1. Some people start the day with a nice cup of coffee, others do a nice little meditation or yoga. In this week's episode, Betty Cooper's morning starts with getting a call from town coroner and Josie McCoy stan Dr. Curdle Jr. with an update about the tongueless corpse she's asking him to hoard as evidence. We ALL wake up differently, there's no right or wrong here.
2. Tabitha's reaction once again proves that she is one of my favorite characters:
3. Veronica's estranged husband, Chad, came back to settle their divorce, but — despite the fact that she was a speakeasy and maple rum business owner before she could legally vote and is now the she-wolf of wall street — she still only has one interest in life: bear mauling survivor and savior of Riverdale, Archie Andrews.
4. Lest you forget, last week, Cheryl determined that she is a saint by performing three miracles, the last of which was being Queen of the Bees. Yes, you read that right. This week, Penelope now seems to be undermining Cheryl's cult and convincing Kevin to leave for reasons yet unknown.
5. Britta (who you'll remember from earlier in the season as the only girl on Archie's football team) finds herself in Toni's office — she punched a guy who was calling her anti-gay names. She confides in Toni that she is gay, and asks Toni to be there when she comes out to her parents.
6. Hiram had a chat with Chad and convinced him to try out his favorite hobby — attempting and failing to murder Archie Andrews:
7. Tabitha discovers that Squeaky (Remember her? She was the first woman we saw get into a truck on the lonely highway) is also missing and asks Jughead and Betty to team up to work on this mystery together once and for all.
8. And, of course, Jughead and Betty also end up back at the morgue, where Dr. Curdle Jr. reveals that another body turned up. Unfortunately, it's so disfigured that they'll have to run a DNA test to figure out if it's Polly — so Betty gives a sample. This will be very important later.
9. After Chad attempts to murder Archie (or as she says, "your pathetic attempt to kill my lover"), Veronica gets some big "Paulette Bonafonté I'm taking the dog, dumbass" energy, except instead of "the dog" she plans to take EVERYTHING. Pls enjoy this lovely piece of art:
10. We switch to brunch with the Blossoms and Kevin, but literally all I could stare at were these "eggs" next to Cheryl:
11. Me, whenever someone asks me why I still watch this show:
12. In classic Archie and Veronica fashion, they have sex before the ink on Veronica's divorce papers even has time to dry:
13. Cheryl explains to Kevin that she figured out who her ministry worships — Mother Earth, of course. And Kevin ultimately is like...I gotta go, but thanks.
14. Being earnest for a second, Toni and Fangs have a sweet heart-to-heart about their own coming out experiences after Britta's went poorly, and they have this exchange about baby Anthony:
15. Since Hiram's first murder attempt of Archie went poorly, he decides to try to blow up the mines where Archie and several others are currently searching for palladium. Hiram's expression as he's about to murder a bunch of innocent people for no reason is similar to mine when I'm about to drop some juicy goss in the group chat. This is real sociopath stuff:
16. This is the kind of moment while watching this show where I genuinely stare at the screen like, how did we even...get here???
17. Kevin calls Cheryl after the explosion, and I genuinely LOL'd at the way she picked up the phone:
18. Naturally, Veronica holds Hiram hostage (because of course she does) and basically reveals that Hiram has truly always been an absolutely crap father.
19. Alright, here's where it gets wild, so buckle up! In Dr. Curdle Jr.'s THIRD appearance of the episode, Betty learns that the serial killer IS ACTUALLY A DISTANT RELATIVE OF HERS, because all serial killer roads seemingly lead to Betty:
20. And they piece together that actually, it's on the Blossom side of this messy family maple tree. Jughead remembers that Nana Rose once gifted him and Tabitha a corpse preserved in maple syrup (lolol) and realizes the serial killers, moth men, and Blossoms must all be connected. Which leads to the questioning of Nana Rose:
21. Um, okay, so basically, Nana explains that her ex-husband cheated on her a lot and had a bunch of babies with other women, and then Nana had to "deal" with them, so she found a couple who lived in the woods named the "Starkweathers" to take in all of the kids. Here, I'll let Jughead sum it up best for all of us:
22. Meanwhile, Cheryl convinces Veronica to relax a bit, to which Veronica first replies, "I can't go home, Archie's trapped in a mine." She ends up taking Cheryl's advice, but Chad attempts to attack her and...Veronica accidentally kills him. BYE FOREVER YOU MASSIVE PIECE OF GARBAGE. Smithers is pretty shocked by everything, but Veronica is somewhat chill considering everything that just went down:
23. Like I said, Archie and Eric DO ultimately survive the mine explosion, seemingly thanks to Cheryl's prayers to Mother Earth, which looked suspiciously like a Pantene Pro-V commercial:
24. But back to the illegitimate Blossom family. So Jughead pieces together that Old Man Dreyfus, who first TOLD him about the moth men, must be Mr. Starkweather. Remember him?
25. Because there's SO MUCH GOING ON, at the same time, Toni realizes that Britta is now missing — so a crew of Toni, Fangs, Jughead, Betty, and Tabitha all go to take down the moth men. It's basically a lot of...this:
26. Betty and Alice finally get the closure they need when they find Polly's body at the junkyard, and the acting is so good and it's such a genuinely devastating moment. RIP Polly.
Next week will be the fallout of this horrible news, which manifests in the form of a musical episode. This year's musical is Next to Normal, and per the synopsis, Alice creates "an imaginary musical fantasy world" of her family. We'll be here next week to unpack it all, I suppose.
Goodbye to the moth men plot forever...