Only in Riverdale would a baby shower be more frightening than a construction site brawl or a visit to a gang bar. Just kidding! Baby showers are frightening under any and all circumstances. Alas, our dear Betty and Veronica, who want to throw Polly a baby shower in hopes of reuniting the Cooper family, may think they understand the way the world works, but until they’ve had to feign excitement at watching a person unwrap a tube of diaper rash cream, they know nothing. NOTHING.
Regardless, a baby shower at the Lodge residence is their plan. Polly spills her story to Sheriff Keller: Yes, Jason was running drugs for the Serpents to make enough money so they could leave. And, yes Jason was going to fake his murder and they were going to run away together, until Polly’s parents sent her to the convent. It’s all very upsetting, so sure, why not have a party? It will cheer people up and get Alice in the same room as her daughter... in a safe, public setting where she can’t throw things at her.
Of all people, it’s Hermione who eventually convinces Alice to attend the party. Hermione asks Alice what she really wants out of this whole situation, aside from her teenage daughter not being knocked up with a dead boy’s child, and Alice replies that she wants her family back. There’s an easy solution here.
Little does Alice know that Polly’s insisted the Blossoms be invited, as well. Polly wants to show them that she’s not an unfit mother. Literally everyone around her knows this is a bad idea. But the shower, complete thanks to Jughead’s help (because he’s Betty’s boyfriend now, you guys! I am very attached to this pairing), starts and surprise, surprise, Alice and the Blossom ladies all arrive.
It actually stays cordial for longer than one would expect. I mean, sure, there is pure hatred in Alice’s and Penelope’s eyes, but that’s par for the course. Alice and Polly seem to be making some headway toward reconciling. And creepy Nana tells Polly she’s having twins (Jason and Cheryl 2.0, yikes), but no one finds it too off-putting. What a shower! Until, of course, the Blossoms ask Polly to come and live with them. Neither she nor the baby (babies!) will want for anything. This, of course, sets Alice off, and the two matriarchs have at it. It’s the usual stuff about Alice exiling her own daughter and the Blossoms being poisonous, etc., etc.
To be honest, this is a baby shower I could get behind.
Obviously, Polly is very upset by all this. It’s not just about the party - it’s also about, you know, her family abandoning her. Alice promises that neither Polly nor her baby will ever feel that way again, and she wants them both to move back home. Shocking, right? It’s not even the big revelation, you guys. Polly spills that before she got carted off in the wee hours of the morning, Hal set up a doctor’s appointment to try to force Polly into an abortion. Of course, no one says the word abortion because apparently in Riverdale it’s like saying “Voldemort.” Anyway, Alice had no idea. If you thought you’ve seen Alice angry before, hold on to your butts.
Alice goes home and confronts Hal. He doesn’t deny it. He wanted Polly to “fix her problem” and he wasn’t going to give her a choice about it. Just like he did to her, Alice fires back. Surprise! There’s more than one reason Alice is so upset by her daughter’s pregnancy. Hal claims he was trying to help Polly, just as he “helped” Alice all those years ago. He also tells his wife that he’ll never let a child with Blossom blood in his home. He doesn’t bring up anything about maple syrup though, which feels very off brand. Nevertheless, Alice screams at him to get out, and if he doesn’t, well, he knows what she’s capable of. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
In the end, Alice chooses Polly and the baby (babies?!) over Hal, only... Polly doesn’t choose Alice. She takes her suitcase, rolls up to Thornhill, and is led inside by Penelope and Cliff and his terrible hair. Seriously, this girl makes the worst decisions.
Alice ends up with even less of her family than when she started out, and she is destroyed (and Betty a little bit, too), but there is a silver lining: Alice finally feels like a fully developed human person! She’s quickly becoming one of the most interesting citizens of Riverdale.
Lest you think only the girls are having fun this week, let’s talk about all the crying dads.
It’s ground-breaking day for Fred’s construction company on the old drive-in land. This is a big deal for Fred, who, as we and Hermione know, is having huge money problems. Unfortunately, he finds himself in trouble very quickly: Clifford Blossom has offered Fred’s crew a two-year job that they can’t turn down. Without a crew, Fred can’t get started on the job. He’s losing money. This is bad.
Fred’s first action is to go threaten Cliff. As it turns out, that drive-in movie theater land once belonged to the Blossoms’ maple syrup empire, and he was all set to buy it back until the secret buyer (we know it’s Hiram and Hermione Lodge) took it out from under him. He’s going to stall the build and bleed the buyer dry. Well, Fred takes issue with that because it’s messing with his business and his family. “I will come after you with everything I’ve got,” he tells Cliff. This guy survived a love triangle with Brenda Walsh and Kelly Taylor - I wouldn’t mess with him, you know?
Before Fred spirals too hard, Archie and his friends pull up to the construction site to save the day. They’ll be his crew until Fred finds another. And this is where the biggest secret on Riverdale up to this point is finally revealed: YOU GUYS, JUGGY IS RIPPED. How did this happen? From all the typing he’s been doing? No wonder Betty wanted to lock him down with the boyfriend label.
Oh, right, the whole “Fred is about to lose his entire business” thing. Fred is touched by his son’s actions. The warm and fuzzy feelings don’t last very long: At the end of the day, Moose comes across two men destroying Fred’s equipment. They attack Moose and then speed off before anyone can see who they are. They leave a message for Fred: Stop construction or they’ll be back.
Fred thinks they must be Cliff Blossom’s goons, but Archie, angrier than anyone, has another theory: It’s the Southside Serpents. This used to be their territory; they must be retaliating. The adults don’t take him seriously, so he decides to take action on his own. He hatches a plan to have Kevin’s Serpent boyfriend (I guess this isn’t a secret anymore?), Joaquin, get them in to a Serpent bar, where Moose can identify the guys who jumped him. Archie tries to enlist Jughead’s help, but Juggy is totally against it. Archie pleads with his friend to help both him and Fred (whom he owes), and also the Serpents are bad people, involved with drugs. When Jughead refuses, Archie is livid. Of course, we all know Jughead is trying to protect his secret: F.P. is a card-carrying member of the gang.
Archie and the boys go to the bar. On the plus side, it’s great to see how much Archie loves his dad, but on the negative: HOW DUMB IS THIS KID? He wears his high school letterman jacket TO A BAR... RUN BY A GANG. Why do people hang out with him? Anyway, they get to the bar, which is full of guys wearing leather jackets, pool tables, and twinkle lights (!!). Just when it looks like Archie might get into it with a guy named Mustang (of course!), F.P. walks in and breaks up the fight. Archie is shocked to be face to face with Jughead’s dad. But a lot of things are starting to make sense.
Archie runs over to the baby shower and outs Jughead’s ties to the Serpents in front of Betty and Veronica. It’s not cool at all. Jughead is humiliated. But don’t fret too much - later they make up and call each other brothers. Nice, right?
Meanwhile, Fred, who came to get Archie from the bar, has a chat with F.P. He’s also surprised to see the guy has joined the Serpents. F.P. explains that he didn’t have much of a choice when he lost his job. BURN. But their old friendship and Fred’s kindness toward Jughead is not lost on F.P. He knows the Serpents didn’t go after the equipment, but he’ll look into who did.
Back at home, Archie apologizes for not being able to help his dad. They have a very touching heart-to-heart about Fred only knowing one thing his entire life, construction, and Archie telling him he should be proud of his legacy and you guys, FRED CRIES. I’m a sucker for a Hot Dad Who Cries.
Speaking of... Betty is totally cool with Jughead’s dad being a Serpent, she just wants Juggy to be honest with her. It is very sweet. But also, she thinks they should go talk to F.P. He might know something about Jason. So they do, and he does. He doesn’t even try to hide it: Jason was looking to make some extra money, so they were going to have him run drugs upstate. When he never returned, they thought he took the money and ran. Well, until his body turned up. But that’s all. He knows Juggy has one more question for him, and Jughead doesn’t hesitate to ask. Did F.P. have anything to do with Jason’s death? It breaks F.P.’s heart that his son thinks he could do that. And then it happens: A second Hot Dad cries. This is almost too much to handle.
Jughead believes his father, and Betty believes Jughead (aww!), but we know better. Later, F.P. is stuffing Jason’s letterman jacket into a bag for safe-keeping and talking to Joaquin (!!) about staying on task. GASP. Apparently, his whole romance with Kevin was setup so the Serpents could keep an eye on what Sheriff Keller was doing. Joaquin seems genuinely torn up about it, but I don’t think that will soften the blow when Kevin finds out. F.P. reminds the kid that they “all have a part to play.” It is very ominous.
Does the part F.P. has to play have something to do with him turning up at Fred’s construction site the next day to offer his and his crew’s services? Fred doesn’t seem thrilled about getting into business with the Southside Serpents, but beggars can’t be choosers. They’re hired. Somehow I doubt this business relationship will be problem-free.
Oh, and F.P. didn’t forget about looking into the men who destroyed Fred’s property. He knows who they’re working for, only he isn’t looking to tell Fred. He pulls Hermione aside to inform her that the men were working for Hiram. Apparently, he caught wind of her budding romance with Fred and isn’t happy about it. Can people just leave the Crying Dad alone for once?