It's 2018 and Riverdale is back and better than ever? Maybe not, but it's still good.
As the town returns to normalcy after its holiday episode, Jughead reminds us that Riverdale might just be a place where bad stuff happens. I know what you're thinking. What are the alternatives? Unwavering hospitality? Nope. The list of other potentials ends there. Basically the most decent and reasonable person in Riverdale is Pop.
Moving on from that unnecessary tangent, The Blackboard Jungle shows us that life after the Black Hood's unveiling isn't as peaceful as it was hoped to be.
The Lodges are in cahoots with Mayor McCoy to get her to shut down Southside High in order to build, I'm assuming, shiny new condos. My details are fuzzy.
Veronica is now, sort of, in on the family business of stirring up class tensions in unassuming rural towns and capitalizing on people's political ambitions. Her parents warn her of the merging of Southside and Riverdale high schools and encourage her to do her best to be diplomatic and ease the worries of her classmates about the big announcement.
What follows is a series of confused and surprised reactions to Principal Weatherbee's loudspeaker announcement, Reggie's (and the other out of focus players of the basketball team) being the best of them all.
After brushing off Kevin's suggestion that she's nervous about the school merge because it means the return of Jughead (possibly Bughead?!), Betty goes home and finds an unexpected guest. It's a no longer pregnant Polly. She had the twins and was intent on not having anyone in her family learn the news. She also has no plans to return to Riverdale (smart) but will instead stay at her cult/farm (not as smart). This also lays the ground for Betty trying to find a solution to a problem that is yet to present itself.
Betty knows her mom will be upset about the Polly news; she went from two daughters and one (sort of) son to just one daughter, so how about reaching out to that long lost brother?
Charles (Chic) Cooper as it turns out was never adopted and after having to leave the convent orphanage hybrid that is the Sisters of Silent Mercy, now lives in Riverdale's (very own!) youth hostel. Suffice to say that life hasn't been great for him and he is not very fond of the Coopers.
On the same fateful day that Archie decides to dust off his old guitar case to dedicate more time to his music he is literally stopped in his tracks by an "FBI" agent. The agency caught a whiff (sorry?) of the Lodge's sketchy business dealings and want Archie to be their man on the inside.
Archie is hesitant at first but takes the agent's contact information anyway -- hey, maybe he can get a summer internship out of him -- and decides that a dinner at the Lodge residence will give him an insight into whether or not he should go through with this.
In an expected unfolding of events, it does. The FBI wanted to get details on the Lodge's relationship with Nick St. Clair and on the "accident" that almost killed him. Before going to the Lodge's, Archie meets with Cheryl to ask her about what exactly happened with Nick. It's then that he learns that Nick tried to hurt Veronica as well, giving Hiram a clear motive to hurt the St. Clair family and Nick specifically. Hiram and Hermione also do an albeit humorous, but unconvincing job of communicating that they had nothing to do with Nick St. Clair's accident.
Later that night, Archie lies in bed and has a shirtless realization that helping the FBI is the right thing to do. What a sentence. This can't go without saying that he has gives "Dark Archie" his time in the limelight when he visits Nick St. Clair at boarding school to give him a stern talking to.
Jughead and his affable Serpent sidekicks start their first day of school at Riverdale High and are met with a welcome committee consisting of Veronica, Archie, and yeah that's it.
But because this is Riverdale, the drama is high and near. Cheryl and Reggie (mostly Reggie) are scheming for the sake of scheming. They get Principal Weatherbee on board with banning the Serpents from wearing their leather jackets for the sake of school unity. Jughead is not pleased with this profiling.
He's only temporarily convinced to surrender to the pressure to opt for a more mainstream choice of outerwear for when he's at school. Even Toni and Sweet Pea don't want to get suspended! But nevertheless, he persists and has to face the consequences.
FP is working at Pop's again (I'm unsure of how the progression of this played out) which means that there are designated hours during which he can't wear his Serpent jacket. Long story short Jughead should suck it up.
Betty and her mom's adventure to the youth hostel, to no one's surprise, went awry. But I guess Betty's "my sibling is in danger" senses have been re-awakened by her meeting her brother and arrives at the hostel to find Chic at the perfect time to save him from a strange man knifing his arm. So Betty pepper sprays the dude, gets Chic out of there, and brings him to her house where her dad + an old first aid kit suffice for the care of a licensed medical professional.
By doing this, Betty has literally and figuratively let dark and murder-y spirits into the Cooper home. It was obvious that he feels resentment towards his long-lost family, but it seems like he wants to inflict harm on one member specifically.