Riverdale Top Moments: ” The Blackboard Jungle”

The Southside Serpents are Forced to Attend Riverdale High and Drama Ensues!

On the mid-season premiere of Riverdale entitled, “Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle,” the drama continues in the small little town of Riverdale. The Lodges make a deal with the mayor to condemn Southside High sending it’s students to Riverdale High. Things don’t go as well as hoped and despite Veronica’s welcoming committee, there’s some serious tension between the Bulldogs and Serpents. But Veronica does her best to smooth things over as she’s now part of the Lodge’s plans for SoDale, while Archie is approached by the FBI to work as an informant and gather information on Hiram Lodge and his suspicious business practices. Meanwhile, Betty learns Polly’s had the twins but has no intentions to let them be any part of the Cooper family. So she decides to find her long-lost brother, Chic, in hopes to help her mother. It’s good to have Riverdale back and it definitely returned with one heck of an episode. Here are the top moments from the mid-season premiere.

Mama Blossom, Lady of the Night

Cheryl encouraging her mother to get a job definitely backfired. Penelope comes downstairs at Thistlehouse to find Cheryl disgusted knowing what her mother has been doing upstairs. Penelope announces to her that she almost earned enough money to pay off Cheryl’s Christmas splurge and gifts she bought for herself. Cheryl doesn’t seem too impressed given the means her mother has gone to earn the money. She feels like she’s been living at a bordello with a woman of the night. But Penelope shocks her daughter and us as she confesses that her recent sexual escapades aren’t much different from her youth when she had a line of gentlemen callers to pick from each night. This disgusts Cheryl even more and to make matters worse her mother sounded proud of her promiscuous past. Penelope sees Cheryl’s repulsion and thinks it’s the perfect time to remind her daughter it was her idea for her to get a job in the first place. She’s found one; providing comfort and companionship to the lonely Riverdale men. Oh dear, this seems like something that could drive Cheryl to drastic extremes. Like, burn down her house-eque drastic.

The Lodges are Up to Something

Hiram and Hermione Lodge pay Mayor McCoy a visit to make sure she’s still on board with their plan to close Southside High. She seems to be second-guessing her agreement, but Hiram assures her the outrage from parents won’t last and within a week or two something else will take its place. While Hiram reassures the Mayor everything will work out, its Hermione who reminds her of her commission, a sizable donation her campaign. And then we learn the real plan is so Lodge Industries can purchase the land of Southside High to add to their SoDale project. Seriously Mayor McCoy? Bribery? Isn’t it very illegal for a person in office to accept bribes? This also proves how powerful the Lodges truly are and how far they’re willing to stoop to get what they want. Sighs.

Polly Returns, Briefly!

Betty comes home to find her sister, Polly, has returned! But not for long. She’s just gathering a few things to take back to ‘the farm’ with her. And she’s had the twins which she reveals she named Dagwood and Juniper. Perhaps, she got the baby name suggestions from Kim or Kanye because wow the names are a bit different to say the least. As Polly scrambles to grab what she’s come for, she breaks the news to Betty that she has no intention of leaving ‘the farm’ and doesn’t want her family involved in the babies’ lives. How heartbreaking. I can’t really see Cheryl letting that fly. The babies are part Blossom after all. But honestly, what’s the deal with this ‘farm’ where Polly has been living? As a part of The Sisters of Quiet Mercy, I have to wonder what really goes on there or if Polly is returning on her own free will? What new mother isn’t excited for their family to meet the new baby or babies?

FBI Wants Archie’s Help

We finally learn who’s been taking all those secret photos of Archie. The freaking FBI! An agent approaches Archie about being an informant. The FBI is investigating Hiram Lodge because they believe he is conducting criminal business in Riverdale. With Archie dating Hiram’s daughter and his Dad’s connection to Lodge Industries, Archie is in a good position to help the FBI take Hiram down for good. Arch is at a loss for words. The FBI agent then tells him about what happened to Nick St. Clair after his family had visited the Lodges in Riverdale and warns that his girlfriend’s father is an extremely dangerous man. The agent suggests Archie find out the truth about what happened to Nick to start. Arch questions if this is even legal without the FBI talking to his Dad, but the agent says that because Fred is a part of Lodge Industries they’re not sure if he’s involved as well. Archie insists he’s not agreeing to anything, so the agent gives Archie his card, tells him to think about it and call him. Wow! Archie a double agent? Oh no, Archie and Ronnie are doomed with her working with her parents and if he agrees to help the FBI. Riverdale’s very own Romeo and Juliet.

Serpents First Day at Riverdale High

After hearing Southside High is being shut down, the Southside Serpents learn they’ll be transferred to Riverdale High. Veronica promises her parents she’ll make sure their transition goes as smoothly as possible. She even has Archie help with her little so-called ‘Welcome Committee.’ As expected, things are a bit awkward when the Serpents walk into their new school, but everything seems to be going quite well. That is until Cheryl shows up with Reggie and the rest of the Bulldogs. Damn, does Cheryl know how to make an entrance? She isn’t the least bit happy about her new classmates and isn’t one to hold back on her feelings. Referring to the Serpents as ‘raggamuffins,’ the insults are then being thrown left and right from both the Serpents as well as Cheryl and the Bulldogs. Ronnie tries to calm the situation, but it takes Principal Weatherbee’s presence to break up the confrontation.

Reggie Frames the Serpents

Unhappy about his new classmates, Reggie decides to take matters into his own hands and he paints the Southside Serpents logo over the school’s crest in the middle of the gym. Mr. Weatherbee is furious. As a result, he bans any gang paraphernalia, which means the Serpents can no longer wear their Serpent jackets at school and their tattoos must be covered. WTH? Low blow Reggie, low blow.

After school at the Whyte Wyrm, everyone seems to be taking the new school rules in stride, but Jughead is furious. He rants about possible brain implants being next. Lol. Toni tells him he needs to calm down because he’s beginning to sound like a conspiracy nut. And then Toni and Sweet Pea try to rationalize the circumstances saying it’s okay if they have to take off their Serpent jackets for school because at Riverdale High they actually have computers, textbooks and bathrooms that actually work. But Jug is still mad. I get why he’s so mad but perhaps, Jug didn’t attend Southside High long enough to fully appreciate all the extras at Riverdale High that Southside High didn’t have. Just saying.

Serpents vs. Bulldogs

The day after Principal Weatherbee banned the Serpents from wearing their jackets to school, Jughead defiantly struts into Riverdale High donning his Serpent jacket. When he goes to the vending machine in the student where he’s confronted by Reggie for wearing his Serpents jacket. Jug insults him claiming he couldn’t possibly understand what the jacket means because he’d have to understand the history of the Serpents, loyalty, and a sense of humor. Reggie is furious and forcefully rips Jughead’s Serpents jacket off him. This prompts Sweet Pea and Fogarty to come to Jug’s aid and a full-on brawl ensues between the Serpents and Bulldogs. Veronica comes into the lounge and sees what’s going on and calls for Principal Weatherbee to break up the fight. In the office, he gives everyone a week of detention and instructs Jughead to take off the Serpent jacket or he’ll be suspended. Stupidly, Jug takes the suspension.

Later at the Whyte Wyrm, a frustrated Jughead tells dad about Principal Weatherbee ‘disrespecting the Serpents’ and his suspension. Jug’s frustrated because it violates one of the Serpents’ laws and he’s mainly upset of Southside High closing because it was the Serpents’ home. FP doesn’t seem to think the ‘no Serpent jacket’ policy at school is a big deal and says Jug can simply wear it after school. FP tells Jug that him being arrested for truancy isn’t good for anyone. He advises him to be smart and lay low but never stop being a Serpent. Afterall, Serpents hibernate in the winter. So true! FP is one smart cookie.

Mama Cooper and Betty Go Looking for Chic

Betty asks Jughead if she could ask his caseworker for help to find her long-lost brother, Charles. She’s able to give Betty his last known address and turns out it’s not too far from Riverdale. In hopes to cheer up her mom, Betty tells her about finding Charles and despite Mr. Cooper’s adamant disapproval, the pair set out to reunite with Charles. They discover he’s staying in a hostel. Betty and Alice find him on the second floor and needless to say he is not the least bit happy to be reunited with his mother and sister. In fact, he’s rather hostile towards them. He quickly corrects them on his name. Chic confesses that the Sisters gave him their address and he drove by once, but assumed they wouldn’t want someone like him around. He digs the knife deeper by saying how lucky Betty is because Alice decided to keep her. Ouch! Then before Alice or Betty can say anything else, Chic insists they leave because he has a client. He does fantasy fulfillment….whatever that means. Is Chic like a prostitute? Or maybe I just need to get my mind out of the gutter…

Archie Pays Nick St. Clair a Visit

Cheryl uses her knowledge of Archie and Betty’s kiss to blackmail Archie into going to visit Nick St. Clair at school to get the hush money back. Her dropping the bomb about Nick hitting on Ronnie while he was in town further motivates Archie. So Archie borrows Cheryl’s brother’s suit and pays Nick a visit at Greenwich Prep in New York. There, Nick is sitting in bed with casts up to his knees on both legs studying. Archie questions Nick about hitting on Ronnie and demands Nick write another check to Cheryl double the amount for damages. Archie also asks what happened to Nick and he says he was injured in a skiing accident. Archie doesn’t think things add up surrounding Nick’s injury. While Nick doesn’t quite believe Archie is really there for Cheryl and questions his real intentions for his visit. He insults Archie and warns him to be careful dating Veronica because she’s a shark and when she smells blood in the water she’ll turn on Archie too. Too? Hmmm, wonder what happened with Ronnie and Nick before she moved to Riverdale. Nick’s comments piss Archie off sending him into a rage. He attacks Nick punching him over and over. Damn Arch!

Archie confesses to Ronnie about kissing Betty

Archie and Veronica meet at Pop’s to talk. She heard about him going to visit Nick and doesn’t understand why he’d do that. In fact, Ronnie’s noticed Archie’s been acting different and believes he’s keeping something from her. She calls it ‘girlfriend’s intuition’ but is positive something’s up. Um duh, he’s helping the FBI build a case against your dad Ronnie. And for a second I thought Archie was actually going to tell her about the FBI. Instead, he confesses to her about him and Betty sharing a kiss the night they went looking for Mr. Svenson and faced off with the Black Hood. Archie explains Cheryl saw them kiss and was blackmailing him and that’s why he paid Nick a visit.

Surprisingly, Veronica is more than understanding about Archie and Betty’s kiss. She believes Archie when he says the kiss didn’t mean anything and knows he loves her just as she loves him. Ronnie’s reaction is not what would be expected from a girl who just found out her boyfriend and best friend kissed especially in a high school relationship. Hopefully, Veronica’s forgiveness extends to Betty as well.

Betty Cooper to the Rescue!

After a not so happy reunion with her long-lost brother, Chic, Betty decides she needs to try again to see if he’d reconsider being a part of their lives. She goes back to the hotel where Chic is living/working and hears something going on upstairs where Chic lives. There, she finds a muscular man has Chic pinned up against the wall beating the crap out of him. Quick on her feet, Betty grabs her pink pepper spray, sprays the guy in the face and rushes off with Chic. She takes Chic home, where Alice and Hal tend to his wounds and offer him a place to stay. Surprisingly, Hal does not put up a fuss about Chic being there despite his disapproval of Alice and Betty even finding him. I have to wonder with Hal’s strong opinions about not including Chic in the Cooper family if he’s his father. Just a theory and perhaps a rather far-fetched one, but maybe Chic’s dad is FP. Alice does have a history with the Southside Serpents and there’s definitely sexual chemistry between Alice and FP.

Archie Agrees to Help the FBI

At a secret meeting in the Andrews’ garage, Archie asks Agent Adams if he agrees to help the FBI if they’ll protect Veronica as well as his dad. He agrees to include Veronica as he already told Arch they’d protect Fred. Agent Adams advises Archie about getting too emotional and he can’t afford another incident like what happened when he went to visit Nick. Archie then asks if Agent Adams thinks they got the right guy for the Black Hood because he has been following Archie around for a while after all. He’s curious what Agent Adams’ expert opinion is because Archie doesn’t think that they did. Betty and Archie seem to share a similar eerie feeling. I am curious to see Archie’s reaction to meeting Betty’s long-lost brother, Chic.

Chic watches Betty Sleep

Wounds tended and all tucked in then after everyone’s gone to bed in the Cooper household, Chic climbs out of bed and heads straight for Betty’s room. He slowly walks in the dark towards her bed and just stares at her sleeping. But when the light from the streetlamp comes through Betty’s window allowing us to see Chic’s face, he gives off major serial killer vibes. The Black Hood certainly has a fascination with Betty and it seems so does Chic. One has to wonder could Chic possibly be the real Black Hood? Or maybe all those years spent at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy really took a toll on Chic especially given their unconventional methods of punishment. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see, but color me intrigued on all things Chic.

Steph Flasher

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