Writer: Michael Patrick Dobkins
Original Air Date: Saturday, October 9, 1999
Note: This episode is placed third on the DVD set.
After the commercial break, the episode opens on a shot of Riverdale.
We see some of the streets and buildings.
Veronica and Betty are standing in front of Betty’s house and stretching in preparation to take a little jog around the park.
I was going to make a comment about compression artifacts in this shot, but they don’t appear in the screencap – nor whenever I play the video anywhere other than my video editor. I remember seeing the video in this episode going really compressed at some points when I first watched the DVD; however, things appear to be fine; it might depend on the player.
Anyway, Betty wants to clear the cobwebs out of their heads after doing a lot of homework.
Betty is able to touch her toes, which is impressive. Veronica wants to show off her new exercise outfit.
They hear Archie saying nice things about an unspecified girl and go over to the fence (I guess Archie and Betty are next-door neighbors) to eavesdrop. Betty assumes Archie’s talking about one of them. Veronica assumes Archie is talking about her. Betty’s a bit irritated and figures there’s only one way to find out for certain.
Yeah, Archie’s in love with his fucking car, which is female to him.
Jughead thinks that’s stupid.
For fuck’s sake…
Archie and Jughead argue over “Betsy” (yeah, Archie named his car). Archie gets on Jughead’s case about crumbs, because he just vacuumed Betsy’s back seat. Jughead apologizes in amusement. Archie has rules, including “No eating in Betsy”, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Archie has explored ways to eat out Betsy. Jughead gets out of the car and complains.
Veronica’s like “WTF?” about Archie’s car obsession.
Betty goes over and asks Archie to the spring dance. Distracted, he agrees. Veronica’s pissed at the “little minx” for beating her to it. While she’s saying this line, Veronica briefly sounds Southern – like on the old radio show and Filmation cartoons – for no real reason. In fact, the voices seem slightly off in general in this episode. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the pilot.
Betty’s excited, but Archie’s too obsessed with his car to pay attention.
Veronica comes over and out-does Betty. She’s “decided to let” “Archiekins” take her to the movies on Friday. Distracted, he agrees, suggesting the drive-in. She’s irritated that he doesn’t sound excited. He walks off, because “Betsy needs another coat of wax”. Veronica audibly gasps.
Jughead’s like “Archie would rather fuck a car than you.”
Later, at Pop’s, Veronica and Betty drown their sorrows. They complain about Archie, and Veronica manages to insult Betty (which she ignores).
Reggie comes by and, not getting the response that he expected from the girls, learns of their situation. He tries to get them to go out with “Mantle the Magnificent”, but they decline. Then Betty brings up the car.
Reggie is “morally offended” at Archie’s “unnatural” and “wasteful” behavior and decides to set him straight.
Later, just as Archie finishes with his car, Reggie comes over to talk some sense into him as only Reggie can.
He also kicks Archie’s car. Archie’s new alarm system, which he just installed, says “Please step away from the car.” It has a female voice. Reggie says Archie’s piece-of-shit car is unstealable. Archie accuses Reggie of being “jealous of Betsy”.
He then drives off, so they don’t have to take Reggie’s “abuse”.
Reggie shouts after Archie, denying being jealous and saying he owns a new sports car.
Archie grumbles about Reggie while driving. Then he stops in excitement for something that he’s been looking for for months.
This is Doctor Beaumont’s Emporium of Curios, Novelties, Antiquities, and Hard Lessons. I’m not sure where he’s reading that, because, like Pop’s, Doctor Beaumont’s shop seems to have no sign. Anyway, he’s never seen it before and guesses it’s new.
This is what caught Archie’s attention:
He goes inside and calls out but gets no answer.
“Do not touch the cursed jewelry.”
Wow, that’s pretty creepy.
“You read a spell book, you’ve just bought a spell book.”
Archie wonders what the fuck kind of shop this is.
This is the proprietor, Doctor Beaumont (Jerry Longe). He’s currently using his psychic powers to place a long-distance order. That’s pretty funny. 🙂
That’d be my reaction, too.
After he’s done placing the order, Doctor Beaumont stands up. He knows Archie and also mentions it’s spring.
Archie’s surprised, but it’s more being in awe than being freaked out. And, wow, Doctor Beaumont is tall!
And kinda scary. He introduces himself at “the mysterious Doctor Horatio Beauregard Beaumont”. The room goes dark as he speaks.
But it’s just a light fixture that he’s gonna have to get fixed one of these days. He asks Archie why he’s come – and recites the full name of his shop.
There’s a gag where Doctor Beaumont makes guesses as to what Archie wants before he can say it, including:
a card entitling him to full borrowing privileges at the Library of Alexandria (unless Doctor Beaumont can send Archie back in time, he’d have to wait three years to use it)
the Amulet of Good Ruling
a compact disc of Ron Dante‘s Greatest Hits (ha! cute 🙂 )
Archie just wants to buy the fucking dice, but Doctor Beaumont strongly recommends not buying them, due to “some very nasty consequences” being attached to owning them. Archie insists and asks for the price. Doctor Beaumont says $21.43.
That’s exactly what Archie has in his pocket. However, Doctor Beaumont drops hints that maybe Archie has something – or someone – else to spend money on. He specifically brings up Archie’s Friday movie date with Veronica, but Archie’s so fucking dense and distracted that he just hands his money over and talks about prettying up his car with the dice.
Looks like Archie short-changed Doctor Beaumont by either $1.43 or $20.43. Beaumont doesn’t seem to care, though.
Instead, he (seemingly) breaks the fourth wall, saying he always hates it when they go for the hard lessons.
Once Archie gets home, he take out the dice. Why did Doctor Beaumont give him a special box to carry them in? Did he feel guilty for overcharging him for the dice? Of course, considering Archie short-changed him, I’m not sure what to make of this.
I guess I should point out that the dots on the dice don’t match up from shot to shot.
Archie gets out of his car.
The dice don’t even wait before they start doing freaky shit.
Fade out. Fade in.
The next day (I guess), Archie’s working on his car. There’s a “funny” detail where the oil stain on his face is in the same Tic-tac-toe pattern as in his hair.
Somehow, he fails to notice this.
So does Jughead. He’s too busy relishing in the fact that Veronica’s gonna murder Archie, because he’s supposed to pick her up in fifteen minutes.
Archie complete forgot (which surprises Jughead), so he rushes inside and, despite Jughead commenting on his appearance, merely puts on his jacket.
A comment from Jughead then reminds Archie that he’s “broke”, despite short-changing Doctor Beaumont. So what did he spend the rest of his money on?
Jughead immediately writes Archie off as dead as shit.
Archie asks his “amigo” to “float” him a twenty until his next allowance. Well, this is a reversal from the comics. Usually, it’s Jughead bumming money from Archie. Jughead even points this out, accusing Archie of “subverting the natural order of the universe”.
Archie gets on his knees and says “Please, Jughead, it’s a matter of life or death.” This might be a reference to their little skit that always opened the old-time radio show. Anyway, Archie grovels a bit more (even fake-crying), and Jughead gives in.
A twenty being floated
Jughead wants to keep this a secret, because it could ruin his “reputation” (as a fucking mooch). Archie thanks him and takes off. Jughead feels used. I love how he delivers the line, too, like he’s just been fucked and tossed aside (which isn’t far from the truth).
Later, Archie’s apparently taking Veronica out to eat in the boonies.
Veronica has failed to noticed the fucking green, glowing eyes on the car as well.
Archie talks about eating at Pop’s and then going to the movies. Could he do that with only $20, even in 1999-2000?
Veronica is happy, saying it’s like having the “old” him back. She kind of has a point. I mean Archie usually is an inconsiderate, absent-minded ass, but I’ve never seen him obsessed with his car outside this episode.
Veronica cozies up to Archie and tries to convince him that sex is better when done with a human being.
Betsy disagrees. She veers off the road, taking control away from Archie. It takes Veronica a while to notice. Luckily, the brake still works, and Archie brings the car to a halt.
Archie tries to excuse the car’s behavior and turns off the engine. Veronica says she knows classic cars, which Archie’s car isn’t.
Betsy gets back at her for the insult.
Archie asks Veronica if she’s all right; Veronica thinks so.
They finally arrive at Pop’s (which Archie feels the need to announce), much to Veronica’s relief.
Veronica unfastens her seatbelt and theorizes about Archie’s “wreck” falling apart completely.
Betsy doesn’t like that, deciding to suffocate Veronica against the windshield (seriously, Veronica can’t breathe).
Archie stands up and kicks Veronica’s seat back into position, saving her life.
Veronica gets out of the car and theorizes about it being intelligent. Archie’s like “That’s bullshit.” He unfastens his seatbelt and gets out.
They go inside to get dinner, neither of them noticing the green, glowing eyes. Veronica agrees with Archie, dismissing her concerns.
There’s a very short shot (less than a second long) of Archie and Veronica eating ice cream in Pop’s. Veronica has the bigger serving, surprisingly.
Oh, and no one pays any attention to the evil, green, glowing eyes on the car outside.
Reggie walks by Archie’s car and comments on the “disaster on wheels”.
That’s what happens, man.
The fact that Archie’s car took off goes unnoticed by the lovebirds inside, because Veronica is too busy cramming something wet and delicious into Archie’s mouth.
And Veronica is all-too-happy to get it as good as she gives it.
Anyway, Archie realizes he’s been neglecting his friends.
HOW DO THEY NOT SEE THIS HAPPENING?!
Anyway, Veronica wants Archie to pay more attention to her, but Archie feels, when he does, she’s too busy to notice. I can’t tell if Veronica is happy or frustrated with that statement.
Reggie gets out of reach of
Christine Betsy…for the moment.
Back inside, Veronica says, if she’s not careful, she could really fall for Archie. So…she not completely into Archie? This is just a fun amusement for her?
Outside, things aren’t going well for Reggie.
Back inside, Archie’s about the say something to Veronica (ask her to go steady, perhaps?), but she finally notices what’s going on outside. Without looking, Archie accuses her of “knocking Betsy”. Veronica’s like “Look out the window, dumbass.”
Nope, nothing unusual. Nothing at all.
How did Betsy know to go back to her spot at that moment?
Archie’s upset that Veronica talked shit about an “innocently-parked car”. Veronica is at a loss for words.
Outside, Reggie lets go of the lamp post and drops down to the concrete – and somehow doesn’t injure himself. He runs away.
Inside, Archie’s like “Date’s over, you lying bitch.” He gets up and leaves the diner, stiffing Veronica with the bill and complaining of his friends’ supposed jealousy of Betsy. Veronica follows him. Did she leave any money on the table?
Veronica doesn’t want to fight.
Suddenly, Betsy’s like “Hands off my man, bitch.” This, not the glowing eyes, surprises them. Yeah, Betsy’s speaking through the new alarm system that Archie installed.
Betsy pisses all over Veronica.
Pissed on and off, Veronica tells Archie that he can take Betsy to the movie (which works out, because they were going to the drive-in), and she’s taking a cab home.
Archie talks with Betsy. Betsy makes it seem like she’s always been aware of things. So…the dice didn’t give her consciousness, just cured her of being a shut-in? That’s fucked up.
She offers herself as a replacement girlfriend, opens the driver’s door, and tells Archie to get in. Dumbass that he is, he obeys. She doesn’t like Archie’s friends and doesn’t want him to see them anymore. She fastens Archie’s seatbelt and drives, going on about him spending all of his time with her. Why is Archie not freaking the fuck out?
Fade out. Fade in.
It’s now daybreak, but Betsy’s still driving Archie around Riverdale. Archie says it’s been fun but wants to get the fuck home. Betsy whines. Archie’s tired. Betsy is suspicious that Archie’s gonna sneak off to meet Betty at the spring dance (because that’s totally how dates work). Archie denies it and sweet-talks her. She drives him home.
She asks what the fuck he’s doing, and he says he’s putting her in the garage, bullshitting about possible rain later tonight. One of the garage doors seems to have been open all night.
Betsy smiles in appreciation. As he gets out, she suggests an oil change after his nap. He agrees.
She turns her high beams on, making him feel uneasy.
Archie leaves the garage, and the door somehow automatically closes.
He locks the door. Betsy’s like “What the fuck you doin’?” Rather than saying “I’m making sure that no one steals you”, Archie tells her that he’s going to the spring dance.
Archie then says, when he gets back, he’s gonna figure out how to change her back to normal. Shut up, dude!
He hears her engine start in the garage, turns around, and looks.
RUN, YOU DUMBASS!
That’s what happens, man.
While Archie’s on the ground, Betsy tries to run him over…
…but then hits the brakes and threatens to murder his friends.
She tears off, letting Archie breathe her exhaust.
At Riverdale High School, the dance is over, and Archie still hasn’t shown up.
The gang came to the dance in their regular clothes. Would it have bothered the animators to put them in formal clothes?
Anyway, Betty’s worried, but Veronica’s given up all hope of Archie ever noticing them again.
Archie’s car shows up at the school, and the gang doesn’t react much to the fact that no one’s driving it. I guess they’re not surprised by this point, but they really should be freaking out.
There’s a hilarious (but simultaneously really stupid) gag where Jughead observes the car is heading straight for them, and then they look at each other for a moment before exclaiming the same thing and freaking out. They run back inside the gym.
Betsy bursts through the doors, causing damage to the gym, and turns on way more lights than she should have.
Betsy drives into the gym and toward them.
Dude, you’ve been hiding in the bushes this whole time? Who do you think you are? Sean Spicer?
Having taken his sweet time during the entire dance, Archie suddenly makes a mad dash for the school, hoping he’s not too late to save the gang. By the way, Andrew Rannells’ delivery is really stiff and awkward here.
He’s seemingly too late.
Chuck and Nancy come out of hiding. Archie’s happy to see them.
They explain what happened. Apparently, they were locking up after the dance, which sounds like something that students would definitely not be put in charge of. Anyway, they managed to get into the locker room before they were hurt. The gang ran out the doors, and the car went after them. Chuck’s never seen Jughead move so fast, and he definitely wants to let Archie know that, because he yells it as Archie runs toward the doors. He can hear you just fine, dude.
The gang has taken refuge atop the Thinker replica statue outside the school.
Betsy taunts them, and Reggie has a comeback ready.
As Betsy talks, Betty loses her grip on the statue, but Reggie saves her.
Betty wants to discuss things with Betsy, and Veronica tries to hook Betsy up with a luxury sedan, but bitch ain’t having it. The guys pull the girls (Reggie/Betty, Jughead/Veronica) up. Betsy circles around menacingly for a while.
Archie arrives and cries out about…Jughead. Not the girls, even though they’re in danger, too. Jughead.
Jughead falls, announcing it as he does so, but he didn’t appear to be in any danger until after Archie cried out his name. Archie runs toward him.
That statue’s made out of some flimsy shit.
Jughead finally hits the ground. Betsy prepares to run him over. The wind (or whatever) blows Jughead’s hat (which he’d lost in the fall) back onto his head. That was convenient.
Betsy confirms she’s been aware of everything this whole time (which is very creepy) by referencing Jughead eating cookies in her back seat earlier.
Archie jumps onto a bench and then directly into the driver’s seat. He turns the wheel, so Betsy doesn’t hit Jughead. She allows him to do this?
Some wild driving goes on. Betsy tries to throw Archie out of her, but he grabs onto a seatbelt. She’s feeling betrayed and shit. More wild driving. Archie talks friendship; they’re people; she’s “just a thing”.
More driving. Reggie and the girls climb down from the statue.
Betsy keeps talking betrayal. Kill this bitch already.
Archie only now realizes the dice caused this shit. Like, fucking duh! He tries to get to them, but Betsy doesn’t make it easy. Maybe he shouldn’t have announced what he knows.
He finally yanks the dice off the mirror, and the car slows down.
Yeah, get out of the way, everyone.
Archie survives this.
The gang’s worried and concerned.
It’s all good, though.
Eh, you can just buff that out; it’ll be fine.
No, seriously, the car will be fine. By Betty’s estimate, it will take Archie “weeks” to repair all of that damage. She’s assuming he’s gonna be doing all of this major repair work. After Jughead complains about not seeing Archie, Archie decides to “get some auto shop” to fix Betsy. The car is fine, though, in every other episode of the series, regardless of the proper order. That’s some fast repair work.
The gang is happy with Archie’s decision.
A meteorite or comet shoots across the sky for no apparent reason. It’s green. Might it represent the dice’s power? Is it not over?
Nah, it’s over. We never get an answer to this.
The gang walks away.
Doctor Beaumont, who apparently has been following Betsy, picks up the dice, cleans them, and talks about retrieving them before someone needlessly learns the same lesson, because not everyone needs to.
Fade out. Fade in.
At dusk or dawn (not sure which), Archie types up his column. As the shot slowly zooms in on Archie’s bedroom (but never enters it), Archie talks about allowing himself to forget people are more important than things, which he calls one of the weirdest mysteries that ever happened…
…in a little town called Riverdale.
So this was a pretty enjoyable episode. Reggie and Jughead got to perform some heroics. Veronica got noticeably more screen time than Betty, which is interesting. Chuck and Nancy got to talk. The only thing that the episode suffers from is everyone apparently being fucking blind.
Tune in next Wednesday!
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