Riverdale, Riverdale, what have you done? You are planning to do the “B & V Comic Digest” tonight. Two stories and I’m betting neither one would fit into the 1955 comic digest that got printed. Let’s face it, there is definitely too much sex on this show for it to be that.
When we left off last week with the previews for Riverdale, we saw that Betty was having to do “counseling” sessions with the school creep – I mean counselor. It seems she has a vivid imagination. On YouTube, I found the Veronica story which deals with the Babylonium. She’s trying to get the teens back to the theater. Maybe Riverdale is a small town, but what else do they do there for fun? Why should it be this hard to pack a theater in the 1950s? So, this story may be interesting.
Tonight, we open with Jughead looking at Ray Bradbury things, then straight to Betty.
The counselor asks Betty if high school is highly sexualized, and Betty says basically yes. Mr. Snarky disagrees and tells her it is for academic advancement. (I will not use the counselor’s name.) She’s there because of the peep show and dance on live tv. The counselor considers her highly sexualized. He wants to know what her first sexual memory is. The memory is of playing “Operation” with Archie. She lies saying that she doesn’t remember. The counselor sets her daydreams off. He wants to know how often she thinks of sex. Well, in the morning as she gets ready for school, it’s Archie. On arriving, it’s Fangs in a car. In the hall, it’s Jughead followed by Reggie in the shower. In the gym, she’s with Veronica but we don’t see who she thinks about in science.
The counselor interrupts. Wow! Does she have an active imagination! Again, he demands a number and she tells him that Dr. Kingsley said every seven seconds. The counselor says that only for boys. Betty points out her dad has a “girly” magazine hidden in his bedroom (remembering her parent’s double beds). The counselor says he’s a child therapist and not an adult. Betty then announces she doesn’t think she wants to get married but to have an impact on the world instead.
That evening, Alice brings a wedding fashion magazine (wait, that Veronica’s angle). Alice gives them to Betty so she can daydream about her wedding dress. Betty suddenly realizes that the doctor has told Alice everything about the session and asks why? Alice hedges and says that she (Alice) can’t wait because Betty’s wedding will be the happiest day of her life. Wait, Alice? Are you planning to go on the honeymoon also? And what about Polly? Or is there something more sinister?
The counselor asks about her dreams and if they’re sexual. He wants to know the dreams so Betty shares. In them, she’s a teacher. She’s tutoring a student with the boy varying. She starts by kissing them (thinking Archie), then moves on to getting him on the floor and undressed. Suddenly, she realizes that the whole class is watching but she continues. Mr. Snarky wants to know if she shares the dreams with others and Betty tells him no.
His note-taking is getting to Betty so she asks him about it but doesn’t get an answer. His notes are for himself like a diary. He wants to know where this urge comes from and why. She thinks it is coming from her wanting to be seen, desired, and determination. She wonders if understanding sex is about understanding who she is. To understand the person, you must understand yourself.
Later Betty arrives home and sees Alice and a priest from First Reformed Church. He’s going to hear her confession and do an exorcism (if necessary). Alice went through Betty’s room and found her diary. Alice read them due to the therapist's suggestion. Betty accuses Alice of ‘breaking and entering’ and storms out. She decides to do a little B & E of her own.
Betty gets into the therapist's office at the school and finds a locked drawer. When she opens it, she finds a knife, slingshot, and book. She goes to Pop’s and finds Jughead. She has a book called Lolita. Jughead wants to know where it came from. The book is salacious according to the review and it’s about a 12-year-old girl and an adult man. Jughead asks if she has read it and off Betty goes to read. (Note: I loved the reference to Trixie Belden which I read in the 6th and 7th grades.)
The next day, the counselor stops Betty for their meeting, but Betty is busy. Sure, she is. She’s headed home to finish the book. The next day, she goes into his office, slaps the book on his desk, and gets him to admit he has read it. He tells her he was reading it to compare her to Lolita. Betty points out the book is about a 12-year-old that is coerced into doing sexual acts by an older man. Is the counselor doing the same thing? He’s manipulating the sessions and she asks what he does with the notes at night. Is the old man obsessed with sex? She will not meet with him alone behind closed doors again.
After school, Alice confronts Betty and tells her that the counselor wants to end the sessions. Alice admits that she’s trying to fix Betty through these sessions. When Alice starts to call the doctor, Betty says just talk to her! Alice looks to be in shock. Betty doesn’t want a doctor, but her mother to be honest with her. Betty has realized that Alice is afraid of her and wants to know why. As it looks like Alice may answer, Hal arrives and stops Alice from talking. While Hal calls Alice the most wonderful wife and mother, Alice just seems more nervous and scared. Hal sends Betty to her room until she realizes what Alice has sacrificed for her. (Are we getting the serial killer Hal to show up? At the very least, I think he’s an abusive husband.)
The next morning, Betty comes downstairs. Betty wants to talk to Alice about the path forward but it will not be the doctor. Alice agrees and tells her that the doctor will not press charges. Also, Alice has decided that Betty may not need protection or Alice’s sacrifices anymore. So, Betty no longer has a mother. Alice walks out telling Betty to get her own breakfast. Could this be the start of the “Hal wants to abuse Betty story” we had a hint of during a prior season? Does Alice need to do something to bend this to justice?
Veronica is giving away tickets when Cheryl interrupts. She has questions about the James Dean films Veronica will show. Cheryl’s seen them. Why should she come and Veronica offers her free popcorn. Veronica tells Kevin and Clay that money comes from the popcorn and soda (today the sandwiches, nachos, etc.). Veronica leaves advertisements everywhere (even in the boy’s locker room).
It works! The theater has a full house. She tells Reggie to save her a seat, but Kevin interrupts her. The copy of the James Dean movies arrived overexposed. Veronica tells the house with Cheryl demanding a refund (and popcorn flies). By the time Veronica finishes refunding the money, she’s tired. She tells Reggie the milkshake date must wait.
The next day Veronica, Kevin, and Clay try to get to the bottom of the overexposed movie. The distributor apologizes but doesn’t come through with the copy of East of Eden that Ronnie wants. He doesn’t have any as it’s the biggest movie of the day. She tries other major distributors and gets turned down. Finally, one lets it slip that it is due to her parents. They’re trying to do business with the Lodges. She tells Kevin and Clay that her parents only believe in television and want everyone to forget film. The companies also see Riverdale as not a good market for these films.
Clay suggests that they show B movies (the ones like “Planet Nine”) and Veronica goes to Pop’s. She sees Jughead who explains the movie to her and so Veronica gets her hands on it and shows it to some students. Cheryl realizes that the movie was shown two years ago as a 3-D movie. Veronica says it will be 4-D and Dilton says 4-D is time (another hint of bending to justice maybe). That’s not what Veronica has planned. She’s going to use gimmicks (special effects) to scare people during the movie. She hires (cons) Archie and Reggie into being the space monsters and all is set.
Cheryl doesn’t seem too happy about a 3-D movie and that Midge is helping Veronica out. She does go into the movie and sits down in the front row. As the movie plays, suddenly Cheryl senses smoke in the theater. The next thing that happens is monsters (Reggie and Archie) come out and scare the audience. Veronica has a hit on her hands.
The next night, the 7:00 show sells out and there’s a line for the 9:00 show. Archie and Reggie talk to Veronica and quit. They have basketball games and practice and can’t do it. She tries a raise to no avail so she decides that Clay and Kevin can do it. Reggie asks for a date and Veronica says maybe the next day.
The next day, Reggie waits for Veronica but she is on the phone. Variety has run a piece about the success and she’s talking to the distributor about East of Eden (which she gets). When Veronica comes downstairs, she finds flowers but no Reggie.
When she arrives at her apartment, her key won’t unlock the door. Poor Smithers has to tell her that she’s been locked out. Since she succeeded and made the Babylonium a success, Ronnie will not get any financial support from her parents (typical Hiram). Smithers has had her belongings taken to the Babylonium. Veronica’s office has become her new home. Veronica doesn’t seem worried. As she looks at her first feature movie, she’s smiling. I see a scheme beginning.
The show ends with Jughead finishing one of his mentor’s books. He realizes that time passes, seasons change and life goes on he tells Pop. As he starts to leave, we see flashing red lights. Sheriff Kline comes in and needs Jughead’s help to solve the mystery. Was Jughead seeing a way to bend toward justice? Was Kline unknowing sent to stop it? Next time: Tabitha and Jughead talk. Kline questions some things found in the apartment and Jughead remembers the milkman.
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