|“||Guilt. Innocence. Good. Evil. Life. Death. As the shadows around Riverdale deepened, the lines that separated these polar opposites blurred and distorted. "I'm guilty," Cheryl said in biology class, but of what?||”|
|— Jughead Jones|
THE GIRL WHO CRIED SHOTGUN — After new information surrounding Jason's death comes to light, Cheryl finds herself under a cloud of suspicion and forced to come clean about the last time she saw her brother. Meanwhile, Archie makes a tough decision that puts a major strain on his relationship with Miss Grundy. Elsewhere, Betty decides to revive the school newspaper and asks for Jughead’s help in investigating Jason’s death. Veronica and Ethel work on exposing some of Riverdale High’s football players after rumors of a “shame book” begin to circulate. Finally, after getting grounded by his dad Fred, Archie must figure out a way to make it to the Taste of Riverdale event where Josie and the Pussycats will be performing a song he helped write.
The episode unfolds with the aftermath of last episode's events. The "guilty" Cheryl Blossom is questioned about her part in Jason's disappearance. She says that she did not kill Jason and then clarifies what she meant about her being "guilty": she lied to the authorities about the details of the events of July 4th. The original story is that Cheryl had ridden out to the Sweetwater River with Jason because they were planning his escape. Cheryl agreed to help him stage an accident to cover up his disappearance. He was supposed to contact her after he had gotten somewhere safe, but a week had passed, and she still hadn't heard from him. She also heard a mysterious gunshot on the morning of his disappearance.
Archie's guilty conscience leads him to confess his presence on July 4th to the sheriff and Mr. Weatherbee. He tells them that he too had heard the gunshot. He covers up for Miss Grundy, telling them that he was there alone but with his dog, working on his music. Nevertheless, Miss Grundy, upon hearing this, becomes upset and frustrated that he even went to the authorities at all. His father, Fred, also finds out that he lied to him about his road trip with Jughead on the 4th July. As a consequence, he is then grounded for the next two weeks. Soon, Veronica reveals to Betty, Archie and Kevin that she has a date with the Riverdale Bulldogs’ captain, Chuck Clayton.
Meanwhile, Betty wants to revive the Riverdale high school newspaper, The Blue and Gold. She gives Jughead an important task as the new member to use his journalist skills and investigate the case of Jason’s disappearance. He starts on the one person who hasn’t been noticed in the investigation: Dilton Doiley and his scout troops, who discovered Cheryl on July 4th. Jughead visits Dilton and asks him if he heard the gunshot that morning. Dilton insists that neither he nor his boy scouts heard anything unusual on that day. Later on, one of his boys informs Jughead that the gunshot, in fact, originated from Dilton himself, while he was teaching the scouts how to shoot.
Parked outside Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, Veronica and Chuck are in the car taking selfies and getting to know each other. However, the next morning, Veronica goes to school to find a surprise awaiting her. It seems that a very different account of their evening has spread around the school. A few girls walk by and ask her about the “Sticky Maple” Chuck gave her. In Riverdale, "Sticky Maple" is an act of visual slut-shaming. The selfie that Chuck and Veronica took is edited with maple syrup covering her face and it’s all over social media. However, Veronica is not going to go down without a fight. She storms into the boy’s locker room, Betty trailing at her side, demanding that he take down the picture. Chuck refuses. Instead, he tells them that it's a "badge of honor" and that her bitchy attitude may have worked on the betas she dated in New York, but she is now in "Bulldog territory". He then walks off.
Later on, Cheryl wants to repay Archie for corroborating her gunshot story. She asks Josie for a favor who then allows him to observe the Pussycats’ rehearsal for the upcoming Taste of Riverdale event at which they're going to perform. As Archie is still grounded, he sneaks out of the house to attend the rehearsal. Whilst he’s there, he wants the Josie and the Pussycats to perform his songs, but Josie thinks otherwise. She’s not convinced that he could write for “divas of color” like them, pointing out that his privilege will make it easier for him to enter the music industry. But Archie manages to win her over with his suggestions on tweaking the song a little.
Betty gathers a group of girls who were slut-shamed as well by Chuck and his other five football teammates. Ethel Muggs first appears in this episode as one of the girls who was slut-shamed by Chuck. They find out that the boys have a secret playbook that they use to keep scores of their “conquests”. They break into the school, Cheryl tagging along, and find the book. Inside the book, they find not only Ethel and Veronica’s names but Betty’s sister’s name, Polly, too.
Betty’s enraged and proves to Cheryl that Jason wasn’t who she thought he was. It’s now her turn to go all “full dark, no stars” on avenging not only Veronica and the girls, but also her sister, Polly. Her whole persona changes to this bad girl attitude. She starts out her revenge plan with asking Chuck to meet her at Ethel’s house, but he arrives to find Veronica instead. She explains that they have decided to “share”. Betty comes out in lingerie and black bob wig. “Betty couldn’t make it, so she sent me instead,” she says. Veronica looks surprised at the person in front of her, even Chuck. If he thought she was daring before, now she is more of a bad girl reborn.
Meanwhile, at the Taste of Riverdale event – that Archie sneaks into despite being reprimanded for sneaking out to the Pussycats’ rehearsal – Fred bumps into Miss Grundy who reassures him of his son’s talents and how he’s a “special kid”. Jughead finds Dilton Doiley, confronting him about the shooting on July 4th and tells him to meet him at the Blue & Gold office tomorrow.
Whilst Chuck is in the hot tub, Veronica and Betty mixes a powdered muscle relaxer into Chuck’s drink to form a “truth serum”. He finds himself handcuffed to the sides of the hot tub. Veronica records while Betty starts interrogating him about what actually happened between him and Veronica. Although she may be all bad-ass, she takes a step too far by pushing his head into the boiling water with her high heel and pouring a bottle of maple syrup all over his face. As she’s doing this, she starts telling him to say sorry for “ruining Polly”, addressing him as Jason. She then says “Say you’re sorry for destroying me”. Veronica is disturbed by this weird attitude of Betty, the way she regarded herself as Polly and him as Jason. She then tells her that that’s enough.
The next morning, Veronica finds Betty by the lockers. She expresses her appreciation for Betty’s help but is also freaked out by her odd behavior. Betty’s nonchalance doesn’t seem so convincing, especially considering that the wig is now in her locker. In the aftermath of yesterday’s events, given that Betty and Veronica now have proof, Coach Clayton is forced to remove his son, Chuck and his football cronies off the Riverdale Bulldogs team. Betty and Cheryl then watch as the playbook burns in the trash bin. Archie goes to thank Miss Grundy for talking his dad into respecting his choice for pursuing music and asks if they can restart their music lessons.
As for that gunshot incident on the 4th of July, Dilton does meet up with Jughead and Betty. He begs Betty and Jughead not to publish a story saying that he fired the gunshot. In return, he offers them a better story: he saw Miss Grundy’s car by Sweetwater River that morning.
- Veronica: "So, are you a suspect now?"
- Kevin: "My dad says we all are, including me."
- Veronica: "Not me, girl. I don't know these people."
- Kevin: "Guys, should we maybe re-binge Making a Murderer on Netflix tonight?"
- ―After Archie speaks with Sheriff Keller
- Betty: "Nothing this bad was ever supposed to happen here, but it did. I want to know why."
- Jughead: "Would I get complete freedom?"
- Betty: "I'll help, and edit... And suggest. But it's your story, it's your voice."
- Jughead: "Doesn't sound like complete freedom, but... I'm in."
- ―Betty and Jughead reestablishing The Blue and Gold
|“||I don't follow rules, I make them, and when necessary, I break them. You wanna help me get revenge on Chuck, Betty, awesome. But you better be willing to go full dark, no stars.||”|
|— Veronica to Betty after being slut-shamed.|
|“||I saw the way you looked at me... During Grizzly training. You're hiding something.||”|
|— Jughead interrogating one of Dilton Doily's scouts|
|“||... But one thing was certain, Betty and Veronica, now B&V, and maybe forever, had been forged.||”|
|— Jughead narrates after Betty writes her Blue and Gold exposé|
- As an easter egg, several characters that have made minor appearances in the Archie Comics are seen commenting on Chuck's Instagram post. These names include Tony* (Toni) Topaz, Frankie Valdez, Angel Angelino, Debbie Dalton, Marie Rodriguez and Cricket O'Dell.
- This episode marks the first mention of Greendale.
- In the comics, this is the home of Sabrina Spellman.
- The title of the third chapter comes from the Brian DePalma film of the same name.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Ethel Muggs.