|“||Fear. It's the most basic, the most human emotion. As kids, we're afraid of everything. The dark... The boogeyman under the bed... And we pray for morning. For the monsters to go away. Though they never do. Not really. Just ask Jason Blossom.||”|
|— Jughead Jones|
ROMANCES AND RIVALRIES — With Riverdale High's annual variety show around the corner, Valerie's efforts to help Archie prepare for his big performance lead to some major fallout between her and Josie. Meanwhile, Betty and Jughead's investigation into Jason's death brings them to a home for troubled youth and face-to-face with Polly. Just as her relationship with her mother was on the upswing, an unexpected betrayal sends Veronica spiraling, while Josie deals with her own pressures at home after her overbearing father returns for her performance at the variety show. Finally, Hermione’s first day at Andrews Construction finds her and Fred growing closer.
Betty invites Jughead over for breakfast, which proves to be a ploy to distract Mrs. Cooper while Betty rifles through her mother’s purse. Betty manages to find a check made out to an organization called the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, “a home for troubled youths.”
Meanwhile, with Riverdale High's annual variety show approaching, Archie is trying out for Riverdale High’s annual Variety Show with an original song. The auditions are run by Kevin. He gets a stage fright, never mind the bulldogs in the back mocking him. For a moment, Archie sees the jocks as if they have terrifying wolf faces, making him flee the stage. In the hallway, he sits with Valerie, who comforts him, saying it’s just stage fright. He asks her to sing with him, in addition to headlining the variety show with the Pussycats, but she declines, knowing Josie won't cooperate, and plus she can't step over the 'cats.
Looking to help out a friend, Veronica first has a chat with Kevin, the host of the event, who she reminds that he had heard Archie sing on numerous occasions, so if Archie has a spot in the show, she'd even sing along with him, if it would help with his stage fright.
In the meantime, Betty and Jughead's personal investigation into Jason's murder brings them to a website where they find details of Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Betty and Jughead take a bus out to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, where the Cooper sisters tearfully reunite. When they arrive, they come face-to-face with Betty's sister Polly, who is revealed to be seven months pregnant. Contrary to what her parents told Betty, Polly insists she is neither sick nor suicidal. Jason’s parents forced the breakup, she says, but he was thrilled about the baby. In fact, they were going to run away together to start a family. On July 4, she and Jason had planned to meet on the other side of the Sweetwater River, but Mr. and Mrs. Cooper found out. That morning, she was ready to leave the house, her luggage in her hand, when she was called to the kitchen by her mother. Suddenly a stern nun appeared, accompanied by two orderlies, and threw Polly in a van and took her away that morning. When Polly asks if Betty has talked to Jason, Betty is faced with the unenviable task of telling her sister that her lover is dead. As expected, Polly does not react well.
Unfortunately, their time together is short, because Alice Cooper has descended on the premises. She seems genuinely heartbroken when confronted by a distraught Polly about locking her up and hiding Jason’s death from her. Polly is taken away by the nurses, kicking and screaming, as Betty is restrained, watching in tears, promising that she would get her out of there.
At Pussycats rehearsal for the Variety Show, Josie's diva tendencies are heightened, where she accuses both Valerie and Melody of failing to secure their parts. She informs her fellow Pussycats that they are to always perform at 150%, regardless of where they are performing, whether it be Madison Square Garden or Aces Bowling Alley. This leads to a massive fight between her and Valerie, as Josie gives Val a choice between her and the Pussycats or Archie. Val quits the group, ultimately choosing Archie over Josie’s “diva crap.” She hands over her kitty ears and walks out of the music room, leaving a helpless Josie behind.
Hermione's first day at working at Andrew's Construction brings her and Archie's father, Fred, closer. Fred reveals that he plans to pitch his construction company to the mysterious developer who bought the old drive-in, having no idea that the party in question is Hermione herself. They then make out. After school, Veronica decides to visit the Andrews Construction work site only to discover that her mother is kissing Fred Andrews, so immediately following Hermione's arrival home, Veronica questions if she'd be getting a divorce from Hiram, Veronica's father. She wants to know what would happen to all of them once he's released from prison, but Hermione doesn't have an answer, there is nothing she could do to help Veronica through the situation.
Josie approaches her mother with a dilemma about losing Valerie from the Pussycats, and that they can't just replace her and her songwriting skills. Sierra insists she's the only one who is irreplaceable. Val can be replaced — so long as she’s replaced by a woman of color who’s “skinny and beautiful,” but not quite as skinny or as beautiful as Josie herself. However, they’ve got family matters to attend to first: Josie’s musician dad, Myles, is in town to see her in the variety show. Josie's father is missing two concerts to be at her upcoming performance, so both Josie and her mother would hate to disappoint him. This explains why Josie has been really stressed lately, because she doesn't want her father disappointed.
The next day, Veronica arrives at school, prepared to rehearse with Archie, unfortunately, he has given her spot to Valerie, which Veronica doesn't appreciate, referring to Archie as a "Ginger Judas", and on top of that, she tells him about her mother and his dad. Josie and Melody's search for a new Pussycat soon comes to an end, as they are joined by Veronica, who wants a source to channel her aggression. She is then the new backup singer after Valerie quit. Josie deals with her own family pressure after her overbearing and difficult father visits for her performance at the variety show. After Archie realizes that Valerie did not know about Josie's father being in town, he encourages her to reconcile with Josie.
Betty finally confronts her parents about Jason Blossom's death where they continue to deny any involvement in the murder. Later, Betty and Jughead grow closer when they find a car hidden in the woods containing drugs and Jason's belongings, but when they bring the police to the scene, an unseen person who has been following Betty and Jughead torches the car and destroys any incriminating evidence. When Betty and Jughead return to the mental hospital that same night to see Polly, they learn that she has escaped.
- Betty: "It's been months. There's got to be a reason my mom and dad don't want me to see Polly... But I don't care anymore."
- Archie: "What are you guys talking about? Anything I can help with?"
- Jughead: "What we're attempting is a stealth operation Archie. If we go in there with the entire Scooby Gang, forget it, we're compromised."
- ―Jughead and Betty plan to find Polly
|“||You're unbelievable, Archie. You literally have zero loyalty. You, Ginger Judas!||”|
|— Archie partners with Val over Veronica for the variety show|
- Hal Cooper: "Betty, what do you think I did?"
- Betty: "Did you kill Jason Blossom?"
- Alice Cooper: "[laughs] Him? You think that he killed Jason? Your father? You think that he has the stomach for that?!"
- Hal: "Alice..."
- Alice: "I wish he killed Jason. I wish I had. After what Jason did to Polly. I swear Elizabeth, you're sounding crazy just like your sister."
- Betty: "Stop saying that, Mom, She's not crazy!"
- ―Betty accuses her father of Jason's murder
|“||Hey there, Juliet.||”|
|— Jughead appears at Betty's bedroom window|
- This episode marks the first absence of Cheryl Blossom.
- Polly is revealed to be pregnant with Jason's baby.
- The logo for Josie and the Pussycats on Melody's drum set is similar to the one used in the original comic series.
- In reference to the Josie and the Pussycats movie, Josie mentions playing at a bowling alley, which is a location they played at in the film.
- This episode marks the first kisses of Jughead & Betty and Archie & Valerie.
- The title for this chapter is inspired by the 1965 American exploitation film "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!".
- The football team in wolf masks could be a reference to the original Archie Comics. In the comic strip Reggie pranks Archie with a wolf mask.