Riverdale S01E06: Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!
Director: Steven A. Adelson
Starring: K.J. Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Tessa Williams
A review by Amelia Wellman
Drama overfloweth in episode six of Riverdale, titled Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!, as Archie breaks up the Pussycats, Veronica gets upset that her mother is cheating, Betty and Jughead track down where Polly is being kept, and Betty gets a clearer picture on her spineless father and sociopathic mother.
Let’s start with the Pussycats since I’ve neglected them in past reviews. I’ve never been a Pussycats fan, but now that Archie is entangled with Val, the three of them have more of a niche carved out for them. Josie is stressing because her emotionally distant father is in town, apparently just to judge her for doing an in-school variety show and singing pop music. Val is stressing because Josie is stressing and treating her poorly in the process, so there’s rebellion brewing in her to spend more time with Archie. And Melody? Well, she’s just happy to be there playing drums with two lines of dialogue and a camera shot where she’s the character in focus!
Cut from that drama to Veronica getting into a major fight with her mother over, who else but the men in this town who are at the heart of every controversy: the Andrews. Seems Hermione Lodge and Fred Andrews are getting a little too physical for Veronica’s liking and she uses the aggression she’s kept hidden until now for some lawful chaos.
When Val gets shut down by Josie during a rehearsal and quits the band completely, the remaining Pussycats start looking for a replacement backup singer. Veronica, mad at her mother and then exacerbated by Archie, storms in on Josie and Val and says she’s joining the Pussycats pretty much whether they like it or not. This whole episode was a look into the character that Veronica could have been within the series (and has been for pretty much her whole existence in Archie comics) and, while it was entertaining to see for this brief period of time, it’s not where I want to see her character go from here on out.
There’s the high school side of the drama, but there’s far different drama to be had then who’s in the Pussycats and has to wear a stupid leopard spotted bathing suit on stage! Lest you’ve forgotten, Jason Blossom is dead and his murder not get solved. Enter Betty and Jughead, who are so the perfect detective duo! Organizing little distractions to look through purses and researching stuff on Riverdale’s version of Google, adorably named Sleuthster. I love the dynamic and I love how they’re getting more done than the Sheriff. But isn’t that always the way with small town Sheriffs? Those meddling kids always getting in there first, tearing the masks off of local Space Kooks.
There is an unfortunately out-of-character moment where Jughead kisses Betty. For those that don’t know, Jughead has been canonically confirmed as asexual. I’m upset about the Ace erasure, but at the same time, I’m appreciative of how the episode approached it. He grabs Betty for a kiss kind of spur of the moment and when he pulls away, Betty has already moved onto the next thought in her mind. It’s not a drawn out moment, it’s not even mentioned again within the episode. I’m okay with this moment. As long as he doesn’t turn into a playboy overnight, Jughead’s allowed to feel his way around his sexuality and come to his own conclusions.
Hopefully, I’m not putting too much faith into television writers to not mess this up.
Random side note but one I need an answer to, how is Jughead’s book structured? Each intro and outro voiceover in the episodes don’t run together in anything cohesive enough to make up a true crime book. They’re beautifully written and delivered really well, I’m just wondering how well Jughead knows the audience he’s writing for? Publishers are very strict with non-fiction submissions, I’m worried about his prospects!
Keep watching! Overall, Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill! hit a little differently than past episodes for me because the melodrama is really starting to pick up and I tend to be a little anxious around abusive parent storylines, of which this series seems to have no shortage. But I’m continually captivated with Betty and Jughead’s storyline and just Veronica’s existence in general. Hey, what can I say? I’ve picked Veronica over Betty since the very first Archie Double Digest I ever read.