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Friday, September 11, 2015

New Archies Reviewed: Episode 4B - Jughead Predicts

So, last week, I took a hiatus from The New Archies Reviewed, as I was still unpacking.  Truth be told, my computer was still in a box when the September 4 entry was supposed to have been written.

But, it's September 11 now, my computer is back up and running, and I can continue with the New Archies Reviewed with what is one of my three favourite episodes of the series.

I bring you Episode 4B:  Jughead Predicts!

We begin our episode in the middle of an exciting soccer game - or, I guess I should say soccer practice as the Riverdale team is the only one on the field.  There's Archie and Reggie practicing their kicking.  Moose and Big Ethel are working on their moves.  And Jughead is...eating a sandwich in the middle of the field while Betty is sitting on the bleachers reading a horoscope magazine.

Okay, so this behaviour is nothing new for Jughead, but I'm quite surprised that Betty is behaving Jughead-like.  Maybe it's a side effect from Eugene's truth telling machine from last episode?

Anyway, Betty is asking Jughead what his sign is, and reveals that one sign (I want to say Capricorn, but I can't remember.  I'll have to go back and re-watch it when I have time) is a bad one.  Apparently those who have that sign are destined to get a head injury.

Wow...who wrote these horoscopes?  It certainly wasn't Eugenia Last.  I blame Veronica.

Well, apparently we can figure out when Jughead's approximate birthday is from this statement because a rogue soccer ball bounces off of Jughead's skull and renders him temporarily dazed and confused - which admittedly is not far from how Jughead acts on a daily basis, but let's just go with it.

The rest of the team is initially concerned that Jughead might have even more brain damage than they initially thought, but when Archie holds up a sandwich in front of Jughead, he recovers quickly.  I do hope the sandwich that Archie held up was a fresh one and not the same one that Jughead dropped when he got bopped on the noggin.  Sandwiches with dirt, grass clippings, and ants does not make a nutritious lunch.

To be sure that nothing is wrong with Jughead, the rest of the team want to take him to get checked out by the school nurse, but Jughead says he is fine, aside from a strange vision he had when he was temporarily out of it.  He can't explain it, but he had visions of Mr. Weatherbee floating on a raft that was being carried by a wave of water. 

At that same time, Mr. Weatherbee happens to be in the boiler room/basement of Riverdale Junior High School investigating a problem that is going on.  We aren't sure what the problem is, but given that Weatherbee is doing the examinations, I'm guessing that Mr. Svenson hasn't been hired yet.

Mr. Weatherbee hears something strange from behind one of the doors, and when he opens it up, he is swept away by a gigantic wave of water!  Ah, so I guess the school's water pressure was way low.

The force of the water is so great that it shoots Mr. Weatherbee out of a window and sends him splashing towards the soccer team on a discarded mattress that happened to have been in the basement/boiler room at the time.

Initially, the team offers no concern to Weatherbee and his wet business suit and cheer for his performance with Moose and Big Ethel giving him a 8.6...but then they think back to what Jughead's crazy dream was, and realize that he predicted what happened five minutes before it really happened.  But, no, it has to be a coincidence, right?

Well, in Grundy's classroom after soccer practice wraps up, Reggie seems to feel that Jughead's sudden ability to predict the future can help him out.  Reggie is extremely concerned about his grades because he has spent his free time playing pranks on Archie, chasing after Betty and Veronica, and spending his allowance at Pop Tate's playing Super Mario Brothers and Mr. Do.  But all Reggie gets for trying to get Jughead to spill his guts about his report card is a tongue lashing from Miss Grundy. 

You see, when one develops soccer ball induced ESP, one ironically enough cannot predict when one will have a prediction moment.  One has to wait for it. 

Amazingly, Jughead gets his dazed and confused look in the middle of class, and Miss Grundy does nothing to stop it!  Some teacher she is!  No wonder Reggie is afraid of her!

Anyway, the recipient of today's fortune is the ever so snobby Veronica Lodge, and Jughead makes the stunning prediction that Veronica will be the sweetest girl in the whole class the very next day.  Now, this is a prediction that I have a hard time with.  Betty, Amani, Big Ethel...hell, even Miss Grundy is sweeter than Veronica is.  On a good day.  But Veronica takes the prediction in stride and says that she will wear her best dress that day...because in order to be the sweetest girl in class, you have to look hot.  Veronica says so, and the word of Veronica Lodge is golden.  Or made of Fool's Gold.  You take your pick.

As luck would have it, the class is on another field trip - seriously, this is two trips in one season.  Do they ever learn anything in class?

This time, the class is at a candy making factory where they will learn how to make a bonbon.  Because learning how to dip things in chocolate sauce will come in handy when you're studying to be an accountant, fitness instructor, or President of the United States of America. 

Oh, and there's Veronica Lodge in her best dress shoving people out of the way and telling everyone to move, which causes Archie to roll his eyes and call out Jughead for his bogus prediction...

...right around the same time that Veronica's rudeness catches up with her and she sails right into the giant vat of chocolate dipping sauce.  Yes, Veronica has successfully demonstrated how to make the perfect 93-pound bonbon.

Doesn't she look so sweet in all that chocolate?  I guess Jughead's prediction came true after all, though not exactly how anybody would have thought.  Jughead himself even stated that in his prediction, Veronica looked like a chocolate Easter Bunny - and with that huge bow in her hair, it's an accurate description.

By now, Reggie is absolutely convinced that Jughead can see into the future, and attempts to bribe him with lunch at Pop's to get him to spill about his report card.  Silly just never learn.

And apparently Reggie isn't the only one who thinks that they can insert a quarter and get a prediction filled with nougat and caramel from the Jughead's prediction vending machine.  The whole gang swarms Reggie and Jughead's table to try and get predictions as well - well, all except Veronica who has only come to give Jughead the bill for dry cleaning her chocolate stained dress.  Um, Veronica.  You fell in a tub of chocolate that likely had to be thrown out because you contaminated it.  I would think you have more to worry about financially than Jughead does.  Just saying.

All this attention is causing Reggie to get angry because he wants the next prediction, and Jughead is about to tell them to go away when he has another prediction coming out of his head.  And after a couple of moments, Jughead points towards the front entrance of Pop Tate's making the fortune cookie worthy prediction "The bad news beast spoils the feast" which makes everybody go "HUH?!?"

Shortly after that, a paperboy randomly throws a newspaper into Pop's, and it must be the edition with all of the flyers and TV Guide listings because the paper is so heavy that it squashes Jughead's burger and fries combo into a pancake.  Another prediction successfully made by Jughead.

Apparently Jughead's gift of seeing the future has now made local news.  It's the top story in the Riverdale newspaper (probably Reggie gave them the idea, as his father works for the newspaper), and in it are pictures of Mr. Weatherbee on the wet mattress, and Veronica covered in chocolate which causes Veronica to storm off in a huff and Jughead to cry over his ruined lunch.  In fact, Jughead is so upset that he grabs his ruined food and walks out of Pop's in silence.

Archie quickly follows Jughead out the door, and Jughead admits that ever since he got the gift of seeing the future, he has been miserable.  All his fortunes cause someone to get some form of misfortune (although one could argue that Veronica got her just desserts), and he doesn't want to have the gift any more.  But since Riverdale doesn't have a Walmart, Archie is brainstorming with Jughead on how to get rid of his future telling abilities and Archie wonders how he got the ability in the first place.

Which leads to the example of Archie kicking dozens of soccer balls at Jughead's head to try and get rid of the gift as quickly as he got it.  Unfortunately, Archie sucks as a soccer player, and keeps missing Jughead.  Hey, here's an idea.  Tie Jughead to a chair and whack him over the head with a frying pan.  It would less painful for us to watch...but probably more painful for poor Jughead.

And Reggie, who has now developed a sick obsession with Jughead's future telling machine, arrives on his bike with an array of fabulous prizes that Jughead can win if the price is right if he will tell Reggie about his grades and what he can do to butter up Miss Grundy.  But with Jughead trying to get rid of his gift, he completely ignores Reggie who pitches a temper tantrum and throws a soccer ball in the air...

...which causes this AWESOME screenshot.

After Jughead gets smashed with the ball, he keeps repeating "tell me what you see, tell me what you see"...and Jughead tells Reggie what HE sees.

He sees Miss Grundy.

He sees a tango lesson going on in one of the classrooms.

He sees a great big frog.

And just like that, Reggie has the answers he is looking for and speeds away on his bike reciting "Grundy, Frog, Tango" as if he has been hypnotized by the world's worst hypnotist.  But hey, the soccer ball kick worked, as Jughead is back to normal and tells Archie that he simply told Reggie what he saw and that in no way did he predict the future. 

In short, Jughead pulls the ultimate prank on Reggie.  Keep watching.

We then come into the school auditorium where Miss Grundy has taken out her dentures to show the class how important it is to maintain oral hygiene.  Well, okay, those teeth are too big to be dentures.  But seriously, these are 12-13 year old students.  If they don't know how to defray decay by now, they're hopeless.  But seeing Miss Grundy with a life-sized toothbrush brushing a giant pair of chompers is great for a sight gag.

Of course, it's not as funny of a gag as a five foot tall frog approaching from stage right and suddenly grabbing the teacher to have a tango dance with her.  Seriously, Miss Grundy cannot believe her eyes as the frog twirls her around the floor, toothbrush in mouth, spinning her faster than the contestants on "Wheel of Fortune" spin the wheel.  The audience is hooting and hollering, and I have to admit, it is a hysterical scene.

Of course, Reggie is the one in the frog costume, and seeing how angry Miss Grundy is immediately bursts into tears, grabs onto her leg, and tells her that he's sorry, Jughead made him do it, and please not fail him for his absolute incompetence.  To which Grundy responds that Reggie's grades are fine and that he is in no danger of repeating seventh grade...but his actions during class will net him a punishment of clapping blackboard erasers together to clean them.

(Hey, it was the eighties.  It was a legitimate punishment back then.  That chalk dust makes you sneeze!)

So, we end the episode with Archie and Jughead skating down the street with a soccer ball in hand listening to music, and Jughead makes one joke of a prediction where he says that Veronica will be bitten by giant jaws, which causes both Archie and Jughead to laugh as Archie discards the soccer ball in a random building.

At the same time, Betty and Veronica are cleaning up in the auditorium after Reggie and Miss Grundy's tango dance, laughing at Reggie's misfortune when Betty - still obsessed over horoscopes - reads Veronica's, who happens to be a Scorpio.  The horoscope reads "Beware of getting bit on the foot", which causes Veronica to laugh, as it happens to be the same prediction that Jughead jokingly made.

At which point, the soccer ball that Archie threw bounces across the auditorium, knocks the giant dentures off the platform, and lands on Veronica's leg, which causes her to angrily scream Jughead's name.

It's too bad we don't really see any more Jughead predictions throughout the rest of the series, as we will never know if Jughead really did lose his gift, or whether the second soccer ball injury enhanced his gift.  But whatever the case, what a great episode!  I'll tell you why I loved it so much.  First, it had Jughead as the main star, and when he's actually given dialogue and plot, he makes it work very well.  Secondly, he gets to put one over on Veronica and Reggie, who up until now have been incredibly disgusting human beings.  In fact, it's after this episode that Veronica actually begins to grow into a more well-rounded human...though not by much.  Reggie's still a jerk though.

And hey...the tango scene made the episode.

Next week also happens to involve a plot that uses the this case, we learn how life could turn out if some of our favourite characters got married!  In fact, here's a sneak preview clip of what to expect!

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