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Riverdale Season 4, Episode 9 Recap: Curiosity Killed The Cat

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You may never know why your high school ex-boyfriend dumped you for a six, but Riverdale episode 9, season 4 gives you the type of closure he never will. We finally figure out what happens to Jughead, a question that’s been plaguing us for the better part of 2019, but first we have to wade through more filler skirmishes with Dodger, escalating family drama in the Cooper household, and Jug’s granddaddy issues. At least Cheryl Blossom is getting back to normal — we’ve missed our HBIC.

RIVERDALE EPISODE 9, SEASON 4 Recap: WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

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Veronica was rejected from Dartmouth, which makes more sense than her getting *into* Harvard. Sorry, but our girl only has one extra-curricular — unless she wants to include running an illegal speakeasy in her Common App. At least, it’s illegal now that this teenager has lost her liquor license. Who could’ve seen that coming? Veronica’s war against her father is already exhausting, and it’s only been fifteen minutes. Hiram schemes to get Veronica’s Columbia interviewer to La Bonne Nuit, where Veronica has to perform. But did she *have* to? At least they finally let Casey Cott sing. TBD on whether the Ivy League is as impressed with Veronica’s performance as Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is.

FP is finally helping Archie take down Drug Lord Dodger, but he’s doing it as Gang Leader FP instead of Sheriff FP. An interesting decision. But also, a sexy decision. Their celebration is cut short when a masked man shoots FP in Pop’s. Just a suggestion, but maybe Pop’s should spring for a metal detector and some bouncers. How many fathers have to get shot in this diner before Pop Tate beefs up his security? FP survives, but Archie leaves him in the hospital to finish Dodger once and for all.

Cheryl has a pleasant family meeting with her two dead brothers, her mom, and a collection of lethal gas bombs. Good thing Cheryl remembered her cherry red gas mask! The consistency in her brand is inspiring. Penelope survives the gas, and Cheryl stages a faux trial confronting Penelope about gaslighting her (and trying to kill her friends multiple times). Penelope admits to torturing Cheryl, so Cheryl imprisons her in the Gryphons & Gargoyles bunker where everyone was boning last season. To finish her healing, Cheryl summons her friends for a proper Viking funeral to say goodbye to Jason.

Jughead wins the Baxter Brothers contest within the first 30 seconds of the episode, so it’s either an elaborate murder plot against him or a bribe to keep him from digging into Sweet Valley High’s past. Instead of basking in the glow of his writing prowess, Jug finds his abusive grandfather living on an abandoned school bus. Did no one learn anything from last week’s counseling session? Forsythe the First reveals he sold the Baxter Brothers rights for a measly $5,000, and his regret after the franchise took off drove him to alcoholism and family abandonment. Sweet Valley High isn’t murdering anyone, rich people are just bad drivers. Jughead wants to repair his grandfather’s relationship with FP, but Forsythe disappears, running from his family once again. As Jughead signs his Baxter Brothers contract back at SVH, he receives a mysterious note summoning him to a Quill and Skull society initiation. Jug goes to the North Woods and cracks a skull open with a rock. Gee, I wonder how he’s going to be murdered later?

Betty is woken up in the middle of the night with the news that Polly violently mutilated a nurse (named Betty!) at Shady Grove. Polly will only speak to Betty, and she has no recollection of the attack. Polly received a mysterious phone call moments before the attack, and when Alice receives a call on their landline (their… landline???), she goes after Betty with a knife. Luckily, Alice attacks Betty very, very slowly, giving Betty enough time to realize she’s been hypnotized. And Betty just happened to know that snapping her fingers would break the trance — convenient! The call is coming from prison, and Evelyn Evernever admits to brainwashing former Farm members into killing Dark Betty when she says “Tangerine” three times. As a precaution, Betty hypnotizes herself to relive a childhood trauma where she killed a cat and attempt to rewrite the past. She thinks this will get rid of her dark side (although, I thought we established that was genetic). IDK, I’m confused.

Well, the final flash-forward shows the aftermath of Betty bashing Jughead’s head in with a rock, so it looks like Dark Betty is still in there somewhere.

THE MOST CW MOMENT

When Penelope admits to gaslighting Cheryl because she’s jealous of her daughter’s friendship with her dead brother’s corpse. You really can’t make this sh*t up.

HOW WE FEEL

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The CW

Someone explain to me why I don’t believe that Jughead is dead. We’ve seen a corpse. We’ve seen a police line-up. We’ve seen Betty standing over his bludgeoned body holding a rock like he’s her childhood cat (a sentence that shouldn’t make sense, but does!). Still, I do not believe for a moment that Jughead is dead. Cole Sprouse makes $800,000 per season to make-out with his girlfriend and hang out with his BFF KJ Apa, there’s no reason for him to jump ship after four seasons on the job. Plus, there have been no long-winded, “This has been a fantastic journey, it is so hard to say goodbye to this character,” posts on social media, no public interviews about why Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Cole decided Jughead had to go, and none of the normal Major Character Death hullabaloos the 24 news cycle thrives on during the immediate aftermath of the episode. Only on the CW can we see a body multiple times and still suspect we’re being duped.

In non-Cole news, this is the second episode in a row where Madelaine Petsch has acted her butt off, this time surrounded by the Pacific Northwestern scenery that’s been sorely missed since the first season. Can we just appreciate that Mads has been given storylines like “Locks Mother in Former Sex Dungeon” and “Haunted by Absorbed Triplet in Chuckie Doll” and responded with Big Little Lies-level white lady tears? Someone give this woman a Daytime Emmy!

Finally, it’s a travesty that Riverdale used a college bribery plotline without a single mention of the College Admissions Scandal. Not a single Lori Loughlin-shaped Easter Egg to be found. All jokes aside, Veronica would absolutely get into a phenomenal college. She’s a successful business owner and financially independent at only 17, what more are admissions officers looking for? Hopefully, on season 4B, Veronica will get desperate enough to take up rowing.

See you on January 22nd for more Riverdale recap realness — just like the show, this writer is getting a well-deserved break.

Riverdale Episode 9 FAN REACTIONS

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