This week on Riverdale, Veronica found herself between a rock and a hard place when it came to testifying on her father’s behalf while the group tried to throw Jughead a surprise birthday party that turned into a giant out-of-control kegger. As Jughead said during his opening narration, “There is no such thing as control. There is only chaos.” A truer statement couldn’t have been made to lead us into this crazy episode.
Even though Archie wants his parents to try and patch things up now that Fred and Hermione’s relationship is over, Fred takes off at the beginning of the episode to finalize his divorce, leaving Jughead and Archie home alone.
At school, Archie reveals Jughead’s impending birthday to Betty, who had no idea because Jughead doesn’t like celebrating. As Archie and Betty discuss what to do, they initially resolve to just go to the theater to watch a movie. When Betty calls FP and asks him to come, he reveals Jughead has never had a birthday party. This sets Betty off on party planning and Veronica is all in, but Archie cautions against it. However, Betty says it’ll be a party with the “inner circle” only.
As they’re discussing, Chuck Clayton walks back into school; back from his suspension. When he sits down next to Ethel, Betty goes on the attack but Chuck says he’s just there to apologize and Ethel waves Betty (who’s clearly have some “full dark, no stars” flashbacks) off. When Betty returns to the table, Archie offers his house for the birthday party since his dad is out of town. Betty then reaches out once more to FP about attending the party for Jughead’s sake.
At cheer practice, Veronica is tired of Cheryl’s attitude and challenges her to a dance-off for top spot on the squad. After the battle is over, the girl’s unanimously vote for Veronica. Cheryl goes after her two minions on the squad, telling them that they’re fired and she doesn’t want them around anymore. On the warpath, Cheryl then goes to Pop’s and asks Chuck to team up for “a little destruction.”
That evening at the party, the group (plus Joaquin and Ethel) are waiting for Jughead and Betty to arrive from the theater. When they show up, Jughead is clearly less than thrilled but Betty comes out with a cake and sings “Happy Birthday” to him. However, the festivities upset Veronica who isn’t in the mood after reading her dad’s letter. She walks away crying and Archie goes to talk with her. The two open up to each other about their issues with their parents and end up in a hug. Jughead and Betty walk in and see the hug and Veronica says she’s “not in a party mood.” Jughead also says he’s not in a party mood and Betty and he start to get into it, but the doorbell rings and Cheryl, Chuck, and most of the kids of Riverdale come storming in.
The party quickly turns into all-out chaos and as Archie and Jughead are speaking privately, FP shows up with a gift for Jughead. When FP enters the house, he spies Kevin and Joaquin kissing and pulls him aside. As they’re making their way through the house, Veronica spies FP and remembers him from the deal he saw him make with her mother. Joaquin and FP go discuss the revelation that Archie overheard as Alice spies on them from next door.
In the kitchen, Betty confronts Chuck who gets nasty, telling her he saw the real her the night she went full dark, no stars. Betty then goes to talk to Jughead and the two get into a heated discussion as Jughead lashes out at Betty for throwing the party. Jughead feels Betty is too good for him and says she’s just “slumming it” with him while biding her time for Archie.
Meanwhile, Archie spies Valerie at the party and confronts her but Valerie isn’t having it and Archie’s a little drunk. Valerie ends up spilling her drink all over Archie in front of everyone.
When Jughead tries to storm out of the party, Cheryl and Chuck prevent him from leaving and start a game to get everyone’s secrets out into the open. Cheryl goes after Veronica but Veronica fires back, suggesting Cheryl and Jason’s “twincest.” Then Archie and Miss Grundy’s relationship comes to light when Dilton speaks up. Chuck then steps up and outs Betty for what she did to him. As he continues, Jughead jumps in and starts swinging and FP intervenes, throwing Chuck out of the party. He then declares the party is over. As everyone starts leaving, Jughead tries to leave but FP gets in his face and tells him to “man up” and go be with Betty. When FP turns to leave, Alice approaches him and FP tells her that a “snake never really sheds its skin,” implying that Alice was once part of the Serpents.
At Pop’s, Jughead and Betty talk it out. Jughead talks about his fear of not being accepted for who he is and Betty reveals to him her fear of the darkness she has inside.
At the Andrews’ household, Archie and Veronica are the only two left and they talk about their lives and struggles. As they’re talking, they share a kiss, which quickly leads to a make-out session. The next morning, Veronica wake up in Archie’s bed. When Veronica goes to leave, Jughead spies her and promises that his “lips are sealed.”
In Lodge world, an attorney for Hiram comes to the Lodges to try and prepare Veronica’s statement for her father’s hearing, but she isn’t on board. At school, Betty and Archie tell Veronica what Archie overheard Clifford Blossom saying about putting Hiram Lodge in jail. Veronica later reveals this news to her mother along with a paper trail she dug up concerning some monetary dealings Clifford and Hiram had gotten into. Hermione cautions her to drop it as it might throw suspicion on Hiram for Jason’s murder; however, Veronica later reveals all this information to Hiram’s attorney. The attorney then tries to get Veronica to testify once again and when she resists once more, the attorney whips out a note from Hiram. In the note, he cautions Veronica to choose her next steps wisely as it will not only impact Hiram but will also affect Hermione who is not as innocent as she seems (according to Hiram anyway).
When it’s time to step up, Veronica reveals she’s ready to go on record about her parents for her mother’s sake. Later, she reveals to Betty that she testified and reveals that FP has been in Hiram’s employ before, questioning what else he may have done for her father. She then says she wants to help with Betty’s investigation because she wants the truth.
As the episode closed, Archie had just finished cleaning up the party mess when his parents walked in, together.
Continue on to read the review of season one’s tenth episode, “The Lost Weekend.” It’s separated so you can tackle all of the juicy Riverdale drama in chunks and explore the episode’s key moments and highlights. Click Next to scroll through, or jump straight to the part you’re most interested in: