“Chapter Six: Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!” finally delved more into Josie’s character and her relationship with her parents. It was an episode filled with tension, discoveries, and new romantic entanglements.
Here’s the breakdown:
Family Issues and Secrets Galore
I’ll start with Josie, since this is the first time we’ve seen her more up front and center within the narrative of the show. She’s only ever had a few good one-liners in the past or hasn’t appeared at all in certain episodes. but, just like every other character on Riverdale, Josie has conflict with her parents. Her mother, Mayor Sierra McCoy, is adamant that she find another person to join the Pussycats after Valerie leaves to help Archie prep for the variety show.
But the reason she’s really hard on her daughter is because Josie’s father, Myles (guest star Reese Alexander), a jazz musician, is unimpressed with Josie’s trajectory and doesn’t think very highly of her pop-style musical group. With these interactions, it gave Josie more depth and showed her more vulnerable side. She also got to interact with Veronica, who joined the Pussycats in Val’s place, and their conversation allowed Josie to open up further. The final scene at the variety show is heartbreaking. Josie is giving her all to her performance and the devastation is clearly written on her face as soon as her father gets up and walks away before it’s over.
Last week, I went on about how much I liked that Veronica and Hermione had a fairly stable mother/daughter relationship in comparison to all the other teens’ parental drama. I spoke too soon. Their generally honest relationship so far was tainted after Veronica caught her mother and Fred kissing while working her new job at his construction company. Things get even worse after a bid for the contract to build on the Lodge’s newly owned land has Hermione forging Veronica’s signature. Based on the looks they were giving each other at the end of the episode, it looks like things between them won’t be good for awhile.
Betty bluntly asks her dad whether he was the one to kill Jason Blossom after finding Polly locked away at a religious home for girls. As it turns out, the Coopers were hiding Polly away after finding out she was pregnant (surprise!) and planning on running away with Jason on the day of his death. Betty’s mom continues to be controlling and her dad not as innocent as once believed. There’s a subtle creepiness to the both of them that rattles me.
Although there’s a lot of drama between all the parents and kids, it’s still hard to wrap my head around the fact that they’re such awful people. So far, every single parent has proven to have some glaring and unlikable flaws save for Fred–and I don’t believe for one second that he isn’t hiding something at this point. What, if anything, is Riverdale trying to say? Is it creating this tension so that the younger generation will be allowed to step out of their parents’ shadows? I think so. Jughead tells Betty: “We’re not our parents. We’re more than our families.” It seems to be a running theme throughout throughout the episodes. So far, all of the teens, while not even close to flawless themselves, have presented themselves as having a somewhat better, if slightly broken, moral compass.
Love and conflict is in the air
Elsewhere in the episode, Veronica and Archie experience some tension after Veronica takes her frustration with their parents’ situation out on him. Archie isn’t really ruffled though–he’s more nervous about performing in front of his classmates for the first time. He’s helped by Valerie, but the choice to show support for him finds her on the outs with Josie. I liked the conflict, even in all its melodrama, between Val and Josie. It opened up the door a bit on the workings of their friendship.
Val and Archie end the episode with a kiss and promise of a potential romance between them. This potential relationship is far and wide a much better idea than Archie and Miss Grundy–who Archie has seemingly, and quickly, forgotten about. There is a sense that they understand each other on a different level and I’m intrigued enough to watch it play out. I hope, though, that Val’s character is also further explored as the show goes on.
Betty and Jughead grew closer this week as they continued their Jason Blossom murder investigations. This episode took the furthest steps in unfolding the secrets behind his death. They found the car he and Polly were going to run away in and everything in it. Of course, as soon as they did, someone set it on fire. But in the midst of solving the mysteries that plague Riverdale, Jughead stopped to kiss Betty. I’m sure everyone saw this coming and although it does diverge from Jughead’s comic book counterpart, at least the show has been building up to it so it didn’t happen out of nowhere. Judging by the way he was looking at her, it seems maybe Jughead has felt this way for awhile.
Long review short, “Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!” was a solid episode. It finally introduced us to the much talked-about Polly, who has only now discovered that Jason is dead, and turned some much-needed attention to Josie. This episode also reminded us that, although there is a lot of unresolved drama, the characters are very much still high school students and have to focus on everyday things like variety shows.
Riverdale airs on Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW. The series stars K.J. Apa, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nicols, Madelaine Petsch, Ashleigh Murray, Luke Perry, Casey Cott, Ross Butler, and Sarah Habel.