It’s the quintessential high-school-house-party-gone-wild in this week’s episode of RIVERDALE, “Chapter Ten: The Lost Weekend.” And good golly molly (Ringwald! more on that later), it wasn’t only the weekend that was lost. I nearly lost my mind emotionally as Bughead teeters to the brink of break-up, but it also could have been the imaginary kegstand I was doing in honor of the show hitting such a monumental teen story trope. Either way, the point is, Bughead almost didn’t survive the episode, and that’s the important takeaway here, people.
Also making a guest appearance in this episode: a sexy dance number by Veronica and Cheryl, Jughead’s angst, a total hot mess Archie, Betty’s inner demons, and that bottom-of-the-barrel prince of the patriarchy, Chuck (ugh). Needless to say, the episode was about as wild with ups and downs as a drunken house party is wild with spilt beer and that one kid who’s just going through something right now, okay? The episode also made ample opportunities to throw in that classic Riverdale book-like dialogue that makes everything so much more dramatic in the most amusing and entertaining way. The peak moment of this happening was towards the end of the party, when Cheryl decides that it’s time everyone reveal their secrets in a game called ‘Secrets and Sins,’ except, it’s not really a game, it’s just Cheryl standing in the middle of a circle accusing people of dirt she’s dug up on them, until they get so riled up they reveal dirt on someone else. Seems like a pretty straight-forward concept for a game, but I don’t know, maybe you just have to be drunk to get it.
Besides shame and a rearing headache, though, the party and Cheryl’s little game were good for one thing: all the dirt (or at least, most of it) that the characters had picked up about each other and Jason’s murder over the course of the season were thrown out in the open. Now, nearly everyone knows as much as the next person, and hopefully, (considering the first season is only thirteen episodes long) someone (preferably Bughead) is going to connect the dots soon and figure out we’ve been drawing the shape of Jughead’s hat the whole time. Which, by the way, shout out to Jughead’s hat, which gets a shout out from Jughead in the midst of the show. It is weird that Jughead never takes that thing off, and I hadn’t really thought about it before now. What’s he hiding underneath there? A bald spot? Drugs? A small cat? The suspense is almost more than wanting to find out who killed Jason Blossom.
If you can’t tell from the excited way I’ve just babbled on about random bits of this episode, it’s a good one, let me flat out tell you right now. It’s not quite like its predecessors, insofar as to say the episode feels less like a traditional dramatic serialized show that gives you bits and pieces to further the story along in a domino-like linear trajectory. It’s more like a shower drain, slowly sucking in all the soapy little tidbits of drama in a downward spiral that leads to Jughead’s birthday party.
The slight change of pace and structure doesn’t feel foreign to the show, but more like that fabulous pair of shoes in the back of your closet that you love, but you don’t wear that often because you don’t have a lot of outfits that go with it. Too many metaphors? Basically, the episode still feels like Riverdale, it’s just a refreshing rearrangement to the episodes we’ve had thus far.
There is so much going on in this episode, but here’s the basic low-down: Veronica refuses to testify for her father after the turmoil he caused so many other people, like Ethel’s father. Archie tells Betty that Jughead’s birthday is coming up, despite the fact that Jughead hates his birthday and hates celebrating it. Archie’s dad leaves for the weekend to finalize the divorce papers with Archie’s mom. Veronica is threatened by her father that if she doesn’t testify for him, he will make sure Veronica’s mother has to face legal consequences as well. Veronica tells the “inner circle” this, and Archie reveals to Veronica what he overheard at the Blossoms’. Convinced that the Blossoms are to blame for her problems, and wanting to seek a little gratifying revenge, Veronica challenges Cheryl to a dance-off, at which point Veronica proves that she is the superior dancer. Chuck (ugh) is back in school after his suspension, and Betty isn’t taking it well. She decides to bury herself in planning a birthday party for Jughead to keep her mind off of Chuck (ugh) and the memory of the night she thought she was actually Polly. Cheryl finds out about the party and decides to seek revenge on Veronica by crashing the party with basically the entire school (and Chuck – ugh) in tow. Jughead’s dad shows up with a birthday present for Jughead, and Mrs. Cooper sees and recognizes him. Mrs. C gets suspicious and confronts him, at which point we find out that Betty’s mom was a serpent at one point. Wowza.
Backing up just a bit, Jughead pretty much breaks up with Betty out of anger for the disastrous unplanned kegger. He thinks they are just too different because he’s a super weird kid and she’s the beautiful, perfect girl next door that he thinks might leave him if Archie ever were to change his mind (which, judging by the way Archie looks at her anytime she kisses Jughead, it already has). When Jughead tells her this, of course Betty is offended, but the two don’t have too long to fume and hate each other, because Cheryl’s secrets and sins game brings out the embarrassing details of what Betty did to Chuck (ugh) that night she got him to fess up, and upon hearing this, Jughead gives the most harrowing punch of his life, swiftly grazing Chuck’s (ugh) face, just enough to make him mad and hit back, much, much harder.
But really, it’s Jughead’s dad who saves Bughead, catching Jughead as he’s attempting to take off, running away from his problems. His dad tells him to turn around and face the music, because his friends and Betty are the best things he’s ever had in life, and his life with them is so much better than anything he got in his own home growing up. Reluctantly, Jughead agrees and retreats back inside to the now trashed, but empty Andrews house.
Oh, and Archie drunk dials his dad, asking him not to sign the divorce papers, so Mr. Andrews shows up with Mrs. Andrews, who also happens to be Molly Ringwald. So I guess that makes Mr. Andrews what, Blane?
Suffice to say, grab a friend, because this week’s episode is four thumbs up. Can’t wait to see what’s up next for our favorite comic characters. Maybe Jughead will finally take the hat off.
Season 1, Episode 10 (S01E10)
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