"Riverdale" is chock full of drama in “The Last Picture Show” as Jughead struggles to save the drive-in where he works, Betty digs into Ms. Grundy’s past, and more than one person learns about Archie’s relationship status. It’s a whirlwind of events where the murder of Jason Blossom seems like the least of the main characters’ problems.

Betty gets bold

After last week’s look at the darker side of Betty’s personality, she breaks even more out of her shell this week.

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She’s not putting on a wig and terrorizing football players this time around, but instead, she’s pulling out the investigative journalism skills she’s probably learned from her parents - as well as some breaking and entering.

In addition to coming right out and asking Archie about his relationship with Ms. Grundy, Betty also uses the guise of an article (though fake) in the school paper to ask the music teacher a few questions. Not satisfied when she finds that Geraldine Grundy is an elderly woman that died seven years ago and that this Ms. Grundy only popped up the year prior, she enlists Veronica to break into the teacher’s car and look for some answers. What they find was Jennifer Gibson’s ID and a gun.

Of course, when Betty makes the mistake of stealing that gun and writing about Archie’s relationship in her diary, she has to grow even bolder as she stands up to her mother. As her mother wants to expose the two to the entire town, Betty assures her mother that she’ll show the whole town she’s snapped and that crazy really does run in the Cooper family.

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Betty is more and more surprising every week and I look forward to seeing just how far she’ll go in the future.

Ms. Grundy is not who you think she is

Those even slightly familiar with the comics were surprised that Ms. Grundy was a young music teacher hooking up with Archie in the pilot since the comics saw her as an elderly woman who worked for the school principal. “The Last Picture Show” gives us a glimpse at that more comic book accurate Ms. Grundy with an obituary in the paper, but Geraldine Grundy in Riverdale is really Jennifer Gibson, as she explains to Archie that she changed her name after escaping an abusive relationship.

With Betty’s mother discovering Archie and Ms. Grundy’s relationship, Ms. Grundy seems done-for in Riverdale though. She leaves town by the end of the episode, and I’d definitely be surprised if we see her again. I’m pleasantly surprised that the show burned through the student-teacher storyline so quickly. I’m ready to move on to other things.

Meet the South Side Serpents

Veronica discovers that her mother is paying off the South Side Serpents, Riverdale’s version of a street gang, for their work “bringing down the value” of the drive-in.

That’s not all though. It turns out the Lodge’s are buying the property the drive-in sits on, Kevin Keller has started hooking up with one of the gang members, and that Jughead’s father (AKA Skeet Ulrich!) is the leader of the South Side Serpents. Jughead’s reason for wanting to keep that drive-in going? He’s been living there.

That’s a whole lot of information where the South Side Serpents are concerned. I can’t wait to see just where Jughead ends up and how big of a role his father plays in the rest of the season. Joaquin, the new guy in Kevin’s life, has the potential to be half of the show’s real pair of star-crossed lovers as well.

The verdict and what’s next

Despite the quick movement in earlier episodes, “The Last Picture Show” didn’t feature a lot of information about Jason Blossom’s murder investigation, but it was a surprisingly satisfying episode. I would have liked to see a little more Veronica and some Josie and the Pussycats, but the writers managed to pack a whole lot into the hour.

4 out of 5 stars

Jason’s death gets more attention in next week’s “Heart of Darkness” as his family plans his funeral.