Uh, Betty Cooper, is that you?
Riverdale is great at being absolutely nuts, and there’s no shortage of scenes that made us go “huh?” But tonight’s episode verged on an uncomfortable “huh??” as Betty (Lili Reinhart) stripped down—in front of everybody—and performed a very seductive rendition of a Tears for Fears song, practicing her stripper pole moves in front of her mom, her boyfriend, his dad, and an entire gang.
Apparently it’s all part of the outdated, misogynistic (Toni’s words, not ours) initiation ritual for ladies in the gang, called “The Serpent Dance.”
Toni said Betty didn’t want to know, but uh yeah, Betty did. She wanted to know everything.
And so, later on, at the party she and Jughead threw for FP’s gang retirement (who throws a gang retirement party?), Betty took over after Archie and Veronica’s perfectly moody performance of “Mad World” imploded, leaving the Serpents pissed as hell.
She took the stage, quickly ditching her tasteful but dangerously unbuttoned sleeveless chambray and revealing the black bodysuit underneath.
She just sang for a second, but then she also ditched the singing for the stripper pole while her disembodied voice continued with the song somehow anyway.
Then, Alice finally showed up at the front of the crowd to sigh and completely underreact to her teenage daughter stripping for a bunch of old motorcycle dudes, in some kind of ritual she apparently had to perform in order to be part of her boyfriend’s gang.
Sure, Toni pointed out that this little initiation ritual was sexist and weird, but that didn’t change the fact that it was, or that it was going to happen anyway.
In the words of Jughead, “Why did you do that?!”
Dark Betty’s fun and all in theory, but does that darkness really have to come from stripping in a bar?? Can’t she just keep wearing wigs and pouring maple syrup onto people in hot tubs?? Boy do we miss the days of maple syrup in hot tubs!
Anyway, we just hope Lili Reinhart was totally cool with that performance and that every single adult man in that bar felt super uncomfortable.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.