|“||Fear. It's the most basic, the most human emotion. As kids, we're afraid of everything. The dark... The boogeyman under the bed... And we pray for morning. For the monsters to go away. Though they never do. Not really. Just ask Jason Blossom.||”|
ROMANCES AND RIVALRIES — With Riverdale High's annual variety show around the corner, Valerie's efforts to help Archie prepare for his big performance lead to some major fallout between her and Josie. Meanwhile, Betty and Jughead's investigation into Jason's death brings them to a home for troubled youth and face-to-face with Polly. Just as her relationship with her mother was on the upswing, an unexpected betrayal sends Veronica spiraling, while Josie deals with her own pressures at home after her overbearing father returns for her performance at the variety show. Finally, Hermione’s first day at Andrews Construction finds her and Fred growing closer.
Several years ago, a much younger Polly sits at an even younger Betty's bedside, as Betty begs her to stay alongside her through the night. Polly explains that while their mother would never allow it, she will at least turn the nightlight on for Betty.
Present day, Betty sits in her room, writing in her diary. As her mother enters the room, Betty informs her that she invited Jughead over for breakfast. During said breakfast, Alice blames Jughead for Betty's on-going obsession with Jason Blossom's death, but Betty corrects her, explaining that she in fact asked Jughead for help in writing an article for the Blue and Gold. It becomes clear that the breakfast is merely a ploy between Jughead and Betty to distract Alice so that Betty can rifle through her mother's purse. As Alice escorts Jughead to the restroom, Betty manages to find her mother's checkbook, taking several photos of it before putting it back in her purse.
Meanwhile, Archie intends to try out for Riverdale High's annual Variety Show with an original song. He first begins looking through an old toy chest in his room for his guitar strap, where he finds a werewolf mask that leaves him a bit uneasy. Eventually, he does manage to find the strap before heading off to the auditions, which are run by Kevin. Archie gets stage fright, and the fact Reggie, Moose, the bulldogs in the back mocking him certainly don't make it any easier. For a moment, Archie sees the jocks as if they have terrifying wolf faces. Veronica, Josie, Valerie and Melody watch from the crowd as this unfolds. This is when Josie explains that Archie is choking, right before he runs off stage.
In the hallway, Archie sits with Valerie, who comforts him, explaining that it's just stage fright. He asks her to sing with him in addition to headlining the Variety Show with the Pussycats, but she declines, knowing Josie would never allow this.
From the photos taken from her mother's checkbook, one check in particular seems to stand out. It is made out to an organization called the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Upon further research, Betty and Jughead discover that it is a "Home for troubled youths. Where disenfranchised teens will learn such virtues as discipline and respect, enjoying lives of quiet reflection and servitude."
Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Valerie gather at lunch. It's been months since she's last seen Polly, so Betty suspects that there's a reason her parents are keeping her from her sister. Archie offers his help, but Jughead insists that they will be better of if he and Betty tend to this matter alone. They are then joined by Kevin and Veronica, who inform Archie that she managed to get him a slot in the Variety Show after reminding Kevin that he's heard Archie sing on numerous occasions. Archie thanks Veronica, but he still fears getting on a stage by himself. Hoping to provide him with a boost of confidence, Veronica volunteers to sing alongside Archie.
At Pussycats rehearsal for the Variety Show, Josie's diva tendencies are heightened, where she accuses both Valerie and Melody of failing to secure their parts, forcing Valerie and Melody to question what is bothering her. She informs her fellow Pussycats that they are to always perform at 150%, regardless of where they are performing, whether it be Madison Square Garden or Aces Bowling Alley. This leads to a massive fight between her and Valerie, leading Josie to give Val a choice between her and the Pussycats or Archie. Val quits the group, ultimately choosing Archie over Josie’s "diva crap." She hands over her kitty ears and walks out of the music room, leaving a helpless Josie behind.
During Hermione's first day on the job as the bookkeeper for Andrews Construction, she makes an unsettling discovery: Fred only has enough money in the bank to pay his guys for two more weeks. Fred would be putting his business at risk if he doesn't fire some people, but he explains that he is waiting to hear about the bid for the new development where the Twilight Drive-In used to be, in which the construction for could put him back in the black. However, he doesn't know who the buyer is, but since Mayor McCoy is handling all the arrangements for the buyer, Fred figured he'd present her with the bid, and he'd like for Hermione to be his co-host, to which she agrees. Hermione also offers to have the dinner at her place, since it's nicer. She then playfully touches Fred's chest, which quickly escalates to kissing, unbeknownst to either of them that Veronica is watching.
That night, Fred tells Archie about his rekindled romance with Hermione. Archie is happy for his dad and tells him to go for it if that's what truly makes him happy.
Josie approaches her mother with the dilemma of having lost Valerie from the Pussycats. The problem lies with the fact that they can't just replace her and her songwriting skills. However, Sierra insists Josie is the only one who is irreplaceable. Everyone else is disposable. Val can be replaced — so long as she's replaced by a woman of color who's "skinny and beautiful," but not quite as skinny or as beautiful as Josie herself, Sierra notes. However, they’ve got family matters to attend to first. Josie's musician father, Myles, is in town to see her in the variety show. Josie's father is missing two concerts to be at her upcoming performance, so both Josie and Sierra would hate to disappoint him.
Immediately following Hermione's return home, Veronica questions if she'd be getting a divorce from Hiram, Veronica's father. Hermione apologizes for Veronica having to see her intimate embrace between her and Fred. They had never even kissed before that moment. Veronica wants to know what would happen to all of them once her father's released from prison, but Hermione doesn't have an answer. There is nothing she can do to help Veronica through the situation.
The next day, Veronica arrives at school prepared to rehearse with Archie only to discover that he has given her spot to Valerie, which Veronica doesn't appreciate, referring to Archie as a "Ginger Judas" and on top of that, she tells him about her mother and his father, which Archie doesn't have a problem with, reasoning that they both like each other and mentioning the fact that Archie's parents are separated, and Veronica's father is incarcerated. As Veronica grows more upset, Archie offers to talk some place private or even grant her back her part, but she isn't interested. Instead, Veronica finds Josie and Melody in the music room to inform them that their search for a new Pussycat is over, as she will join them as Valerie's replacement. With that, Josie, Veronica and Melody strut down the hallway in Pussycat ears, passing by Archie and Valerie.
Betty and Jughead's personal investigation into Jason's murder brings them to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. They get off the bus and head inside. Betty finds Polly in the Garden of Deliverance, where the two reunite after months apart. Much to Betty's surprise, Polly is pregnant with Jason's child. She's happy for Polly but sad that she didn't come sooner. From Polly, Betty learns that she and Jason only broke up because his parents forced them to, but after he learned of Polly's pregnancy, he was overjoyed. The two of them had planned to run away together on the 4th of July, but their parents found out, and she was sent away because of it. When Polly asks if Betty has talked to Jason, Betty is faced with the unenviable task of telling her sister that her lover is dead. As expected, Polly does not react well. To make matters worse, Betty is called away by one of the nuns.
At rehearsal, Veronica is more concerned with her phone than she is with the song, which annoys Josie, who confronts her on the matter. Veronica reveals that she is overwhelmed with stress regarding her father, who she hasn't see in three months, because he's in jail, and her mother is a different problem all together. Hearing this, Josie apologizes, as she can relate to inner family turmoil.
Archie rehearses with Valerie in his garage. Valerie is noticeably in a foul mood. This is due to the huge risk she has taken by stepping out on the Pussycats. She met Josie and Melody when they were all working at Power Records. They use to practice in the stock room. Valerie will never forget the day Josie came to rehearsal with a bag of cheap cat ears from the Halloween store. She found her voice with the Pussycats.
Betty is taken to a room and kept there until her mother arrives. Alice explains that she's notified by the Sisters whenever Polly receives a visitor. Before leaving the facility, Alice comes face-to-face with Polly, who confronts her over Jason's death. Polly is pulled away by two orderlies but not before Betty tells her that she loves her and that she will get Polly out of there.
The aforementioned dinner/proposal takes place at the Pembrooke per Hermione's suggestion. Archie, Fred, Hermione, Sierra, Josie and Myles are all in attendance. Fred asks about Myles' profession of being a professional Jazz musician. Myles explains that the real struggle is art vs commerce. Fred states that money's never been a big concern of his. Sierra interjects that if they're talking about the future and long-term security, then it can't always be about following his bliss. Hermione interrupts, stating that she's just grateful to get the chance to see Veronica perform with the Pussycats at the Variety Show, which Myles had no prior knowledge of. He is disappointed to hear that Valerie quit the band, as she is genuinely talented and gave the Pussycats integrity. Fred argues that all that matters is that the kids are having fun, but Myles begs to differ. The discussion takes a shift as Myles reveals that "Josie" is short for "Josephine," having been named after Josephine Baker.
Alice and Hal scold Betty for going to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Betty explains that both she and Polly deserved the truth. When Hal asks if Betty found what she was looking for, Betty reveals that she didn't. Hal hates the Blossoms and Jason, and now with Polly's pregnant with his child, Betty believes that this gives him a motive. Betty asks if he broke into the Keller house to steal Sheriff Keller's case files on the night of the Drive-In. Hal questions what Betty is implying. Betty then blatantly asks if he killed Jason. Alice begins to laugh hysterically at the notion that Hal has what it takes to kill someone. Alice admits that she wishes either she or Hal had killed Jason after what he did to Polly. With all her conspiracy theories, Alice states that Betty sounds just as crazy as Polly, which angers Betty, who insists that Polly isn't crazy. Hal retorts that Polly's story about running off with Jason was made up. She's depressed and delusional. However, Betty refuses to believe them.
Fred pitches his company getting the Drive-In development deal to Mayor McCoy. With his plans, Andrews Construction would stimulate the local economy, and it's a win for the entire town. Given his presentation, Myles accuses Fred of being just another dollar-chasing gentrifier. Sierra explains that Fred is a working man who lives in the real world. She thought his presentation was refreshing, so much so that she'd like to give him the contract. However, the buyers are already in the process of accepting another bid. It would take two shareholders' signatures to stop the process.
Veronica and Josie go to Pop's diner together. They bond over mutual family drama. Josie feels that she'll never be able to live up to her father's standards. As for Veronica, she reveals that she caught her mom and Fred kissing. Josie asks if Veronica will tell her father. Veronica isn't sure. The only thing keeping her going is knowing that when her father gets out of jail, they can all be a family again. But if she tells her dad about the affair, that will ruin everything. While Josie doesn't know Veronica's father personally, she's all too familiar with the workings of dysfunctional families. She's not saying that what Veronica's mother did was right, but there may be an another side to the story that is worth hearing.
Archie asks his father if he would be mad at him if he performed terribly at the Variety Show. Fred replies that whatever happens, he'll always love and support Archie. He's just proud that Archie's brave enough to go after something he cares about.
After giving Josie's words some thought, Veronica decides to apologize to her mother. But before she can, Hermione asks her for a favor. She wants Veronica to sign a motion that would give Fred Andrews' company the bid to do the Drive-In development. When Hiram was arrested, he made Veronica a legal officer of Lodge Industries. They need two out of three signatures to override Hiram's previous pick of an unscrupulous construction company. Veronica says she will sign only if her mother stops seeing Fred Andrews. Hermione tells her she won't do that, so Veronica refuses to sign. However, when Veronica walks away, Hermione forges her signature.
Archie enters the music room to find Valerie rehearsing their song. Archie admits that while it sounds perfect when she plays it, he would rather see her perform with the Pussycats. He doesn't want to be known as the guy who broke them up. Valerie's a Pussycat, and she always will be. Archie then reveals that Josie's dad is in town, which Valerie had no idea of. She surmises that Myles' return to Riverdale is the reason for Josie's recent behavior. Given all that has happen, Archie believes that Valerie may be able to negotiate new terms with Josie. As for Archie, he's prepared to play alone at the Variety Show.
Betty is sitting in her room thinking about Polly when Jughead knocks on her window with a charming "Hey there Juliet, nurse off duty?" She lets him in her room and starts to tell him how she feels like her family is going crazy. Jughead states that all parents are crazy. Nonetheless, given the way Polly was talking and looking at her, Betty begins to question if Polly is crazy as well. She's also starting to question her own sanity. Jughead comforts her, telling Betty that they're not their parents. He then kisses her. After the kiss, Betty remembers the car Polly mentioned that Jason had stashed for them on route 40, near a sign. If they can find it, they can confirm Polly's story.
The night of the Variety show has finally arrived, and Kevin is hosting. Backstage, Valerie asks Josie why she didn't just say her father was coming, as it makes a huge difference. Valerie tells Josie that she's not singing with Archie. While Veronica may be pretty, there's no way her voice blends with Josie's the same way Valerie's does. With that, Josie happily agrees to let Valerie back into the band as they reconcile their differences. However, occasionally, Valerie would like to sing co-lead, which Josie agrees to just before giving Valerie her Pussycat ears back. Valerie changes outfits and the four Pussycats perform a rendition of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." While many seem to enjoy the performance, Myles walks out disappointed halfway through, though this doesn't stop Josie from finishing the performance.
Elsewhere, on route 40, Betty and Jughead find the getaway car that Polly had spoke off on the side of the road next to the Blossom Maple Farms sign, under a tarp. Betty and Jughead look in the trunk. They find Jason's varsity jacket and drugs. Realizing it is evidence, they take several photos of the car before leaving to find Sheriff Keller and inform him of their discovery. Unbeknownst to the two teens, they are being watched from the nearby woods.
Back at the Variety Show, as the Pussycats finish their routine, Valerie greets Archie with a hug. As Valerie leaves, Veronica approaches Archie to apologize. She was upset with her mother and took it out on him. Archie admits he was wrong as well, apologizing for benching her when Valerie came back. He then asks if Veronica is alright. She tells him that she's hanging on by a thread. As for Archie, the prospect of total humiliation in front of the entire town is terrifying, but this is something that he has to do on his own. She fixes his tie and tells him to focus on someone that makes him feel safe. Archie then gets on stage. When he does, Reggie, Moose, and the Bulldogs continue their mocking ways, but this time, Archie doesn't let it get to him. He performs in front of the auditorium. As he does so, Betty and Jughead find Sheriff Keller at the school. They inform him of their discovery and offer to take him to the location of the car. Back in the auditorium, Archie wraps up his performance. When he does, the crowd erupts with applause.
The Bulldogs and many of his classmates rally around Archie as he enters the hallway, all impressed with his singing. He then reconvenes with Valerie, and they kiss.
Veronica finds her mother and Mr. Andrews chatting in the hall after the show. She interrupts their discussion, learning from Fred that Andrews Construction was awarded the SoDale contract. Fred is still unaware that the Lodges are the buyer, but given that he was awarded the contract, Veronica realizes that Hermione forged her signature.
Josie is devastated by the fact that her father walked out of her performance. She's joined in the restroom by her mother and breaks down in Sierra's arms.
The Sheriff arrives on route 40 with his deputies only the find that Jason's car is up in flames. It seems whoever was watching Betty and Jughead from the woods, set it on fire to hide any evidence. Meanwhile, Betty and Jughead return to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy to break Polly out. However, when they enter her room, they discover that she has already escape through the window. A pregnant Polly is now on the run, bleeding and all alone.
- Trailer Trash Tracys - You Wish You Were Red
- Riverdale Cast feat. Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield & Hayley Law - Fear Nothing
- Riverdale Cast feat. KJ Apa & Hayley Law - I Got You
- ZZ Ward feat. Pell - OverdoZZe
- Scene: Veronica takes Valerie's spot on the Pussycats / The Pussycats strut down the hallway, reaveling Veronica as their newest member.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield, Hayley Law & Camila Mendes - I Feel Love
- Running Touch - Courtesy Of
- Scene: Josie and Veronica bond at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe.
- Emily Afton - Lost
- Scene: Jughead climbs through Betty's window, and gives her a kiss.
- Riverdale Cast feat. KJ Apa - I'll Try
- Scene: Archie performs at the Variety Show.
- The episode title comes from Jack Moran and Russ Meyer's 1965 American exploitation film of the same name.
- This episode marks the first absence of Cheryl Blossom.
- The logo for Josie and the Pussycats on Melody's drum set is similar to the one used in the original comic series.
- This episode marks the first kisses of Jughead & Betty and Archie & Valerie.
- The football team in wolf masks could be a reference to the original Archie Comics. In the comic strips, Reggie pranks Archie with a wolf mask.
- Archie references world–renowned English rock band The Beatles.
- Jughead references the Scooby Gang, an American animated franchise, comprising many animated television series and films produced from 1969 to the present day.
- Veronica references Beyoncé and Jay-Z — An American singer/rapper, songwriters, entrepreneurs, and best-selling music artists.
- Josie makes several references:
- In reference to the Josie and the Pussycats movie, Josie mentions playing at Aces Bowling Alley, which is a location they played at in the film.
- Jazz Fest — An annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana.
- Yoko Ono — A Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, and peace activist who is also known for her work in performance art and filmmaking.
- Madison Square Garden — A multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan.
- Fred references American singer-songwriter, author, and artist Electric Dylan.
- Valerie references syndicated music television show Showtime at the Apollo.
- The scene where Jughead sneaks into Betty's room via climbing through her bedroom window is similar to the scene of Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich who plays Jughead's father) sneaking into Sidney Prescott's room in the 1996 horror film Scream. There is even a shot where both Billy and Jughead look at their love interest with the back of her head and shoulder is placed exactly the same way.