Riverdale Ep. 107 Recap & Review – ‘Chapter Seven: In A Lonely Place’
“What makes a place feel like home? Is it warmth and familiarity? Some idealized make believe version of the American dream? Is it love and acceptance? Or it is simple safety?”
Jughead talks about “home” and “hope” as he dreams about having a wholesome family dinner with the Coopers. Everyone is in their own hyper-stylized 1950s Archie Comics forms. Y’know, there was initial pushback regarding the tone Riverdale sought to create compared to the original comics that everyone associates the franchise. If people had gotten their way, how far would we have been able to tolerate such campy, idealized wholesomeness? The introduction of “In A Lonely Place” shows exactly how superficial and fake that would seem. That said, everyone in their true Archie form is practically perfect in every way. It’s quite a statement to make, especially when the rest of the episode strips down all of that warmth and familiarity with a heavy dose of reality.
In the real world, Jughead has a much less ideal home life. His father (played by Skeet Ulrich) is a dead beat, unemployed drunk and the leader of the Southside Snakes — a fact that not everyone seems to be privy to. His mother and sister are living somewhere out of town with relatives. And Jughead himself is secretly living in some basement closet at the school. There is one plus to his current situation: He’s got some good friends who care about his well-being.
Archie may be a bit of a dummy sometimes, but he certainly has heart where his best friends are concerned. He lays it on thick with the guilt trips with Fred, pointing out that firing FP (Jughead’s dad) and cutting ties with him also put out Jughead. He convinces his dad to re-hire FP. Meanwhile, Jughead makes an effort to keep his dad straight. That is until Sheriff Keller brings Jughead in for questioning concerning the destruction of Jason’s hidden car. More on this later.
The other major plot line this week is the search for Polly (Tiera Skovbye), who escaped the institution in the previous episode. The Coopers first try to keep Polly’s disappearance under wraps so not to call attention to their “family shame.” But as soon as Cheryl finds out, she not only tells her parents that Polly is on the loose but also the entire town. The problem here is the the Blossoms take no time at all in implicating Polly as the one who set Jason’s car on fire.
The news immediately turns into a sensation, especially after Alice announces that Polly is pregnant with Jason’s baby at a press conference. The Blossoms quickly enlist the police and Sheriff Keller (Martin Cummins) to help with their search, prompting Betty to enlist her classmates and create a search party of her own. It’s such an event that the former group comes looking like they’re ready to go fox hunting, hounds and all. It sounds like overkill (because it is), but at the time the Blossoms are under the impression that Polly may have killed Jason as well as set fire to his car. So…their feeling of urgency is understandable. I guess.
The woods are a bust, but then Betty remembers where Polly used to “run away” to when they were kids, the attic. Lo and behold, that’s where she is. Now they need to figure out where to put her where she can live in relative safety with her baby.
Officially bringing Polly home might as well be a fruitless endeavor. They tell Betty that since the cat’s out of the bag now, they’re willing to accept Polly and the baby back home. However, that’s only half true, according to Polly. She might be able to come back home, but the baby will be put up for adoption as per the Coopers’ original plan. Having been lied to already by her parents, Betty’s more inclined to believe her sister.
So…Betty needs money to find a place for Polly outside of Riverdale. Cheryl approaches Betty and form a truce. The baby, Cheryl admits, is a game changer and she is willing to do what it takes to let Polly keep it. She may think asking for money from her parents is a good thing, but I feel that she sometimes forgets they’re just as insane and unusual as Betty’s parents. Cheryl’s mom (Nathalie Boltt) questions the rumors depicting Polly as a party girl who imbibed frequently. Knowing how awful Cheryl’s mother actually is, it’s pretty safe to say that she might be aiming to separate Polly from the baby and raise it exclusively under the Blossom household. But for the moment, the Blossoms are playing nice enough for Betty to put her trust in them. Cheryl’s parents say they are willing to help Polly out financially as well as accept her and the baby into their family. At the last minute, however, Cheryl has a gut feeling that her parents are less than trustworthy and warns Polly and Betty.
Veronica then volunteers to take Polly into her home, a decision to which Hermione agrees. I can only imagine how well this will go over with both the Blossoms and the Coopers once they find out.
While Polly is certainly not cleared of suspicion concerning who may have torched Jason’s car, Jughead himself turns out to be a suspect as well. We learn through Sheriff Keller that Juggy (unintentionally) committed arson when he was younger, and he used to be bullied by Jason. The latter in and of itself is motive enough for an already troubled teen who grew up in a troubled household on the wrong side of the tracks. When asked where he was the week of July 11, the suspected time frame in which Jason actually died, Jughead refuses to answer until he met with a lawyer.
While this happens, Betty and Archie try to contact Jughead’s dad, to no avail. Thankfully Fred Andrews comes to the rescue. He even lies to Sheriff Keller, saying that Jughead was working with him that week. He and Archie even forge a time card to cover their tracks. Methinks Fred is used to this sort of thing — he used to bail FP out of trouble numerous times until he got fed up with it.
FP finally does show up after everything is already taken care of. Archie brings up the idea (again) that Jughead can stay with them while FP gets his act together. At first FP is resistant, but a moment of clarity makes him realize that he’d rather let his son live in a good home with good people then subject him to his awful and sad life. It seems Jughead is willing enough to try to take care of him, as we observed him do the first time he moved back in with his father, but he isn’t very resistant when FP chooses to let him stay with the Andrews. FP promises that he’ll make a real effort to get his life back in order so he can take back his son, and bring their family back together, but the look on Jughead’s face says it all. He wants so badly to believe his father this time, but the likelihood of his wish coming true is slim.
To summarize: Polly is pregnant, is technically still a fugitive, and is now hiding out at the Lodge loft. Veronica makes amends with her mother after Hermione forged her name on a contract last week, but only as long as Hermione confesses that fact to Hiram. FP and Fred used to be best buds and band mates. They also used to be business partners until Fred cut him out of the deal due to his shady dealings on the side. Jughead has a criminal record, used to be bullied by Jason, and is now rooming with Archie.
In the very last moments of the episode, we see Jason’s letterman jacket in FP’s closet at home. For whatever, it looks like he’s the one who set fire to Jason’s car. But…why did he keep the jacket? Or is this a second jacket? How many jackets did this kid own???