Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 216, "Primary Colors"

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Riverdale Primary Colors

RIVERDALE continues to become the TWIN PEAKS, 90210 it set out to become in the pilot episode, as life for some of our teen residents gets more horrific than ever. It makes you wonder if Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) is really a crusader for justice, or just a deluded fool who sees a peaceful town that never really existed in the first place.

When Jughead learns that Hiram Lodge (MARK CONSUELOS) has accelerated his plans for the demolition of Southside High, he goes on a hunger strike. Yeah, even Archie (KJ APA) has a hard time buying that one, and indeed Jug breaks it when in private with his dad, FP (SKEET ULRICH). He also chains himself, along with other Southsiders, to the building, even though they go home at night and Jug sticks it out. But as much as Jug is a lone voice crying in the wilderness, he's beginning to get attention, and that's something Hiram cannot afford.

Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) has been instructed by the family to keep a low profile at school while her mom, Hermione (MARISOL NICHOLS) runs her campaign for mayor of Riverdale. For a sleepy small town, this mayoral race sure does get a lot of attention -- enough to merit a guest appearance by none other than REAL HOUSEWIVES host ANDY COHEN to appear (as himself) as a longtime friend and ally of Hermione. But Veronica is no wallflower, and she ends up not only slugging Reggie Mantle (CHARLES MELTON) but running against him for student council president, with Betty (LILI REINHART) as her running mate.

But not all the girls are on Veronica's side. Ethel Muggs (SHANNON PURSER) puts on her brave face and confronts Veronica. When Veronica tries to get the female vote by convincing Josie McCoy (ASHLEIGH MURRAY) to endorse her, the two end up singing a modernized version of Schoolhouse Rock's "Sufferin' 'Til Suffrage" to the school, only to be interrupted by a lone Ethel who passes out flyers detailing some of Veronica's secrets--secrets surprising even Betty enough to drop out as Veronica's running mate. And wait til you find out how Ethel learned all this information.

There are still two Scary AF situations going on in Riverdale that have nothing to do with the Lodges' plans. The first is taking place at the Cooper residence, as Betty confronts Chic (HART DENTON) over who he really is. She knows he has no Blossom family DNA in him, and when bringing her mother, Alice (MADCHEN AMICK) into the mix, it is revealed that this is because Alice did not have Chic with Betty's father; Chic's not a Cooper, but Alice won't reveal who his father really is. She does deny later, however, that he's FP's child. Further in, Chic is found in the house chumming it up with none other than Betty's GBF Kevin Keller (CASEY COTT), and has charmed him enough to get Kevin to reveal the catfishing scheme he and Betty were working on -- and it soon becomes evident he's gained even more information from Kevin than that. Betty's got her hands full with this one, and things are destined to get really dark.

And things are even darker for Cheryl Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH). She's convinced that her mother (NATHALIE BOLTT) and newly-discovered uncle (BARCLAY HOPE) are trying to get rid of her and Nana Rose (BARBARA WALLACE). Her theories are bolstered when she awakens to someone trying to break into her room one night, and are solidified when, during a sleepover with the Vixens, she finds Nana Rose collapsed at the bottom of the stairs. The doctors find a paralyzing herb in her blood, which is explained away as something Nana Rose has been growing herself. And when Cheryl confronts her mother about this on the car ride home, her mother reveals plans for Cheryl: commitment to an institution for conversion therapy! Mom really doesn't like that her daughter is in love with Toni Topaz (VANESSA MORGAN), and of course Riverdale has a scary dilapidated convent just for this purpose, just like the one Polly Cooper went to when she was preggers.

I'm afraid to see what comes next...

4.5 / 5.0