Pep Talk: Riverdale, Episode 107, "In a Lonely Place"

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Riverdale 107, A Lonely Place

With Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) and Betty (LILI REINHART) discovering Jason Blossom's hidden car, only to find it a burned out husk when the Sheriff arrives, things couldn't get much weirder in RIVERDALE. And then they find that Betty's sister, Polly (TIERA SKOVBYE), pregnant with Jason's baby, has escaped from the home where her parents placed her.

The episode opens with a bizarre sort of PLEASANTVILLE dream of Jughead's, where we see the cast done up in fifties-style, looking every bit like the classic Archie Comics characters. When he awakens, the viewers learn that Jughead has been living in a storage area in the high school. While he's cleaning up in the gym locker area, he's found by Archie (K.J. APA), who asks what Jug is doing there. (The unasked question is, What was Archie doing there?) He learns that Jug was staying at the drive-in prior to this, unwilling to live with his drunken father, FP Andrews (SKEET ULRICH), who's been off the wagon ever since he got fired by Archie's father, Fred (LUKE PERRY).

Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) rebels against her mother, Hermione (MARISOL NICHOLS) by going on a shopping binge, knowing that the nest egg left by her imprisoned father, Hiram, can't last forever. Ronnie is lashing out because Hermione forged her signature to get Fred Andrews the construction contract on the property that Fred does not know Hermione owns. Having already caught Hermione and Fred in an embrace, Ronnie is unwilling to stand by and allow her mother to cheat on daddy.

The news of Polly's escape from "the home" doesn't remain secret for long. Betty's discussion with her friends is overheard, and soon it gets to the one person it shouldn't: Riverdale's bipolar tortured vixen, Cheryl Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH). Cheryl intrudes on a meeting between her mother (NATHALIE BOLTT) and Sheriff Keller (MARTIN CUMMINS) to tell them that Polly has escaped, and that the coincidence of it happening the same night as Jason's car getting torched is no coincidence at all. She goes so far as to accuse Polly of being Jason's killer -- oh, and she tweeted all this info out just before telling the Sheriff, just to light a fire under his investigation.

It seems all of Riverdale joins the search party for Polly in the woods, setting off a bitter confrontation between the Blossoms and the Coopers. But Alice Cooper (MADCHEN AMICK) pulls the trump card when she holds a press conference in front of a church, where she includes the detail that Polly was pregnant with Jason's child. This visibly upsets the Blossoms, particularly Cheryl. And as the search continues, it's Betty who eventually finds her older sister -- upstairs, hiding in the Coopers' attic.

We learn a lot more about Jughead's father in this episode -- how he was partners with Fred Andrews in the construction company and claims he was forced out after Fred bailed him out of jail and called the bailout a buyout. We also learn that FP is with the Southside Serpents, as Hermione expects him to be attempting a shakedown when he shows up at Fred's company after Fred gives him another chance for Jughead's sake.

Jughead's past isn't all that squeaky clean either. Sheriff Keller and school principal Waldo Weatherbee (PETER BRYANT) discover the recreated murder board in the school newspaper office, and the Sheriff has Jug brought in for questioning. He found Jug's prints on Jason's burned out car, as expected, but he also found that the prints were already on file -- because Jug was accused of attempting to burn down Riverdale Elementary as a young kid. He has a history in his school record of being bullied, and it seems the Sheriff is trying to build a case that Jughead might have been Jason's murderer. He's given an alibi by Fred Andrews, who claims Jug was working for him that day ripping out drywall, and he can provide the timecards to prove it.

Betty and Cheryl have been working together, tentatively, as Cheryl claims that the news of Jason's baby is a game changer, and she wants the best for her niece/nephew. Polly is still hiding from everyone -- including her parents -- in the attic. She tells Betty she wants the baby, but the Coopers tell Betty that Polly has agreed to put the child up for adoption. Betty won't trust anyone and tells Cheryl that all Polly needs is money for a place to stay. Cash is no problem for the Blossom family, but after discussing things with her mother, Cheryl gets a very queasy feeling about the plans for Polly and the baby. She meets with Betty, Polly, Archie and Veronica at Pop's -- a strange place to meet, given that most of the town knows Polly is missing, so the apparent only place to eat in Riverdale hardly seems clandestine -- and warns them to keep Polly away from her family. Veronica provides the solution: Polly will come stay with her and her mother, an arrangement Hermione agrees to.

But there's one other mystery left to solve: Jason's jacket was in the back of the car Jughead and Betty found, the one that got burned up. So why is it now hanging in the closet of FP Jones's trailer?

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0