Riverdale S01 E04: Ms. Grundy is exposed, Jughead’s sad situation, and the Southside Serpents debut

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Hello Riverdale Class of 2017! It’s Richard from Zeus Comics!

Rather than focus on the season-long mystery surrounding Jason’s Blossom murder, this episode of Riverdale expanded the plots and drama of the Lodges, the Coopers and the Jones plus a conclusion for the Archie/Geraldine Grundy Student/Teacher affair.

The primary plot centers around the Twilight Drive-In and its closure due to a mysterious business developer.

Our social advocate and outcast Jughead Jones sets about saving the Twilight Drive-In in a desperate plea with Mayor McCoy and the construction/demolition company owned by Archie’s dad, Fred Andrews.

With no way to save the Drive-In, Jughead holds one final showing/fundraiser, the appropriately chosen Rebel Without a Cause about socially conflicted middle-class teens.

Leading up to the Drive-In moments, however, is the Geraldine Grundy reveal with Betty first interrupting a dinner between Archie, Grundy, and dad Fred Andrews at the Chock’lit Shoppe.

Armed with the secret knowledge from Dilton Doily that Ms. Grundy’s car was also at the river when Jason died, Betty confronts Archie about the affair in full view of Veronica.

But Archie isn’t having it.

Leaving our sleuth Betty literally “sleuthstering” into discovering that the real Geraldine Grundy died years earlier.

Along with Veronica, Betty breaks into Grundy’s VW bug to discover a gun (the possible murder weapon) aaaaand an ID for Jennifer Gibson!?

With the girls' warning, Archie is forced to address the Grundy doppelganger and Ms. Grundy or Ms. Gibson spins a tale about escaping domestic abuse.

It still leaves open the question as to why she assumed Grundy’s ID, to begin with. Was it just a pervy teacher? Or more?

Somewhat satisfied with her excuse, Archie gets his Grundy on, while the rest of the Riverdale teens and their parents are in attendance at theTwilight Drive-In for the final show.

Hermione cozies up to Fred, Cheryl cozies to Kevin and Veronica and Kevin cozies up to... Joaquin?

Riverdale didn’t hold back on this one y’all. Congrats to Kevin for getting steamy with Southside Serpents boy from the wrong side of the tracks Joaquin

Oh and speaking of Southside Serpents, this episode establishes our first gang of hooligans and criminal element in Riverdale with the Southside Serpents.

They’ve been causing problems at the Twilight Drive-In, scaring away patrons and making it ripe for development.

But what’s this? Hermione Lodge on the creep?

Seriously, guys, this goes"Scooby Doo Villain" as Hermione meets up with the leader of the Southside Serpents.

Remember that fat bag of cash from the very first episode? Turns out, Mr. Lodge is our mysterious developer as we later see Hermione bribe not only Mayor McCoy but the Southside Serpents.

In a confrontation with her Mom, Veronica gets all the Tea as Hermione reveals the details of the bribes, also asking Veronica how much she loved her lavish New York lifestyle and now making Veronica complicit in the deal.

Random, but did y’all catch that Cover Girl commercial Becoming Betty between the breaks?

Sweet, kind, simple, Girl Next door… stone cold killer.

Seriously, Betty actor Lili Reinhart didn’t make a single expression in that commercial. It was unsettling. Murderer Much?

Our girl next door Betty also knows how to break into cars. So maybe she’s not so innocent, but she sure doesn’t know how to hide a gun.

Mom is bound to find it in your sock drawer.

Pro tip: Next time, hide your gun in the back of your VW bug, you know so the neighbor kids can break in and find it.

The Alice/Betty Cooper drama gets pulled to the front this episode as Alice is intent on keeping Betty and Archie from being friends, with Alice going after Archie at every turn.

After discovering the gun in Betty's drawer, it’s Alice who drags Archie's dad, Fred, from the Drive-In to Grundy’s house where Grundy is exposed and Grundy agrees to leave town.

Later Betty and Alice hash it out with Betty directly addressing that she and Archie aren’t the same as Polly and Jason Blossom. It’s the first time we see Alice as a sympathetic character

One note: Grundy is a constant in the comics. I’ll be surprised if she was written off the show so quickly. But in a quick scene with her clown car loaded with her belongings, Ms. Gibson flirts with what we assume are teenagers.

Riverdale suggests that Gibson is a serial child molester. This probably means her relationship with Jason was more than platonic. Will this come back? Those clown glasses, though, they got to go

And finally keeping with the Jones.

With the Drive-In closed, we learn part of Jughead’s passion for the Twilight is that Jughead is homeless, having been living in the office of the Drive-In. It’s also revealed that the leader of the Southside Serpents who was working the deal with Hermione Lodge is, in fact, Jughead’s dad.

All of this adding more dimension to outcast character Jughead. I’m rooting for you, kid!

Our next episode sneak gets us back to the Blossoms with Jason's memorial, a secret agenda, and Betty on the case.

Plus more of the small town America weirdness that we oh so love in Riverdale. Get ready for the Heart of Darkness!

Video: Director Rueben Gonzales, Editor Chris Williams.
Richard is the owner of the Eisner award-winning Zeus Comics in Dallas, Texas, and co-creator of The Variants, a web series about life in the comic shop. He is also freakishly good at handstand push-ups. You can follow Zeus Comics on Twitter and Instagram @zeuscomics or at zeuscomics.com.