Really Happened to Riverdale – Season 5, Episode 18



It’s time for the musical episode!


Even though most episodes of Riverdale feel like a musical episode, this week was the musical episode. It starts with Betty explaining to her friends that the way Alice deals with her grief over Polly’s death is to listen to the recording of the Broadway cast of Next to normal on repeat – Alice has created a perfect family dynamic where Polly is alive again and her serial killer son Charles is back (who doesn’t look like a serial killer!) Particularly missing? Her ex-husband, serial killer, Hal, aka the Black Hood.


As Betty explains, there are actually a lot of similarities between the play and Alice’s life right now – a mother struggling with her sanity trying to hold on to a “normal” life and crying an awful lot. deceased child. Alice also remembers when she, Polly and Betty went to see the show together in town.

One of the craziest things about Riverdale is that the series has gotten so incredibly out of control (secret family of illegitimate flower serial killers! Trash Bag Killer! Archie mining for palladium!) because it seems … (beside) normal?

In all fairness, the acting moments between Mädchen and Lili and the extremely raw and heartbreaking musical numbers where Alice believes she is in an alternate reality are truly poignant and work well. It’s really just when other characters outside of the Cooper house start singing that it gets a little bonkers, but more on that in a moment.


After killing her horrible husband Chad last week, Veronica doesn’t want to waste time with her anymore lover (🤮) Archie – she suggests they move in together immediately, which sure won’t be a bad idea – no, not at all. Archie agrees, but somehow convinces her to leave his luxury apartment and in in his house where Uncle Frank and Jughead already live.


My GOD the hold that this man has on her ???? What’s wrong with … beer-flavored nipples?


I’ll just never stop pointing at our Mr. Weatherbee’s only glove, because it’s my moral obligation to remind everyone he’s wearing it because Edgar Evern never cut his fingers when he thought Weatherbee was a mole within his organ harvesting cult, just before he planned to launch into space on a rocket and kill all of the cult members by knocking them off a cliff in a bus.


Unfortunately, Toni is in Weatherbee’s office because Britta is having a bit of a hard time – after she went out to her parents’ house last week, they kicked her out of the house and she lives in Jughead’s closet at Riverdale High. .


Toni is trying to find Britta a place to live for now, but we’ll talk about that later in the episode.


Elsewhere in Riverdale, we learn that Tabitha’s parents are in town and apparently Pop’s milkshake gene has skipped a generation – her parents are upset that she has decided to ruin her future and move to Riverdale to work at Pop’s. .


I’m so sad that Pop Tate’s own SOUND doesn’t appreciate Pop Tate’s glory. It honestly breaks my heart. 🙁


For absolutely no reason, Jughead and Tabitha are singing a musical number from Next to normal so, even though they’re not, in fact, part of Alice’s imaginary musical universe, but oooookay.


At the end of the musical number, Jughead and Tabitha kiss, solidifying this ship that’s been in the works since Tabitha first entered Pop’s.


While there wasn’t a whole lot of humor in the Cooper House scenes this week, I had a good laugh that Alice was able to easily buy a huge piano online:


Settling into family life with Archie, Frank, and Jughead, Veronica cooks chicken cordon bleu, but Frank and Archie get some sort of firefighter alert (?) And can’t stay for dinner.


In a very hilarious moment, when it’s only Jughead and Veronica at the table, they both seem to recognize that neither wants to sit and eat with the other, and Jughead goes off to eat alone. I loved and appreciate that they are still those two friends in a group of friends who just don’t know how to exist one-on-one.


It’s a good time to remember that the firefighter is always one of Archie’s many jobs. I like to check out this handy job board from the Riverdale wiki whenever I need a reminder:


Veronica covers “Superboy and the Invisible Girl” from Next to normal and, well, here’s the thing. If you read these recaps, you know me, you know that I very rarely side with Archibald Andrews … saving lives! For example, isn’t it Archie’s fault that he and Frank are the entire Riverdale firefighting and palladium mining team?


Also, all of this coverage is strange to me since the original is about a teenage girl who feels neglected because her mother is focused on / favoring her brother who is in fact dead, but alas.


And THEN the next morning this incredibly squeaky interaction happens:


All of this could have been avoided if Veronica A) insisted that she and Archie live in her luxury apartment and B) SIMPLY NEVER USED THE MR WORDS. INFERNO in one sentence.


Then, exactly one episode after Veronica says the only thing she wants is Archie… and in the same episode in which she asked Archie to move in with her, she realizes that maybe Reggie is actually more her type because Wall Street and stocks and his mule and everything…?


Basically, in conclusion:


I know I’ve been tough on Veronica this episode, but in the words of Olivia Rodrigo, “Good 4 U” for putting your wants and needs first.


We check out Cheryl and instead of waterboarding her mom with maple syrup, she sings a song about how Penelope is the devil (accurate!) And pours holy water on her. Iconic! Unfortunately, Penelope did not melt.


Also, has anyone noticed that Penelope is also wearing a glove? Is that supposed to make us think wearing one glove in Riverdale is commonplace so we’ll forget the reasons Weatherbee wears one glove? Because I promise you that never, never, never, never, never will we forget it.


Seriously, things are getting sadder and sadder at the Cooper house. Alice has had a few other musical numbers with Polly and Charles, and Betty keeps trying to show her that’s not the case. real – she even tries to get Alice to go to town with her (a Tramtrak LOL train) to see a show. But things really go wrong when Alice blames Betty for Polly’s death.


Once again, the acting and chemistry between Lili and Mädchen is so good.


Betty turns to Kevin, reminding us of their bond (and Casey Cott’s AMAZING voice!) And he helps her stay strong and inspires her to make things right with Alice.


Betty and Alice apologize to each other and Betty promises to always be there for her mother.


Tabitha’s dad decided Jughead wasn’t good enough for his daughter and approached him for a casual chat in his car in Pop’s parking lot, as they do. Sadly, I can’t help but love her just for this HILARIOUS exchange with the huge energy of Mariah Carey / Jennifer Lopez:


Honorable mention: When he gave Jughead a Swellgrino for the road. The fake brand names were A + in this episode.


After sharing a brief moment earlier in the episode, Toni (encouraged by Fangs) turns to Cheryl to ask if she’s going to give Britta a place to stay – it’s a super sweet scene between Choni that they remember. from when they were in love.


However, this is all a thing of the past (at least for now …), as Toni and Fangs admit their feelings for each other and decide to be a couple while co-parenting baby Tony.


Plus, wasn’t Kevin originally meant to be a part of this whole co-parenting plan? Did the show completely forget that ?!


And Cheryl is taking Britta to her house, and I think we have a Cheryl 2.0 in our future:


Honestly, really glad they both have the company they need.


The episode ends with everyone – including bbs Juniper and Dagwood (they’ve come this far since levitating on that fire) – singing at Polly’s funeral. I swear, for a second I thought they were about to sing “Seasons of Love” from To rent, but sorry, bad musical!


I understand it’s a funeral, but I still don’t understand why Penelope Blossom is allowed to be EVERYWHERE except JAIL? But anyway … RIP Polly Cooper.

Another round of applause for these two for making me cry against my will:

So this is it ! The last episode before the season finale. There was a lot of pairing, decoupling, and recoupling in this episode. Will the pairings stay the same next week, or will everything change again? Hard to say about Riverdale! See you next week for the last time in Season 5.

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