After a nearly five-month hiatus, Riverdale is finally back! Following that intense and chaotic cliffhanger, Archie joins forces with his uncle, Kevin and Fangs to round up the escaped convicts that broke out of Hiram’s prison, and Tabitha and Betty try to find out what happened to Jughead.
Keep reading for a recap of Riverdale‘s midseason premiere, “Chapter Eighty-Seven: Strange Bed Fellows.”
While cleaning up a now completely destroyed Riverdale High, Archie, Kevin, and Fangs watch the news, featuring Hiram Lodge, a “local philanthropist.” Hiram is offering a reward for any information that leads to a safe capture of any and all prisoners. The three turn off the TV and Fangs can’t believe that Hiram sets free a bunch of cons and offers a reward for bringing them back.
“It’s a PR stunt to paint themselves as heroes.”
Archie tells Kevin and Fangs they need money to fix the school. He’s rounding up some criminals and bringing in cash. Archie later meets with Hiram and Governor Dooley and asks for a list of the escaped convicts. Hiram gives him a list of some of the confirmed that are at large and Archie promises he’ll hear from him. Once Archie leaves, Dooley tells Hiram that this is a mess. Blowing up the prison was never part of their greater plan. He is not hearing any more of Hiram’s crap, he just wants his cut of the palladium. Hiram tells Dooley that he didn’t find any beneath the prison and Dooley says he doesn’t believe him. He gives Hiram 24 hours to change his tune, but Hiram warns him to watch his back.
Betty meets with Tabitha at Pop’s and Tabitha catches Betty up on Jughead’s psychedelic trip. She thought if she cuffed him he would be contained but she couldn’t stay. Not after Jughead made a pass at her. Tabitha admits to Betty that when she rejected him, Jughead said, “Don’t be such a Betty. First sign of fun you try to kill it.” The statement shocks Betty, but she apologizes to Tabitha for Jughead putting her in that awful position. He shouldn’t be her problem anymore or Tabitha’s, for that matter. Betty agrees to help anyway.
“Last time I didn’t act on a missing person was my sister.”
In the bunker, Betty looks through Jughead’s things and realizes he left his phone there. That’s never a good sign. She finds Jughead’s bloodied manuscript and suggests to Tabitha they should read it, since there could be clues about where he might have wandered off to. Betty tells Tabitha to look for anything that might be a lead and the two get to reading.
At the Andrews household, Archie tells his uncle Frank that his mother is building a case for him that should grant him an early release because of the heroism he showed the night of the prison break. If he can help them find the convicts, Archie mentions it should bolster his chances. Frank is on board to help. He might even know where some of those guys are hiding. Fangs butts in and says he heard of a group of convicts squatting at an old tuna fish warehouse out on the docks. Kevin, meanwhile, has been trying to contact his father with no luck. It keeps going straight to voicemail. Archie tells Kevin he talked to his dad earlier, he knew they were meeting there.
“It’s Riverdale. He could be doing literally anything.”
Onwards with the plan, Kevin says. Archie mentions they have batons, tasers, and zip ties. No guns, minimal bloodshed. The four of them head out to battle.
Tabitha and Betty are still in the bunker, going through Jughead’s manuscript. Betty asks Tabitha where Jughead got the shrooms and she says his ex Jessica came from New York to deliver them. Betty grabs his phone and puts in his passcode, which is still the same after seven years. She gives Jessica a call, who has so many questions for the Betty Cooper. Betty mentions that Jughead is missing after he took her psychedelic mushrooms and wonders if he reached out to her. Jessica tells her he didn’t but not to worry. Sometimes when Jughead has writer’s block, he goes on these walkabouts. Betty says he’s not blocked, he wrote his book. Jessica says she’ll come up to help look for him, but Betty says that’s not necessary. However, she tells Betty to text her her address and Betty says they’ll see her tomorrow. After getting off the phone, Betty suggests to Tabitha that Jessica can help them. Also, she’s a little curious to meet her now.
Archie, Kevin, Fangs, and Uncle Frank get to the warehouse where a bunch of criminals are. Archie tells the group there’s a warrant out for their arrests and they’re taking them in. Before the convicts have a chance to do anything to them, Reggie comes up from behind and aims his gun at them. After rounding them up, Archie asks Veronica what she’s doing there and she brings up Dodger and Darla Dickenson, who stole her blue opal. Reggie was able to get one of the cons to spill and he said that Dodger was there talking up some fancy rock, but he slipped out before Archie and everyone came. Veronica has to deal with her buyer and pleads with Archie to find Dodger and Darla and get her opal back. Archie reluctantly agrees and walks away.
With Jessica in town now, she, Betty, and Tabitha go to Jughead’s place, or the place he’s been living since coming to Riverdale. Jessica says that the mushrooms she gave to Jughead shouldn’t have triggered a psychotic episode, but Tabitha’s not sure if he was taking anything else. Jessica starts looking around for anything, searching for any stashes. She tells Betty and Tabitha they can see if there are any other drugs Jughead might have been sampling. After having no luck, Jessica wonders if there was any other place Jughead could be hiding or hiding any contraband. Betty says it’s a long shot but he did live under the stairs at Riverdale High once. And he has a desk there, same as the rest of them. The three head to the high school and start looking around. Nothing in the teacher’s lounge or under the stairs, and Jessica asks where Jughead would have done most of his writing. Tabitha mentions the bunker and that they already checked it. Jessica says they don’t necessarily know what they’re looking for and she has Betty and Tabitha take her there.
Back at Archie’s, Kevin says he is now officially worried. His dad has never been out of touch this long. Fangs tells him that his dad has been in tough spots before. He’ll be okay. They’re going to find him. Archie gets a call from Veronica, who tells him she knows where Dodger and his mom are. They’re with some other guy named Ted. Archie gets a flashback of when he was in a fight with him and he tells Veronica that guy is a beast. Veronica mentions they’re holed up at the El Royale and they’re keeping her father, Governor Dooley, and Sheriff Keller hostage. She tells him they’re looking for a stash of palladium but Reggie thinks he knows where it is. Veronica asks Archie if he can meet them at her father’s SoDale office and he tells her they’re on their way.
At Hiram’s SoDale office, Reggie takes down one of Hiram’s portraits to reveal a safe.
“Confirmed. My father is literally Lex Luthor.”
Reggie says if Hiram is hiding any palladium, it’s in there. Archie grabs tools from his truck while Veronica tracks down a dolly. Not long after, Archie, Fangs, and Reggie are standing next to a now-exposed safe and Veronica is impressed.
Betty and Tabitha take Jessica to the bunker and she starts looking around for Jughead’s manuscript, which Betty has. She tells Jessica she took it with her when they searched the place earlier. Jessica asks if she can read it and if there’s anything in there that will help them find Jughead. Not really, Tabitha says. Jessica has a new idea, however, suggesting that if the bunker is where Jughead tripped, maybe they should do the same. She has shrooms from the same batch she gave him. If they take some, maybe they could see what he saw, experience what he experienced. Like retracing his steps, Jessica argues. Betty and Tabitha talk in secret and they both agree they aren’t going to do that. They don’t know what she’s pulling, but she gave Jughead drugs and she’s trying to get them to take drugs. Betty says it’s clear she’s got multiple agendas going on. Tabitha thinks this was a really bad idea. New new idea, Jessica starts. She’s now wondering if she should go back to New York. Betty and Tabitha clearly have Riverdale covered. Perhaps Jughead made his way back there to confront his demons? Betty and Tabitha are on board with that plan, but the three of them stop at Pop’s before Jessica heads out of town.
Betty, Tabitha and Jessica are at Pop’s eating fries. It’s not going over so well with two of Jughead’s exes, as Betty tells Jessica that Jughead’s not so innocent. She plays his voicemail from two years ago, in which Jughead says some not so nice words to Betty, even bringing up her thing with Archie. Jessica says she was living with Jughead then and things were good for a while. Then writing deadlines started to get the best of him and he started spiraling into this destructive behavior. However, Jessica said she did as well, since she’s a writer too. They cared about each other but they weren’t good for each other. She couldn’t be around that energy so she got out. Tabitha starts to feel hot and Jessica starts laughing. She admits she sprinkled some dried maple mushrooms on the fries. She was just going to chill until they started tripping and then grab the manuscript. Jessica suggests they get them someplace safe.
In the bunker, Betty asks Jessica what’s so important about the manuscript that she had to drug them to get it. It’s literal gibberish. Jessica says that after Jughead used her as fodder for his first book, she was afraid he was going to write about their time in New York and she really doesn’t want her parents or friends reading that. Betty takes out the manuscript and hands it to Jessica. And Jessica gives them one last piece of advice.
“Just let the trip take you wherever it may go.”
Jessica turns on some music to let the tunes wash over them and she leaves the bunker with Jughead’s manuscript. Betty and Tabitha have their psychedelic trip in the bunker, singing and swaying together.
Meanwhile, Veronica brings the safe to the El Royale. Darla searches her and Veronica keeps talking until 30 seconds are up and the guys come through the roof. It’s a mix between a fight at the El Royale and a psychedelic trip with Betty and Tabitha.
Betty and Tabitha awake from their trip, not feeling the greatest. Tabitha tells Betty she gave Jessica Jughead’s manuscript, and played them his message.
“It is a secret amongst friends.”
Tabitha knows they haven’t found Jughead, but what Betty’s doing, looking for those missing girls, she wants to help. Betty says she appreciates it. Tabitha checks her phone and realizes she has a message from Jughead, who has been in Sketch Alley this whole time. He apologizes for not calling, and he’s sorry for everything. Jughead tells her to not blame herself for him wandering off. He was high off his mind, but he’s fine, safe. More or less. Jughead says he’s heading to New York, as there’s something he needs to confront. He’s not sure what, but he knows he wouldn’t have gotten this far without her. “When I get back to Riverdale, maybe we can finish that dance.” As Jughead’s message comes to an end, he gets into a semi truck on the Lonely Highway.