ok, now this was an episode of riverdale that i can get behind.
the action centers around jughead's birthday. betty, when she learns that it is coming up and that he has never had a birthday party becomes convinced that she must give jughead a party to remember. she does accomplish this goal, but in doing so, kind of causes a whole bunch of tiny explosions.
her original plan for the party is to invite only the inner circle, which for some bizarre reason includes ethel. this makes zero sense since esther is a fringe as you could imagine, but whatever. these teens can't keep a secret to save their lives, so when cheryl finds out she is motivated to invite the entire school to archie's place.
conveniently, archie's dad has gone out of town to deal with archie's mom and their pending divorce. archie isn't ready for his parents to sign the divorce papers, so he welcomes the kegs that show up along with cheryl and proceeds to get very drunk.
a game of secrets or sins makes everything a little bit extra crazy. with archie's affair with miss grundy revealed to his classmates, betty's episode of crazy when they confronted chuck, and cheryl's unnatural bond with her brother proving to be the juiciest tidbits. when jughead defends betty's honor, f.p. takes it upon himself to shut down the party.
but the game has revealed more connections. riverdale is a town full of secrets and lies. everyone is hiding something, and nothing stays buried forever. there are only three episodes left in this first season, and this is the first episode where i felt like everything was firing on all cylinders.
the argument between betty and jughead brought forward all their doubts and wounds. and after everything, jughead still stood up for her. and with a little pep talk from his dad, he was able to go to her, and learn that there is more to betty than the innocent girl next door. and finally able to admit her darkness, share it with someone else, someone who will not judge her could mean the world to her. it could let her be more than a carbon copy of her mother.
mothers played a strong role in this episode. archie's mom and veronica's mom also deeply affected the actions of their kids. archie isn't ready to let go of his. he's not ready to say goodbye to his family. veronica isn't ready to believe that her mom is as criminal as her father. she still needs someone to believe in. she needs someone to call family. and that mutual need brought them closer than ever. and it was a moment i didn't know i was waiting for.
of course, betty doesn't know. and somehow i'm sure this will blow up in everyone's face.
but if the secrets blow up just as spectacularly as they did in this episode, well, it's totally worth the wait.