I'm FINALLY starting to feel a lot better. This gastrointestinal flu sucks! Don't ever get it!
Thankfully, I'm back just in time for the dreaded "Black Friday" event that seems to be taking over more and more of the world. And yes, I am working today. Please keep me in your thoughts and hope I don't get assaulted by deal hungry shoppers.
Thnakfully, today's edition of The New Archies Reviewed is about anything BUT taking. Instead, it's about giving. Appropriate, given that yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States.
One thing I'm thankful for? This episode is MUCH better than Episode 9.
This is Episode 10A: Loose Lips Stops Slips. When I get to the end, you'll see why I have a minor issue with the title of this episode.
So, I'm thinking that it must be a special day in the town of Riverdale, as there are plans to erect a huge golden statue of the town founder Horace T. Riverdale (which contradicts the comic books, but go with it). And in celebration of the event, MS. Grundy announces a surprise of her own. There's going to be an award given to the student who performs the most good deeds around town, and the person who succeeds will be given a smaller version of the statue as an award. So, basically, the more community service you do, the better chance of getting recognized. I'm not sure if promising to give an incentive to do good in the world is the best idea, but anything that improves community life has to be a good thing.
It's just a shame that Archie isn't paying attention. He's fixated on tying knots into a rope. I hope you don't mind getting too attached to that rope, because it'll be hanging around the whole episode.
(Note to self. Stop making rope puns.)
Anyway, after MS. Grundy assigns a lot of long division homework, Jughead looks at his Pac-Man watch (seriously, it's cool), and decides that instead of doing his homework, he'll go and eat snacks instead!
Now, where is MS. Grundy, letting her students turn her classroom into a cafeteria? If that were my teacher, she'd send me out in the hall!
Oh, wait...Archie's already taken care of that for her. Seems Archie accidentally tied his rope around Jughead's desk. Oh well.
Betty and Amani have decided that they will volunteer at a retirement home, and ask Veronica if she wants to tag along. Veronica says that she can do community service her own way...by crossing the street and pushing away everyone who is in her way. That's our Veronica. So kind and pure.
Another person who seems to be misinterpreting the definition of community service is Reggie, who has taken it upon himself to give MS. Grundy her morning newspaper. MS. Grundy reminds Reggie that sucking up won't get him anywhere, to which MS. Grundy totally redeems herself in my book!
But Archie is looking depressed. And, you know what? I think I'm watching an abbreviated version of this show. I could have sworn that there was a scene included where Archie tries to help Coach Kleats out only for him to get attacked by a bouncing tire and falling into a swimming pool. That would explain Archie's sudden depression.
But it only takes a few frames to learn why Archie's so upset. He sees Betty, Veronica, and Amani at the retirement home singing like Yoko Ono, Edith Bunker, and that guy from Ween and is upset that his singing voice isn't terrible enough to sing to them too.
He sees Ethel sweeping outside a bakery and is upset that he doesn't have a broom.
He sees Moose lift up a car (with a driver still inside) to allow two small kids to cross the street) and is upset that he can't lift a Buick. What's more, Moose tries to explain to Archie that he is having a hard time finding good deeds to perform even though he just performed one. Oh, that Moose!
So this is the main plot of the show. Archie wants to help, but feels he is too unqualified to do so. But how does the rope fit in? Let's continue watching.
So, it's early morning in Riverdale the next day, and Archie decides to start his good deed making skills early by bringing in the trash cans. Only he's so busy staring at his rope that he knocks one of the cans over.
(Ah...remember the good old days when instead of cell phones distracting us, it was a piece of rope? Ah, memories.)
Anyway, the neighbours (and Archie's parents) are awoken, yell four letter words at him, and some even throw their shoes at him! What kind of neighbourhood does Archie live in?
Worse still, Archie ends up knocking the other can over and it starts rolling down the street! You always have to top yourself, don't you, Archie?
Archie grabs his rope and tries to lasso that little silver shiny doggie...only for him to tear down his mailbox instead. And Archie then remarks that he wants to move to Bora Bora. Well, that was random.
Archie's next stop is the school where he spies MS. Grundy tending to the garden. Archie immediately wants to help by weeding the garden for her, but he accidentally rips out the flowers instead causing MS. Grundy to physically pull him away from the garden. MS. Grundy wants to water the plants and Archie notices that the hose is tied up. He offers to untie the hose while setting his rope down. We know Archie is very good at tying knots, but what about untying them?
Well, the good news is, Archie managed to succeed...but the fact that the hose has expanded to about 100 times its size doesn't look too promising!
Sure enough, the pressure that was building up from the knot shoots out into MS. Grundy's face, and she screams as the hose tries to drown her! Seriously, the animation makes it look like the hose is possessed by the same Poltergeist that frightened Craig T. Nelson back in '82! Oh, and MS. Grundy's scream as Archie turns off the water? Hilarious!
Archie is upset that the garden got damaged, but did find out one thing. When the rope that Archie was playing with got drenched, the knots became tighter. Where did Archie get that rope, the dollar store? Oh, well. This must be a totally unrelated fact that will have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE EPISODE, RIGHT?
After Archie and MS. Grundy dry off, it's time for class, and everyone in the class is bragging about how they are just like Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, and the woman from All In The Family that did those Feed The Children television infomercials in the 1980s and how they deserve the award for good citizenship. Of course, it makes Archie want to crawl into a hole and die...or move to Pago Pago. But MS. Grundy puts a reassuring hand on Archie's shoulder and tells him not to give up.
Isn't that sweet...even after almost drowning in her own garden, MS. Grundy still believes in Archie. I think our teacher's growing soft.
The next stop is Pop's, where most of the gang is gathered around a table. Archie is determined to show just how good of a person he is by making an ice cream sundae big enough to feed Jughead!
Or...the people seated at the table. At least, that's Archie's intended goal, anyway.
Too bad that stupid rope happens to make another annoying cameo. As Archie walks towards the table with the sundae, the rope gets caught in his sneaker and trips him, sending Archie sailing toward the table and the sundae splatting up on the ceiling which then cascades down onto the diners below.
You know what would have made that scene more believable? A ceiling fan. That would have made things so much more fun.
And look. Archie's sitting on his front porch playing with the rope again more depressed than ever before. Seriously, Archie...enough is enough. Put the rope down, dude.
Even Betty, Veronica, Amani, Ethel, and Moose (who still can't do a good deed even though he just rescued a cat from a tree) tell Archie to stop feeling sorry for himself and just help them out. But Archie's not in a mood to listen.
Reggie arrives with his paper route, throws the paper in the rose fixture next to the front door, and taunts him before speeding away. Archie tries to use his lasso technique to grab the paper, but ends up hooking the roses instead, which cause the whole display to topple on top of him. Now Archie's depressed, has a face full of rose thorns, and publicly declares that he wants to move to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Which I'm pretty sure is closer to Riverdale than Bora Bora or Pago Pago, but since Archie's depressed enough already, I won't spoil it for him.
It's the day of the statue raising ceremony, and Betty and Jughead are knocking on Archie's door wanting him to go with them. Archie refuses, saying that he doesn't belong there since he doesn't have any good deeds to report, and it is at this point that Betty gets angry and drags him out of there telling him that he should get his butt over there because he has spent the last nine and a half episodes doing stupid things that have made them laugh and feel better about themselves which in turn was a good deed.
(Okay, she doesn't really say that. But it's what we're all thinking!)
The whole town has gathered outside of Riverdale Junior High School (interesting place for a statue), and a group of men are using a pulley system with a rope to hoist the statue onto the pedastal while Mr. Weatherbee makes the speech. Oh, you know there's going to be trouble when Weatherbee is on the stage.
And trouble starts almost immediately when the men have trouble lifting the statue. It's too heavy for their pulley, and when the men slip and the statue begins to fall, the crowd gasps.
But take a look at the statue's rope. It should be obvious what the problem is. The rope is too loose! Gee, I wonder if there's a way we could make the rope tighter...I wonder...
Wait? Where's Archie going? Why is he grabbing a hose? Why is Weatherbee screaming at him to stop?
Oh, I get it! Archie has decided to spray Mr. Weatherbee with the hose because he knows that every time Mr. Weatherbee has a speech, something goes wrong. No speech, nothing goes wrong.
Or maybe Archie's remembering what happened at the garden a few days ago...about how if he sprays a rope with water, it automatically tightens. I don't know what material this rope is made of, but it's clear that if it worked on Archie's little rope, surely it'd work on one a hundred feet longer.
Archie aims the hose at the statue - specifically the part where the rope's knot it. And instantly the rope shrinks enough for the men to pull the statue onto the pedastal. Nice job, Archie, even though in real life it would be impossible to get results that instant.
Now that everyone has dried off, and the statue is safe, it's time for MS. Grundy to announce the winner of the citizenship award, and given what just happened, and how he saved the statue from being smashed (not to mention saved dozens of people from getting killed from the impact), it would be cruel not to give Archie the award, wouldn't it?
And, after Archie sprays himself in the face (watch that foot with the hose, Archie), he runs up on stage to accept the award...
...only to trip over the microphone.
And as this episode ends, we get the classic "That's Our Archie" shot!
Okay, so scientific discrepancies aside, this was a great episode - far better than the last one. It had warmth, it really promoted doing good in your community, and it showed that hard work, determination, and never giving up on yourself always wins in the end.
But seriously...Loose Lips Stops Slips? Shouldn't it be Tight Lips Stops Slips? Or Loose Lips Sink Statues? Or The Rope Episode? Anything would have been better! But, hey...if the only thing I can complain about is the title, then I have to call it a success.
Next week, an episode that has everyone changing their minds. Literally.