Consider us officially shook. After last week’s lacklustre episode of Riverdale, our favourite teen drama shifted gears from a so-so, sports-centric episode back to what they do best: a jaw-dropping dramatic event focusing on a lavish party. But not just any lavish party, a black-tie confirmation for someone traditionally way too old to be having a confirmation. Then again, it’s Riverdale, where age doesn’t seem to matter for anything.
This episode had it all: a poker game in desperate need of Molly Bloom, a crappy plate of poutine without cheese curds, too much milk for one single person to ever consume, the return of Bughead, charity work in stupid uniforms, the Cruel Intentions soundtrack—and a wild and crazy murder.
Naturally what had us most shook was the murder. An explosive, WTF-ending involving Chic, Alice and some sketchy guy lying in his own blood has brought Riverdale back into our good graces. Will the Coopers try and hide the body, Pretty Little Liars-style? Will they come clean to Sheriff Keller and claim self-defence? And who actually killed the guy in the first place? Only time will tell.
Until then, here are this week’s power rankings, along with some words from both of us about what each character did and why they deserve to be where they are.
1. Archie Andrews (+1)
D: I can’t believe we’re doing this again, but we’re doing this again. Archie is back on top and for good reason. He was great this episode, which was hard to believe at the start of it when he was basically an unpaid butler or in the middle of it when he was unclogging toilets. But as he got deeper into Hiram’s game he made some smart moves, mainly telling Hiram about “bad things” happening to him. He’s now complicit in a mob murder because of it, but hey, that’s just another Wednesday afternoon for the teens of Riverdale.
S: I think this season has done a good job of giving Archie redeeming qualities while simultaneously putting him in hilariously embarrassing situations. Nothing gave me greater joy than seeing Archie plunge a toilet ravaged by a group of older men who had just eaten bad poutine. But he did save his girlfriend’s father from a mob hit, he prevented Veronica from implicating herself in her family’s illegal activities, and he wore a stupid-looking hat to volunteer in a soup kitchen. For that, he deserves to be on top.
D: Most importantly though, he did not snitch when he had the chance. He even refused to wear a wire! Loyalty is important to the power rankings, guys. He wants to be there for Veronica, not the FBI.
2. Jughead Jones (+5)
S: He’s back, folks. After sadly slithering his way down the rankings ladder, Jughead made his triumphant return to the top—and with good reason. He finally owned up to all his terrible decision-making since taking control of the Serpents. “It’s like every decision I’ve made since we broke up makes things worse and worse.” Yeah. No shit, Jughead. He owned up to Betty for his time spent “getting a tattoo” and doing “other stuff” with Toni. And although it was probably a Serpent-wide decision, you KNOW it was Jughead’s idea to pull a Godfather and send the statue head as a present to the Lodges. As Michael Corleone would say: It’s nothing personal, it’s strictly business.
D: Definitely wasn’t here for any owning up he did. “She stayed over and gave me a… a tattoo.” Yep, did not expect him to say “tattoo,” that’s for sure. That whole conversation was a lot to handle, especially once Jughead hit Betty with a question no person should ever ask to their rekindled partner: “Have you done stuff with anyone else?” You don’t want to know, Juggy, especially not when the answer is your best friend. Other than that awkwardness, this was a great week for Jughead who deserves a lot of respect. He set up meetings with the mayor, figured out her corruption, called “Tallboy” tall on multiple occasions, solved the case of the missing statue head, led the Serpents, and of course, finally had sex with Betty, a crucial step in Bughead lore.
3. A dish of authentic Quebec Poutine (Not Ranked)
D: Poutine is now part of Riverdale canon. As Canadians, it would be a disservice not to rank this godly meal, an important part of Canadiana. This episode also outlined something extremely important: poutine has to be done right and if it’s not it tastes like vomit. No cheese curds? Get that garbage out of here. C’mon Pop, you’re better than that.
S: I have a lot of reservations about putting poutine this high up, what with it being an inanimate object, and you being someone that thinks with his stomach too often. But I once went to Michigan and was served the saddest excuse of a poutine of my life, so I do understand the value of authentic cheese curds, fries and gravy. Riverdale has officially topped their previous Canadiana of Hiram Lodge doing time in Montreal by introducing Papa Poutine, the mobster who strangely owns… a hot dog chain in Quebec. I’m tempted to make this point alone the most ridiculous part of the entire episode. Hiram’s entire falling out with Papa Poutine came at the hand of fake cheese curds, and for this inciting incident alone I have made amends with putting poutine in the number three spot of the power rankings.
D: Poutine was extremely important this week and fully deserves its top-three status. No one will ever forget that an episode of Riverdale used bad poutine as a motive for murder.
4. Veronica Lodge (+5)
S: It’s a teen drama rite of passage to plan a party with an out-of-the-box theme, and Riverdale has hit the mark by centring it around Veronica’s confirmation. Her dedication to the night was clearly a metaphor for balancing the lightness of her relationship with the darkness of her family, and you gotta respect Veronica’s ultimate decision to keep Archie’s squeaky clean persona away from her family’s darkness. I do have a lot of questions about Veronica’s confession and the sudden beam of warm light that basked her in the middle of the ceremony, but no bigger question than how could Veronica not know “Bittersweet Symphony” is by The Verve? HOW??
D: Nothing ruins the credibility of Veronica’s Music more than her saying “’Bittersweet Symphony’ from the Cruel Intentions soundtrack.” C’mon. I’m also really confused at the performance of said song. Neither girl was mic’d up, but apparently can project their voice perfectly to a church full of people? Not buying it, no matter how good the acoustics are at this random church.
5. Betty Cooper
D: Betty holds her spot at no. 5 in the rankings this week. I was in a constant state of screaming during the final five minutes. From “Oh shit, Bughead’s back!” to “Oh shit, Betty, now is not the time for your truths!!” to “OH SHIT, THEY’RE GONNA DO IT!!!” It was a lot to handle. Bughead is endgame, and I’m so happy they’re back in the cut. Riverdale needs their best detectives, and they need them together.
S: As much as I was loving the Sixteen Candles vibes Bughead was giving off before doing the deed, Betty totally blew it this week in the long run. She had the perfect opportunity to lay her cards on the table about her indiscretion with Archie and instead decided to be self righteous and lie. Betty Cooper, you’re a damn fool. I’d also like to bring up the Dark Betty ’cam-scene tease from the beginning of the episode. What do we think Jughead will be more mad about: Betty’s working as a webcam girl (totally her right to do so, by the way), or that she deviously lied about kissing his best friend?
D: Man, that’s a tough question. I’m more mad that SHE’S 15- OR 16-YEARS-OLD than the actual cam girl-ing, so it’s probably the best friend kiss, right? He knows she used to be in love with Archie so that’s gotta sting once he finds out (and you bet your ass he will find out) the two kissed like seven seconds after they broke up.
6. FP Jones (Not Ranked)
S: Although it breaks my heart seeing FP’s turbulent relationship with Jughead (can’t they just go play catch in the trailer park together like the adorable father-son duo I know they can be???), the elder snake did ultimately have his snake son’s back this week. I loved the scene of Jughead, FP and Betty storming into the Whyte Wyrm with the statue head, hair blowing in the wind. FP definitely ships Bughead hard.
D: Telling Jughead he’ll be the death of the Serpents was colder than the freezer FP stuffed Jason’s dead body in, something about which Jughead apparently had no problem reminding his dad. This relationship was getting a bit frigid, but with the Serpents in a better place now it feels like we may still get that father-son game of catch soon.
7. Alice Cooper (+3)
D: My girl killed a dude. Probably. We don’t know yet, but I’m damn excited to find out what the f-ck happened. This didn’t look like the first time for her either, girl knew how to clean up a murder. We really need a Riverdale episode where they show all the parents during their teen years. It would be absolutely incredible to see the gang during their reckless wild child days.
S: “Did you lock the front door?” would probably not be my first words to my daughter if I just murdered a guy in my living room. But Alice Cooper is stone cold, and I am both slightly terrified of her and in awe of her devotion to her illegitimate son who literally appeared three weeks ago. This was the ending we needed to get me back into Riverdale, and I’m so happy it was at the hands of Alice Cooper. Even though, you know, she may have just killed a guy.
8. Hiram Lodge (-7)
S: As much as I’d like to put Hiram Lodge at the top of the power rankings for exposing us to Papa Poutine and a fight over the authenticity of cheese curds, he was a full on Sketchy Dude this week. This was the most in his underworld element we’ve seen Hiram, and I can’t openly condone a man who calmly orders a hit on a fellow Canadian. His respect for Archie after finding out Archie beat up Nick St. Clair was predictable, and he uncomfortably asked Archie to confirm that his daughter was a miracle. Too weird, Hiram.
D: Calling Archie “impressive” after learning he beat up a kid with two broken legs was a very weird Hiram moment. I can think of many other adjectives other than impressive for that. Apparently the mob bosses haven’t been too impressed with him lately, but I’m sure they’ll think twice about messing him once they find out what happened with Papa Poutine.
9. Kevin Keller (-6)
D: Kevin did nothing this week except give A Look when Betty and Jughead got sent to the principal’s office. That was enough to separate him from the pack in the five-way tie for the 10th spot of Important People Who Were Not Important This Week.
S: How dare you. He asked the dress code for the party!!! We know it was Catholic chic because of Kevin, and I thank Kevin for his services.
D: I genuinely forgot he did that and now feel great shame.
Five-way tie for 10. Toni Topaz (-6), Cheryl Blossom (-2), Fred Andrews (+2), “Sweet Pea” (+3), Reggie Mantle (+4)
D: It’s amazing that an episode this dramatic didn’t have any Cheryl Blossom in it.
S: Or Penelope. But you can only imagine what (or who) she was off doing in this week’s absence. None of the above characters made much of an impact, let alone appeared on screen, and yet they were still better than the last remaining characters on the power rankings.
15. Chic Cooper (-9)
S: Unless it’s after a pound of extra-hot chicken wings, I’m suspicious of anyone who drinks as much milk as Chic Cooper in single sittings. Although we’re not sure who actually committed the crime, Chic officially implicated the Coopers in a jaw-dropping murder. I didn’t think the Coopers’ lives could get any worse than incestuous twins in the family, but here we are.
D: The way he drinks the damn milk is just so damn sinister. Like he’s up to something, and he clearly was this week with a parade of sketchy dudes rolling up to the Coopers’ household. I just can’t get behind his lack of concern for his personal safety. You can’t just let random strangers into your house, bruh. Do you want to get stabbed again? That’s how you get stabbed again.
16. Josie McCoy (-5)
S: I honestly felt like Josie was lobotomized for parts of this episode. She has been reduced to a pawn being played by her mother, stripped of her bandmates and forced to sing songs she’s never heard before. We’ve never needed the Pussycats back together as badly as we do now.
D: This show is shamefully underusing its few characters of colour. Josie was forced to sing a song at the confirmation of a girl who stole her band, and it just doesn’t make sense. Maybe it’s bad writing. Maybe it’s a lobotomy. All we know is the real Josie would never.
17. Hermione Lodge (-2)
S: She didn’t do much, but Hermione did look great in those fringed pants and that all-white communion outfit. Sean Combs would’ve been proud.
18. Hal Cooper (-1)
D: Hal was right. Chic is bad news. Still, we don’t care because he was kind of a dick about it. “It’s me or him.” There’s the door, homie. Peace.
S: Bye, Hal. You tried to have your daughter’s baby (and your wife’s baby!) aborted against her wishes. There is no sympathy here for you. Stay in your “ShareBnB” for as long as you want.
Special Agent Adams: Officially third-wheeling Archie and Veronica’s relationship.
Mayor McCoy: Why is she even having meetings with local teens? Doesn’t she have better things to do?
Sheriff Keller: Little mad none of the serpents yelled “F-ck the police!” when this clown came in to evict everyone.
“Tallboy:” “And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids.” Also, please note that Tallboy is in fact Tall, as mentioned at least 17 times this episode.
Penny Peabody: Not happy to see this snake slither back into Riverdale. A little demanding asking to have Jughead ousted and skinned. Pick one, damn.
Papa Poutine: The greatest character and character name in Riverdale history. RIP Papa Poutine.