This week’s Riverdale turned up the heat. As Veronica was teaching Betty how to be more sensual so she can get more guys, Cheryl and Toni grew closer and closer, despite the Vixens. Meanwhile, Archie struggles to be the man of the house (no thanks to Uncle Frank), and Jughead deals with plagiarism at Pep Comics.
Keep reading to find out what happened in “Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Three: Peep Show.”
Jughead has noticed that some of Pep Comics’ recent stories have an uncanny resemblance to a pulp writer, Brad Rayberry, and Jughead confronts Mr. Fieldstone. He denies the allegations but says that he remembers reaching out to Rayberry about an inquiry, and since he never heard from him, he assumed he was dead.
Jughead manages to find Brad Rayberry’s address and tells him that Pep Comics is plagiarizing his work for monetary gain. He wants him to do something about it since Rayberry doesn’t deserve to be treated this way. Jughead says he went through all of Pep Comics’ back issues and discovered they published eight of his stories. Rayberry, unfortunately, shuts the door on him.
At Pep Comics, as Jughead finally sees his Homeroom of Horrors comic in the flesh, Rayberry comes in accusing Fieldstone of plagiarism. Jughead suggests they put Rayberry’s name on the comics inspired by his work, with a fee involved so he gets some of the money. Fieldstone suggests a two-dollar adaptation fee per story. Rayberry agrees, as long as he’s compensated for the stories that were already published. Jughead and Rayberry meet at Pop’s, and Rayberry suggests that Jughead adapt his stories. Rayberry asks about how his dad approves of his writing, and Jughead admits that he’s somewhere in Toledo. He was a prime suspect in a messy robbery a few years ago, so he split. Rayberry says he should write about that. Jughead asks if he were to write a short story if he would read it, and Rayberry says he would.
Jughead brings his short story to Rayberry, and while he’s getting tea, Jughead finds a manuscript and stashes it away in his bag before he’s caught. He spends all night reading the manuscript. He later tells Rayberry he read his novel and thinks he should publish it. Rayberry accuses Jughead of being a thief and kicks Jughead out.
Mr. Werthers is given the Homeroom of Horrors comic and says it’s like Hydra. Cut off one head, two more grow in its place. An administrator points out that it’s written by a student at Riverdale High, Jughead Jones.
Man of the House
With Uncle Frank in town, he tells Archie how concerned he and his mother are. He brings up Fred, who had told Archie to take care of Mary and be the man of the house. Frank says he hasn’t lived up to that, so he’s going to start. Archie apologizes to Mary, promising to be a better son.
The next day, Archie and Frank see Principal Featherhead about Archie getting his grades up. Featherhead asks Frank to talk to him alone, however. He later reveals that Featherhead offered him the head coach job and tells Archie about tryouts. Archie says he might sit the season out so he can focus on his studies, but Frank says he’s young. He can study and still play basketball. If he can’t play, he can be the water boy instead.
Archie gets home to find his hot rod is not in the garage, and Uncle Frank tells him it was an unnecessary distraction. He’ll get it back once his grades are raised and he can get to school some other way. Frank later brings some good news to Archie, saying he’ll be pumping gas at Pop’s. It’s what being man of the house means.
Julian Blossom pulls up to Pop’s as Archie is working and gives him a hard time. Pop Tate later talks to him about Fred and him playing basketball. He says that Fred was a true hero for going to war and serving the country. At school, Julian taunts Archie about being a grease monkey and water boy. He brings up obliterating his dad’s record, and that sets Archie off. The two get into a fight. Frank and Mary show up at the school, and Mary tells him that she’ll take care of it.
Mary talks to Archie, knowing that he and his dad played every day. Archie says it was something the two of them did together, and if he played, he would just be thinking and wishing that his dad was in the stands watching him. Archie is also wondering if he’s good enough, worried about tarnishing his dad’s memory. Mary says his father would be so proud. He doesn’t have to play if he doesn’t want to, but nothing would make his dad happier than seeing him play on his team. One way or another, Mary says he’s going to ask Frank to ease up on him.
Archie decides to finally play basketball and proves he’s good enough for the team. He tells Frank he’s not doing it for him; he’s doing it for himself, his mom, and his dad. Frank respects it.
How To: Be Sensual
In her room, Betty can’t stop watching Archie, who just got out of the shower. At school, she asks Veronica outright what sex is like. The question shocks Veronica, as Betty wants to talk to someone with first-hand experience. She admits that she hasn’t gone all the way with a boy, not yet.
“I just assumed because you’re so … sexy.”
Veronica tells her she doesn’t have to have sex to be sexy and gives Betty some tips on how to be sensual, mostly by wearing lingerie. She likes the way it makes her feel and knowing how fantastic her body looks in it. Veronica offers Betty to come over later that day to try some on.
At the Pembrooke, Betty comes out in lingerie, but she feels more embarrassed than sexy. She tells Veronica it was a silly idea. Veronica takes her to the mirror and tells her to breathe. She tells Betty to look at herself and see how sexy she is, and Betty starts to give in to it.
The following day, Betty admits to Veronica she’s not wearing the lingerie, not wanting people to think she was a nymphomaniac during gym class. Veronica says it’s time Betty found a man that appreciates the knockout she is. She wonders if she has her eye on anyone, and Betty admits it’s Archie. Veronica says she just saw him in the lounge. With Veronica overhearing, Betty asks Archie to the movies, and Archie happily obliges if it wasn’t for his uncle, however. He hopes Frank will ease up in the next couple of weeks. Wanting to cheer Betty up, Veronica suggests they go to Stonewall to see if they can round up some dates.
Veronica and Betty are on a double date at Pop’s, but Betty can’t stop looking at Archie, and vice versa. Betty’s heart is still set on Archie since there were no butterflies during her date. Veronica has an idea, and that is to have a long, meaningful, late-night conversation with Archie. She can call him up on the telephone and have a heart-to-heart that way. Archie doesn’t have a phone, and after hearing that Betty can look into Archie’s room from hers, Veronica has another idea.
Veronica checks out the “show floor,” and she and Betty watch Archie in his room, but he soon catches them and closes his curtains. The next day, Veronica and Betty are talking about what happened when Archie approaches them. Veronica leaves them alone, but not before praising Archie’s “good work.” Archie tells Betty about last night, telling her he liked it. He’s busy during the day, but every night, he ends up in his room, as does Betty. Archie suggests they end up in their bedrooms at the same time, and they agree at midnight. Betty will be wearing something special.
That night, Archie and Betty are in their rooms, looking at each other through their windows and sensually undressing. Archie is down to his boxers, and Betty in her lingerie. Before it can get any further, however, Frank bursts through Archie’s door, and Hal bursts through Betty’s.
Return of the Vixens
Cheryl returns the book she borrowed from Toni, who asks her to the Dark Room, but Cheryl denies it, saying she’s relaunching the Vixens. At tryouts, Toni surprises everyone and walks through the gym doors, much to the dismay of Evelyn Evernever (yes, Evelyn Evernever, is she an actual teen this time?). Cheryl shuts down Evelyn and tells Toni she’s first up. She kills it, and for Cheryl, she’s all she can focus on. Cheryl praises Toni’s pom-pom technique and offers her a spot on the squad.
Evelyn brings her concerns about Toni to Cheryl, saying they shouldn’t have girls like Toni on the squad. It’s not about the color of her skin; it’s the fact that everyone knows she’s a “lezzie” and she wouldn’t be comfortable being naked in a locker room with her. Cheryl tells Evelyn that Toni isn’t; she wouldn’t tolerate that behavior on her squad.
Evelyn goes through Toni’s locker and finds the book, confronting Toni about it. Toni threatens her and wonders what Cheryl said about her.
Cheryl’s Coming Out (1950s Edition)
Toni confronts Cheryl about what she told Evelyn, but Cheryl swears she was just protecting her honor and reputation. Toni says she doesn’t need a savior. She isn’t ashamed of who she likes. She never has been, and she never will be. She tells Cheryl she’s done.
“Life’s too damn short.”
Cheryl stops Toni from leaving the locker room and admits she is attracted to girls. And she thinks she may be attracted to her. She knows she’s attracted to her. At the Dark Room, Toni tells Cheryl about Kevin and Clay, promising to not tell anyone. Cheryl says her mother and her sister had a falling out. Her Aunt Carol moved to Greenwich Village to be a writer, and Penelope called her awful things like “Sapphic sexual deviant.” It was around the time Cheryl was thinking she was like Aunt Carol. Toni knew she liked girls as much as she liked boys for as long as she can remember. After her parents caught her necking someone, they kicked her out, and she moved in with her grandmother. Cheryl always believed if she didn’t want he family to disown her, she would always have to play a part. Hence the whole thing with Archie.
“Now, I am ready for something else.”
Cheryl replaces Evelyn as flier with Toni, and Evelyn does not like it. In the locker room, Toni wants to show Cheryl her appreciation for how she handled Evelyn and the two kiss.