‘Riverdale’ Shouts Out ‘Stranger Things’ Barb With #JusticeforEthel

Shannon Purser makes her debut as Ethel Muggs, as Betty and Veronica take matters into their own hands

The CW

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Thursday’s episode of “Riverdale”)

Well, if “Stranger Things” won’t give us #JusticeforBarb, at least “Riverdale” will.

On The CW’s Archie comic book adaptation, “Stranger Things” breakout actress Shannon Purser made her debut as Ethel Muggs, who reveals she’s been sexually harassed and humiliated by football player and Riverale golden boy Chuck Clayton — the guy who proceeds to do the same thing to Veronica (Camila Mendes).

Wrong move, Chuck. Veronica doesn’t follow rules — she makes them and if she has to, she’ll break them.

The women of Riverdale decide to take matters into their own hands to track down a secret playbook where jocks were keeping score of conquests. Veronica takes a photo of the book, intending it to take it to the principal so the guys are disciplined, but when Betty (Lili Reinhart) spies her sister Polly’s name in the book, next to Cheryl’s (Madeleine Petsch) dead brother Jason, she wants more than just justice – she wants vengeance.

Betty sets her good girl image aside and cojoles Chuck into a date at Ethel’s house, where there’s a hot tub — and a waiting Veronica.

The two girls don racy swimsuits to seduce the football player, who is soon drugged and wakes up handcuffed with a camera turned on him. Betty gets slightly too enthusiastic while messing with Chuck, and even refers to herself as Polly in one especially intense moment.

Nevertheless, with Chuck’s taped confession, the school has more than enough proof to punish him, and hashtag #JusticeforEthel was born, thanks to the ever quick-witted Cheryl.

Elsewhere, Cheryl finally spills all she knows regarding Jason’s death. Turns out, he had wanted to run away and enlisted her help in staging an accident so their parents wouldn’t go after him. But he was supposed to check in with her once he got somewhere safe, not show up dead with a gunshot wound to the head a week later.

Tasked by Betty to do some journalistic digging, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) also got to the bottom of the early dawn gunshot on July 4th that Archie (KJ Apa), Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel), Cheryl and Jason all heard – it was Dilton Doiley (Daniel Yang), teaching his scout troop how to become survivalists. Talk about a McGuffin.

Archie, off on his own for the most part, gets to write a song for Josie and the Pussycats, gets grounded and restarts his affair with Ms. Grundy, but did anyone really care?

More importantly, Betty and Veronica were “forged” in this episode, according to Jughead’s ubiquitous voice-over, and even Cheryl got in on the girl-bonding, apologizing to Betty for what her brother did to her sister.