even rockier, however, when Veronica discovers that, despite Veronica’s refusal to sign a contract letting Archie’s dad’s company take the construction job at the drive-in movie theater, his dad has mysteriously still gotten the job, meaning Veronica’s mother has forged Veronica’s signature. Like any good episode, we end on a note of satisfaction – we’ve gotten so many good clues this episode! – and a note of desire: what will happen next? Who is the killer? What’s up with Jughead’s past? What’s up with Veronica’s parents? What’s up with Betty’s parents? Where’s Polly? I’ll be watching next week to find out more answers!
Season 1, Episode 6 (S01E06)
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