Archie’s dad leaves “Riverdale” to have a chat with his separated wife in Chicago. While Fred’s away, Betty convinces Archie to have a surprise party for Jughead in “The Lost Weekend.” Archie and Veronica are happy for the distraction from their everyday lives, but Jughead has always hated his birthday and doesn’t particularly like surprises.

Chuck returns

Remember when Chuck got kicked off the football team because Betty went dark and got him to confess that he took advantage of several girls in school? His suspension is over and he’s back, which brings back the Betty who is always on edge and digging her fingernails into her palms to keep herself from blowing up.

It also means that Chuck, despite apologizing to Ethel Muggs for what he did, is out for revenge, and he takes the opportunity to team up with Cheryl Blossom to do it. Why Cheryl? Because...

Veronica tries to take on the Blossoms

When Veronica finds out from Archie that Cheryl’s father might have been responsible for sending her father to jail, she decides to investigate. She finds payouts from the Blossoms to the Lodges going back 75 years, but no one else wants to investigate for fear of implicating her father in Jason’s death. Veronica takes her anger out on Cheryl, challenging her for the role of cheer captain, and getting it.

This leads to Cheryl and Chuck taking over Jughead’s surprise party and playing a game that involves outing secrets to the whole room.

Veronica accuses Cheryl and her twin brother of incest while Chuck reveals just what Betty did to get him kicked off the team. The party ends with Jughead getting into a fight with Chuck and Jughead’s own father breaking it all up.

With everything going on in her life, Veronica decides that Betty’s investigation into Jason’s death is important, especially since her father might be involved after all.

Following her hookup with Archie at Jughead’s party and her confusion about her parents, she offers to help. It’s about time more than just Betty and Jughead got in on the investigation. There aren’t that many episodes left.

Jughead really does hate his birthday

Jughead claims childhood trauma for the reason he hates his birthday, but he also admits to Betty later that when people do nice things for him, he gets scared that they’re going to hurt him later.

It’s nice to see FP trying to be the good guy at this particular party for his son though. We’ve seen him messed up, and we’ve seen him as a pretty awful father, but he’s trying, so maybe Jughead’s luck is changing.

As Betty and Jughead discuss his fear of getting hurt though, Betty opens up to him about being afraid of the darkness inside of her as well. She shows him the marks from her fingernails on her palms, and though it’s not clear just what’s going to happen next with her, she and Jughead clearly have each other’s back. Jughead has always thought of Betty as perfect, but now, he gets to see the real her, which is refreshing for a teen show like “Riverdale,” where some secrets get spilled every week but it seems like everyone still holds secrets close to them.

The Jughead Easter eggs

If you’re at all familiar with “Archie Comics,” there are a few nice nods to Jughead’s role in them in this episode. Not only does Betty spend his birthday wearing a sweater with his comic book crown on it, but he also remarks how weird it is that he always wears his hat. That might be a more classic nod to Jughead in the appearance, but there’s also a nod to the more recent supernatural comics as he and Betty attend a double feature featuring “Werewolf of London” and he’s surprised she wants to see a movie about a werewolf. Betty makes a quip about loving the beast within, which is a nice nod to the darkness inside her, but also a nice nod to the fact that Jughead becomes a werewolf in one of the horror comic book storylines.

One Southside reveal

Who knew that Betty and Jughead might have more of a connection than just their friendship with Archie and the darkness they’ve got inside? As it turns out, Alice Cooper isn’t as squeaky clean as she pretends to be. She knows FP, not just because she went to high school with him, but because she’s actually from Southside Riverdale. Based on FP’s conversation with her, it even sounds like they might have been an item at one point, and that she might have even been a Southside Serpent. I’d love to see Betty find that out.

The verdict and what’s next

The Lost Weekend” is one of the few episodes that felt like typical teen television with a massive party while the parents are out of town and the vindictive cheerleader spoiling everyone’s fun.

It felt less like “Riverdale” than usual with very few clues about Jason and only a few nods to the comics.

2.5 out of 5 stars

Next, Polly finds the Blossom household dangerous and Archie’s mother (Molly Ringwald!) wants him to move with her.