recap

Are You Afraid of the Dark? S1E10 “The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun”

This week marked the 25th anniversary of the premier of Are You Afraid of the Dark? on Nickelodeon. So happy American birthday, AYAOTD! And really, what better way to celebrate than by watching a classic episode, which is actually one of the more unusual tales.

Disclaimer: I hate leprechauns. So I was really dreading watching this episode.

When your parents are too lazy to turn off the television when Leprechaun 3 is on and you’re four-years-old, you’ll probably get a bit scarred. I still can’t sleep on my back properly after watching a Leprechaun saw a man in half alive.

But thankfully, “The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun” doesn’t include terrifying leprechauns with bad skin. This tale is a rather sweet one and the first thus far to bring me to tears (though it certainly won’t be the last).

Unlike most episodes which use the Midnight Society to simply bookmark the ends of the episode, their scenes are actually important to the tale. It’s Eric’s first time to tell a tale, and it’s a personal one.

He begins by telling the Midnight Society that his grandfather had passed the week before. His grandfather was Irish, and a great teller of traditional stories. Eric pulls out a tricorne hat he says belonged to his grandfather. And to honor him, Eric dons the hat and says he will share his grandfather’s favourite tale: “The Tale of Jake and the Leprechan.”

Jake is a young boy who dreams of being an actor. His first ever role is in a play called The Will o’ the Wisp. Though he’s not particularly great, he admires his co-star – Erin. After he takes a tumble during a scene, Jake tells the director Lucy that he wishes to be as good as Seamus.

She tells him that Seamus drinks a special tea that gives him his inspiration. Jake thinks the tea would also help him, so Lucy gives him a list of the ingredients in the tea, though they are unusual ones that Erin uses from his own stash.

Undeterred, Jake goes to a local greenhouse for help. There he meets the Irishman Sean O’Shaney, who is the gardener at the greenhouse. While friendly at first, Sean becomes angry when he sees the list of ingredients that Jake hands him. Sean tells Jake to leave, and the boy leaves without his tea.

At the following rehearsal, strange things begin to happen to Jake. During his scene with Erin, his voice begins to change after he takes a sip from a pouch thrown to him by Eric. Apparently no one gives shit that Jake has suddenly hit puberty and speaks like a 40-year-old man, but it certainly shakes Jake.

He returns to Sean in hopes of getting help. Reluctantly, Sean agrees after Jake explains the strange things happening to him the more he rehearses the play. Sea actually becomes eager to help once Jake explains the premise of the play and recites some of the lines from his scene with Erin:

“Yours be mine and mine be yours.”

The next day, Sean attends one of the rehearsals for Will o’ the Wisp. Sean becomes shocked when he sees Erin on stage with Jake. Obviously recognising the man, Sean insides the ropes for the set, and it falls – stopping Erin in the middle of his lines. But for Jake it’s too late. As he runs off stage he sees that his ears have become permanently pointy and elf-like.

Sean tells Jake that he’s been drinking a glamour during his scenes with Erin. The glamour is what is causing Jake to turn into a changeling. And according to Sean, the change will be permanent the next time Jake takes the glamour.

To convince his friend, Sean takes Jake into the basement rooms of the theatre where Erin lives. They set off an alarm to distract Erin and begin searching the rooms.

They discover a shrine of sorts with Jake’s photo. They also see a frog, that Sean later explains was once a human. But before they can get any further, Erin returns and the two friends hide under the bed. Erin begins to make himself comfortable and it’s revealed that his has horrible skin, pointy ears and a disgustingly hairy back.

When they finally escape Erin’s room, Sean tells Jake that Erin is a Banshee. Erin is nothing like an actual Banshee from Irish lore, but we’ll go with it anyway. Erin needs a human soul every seven years to turn into a changeling. Jake thinks he can backout easily, but Sean tells him he can’t survive as half of a changeling. But thankfully Sean has a trick up his sleeve.

On the opening night of the play, Sean takes Jake aside and tells him the steps to beat Eric. First, he has to be brave so Sean gives Jake some rather disgustingly big spiders to eat. Then he says Erin needs a taste of his own medicine (the glamour, but with Sean’s added magic). And finally, Jake must spellbind Erin by not losing eye contact with him.

During their scene together, things seem to work out for Jake until he loses his eye contact with Erin. The banshee turns Jake into a toad, seemingly ending the story. But Sean appears in Leprechaun kit and battles it out with Erin. The crowd enjoy the show, believing it to be a bunch of good tricks.

Sean pulls a rat-like tail from his bag that stuns Erin. Sean offers a trade, and throws the tail at Erin, which turns him into a pail of black grime leaving only a toad behind. Sean uses his magic to return his friend to human form. And as a final treat, gives Jake his tricorne hat.

So was Eric’s grandfather really Jake? Maybe.

The episode wraps up when each member of the Midnight Society give Eric a comforting hug. This is, unfortunately, the first of only two tales that Eric shares. The last will be next week’s episode. And incidentally, the real reason I still run up the basement stairs as a full-grown adult.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? S1E8 “The Tale of the Nightly Neighbors”

It’s The ‘Burbs episode!

Okay, well, this episode is also part Fright Night but since I watched The ‘Burbs with my husband this past weekend – this is The ‘Burbs episode.

Either way – it’s Betty Ann’s turn to tell a tale. The group are having a discussion about why things are scarier at night. And for Betty Ann, true terror always begins at nighttime.

“The Tale of the Nightly Neighbors” follows siblings Emma and Dayday (who to blame for this one? Canada? The 90s?) as new neighbours move in across the street. They’re a nosy pair that prefer to watch the new family through their curtains and blinds.

The new family are instantly weird. They wear all black. They’re moving in at nighttime. Even worse – they find out that the family are (gasp!) from the Ukraine. Which, of course, could mean spies fleeing after the fall of the Soviet Union.

They go to meet their neighbours one day when they bump into a man delivering two large crates. He tells them that the family name is Braun and that the crates he’s moving each contain a large refrigerator. And the family don’t answer the door, despite the fact that their car is sitting in the garage.

Emma begins suspects that something a bit more sinister than Soviet spies is going on.  Later, the pair talk to their mailman, who says he’s feeling under the weather. He tells them that he has met the Brauns, and has felt ill ever since that night. They notice that their mailman has a bandage on his neck. Emma also notices that the Brauns are only out at night. The son, Lex, only asks to play after the sun has set.

When she terrifying nightmare, Emma finally connects the dots and believes that the Braun family are vampires. After she wakes, Emma goes to tell Dayday about her theory. She tells him that she suspects that the crates didn’t actually contain fridges, but coffins. Considering the part of the world they come from – near Transylvania – it is entirely plausible that their new neighbours are blood-sucking fiends.

That night, Emma tells Dayday that she’s going to break into the Brauns’ home. She reminds him that because they are vampires, they can’t go into their house unless they are invited in. She leaves Dayday in charge. But as soon as she slips away, the Brauns arrive, asking if they can come in. Despite the fact that Dayday slams the door in their face, his mother opens it again and invites in their new neighbours.

While in the basement, Emma discovers that there is actually a large chest freezer in the basement. The girl admits she feels silly, but notices that the fridge is locked. The quickly picks the lock, but before she can open it, Dayday scares her with his arrival into the basement. He warns her that the Brauns are on their way home, but before they leave she looks in the fridge and discovers that it is filled with units of blood.

The following day, Emma pulls Dayday into another silly plan. She gives him stakes to drive through the hearts of the Brauns and gives him a cross to wear around his neck. She tells him that they are going back to the basement during the day to look for the coffins, as she thinks she knows where they are being hidden.

The two slip back into the basement through the window, but before Emma can open the door behind yet another combination lock, someone enters and the kids chicken out.

As they leave the basement, they are caught by Mr and Mrs Braun – who are out in broad daylight. Something vampires aren’t supposed to be able to do. They tell the children that their shifts at the hospital have changed and that they have been holding surplus units of blood for the hospital at their house.

Dayday, being an idiot, forgot to mention to his sister that the Brauns had told him and his mom that they were studying the emergency health services in the country to help improve their in the Ukraine. Feeling foolish, Emma agrees when the Brauns ask if their son Lex can visit the children that night.

After the kids leave, Mr and Mrs Braun go into the basement and unlock the second lock that Emma had picked. But behind the door is a coffin, indeed containing a vampire. Not Mr or Mrs Braun, but Lex – their master. They tell Lex that he has been invited over to Emma and Dayday’s house, and then they all laugh manically because that’s what bad vampires do.

Betty Ann’s story unsettles the Midnight Society, proving her point that the dark is always scarier. And though it’s a pretty derivative tale, this is one of the more fun episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? It’s a throwback to golden moments in horror, and I love it. Plus tales of paranoid suburbia are always great for entertaining tales.

Highlight quotes of the episode:

“They’re vampires alright, and you invited them in.” – Emma
“No I didn’t! Mom did!” – Dayday, who will probably die first

“I’m scared Em’.” – Dayday
“Me too, but get a grip.” – Emma, who is all of us

Are You Afraid of the Dark? S1E6 “The Tale of the Super Specs”

This has to be one of the most 90’s things I’ve ever watched. For one: joke shops are a legit thing. And two: there are kids just doing some insane shit in the background – backflips, pliés on the school steps, horrendous matching floral shirts.

And, well, this episode has to be one of the most zany, and enjoyable episodes yet.

Gary of the Midnight Society is hanging out with Kristen (despite the fact I didn’t think they were supposed to be friends out side of their stories) at his family’s joke shop. She tells him that no one thinks his stories are scary anymore. The following meeting, he overhears everyone saying the same thing, so he presents to them “The Tale of the Super Specs.”

Weeds and Marybeth are a young couple. They’ve been dating for ages, apparently. Two whole weeks! Weeds is a practical joker who loves to mess with his friends, including his girlfriend. But Marybeth finds that aspect of his personality a bit irritating.

The two are at Sardo’s magic/joke shop so Weeds can stock up on his jokes for April Fools. While there, Weeds grabs a bag of magic dust and chants “some voodoo” spell. As he throws the dust, it lands on some wacky-looking glasses. Weeds eventually agrees to buy a pair from Sardo, but when Marybeth puts them on, she sees a figure dressed all in black.

And when the glasses are off, she sees nothing. But Weeds nor Sardo can see what Marybeth sees.

The following day, April Fools’ Day, Weeds gets to work on his practical jokes. He uses the dust, and each time he misses seeing that the magic works. He makes a girl’s voice like a chipmunk after putting the dust in her yogurt. He also makes a basketball shot when his back is turned.

But Marybeth is dealing with the brunt of the magic. Each time she looks through the glasses, she sees more images that disturb her. A woman in a black veil appears to her next and points at Marybeth.

The girl tries throwing the glasses away, but discovers them again later inside her school bag. She puts them through the mail slot at Sardo’s store, but the super specs keep reappearing.

Marybeth finally wears the glasses for a while. She sees a kettle on the hob that isn’t there when she moves her hand through it. There’s a fire in the fireplace that isn’t lit. Then she sees three of the black-clothed figures inside her house and decides to go to her boyfriend for help.

Though Weeds is convinced that his girlfriend is only playing an April Fools’ joke on him. When he doesn’t help her, Marybeth goes to Sardo’s one last time. He agrees to help her when she tells him about the spell that Weeds had performed the previous day.

Sardo tells Marybeth that the spell cast was called the Second Sight. But instead of seeing ghosts, Marybeth is seeing a second dimension. It’s a parallel universe that has opened up inside of Marybeth’s house (some sort of metaphor about an open window”).

The bad news for Marybeth is that to reverse the spell, someone needs to perform the counterspell. And the only person around to do it is Sardo himself.  Oh and the people in the other dimension could take over theirs.

So on the scale: it’s pretty bad.

The two find Weeds and his magic dust and they try to stop the spell together. Sardo begins his work at Marybeth’s house. He’s clearly a kook and tries using a crystal ball with the spell. When Marybeth puts on the glasses, she sees that they’re surrounded by black-donned ones, only now both Weeds and Sardo can see them.

Then (excitingly) a pair of giant eyes appears to them, scolding them for tampering with the cosmic plane. She (the eyes) reverses their spell because both universes can’t exist at the same time.

Suddenly, everything looks normal in Marybeth’s house. Two children who look identical to Marybeth and Weeds walk out. They speak to the veiled lady who tell them that the ‘ghosts’ are gone. As Marybeth and Weeds were trying to get rid of the Other Dimension, the Other Dimension was trying to get rid of them.

And Marybeth, Sardo and Weeds scream from the crystal ball – trapped in the crystal ball, shouting for help.

After his story finished, Gary hands out some super specs to the Midnight Society. He tells them to all wait and put them on at the same time. When they do, they all spot a figure dressed in all black. They all, minus Kristen and Gary, scream and run. It is after only an April Fools’ joke Gary played on the kids with David in costume.

I loved this episode. It was the right blend of zany and delightfully spooky. There’s something satisfying about watching the kids lose. Does that make me a monster? Well. It’s very Twilight Zone like and that makes me appreciate it more.

Highlight quotes of the episode:

“That’s Sar-DOH! No Mister.  Accent on the do!” – Sardo, wasting everyone’s time

Are You Afraid of the Dark S1E4 “The Tale of the Twisted Claw”

My favourite episodes of AYAOTD tent to be the ones that are a bit more original that the ones that heavily rely on using old stories. This episode, the Midnight Society seem to lack any sort of imagination. No one can tell a full story until David says he wants to share “one he’s been working on”.

But David is lazy and I’m going to call this plagiarism (or something – it’s probably not). “The Tale of the Twisted Claw” is really just a retelling of The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacob’s, but since he’s like a 12-year-old kid, I’ll give him a break.

It’s the night before Halloween in David’s tale. That’s mischief night, and two friends, Kevin and Dougie, are up to no good. They get up to the usual little boy shenanigans, but decide to take it one step further when Kevin has the idea to go to “the witch’s house”.

The boys approach the house of the witch, actually known as Miss Clove, and knock on her door. When she answers, they spray her in the face with shaving foam. The elderly lady tumbles backwards and knocks over a large vase. As the vase shatters, the two boys run.

But on Halloween, the boys actually have the balls to go back to Miss Clove’s house during trick or treating. She kindly invites them in and tells them she has a special gift for them. While she goes to retrieve her things, the boys notice that the vase is still smashed on the ground. Which, to be fair, is kind of weird.

Miss Clove’s gift, though, is much weirder. She gives them the claw of a vulture, which is swears is made from wood. She tells them that the claw will grant each of them three wishes. Not very convinced, nor not really wanting to hurt the lady’s feelings, the boys take the claw and get on their way.

While leaving the house, Kevin wishes to be home and lose his stupid trick or treating. Though his wish is accidental, the claw moves in Dougie’s hand. He drops the claw and tells Kevin that the wish will work. On their way home, the two boys are then chased by a group of ‘bad kids’ on bikes.

The next day, Kevin makes his second stupid wish when he says that he wants to beat their fellow classmate Bostick in the 600 metre race. Kevin does win the race, but only have Bostick trips over a massive dog and break his leg. But for some reason, Dougie is the only one who seems to have noticed the animal.

Then that night, Kevin goes over to Dougie’s house while Dougie’s parents are out for dinner. Dougie tells Kevin about Bostick’s broken leg, and begins to feel upset and guilty.

His friend’s conscience gets on his nerves and Kevin grabs the claw saying that he wished that Dougie would lose his folks. When the wish is made, the phone begins to ring. Dougie answers and the police on the other line tell him that his parents had been in a bad car accident. Before he can hear their actual status, he hangs up.

Panicked, Dougie wishes that his grandpa was back. Problem is, as Kevin points out, Dougie’s grandpa is dead. The boys rush to the window and see a car approaching – Dougie’s grandpa’s car. The two boys scuffle over the claw then the doorbell rings.

Quickly, Dougie apologises for what he did to Miss Clove and wishes that anything that happened because of the claw had happened. When the noise at the door continues, Dougie gets up to face his grandfather. But at the other side of the door are his parents, safe and sound but without house keys.

Then everything seems to be sorted. But the boys answer the door one more time and find the broken vase repaired on the doorstep with a note that reads “Tick or treat.”

This episode is the classic be careful what you wish for tale. It’s incredibly overdone, but AYFOTD does manage to make the best of it. Though the Midnight Society act like the story is a fucking revelation. But major points for the super gross set. It’s strangely mesmerising. Like Argento if he decided floral 90’s would be his thing.

Are You Afraid of the Dark S1E3 “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost”

Early Are You Afraid of the Dark? episodes went hard on the ghost storylines. Like “The Tale of the Phantom Cab,” this episode has more of an urban legend feel.

This is also yet another episode with a cranky/bitchy ginger. So there’s also that.

The tale of the week is from David, who seems semi-inspired by the bickering going on within the Midnight Society. His tale, “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost,” is mostly unremarkable other than a stellar performance from one of the best 90’s ginger villains ever: BETH.

Over summer vacation, Amanda is visiting her aunt while her parents are away. She’s supposed to be hanging out with her cousin Beth, but finds that Beth is super territorial and rude. And she HATES having her toy animal collection moved (and we’re supposed to believe that she’s a ‘cool girl’).

The house next door has been for sale for ages. Aunt Dottie, who is the real estate agent for the house, says that no one ever bothers to look at the house. According to Beth, the house is haunted. And if Amanda wants to hang with Beth and her friends, Amanda has to follow Beth’s stupid rules and do an initiation – spending the night in the house next door.

The next day, Amanda bumps into Nanny, Amanda’s nanny who I think is actually called Nanny (apt). Nanny drops her locket, and as Amanda hands it back to Nanny, she notices a picture of a little girl inside. They both overhear that Aunt Dottie wants to get rid of Nanny because, like Beth, she thinks Nanny no longer serves purpose at the house.

Before Amanda goes into the house for her ‘initiation,’ Beth tells her the story of the house. A little girl who couldn’t speak was sent to her grandmother’s house when her mother got word that the girl’s father was ill. But the little girl never made it to her grandmother’s house. On her way, the girl was bullied by a group of children, who chased her back to the house.

The little girl ran into her room and was locked it. She couldn’t escape and eventually starved to death, as no one knew that she was there.

With that in mind, Amanda heads into the house alone. But she isn’t there for long when strange things begin to happen. She sees “HELP ME” written backwards on the wall. When she turns to look in the mirrored door, she sees the writing reflected to read properly. Then she sees the ghost.

A little girl appears and reaches her hand out to Amanda. Scared, Amanda runs from the house.

The next day, both Amanda and Beth are in trouble. Amanda snitches and is forced to clean up the writing in the bedroom. Beth has to join as it was her idea.

But when the girls get to the room, it’s covered in messages pleading for help, a lot more than the one that Amanda saw the night before. The door closes behind them and Beth is lured towards the image she sees in the mirrored door: it’s covered in dolls and toy animals that rivals even her own.

Before Amanda can stop her, Beth reaches into the door and becomes stuck in the mirror, and out comes the ghostly girl. Amanda begins to cry and plea for help herself, but then realises that the little girl is harmless. She hands Amanda a locket, which is the other half to Nanny’s necklace.

Amanda soon realises that the girl is Nanny’s daughter. She rushes to get Nanny, and stops her before the woman can leave in a cab with her things. She begs Nanny to go with her to the house, and while Nanny say she refuses, she eventually joins when Amanda shows her the locket.

Nanny and Amanda arrive in the room and Nanny becomes overwhelmed at the sight of her little girl. The two embrace, and Nanny agrees to go into the mirrored world with her little girl.

Beth doesn’t realise that she’s been freed, and continues to scream for help. By then her friends have arrived, and they (with Amanda) have a good laugh at Beth’s expense.

Because if there’s one thing that beats bullying: it’s making the bully feel like crap.

The ending to David’s story falls a bit flat. For one: did Nanny just agree to live in a mirror for the rest of her life? I mean, I know she’s “old” but surely living your existence out in a mirror with your dead daughter is just a bit demonic? Also, I don’t think giving Beth a taste of her own medicine and ganging up on her is a great moral lesson.

But maybe that’s just me.

There’s also a subplot where David gives Kristen a birthday present. After the Midnight Society meeting is adjourned or whatever, Kristen opens the present and sees that it’s a locket, like the one in the story. Which is…sweet? I have a feeling David is going to grow up believing there’s such thing as a “friend zone.”

Highlight quotes of the episode:

“How does one prove they are not a ‘zeeb’?” – Amanda the zeeb

“I think she must’ve been driven insane by the ghost. Which reminds me, there’s a pool party over at Sally’s on Saturday. I suppose you wanna come?” – Beth the bitch

Riverdale Ep. 11 recap “Chapter Eleven: To Riverdale and Back Again”

I find it pretty difficult to figure any of these kids out in Riverdale. I mean, I think they’re supposed to be likable. This might even be the writers trying to make the kids “complex” but basically they’re all a bunch of jerks who are all self-obsessed.

But then again, I suppose that what teenagers actually are.

“Chapter Twelve” revolves around homecoming, so you know things are going to go terribly wrong. Old Riverdale graduates return to town to help celebrate. And one of the returned in Archie’s mom, Mary. While she’s not in Riverdale to stick around forever, she is there to try and convince Archie to join her in Chicago.

And to be honest, if Chicago is looking like the safer option in comparison to Chicago, things must really be getting bad. But she agrees to stick around long enough to go to the homecoming and watch Archie perform.

Archie approaches Veronica at school to talk about their night together (in which they slept in separate beds, but it’s still cute). V blows Archiekins off when he suggests they become something more. She’s not even interested in being a part of his performance at homecoming.

Veronica has bigger fish to fry. Her father is likely to be released from prison after she and her mom testified for his character. But Veronica is still convinced that he might have something to do with Jason’s murder. Namely that Jughead’s dad, FP, was involved.

Alice Cooper asks her daughter and Veronica for help looking into FP.  Betty is insistent that she doesn’t want to help. Jughead had already told her that he didn’t think his father was involved, and she was choosing to believe him. But Veronica isn’t as convinced. She thinks because FP and her father worked together to close the drive-in, it isn’t too out of the question to ask for a hitjob.

So secretly, Veronica agrees to look into FP for Alice. She approaches Archie and asks for his help. She’ll sing a duet with him for the homecoming dance if he agrees to search FP’s trailer with him. The stupid boy agrees to betray his friend under the guise of “looking out for Jughead”.

But Jughead is planning on moving back in with FP, who appears to have changed his ways. When Jughead visits his dad’s trailer, it’s clean and even repainted. His dad compliments him on his manuscript about Jason, even asking questions (namely “who do you think did it?”). But his dad mostly encourages Jughead to give up on Jason and move on to a new story.

Jughead and FP are invited to the Cooper’s house for dinner before the dance. It, shockingly, goes horrible. It was set up by Alice as a both a distraction (so A and V can get in that trailer) and a means to question FP about the drive-in. But Betty has her own vengeful secret up her sleeve: inviting her dad around.

FP takes the opportunity to talk about his, Alice’s and Hal’s homecoming in which Betty’s parents argued about something rather serious. But Alice puts a stop to it before it can get worse. The kids head off to the dance, leaving their parents to take care of themselves.

Meanwhile, Archie and Veronica are in FP’s trailer and come up empty-handed. This is actually upsetting to Veronica. But Archie reminds her that their friend’s dad not being a killer is actually a good thing. And convinced with another kiss from her ginger friend, the two go off to the dance together.

Despite agreeing not to tell Betty and Jughead about searching the trailer, Betty quickly pieces the puzzle together when she sees them talking to her mom. She goes to confront them, but they slip away to preform their cover of “Kids in America.”

Unbeknownst to any of them (I think), the police arrive at FP’s house with a search warrant. And despite Archie and Veronica not finding anything, the sheriff discovers a revolver in a lock box.

At the dance, Betty is told about Archie and Veronica’s search party. She’s incredibly angry with them, but loses out just as badly when Jughead learns about what they did. He’s not totally convinced that she had nothing to do with it.

And things become even worse when the four are told that FP has been arrested in connection to Jason’s death. Jughead is totally broken, thinking that his dad was changed.

But the thing is, he probably has. When Betty goes to look for Jughead at Pop’s, she instead finds Veronica and Archie. They tell her that they believe FP has been set up. The gun that was found wasn’t there when they were – it was planted.

There is a small subplot in this week’s episode about Polly. She discovers a room full of red wigs that are worn by Cliff Blossom (super weird). She’s then banned from the east wing where Cliff and Rose have their rooms.

But Polly is determined to snoop anyway and gets Cheryl to go into her mother’s room where they find the engagement ring that Jason gave Polly. This to Polly screams that the Blossoms are guilty of Jason’s murder. But Rose explains that they took the ring after Jason disowned the family.

Cheryl claims to have got rid of the ring, but has actually held onto it. For sentimental reason? As evidence? She’s a girl with plenty of tricks up her fabulous sleeves.

Oh and Rose Blossom gave Polly a drugged milkshake. That happened.

Episode eleven is the first episode to be written by Archie Comics chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa since episode 2. But I didn’t feel as much of his signature on this episode as I could hear in the first couple. But the music was fun (lots of 80’s music and covers), and the episode looked really great.

“To Riverdale and Back Again” was plenty dramatic, if a bit predictable. But it did raise plenty of new questions. For one: that gun. It has crossed my mind that it is similar to the one that Betty and Veronica found in “Ms Gundy’s” car. Mostly I’m being hopeful because I still don’t fully understand the reason for that storyline earlier in the season.

But I also think Joaquin is very suspicious. His leader is FP, but maybe the other Serpents aren’t too happy with him cleaning up his act.

Either way, kids. Two episodes to go and I’m getting a little impatient. I’m ready for some big, dramatic reveals. And I hope to God that at least some of these questions are answered.

Riverdale Ep. 10 recap “Chapter Ten: The Lost Weekend”

I think I’m supposed to care about what happened in this episode but the ending of “The Lost Weekend” has got me so excited and giddy I think I’ve forgotten everything else that happened the 40 minutes before.

Cause, guys, SHE’S HERE!

Can I get a fuck yeah for Molly Ringwald FINALLY rocking up in Riverdale? Since I saw the casting announcement months ago, I have been awaiting the Queen’s arrival. And she’s here! (Looking super fab, by the way).

As I said last week, I think I’m more invested in the lives of the adults at this point (the majority of the main parent cast includes so many of my favourite actors), but this week is was mostly about the kids. Namely Jughead.

Archie reveals to Betty that it’s her boyfriend’s birthday coming up. Jughead is one of those people who hates having his birthday celebrated and tries to keep it a secret. Every year he goes to the double feature at the cinema with Archie. But this year, plans change when Juggie goes with Betty to see the John Landis films (American Werewolf in London to represent the Jughead The Hunger one-shot and Animal House to represent what happens later in the show).

Betty, sweet Betty, has different plans in mind for Jughead. She and the gang decide to throw him a surprise party. Initially Archie thinks it’s a bad idea, but when he spots his now ex-girlfriend Valerie across the cafeteria, he agrees.

Archie is dealing with a lot more than a broken heart. Fred is gone for the weekend to finalise the divorce with his wife. Archie is understandably upset, despite the fact that his mom has been gone already for over two years.

Betty and Archie finally tell Veronica what Archie learned at the Blossoms’ house. They tell her that it was Clifford Blossom who was responsible for Hiram Lodge being arrested and jailed. Veronica tells her mom this information after she discovers that the Blossoms paid a large payment to Lodge Industries and had for nearly 75 years, but Hermione tells her daughter to keep the information quiet.

Obviously Veronica doesn’t listen because Veronica does what she wants. First, she takes down Cheryl Blossom in a dance off to be the lead dancer for the Vixens’ homecoming routine. Neither girl is very good, but Veronica is a clear winner (and a favourite with her teammates). After, Veronica goes to her father’s lawyers. Her lawyer gives her a letter from her father that essentially threatens Veronica into testifying to her father’s character or he’ll implement Hermione.

So V did a great job at putting all the targets on her back. After being dethroned on the Vixens, Cheryl teams up with the odious Chuck, who is now back at school after his long suspension. He is hellbent on destroying Betty after he was humiliated and essentially destroyed by her hands.

On the day of Jughead’s birthday, everything begins as he expects. At the movies, he asks Betty what happened with Chuck but she successfully evades answering him. When the couple arrives at the Andrews’ house, he’s given his not-so-great surprise. Archie is already drunk and the rest of the crew he still doesn’t consider his friends.

While Betty and Jughead argue about her present for him, Cheryl arrives with two kegs and what looks like half of the high school student body. Drunk, eager Archie immediately lets the crowd in. But the party, shockingly, goes horribly wrong.

Archie gets a drink in his face when he tries to talk to Valerie. Jughead hurts Betty by telling her he doesn’t want to be one of her “projects”. Cheryl horrifies everyone by making them play “Secrets and Sins”. It goes just about as excruciating as you (and Kevin) would hope. Veronica incredibly accuses Cheryl of twincest (it’s as brilliant as it sounds). Chuck tells everyone about Betty’s dark side. And finally everyone learns about Archie and Ms Grundy.

But when Chuck begins to tell everyone about Betty, Jughead punches him and a fight breaks out. It’s stopped by FP, who was there on the insistence of Betty. He throws all the kids out. When he sees Jughead heading away as well, he stops his son and tells him not to make a mistake with Betty. And the boy takes his dad’s advice, and the couple reconcile.

Oh and Veronica and Archie FINALLY get together. But that’s probably not-so-great for Veronica and Betty’s friendship. Especially when V decides to keep things a secret from her friend. She goes to Betty the next day and asks to help their team investigate Jason’s death. She thinks her father could actually be involved. Mostly like to do with FP and their constant shady business together.

And what crazy sort of stuff was Alice Cooper up to this episode? I feel like even if she’s not essential to the plotline, we need to talk about her. She’s now the adviser to the Blue & Gold Riverdale High newspaper. Oh and apparently she was from the Southside! She and FP obviously have some sort of history. When they bump into each other while the kids leave the party, FP remarks that she can move to wherever she wants, but she’ll always be a snake.

Then Queen Ringwald arrives back in Riverdale with Fred. What does that mean for Archie and his dad? Judging by the preview for next week’s trailer, it doesn’t look like she’s there to stay. But for our sakes, I hope she’s around plenty.

We’re nearly the end of the mystery here. Three more episodes! Was Chuck’s return the bad news that Jughead was foreshadowing all those weeks ago? It doesn’t feel nearly as bad as I wanted it to be. But this was another great and juicy episode for Riverdale.