1.Even though most episodes of Riverdale feel like a musical episode, this week was the musical episode. It starts with Betty explaining to her friends that the way Alice is processing her grief over Polly's death is by listening to the Broadway cast recording of Next to Normal on repeat — Alice has created a perfect family dynamic where Polly is alive again and her serial killer son Charles is back (looking quite un–serial killer-esque!) Notably missing? Her serial killer ex-husband Hal, aka the Black Hood.
2.Fresh off killing her horrible husband Chad last week, Veronica doesn't want to waste any more time with her lover (🤮) Archie — she suggests that they move in together immediately, which definitely will not be a bad idea — nope, not at all. Archie agrees, but somehow convinces her to move out of her luxury apartment and in to his house where Uncle Frank and Jughead already live too.
3.I will simply never stop pointing our Mr. Weatherbee's one glove, because it is my moral obligation to remind everyone that he wears it because Edgar Evernever cut off his fingers when he thought Weatherbee was a mole within his organ-harvesting cult, just before he planned to launch himself into space on a rocket ship and kill all of the cult members by driving them off a cliff in a bus.
4.Unfortunately, Toni is in Weatherbee's office because Britta's in a bit of trouble — after she came out to her parents last week, they kicked her out of the house and she's been living in Jughead's closet in Riverdale High.
5.Elsewhere in Riverdale, we learn that Tabitha's parents are in town and apparently the Pop's milkshake gene skipped a generation — her parents are upset that she decided to squander her future and move to Riverdale to work at Pop's.
6.For absolutely zero reason, Jughead and Tabitha sing a musical number from Next to Normal as well, even though they are not, in fact, a part of Alice's make-believe musical universe, but oooookay.
7.While there's not much humor in the scenes at the Cooper house this week, I did laugh that Alice managed to easily buy a massive piano online:
8.Settling into home life with Archie, Frank, and Jughead, Veronica cooks some chicken cordon bleu, but Frank and Archie get some kind of fireman text alert (?) and can't stay for dinner.
9.This is a good time to remember that firefighter is still one of Archie's many jobs. I like to consult this handy job chart from the Riverdale wiki whenever I need a reminder:
10.Veronica covers "Superboy and the Invisible Girl" from Next to Normal and, well, here's the thing. If you read these recaps you know me, you know that I very rarely side with Archibald Andrews...HOWEVER, it is a tad unfair that Veronica feels like the "invisible girl" because he had to go and literally put out a fire and save lives! Like, it's not Archie's fault that he and Frank are Riverdale's entire firefighting and palladium mining crew?
11.And THEN the next morning this incredibly cringey interaction happens:
12.Then, exactly one episode after Veronica declared the only thing she wants is Archie...and in the same episode that she asked Archie to move in with her, she kinda figures out that maybe Reggie is actually more her type because Wall Street and stocks and his mullet and stuff...?
13.Basically, in conclusion:
14.We check in on Cheryl and instead of waterboarding her mom with maple syrup, she sings a song about how Penelope is the devil (accurate!) and pours holy water on her. Iconic! Sadly, Penelope did not melt.
15.On a serious note, things are getting increasingly sad at the Cooper house. Alice has had a few more musical numbers with Polly and Charles, and Betty keeps trying to show her that it isn't real — she even tries to get Alice to go to the city with her (on a Tramtrak train LOL) to see a show. But things really come to a dark head when Alice blames Betty for Polly's death.
16.Betty turns to Kevin, reminding us of their bond (and of Casey Cott's INCREDIBLE singing voice!) and he helps her stay strong and inspires her to work things out with Alice.
17.Tabitha's dad has decided that Jughead isn't good enough for his daughter and approaches him for a casual conversation in his car in the Pop's parking lot, as one does. Unfortunately, I cannot help but kind of love him solely for this HILARIOUS exchange with huge Mariah Carey/Jennifer Lopez energy:
18.After they shared a brief moment earlier in the episode, Toni (encouraged by Fangs) turns to Cheryl to ask her if she'll give Britta a place to stay — it's a super-sweet scene between Choni where they reminisce about the time when they were in love.
19.However, that's all in the past (at least for now...), because Toni and Fangs confess their feelings for each other and decide to be a couple while co-parenting baby Tony.
20.And Cheryl does take Britta into her home, and methinks we have a Cheryl 2.0 in our future:
21.The episode ends with everyone — including bbs Juniper and Dagwood (they've come so far since levitating over that fire) — singing at Polly's funeral. I swear, for a second I thought they were about to sing "Seasons of Love" from Rent, but sorry, wrong musical!
One more quick round of applause for these two for making me tear up against my will:
So, there you have it! The last episode before the season finale. There was a lot of coupling and uncoupling and recoupling this episode. Will the pairings stay the same next week, or is everything going to change again? Hard to say on Riverdale! See you next week for the last time in Season 5.
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