This week’s Riverdale features a variety of ships with problems, including Cheryl and Archie, Betty and Kevin, Fangs and Midge, and even Jughead and Veronica.
Keep reading to find out what happened in “Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-One: Love & Marriage.”
Jughead and Ethel are now the prime suspects in the murder of Ethel’s parents, thanks to the comic books and drawings that were found at Jughead’s. Ethel tells Sheriff Keller, Dr. Werthers, and Principal Featherhead that the drawings were just a joke. She saw the Milkman leave her house. Sheriff Keller brings them down to the station.
Down at the station, Jughead and Ethel are behind cells, and Veronica tries to help Jughead prove that he’s cleared since they were all at the dance together. She suggests going to the coroner who performed the autopsy to get the exact time of the deaths.
Veronica brings the death certificate to Sheriff Keller, proving that Jughead was at the dance when the murders happened. While it doesn’t release Ethel, it does release Jughead, and he and Veronica go to dinner at Pop’s. Jughead tells Veronica that Julian had picked Ethel up the night of the dance and took her to Lover’s Lane to try to put the moves on her, getting handsy. He warned her not to say anything, and she decided to go home instead of the dance. Jughead suggests they talk to Julian tomorrow.
Jughead returns home to see his place ransacked and Hot Dog nowhere to be found.
At school, Jughead and Veronica confront Julian about the night of the dance. He says he won’t admit what happened because he’s a Blossom, because of the pass he made at Ethel, meaning that he’s ashamed he even chose her to begin with. Jughead punches Julian and tells him off, saying he’s going to do the right thing for once in his life. Luckily, he does, and Ethel is no longer a suspect.
Love Story in the Making
Jughead and Veronica celebrate at Pop’s, and Veronica says they make a good team. She asks him to walk her home after dinner, and Jughead says he was planning on staying at the diner. However, she offers him a place at the Pembrooke. It takes some convincing, but he gives in.
Jughead woke up early to prepare a full breakfast, and while eating, Veronica asks if he wants to walk to school together. Unfortunately, Jughead says he’s skipping school since he needs to spring Hot Dog from the pound and clean up his train car. Veronica figures she’ll skip, too, and they can split the work.
Veronica has revamped the train car like the Orient Express, as Jughead says, and he thanks her for everything.
Later at the Pembrooke, Jughead tells Veronica about Ethel staying at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy and how he’s failed him. Veronica tells him that he didn’t fail and he did save her. The two of them kiss.
Julian confronts Archie about going all the way with his sister at the make-out party, but Archie swears nothing happened. Archie asks Cheryl why she told her brother they went all the way when all they did was kiss, but Cheryl says they did more than that and points to her hickey. However, Cheryl admits that not admitting they didn’t do more helps her with a problem she’s having. Corroborating her story, he’d be protecting her from her family. She pleads with Archie to not ask any more questions.
“I mean, it’s just a little white lie, right? Really, who are we hurting?”
Archie gets home to a very upset Mary, who just met with Penelope. Mary doesn’t like what her son has been doing but tells him to put on his suit since they’re having dinner with the Blossoms to get him out of the mess he and Cheryl made.
The dinner is pretty awkward, everyone’s eating, and no one’s saying anything. Mary breaks the ice, and Clifford talks about how much the town has changed with the murders. He asks Archie about the Russia problem, and he looks to Cheryl for support. After answering, Clifford says he’s a smart young man, much like his father.
After dinner, Cheryl brings up Archie’s father, and he tells her about him. The two kiss on the bridge outside.
At home, Mary tells Archie that she and the Blossoms had a long talk, and based on their actions, she thinks he and Cheryl should get married. Dr. Werthers will be giving them a compatibility test tomorrow to make sure they are ready to get married. Archie is overwhelmed by the news, and Mary says that if he’s old enough to do what he did, he should own up to it and take responsibility, no matter how young he is.
Archie and Cheryl take the compatibility test, which only consisted of three questions, and they pass. Mary’s surprised, considering the two are so different, but Penelope is elated. Archie and Cheryl later awkwardly sip their milkshakes at Pop’s, trying to discuss the fact that they’re getting married. He wonders if she really wants to go through with it; he wants to get to know her better, and maybe through this process, they will get to know each other better. She asks if he can write her a poem like the one he wrote Veronica, and he obliges.
Betty doesn’t like what Archie’s doing, but Archie says he’s saving Cheryl from something, and it might help him figure out his purpose. He might even love her.
“Arch, there’s a difference between saving someone and loving someone.”
Cheryl interrupts their talk to tell Archie that her father requested a sit down later that day. Betty tells Archie it’s sweet he wants to help Cheryl, but marriage is forever.
Clifford talks to the couple at Thornhill and goes through plans for the future, including the wedding and what they will do after school ends, plus where they will live. The three are not really seeing eye-to-eye.
Archie tells Cheryl he can’t go through with the marriage, and Cheryl understands. She knows she demanded too much from him. However, Archie has a plan. He suggests they elope instead, move out West, be whoever they want to be, and she can be free. Cheryl agrees, and Toni listens to the entire conversation.
Toni later tells Cheryl that running away with Archie would be a mistake. She may think she can outrun Riverdale and her family, but she can’t outrun herself. Toni asks if she loves him, and she doesn’t outright say yes. She says that, eventually, she’s going to have to look at herself and face who she is.
Archie’s waiting for Cheryl at the bus stop, and she drives up in her convertible. She tells him she can’t get on the bus. It was the most beautiful pipe dream with the most wonderful guy, but that’s all it is, a fantasy. She needs to face this alone. Someday, he will find the right guy and move to California with him, but she’s not the girl for him.
“But, maybe, she lives right next door to you.”
Cheryl finds Toni at the Dark Room and tells her she decided to not go with Archie for many reasons. She admits she doesn’t know where to go from here, and Toni gives her a book, The Cost of Pepper, and tells her to see if anything resonates with her. To do it for herself.
Archie, meanwhile, writes a poem for Betty while looking at her through his bedroom window. He gets ready to go over to her house, but Mary calls him to the dining room. She’s called Uncle Frank to knock some sense into his nephew.
Kevin gives Betty back the Human Sexuality book and tells her he wants to wait until marriage. Not liking the fact that he’s making all of the decisions in the relationship, Betty breaks up with him.
She later tells Toni she and Kevin broke up and tells her what happened. Toni tells her to not be ashamed of her desires. More girls should do what she did, ask for what they want from their supposed boyfriends. Toni proposes they go to the Dark Room and grab a coffee.
At the Dark Room, Toni sees Kevin and Clay dancing, and she tries to get Betty to leave but it’s too late. She leaves, clearly upset. When she gets home, Alice tells her that Mrs. Keller called. She wonders why she broke up with Kevin, his mom is worried sick, and Betty tells her that Kevin is fine. She realized the problem with them is that Kevin likes boys, but Alice tells her that it’s “just a phase.”
Betty talks to Kevin about the Dark Room, and he denies what she saw. She asks about him and Clay, and he says last night was the first time. Clay comforted him after the breakup. He apologizes, saying that if he knew what he wanted, he wouldn’t have wasted her time. Betty assures him their relationship wasn’t a waste of time, at least not to her.
Alice found the Human Sexuality book and confronts Betty about it, saying that a girl her age shouldn’t be reading this filth. Ethel says the book is hers, Betty found it at her house. Betty snatches the book from Alice and tells her she’s not done reading it.
Betty tells Kevin he’s brave and gives him the pin back. Kevin tells Betty that the pin is her mom’s and tells her about the conversation he had with Alice. At home, Betty confronts Alice, asking her where Ethel is. She tells her she called social services and had Ethel sent to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Betty also brings up Kevin and the pin, and Alice says she’s trying to protect her.
Midge tells Fangs that she’s late, indicating she might be pregnant. He assures her that they will figure this out. Fangs later tells Toni, who says they have to confirm whether or not Midge is pregnant. She suggests they go to the lab at school at midnight, which will give her time to get the supplies they need.
At the lab, the three surround a frog, and Toni explains that she will inject Midge’s pee into the frog, and if there’s a chemical reaction, that will confirm she’s pregnant. Surprisingly, it was a very real method, called the Hogben test, women used in the 1950s before actual pregnancy tests were a thing.
The next day, the Frog’s tank is filled with hundreds of eggs, revealing that Midge is definitely pregnant. Toni tells Fangs that he needs to clean up and ask Midge’s parents for Midge’s hand in marriage. Fangs says he will do anything for her, but he’s afraid they won’t give them their blessing. Toni tells him that they may surprise him, but it may be best to not tell them about the bun in the oven just yet.
Looking completely different and definitely cleaned up, Fangs tells Toni that the talk with the Klumps did not go well. They forbade her from Fangs ever seeing Midge again. Toni saw that coming considering Midge is rich and white with parents who love her, while Fangs is a greaser and wannabe rockstar. He should just do what the Klumps say and stay away from Midge. They have about four months until she starts showing, and that will give them enough time to make him the man that the Klumps want him to be. It’s a true Romeo & Juliet love.