The following is a public service announcement for any of you people who quit watching “Riverdale” (2017–) this season because it “went downhill”: “Riverdale” is good again!! Seriously! It is important to note that classifying “Riverdale” as “good” in no way indicates any amount of actual quality, but the past few weeks have been a ton of fun with just the right of amount of the show’s signature creepiness. This week’s “Primary Colors” was no exception. It was over the top and outright ridiculous in all the right ways, and it ended with an absolutely gut-wrenching turn of events for poor Cheryl. She really just cannot catch a break.
This week wastes no time addressing last week’s “cliffhanger,” with Alice admitting to Betty that the reason Chic doesn’t have Blossom blood is because he’s not Hal’s son. Surprise, said literally no one. Alice does assure Betty that FP is not Chic’s father, but it’s not time to toss out that theory yet. Who else could it possibly be? There are only about 16 people in this entire town, so baby daddy options are limited.
Betty still doesn’t trust Chic, so she decides to scare the crap out of him (and America) by holding a Zippo lighter to his face while he’s asleep. Betty, sweetie, it might be time to take a step back and examine your life choices. Chic also immediately retaliates by outing Betty’s kinky wig-involved sex with Jughead to Alice, so who really comes out on top here? Having your face burnt off by a lighter might be more pleasant than being a teenager and having “the talk” with your mother.
Over at The Pembrooke, Hal is interviewing Hermione about her mayoral candidacy, when all of a sudden ANDY COHEN appears. If Andy Cohen’s agreement to cameo on “Riverdale” isn’t proof enough to you that this show is worth watching, then you’re a lost cause. Anyway, Andy endorses Hermione and hm, is anyone else considering supporting Hermione for mayor now? What maximum security prison? Also, just bouncing ideas around, if Hiram’s plans with Pop’s fall through, maybe Andy can get Pop a job at SUR.
Also, apparently Fred Andrews has decided to run for mayor too, but honestly this feels like old information, so it’s unclear why this is being treated like a big reveal. And Molly Ringwald is back in town to help out Fred with his campaign and to yell at Archie for being an idiot, so that’s just some more business as usual.
It’s not just the adults who are involved in an “intense” political battle. Over at Riverdale High, it’s time to elect a new student body president, where tensions are already high because of the Lodges’ business plans. Ethel/Barb decides to channel “Glee” and tosses a Pop’s milkshake in Veronica’s face in the cafeteria. (They must not have a slushie machine at Riverdale High.) Veronica manages to keep her cool (no pun intended), but loses it later when Reggie insults her dad, and she punches him in the face. Looks like Veronica’s been spending too much time with Red Circle Archie.
This whole ordeal somehow prompts Veronica to seek even more attention for her family and run for president of Riverdale High. Betty agrees to be her running mate, and all is going well until Josie — who also has it in for Veronica and the Lodges — helps Ethel reveal to the school that Veronica knew about her parents’ plan to turn Southside High into a prison. Betty, hurt that Veronica lied to her about this, ditches Veronica’s campaign and decides to run alongside Jughead instead. Yes, Jughead is now running for president too.
Haven’t heard much from Jug this week yet, have we? Well, that’s because he’s been off hunger striking and chaining himself to fences to protest the demolition of Southside High. This all fails, however, and culminates in Archie forcibly removing Jughead from the chains himself. The core four is really in trouble, guys. But now Jughead has decided to channel the power of the ballot box, and he’s got his wig-loving, lighter-wielding girlfriend by his side. What could go wrong?
The Lodges, Coopers and Jones’s really need to get a grip though, because some people in this town have real problems. Namely, Cheryl, who is pretty certain her mother and uncle are trying to kill her and her grandmother. After a much-missed River Vixens dance practice scene, which featured a particularly impressive routine from Toni Topaz, Cheryl invites Toni, Josie, Betty and Veronica over to her house (this is before the Veronica Burn Book page gets released) for a sleepover. She admits to them, however, that she really invited them because she’s afraid to be alone in her house (and also to spend some quality time with her new love interest, Toni). Betty obviously tries to make this about her and how she’s scared to be in her house with Chic (Betty, leave), but this all gets interrupted by a crash that turns out to be the sound of Nana Rose falling down the stairs.
Nana Rose is not going down that easily, however, and survives the fall. After talking to a doctor at the hospital, Cheryl becomes sure that her mother and uncle had been poisoning Nana Rose with tannis root, which causes paralysis, and then pushed her down the stairs.
Before Cheryl can do anything about it, however, Penelope drags Cheryl to the car and tells her she’s clearly lost her mind. Unfortunately, Cheryl does not throw herself out of the car and winds up at what appears to be a mental institution posing as a convent. Next thing we know, Sister Woodhouse enters Cheryl’s room with some medieval-looking medical tools to presumably put Cheryl through conversion therapy.
The only ounce of hope we have in this dark, dark hour is one Toni Topaz, who does not buy Penelope’s claim that Cheryl has randomly gone off to boarding school. Sorry everyone, Bughead and Varchie are out; Choni is the only “Riverdale” pairing that matters. This is besides, of course, the professional shipping of Kevin and Andy Cohen. We all know Kevin was born for Bravo.
“Riverdale” airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW. Full episodes are available on cwtv.com and Netflix.