|“||Spirit Week had arrived at Riverdale High. And for the first time in years, the students actually had something to celebrate. The long-suffering Bulldogs, in large part thanks to breakout star Munroe Moore, were finally going to the state finals, where they would take on the undisputed titans of the gridiron, the Stonewall Stallions. For Principal Honey, who commissioned an article about the game from ace reporter Betty Cooper, the championship was, at last, something positive to promote. But for Riverdale's star QB, Archie Andrews, this Spirit Week was special for a different reason. It would be the last of his career.||”|
SPIRIT WEEK — As Riverdale High prepares for the championship football game against Stonewall Prep, Betty gets to work on a story about the rivalry between the schools. Archie is conflicted when Mary tells him about Uncle Frank's troubled past. Cheryl goes head to head with Ms. Appleyard, the school's new cheerleading coach, and Veronica hits a road block with her latest Luna Rum recipe. Finally, Jughead is forced to pick a side after the perks of attending Stonewall Prep begin to interfere with his personal life.
It’s Spirit week at Riverdale High, and so Cheryl and Toni hang banners in celebration. For the first time in years, the Riverdale Bulldogs, thanks to Munroe, who is showered with love from Archie and Reggie, are going to the state finals, where they will face the undisputed Stonewall Stallions. Meanwhile, Principal Honey commissions Betty to write an article about the big game.
At Stonewall Prep, Bret asks Jughead how long he’s had his laptop. He thinks Jughead’s in need of a new one, but Jughead declines as he's grown quite attached. He then leaves after being summoned by DuPont, who informs Jughead that he has an interview at Yale after DuPont shared with them a few of his stories.
Mr. Honey introduces Cheryl and Toni to Ms. Appleyard; the new coach for the Vixens. Cheryl insists that they don’t need a coach, but Appleyard is in no rush to leave. In fact, she informs the squad that moving forward, they’ll be focusing solely on cheer routines rather than pop songs and dance. She led her last team to nationals three years in a row.
At the Blue and Gold, Betty interviews Archie, Munroe, and Reggie in the days leading up to the big game. During which time, a recruiter from Notre Dame is coming out just to see Munroe play. Reggie informs Betty that Stonewall has a history of cheating. Every team they’ve faced this year has suffered some kind of horrible injury. They don’t play to win. They plan to hurt.
At the community center, Archie and Frank discuss the upcoming game. He also appreciates Archie allowing him to stay at the community center for the last couple of weeks and the chance at getting to know his nephew during that time. Frank is looking to move on, but Archie asks him to stay and help run Andrews Construction. However, doing that would mean having to inform Mary that he’s in town, which he has yet to do after past discrepancies.
Archie brings Frank home, where he and Mary discuss his sudden arrival. Mary questions why he didn't attended the funeral. He claims to have been on a crab boat and didn’t get the news of Fred’s death until a month ago. Archie is hoping to give Frank a job at Andrews Construction. Mary reluctantly agrees and cautions Archie over Frank’s tendency to avoid hard work.
At Pop’s, Jughead informs Betty of his interview with a recruiter from Yale. He’s cautious in accepting the interview after they turned Betty away, though she insists that he take the opportunity. As for Betty, she continues her article on the big game. Jughead suggests that Betty interview Bret, as it could mean for drama for her article.
Cheryl approaches Ms. Appleyard with a peace offering, hoping to arrange for the two of them to work together in blissful harmony after getting off on the wrong foot. However, Ms. Appleyard reminds Cheryl that the power structure is clear; she’s the coach and Cheryl’s the athlete. She advises Cheryl to spend more time in the weigh room and less time with baked goods.
Betty interviews Bret, specifically asking him about the rumor that his team plays dirty. Bret explains that football is social Darwinism in uniforms. A game of gladiators, only won by debilitating and slaughtering one’s enemies.
Veronica hosts a presentation for her "Luna Rum" with various restaurant owners. The Luna name comes from her abuelita and generations of rum-making women in her family. One particular owner seems to take interest and orders a case of Veronica’s rum.
Jughead returns to his room to find a brand new laptop. Bret explains it’s a welcome gift from the Quill and Skull. While on the subject, he informs Jughead of a meeting in the basement at 10 o’clock.
Cheryl and Toni gather the Vixens and inform Principal Honey that they’re going on strike until Appleyard is removed from her position. Honey doesn’t tend to respond well to threats, but offers to consider Cheryl’s proposal.
Betty interviews players from various schools regarding Stonewall Prep and their underhanded tactics. She’d been studying game tapes and had uncovered a pattern of violence. Between the players from Seaside High, Baxter High, and Centerville High, Betty's informed that the Stonewall Stallions intentionally injure their opponents and pay off the referees. The worse the injury, the bigger the bounty. The stonewall coach pays the players to hurt the other team, says one Baxter High Raven.
While leaving the community center, Munroe is attacked by four guys wearing bunny masks. Archie and Reggie arrive on the scene to find him on the ground, cupping his knee after being hit with a golf club. Reggie is certain that Munroe was attacked by Bret and Stallions.
Jughead joins Bret, Donna, Joan, and Jonathan in the basement for the final part of his initiation, where Jughead will reveal his deepest, darkest secret, which will be recorded for the archives. They pass around the skull and each share their secret, starting with Donna, who reveals that when she was 13, her uncle made a pass at her. And when she told her mom, she didn’t believe Donna. And that’s when Donna started cutting her wrists. Bret reveals that when he was 14, his father got him a hooker and told him "Now it’s your time to be a man." Bret cried the whole time he was with her, but he never told his father because he was afraid his father would kill him. It’s Jughead’s turn. He takes the skull and reveals that he used to be homeless. He’d crash underneath a bridge by the dock on the Southside. There was this one guy named Doc who would stay up all night to ensure the junkies wouldn’t mess with Jughead. And one day, these drunken businessmen found Doc and beat the life out of him. Jughead watched and did nothing to help him. It’s his greatest shame, which he had never told anyone.
Toni informs Cheryl that the Vixens are planning to perform during the big game without her, so she confronts them as well as Appleyard and learns that Mr. Honey threatened to ban them all from prom if they refused. Cheryl is forced to retreat as Toni is the only Vixen willing to stand with her in the strike.
Archie, Reggie, and a fellow Bulldog confront Bret and the Stallions at Stonewall after the attack on Munroe. Jughead enters, and Bret asks if he’s friends with the "Welfare cases." Archie punches Bret and a fight ensures, forcing Jughead to intervene.
Archie then calls his uncle Frank and asks that he pick him up from jail,as he would rather not inform his mother, whom they both agree has enough on her hands.
Jughead sits down for his interview with Yale recruiter Gerald Brooks. He compliments Jughead’s writing, sensing H.P. Lovecraft as an influence. Gerald informs Jughead that everyone at Yale earns their spot. Should he be accepted, he will succeed or fail on his own merit.
At Pop’s, Archie tells Franks how he went looking for payback after Bret and the Stallions attacked Munroe. Frank tells Archie not to be ashamed as both he and Fred were the same way. While Fred was pretty level-headed most of the time, that would change when someone came after a friend of family member. Frank describes how brutal he would become. Archie can’t ever imagine his dad throwing a punch, let alone getting into bar fights. Much to Frank’ pleasure, Archie boxes, as does he. He did so while in the army.
Betty visits Veronica at the Pembrooke and asks for her help after Munroe was jumped outside the gym by who they suspect was Bret and a few Stallions. Betty wants to break the story on the Blue and Gold, but she’ll need proof. Reggie told her that the Stallions are throwing a party, and she wants Veronica’s to infiltrate and use her femme fatale charm on Bret to get him to admit to what he did.
Mary confronts Archie after learning about his fight with the Stallions from FP. She’s even more bothered that instead of calling her, he called Frank. Archie questions why she hates him so much. Mary explains that Frank is the classic ne’-er-do-well. The straw that broke the camel's back was when Fred took the blame for Frank’s DUI. Unofficially, Fred wasn’t behind the wheel that night. After Frank went on a bender, he crashed their car into a telephone pole in Sycamore. It was the third strike against him, so he would’ve done jail time, so Fred covered for him. And Frank repaid him by skipping town the next day. Lastly, before leaving, Mary grounds Archie for a month.
Veronica, under her alter-ego, Monica Posh, infiltrates the Stonewall party while wearing a wire and communicating with Betty. She informs Betty that the party is hosted by Stonewall’s secret society; Quill and Skull. Veronica approaches Bret and Jonathan and offers them some rum. She tries to get Bret to admit that he attacked Munroe. Just as it seemed Bret was about to reveal to Veronica what he did, Jughead calls out to her by her actual name, rather than Monica, thus alarming Bret and Betty, who’s listening in through the wire. Veronica pulls Jughead to the side and asks when did he become a member of the Quill and Skull.
Jughead returns to Riverdale, where he has to explain himself to Betty, from whom he neglected to tell that he was a member of the Quill and Skull. Betty hates that they’re keeping secrets from each other. Jughead admits that this was his fault and takes the blame. He then asks why Veronica was there. Betty tells him that she sent Veronica in to see if she could get Bret to admit to attacking Munroe. He was close to talking, but Jughead blew her cover. So now, she’ll have to file her story with quotes from unnamed sources, which most likely won’t be enough.
Archie confronts his uncle Frank after learning about the DUI. Frank explains that he was going through a rough patch. He was back in Riverdale between tours. This was before he realized that he needed counseling. He was having trouble with dealing with what he went through in Desert Storm. Frank doesn’t remember much of that night. But when he woke up, Fred had taken the blame. He never would’ve asked Fred to do that for him, but he did it because that the type of man Fred was. And Frank took off because that’s the type of man he was.
Hiram stops by La Bonne Nuit after learning that Veronica has secured sales from select restaurants. While Veronica can’t serve rum at her speakeasy, she can make it. Unfortunately, Hiram serves her with a cease-and-desist order due to patent infringement. One of the restaurant owners that Veronica gave a bottle to is a friend of Hiram’s. He had his chemist compare Veronica’s concoction to Lodge Rum. The core remains the same, meaning if Veronica makes another bottle, he will sue her. Or they could team up, Hiram proposes, but Veronica turns him down. He’s gone straight and yet Veronica continues to refuse his help as she feels too much damage has been done.
Jughead is confronted by DuPont after discovering that Betty is working on an article that could be a stain on Stonewall’s reputation. He’s hoping that Jughead can discourage her, but Jughead refuses to tell Betty what to do. DuPont takes Jughead’s response surprisingly well and then invites him to sit with him and Gerald Brooks in the alumni section of the game.
Munroe informs Archie that he won’t be able to play in the game. If he puts any type of pressure on his knee, it could cause permanent damage. Frank offers a way for Munroe to play through the pain. He has some meds from the VA. They’re not going to heal Munroe’s injuries, but they’ll numb him long enough for the game. Archie turns down the offer, but Munroe is more willing to take the chance.
Mr. Honey is displeased with the article Betty chose to write regarding the underhand tactics by the Stonewall Stallions. Betty replies that this piece is better; an expose about a culture of violence. However, Honey advises her to write the article that she agreed to deliver. A story that celebrates Betty’s classmates and her school. Regardless if Betty chooses to write the story, there’s no way Honey will publish her expose.
Munroe accepts the pills from Frank and arrives in the locker room for the big game. Munroe refuses to sit the game out as a Notre Dame recruiter came all the way to Riverdale just to see him play. That’ll change Munroe’s family’s life. Archie worries that he’ll get hurt and never play again. Munroe takes the risk nonetheless.
Betty joins Jughead, Kevin, and Mary in the stands as the big game is set to begin. She jokes that Jughead should be on the Stonewall side. However, Jughead doubts that he still has a chance of being accepted into Yale after turning down DuPont. He asks Betty how her talk went with Honey. Betty reveals that it went poorly.
Veronica notices her father in the stands. Reggie approaches and tells her that if she still wants to get back at Hiram for ruining their business to meet him in the parking lot at Halftime.
Reggie joins the huddle as Archie orders the other players protect Munroe at all costs. He suspects that the Stallions will target him specifically.
Ms. Appleyard realizes that she has been locked inside the lounge just before the big game, preventing her from attending. Cheryl stands outside the door. Throwing the keys in which she used to lock Applyeard inside in the trash can. Cheryl then joins Veronica, Toni, and the Vixens on the field and announces that she’ll be leading. She reminds the girls that she’s been their fellow Vixen and HBIC for four years and not once did she ever turn her back on them. Cheryl then leads the Vixens’ performance.
The game commences, and the Stallions score first. However, the Bulldogs get Munroe the ball and he scores. By the end of the game, it’s the Bulldogs’ 6 points to the Stallions’ 7, and Archie is planning to go for a two-point conversion. Archie hands Munroe the ball, but he fails to make the conversion and is tackled to the ground. With that as the final play of the game, the Stallions leave with the victory.
Frank enters the locker room to congratulate Archie on a game well played despite the loss. However, Archie hasn’t forgotten that his uncle gave Munroe drugs. Archie was worried that Munroe would worsen his injury. However, Frank explains that guys like Archie, Munroe, and himself have to take what they can get, however they can get it. It was admittedly a risk, but Frank suggests that Archie respect Munroe’s decision. Munroe enters the locker room and informs them that he just got cornered by the recruiter from Notre Dame, who told Munroe that he wants him in Indiana next week to play ball for them.
As Jughead and Betty are leaving the game, Bret confronts Betty over the expose that she failed to get published. Jughead urges Bret to just take the win. Betty informs Bret that her article wasn’t killed. She only just started digging and doesn’t intend to stop.
Cheryl offers Veronica some of her maple flavored snow cone after the big game.
Hiram enters the parking lot to find that his car has been keyed and that a rum bottle has been shoved down his gas tank.
Archie offers Frank the pullout couch at home rather than the cot at the community center. While Mary isn’t enthusiastic about Frank staying, Archie ensured her it was only temporary. Frank wonders why Archie is no longer upset with him. Archie explains that everything is a risk, such as Frank giving Munroe the pills so that he can play. However, it just so happened that this risk paid off. Archie recalls how just one year ago, Munroe was fighting in juvie to stay alive, and now he’s going to Indiana.
Veronica invites Cheryl to Pop’s after getting an idea from the snow cone Cheryl gave her after the big game. Veronica offers Cheryl a shot of rum mixed with the Blossom maple syrup. Cheryl describes it as "breakfast on the beach." And with that, the girls start a partnership.
Betty turns in her article to Mr. Honey, which he is very pleased with. It’s great press for their school despite losing the game. However, Betty admits that her investigation into Stonewall Prep hasn’t ended. She discovered they have a world-class quiz team. And Bret is the captain of that team. While that championship is a few weeks away, Betty recommends putting together a team. Mr. Honey admits that he would love to get his hands on at least one trophy this year. Betty reveals that there’s nothing she’d enjoy more than to give Stonewall Prep a royal ass-kicking, to which Honey, who refers to Betty as caption of the quiz team, gives his full support.
At Stonewall Prep, Jughead enters the classroom to find his dad mingling with Bret, Donna, Joan, Jonathan, and DuPont. They've come together to celebrate Jughead getting accepted into Yale. As well as Bret, who also got accepted into Yale.
One month later, Bret confronts Betty as she cries over a photo of Jughead in what was once his dorm room. Bret tells her to save her tears as no one is watching. He adds that Betty got her wish in that Jughead isn’t going to Yale. It’ll just be him and Betty in New Haven.
- Rakefire - Unstoppable
- Riverdale Cast feat. Madelaine Petsch, Camila Mendes, and Vanessa Morgan - Cherry Bomb
- Conan Gray - Crush Culture
- This episode title came from 1999 sports comedy-teen drama film of the same name by Brian Robbins.
- This episode marks the second crossover between Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Riverdale. Billy Marlin appears and gives Betty an interview about the Stonewall Stallions.
- The song "Cherry Bomb" was used in the trailer for Part 2 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
- After her disagreements with Ms. Appleyard, Cheryl is reading The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
- ↑ Ratings News - 23rd January 2020 - SpoilerTV
- ↑ Riverdale - Episode 4.10 - 4.11 - Titles Revealed - SpoilerTV
- ↑ Riverdale Spoilers: "Chapter Sixty-Seven: Varsity Blues" - KSiteTV