“Chapter Eight: The Outsiders” is very evenly divided between the boys and the girls. The boys stow away in their filthy bedroom that most certainly smells like sticky Kleenex and day-old General Tso’s chicken containers; the girls keep a stowaway in their perfectly manicured apartment. The boys get the crap beat out of them on a construction site; the girls beat the hell out of each other at a party. The boys have a weird fight that no one quite understands and they make up at the end because they are boys and they don’t care; the girls seethe in their long-held grudges, never really forgive each other, and break each other’s hearts, leaving behind a trail of crushed dreams and spurned men, then close the gates to their Victorian manors.
Let’s start with the boys, shall we? It’s the start of Fred’s big job at SoDale, which is like the hip nickname they’re trying to make happen for South Riverdale or some such. The problem is he can’t get a crew because Cliff Blossom hired all of the construction workers in the whole town. He thinks the mystery investor — who is really Veronica’s mom, Hermione Lodge — doesn’t have much money. He’s trying to bankrupt this “mystery” person so he can buy the former drive-in land at a cheap price.
Archie is upset about this, so you know exactly what he’s going to do: It’s time to show up with four of his really buff friends like they’re One Direction arriving at a blue-collar-themed music-video shoot, or the Village People except they’re all the construction worker. After a day of hard work, sweating, and everyone being surprised at just how toned Jughead’s arms are in that tank top, Moose gets beat up by some thugs. They tell him to tell Fred to quit the job or they’ll keep showing up.
Our red-headed hero is convinced that the Southside Serpents did this, so he gets Kevin Keller to have his new boyfriend take them to a bar where all of the Serpents hang out so Moose can identify the guys who beat the antlers off him. Jughead doesn’t want to help, which sparks a fight between him and Archie.
Jughead is right, because there are like 19 million things wrong with this plan. First of all, no biker bar is that full in the middle of the afternoon when all of the guys show up. Also, if they’re trying to blend in, maybe they should have borrowed some of Kevin Keller’s leather jackets he’s worn to the Black Party instead of showing up in a neon-blue varsity jacket. Did any of them realize that a bar full of gang members would have no problem at all beating the snot out of the All-Construction-Worker Village People?
I’m not even getting started about the bad form of having Kevin and his new boyfriend, Joaquin, escort Moose to this bar in the first place. Weren’t Moose and Kevin hooking up a few weeks ago? Now they’re going to have this very tortured gay throuple go into a straight bar and play pool together and pretend like nothing happened? In my mind, there is a whole messy story going on with these three that Riverdale hasn’t bothered to write yet.
Anyway, right before a fight breaks out, Jughead’s dad, F.P., calls Fred to come pick up his son. Archie runs off and ruins a baby shower for no good reason and then he has some very serious talks in dimly lit rooms before he and Jughead finally decide that they’re just like brothers and everything is all good, even if Jughead failed to mention the fact that his father was a Serpent. Or is that Jughead’s fight with Betty? Oh, whatever.
What really matters is that F.P. shows up with the other Serpents to serve as Fred’s workers and everyone is happy at the end of the episode. Yeah, nothing possibly could go wrong with this plan, could it? No, certainly not. Especially since F.P. pulls Hermione Lodge aside and says that her husband found out she was cheating with Fred and he is the one who sent the thugs to ruin his business. Ruh-roh, Shaggy!
As for the girls’ story line, it surrounds Veronica’s brilliant idea to throw a baby shower for Polly Cooper, a.k.a. Betty’s sister who is hiding out in the Lodge’s pre-War apartment on the Upper East Side because The CW still has the set from Blair Waldorf’s house left over from Gossip Girl. Once again, this is a very awful plan. First of all, no one is supposed to know that Polly is staying there, so inviting the whole town isn’t such a great idea. Also, Betty’s mother, Alice Cooper (no one makes enough jokes that Betty’s mother is named Alice Cooper), and Jason’s mother, Penelope Blossom, hate each other. Oh, and Polly doesn’t have any friends.
This is a serious question: Why does everyone on this show treat Polly Cooper like she is a simpleton? They are always explaining things to her, pointing out very obvious things to her, and telling her to do the most simple and obvious tasks. “Look, Polly. Mom’s here.” Yeah, she recognizes her mother and has eyes. Give her a break. Everyone treats Polly like she’s a stroke victim or a time traveler from the distant past where they don’t have electricity, cell phones, or, you know, actual human brain cells.
At the shower, Polly is wearing one of Blair Waldorf’s diamond headbands she found in a drawer in the leftover Gossip Girl set. In less exciting news, the predictable fight quickly breaks out. Alice Cooper wants Polly to return home and Penelope wants her to come live at the surely haunted Thornhill. Grandma Blossom doesn’t care about any of this. She is both senile and a gypsy and she just wants to rub quartz crystals on Polly’s belly and determine the sex of her baby (or babies). If Grandma Blossom is not your favorite character on this whole show, then you are dead to me forever or until Kevin Keller finally takes his shirt off.
Polly is still mad at Alice Cooper for sending her away to a nunnery. She tells us that her father made an appointment for her to get an abortion even though no one would actually say the word abortion, like it would get Riverdale banned forever. This is a fantastic scene and it is great to see Alice Cooper’s mask finally crack. The raving lunatic we all knew was hiding underneath finally comes out to play for a bit.
Because she is a big fan of Crimson Peak, Polly decides to move into Thornhill. Back at home, Alice Cooper totally loses it and freaks out on her husband. It turns out that he made her get an A-word (that word is abortion) back in the day even though she didn’t want to. She finally throws him out of the house, which is probably best for everyone. “By now you know what I’m capable of,” she tells him. Does that mean Alice Cooper murdered Jason Blossom?
Or was it F.P. and the Serpents? During this crazy baby-shower drama, Betty gets mad at Jughead because he didn’t tell her that his father is a Serpent, even after they found out that Jason was running drugs for the gang. He apologizes and they talk to F.P., who confirms that he was selling drugs, but says he had nothing to do with Jason’s death. However, he does have Jason’s varsity jacket on him, and we see him giving Joaquin a big bag of something mysterious. He also tells Joaquin to keep seeing Kevin Keller so they can get close to his father, the sheriff. Ooh, snap. Joaquin isn’t even really that into our little Kevy! Maybe there is some hope for him and Moose after all.