This week on Riverdale, the students of RHS and their parents visit the school’s licensed psychologist for some much-needed guidance and cathartic yelling and crying. But before we visit Mrs. Burble and attempt to dissect round two of the mysterious videotape footage of Riverdale’s houses, we need to cover the main plots of the evening.
Case No. 65b: Elizabeth Cooper and Alice Smith
Betty gets to fully unload on some of the chaotic things her mother has put her through—like shipping her off to Quiet Mercy, giving her college fund to the Farm, hiding her half-brother’s existence—when Alice shows up at B’s meeting with Mrs. Burble. Though this eruption is technically inspired by Alice opening Betty’s Yale rejection letter and finding her birth control pills in her room, WHEW this feels long overdue. It’s fiery and emotional and filled with lots of truth bombs and recaps of the show thus far. Ultimately, Betty and Mrs. Burble try to convince Alice that she needs to let Betty grow up and become the adult she’s becoming, and Alice admits that she loves Betty more than Polly. In the end, Alice gives Betty a check for college and Betty tells her mom she loves her “the most,” too.
Case No. 70: Archibald Andrews
Archie hasn’t applied to college, because he wants to stay in Riverdale to clean it up. He pretty much tells Mrs. Burble that he’s moonlighting as a masked vigilante, but that he’s worried he’s still not doing enough and that he’s putting his loved ones (specifically his mother) in danger. Mrs. Burble urges him to focus on the community center—get more volunteers, start a tip line—and give up any quest for vigilante justice. Archie interprets this as “move into the center to protect your mom from any danger that follows.” Um…not quite? He does throw the mask away, for approximately one day, before scooping it and his trusty baseball bat up again when he gets a tip line message from a scared kid with a mom who’s being abused. So Archie is basically right back where he started.
Case No. 72: Cheryl Blossom
Cheryl gets in trouble—finally—for her multiple school absences (26!) and Principal Honey agrees to let Mrs. Burble make a recommendation before putting an adult in charge of the Vixens to take something off Cheryl’s shoulders. He refers to this as determining whether or not she’s “psychologically unfit” to coach the squad, and, okay, he could’ve phrased that in a different way. It’s 100% not absurd and has nothing to do with a psychological evaluation to want an adult coach for a high school cheerleading/dance squad. Mrs. Burble breaks down Cheryl’s “I have a rapturous girlfriend, total independence, a 4.0, and amazing hair” defenses quickly, and Cheryl breaks down in tears while admitting that she speaks to Jason’s body and fears she’s going mad because of the Julian haunting. Mrs. Burble is kind and suggests a few things: 1) Cheryl’s processing her grief and dealing with the “lifetime of trauma” she’s already dealt with; 2) There’s a DNA test she can get to confirm the Julian absorption story; 3) Someone is gaslighting her with the doll to make her think she’s losing her mind; 4) A coach should be brought in for the Vixens, to give Cheryl time to focus on herself. This all seems like sound advice and I really hope, for Cheryl’s sake mostly, that Mrs. Burble isn’t revealed to be evil later this season. Anyway, Cheryl is devastated about the Vixens, but elated to discover that she did NOT, in fact, absorb Julian in utero. And now? She’s determined to crucify whoever’s messing with her. My guess? Penelope.
Case No. 75: Veronica Luna, nee Lodge
Veronica’s acceptance to Harvard is tainted by the fact that her father clearly put some pressure on the dean, and now she’ll never know if she could do it herself. Mrs. Burble quickly ascertains that Hiram and Veronica are obsessed with each other, names some Greek mythology/Freudian theory, and tells Veronica that she can cut ties with Hiram for good, but only if she actually wants to. So she ends the episode telling Hiram that she’s going to destroy him on the business battlefield (by making her own rum) because she’s “finished living [his] version of [her] life.” It seems like this is supposed to be the final, true, be-all-end-all showdown between Veronica and Hiram, but as Mrs. Burble herself pointed out—we’ve seen this before. A few times. Will it really be any different this time around?
Case No. 77: Forsythe Pendleton Jones III, AKA Jughead
Jughead ends up in Mrs. Burble’s office when he’s picking up a transcript, and he truly sounds like a mad conspiracy theorist when he’s filling her in on his whole Baxter Bros. sleuthing. Burble points out that he’s lionizing his grandfather, who did, in fact, mistreat Jughead’s father for many years, and also displaying some classic defensive techniques by refusing to write his Baxter sample and apply to colleges, etc etc. He’s kind of squandering the opportunity F.P. has sacrificed for and supported him in. So in the end, Jughead gives his dad a big ol’ hug, works on his sample and college apps, and does some actual investigating (instead of wild conjecturing) into the Quill & Skull crew. Turns out, all the former Quill & Skull members—except Mr. DuPont and Jug’s MIA grandpa—are dead. That’s not foreboding or anything, no sir.
Rumordale dot com:
• “You’re acting so naïve, like you didn’t think I was having sex—Jughead and I sleep in the same bed!” It’s about time someone acknowledged that Jughead and Betty are basically living together (when he’s not away at school). Though, this isn’t the first time that’s happened on this show.
• “Being proactive is being smart!” Betty defends birth control to the nation.
• The anonymous VHS tapes are back and the VCRs are dusted off to find…more footage of houses, zoomed in this time. What is going on here?
• Veronica might be going to Yale. But Betty is not going to Yale. So much for the B&V college roomie spin-off that we all want and need.
• Jughead refers to himself as Holden Caulfield when explaining his lackluster feelings toward phony small talk. OF COURSE, HE DOES. Jughead is so Guy in Your MFA.
• The episode ends with a flash-forward: Brett and Donna identifying A, V, and B in a line-up as “the kids we saw kill Jughead.” But who would ever believe anything those two said?
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue