As you might recall from Riverdale last week, the episode ended with Alice (Madchen Amick) and Betty (Lili Reinhart) driving up to the payphone from where Polly had called them But there was no sign of Polly and the phone booth was collapsed and covered in blood. Alice isn’t taking this news well. She’s inconsolable, living on her couch, drinking alone, very depressed. Betty tries to get through to her mom, but she’s in a daze.
Across town, it’s football practice. Wait, nope it’s a game. And the Bulldogs are down 48-0. No one is in the stands. The cheerleaders wish they were practicing for their own competition instead of cheering for empty bleachers. It wasn’t the Bulldogs first loss. Veronica (Camila Mendes) offers the first Bulldog to score $10,000. How does that work on a pass? $5k for the receiver and $5 for the QB? And how’s that help motivate the offensive line or the defense?
Jughead (Cole Sprouse) has become a full alien-obsessed freak. He’s listening to a scanner and looking at waveforms in his bathrobe. He hasn’t shaved or combed his hair. Is he even going to work at the diner?
Speaking of the diner, Veronica pops into Pops to pitch a pancake breakfast to Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook). She wants Pops to sponsor the Bulldogs. Aren’t you the sponsor Veronica?
Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) tells Archie (KJ Apa) that the Vixens are done cheering for the Bulldogs. Archie tries to get the school fired up by hitting the PA system. He uses the term “busting their asses” to describe the football team in the morning announcements. That’s gotta merit a write-up, right?
Cheryl and Kevin (Casey Cott) share a weird look at school. I’m guessing it’s post-key party-related.
A student turns in a paper to Jughead with the cover page that’s a Mothman drawing. Jughead, you’re being messed with.
Betty gets a call from Glen Scott, her old partner. He analyzed the blood at the phone booth. It matched Polly’s blood type. On top of that, Polly is AB-, “the rarest blood type,” so it’s likely Polly. Betty lashes out at Glen for not helping before Polly disappeared. That seems unfair, considering he’s still in the academy and out of state.
Jughead brings the story his student wrote to Mr. Weatherbee. He doesn’t share Jughead’s concern about the Mothman story, but from what Weatherbee says, it sounds like the kid might be getting abused at home.
Pops hosts a free pancake breakfast for the Bulldogs and their families. Reggie pops in for a visit. Archie wants to make Derek the captain but Derek’s mom hints that she may want to transfer Derek to a winning school. Ouch.
Reggie is there on behalf of the Rockland County High School Football League. This might be the first time on camera that Riverdale mentioned it’s located in Rockland County, NY. It was previously mentioned in the Get Out of Town novel. It’s a passing reference that blows by most people, but I grew up in Rockland, so that really stands out to me. The funny thing is, there’s an actual Riverdale just north of New York City, but it’s on the opposite side of the Hudson River from Rockland County and isn’t nearly the dump that fictional Riverdale is. I keep trying to figure out where Riverdale would be in the real Rockland, and my best guess is Sloatsburg or Haverstraw. Maybe Thiells.
Reggie and the rest of the league would like the Bulldogs to withdraw from the league. What? No one likes an easy win? Reggie calls each kid a loser on the way out of the diner. That’s just rude, Reg.
Kevin moves back in with his dad. Wow, Casey Cott and Mr. Keller really do have a resemblance to each other. Nice casting, Riverdale!
Veronica confronts her dad, who is of course wearing a Stonewall Stallions sweatshirt. Veronica proposes a wager to her father. If the Bulldogs don’t score against the Stallions, they’ll leave the league. If they do, Hiram has to convince his friend the commissioner to stop trying to get the Bulldogs to leave the league. Shouldn’t you run this idea by Archie, Ronnie? Nevertheless, Hiram takes her up on it. I’m sure he’ll play fair and not buy off the refs.
Jughead meets with the kid who wrote the Mothman story. He wants to know what inspired the story. Jughead asks if the story is a cry for help, but the kid runs off saying it’s just a story. How to say “it’s a cry for help” without actually saying “it’s a cry for help.”
Uh oh, Stonewall stole Derek. Oopsie, Veronica. Archie now doesn’t even have enough players to field a team.
Alice is still on the couch. Betty tells her about the blood results, but lies, saying it didn’t match Polly’s. That news wakes Alice back up. Next thing you know, the lights are on in the house again, and she’s hosting her support group and even cooked for them.
Lerman, the kid who Jughead talked to, his parents come to visit the school. They’re pissed at Jughead. They want their son out of Jughead’s class. Weatherbee takes their side completely and threatens to fire Jughead if he does something like this again.
Cheryl feels bad that she broke up Fangs and Kevin. She mediates a conversation with them. Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner) accuses Kevin of being embarrassed of being gay. Kevin shuts down and leaves.
While picking up food at Pops, Betty fills Jughead in on Polly’s case. She tells Jughead the truth about the blood being a match. Jughead offers to have Betty meet up with the alien story dude from a few weeks ago. He lives on the Lonely Highway, the same stretch of road outside of Riverdale where Polly placed that call last week.
Veronica brings a “professional” football player from the NY Goliaths to Bulldogs practice to pep up the team. He’s T-Dub. He’s clearly a big star in this fictional NFL because the kids freak. He bought a lot of jewelry from Veronica in NYC, which is how Veronica knows him. Besides T-Dub, Veronica even brought a group of very interested teens who want to play for the team. Who are these kids? Where were they when Archie was recruiting? Why are they so into the idea now? Is she paying them? How much? It must be a lot for this level of excitement.
Hiram isn’t happy that interest in the Bulldogs is gaining instead of waning. Hiram wants Reggie to target their weakest links. When Reggie says he won’t break some kid’s legs for no reason, Hiram benches him and takes over as Coach. Reggie announces he’ll be standing with the Bulldogs in that case. Reggie, haven’t you ever watched wrestling? You show up to the game in a Stonewall jacket and then rip it off to reveal a Bulldogs shirt after you hit
Mr. McMahon Mr. Lodge in the back with a steel chair! Mantle 3:16!
Betty and Jughead visit Mr. Dreyfuss, the Mothman enthusiast. He tells Betty he knows what happened to Polly: the Mothmen took her. Why? Because the phone booth was shredded. Their spaceship does that, obvs. Betty quickly realizes she’s wasting her time.
After getting home, Betty grabs her gun and heads out.
Kevin flirts with a new dude in the Boxing Club’s steam room. This guy does not respond well to this and pummels Kevin bloody.
Betty watches a girl get into a truck at the truckstop and. She intervenes. She slams the driver’s head into his steering wheel and tells him not to come back.
Mr. Keller cleans up Kevin. He’s worried about his son. They have a heart to heart. Kevin tells him that he thinks he’s ashamed of being gay. Mr. Keller was always accepting but Kevin’s mom wasn’t. She made an offhand comment once about having to buy Kevin husky clothes. That comment sent him into Fox Forest for the first time, where a guy called him cute. Since then, he’s been cruising, partly for the compliments and how good they make him feel. I’m not sure how I feel about this new development. On the one hand, we get a deeper understanding of Kevin’s motivations, but on the other, it really sounds like they’re trying to take the Archieverse’s first openly gay character and have him blame his being gay on his mom calling him fat once.
Betty patrols the truckstop more, getting in the way of all the business going on. She beats up another trucker.
Jughead listens for more alien chatter. Weatherbee calls him saying that Lerman ran away.
Betty ties the trucker to a tree, beats him bloody, and holds a gun to his head. She calls him a predator. I don’t know if you have your killer, Betty. Betty is about to execute him when her phone rings. She decides to answer instead. It’s Jughead, looking for help in finding Lerman. This is enough to take Betty out of her bloodlust, though she leaves the trucker tied to the tree in the woods.
It’s game night! Cheryl joins the Vixens and this is just kind of sad. Let the kids do their things, Cheryl. They aren’t your personal backup dancers. Stonewall takes a quick lead over Riverdale. They score a few times unanswered. At 52-0, Archie gives a pep talk. He still believes in his team. That said, he’s no Coach Taylor. But that speech is all it took. QB Britta fakes a handoff and runs it all the way to the end zone. Looks like she just got $10,000 richer! Don’t let her pay you in Riverdale bucks, Britta! The team carries her off the field like they just won the state finals.
Jughead meets up with Betty, who found Lerman walking along the lonely highway. Lerman asks “did it happen again?” Did what happen again?
Lerman’s parents are grateful that Jughead and Betty found him. He’s a sleepwalker. They admit to locking him up in his room, but for his safety. Last time, he was gone for a week. This balks both Betty and Jughead. Where was he all that time?
Jughead meets with Weatherbee again the next day. Lerman and his family left Riverdale. They want a fresh start away from Riverdale and Jughead says “Don’t we all?” You came back, Jughead!
Betty comes home to find Glen at her house. Alice is crying. Glen filled her in that Polly’s blood matched the blood at the phone booth, and derides Betty. Glen is taking over the case. Is this even an official FBI case? Glen is definitely the Trash Bag Killer, right? We’re all thinking that?