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Riverdale Season 4, Episode 10 Recap: Breakfast on the Beach

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Riverdale season four is back. We’ve spent the first four weeks of the decade worrying about Jughead’s death and the Core Four’s involvement, but all we got on Riverdale episode 11 was a rivalry game between Riverdale High and Stonewall Prep, two schools that would definitely be competing in the same division. Oh, and Veronica wears a wig again.

RIVERDALE EPISODE 9, SEASON 10 Recap: WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

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Riverdale High School’s football team is in the state championship, and somehow Archie is their star quarterback. Show me one scene from the past three seasons where Archie even *mentions* football practice, I dare you. Betty interviews the players, who reveal that their rival, Stonewall Prep, has been maiming opposing players to ensure victory. Didn’t that school used to be called Sweet Valley High? Am I insane? Mad Dog gets beaten outside of the community center by thugs in bunny masks, severely injuring his leg. In retaliation, Riverdale’s team takes the fight to Stonewall Prep and beats the sh*t out of Brett on school grounds. Betty can’t prove that it was the Stonewall Prep team that attacked Mad Dog so Veronica, who’s down for any opportunity to wear a wig, goes undercover at a Stonewall party to get the dirt. Veronica is making rum now and suddenly has a deep knowledge of patent law, allowing this teenager to market her specially spiced rum to other teenagers local restaurant owners. She is actually also marketing it to teenagers, using her rum as an exuse to crash the Stonewall Prep party. Unfortunately, Veronica’s cover is blown when Jughead recognizes her at the Quill and Skull-sponsored soiree.

Actually, a lot of secrets were revealed that night. Betty had no idea Jughead was in a secret society, and she’s a little salty about how Jug is benefitting from his new private school connections. TBH, when a formerly homeless gang leader gets a taste of one-percenter privilege, we’re totally okay with it, even if he’s known to quote Edgar Allen Poe. All of Betty’s covert operations were for naught when Honey refuses to publish her exposé, so she decides to start a Riverdale High School quiz team and take them to the state final against Stonewall Prep…which is next month. Seems a little late in the game, but okay.

Archie bonds with his Uncle Frank, who could never replace Luke Perry in any capacity and should not be given any of Fred Andrew’s planned storylines. Just sayin’. We’d get it if Molly Ringwald has better things to do than become a permanent guest star on a teen soap, but there are better solutions to her hard out! Frank bails Archie out of prison after his schoolyard brawl, and they bond over Archie boxing a bear. Molly Ringwald explains to Archie that Uncle Frank is a bad dude who let Fred take the blame for Frank’s DUI. Frank apologizes, but like, who wouldn’t apologize in that situation? Before you start to believe that men can change, Frank immediately offers Mad Dog pills to help him play through his injuries and risk irreparably damaging his leg. Mad Dog is willing to take the risk because a football scholarship to Notre Dame could change his life. Archie does his best to minimize the damage by instructing the other players to protect Mad Dog at all costs, but he still takes a massive hit and the team loses. Frank says Mad Dog is a grown man who can make his own decisions, but he’s… not. He’s a teenage boy. Getting an interview with the coach from Notre Dame doesn’t make Frank’s decision any less messed up, but it gives Archie an excuse to forgive and forget.

Veronica’s knowledge of patent law was not as good as she thought (who could’ve guessed?!), and Hiram serves her with a cease and desist. He offers to team up with her instead of taking her down, but she says no. That’s fair. He did try to kill her boyfriend multiple times. She then keys his car with a bottle of rum. We’re going to say that’s also fair. Cheryl’s (disgusting) maple syrup snow cones give Veronica the idea to make maple syrup-infused rum that Cheryl describes as “breakfast on the beach” and we describe as “probably still in violation of Hiram’s patent.” Someone needs to invent an Emmy for one-liners and hand-deliver it to the Riverdale writers’ room.

Jughead cops an interview for Yale based solely on his writing prowess, but he’s hesitant to take the opportunity after Betty’s early decision rejection. And that’s why the poor stay poor. Kidding, it’s because of conservative fiscal policies that favor the rich! I’d love to see Jughead’s “amazing” short stories because his episode narration is purple, at best. Betty wants the best for Jug, even if that means attending her dream school without her.

Cheryl and the Vixens go on strike because Principal Honey had the gall to appoint an award-winning cheer coach to take Cheryl’s place (you know, after a therapist deemed her unfit to lead). To be fair, this grown woman could’ve been a little nicer about taking power — copying Cheryl’s HBIC shirt was a low blow. The strike is unsuccessful because Principal Honey threatens to ban everyone from prom, so Cheryl locks their coach in her office. They sing “Cherry Bomb,” and we are constantly impressed by how passionately Riverdale’s cast commits to the bit. Yeah, they’re getting paid, but these actors are really down for whatever. Cheryl could become an extraterrestrial stripper and Madelaine Petsch would be, like, “Sure.” A consummate professional.

Jughead gets into Yale… and so does Brett. But in yet another flashforward, Brett confronts Betty about taking Jughead’s spot as she tearfully packs up Jug’s dorm.

THE MOST CW MOMENT

The Vixens’ controversial routine… Are you not entertained?!

HOW WE FEEL

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The CW

Oh, Brett. What an interesting vehicle for political commentary Riverdale has invented. Did they see Nancy Drew’s woke inclusion efforts and feel threatened? Brett has inbred teeth and looks like Pennywise the Clown, which is how you know he’s old money, and he walks around saying things like, “Football’s not a knitting circle, it’s social Darwinism.” He’s the parody of wealthy Republican children that television was sorely missing, and he speaks like Cheryl Blossom hit her head and woke up in an alternate reality where she hates the poor. Peak comedy. Which is why we were so surprised Brett’s secret society initiation was so lame. The members gathered in yet another bunker to share their deepest darkest secrets, and while these super-rich kids are definitely super messed up, that was more like a Catholic high school retreat than any club initiation I’ve encountered. I was expecting Brett to hand Jughead a Kairos rock and a packet of encouraging letters from his family and friends before announce a snack break. We’re not *advocating* for hazing, but I expected something a little more interesting than wealthy teens complaining.

Fan reactions to the Vixen’s “Cherry Bomb” routine were shockingly negative considering Riverdale does this every week. Sure, Joan Jett is rolling over in her grave (…is she dead yet?), but this can’t be any worse than the time a Twilight-era Kristen Stewart played Joan in a movie. The real tragedy this episode was that Archie and Jughead barely spoke, again. Seriously, Veronica’s wigs get more airtime than our favorite bromance.

We love an episode of Riverdale that’s actually about high school, but nothing especially noteworthy happened in the most recent hour of this magnificent dumpster fire. So, may I direct your attention to the greatest Twitter account I’ve *ever* encountered, Riverdale as John Mulaney Quotes? I’ve been recapping this show for almost six months, and somehow tonight is the first time I encountered its beauty:

This is my 2020 mood board.

Riverdale Episode 10 FAN REACTIONS

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