|“||It's been a week since the discovery of Jason Blossom's body. But his death would not be the first, nor would it be the last casualty that the town of Riverdale would suffer. The Twilight Drive-In, where I work; my home away from home. A piece of town history is closing for good, just when we needed a place to escape to the most. With Sheriff Keller knocking on every door, and neighbor suspecting neighbor, every day that passes is becoming more like Salem during the witch trials. And meanwhile, the girl next door, our friendly neighborhood Hitchcock blonde, Betty Cooper, was wrestling with the knowledge that her best friend Archie Andrews was caught up in a forbidden romance.||”|
HOLDING ON — When Jughead learns that an anonymous buyer has plans to tear down the local drive-in, he fights desperately to keep it open. Betty finds her friendship with Archie on the line after stumbling upon some startling information she’s uncovered about Miss Grundy’s past. Elsewhere, Veronica confronts her mother Hermione about a suspicious meeting she witnessed between her mother and a shady Southside Serpent. Finally, after uncovering Betty’s diary, Alice finds the perfect opportunity to destroy Archie’s golden boy image.
At Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, Jughead sits typing away on his laptop, adding another entry to his novel. A week has passed since the discovery of Jason Blossom's body but his death is not the first nor will it be the last casualty that the town of Riverdale will suffer. The Twilight Drive-In, Jughead’s place of employment and home, is closing down.
Betty is still conflicted over the latest revelation in the Jason Blossom murder investigation, that Dilton Doiley spotted Ms. Grundy's car at Sweetwater River on July 4th. She suspects that there may be an affair going on between Ms. Grundy and Archie. Betty confides in her diary about how Sheriff Keller doesn't know that Riverdale High's music teacher, Geraldine Grundy, was at Sweetwater River the morning Jason Blossom went missing and how since Archie was there as well, there is a possibility that they were at the river together.
Archie and Fred attend Ms. Grundy's cello performance. Fred comments how incredible she is, to which Archie agrees. After the performance as everyone disperses, Archie and Fred go up to the stage to greet her, and Archie even hands her a bouquet of flowers. Fred's interest in music usually lies in the classic rock genre but even he is amazed by Ms. Grundy's performance, so much so that he invites her to dine with them at Pop’s. Geraldine initially turns down the offer because she doesn't wish to impose, but after all she's done for Archie, Fred insists that she join them.
At Pop's, Jughead expresses his disdain towards the closing down of the Twilight Drive-In. It's closing is just one more nail in the coffin that is Riverdale and the American dream, he says. Furthermore, the Drive-In is very special to him and not just because he will be out of a job. It should mean something to all the residents of Riverdale, including Betty, Veronica, and Kevin, all of whom show fairly little interest in his ranting. In this age of modern film and television, Veronica questions who would want to go the Drive-In. Cinephiles and car enthusiast, Jughead claims, but Kevin is positive that the local component of the Drive-In's visitors mostly consist of those who wish to buy crack. It's closing because the town owns it but didn't invest in it. So, when an anonymous buyer made Mayor McCoy an offer she couldn't refuse, she accepted it. Now, Jughead is left wondering which film he should play for closing night. Betty suggests Rebel Without a Cause.
Just a mere few feet away from Jughead, Betty, Kevin, and Veronica, sits Cheryl, Tina, and Ginger, who disapproves of Hermione's job as a waitress as Pop's. Had Cheryl known about this beforehand, she never would've given Veronica a spot on the River Vixens, as its off-brand and sends a false message about acceptance. However, Ginger and Tina do not share that same sentiment. After her TMZ style take down of Chuck Clayton, the rest of the squad has warmed up to Veronica. As Hermione reaches for the bill, Cheryl slams her hand down, telling Hermione that all the money is to go into the register, as the Lodges are known for having sticky fingers. This is a reference to Hiram Lodge and the charges of fraud and embezzlement being brought on him. Hermione takes the money but not before reminding Cheryl that she went to school with her mother, Penelope, and she didn't know the difference between having money and having class either.
When Betty sees Archie, Fred, and Ms. Grundy enter the shoppe, she takes the opportunity to confront Archie over her suspicions. They head out to the parking lot. As his best friend, Betty asks if there is anything he wants to tell her. She knows that Ms. Grundy was at Sweetwater River on July 4th, asking Archie if he was there with her. Archie inadvertently confirms her suspicions. From inside the diner, Veronica wonders the nature of Betty and Archie's discussion. Jughead assures her that the conversation is not about her, but she can't seem to let it go, joining Archie and Betty in the parking lot as they discuss his relationship. While Veronica may think a "booty tutor" is scandalous, Betty is more concerned with the legal ramifications of their actions. Archie explains that the reason he lied to everyone was to protect Ms. Grundy because she believed in him when no one else did. And while Veronica understands this, Betty stands there speechless until her mother pulls up. Alice tells Betty to get in and reminds her that she doesn't want Betty hanging around Archie and Veronica.
Upon her return home, Betty's suspicions grow into an obsession with finding out the truth about Ms. Grundy's unknown past. Betty’s internet research digs up even more troubling details about the mysterious music teacher. Meanwhile, Cheryl catches Hermione in the middle of a heated argument with a Southside Serpent behind the dumpster at Pop's. Cheryl takes a picture of the encounter as evidence.
At school the next day, Archie asks Jughead how hard would it have been for a heads-up, pertaining to Betty and her discovery of Archie's relationship with Ms. Grundy. Jughead replies that not getting involved was the most moral, apathetic choice he could've made. Archie can't help but wonder if Betty will be writing about him and Grundy in the paper, like she did with Chuck Clayton, though Jughead assures him that this is not the case as Betty would never do anything that could possibly hurt him. As for his affair with Grundy, Archie isn't sure what will happen in the long run, but he wants to hold onto what they have.
In the music room, Betty conducts an interview with Ms. Grundy under the false pretense that The Blue and Gold is doing a series of articles spotlighting teachers. Betty asks her a string of questions, everything from former schools she taught at to her independent studies, which surprisingly included Jason Blossom. He was an inspiration, Ms. Grundy says. The interview comes to an abrupt end after Betty attempts to bait Ms. Grundy into revealing any inappropriate feelings she may have had about her students.
In the student lounge, Kevin explains the quintessential rite of passage of making out with your boy or girlfriend at the movies. Unfortunately, while Veronica can't promise him any action, she does offer to go to the drive-in with Kevin since he doesn't have a date. Maybe she'd bring him good luck. Cheryl then enters the room with a smile on her face, eager to remind Veronica of her place in the town's social hierarchy with her mother having to work as a waitress at Pop's. Cheryl puts on display for Veronica the photo of Hermione and the Southside Serpent outside of Pop's from the prior night. Veronica looks to Kevin to answer what a Southside Serpent is. According to him, they're a gang of bikers who primarily stay on the south side, mostly drug dealers and petty thieves.
Immediately following her return home, Veronica confronts her mother with the evidence founded by Cheryl. Hermione tells Veronica that she has nothing to worry about. While the Serpents may be from the wrong side of the tracks, Hermione grew up with some of them. Despite what Cheryl claims, they weren't arguing. Hermione says that she simply put the Serpent in his place after he made a lewd comment.
Jughead heads down to Town Hall, where he asks Mayor McCoy to save the drive-in. However, his effort proves futile as the drive-in is a blight that's become a cesspool and a hangout for criminals and transients alike. On top of that, the deal was done. Andrews Construction is scheduled to demolish the lot on Monday. Hoping to reason with her, Jughead tells Mayor McCoy about his special connection to the drive-in; when he was a kid, his family would go to the drive-in all the time. They couldn't afford tickets for everyone, so he and his sister, Jellybean, would hide in the trunk until they parked. While she appreciates the sentiment, there is still nothing the mayor can do.
At Pop's, Betty and Veronica inform Archie that Ms. Grundy showed up out of thin air. There is no record of her life before she moved to Riverdale a year ago. All her social media accounts were created a year ago. She didn't exist before that. The only Geraldine Grundy Betty could locate before that was an elderly woman that died seven years ago. In a desperate attempt to change Archie's mind and convince him into rethinking his relationship with Geraldine, Betty mentions that Ms. Grundy also taught Jason Blossom, as did a lot of people, Archie points out. Nevertheless, he is frustrated by Betty's investigation, insisting she let it go because he isn't in any danger.
Despite Betty's best efforts, Archie heads over to Geraldine's to watch old movies at her place. However, Betty's line of questioning appears to have resonated with Archie, as he begins to ask her about her life and passions, for instance, if she always wanted to be a teacher. She tells Archie that she graduated Juilliard and auditioned at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, all the other big symphonies, but she never made the cut. Not even close. Geraldine had a dream to do more than teaching but sometimes that's all they are. Just dreams. Archie then asks if what they have is a dream, to which Geraldine asks if it would be so bad if it was. She thinks of it as a nice dream, but Archie can't help but wonder where it would all end. They proceed to kiss.
Despite agreeing to let it go, Betty and Veronica break into Ms. Grundy's car, hoping to find any kind of evidence that will prove she's not as clean as she claims. Before going any further, Veronica wants to at least ask the question: Is Betty putting in all this effort to uncover the truth about Ms. Grundy because she still has feelings for Archie? Betty claims that this is not the case. Grundy has Archie under some kind of sexual spell, and he won't listen to reason. Inside a tackle box, they find an ID with the name Jennifer Gibson and a handgun, which they then present to Archie. Betty and Veronica speculates that Grundy may have been involved in Jason's death, but Archie denies all allegations in her defense.
The next day, having learned that Andrews Construction held the contract to the upcoming demolition, in another attempt to save the drive-in, Jughead tries to convince Fred into at least holding off on the demolition for one week until he can track down the anonymous buyer and convince them not to destroy it. Sadly, Fred cannot afford to give him that time. The drive-in's demolition is a big contract for his company. It could also lead to more jobs. Hearing this, Jughead grows increasingly angry. He reminds Fred how he already put his father out of work, so he might as well do the same to another Jones, though Fred had to let Jughead's dad go because he was stealing from the work site.
Hermione arrives late to a pre-arranged meeting between herself and Mayor McCoy, during which time she secretly donates a large sum of money to Mayor McCoy's re-election campaign in exchange for Lodge Industries getting the Twilight Drive-In, one of the most prime pieces of real estate in Riverdale. No one can know that Mayor McCoy helped push the deal along, especially not the Blossoms. Hermione promises that her secret will be safe so long as the Mayor holds up her end of the bargain.
With so many questions weighing heaving on his mind, Archie finally decides to ask Geraldine about her past, starting with her real name and why she moved to Riverdale. Geraldine tells him that she had a drunk and abusive husband who would come home from work with a temper. One night he beat her to the point where she was in the ER with broken ribs and a shattered collarbone. The next morning, he barely remembered the fight, and he promised it wouldn't happen again. But when it did, she divorced him, changed her name, and moved to Riverdale, where she eventually met Archie. Seeing the pain in her eyes, Archie approaches Geraldine and holds her close.
At the Keller household, Sheriff Keller continues his investigation of Jason Blossom's death. Kevin enters the room, commenting on the murder board his father has constructed. He then asks if he can borrow the truck for the night, leaving the Sheriff to ask if he had a date, which he doesn't. Kevin admits that he'll be attending with Veronica. Before handing him the keys, Kevin's father warns him against cruising guys because they both know what occurs in the nearby woods. With a murderer on the loose and so many unsavory characters in that area, if Kevin must go to the drive-in, the Sheriff instructs him to stay in the truck.
Alice and Hal pay Fred a visit to demand that Archie and Betty stop spending time together. Their relationship isn't good for either of them, and their respective behavior reflects that, so Alice claims. They're hoping that Fred can do his part from his end by keeping Archie away from Betty, however, Fred sees no reason to do such a thing. Archie's a good kid, he says. However, Alice begs to differ considering she lives one house over and can see when Archie sneaks out the house at all hours of the night.
Betty learns from Archie the truth behind Ms. Grundy's fake identity and gun. But she still doesn't believe that it makes what Grundy did to Archie acceptable. Archie insists that she didn't do anything to him and that he is all she has. Betty believes that he is in over his head. Ms. Grundy is cutting him off from everyone else in his life. Betty just wants him to think about what he is doing for not only his sake, but Ms. Grundy's as well. Archie plans on dealing with the situation involving Geraldine, but on his terms, not Betty's.
At the Pembrooke, Smithers returns from the dry-cleaners with Hermione's dry-cleaning. She thanks him before informing him that Fred Andrews will be escorting her to the drive-in. An attractive woman going with an old friend is less conspicuous than an old crone going alone, she remarks.
As Alice puts away the laundry in Betty's room, she discovers Ms. Grundy's gun in Betty's drawer. Panicked by her discovery, she grabs for Betty's diary and skims through the content to learn about just how Betty got ahold of the weapon. After learning the truth behind the gun in her daughter's room, Alice calls Betty home. When Betty arrives at the front door, Alice is already perched on the other side of the door quickly opening it before Betty has the chance to. She confronts Betty with the gun she found inside her drawer. Upon this discovery, Betty replies in a lower voice "I can explain," to which Alice replies "Oh you will" and demands that she get in the car.
That night, Jughead sits in the booth the entire night as Rebel Without a Cause plays on the big screen one last time before the drive-in's closing. As Sheriff Keller patrols the lot, Kevin and Veronica sit cuddled up in the back of the pick-up truck, watching the film. Cheryl unexpectedly joins them.
Meanwhile, Fred and Hermione watch the film from his truck. Fred recalls their senior year, when the two of them watched Candyman together. She kissed him, but it was a brief fling. Hermione then receives a couple notifications before coming up with an excuse to leave the vehicle. As Fred sits in the truck alone, he is startled by Alice's frantic banging at the window. She instructs him to follow her. She explains that it's about the kids, to which Fred hurriedly exits the car and follows.
The Southside Serpents get rowdy in the back of the drive-in, disrupting their movie-going experience, so Kevin shushes them, but they continue in their ways, during which time Kevin briefly makes eye contact with one of the Serpents. With Kevin's failed attempt in mind, Veronica decides to take it upon herself to silence them. She turns around and quips "You know what happens to a snake when a Louboutin heel steps on it? Shut the hell up or you’ll find out." This is enough to shut them up while also leaving Kevin in shock that she would threaten a group of gang members, though Veronica's dealt with worst in the East Village. She hates when people disrupt her cinematic experience, looking to Cheryl, who Veronica asks to refill the popcorn, though Cheryl simply shirks the task on Kevin. Just after Kevin leaves the truck, Veronica notices her mother sneaking into a back ally with the same Serpent from before. While refilling the popcorn bucket, Kevin is confronted by the same Serpent that he had previously made eye contact with.
Veronica watches from afar as her mother pays off FP. He counts what's given to him, asking for the rest of it, though Hermione has not the slightest clue to what he means. It was her understanding that this was the agreed upon amount. In that case, FP to speak with Hiram. To that, Hermione wishes him luck because as long as Hiram is in jail, they will be dealing with her. He tells Hermione to enjoy the movie and that they'll be in touch.
Archie meets with Ms. Grundy in the music room with a thank you gift in hand. He wants to express his appreciation for everything Grundy has done for him. So, he got her a bow for her cello. She is surprised, concerned that he couldn't have afforded it. He then replies that he pawned one of his guitars to buy it for her. Grundy says that he doesn't need to thank her, that he shouldn't thank her. Hesitant, Archie tells her that he doesn't want to end their lessons but that is what he thinks they should do. She then asks if it's a goodbye gift, to which he responds that it is a "see-you-around-the-halls" / "A don't-forget-me gift." They share a quick embrace before Alice, Fred, and Betty burst in, breaking their contact. Alice has revealed to Fred everything she had learned from Betty's diary, i.e., Archie and Grundy's relationship.
It doesn't take long for Kevin and the mysterious Serpent to begin making out in the back alley. Kevin says that he really has to go, but before he can, the young Serpent introduces himself as Joaquin. Kevin gives Joaquin his number, however, Joaquin is startled to learn that he is the Sheriff's son. Is that a problem, Kevin asks. In response, Joaquin flashes his Serpent tattoo, asking if that is a problem. But the two of them agree to keep it a secret as they resume kissing.
When Alice claims that Grundy is a child predator who should go to jail, Archie comes to her defense. Alice then suggests that the next step they take is to report the incident to Sheriff Keller. Archie pleads with his father to intervene. Everything that happened, he wanted to happen, which comes as no surprise to Alice. Betty questions why her mother is so intent on putting Grundy on trial. Alice explains that it's more about Archie. She wants Betty to see the type of person he truly is, though Betty explains to her mother that she's never going to stop being friends with him. Archie admits that he is selfish and stupid, but he pleads with Alice to leave Grundy out of it. However, Alice is determined to do the 'right thing' by reporting the incident and of course informing the neighbors. Should Alice follow through with this, Betty threatens to tell everyone that she broke into Grundy's car to rob her and made up the affair. It would be as if she had finally snapped, like Polly. It would only further prove what everyone already thinks of the Coopers, that crazy runs in the family. Hoping to resolve the entire situation, Geraldine says that she'll quit and leave town, to which Fred agrees. Grundy makes her way to the door, announcing that she'll be gone by morning, though she and Archie shares one last longing look before she exits.
Kevin and Sheriff Keller return home to discover that the house has been broken into. The Sheriff draws his firearm and proceeds with caution into his home only to find that all the details of Jason Blossom's murder have been destroyed, the murder board included.
Veronica sits in the main room, awaiting her mother's return home. Confronted with the fact that Veronica witnessed her with the Serpent leader, Hermione finally reveals she is handling unfinished business for Hiram, who hired the gang to decrease the property value of the theater so he could snatch it up at a discount. What Veronica witnessed was Hermione paying them for a job well done. With that in mind, Veronica realizes that her father is the anonymous buyer and that he's doing all this from jail. He put every last penny that they had into this deal, Hermione explains. Hiram is a businessman. He saw an opportunity and took it. Old Riverdale is dying, he's just simply helping it along, though Veronica maintains that it's wrong despite the fact that she may miss her old life, which was provided to them by her father's business ventures.
Archie is left hurting as he and his father return home that night. With tears in his eyes, Fred tells Archie that he is none of those things he said and that it wasn't his fault. Archie then breaks down in his father's arms, and so Fred comforts his son as he cries.
Meanwhile, in the Cooper house, Alice explains to Betty that Polly kept too many secrets from them and that she won't allow the same to happen with Betty. Betty asks her mother what's her name, to which Alice replies "Elizabeth Cooper." Betty is not Polly and Archie is not Jason, so Betty demands that her mother stop using them as an excuse to control her life. Before starting a new entry in her diary, Betty texts Archie to apologize for her hand in his heartache. Archie's accepts her apology for she was merely trying to help.
Betty then begins her next entry with saying that love makes you do crazy things. While she admits that what she did was wrong, maybe she was right about some things too. Maybe Ms. Grundy was dangerous in some way, which is somewhat supported by the gawking of two under-aged teens that pass Geraldine as she prepares to leave Riverdale.
That morning, with the final playing of the drive-in long since finished and Jughead without employment, it is revealed that he is living out of the drive-in, and with its demolition in motion, he will soon be homeless. As he leaves the drive-in, Jughead grabs his belongings, including a photo of him with his sister, Jellybean. Just outside the booth, he spray-paints his name and signature crown hat on the side of the booth. He then has a brief encounter with his father, FP Jones, who tells him that they're going to tear the booth down too and them with it. Jughead hopes that maybe they'd save the booth, store it in the town hall attic, and rebuild it in a hundred years so people could wonder who the hell they were. FP then wonders where Jughead will stay now. Jughead replies that he'll figure something out. He always does.
- Marc-Olivier Dupin - Les oubliés de l'histoire
- Mac DeMarco - Let Her Go
- Sleeping Bag - Walk Home
- Scene: As Veronica heads off to intrude on Betty and Archie's conversation, Kevin sarcastically asks Jughead what Riverdale was like before Veronica moved to town.
- Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Flower Pedals
- Polartape - Strom
- Dean Lewis - Waves
- Scene: Betty apologizes to Archie, and then proceeds to write in her diary / Jughead gathers his things from within the projection booth at the Drive-In, where he was living. He then spray paints his name on the outside of the booth and has a conversation with FP.
- The episode title comes from Larry McMurtry and Peter Bogdanovich's 1971 American drama film of the same name.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Joaquin, a member of the Southside Serpents.
- This episode marks the first appearance of FP Jones, leader of the Southside Serpents.
- Geraldine Grundy is revealed to be a deceased elderly woman who died 7 years ago who also resembles comic counterpart. Jennifer Gibson took on her identity when she moved to Riverdale.
- Betty's milkshake order upgrade from old-fashioned vanilla to strawberry may have represented her mental state.
- Betty's diary is reminiscent of the one she owns in the comics.
- This marks the first episode where Jason Blossom is not seen in any shape or form. He's mentioned by Ms. Grundy during Betty's Blue & Gold interview, as well as by Cheryl at the cinema.
- Jughead makes two references:
- Salem witch trials — A series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693.
- Quentin Tarantino — An American director, writer, and actor, known for his nonlinear storylines, satirical subject matter, and extended scenes of dialogue, among other things.
- Betty makes two references:
- Veronica makes several references:
- Kevin makes two references:
- Alice references Mrs. Robinson, a fictional character from the 1967 American romantic comedy-drama film The Graduate.
- Fred references Candyman, the 1992 American supernatural slasher film written and directed by Bernard Rose.
- Geraldine Grundy references Tomoko Yoshido, Seaside High, and Centreville High, which are all allusions to the comics.
- Ginger references TMZ, the tabloid news website that debuted on November 8, 2005.