|“||Our story is about a town... No, scratch that. Our story is about three young women, bursting with talent. They were the best of friends until, sadly, they weren't. Our story is about how they parted ways, found their own unique voices, and then rediscovered each other, but not without some drama.||”|
ROBIN GIVENS DIRECTS THE EPISODE — After going MIA during the middle of her world tour, mega-star Josie McCoy returns to Riverdale unexpectedly. But it's not until she reunites with her former bandmates Valerie and Melody, that she opens up about the real reason why she's back. Elsewhere, Veronica gets creative after a surprise visit from her old friend Alexandra Cabot. Finally, Toni steps in to help Tabitha and Veronica land a deal.
Mel and Val host a celebration at their apartment after Melody's first book, "Summer Storm," is published. Valerie makes a toast, honoring Melody and her journey, revealing how she dropped out of law school to write and publish her very first novel Melody hugs Valerie and gives a speech of her own. Melody admits that she was initially going to be a lawyer, but when she started looking for her voice, she knew she wasn’t going to find it inside of Harvard’s law library. It was inside her, but she had to be brave enough to listen to it. Melody’s girlfriend, Nancy, then pushes her to reveal that while not official, her book has been optioned by Tyler Perry for a movie adaptation with Valerie as the lead.
After the party, Melody heads to bed with Nancy, where she reveals that Tyler Perry wants a big star to play the lead, not Val, which is why Melody wishes she hadn’t mentioned the film.
Valerie and her boyfriend, Alan, fall back to their room as well. Val confesses that she’s proud of Melody, saying that she’s like a "real adult." Alan remarks that the same could be said for Valerie and her lead role, but for the moment, Val reminds him that she’s just a barista. Alan retorts that she’s so much more; she’s a poet, an actress, an activist, and the love of his life. Speaking of love, he asks Valerie if she has an answer to his prior proposal for marriage. Valerie remains unsure but promises that she will tell him when she’s thought it over. Until then, she tells Alan that she loves him and kisses him goodnight.
Tabitha hears Josie's songs playing on the radio, as she’s now a multi platinum recording artist. However, there’s been reports that Josie is missing from her tour, which Tabitha doesn’t think much of until Josie arrives at Pop's and places an order. She then asks about Pop Tate, who Tabitha reveals retired. Realizing that Josie is in the diner, Tabitha becomes flustered and questions what brought her to Riverdale. Josie claims that she simply needed a break from stardom to recenter herself and write. Tabitha asks what’s it like being back and if the town is how she remembers it. Josie then begins to sing It's All Coming Back To Me while thinking back to her time in Riverdale, including having dinner at Pop’s with her father, performing on top of the diner with the Pussycats, and her adolescent hookups. While singing, she is joined by Melody and Valerie.
Josie is staying at the Five Seasons and receives a knock on the door. It’s the manager, accompanied by Hiram Lodge, who has made a complaint about Josie’s singing, which the hotel has a policy against. Seeing Hiram for the first time in over seven years, Josie’s first words to him are "Damn, Mr. Lodge. Nice to know you’re still a little bitch," which angers Hiram, though there’s little he can do, as Josie advises the manager to simply move him if he has an issue with her music.
Tabitha tells Veronica about a recent encounter with an inspiration of hers, though she makes sure to keep Josie anonymous. This encounter reminded her that she came to Riverdale to franchise Pop’s. But doing this would require capital, so Tabitha was hoping she could give Veronica her nest egg To invest. However, Veronica reveals that now isn’t the best time, as Chad pulled her into a Ponzi scheme that she’s currently trying to dig herself out of by trading again. Unfortunately, it’ll be months before she can recover what Chad stole from his clients in both their names. And should any of their investors start pulling out, everything will come crumbling down.
Josie surprises Mr. Weatherbee with her return at Riverdale High. Both Kevin and Weatherbee are curious as to what brought her back, but Josie has a favor to ask. She needs to use the music room to record and is willing to pay top dollar. However, Weatherbee would rather her payment be teaching a music class at the school, to which she agrees.
Veronica receives an unexpected visit from Alexandra Cabot, who has come to Riverdale to inquire about some investments she made with Chad, who has been dodging her calls. Xandra seeks to pull her money out, but Veronica proposes that she invest in Pop's instead.
While walking down the halls of Riverdale High, Archie comes across Josie teaching a class in the music room, singing It's Gonna Rain. The former lovers embrace and catch up for lost time, during which Archie invites her to the Whyte Wyrm. Josie is reluctant, but after being gone for seven years, Archie convinces her to join him, though she tells him that she'll meet him there because she has some phone calls to make.
Melody gets a call from Josie. She panics and hits decline, at which point Josie calls Valerie, who answers.
As planned, Josie meets with Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Cheryl, and Kevin at the Wyrm, where Archie tells her about his most recent attempts to save Riverdale before asking Josie what she's been up to. With the exception of Archie, they all just seem to assume that Josie's come to help them save Riverdale like "old times," but that's simply not the case, as Josie didn't have much of a say in the "old times." At this point, she and Veronica are more acquaintances than anything else. She then looks at Jughead, recalling that the last she saw him, he was robbing Pop's in a Serpent mask. And then there's Betty, who she spoke to all of one time during high school. When Cheryl attempts to interject, Josie reminds her that she once sent her a pig's heart. Josie informs them all that she came to Riverdale to make an album, not cause trouble.
Josie exits Pop's to find Sweet Pea outside on his motorcycle. He asks what she's doing in Riverdale and offers her a ride. The two go back to her room at the Five Seasons, where they proceed to have sex. Sweet Pea awakens the following morning to find Josie sneaking out on him. While their hookup was exactly what she needed, she has business to attend to. Sweet Pea understands that she has commitments due to being a superstar and watches her leave.
Josie invites Melody and Valerie to the Whyte Wyrm for a drink and to catch up for lost times. Val has been doing art and getting involved in political activism, while Melody has spent a lot of her time writing and becoming a YA novelist, having just gotten her first book published. When Josie begins to discuss the film adaptation of her book with Tyler Perry and it's lead, Melody cuts her off and asks what brings Josie to Riverdale. Josie reveals that she needed a break from her tour. She figured it was time she finally started writing about her hometown, and with the two of them being so influential in her experience, she'd love for them to join her on one of the tracks, that's assuming they still perform.
In jaw dropping disbelief, Josie watches from the crowd as Melody and Valerie perform Dua Lipa's 2020 hit "Physical" on stage. Valerie then pulls someone out of the crowd as she performs "Go On" solo.
After their performance, they reconvene with Josie, revealing that they both still do a little bit of music on the side, as it was both Melody and Valerie's first love, which is why it was so hard when Josie disappeared on them. Leading up to her going on tour with her dad, Josie stopped calling and hanging out with them. The irony being that her dad was like them — a side man. They figured that Josie of all people would've respected her side women a bit more. Josie apologizes for her past wrongs, insisting that she knows the value of what they both brought to the band. As for recording a song together, Mel and Val will think it over together.
Veronica orchestrates a proposal meeting between Tabitha and Xandra at Pop's to discuss possibly franchising the diner. Tabitha tells Xandra about her plan to expand Pop's. It's a small town feel even in big cities. Xandra loves diners and Tabitha's vision, but she has a tweak or two to offer. More than just a businesswoman, Xandra is also a performer and has always romanticized singing diners. Veronica replies that this could possibly be arranged.
Dressed in light blue and pink track jackets, Xandra, Tabitha, and Toni perform Little Shop of Horrors while serving the customers at Pop's. Kevin applauds from a nearby booth.
After their performance, Tabitha and Veronica both agree that singing enhances the Pop's experience. Veronica then thanks Toni for jumping in on short notice and asks about the Old Navy bag in Toni's hand, which contains a pair of baby jeans for her unborn child. Toni hoped dancing would help induce birth, but no such luck. With Xandra and Tabitha close to coming to a consensus, Xandra asks for Pop's books and finances, everything from the way 20 years.
Josie returns to her hotel room to find her mother waiting. She instantly begins to cry and rushes into Sierra's arms.
While lying in her mother's arms, Josie asks how she knew to find her in Riverdale. Sierra replies that a mother always knows. When she heard that Josie disappeared, she had a hunch Josie would find her way to Riverdale, and now Sierra wonders what happened. When Josie got her mother's call with the news of her father's death, seemingly a heart attack, she was in Berlin, seconds from stepping on stage to a stadium with 80,000 people. Sierra told Josie not to worry, but she couldn't help but burst into tears and mourn the death of her father. After that call, she dropped everything in hopes of disappearing in Riverdale, like she did in high school. Sierra shows Josie the urn containing her father's ashes. His last request was that they be scattered around the country at all the little spots he toured and loved. Additionally, Sierra has Myles' song portfolio. He has multiple song that he either wrote and/or reorchestrated but never got a chance to record.
Melody pulls Valerie away from her painting to talk about the "Summer Storm" movie. She's been thinking a lot about Josie and how she didn't do right by them, but Mel wants to do right by Val. She does this by revealing that Tyler Perry wanted a star to play the lead of the film, which Valerie is willing to step back from, however, Melody has already emailed him saying that she wasn't interested in making her book into a movie unless it starred Valerie. Melody promises that some day the two of them will get it done together. Valerie then gets a call from Sierra.
After looking through the books at Pop's, Xandra reveals that they're going to have to reprice everything. Additionally, they're losing money on the milkshakes by making them with real milk, which Xandra wants to substitute with instant milk. However, Tabitha refuses, as the milkshakes are their signature product, which were developed by her great-great-grandfather. Pop's started off simply selling chocolate milkshakes, hence the name. That was back when the diner was the first and only black owned business in town. It was open 24/7 and acted as a safe place for people like Tabitha and Xandra. This is more than a business for Tabitha, it's a legacy, which is why she is withdrawing her proposal. With Tabitha out, Xandra looks to Veronica and requests the money she invested with Chad. Veronica is more than willing, but the banks are closed, so they'll have to wait until tomorrow.
Melody and Valerie find Josie rehearsing in the music room after learning from Sierra that Josie's dad died. And had they known, they wouldn't have been so hard on her, but Josie admits they were right to be. Watching her dad spend his entire career just outside of the spotlight is why she became so obsessed with getting it herself, but now she would give anything to simply play with him one more time. The same goes for the Pussycats, who she would also like to play with at least one last time. Fortunately, this is precisely why they came; Melody and Valerie wish to take Josie up on her offer about recording a song. Josie then comes up with an idea to bring the Pussycats back together for a one-night only concert.
Josie, Melody, and Valerie find Archie in his classroom, where seeing the three of them together again brings him back to high school during their sophomore year. Josie reveals that they're going to help save Riverdale by doing a one-night only Josie and the Pussycats reunion concert at the Wyrm, with all the proceeds going to reincorporate the former town of Riverdale.
Archie, Betty, Veronica. Jughead, Cheryl, Tabitha, Toni, Fangs, Sweet Pea, Kevin, and Xandra arrive at the Wyrm for the Pussycats' performance. Veronica asks Toni how overdue is she. Toni replies a week, but she couldn't possibly miss the Pussycats reunion. Betty then spots Weatherbee and Dr. Curdle Jr. among the crowd and asks if someone died. Dr. Curdle, dressed in a gray Josie and the Pussycats t-shirt and fedora to match, is simply a self admitted Josie fan, as is Weatherbee.
Josie, Melody, and Valerie take the stage for the one night reunion and perform "Get Up." After their performance, Josie states that there is no better spot to play than at Pop's, as Riverdale nourishes artists like herself, Mel, Val, and even Jughead.
In her father's honor, Josie performs Nina Simone's "Stars" as Sierra watches from the crowd with tear-filled eyes. Josie then looks out into the crowd, where she imagines her father watching her sing. Midway through Josie's performance, Toni goes into labor. They've prepared for a home birth, but Fangs will need another set of hands, which Cheryl eagerly volunteers for.
Xandra approaches Veronica and Tabitha in a booth after truly taking in Josie's speech. With her celebrity endorsement of Pop's, a franchise seems like an even more lucrative prospect. However, before they go any further, Tabitha tells Xandra that she'll never change the milkshake recipe, which Xandra is willing to accept.
Josie, Melody, and Valerie joke that in typical Riverdale fashion, the Pussycats are always getting upstaged by something, this time being Toni's baby, which Val remarks is better than a dead body. Still, they admit that it felt good performing again, so much so that Josie suggests they come on tour with her, as she wants to drive around the country and honor her dad's final wish. The three of them would be headlining together, rather than being her backups or opening acts. While both Mel and Val are overwhelmed with joy, this is something Valerie has to discuss with Alan, as well as the fact that she's not ready to get married. Much like with Val, Melody has to talk to Nancy, but she's willing. And with the movie on pause, this can also act as a book tour.
Cheryl returns from the kitchen to reveal to the gang that Toni had a boy. She then embraces Kevin, who rightfully seemed a bit more worried than the rest.
The next day, Josie, Melody, and Valerie pack their tour bus and prepare to leave, but not before saying goodbye. Kevin admits that he's disappointed to see her go, as he was hoping she'd stick around to be a music teacher at Riverdale High, though Josie has greater plans for her future. Veronica tells Josie to have fun, as she intends to call her often and live vicariously through her. That said, Josie invites them all to come see her whenever they find the time. Toni and Fangs join them with baby Anthony, Tony for short, after Toni's grandfather. Josie congratulates them as she prepares to go.
Alan intends to join Valerie on tour even though she turned down his proposal, as he still loves her. Married or not, he's in it for the long haul.
Nancy unfortunately won't be joining Melody on tour, however, she promises to check in every night and kisses her goodbye.
As Josie heads towards the bus, Sweet Pea arrives and pulls her to the side, hoping to join her on tour, even offering to drive the bus or be a roadie, adding that he can be her anything. Josie, amused by the lengths he is willing to go just to be with her, invites Sweet Pea to join her. As Sweet Pea loads his stuff on the bus, Sierra approaches Josie, and the two of them are approached by a New Orleans musician named Toots Sweet. He toured with Myles in New Orleans before he passed. According to Toots, Myles got mixed in with some bad stuff, including petty crimes and voodoo. Toots Sweet reveals that there's a possibility Myles was murdered, which doesn't come as too much of a surprise to Sierra, whose always come to expect foul play. That said, Josie's first stop will be in New Orleans. She then boards the tour bus with her mom and leaves Riverdale behind with Melody and Valerie.
Special Guest Star
- Riverdale cast feat. Asha Bromfield, Ashleigh Murray & Hayley Law - It's All Coming Back To Me
- Riverdale cast feat. Quincy Pipella, Ajay, Musodi, Ashleigh Murray, Diandra Lee, Eduardo Vasquez, James Ross, Joshua Lalisan, Julia Shwartz & Kyra Leroux - It's Gonna Rain
- Scene: Josie teaches a music class at Riverdale High School.
- Riverdale cast feat. Asha Bromfield & Hayley Law - Physical
- Scene: Melody and Valerie perform at the Wyrm.
- Riverdale cast feat. Hayley Law - Go On
- Scene: Valerie performs solo.
- Riverdale cast feat. Camille Hyde, Erinn Westbrook & Vanessa Morgan - Little Shop of Horrors
- Riverdale cast feat. Asha Bromfield, Ashleigh Murray & Hayley Law - Get Up
- Scene: Josie and the Pussycats reunite for a one-night only concert.
- Riverdale cast feat. Ashleigh Murray - Stars
- Scene: Josie sings to her father, who appears to her.
- This episode marks the return of Josie and the Pussycats. They were last seen in "Chapter Twenty-Four: The Wrestler" in Riverdale, and "Chapter Thirteen: Come Together" in Katy Keene.
- This episode is Robin Givens' directorial debut. Givens portrays Sierra McCoy in the Archieverse.
- This is the first episode that Ashleigh Murray is credited as a "Special Guest Star." She last portrayed Josie in "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam", billed as "Starring." She was last seen in the series finale of Katy Keene.
- This episode marks the first on screen appearance of Nancy Woods, Chuck Clayton's girlfriend in the Archie Comics. Nancy made her first appearance in the Archieverse in Riverdale: Death of a Cheerleader.
- Alan Mayberry adds to comic-based characters introduced in Riverdale.
- Veronica says that Josie had an interview with "Entertainment Tomorrow" and posed for the cover of "Vanity Flair", clear plays on Entertainment Weekly and Vanity Fair magazines.
- Tabitha, Toni, and Xandra sang "Prologue: Little Shop of Horrors" from 1982 musical Little Shop of Horrors at Pop's. Issue #6 of the Riverdale comics is titled "Chock'lit Shoppe of Horrors".
- The publishing of Melody's YA novel Summer Storm is a reference to Asha Bromfield, who is also a YA author after publishing her debut novel Hurricane Storm.