Monday, September 20, 2021

‘Riverdale’ Recap: Season 5, Episode 15 “Chapter Ninety-One: Return of the Pussycats”

After what really seems like seven years, Josie & the Pussycats are officially back in this week’s episode of Riverdale, appropriately titled “Chapter Ninety-One: Return of the Pussycats.”

Keep reading to see what happened when the Pussycats reunite in the newest episode of Riverdale, “Chapter Ninety-One: Return of the Pussycats.”

Where They Left Off

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“Our story is about a town. No, scratch that. Our story is about three young women bursting with talent. They were the best of friends until, sadly, they weren’t. Our story is about how they parted ways, found their own unique voices, and then rediscovered each other, but not without some drama.”

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We immediately catch up with former Pussycats Melody and Valerie, who are doing just fine on their own. Melody had left law school in order to write and publish her first novel. It was also auctioned as a movie by Tyler Perry but Melody later passes on the offer.

Meanwhile, at Pop’s, Tabitha is listening to the radio, which is playing Josie’s hit song “Kiss My Hand.” Katy Keene fans will remember that great tune! The host mentions the mysteries surrounding Josie’s whereabouts continue after she failed to appear at a concert in Berlin recently.

“The world wants to know what happened? Where did Josie vanish to?”

As if on cue, the door to Pop’s opens, the bell rings and someone walks right to the counter. In the flesh, Josie McCoy orders food to go and once Tabitha realizes who it is, she starts fangirling. Tabitha asks Josie what brought her to Riverdale and Josie admits she just needed a break, some “me time.” To recenter herself, write. Tabitha asks what it’s like to be back and Josie starts singing a stunning rendition of Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” soon joined by Melody and Valerie.

Once a Cabot, Always a Cabot

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Veronica gets a call from Smithers and tells him to “send her in.” “Her” is of course the Alexandra Cabot, whom many will remember from the sadly short-lived Katy Keene, who always gets what she wants. Xandra is in Riverdale about some investments that she made with Chad. She’s been calling him but he’s MIA. She made a day trip to pull her money out. Veronica tells her she could give her her money back now, but Veronica tells her about this new investment opportunity she stumbled across. She asks Xandra how she feels about diners.

“Tell me more.”

Veronica, Tabitha, and Xandra sit down at Pop’s and Tabitha tells Xandra her plan to bring Pop’s nationwide. Small towns feel even in the big city. Xandra loves the idea but suggests a couple of tweaks. Xandra brings up singing diners and Veronica tells her about the singing they do at Pop’s. Singing is something they can definitely talk about. Though Xandra had other ideas. Xandra, Tabitha, and a very pregnant Toni are performing “Little Shop of Horrors” at Pop’s while serving customers, and it is everything.

The deal is almost done but Xandra wants to see finances from the last 20 years. After going through them, Xandra suggests they reprice everything and she also wants to use instant milk for the milkshakes. That does not make Tabitha very happy. She tells Xandra that her great-great-grandfather started the business selling one thing: chocolate milkshakes, hence the name.

“That was back when this was the first and only Black-owned business in town. It was open 24/7. A safe place for people like us when those were few and far between. So no, it’s not ‘just a milkshake’ and this isn’t ‘just a business.’ It’s a legacy.”

Tabitha walks away from the deal, as she rightfully should, and with banks closed until the following day, Veronica won’t be able to pull Xandra’s money just yet.

However soon, Xandra has started to rethink her decision following a performance by Josie & the Pussycats, and Josie’s speech. A franchise seems like a lucrative process, Pop’s original milkshake recipe and all.

Josie’s Superstardom Is Not Everything

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Archie is walking through the halls of Riverdale, and he can hear Josie singing and he immediately recognizes the voice. Josie and a music class are singing and Josie is more than excited to see Archie. She later catches him up on her life and Archie tells her she should come to the Whyte Wyrm. Josie says she has some songwriting to do and she gives in. But after she makes some phone calls.

When Josie comes home, she breaks down in her mother’s arms. Sierra had a hunch Josie would come to Riverdale after she disappeared and Josie admits after she got her call about her father’s passing, she was in Berlin about to step out on a stage in front of 80,000 people. After that, Josie couldn’t perform. She just turned around and walked away. Sierra gives Josie a book of songs that her father had written, songs he never got to record.

It’s Not High School Anymore

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At the Whyte Wyrm, Josie is sitting down with the whole gang as everyone talks about what they’ve been up to. Betty mentions she can help them save Riverdale. They’ve been needing a celebrity to help get people excited. Veronica brings up a benefit concert. It can be just like old times. Though “old times” is what sets Josie off.

She didn’t have much of a say in their old times. And at this point, Josie says they’re more like acquaintances than old friends. Josie brings up Jughead robbing Pop’s at gunpoint in a Serpent’s mask and Cheryl sending her a pig’s heart. None of them have really made an effort to be her friend.

“I came to Riverdale to make an album. Not to cause trouble.”

Josie meets with Valerie and Melody and the three of them catch up. She tells them that she wanted to write about her hometown and since the two of them were a big part of her experience, she wants them to join her on one of her tracks. Josie doesn’t know if they still perform and Melody and Valerie put on a show at the Whyte Wyrm for her to see. Music was their first love, which is why it was so difficult when she disappeared on them. Josie knows she did, she had the opportunity to join her dad on tour. Melody tells Josie it was before then. When she stopped calling, stopped hanging out, stopped playing gigs. Since Josie’s dad was a side man, they thought she of all people would respect side women a little bit more. Valerie says they’ll think about the offer.

It’s a Pussycat Reunion

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Melody and Valerie find Josie in the music room at Riverdale High after finding out about her father. Josie mentions she thinks watching her dad spend his entire career just outside of the spotlight is why she became so obsessed with getting it for herself. But now she would give anything to play with him just one more time. With them one more time. Melody and Valerie tell her that if she still wants to record that song, they are totally down. Josie takes them up on their offer and wonders how they would feel about playing a one-night-only concert. But for what occasion?

“Josie, Melody, and Valerie. I feel like I’m in sophomore year again.”

The three of them visit Archie in his classroom and Josie tells him they are going to help him and the gang save Riverdale. A one-night-only Josie & the Pussycats reunion concert at the Whyte Wyrm where all the funds will go to proceeds to help reincorporate the former town of Riverdale. If Josie & the Pussycats won’t save Riverdale, nothing will.

It’s a Pussycats reunion at the Whyte Wyrm and everyone has shown up, even Dr. Curdle Jr. After the first song, Josie says she’s played a lot of venues but there is no better spot to play music than Riverdale. It nourishes artists like herself, Melody, Valerie, and even Jughead Jones.

After the performance, Josie asks Melody and Valerie how they would feel about touring with her. She wants to drive around the country and visit the small, cool places that her dad played to honor his last wishes. All three of them would be the headliners. Both of them are in.

While I love this reunion and have been dying for them to get together again ever since they split earlier in the series, as a fan of Katy Keene, I have to wonder just what happened to the new Pussycats, Cricket and Trula? Did they go their separate ways? Do Melody and Valerie even know about them? Guess we’ll never know.

Is a Josie & the Pussycats Spin-Off in the Works?

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In the episode’s final minutes, Josie, Valerie, and Melody got ready to leave on tour, saying goodbye to all their friends and even Riverdale’s newest little resident. Sweet Pea even asks to join Josie, in whatever way and Josie happily obliges. However, a guy named Toots Sweet comes up to her and tells her he was on tour with her dad. They’ve always had each other’s backs. He was in New Orleans when Josie’s father passed. He was mixed in with a lot of stuff, and Toots Sweet doesn’t believe he died of natural causes.

“Mr. Sweet, we’ve lived long enough in Riverdale to know that when someone passes away, foul play is always on the table.”

Josie says her first stop on tour is New Orleans and when they all get on the bus, Melody mentions they are setting off together towards magical musical mysteries unknown.

“Do yourself a favor and remember our names. Josie McCoy, Valerie Brown, and Melody Valentine, because you’re going to be hearing from us again.”

Could Riverdale have just set up another potential Josie spin-off? It would be interesting to get a murder mystery with the Pussycats, and it’s definitely more of Riverdale‘s style. Fingers crossed this isn’t the end of the Pussycats and we’ll get to know more about what could have happened to Josie’s dad.

The Best Moments

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It’s not “What just happened?” or “Out of context moments” simply because this episode was just too good! There were a few great moments that I need to relive that I didn’t get to talk about.

  • Following Josie’s little performance of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” a hotel concierge and Hiram Lodge knock on her door. Hotel policy states there is no live music in the rooms after nine. Hiram is standing next to the employee and Josie says my favorite line of the season. “Damn, Mr. Lodge. Nice to know you’re still a little bitch.” She tells Hiram that him standing there in his “jammies” and whining about her music being too loud just screams, “Once a little bitch, always a little bitch.”
  • Toni Topaz popping out of nowhere to sing with Tabitha and Alexandra Cabot?! This is Vanessa Morgan’s first scene back after taking her maternity leave and it’s a full-on musical performance? Queen. Also, Toni is a week overdue, I am surprised she didn’t pop while performing.
  • Speaking of, Toni went into labor while Josie & the Pussycats were performing at the Whyte Wyrm and Fangs and Cheryl helped Toni deliver her new baby boy, Anthony, in the back room at Pop’s.

Would you watch a Josie & the Pussycats musical mystery spin-off? Comment below and watch Riverdale on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on The CW, streaming free the next day on The CW app! Check out photos from next week’s episode here.

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Megan
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvelstaylena if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.

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