|“||The Coopers. The Stepfords of Riverdale. High school sweethearts, who got married, and had two beautiful daughters, Polly and Betty. Until Jason Blossom happened.||”|
|— Jughead Jones|
THE BEST LAID PLANS — As Fred and his crew are about to start construction he loses his crew, which could put his livelihood in jeopardy. Wanting to help his dad, Archie and his friends pitch in to help but after one of them is attacked, the gang comes up with a plan that lands them in Southside Serpent territory. With Jughead’s secret revealed, he is worried about how his friends will react. Meanwhile, Veronica and Betty suggest throwing Polly a baby shower to make her feel better, but Polly is hesitant knowing how everyone feels.
The episode unfolds with Jughead's narrative voice as he speaks about the Cooper family, 'the Stepfords of Riverdale'. They were the ideal American family...until Jason Blossom happened. Polly sits with Betty, Veronica, and Hermione as she explains to Sheriff Keller the days leading up to Jason's disappearance. According to Polly, what started out as a casual conversation between her and Jason, flourished into an epic-forbidden romance. She was a Vixen and he was a Bulldog. But for reasons that were still unclear, their family's tried to tear them apart, however, the break up was short lived as Polly soon discovered she was pregnant with Jason's child. They became secretly engaged with Nana Rose's blessing and her heirloom ring. She and Jason had made plans to run away in an effort to start a new life together, the last time she saw him was at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, where he told her about his plan to fake his own death and meet up on the other side of Sweetwater River. With that in mind, Jason made a one-time drug delivery deal for the Southside Serpents. They gave Jason an address upstate, where he was to deliver the drugs in exchange for money. However, the drugs never made it as Jason was murdered and Polly was taken away to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy.
Meanwhile, over at the Andrews house, a late night of gaming happens for Archie and Jughead, that is until Fred enters the room to inform the boys that it is time to call it a night, but not before noticing the awful smell present in Archie's room. Archie goes up to open the window as Fred asks Jughead if he's settling in, to which Jughead agrees saying that its like they're two roommates in a college dorm. Fred then informs them that he'll be breaking ground on the SoDale project the next morning, apologizing to Jughead that it's kind of a sore subject because of the Twilight Drive-In. Jughead merely shrugs it off telling him that he's okay with it as long as he builds something beautiful in its place. Fred reassures him that it may not be beautiful, but it will be big before telling them goodnight.At school, the next morning, the gang, along with Cheryl, gather at the student lounge discuss the issue of Polly and her baby, and how to approach Polly's steadily worsening predicament, where Betty's parents want Polly but not the baby, while the Blossoms want the baby but not Polly, an impossible situation, Betty remarks. Veronica corrects her, saying that it is merely an annoying situation, one in which she has a solution for in the form of a baby shower. She reasons that Polly needs to feel loved and supported by those closest to her, however, ideally by her own parents, Betty replies. Veronica, still insistent on the baby shower, explains that they get the parents in the same room in a public setting where they cannot fight, and the healing will begin. It all begins with baby steps. Jughead questions if he has to make an appearance at the baby shower, to which Veronica refers to him as Betty's 'boyfriend', so he must attend. They both start looking at each other when Veronica tells them to relax, that it's just a word that starts with the letter B. Their discussion of the baby shower is short lived as Mrs. Cooper comes bolting in as she addresses Betty with her full name, demanding to talk to her and Veronica privately.
At the Andrews Construction, Fred and Hermione receive terrible news concerning the latest project. Vic and his crew quit working for Fred after they receive a better offer from Clifford Blossom, in which he has promised them 2 years of work. Fred is left in despair, knowing that Vic and his crew cannot reject the offer, but then he is forced to put the construction of SoDale on hold without a crew.Meanwhile, Mrs. Cooper grills Betty and Veronica telling them that Sheriff Keller has informed her of how they are hiding Polly at The Pembrooke, to which Betty comments is better than an insane asylum. Veronica takes the blame admitting that she is the one that suggested that Polly stay at her house. Betty comments that that is more helpful, unlike Alice and Hal, who want Polly to give her baby up for adoption, something that is not their choice to make — her choice, however, is whether or not she wants to be a part of Polly's life. Betty then decides to inform her of the baby shower that Veronica and her mother are hosting, to which Mrs. Cooper says that's hardly appropriate. Betty retorts saying that it's an amazing idea and that Alice should either be loving and supportive, like a normal grandmother, or stay away.
After losing his crew, Fred makes some calls, hoping he could borrow a few crew members from known affiliates, but to no avail. Just then, Archie returns home from his date with Valerie. Fred informs him of the setback of the project due to Cliff taking his crew, to which Archie tells him that whoever would choose Cliff over him is crazy. However, there are more pressing matters...Fred confesses that he hasn't been as forthcoming with Archie about the severity of danger the company was facing. It's been in trouble for a long time; big jobs are too few and far between, and it 's only getting worse as the days go on, with hemorrhaging cash and overdue bills. It was never supposed to get that bad, he worked his butt off to build the company but in one false step, he could lose everything.
This subsequently leads to a sidebar conversation between Veronica and Hermione, in which Veronica is scolded by her mother for the inevitable bloodbath that will ensue between the Blossoms and the Coopers. Not to mention Hermione has been trying to avoid the Blossoms because they don't know that Hiram is the anonymous buyer of the new development, and if they find out, it will be open war. Hermione explains that the Blossoms have made a play for the land, hoping to stop construction, and while she and Fred have been attempting to keep it on track, he is still unaware that Hiram is the buyer. Which is why Hermione reasons that the timing of the baby shower is less than ideal. In addition to that, Hermione finds it hard to believe that Alice would even want to come after hearing what they'd told her, which is precisely why Veronica wants Hermione to have a mother-to-mother talk with Alice.Fred embarks on a mission to confront Cliff on stealing his crew in an effort to halt construction. He pulls up at Thornhill and blocks Cliff's drive-way as he attempts to leave the drive-way. They both exit their vehicles, Fred immediately pouncing on Cliff about the crew he just hired. Cliff explains that it's not personal, just that the land of the SoDale project belonged to his family, they founded their maple empire on it, and now they're in a process of trying to reacquire it and buy it back, but the mysterious buyer stole it right from under them. So, since he can't go after the mysterious buyer, he'll go after Fred. The way Fred's boss has done his secret deals has led Cliff to believe that he has a limited amount of funds. Admittedly, this is a great plan, but Fred informs Cliff that in the process of bleeding out the buyer, Cliff is bleeding him out as well, which has messed with his business and livelihood, and no amount of money will stop Fred from coming after Cliff with everything he has.
After confronting Cliff, Fred returns to the trailer to reveal what Hermione already secretly knows, that the Blossoms are in a grudge match with the mysterious buyer, and that they are caught in the cross fire. Hermione gets up from her seat upon hearing this, as she nervously asks if Cliff know who the anonymous buyer is, to which he replies that he's in the dark on this just like them. While they are still without money or crew, Hermione and Fred receive an unexpected surprise - Archie, as promised, has a solution to the problem of workers needed for the construction. He gathers up a team of Jughead, Kevin, and Moose who have volunteered to assist them in staying on schedule for the SoDale project until they can hire a new crew. Fred is initially hesitant, but Hermione reminds him that desperate times call for desperate measures.
Per Hermione's earlier conversation with Veronica, Hermione decides to meet up with Alice at Pop's, which Alice mistakes as a chance at bragging rights after Hermione took in Polly. However, Hermione only seeks to help, starting with telling Alice that it was time to face facts, and Polly wouldn't be the first young mother to raise a child, they both did it. Hermione urges Alice to be there for Polly at the shower, otherwise, she'll regret it for the rest of her life.Meanwhile, at the Andrews Construction, the boys have already started on the construction. Jughead comments how handy Archie is with the wheel barrel, joking that if his music career never pays off, he could always have manual labor as a fallback, although his father's path is not for him. Archie acknowledges how hard his father works his ass off for him, never asking for anything, and always having his back, even when Archie messes up. If having his father's back, means that he had to haul some rocks, he'd be more than willing to accommodate. Jughead agrees, commenting that Archie's father also has his back too, more than some people. As the day comes to an end, the boys return to the trailer, as Fred welcomes them with some soda in the fridge. Moose forgot his phone back on the project site, so he goes back out to retrieve it. As he gets there, he is ambushed by two thugs, who try to destroy some equipment before noticing Moose. The rest of the guys hear noise from the trailer and go rushing down to see Moose getting beaten up by the two thugs before taking off in their truck. They ask Moose if he knows who those guys were, to which he says he has no clue, however, they left a warning for them to stop construction or else they'll be back.
Upon Sheriff Keller's arrival at the scene of the crime, Fred explains that Moose caught two guys destroying his equipment with a crowbar. They got the drop on Moose and took off. Fred accuses Cliff Blossom of being at the center of the attack since he made it abundantly clear that he wanted the project to collapse, though Sheriff Keller has his doubts that Clifford would hire a couple thugs to attack a work site and beat up a couple teenagers. Archie suspects that it also could have been the work of the Southside Serpents, who are angry after being kicked off their land, but Jughead disagrees since the Serpents never bothered him when he worked at the drive-in. Unsure, Sheriff Keller asks Moose if he saw any snake tattoos on the jackets of the vandals. Moose has no recollection of seeing anything that might identify them, reasoning that it all happened too fast. Keller reassures them that he'll talk to the Blossoms even though he doubts it will get him anywhere unless they can ID the vandals. Archie isn't too thrilled with the Sheriff's response, claiming that had it been Cliff asking for help, the Sheriff would have put forward more effort.
The next morning, Betty and Veronica sit down as Polly approaches them, asking if her mother is going to attend the baby shower. While her mother has been invited to the shower, it is clear that the chances of her actually attending the event are slim, as try Betty and Veronica put it. This leaves Polly disappointed as Betty attempts to cheer her up. Polly announces that she wants Betty to be her child's godmother if anything were to ever happen to her, Betty is the only one she'd trust to raise her child.
As Archie paces back and forth, wondering what the next move should be after the attack at Andrews construction, whatever it is, Valerie only hopes that he talks to her and not do something that he'll eventually end up regretting. After several unanswered texts from Jughead, Archie finds him at Pop's shoppe with Betty and Veronica. Archie and Moose are going to the south side in order to find the Serpents that potentially attacked Moose, it is worth a shot, and Kevin's boyfriend, who is also a Serpent, can get them into a bar called the Whyte Wyrm, a bar where the Serpents hang out. He reasons that if Moose spots them, they can call Sheriff Keller and get the goons arrested. Betty warns him that the Serpents are dangerous drug dealers. Jughead, much to Betty's surprise, disagrees with that statement saying who'd think that. Betty explains that Polly said that Jason was dealing drugs for the Serpents. Archie pitches in telling him that Cliff Blossom is trying to stop the SoDale project, all the more reason to believe that he hired Serpents to vandalize the work site. On top of that, Sheriff Keller looks like he won't be of help in solving their problem. As Archie gets up, he tries to convince Jughead one last time, but to no avail.As planned, Archie, Moose, and Joaquin go to the Whyte Wyrm. It is a known hangout for the Serpents, so the plan consists of them going in, and if Moose spots either of his attackers, they call Sheriff Keller. At the bar, Moose points out Mustang, a Serpent and possibly one of his attackers. Despite their initial plan to call the cops, Archie confronts Mustang head-on, asking if he likes beating up teenagers. Even though the Serpent is mistaken for another individual they are looking for, the Serpent has no problem in granting Archie a death wish, as Archie isn't the first Bulldog to come into the bar and start up trouble, which presumably is a reference to Jason Blossom. He shoves Archie, and Archie shoves back, but is thrown into the pool table.
FP emerges from the top of the stairs, breaking up the fight before it escalates. Archie is surprised to see FP there, he didn't know FP is the leader of the Southside Serpents. Archie, Kevin, and Moose are escorted out of the bar by FP, but he demands that Archie stay behind. Archie then explains that his reasoning for being at the Wyrm and how he comes to the conclusion that the Serpents are at the center of it, the fact that FP is a Serpent only confirms his suspicion, he figured it is personal, payback at Fred for firing him. FP denies all allegations, he informs Archie that life is too short, just then Fred pulls up, and tells him to get in the truck.
The Baby Shower finally commences, as people arrive at the Pembrooke apartment. Polly reunites with several friends that she hasn't seen in months, such as Valerie Brown and Melody Valentine. Much to everyone's surprise, Alice appears at the shower. Betty goes over to Polly telling her that their mother actually decided to come after all. Alice walks over to them and expresses how happy she is that Polly and the baby are safe. They hug, but just then, the Blossoms arrive, Cheryl, Penelope and Nana Rose; they gift Polly with an expensive stroller, and in return, Cheryl wants to be named the child's godmother, unaware that Polly has already named Betty the godmother. Mrs. Blossom walks over to Polly and apologizes for embracing the child and not her, she hopes Polly can forgive her.
Back at the south side of Riverdale, Fred, and FP talk. Much to Fred's surprise, he finds out that FP is still a Serpent, something he believes he left behind a long time ago. Like Archie, Fred starts to believe that the Serpents were behind the attack as well, but FP denies any claims of involvement, reasoning that he would never do that after all they have done for Jughead. FP is sorry to hear about Fred's troubles, in which he has no crew or cash, so FP offers to ask around about the attack, though he is sure that Fred will bounce back, as he always does. As they end their conversation, and FP heads back inside the bar, Fred turns around to find an empty truck, with no sign of Archie.
At the baby shower, Nana Rose performs some kind of ritual on Polly to identify the baby's gender by using a purple stone pendulum, which leads Cheryl to remark that Rose has dementia as well as "gypsy blood," which offers as an explanation for her doing this. According to Nana Rose, Polly is pregnant with twins, one of each gender. Alice is convinced that what Nana Rose is doing is occultism at its most "ludicrous". Before Betty can say anything, Alice says that apart from that she is still happy to be there.
It is finally time for the gift opening portion of the night. As her gift, Alice gives Polly the night light from when she was a little girl, having saved it all that time. Alice knows how much her daughter loved it, that it made her feel safe and she wants Polly to be able to pass it down to the baby one day. Archie then crashes the shower, having just found out that Jughead's father was the leader of the Southside Serpents, a secret up to that point, which he angrily reveals to Betty and Veronica. Veronica told them they have to check themselves, that it is Polly's day, so Veronica escorted Archie out of the door.
Penelope and Cheryl present Polly with a family heirloom that great-grandfather Blossom had played with: an antique children's rocking horse. Cheryl then blurts out that she wants Polly to stay with them at Thornhill. Mrs. Blossom explains that Cheryl's invitation is genuine, that they will always be welcome at Thornhill, vowing that neither Polly or the baby would ever want for anything. Disgusted, Alice insult the Blossom's gift and assert that Polly will never set foot in their home. Penelope accuses Alice of being ashamed of Polly and the baby. They argue before Polly interrupts, declaring that she and Jason were supposed to be together and that the pointless feud between the two families is what had gotten him killed.
After the baby shower, and the guests gone, Betty urges Alice to speak to Polly. Polly tells Alice that if not for her sending Polly away to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, Jason might have lived, but Alice retorts that Polly might have gotten hurt or worse. Polly felt alone there. Alice apologizes, she has never meant for Polly to feel unwanted and unloved. She promises she will never make her feel that way again and begs her to return home. Polly is surprised that her mother wants her to come home, to which Alice says more than anything. However, there is the question of her father, Hal. Polly then reveals that, unbeknownst to Alice, before Polly was sent away, Hal had made an appointment for her to get an abortion to get rid of her 'mistake'.
Archie returns home after leaving the baby shower, where he has a heart-to-heart with his father; Archie only wanted to help Fred the same way he has always helped him. Fred goes on about how bad things have gotten, everything from their family falling apart, to Archie's future. He's spent his entire life building things, but now he can't seem to get them to work out for him, and in this moment, it becomes apparent that Fred is losing his will, but Archie refuses to accept that. He's been thinking, what if he has a kid someday that hated music, and instead wanted to build houses and buildings like his 'grandpa', Archie expresses how cool thinks that would be. Building things are Fred's legacy, which makes it Archie's too.
Back at the Pembrooke, Jughead explains to Betty that he is ashamed of his father's affiliations, which is why he hadn't told anyone, which Betty immediately forgives him for. She says that if they want to be together, then she wants to know every detail about him, Jughead agrees. She then suggests that they pay FP a visit and ask about Jason. At the trailer park, FP claims they gave Jason some product to deliver upstate, but when it never showed, they assumed he had run off with it until his body showed up at Sweetwater River. Jughead then asks his father if he had any involvement in Jason's death, despite FP being his father, it's the Dark Ages, he doesn't know what to think. FP admits that he is a lousy parent, but he insists that he isn't a killer. Outside the trailer, Jughead tells Betty that he believes his father, and she believes Jughead, the two of them then share another kiss.
After learning of Hal's secret, Alice confronts Hal over the appointment he had supposedly made for Polly behind Alice's back, so that she could fix her 'mistake', following the discovery her pregnancy. Alice says that Hal did to Polly exactly what he did to her. Hal confirms to angry Alice that he did make the appointment and that he didn't involve Alice because he knew she would overreact. He insists that she was not ready and neither is Polly. Alice wonders why sending Polly to the Sisters wasn't enough, to which Hal explains that Polly's life is being ruined by that mistake. When Alice demands that Polly is allowed to move back into the house, Hal loses his temper and asserts that he will not raise a child with Blossom blood. Enraged that Hal will not accept Polly back into their family, Alice kicks him out of the Cooper household. Initially protesting, Hal turns around and leaves.
Jughead returns to the Andrews house, to find Archie toying around with his guitar. He admits that he should've trusted Archie, but he was afraid that his father was at the center of the attack. Archie understands where Jughead is coming from, saying that they are like brothers and that they will always be there for each other.
Later on, FP explains that with the cops applying heat, he and Joaquin have to come up with a plan as FP stuffed Jason's Varsity jacket into a bag and tosses it to Joaquin, telling him to hide it in a safe place as it is their insurance in case everything goes to hell. He then checks in on Joaquin's progress with Kevin, as they are going to need that inside line with Sheriff Keller. Apparently, their relationship is only a means to an end, however, Joaquin has begun to feel guilty as Kevin has developed genuine feelings. FP chuckles, telling him that they all have a part to play, including FP himself.
On the SoDale project site, the subsequent morning, Hermione has put in calls to Greendale and Centerville for construction crews. FP decides to gather several members of the Southside Serpents and help out with the construction in the meantime, promising to not leave Fred hanging this time. As for the troubles, he and his gang can handle the vandals if they show up again. As Fred goes to get the Serpents settled, Hermione is informed by FP that the two thugs that attacked Moose and the Andrews Construction equipment weren't local, they were from Montreal. Both Hermione and FP realize that they have to have been affiliated with Hiram, as he has business in Montreal. FP's theory is that Hiram caught wind of Hermione's affair with Fred, and sent his men as a warning, but FP wonders who ratted her out.
Over at the Pembrooke, Betty assures Polly that their mother had no idea that their father had made the doctor's appointment and that she has kicked him out of their house after confronting him. Alice wants Polly and her baby to feel safe, which means Polly can return home. However, the next morning, despite Betty's best effort to persuade her sister, Polly pulls up at the Thornhill residence choosing to live with the Blossoms. Alice and Betty hear of this, as they were waiting for her arrival, leaving them in tears.
- Archie: "War is hell, Jug."
- Jughead: "[scoffs] No, Archie. Hell is other people."
- ―Archie and Jughead play videogames
- Fred: "You settling in, Jug?"
- Jughead: "Oh, completely. It's like Archie and I are just roommates in a college dorm."
- Fred: "Oh, great, what does that make me, the RA?"
- Archie: "No, you're the third roommate."
- ―Archie, Fred and Jughead living together
|“||The Blossoms, and the Coopers, in our pre-war apartment, it'll be a bloodbath! They've been Hatfields and McCoys since long before Polly was pregnant.||”|
|— Hermione warns Veronica of the Blossom-Cooper feud|
- Betty: "You're sweet to be here, I know this isn't exactly your scene."
- Jughead: "What? Organizing a baby shower? It's totally on my bucket list."
- ―Betty to Jughead at Polly's baby shower
- Rose Blossom: "This necklace reads the baby's aura, predicts the sex."
- Cheryl: "Nana has dementia and gypsy blood."
- Rose: "Oh!"
- Polly: "What?! Is my baby okay?"
- Rose: "Babies. It's twins. One of each."
- Alice: "This is occultism at its most ludicrous."
- ―Rose Blossom uses a crystal to predict the sex of Polly's baby
- Jughead: "Did you have anything to do with Jason Blossom's death?"
- FP Jones: "You really think I could do that?"
- Jughead: "It's the dark ages dad, I don't really know what to think anymore."
- FP: "I'm not a perfect father, Jughead, no getting around that but, I'm no killer."
- ―Jughead confronts his father
- The episode title comes from Kathleen Rowell's 1983 American coming-of-age drama film of the same name, which is an adaptation of S. E. Hinton's coming-of-age novel.
- Archie and Valerie begin dating this episode.
- Kevin is reading The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Since Jughead had the exact same edition in "Chapter Seven: In a Lonely Place", it's probably a school assignment.