Nick St. Clair is not a good guy. After blowing into Riverdale as an old friend of the Lodge family, he presided over a party with Veronica and her friends involving the drug “jingle jangle”. Then he took Cheryl out to a party and attempted to date rape her after drugging her. Fortunately, Veronica and the Pussycats managed to stop Nick before he went any further, but the ramifications of this assault will play a large role in the next episode.
In addition to that terrible situation, Jughead officially joined the Serpents, Betty was forced to break up with Jughead thanks to the Black Hood (and blew up at Veronica because the Black Hood wanted her to drive her loved ones away), and Jughead and Toni kissed. During a visit to the set of RIVERDALE in Vancouver, we spoke to the cast about the episode and what’s to come.
The Date Rape. When asked how she felt with RIVERDALE tackling a date rape scenario, Ashleigh Murray (Josie) said “We all know what’s going on right now currently, and our society tends to preach politeness and staying quiet, and I think that coupled with that fact that girls are often pitted against one another, and we don’t stand up for each other. I think it spoke volumes for all us to get together and go save Cheryl the way she needed to be saved. Often times that doesn’t happen, so to show that and to show that strength…I’d never advocate violence whatsoever, but sometimes when you’re in a situation you have to make a choice, and sometimes that choice is forceable, so I think that the way that we handled it was good. It gave us this girl power, especially with us being in our performance outfit with our heels, and we’re like fucking this guy up, it was great! Because he deserved it, he deserved to get that ass-whooping. I really enjoyed that scene because it was empowering, and it showed a camaraderie and a togetherness that women don’t often have, especially young women. We’re told to look pretty and make sure your hair looks nice and your makeup looks good and you have cute glasses and it’s all about how you look. And then when unfortunate find things find us we are often blamed and no one is there to protect us. I think that the way we did it was really good, and I’m glad that I got to stomp him out!”
Jughead’s Initiation. Jughead suffered through several trials before finally making it to the final one and allowing various Serpent members to beat him up before officially joining the gang. Cole Sprouse (Jughead Jones) said “When I first read the first couple episodes from this narrative arc, I was like, ‘Jughead is such a pompous little kid, thinking he can go into a brand new school, do whatever the hell he wants, and then — when someone tells him no — he goes, ‘Well, my dad is your leader!’’ That kid deserves to get his butt kicked a little bit, I think! I think Jughead needs to toughen up if he’s going to survive whatever the hell is about to be thrown at him, and I think this is a really good way to not only build a camaraderie with the people who have been beaten up by the Northside but to really toughen Jughead up simultaneously. I don’t know, I thought it was awesome.”
The Jughead-Betty Breakup. Betty asked Archie to break up with Jughead for her after the Black Hood told her to jettison her boyfriend. But was this situation an inevitability given Jughead’s descent into the Serpent way of life? Sprouse seems to think that Jughead may have expected it would come to this. “I think there’s that one line in it, too, that [Archie] goes, ‘No, you guys haven’t been good’ and he’s trying to lie to himself and [Jughead] goes, ‘No, I saw her earlier!’ But he knows he’s on the Southside now, and he knows he’s been away from everyone, and I think also Jughead has absolutely no problem seeing himself as someone who could be easily thrown to the wayside, so I think something like that probably affects him a little bit. But he’s also got his boys behind him, so it’s not like he’s going to be like, ‘NO!’ I think Archie is also Jughead’s weakness when it comes to Betty, because they were kind of the three amigos when they were young, but Betty had always favored Archie and it’s something that will definitely see prevalence later on in the season, and just how much of a friendship Betty and Jughead had, even though it was just the three of them when they were younger or if Jughead felt more like a third wheel. So Archie coming to deliver the bad news is not only a slap from Betty, but really a slap from Archie too, which I think is something we explore a lot later.”
“It is sad and heartbreaking to see [Betty have to break up with Jughead],” Lili Reinhart (Betty Cooper) said. “You know it is to protect him and she does all these things to protect them. And they don’t know and the audience knows and that is what is so hard to see about it and she is trying to do the right thing. You know Veronica and Kevin are hating her for it and Jughead is confused. It is sad because you want to tell them she is not doing it on purpose. As for Betty and Jughead at the end of [episode] 2.05, you hope that there is a chance that Betty can have in the future to explain herself and to reconcile with him but with the Black Hood still being a present figure in her life it is hard to imagine that her relationship with anyone can continue or go back to the way that it was.”
The Toni Situation. In addition to his relationship with Betty ending, Jughead also kissed Toni this week. How will that encounter affect things for Jughead going forward? Sprouse said “When I first read how Jughead was going to interact with that, I read it like he just kept brushing Toni off, and then I thought it would be more interesting if he didn’t, and he was actually somewhat interested or enjoyed the admiration of another young woman, which I think is quintessentially the most teenage thing to do. Whether or not Jughead wants to admit it, he enjoys that attention, which is a kind of attention he’s only ever received from Betty and never really has that kind of attention specifically. So when this new girl in a place where he knows nobody else starts paying attention to him, I don’t necessarily even think it’s sexual, so to speak. I think, even if it’s platonic, it’s something that’s brand new — uncharted territory for him — and he feels excited by it. I think he would be excited by it.”
Alice’s Past. The revelation that Alice was actually from the Southside surprised Betty this week, but she capitulated to the Black Hood’s request to publish a story about her mother’s past. “I think Betty kind of sees her mom a lot different now and thinks of her mom as a bit of a hypocrite now,” Reinhart said. “Why [is Alice] so against who [she] once [was]? And I think it just more sparks an interest in Betty. She wants to know why Alice was involved in that and why she left. Her mom’s background becomes even more shady to her and drives Betty to uncover more secrets on her own. There are so many secrets that Alice has and so many things about her past that Alice isn’t ready to share yet that I think we learn throughout the season, slowly but surely.”
Harsh Words for Veronica. In addition to breaking up with Jughead, Betty also had some harsh words for her friend Veronica, also at the Black Hood’s request. But how much of what Betty said did she actually believe? “What she was saying is stuff that I believe at one time or another that Betty thought was true and believed about Veronica,” Reinhart explained. “Like in Episode 2 in Season 1 when she was telling Kevin ‘she is not worth it, why are you friends with this girl?’ I think that the way that Betty speaks to Veronica in Episode 2.05 [is] what Betty thought of Veronica in Season 1 right at the beginning, so there was a bit of truth to it. But [it’s] a truth that Betty didn’t really believe anymore, and once she got to know Veronica obviously she changed her mind and knew that Veronica was so much more than that. But I think it stings Veronica and Betty knew it would sever their friendship because there was a little truth to it about who Veronica used to be in a way.”
RIVERDALE airs on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.