This week’s episode of Riverdale had Jughead telling four separate tales, all scary, political, sexual, and weird in their own way, yet all have morals. Meanwhile, Principal Featherhead’s distaste for comics deepens, with the help of Mayor Blossom and Dr. Werthers.
Keep reading to find out what happened in “Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Two: Tales in a Jugular Vein.”
Fight to Ban Comics
Principal Featherhead, Dr. Werthers, and Mayor Blossom all meet to discuss the murder of Ethel’s parents and what’s happening. Dr. Werthers brings out the comic books, saying they are a moral scourge and create degenerates.
A news article is later published about the corruption of comic books, talking about how the innocence of the youth must be preserved and what’s happening in comic books between beheadings and slaughters and the like is similar to the acts that are happening in the real world. Dr. Werthers wrote the editorial, and Mayor Blossom and Featherhead commend him for it. Werthers says the writers must be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
Jughead gets to Pep Comics, but everyone is out except Mr. Fieldstone. He gives Jughead an assignment for four stories to be completed by tomorrow, and Jughead takes him up on it. He meets with storyboard artist Bernie to get ideas, and he gives him one: high schoolers. Jughead comes up with “Homeroom of Horrors,” with multiple stories. Veronica meets with Jughead, who tells her about the assignment, and she asks if she can help. He tells her about his stories, narrated by a midnight custodian called the Key-Keeper. Jughead tells her that these “degenerate” comics are bite-sized morality tales. Comics can be over the top and bloody sometimes, but people that break the rules, people who are cruel to others, have lustful sex, get punished.
Keep Your Head in the Game
This first tale centers on Dilton Doiley, who isn’t the most athletic as he struggles to make a basket, keeping everyone in the gym until he does. As the others run laps, Dilton tries to make a basket. Afterward, Julian and everyone else surround him in the locker room. Julian and a few others stuff Dilton in a locker for the night, and Julian tells Archie that Dilton needs to start pulling his weight, or they’re going to murder him.
Dilton was born “morbidly claustrophobic,” and the next morning, he suffered a complete psychotic break.
“He was a changed man. A madman you might say.”
Hellbent on revenge, Dilton hid in a locker to wait for the Bulldogs. The next day, covered in blood, he worked on his free throws, using Julian’s head as a basketball as his headless teammates sat on the bench with their heads on the basketball rack. All Dilton says is, “Gotta keep my head in the game.”
Love You to Pieces
On a dark and stormy night, Archie shows up at Thonrhill after his hot rod gets a flat. Nana Rose opens the door, offering Archie to call a garage. He asks to stay the night since it’s so late, and she obliges. While drinking some tea, Nana Rose tells Archie about some ground rules. He must stay in his room all night and keep the door locked. She says she’s not alone in the house. Her granddaughter is with her, and she isn’t quite in the right mind. She has a compulsive craving for physical, inappropriate touching.
“She’s ravenous. Can’t keep her hands to herself.”
Nana Rose warns that her granddaughter is known to go into the room of strange men to get what she wants. Archie spots the portrait behind Nana Rose, who tells him that that’s her granddaughter. Archie keeps his door open just a little in the hopes of the granddaughter sneaking in, and she does. Cheryl introduces herself and tells Archie it’s been so long since she’s gotten to touch like this. She kisses him and feels him, and the next morning, Nana Rose asks Archie how his night was. He says it was incredible and that he saw her granddaughter by the window. Nana Rose says that Cheryl was once vibrant like a girl her age, and she took a trip to a tropical jungle but contracted a rare form of leprosy. A horrible, terrible, disfiguring disease, rotting her swollen flesh away, and it’s incredibly painful. Now Cheryl can’t be around other people because it’s contagious. Nana Rose says she was exposed as a child, so she’s immune. Soon Cheryl will succumb to the disease and die. Nana Rose tells him that Cheryl was the one who brought him here and infected him, and she warned him.
“After last night, we are going to be together forever and ever. ‘Til death do us part.”
Wanting to change her look and get more attention, Betty decides to ditch her signature ponytail and requests a new look at the salon. The stylist tells her about a style that is all the rage in Europe, the Beehive. All the girls want it, and all the boys are crazy about it. She’s going to get all of the attention and then some. There’s just one thing: Betty won’t be able to wash her hair or undo it. She just needs to use a special hairspray on it.
The next day, an all-new Betty showed up at school, and everybody was talking. In the restroom, as Betty puts hairspray on, Veronica and Cheryl walk in. Cheryl, being Cheryl, tells Betty that she will always be a Ponytail Princess on the inside. However, since that was the first time Cheryl and Veronica talked to Betty, she loved it anyway. Julian offers to walk her to class and hold her books, and Archie asks her out. She continuously puts hairspray on the Beehive, but it only gets worse from there. The following week, Archie and Betty are on a date at Pop’s, and Archie was as happy as ever.
“I’m a lucky cat. I’m on a date with the ginchiest girl with the ginchiest hair at Riverdale High.”
While dancing, Betty isn’t doing so well, and she collapses, seizing and dying. At the morgue, Dr. Curdle saws off the Beehive, and spiders come out of it. A Black Widow spider had crawled into her hair one night and laid eggs. Once hatched, those spiders chewed into her brain, causing her “bug-out” and death.
“Beauty is only skin-deep and vanity kills.”
My Better Half
Archie is having a moral dilemma: trying to choose between the girl next door or the socialite, so he chooses both Veronica and Betty, setting up three different days with both of them, saving Sundays for himself to relax. Betty and Veronica knew the other one was dating him, and it starts to bite him in the butt. When they each try to schedule dates with him, they get annoyed that they’re sharing him. He tells them the exact say thing, and it’s that they’re his favorite.
The Bulldogs are amused at Archie’s actions, and Julian asks how he does it. Archie says he feeds them the three same words, “You’re my favorite.” Unfortunately, with Valentine’s Day, which landed on a Sunday, it’s not all great. Betty and Veronica argue with each other about who is going to spend the romantic holiday with him and who he is going to break up with. Cheryl’s right in the middle in the restroom, hearing it all and telling the two that he’s playing them like fools.
The girls confront Archie about who is going to be his date and he tells him that he’s taking his mom since it’s her first Valentine’s Day without his dad. The two understand and apologize for pressuring him. Betty and Veronica each have their own plans now to stay in and Archie’s thrilled. However, they have their own date at Pop’s on Valentine’s Day and see Archie walk in with Cheryl. Betty stops Veronica from confronting them and tells her she has a much better idea.
At school the next day, Betty and Veronica have a proposition for Archie. They say that a night off has given them time to do some thinking and bring up the idea of having them both at the exact same time for a very, very special date. Archie, of course, is all for it, and Betty was thinking they could meet in shop class after hours since it’s soundproof.
“And we plan on making a lot of noise.”
That night, Betty and Veronica have made the shop class as romantic as ever and give Archie his coffee that they brewed for him, saying he’ll need the energy for what they have planned. After Archie drinks it, he isn’t feeling well and soon collapses. When he comes to, Betty and Veronica have tied him to a table and tell him that this is the perfect solution. Together, they use a saw on him and continue to smile as Archie begs for his life.
“We just wanna double our fun!”
Covered in blood, the two of them sit on the couch at the Pembrooke. Veronica has Archie’s top half, and Betty has the bottom. A perfect solution.
Moral of the Story
After hearing the four stories, Veronica has opinions. She tells Jughead she’s detecting a pattern. The sexual politics are troubling, and Jughead says she’s overthinking it. She wonders if he thinks of girls as shallow, crazy killers, but Jughead says the boys aren’t “great shakes” either. Veronica figures he’s admitting to dehumanizing women, and taking a page from his last story, she splits. Before she leaves, she tells him she’ll see him at school tomorrow.
The next day at school, things were different. Veronica and Jughead were no longer the Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller of Riverdale High. Veronica was once again the beautiful socialite, and Jughead was the melvin who writes comic books, hopefully, the kind that weren’t corrupting the youth of America.
Mr. Fieldstone loves Jughead’s stories, and Jughead tells him about what happened with Veronica and how she took the stories the wrong way. Fieldstone gives Jughead a byline for a job well done and offers Jughead the perfect name: Jughead “Jugular” Jones. He doesn’t know much, but he knows one thing, and it’s that girls come and go but with his name in print, that will make people sit up and take notice.
“Little did any of us imagine how prophetic Mr. Fieldstone’s words turned out to be.”