1.The five main teens of Riverdale have continued to LITERALLY not interact with each other and have completely individual plots*, all while theoretically being "students" who are applying to college.
2.Despite the fact that Mr. Dupont has threatened and expressed open hatred for Jughead (and probably murdered a bunch of people, but honestly what's a little low-key murder on this show), Jughead wins the Baxter Brothers ghostwriter contract.
3.HiRUM has essentially sabotaged Veronica's shot at attending an Ivy League school, and it's IMPERATIVE that I remind you that this is all because of a RUM EMPIRE that we only found out about a few episodes ago.
4.Once again, Pop Tate is sad. This disturbs me more than 95% of the things that happen on this show.
5.Pop is sad because HiRUM is having Le Bonne Nuit's liquor license revoked. Doesn't it just SUCK when your daddy tries to stop you from serving liquor at the speakeasy you own and operate as a high school student???
6.FP has proven to be an even greater detective than his son. He figured out that Archie is The Masked Singer!
7.In the literally darkest scene of the episode so far, Betty learns that Polly attempted to murder a nurse named Betty.
8.Betty goes to visit Polly, who convinces her that she's innocent!
9.Veronica asks her grandmother for the FAMOUS LODGE FAMILY RUM RECIPE. What the fuck is so special about this rum? Is it laced with Fizzle Rocks?
10.I forgot to mention that this episode remembered that Charles exists, and Jughead asked him to track down his grandfather. Charles is also very involved in Betty's plot this week.
11.After getting a phone call, Alice starts threatening Betty with a knife. Betty, an all-knowing entity, immediately recognizes this as hypnosis and knows exactly how to snap her out of it.
12.Ironically, if you drink every time Veronica says "rum" you will be drunk enough to care about the rum plot.
13.Jughead pays a visit to his grandfather to finally find out the truth about the Baxter Brothers. It's pretty incredible how Jughead never gave a single fuck about his grandfather until it personally benefitted his "writing career."
14.FP is now working with Vigilante Archie, and I cannot lie, seeing him in the South Side Serpents jacket again made me feel things! Remember in Season 1 when the Serpents were bad? And now that jacket feels like a warm hug.
15.Now it's time for the biggest TWIST of all! No, literally, the entire Dodger family is based off of Oliver Twist for some inexplicable reason.
16.Meanwhile, at Thistlehouse, Cheryl gathers her brothers together for a mass family death by "Chernobyl-grade roach bombs"…
17.…just kidding, Cheryl had a (red!) gas mask, Jason's a corpse, and Julian is a doll, so they're all fine!
18.Turns out Penelope has been living in the walls (LOL!!!) and is responsible for all that gaslighting.
19.Cheryl, Toni, Jason, Julian, and Nana Rose — aka the Archie Comics Avengers — hold a "trial" for Penelope (aka "mother most foul.")
20.Betty and Charles figure out that Evelyn (of The Farm fame!) is responsible for the hypnosis calls, so Betty goes to visit her in prison, and finds out that the word that triggers people to want to murder her is TANGERINE repeated three times:
21.FP is shot at Pop's and it's hardly a plot point. I don't understand how Pop's hasn't been condemned yet or at the bare minimum hired full-time security. There have been at least two shootings, not to mention a serial killer who was LIT ON FIRE just a few weeks ago!
22.Oh, and then the show remembered that Fangs exists, and FP was just as confused as the rest of us:
23.Penelope explained her motivations to Cheryl and it had something to do with Jason's corpse or whatever, but really she delivered the best line of the episode:
24.Okay, JK, that was the second best line of the episode, because this was the first:
25.But the part of this episode that had me CACKLING is when Cheryl threatens to send Penelope to: "a place so vile, so revolting, you'll wish you were bricked up in Thistlehouse's walls." AND THAT PLACE ENDS UP BEING THE ONE AND ONLY RIVERDALE SEX BUNKER THAT LITERALLY EVERY TEEN ON THIS SHOW USES JUST TO HANG OUT/HAVE SEX/PLAY G&G/GO AFTER THEY BREAK OUT OF JAIL!!!!
26.HiRUM invited the Columbia recruiter to Le Bonne Nuit, which he thinks is a sabotage, but this is a high school TV show at the end of the day. And on teen TV, college recruiters are IMPRESSED by students going above and beyond in their extracurriculars — even when that means running a speakeasy!
27.It wouldn't be a Riverdale midseason finale without a little musical number! I'm honestly just here for Kevin getting to do something again that's not BEING IN A CULT.
28.Betty revisits her Dark Betty origin story, aka the day she murdered her cat, Caramel:
29.Jughead signs the contract, which just SCREAMS The Little Mermaid to me. Teens should never be allowed to sign any legal documents!
30.Jughead is initiated into the Quill & Skull society, which might make it the first-ever society that lets you join without having any knowledge that you were joining in the first place.
31.Cheryl decides it's finally time to bury Jason which is sad for us (bye bye JJ!) but probably healthy for Cheryl in the long run. Plus, it gives us the first scene where the main cast of this dang show interacts!!!!! The only time this friend group chills is when it's time to light a corpse on fire.
32.Again, what is this timeline???? Wasn't the flash forward supposed to be spring break? I'm so confused.
33.DARK BETTY IS ALIVE AND WELL!
34.Archie meets Fred's long lost brother Frank, and with the way this show operates, I guarantee that he is EVIL and/or has another twin and/or is in a cult and/or is an FBI agent and/or is actually an extraterrestrial.