Can't have some show about small-town sensibilities without having one of those National Founder's Days episodes, right? Only these quaint and good-old American towns actually know who discovered and built them all those many years ago. But it's always a good way to throw a big celebration with live music, games, and food to properly clog your arteries. Riverdale would turn out to be no different in The Wrestler, as Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) would give us the lowdown on how their version named Pickens Day, named after a General Pickens. But according to Cheryl and her apparent extensive research, her ancestor Colonel Barnabas B. Blossom paid Pickens to settle the land and therefore the holiday should be named after him. Cheryl vying for more attention and recognition-I'm shocked.
At the Andrews household, a meeting between the Lodges, Fred (Luke Perry), and Mayor McCoy (Robin Givens) is happening because the mayor is getting a lot of pressure from the parents of ousted students of Southside High. So in an effort to try and keep the town that they're manipulating happy, the Lodges offer to sponsor the festivities for Pickens Day and offer to invite the citizens of both the North and South sides of Riverdale. While the mayor sees through their attempt to distract those that they are pushing out, she still goes along with it. So just like with the closing of the high school, the mayor is the Lodges puppet again. When Archie (KJ Apa) comes home, the Lodges use that as their signal that it's time to wrap things up and go home. Once again Archie feels like Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) can't wait to get away from him.
When Archie would meet up with his new best friend Special Agent Adams (John Behlmann) later on he would get the documents he requested that claim to give his dad immunity from the criminal activities of Hiram Lodge. I feel bad for Archie because it's not like he can go to some lawyer and go over the paperwork with him to prove it's legit. He tells Agent Adams about the meeting with the Lodges at his home and he realizes how much he's on the outside of whatever they are planning. Adams tells him that he needs to find a way to gain Hiram's trust and "get access to his inner circle." In this case, asking the man out for a fishing trip is probably out of the question.
At school the next day, Archie expresses his problem to Veronica (Camila Mendes) that he knows her dad doesn't like him. When he asks for her help in finding a way to build a bridge between the two of them she tells him how much her dad is a big fan of wrestling (not WWE) and shows him the picture of her dad in the trophy case of the school. This is only funny because Archie says he had no idea but hasn't he probably walked past that trophy case a hundred times by this point? Anyway, he tells Veronica that he was thinking of trying out for wrestling this year and she tells him it would "absolutely score you some points with my dad." Looks like it's time to put those abs to work, Archie.
The next day at tryouts Hiram approaches Archie and questions him on why he's there mentioning how he thought basketball was his thing. Archie stands tall and tells him he's "branching out." Not to add any pressure but when the coach comes out he mentions how Hiram's nickname in college was "The Ram" so it definitely shows that he was a great athlete. While Kevin (Casey Cott) tries to warn Archie that wrestling isn't the same as his other sports, he seems to think that he can hold his own. Well, when the tryouts begin he would be wrong because Kevin takes him down with ease-several times. Thankfully for Archie, Kevin agrees to work with him and try to help him out.
Jughead (Cole Sprouse) has an oral report for history so he decides to interview Toni's (Vanessa Morgan) grandfather Thomas (Graham Greene) about being the very first Serpent. But the interview turned out to be more of an awakening then maybe Jughead was ready for. Turns out that Thomas' ancestors were part of the Uktena tribe that were slaughtered by General Pickens people all those years ago. So the only reason the Serpents were born was out of genocide and to keep the few Uktena together. Jughead is understandably upset that the town's founder that is held in such a high regard is actually guilty of mass murder. The truth has been kept secret all these years to hide the real story no one wants to tell.
So what Jughead decides to do next comes of no surprise as he writes a big expose to be put in the school paper. He does even more research and discovers that Cheryl's ancestor that she is so proud of, Colonel Blossom hired Pickens to remove the Uktena by force which resulted in the massive killing of 400 of its people. But the good deed that he THINKS he is doing does not go as planned. When Toni reads the story in the paper (does the school just let the students have free will?) she is outraged that Jughead painted a picture of her grandfather being some helpless old man. "This wasn't your story to tell," she says. Realizing his mistake, Jughead would go back to her grandfather and apologize. "You opened an old wound, now something has to be done to heal it," Thomas would tell him. Sounds like some radical plan of action is about to happen.
At the Cooper Manor, our new dysfunctional family is having their first breakfast and it doesn't take long for it to get uncomfortable. Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro) decides to start interrogating Chic (Hart Denton) as to how long he's planning on staying around. When Alice (Madchen Amick) interrupts and says "As long as he wants," Hal would then shift it to why he got attacked at the hostel. Chic would explain that it was because the man who ran the place, Marcel, wanted him to work and that day he wasn't feeling like it. When Hal tried to ask what kind of clients, Alice would step in again. When Chic would try to antagonize Hal by offering to show his scars too, this would intrigue Betty (Lili Reinhart) and they would both find out they have the same fingernail crescent moons on the inside of their palms.
Betty would show a picture of Chic to her buds at school and his face struck a chord with Kevin. Beside the fact that he thought the guy was hot, after some further cyber-snooping he would remember that Chic is "a webcam boy, a cybertrick." He would tell Betty and she wasn't sure what to do with this information. She didn't know how to approach her new found brother about his secret camming life. Later while she was at home, Chic would come bursting through the door all upset because Marcel threw all his belongings away. For some reason, he seems shocked by this, but if a guy is willing to cut you with a blade I fail to see how throwing your clothes on the front lawn is an extreme. Chic is very distraught because by losing his electronics how is he supposed to make a living on the male fantasy circuit? So Betty being the good new sister that she is, gives him an old laptop from the Riverdale Register paper. Chic would finally confront her and ask why she is doing so much to help him because no one is simply THIS nice. Betty would reveal that there is an inner darkness to her that she doesn't understand and it scares her. She senses it in him as well and maybe she can help her make sense of it. And at her most vulnerable point, Chic just says "I'll pass," and walks away. Thanks for the help, bro!
Over at Casa de Lodge, Veronica and Archie are working on a song for Pickens Festival when Hiram decides to pop in. He says he didn't know that Archie was in there but after seeing him at wrestling tryouts, he's no longer afraid of him being alone with Veronica. Look at the dad with a sick burn on his masculinity! Veronica does her best to be the supportive girlfriend and says that even if he isn't a wrestler he's a fantastic musician. And then they proceed to kiss lovingly in front of her dad which just seems like you're poking the bear!
At wrestling class the next day, Hiram has decided he wants to show all the students that the veteran star still has it. But he needs a volunteer so even when several other kids raise their hands, he still picks Archie. And you all get one guess on how this would turn out-Hiram takes him down with one move. Daddy Lodge makes sure to whisper to Archie as he has him in a headlock, "I always win."
Later that evening, Archie would make his way over to visit Mr. Lodge at his home to finally have it out about his problem with him. Hiram lets him know that his "father slept with another man's wife." So he's just assuming the apple doesn't fall far from the tree which is a cheap judgment on his part. He then continues with the typical "you're not good enough for my daughter," which is no surprise because Hiram is one of those fathers where NO guy is ever going to be good enough for his Veronica. Archie would fire back with how he took care of her fine while he was in prison. Take that you pretentious dick! Veronica gets wind of them arguing and comes in the room which they both shut down and act like everything is all roses.
Round two would happen the next morning when Hiram calls Archie at butt crack in the morning to take him out for an intense jog. He then treats him to breakfast at Pop's and decides to give him another talk. He explains how Veronica has a lot going on in her life so she can't be distracted by the problem between them. So he will give her the story that they hung out and had breakfast and now he will tolerate Archie. But he's only going to do this to ride out the phase of their relationship that he is saying will eventually end. "Boyfriends they come and they go," he states. Now if Hiram had any real sense he should know that every great story out there is based on the forbidden lovers that defied their parents. But guess he doesn't get around to reading much.
On the last day of tryouts, Hiram invites Veronica to come watch what I'm sure he is hoping will be another attempt to embarrass Archie. Somehow he gets paired up with Chuck (Jordan Calloway) who is a weight class above him but the coach seems to act like it shouldn't matter. They meet inside the center of the ring and I'm not sure if it was Kevin's good training or Archie's determination to beat Hiram at this game, but he would end up besting Chuck and pinning him for a three count. Archie makes sure to give Hiram a long stare as he held Chuck for the count to show him that he's not quitting that easily.
With Jughead's article out, Cheryl would approach her mother about the truth of the words he wrote. Her mother would confirm all of it and ask her how else did she think they got started in the maple business? She added that they did much more than that including helping to build a railroad and running a brothel. Even someone as callous as Cheryl would shed a tear knowing that her ancestors were responsible for killing hundreds of innocent people.
Finally, the time is here and it's Pickens Day in Riverdale but as we all know this town, there's no way there won't be some drama to happen. As Alice is enjoying her time being there with Chic and Betty, Hal decides to show up (after he said he was staying home) and says that he was looking at Chic's computer and he knows what he's been up to. Both Betty and Alice defend him but Hal says he has to leave their home. But you don't try to come between a mother and her offspring because she tells Hal she'll throw him out first. Later on, our new favorite lady of the night, Penelope Blossom (Nathalie Boltt) would find Hal by himself and offer to give him some "proper" company.
Veronica had been planning on doing a song with Josie (Ashleigh Murray) for Pickens Day but her damn annoying mother, Mayor McCoy found a way to manipulate her daughter into thinking she was being used. This all goes back to McCoy being in bed with the Lodges and not approving of them bringing Veronica into their plan. Well, guess Veronica didn't need Josie because she gets the other two Pussycats and puts on a performance without her! The singing wouldn't last for long as the Serpents would arrive, led by Toni, with black tape over their mouths and signs saying "sacred land" and "honor this land." Armed with a megaphone she would give a passionate speech about how "Pickens Day is a lie," and how the land they are standing on was stolen from the Uktena tribe. Being the smart man that he is, Hiram Lodge jumps up on stage and finds a way to say that they live in a great town where a woman can speak her mind and "defend the honor of her grandfather." He then would continue that the Uktena tribe adds to the richness of Riverdale and that will also be part of their (project) the SoDale. I can't stand Hiram Lodge but he is one intelligent businessman.
Back at the Cooper household, Chic tells Betty how he came into her room that first night and just stood over her while she slept. He tells her that he couldn't understand why she wanted to help him and now he realizes it's because she feels so alone. He goes on to explain that he uses webcamming as an escape and a way to deal with the darkness he feels inside. This is exactly what Betty needs is to escape her darkness and she asks him to show her how he does it. Should she use the username of Dark Betty for her webcam site?
Earlier at Pickens Day, Hiram congratulated Archie on his wrestling win and reluctantly decided to invite him over to the Pembroke that night for a talk. He offers for them to start over with a blank slate and asks him what he wants to do when he goes to college. When Archie tells him that he's changed his mind from music and now he's thinking of going into business, this actually interests Hiram. He says that if he's going to date Veronica he needs to be the best, so he should learn from the best-- -which of course means him. He offers to have Archie study under him which is the perfect way to get into Hiram's inner circle like he needs to. This could be either the beginning of a great long con for Archie or the possible descent into the dark side of crime like Hiram.
In closing, the next day the General Pickens statue would be found decapitated and covered in red paint to symbolize blood. The Mayor offers up to the Lodge's what do they want to do about it and they suggest that "it looks like something the Serpents would do." Things are about to get a lot worse for Jughead and his gang. But who really cut off the head of the statue? Is Archie getting in over his head? And is Dark Betty looking to make a reappearance? We'll find out on Wednesday, January 31 when The CW series returns with The Wicked and the Divine.