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No Context 'Riverdale': Penelope is Jealous of Cheryl's Relationship with a Corpse

By Dustin Rowles | TV | December 12, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | December 12, 2019 |


This week:

Despite all the rage, Archie is still a rat in the cage. He’s vigilante spiraling now, beating up all his enemies and bringing along FP in his Serpents jacket, until FP gets shot (it’s a flesh wound!). Archie hits rock bottom when the kids from his community center see him whale on an unconscious Dodger, and Archie is all, like, “I’m the monster now!” Then, out from nowhere materializes Frank, the estranged brother of Archie’s father, Fred.

Cheryl figures out that the ghost of Julian — the fetus Cheryl absorbed in the womb — isn’t real. It’s just her mother gaslighting her, so Cheryl lures Penelope out with literal gas (or, roach bombs). Turns out that Penelope has been hiding in the walls and tormenting her daughter because she’s jealous of the relationship that Cheryl has with her brother, Jason, who by the way is a corpse and has been for three years. Not a metaphorical corpse. An actual honest-to-god corpse propped up in a chair. A dead person.

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To punish her mother for gaslighting her, Cheryl gives her a fate “worse than prison.” She … locks her in the underground sex bunker, where all the teens in Riverdale get it on. I’m not entirely sure why that’s worse than prison, but whatevs. Cheryl decides to give Jason the Viking funeral he deserves, so she brings all her friends out and sets the three-year-old corpse on fire and pushes it out to sea.

Veronica’s feud with her father continues to be super dull. He wins this round by taking away Pop’s liquor license, patenting the family rum recipe so that Veronica cannot use it, and ensuring that Veronica doesn’t get into any of her college choices. But it’s cool because Veronica gets to sing a terrible rendition of “Saturday Night (Is Alright for Fighting)” while her boyfriend beats the shit out of Dodger.

Jughead locates his estranged grandfather and learns the truth about the Baxter Brothers books — no one stole the idea from his grandfather. His grandfather sold the rights. His grandfather also feels really shitty about being a terrible father to FP all his life, but not so shitty that he’s willing to visit FP in the hospital.

Elsewhere, Polly, who is in a treatment facility, receives a phone call and rips the face off her nurse, whose name is Betty. After receiving a similar phone call, Alice pulls a knife on her daughter Betty and nearly kills her. After Betty pays a visit to Evelyn in prison, she learns that Evelyn and her father had implanted a post-hypnotic suggestion into their cult, and when they hear the word “tangerine” three times, they are instructed to kill Betty.

Betty takes this information and, along with Chuck, tries to discern whether “Dark Betty” — Betty’s sexy serial killer personality — is still living inside of her. She surmises that her darker impulses — which began with the death of her cat, Caramel — are finally gone.

Cut to four weeks later, and Archie is standing over Jughead’s body out in the woods while Betty is holding a rock. “He’s dead,” Archie says. “What did you do, Betty?” (We also know from other flash-forwards that Jughead’s body is seen in a morgue, that Archie, Veronica, and Betty are arrested for his murder, and that two of Jughead’s secret society associates identify them as the murderers).

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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