Last time on Riverdale, Southside High was shut down and we finally saw Betty’s long-lost brother who acted incredibly creepy.
This week it’s almost time for Pickens Day in Riverdale, which is a day dedicated to the man who founded the town. Veronica is doing everything she can to unite the North and South Sides together and that includes trying to land a performance by Josie and the Pussycats. However, Mayor McCoy doesn’t approve of Veronica’s role in her family’s business, so it doesn’t quite work out how she hopes.
Jughead has an oral history report at school and decides to interview Toni’s grandfather, one of the founding members of the Serpents. He shocks Jughead with the news that the historical figure isn’t as great as everyone originally thought. According to him, the land used to belong to a tribe, but under the order of Cheryl’s great-great-great grandfather, General Pickens led a raid on the town which killed 400 people just to get the maple trees and river. Jughead decides to write an article about it for the Blue and Gold, which he later apologises to Toni’s grandfather for because it was basically his own revenge against the North Side.
Meanwhile, Chic is staying with the Coopers and learns what a truly terrible person Hal is. Hal spends the whole episode asking Chic personal questions and trying to kick him out of the house before Penelope Blossom sees him and offers Hal some ‘comfort’. Betty is trying to get to know her brother and he mentions the scars he has from all the clients his landlord booked for him at the hostel, and Betty mentions the crescent moon-shaped scars on her own hands.
Kevin calls her up and tells her where he remembers Chic from. He says that Chic is on a webcam site. Chic turns out to be a video gigolo/cam boy, and when his former landlord throws out all of his stuff, Betty provides him with a new laptop and camera.
Chic asks why Betty has been helping him because he says “No one is that nice”. She tells him about her dark side and was hoping that he had one too so they could make sense of things together. Chic responds with introducing Betty to his world of webcam, as it both pays money and it is a way to escape your dark side. Now that’s some uh, interesting sibling bonding.
The main part of the episode revolves around Archie and Hiram. Agent Adams tells Archie that he needs to gain Hiram’s trust, but considering Hiram doesn’t like Archie, that looks like it’s going to be hard. Archie asks Veronica for help getting to know her father and she suggests that Archie tries out wrestling because that is Hiram’s favourite sport.
Unfortunately, Archie sucks at wrestling (and honestly, this was a terrible idea), but Veronica has a backup plan. She tells Archie that he can sing with her at Pickens Day, but Hiram does not like that. When he finds Archie and Veronica practising in her room, he spends the entire time belittling Archie for not being man enough to wrestle. Veronica makes things very uncomfortable and tells her father that Archie is actually a very talented musician who is “incredibly sexy when he sings”. Archie kisses Veronica in front of Hiram, ditches the song and tells Hiram that he’ll see him at tryouts tomorrow.
The next day, Hiram teaches the guys his signature move and chooses Archie as his victim. After he pins him down, he tells him “I always win” which is really weird and shows just how controlling he is.
Later, Archie storms into Hiram’s apartment and asks him, “Why don’t you like me?” so Hiram tells him that he thinks Archie isn’t good enough for Veronica. Archie plays the “I took care of her while you were in prison” card, but Veronica steps in and yells at them both.
Hiram then calls Archie and takes him for an early morning run and breakfast before telling Archie that Veronica has enough on her plate. He says he doesn’t want her to worry about them and that he will tell her about this morning. He will “tolerate” Archie until this “phase is over,” because “boyfriends come and go but fathers are forever”.
On the last day of tryouts, Hiram tries really hard to sink Archie. He gets Veronica to watch and gets the coach to pair Archie with Chuck who is in the next weight class. But Archie comes out as the victor, Hiram reluctantly claps. He then claims that he wants to mould Archie into a proper business man and takes Archie on as an intern. This won’t end well.
At the end of the episode, the Serpents come together to protest Pickens Day, but Hiram puts a swift end to it. He gives a speech about how the protest is just more proof of what a great place Riverdale is (what?). The episode ends with someone decapitating the statue in Pickens Park and Hiram says he wants whoever did it punished.
This episode wasn’t the greatest and it really would have benefited from more Serpent time instead of them riding the backseat like they always are. I personally didn’t like the Hiram and Archie thing, which was a little creepy for my taste and there’s seriously something messed up with Hiram.