This week’s Riverdale focuses almost solely on Betty and Veronica and their differing storylines. As Betty continues having sessions with Dr. Werthers about her many “urges,” Veronica’s fight to make the Babylonium a booming business may finally be paying off. Meanwhile, Brad Rayberry’s death may not be so cut and dry after all.
Keep reading to find out what happened in “Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Six: Betty & Veronica Double Digest.”
The Death of Brad Rayberry
Brad Rayberry’s death has hit Jughead hard as the world around him continues to tick on. He spends days at Pop’s rereading Rayberry’s work and finally comes to the decision to move on, even if he may not be done mourning just yet. However, Sheriff Keller comes into the diner and enlists Jughead’s help, as they are still on the case.
Dr. Werthers tells Betty that she is no longer on the Vixens, as it is too sexualized of an environment for her, but Betty brings up the fact that high school, in general, is a highly sexualized environment. Werthers doesn’t see it that way, though. He tells Betty she seems unhealthily obsessed with sexuality. Given her recent behavior, he asks about her first sexual memory, so Betty thinks to back to when she and Archie were kids playing Operation, but she tells Werthers she doesn’t remember. He then asks how many times she thinks about sex, and she just imagines making out with Archie in his bedroom, Fangs on the top of his car, Jughead in the hallway, Veronica in the locker room, Reggie in the showers, and Werthers interrupts her, wanting a number. He keeps asking her why she thinks about sex and tells her how different it is for boys and girls; sex is for married people.
Betty brings up the magazines that her father has, and Werthers tells her that she is in therapy, not her dad. Betty says she’s just now realizing she doesn’t want to get married. She wants to make an impact on the world instead of just having a family.
At home, Betty’s studying in her room when Alice comes in with wedding magazines, saying she thought the pictures were pretty and it’s going to be the happiest day of her life when she stands at the altar in a white dress.
At the next therapy session, Werthers asks Betty about her dreams, and she tells him about her most vivid sexual dream where she’s a biology teacher, and it’s just her and a student; while it usually varies, it’s mostly Archie. Werthers wonders if Betty ever shares her dreams with other people, and Betty says she only writes it in her diary. He then asks where she thinks this urge comes from, and she thinks it’s about being seen sexually, or more about being seen in general, as a person with autonomy and desire and self-determination.
“I’m wondering if my interest in understanding sex is really more about understanding myself. Who I am.”
Betty gets home from school to find Alice and Reverend Lowe waiting for her. Alice tells her that the Reverend will hear her confession and perform an exorcisim. Betty sees her diaries on the coffee table and she is as shocked as ever, upset at the fact that her mother read them, at the discretion of Dr. Werthers, no less. Betty leaves and gets the idea to break into the school so she can try to find whatever Werthers was writing down about her.
After finding a book in Werthers’ drawer, titled Lolita, Betty finds Jughead at Pop’s and asks about it. Jughead says the novel is pretty salacious, as it’s about a professor having a relationship with a 12-year-old student. He gives his thoughts on it, and Betty thanks him and leaves. Before going to bed, Betty reads the book.
Betty cancels her next session with Werthers so she can finish the book, and she confronts him about it the following session. He says that he was hoping to better understand her by reading the book since Lolita is a sex-crazed woman. Betty goes off on him and tells him how inappropriate it is to ask her sexualized questions behind closed doors and writing down everything she says, “doing God knows what with that notebook at night.” She thinks he’s obsessed with sex, and he’s reading Lolita for pleasure. Betty says she isn’t comfortable being in the same room with him.
Alice tells Betty she heard from Dr. Werthers, and she told him to not give up on her, because he is going to fix her. Betty tries to get her mother to talk to her, and she confronts her about how unhappy she is. She wants to know why it seems like her own mother is afraid of her, but before Alice can open up, Hal interrupts them. He praises Alice and scolds Betty for how she’s been treating her.
In the morning, Betty finds Alice in the kitchen and tells her she wants to find a path forward for them, but it’s not Dr. Werthers. Alice says she relieved Werthers of his duties. Everything she’s been doing her entire life for her, it’s obvious Betty doesn’t want it so she’s stopping. It seems to her she doesn’t need a mother anymore.
“I am not your mother anymore. And you can make your own damn breakfast.”
Veronica’s trying to sell tickets to a James Dean double feature at the Babylonium at school; she even gives free tickets to Cheryl and her James Dean fan club, so long as she spreads the word. She also hand-delivers free tickets to the Bulldogs, mainly in the hopes of getting Reggie to come, which he does.
While Veronica manages to score a date with Reggie for after the movie, things only go downhill from there. The print they received from the studio was overexposed, so they can’t play it. All of the reels are like that. Veronica breaks the news to the full theater, and they do not take it lightly. They all want refunds for their popcorn and soda. Veronica offers a voucher, but they want their refund. As they throw their popcorn at her, Veronica gives in.
Following the fiasco, Veronica has to cancel her milkshake date with Reggie, but the two reschedule for a later time. The next day, she calls the studio, and the head, Mr. Roth, is as baffled as she is. She wants a pristine copy of East of Eden, but they have no more prints. He tells her that as the business owner, it is her fault, and he hangs up. Clay wants to know how a studio runs out of prints of its biggest movie, and while Veronica doesn’t know, she knows there are other studios in the city, so she, Clay, and Kevin get on the phone with other studios.
After making many phone calls, nothing has worked. Veronica and the Babylonium have been blacklisted by every major studio in Hollywood, likely because of her parents. She suspected sabotage from the moment they got the bad print. Clay suggests they go after the smaller, independent studios rather than the major ones, and Veronica loves it.
“Boys, if we’re going down, we’re going down fighting.”
Veronica notices Jughead at Pop’s and asks him about The Crawling Eye, which is the only movie she was able to get her hands on, even though it came out a few years ago. He suggests she does a gimmick to get more people to come to the Babylonium. Sell the gimmick, not the movie.
Veronica shows a trailer of The Crawling Eye in class and tells her classmates that the movie is a re-release in 4D, a fourth dimension of terror, unlike anything they’ve encountered at the movies. Kevin and Clay hand out fake eyeballs that can be redeemed for candy. Later, the two papier mache beach balls as Veronica recruits Archie and Reggie for a unique performance that would only consist of two minutes of work.
During the movie, smoke comes from underneath the chairs and in front of the screen. Archie and Reggie come out dressed as eyeball monsters and everyone in the theater is loving it, including a once-skeptical Cheryl. Later, due to the success of the first showing, the Babylonium is selling out upcoming showings. However, Archie and Reggie aren’t up to doing the performance again since it was supposed to be a one-time thing. Veronica says she can get Kevin and Clay to do the gig if they don’t want to. After Archie leaves, Reggie tries to ask Veronica out, but she’s too busy. She does ask him to come back tomorrow, though.
Reggie’s waiting for Veronica at the Babylonium, but she’s been busy. She’s on the phone with Mr. Roth, who heard about the success and has already shipped a copy of East of Eden to Riverdale. By the time Veronica’s down in the lobby, Reggie’s gone, but he left his flowers on the counter. When Veronica gets back to the Pembrooke, her key doesn’t work. Smithers tells her that the locks have been changed. Her parents feel she doesn’t need their financial support anymore. As soon as she has a new address, he will send her her things. Veronica already has an idea: she’s making the Babylonium her new home.