Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15 Review: Chapter Ninety-One: The Return of the Pussycats

Josie and the Pussycats. Long tails and ears for hats. They’re the band we need back, stat. (Josie and the Pussycaaaaaaaaaaattts!)

Hurry, hurry! On Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15, the spin-off could be live. A promising show to see survive.

Stealing scenes, making hits. Come on, CW, make this your pick!

Friendly Exes - Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15

Josie and the Pussycats deserved all the redemption that Riverdale had to offer and more.

If you’ve been with me since Riverdale Season 1, you’ll know that I’ve chastised the show for its lack of plots for Josie and her feline bandmates. The group mostly served as background players in scenes, random romances, or whenever the show needed a musical number thrown in.

Josie deserved deep and layered plots. Valerie and Melody both deserved the spotlight. And the group should’ve departed Riverdale as the first spin-off for the series years ago.

Melody: And there you have it. The story of three young women, old friends who found their way back to each other and who set off together towards magical musical mysteries unknown. Do yourself a favor and remember our names. All three of them: Josie McCoy, Valerie Brown, and Melody Valentine. Because you’re going to be hearing from us again.

Don’t get me wrong, Katy Keene was a cute show (and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was a beast on its own), but Josie’s musical storyline on that series was minor in comparison to what it could’ve been.

Josie and the Pussycats are a tour de force.

One Missed Call - Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15

“Chapter Ninety-One: The Return of the Pussycats” did right by fleshing out the members during their time away. For the first time, each member of the group seemed like developed characters with their own skills, wants, and dreams.

Valerie wasn’t just relegated to romance or a silent keyboardist; she’s an aspiring actress who’s not ready for marriage and wants to put her dreams first. Melody wasn’t the silent drummer anymore; she’s in a loving relationship with her girlfriend, and she’s a talented published writer/performer.

And, of course, Josie wasn’t a diva hogging the spotlight. She’s a complex international multi-platinum recording artist who wants to change her ways and be with her friends again.

This chapter showed more promising character development than in the three seasons the Pussycats had appeared in. Let’s hope this goodwill is used to push the characters further in their own storylines.

Band Performance - Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15

Josie returning to town made sense in the grand scheme.

An abrupt tragedy like losing her father would’ve caused her to reevaluate her life and need to take a moment away. Plus, she hadn’t been back to Riverdale in all these years, so her reaction to the ghost town that was Riverdale was missing from the rest of the original group.

It’s great that Josie wanted to reconnect with her former friends again, but she also needed to deal with the consequences of her actions too. Let’s not forget her villainous turn when she dropped her two best friends to strike out on her own.

Josie: You know, sometimes I think watching my dad spend his entire career just outside of the spotlight is why I became so obsessed with getting it for myself. But now I would give anything to play with him one more time … with you guys one more time.
Melody: Let’s do it, Josie.
Valerie: That’s why we came. If you still want to record that song together, we’re still down.
Josie: Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. [Sobbing]

Melody and Valerie were both right to call Josie out; there was longstanding drama between them that they needed to discuss. As teenagers, Josie never gave them equal footing in the band, so as adults, that treatment wouldn’t fly if they wanted to repair their relationship.

Kudos to Valerie and Melody, putting it all out on the table. Being direct about everything bypassed any of the uncertainty and had the group face their issues head-on.

Josie and The Pussycats - Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15

Speaking of calling people out, did anyone else cheer when Josie called out all her high school friends for their terrible behavior?

Someone had to say it, and Josie did it loud enough for the people in the back to hear. Everything she said was completely right!

How many times had Josie and Betty talked to each other? Why would Josie forgive the heinous things done to her, like the pig heart or being caught in a robbery? And how many of those “friends” still talked to her since she left?

Riverdale might be a wicked little town, but the events that happen there are dark and twisted. Actions shouldn’t be so easily forgiven, and there were many times Josie got wrapped up in other people’s drama instead of her musical pursuits.

They’re lucky she changed her mind and agreed to do a benefit show with The Pussycats.

The Pussycats - Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15

Melody should’ve reconsidered her decision to turn down the film deal.

A lot of things happen from pre-production to the production of the movie. While Valerie might not have been the star of this movie, she could’ve gotten the second lead or a big role within this movie to shine.

Creating the film would’ve also given Melody cache to option her next book into a movie and having Valerie lead that film. Her first book-to-film venture had all the elements of setting both her and Valerie up for success in the long term.

Melody was too focused on the short-term goal of having Valerie as the lead that it blinded her from the benefits for everyone. She should’ve talked with Valerie first before giving Tyler Perry an answer because they could’ve worked out a better plan for their careers.

The Superstar Returns - Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15

Also, kudos to Tabitha for sticking to her ethics and refusing to change her milkshake formula. Turning down a lucrative deal with Alexandra Cabot seemed like a bad idea at first, but the milkshake quality couldn’t be affected.

If she had accepted the original deal, the quality of her products would’ve suffered and ruined her reputation long-term.

The diner’s most iconic feature was the milkshake, so changing that would alter the restaurant’s value. Adding singing and music offered a fun 50s gimmick to the franchises, but the food would always be the biggest draw.

Alexandra seemed like she understood that with the second deal. I’m crossing my fingers she sticks to her word; you can never tell with her since she had underhanded motives during her time on Katy Keene.

The biggest issue with Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15 came from the abundance of musical numbers. (I know, I’m a broken record.)

However, in this case, the issue was that the numbers didn’t seem believable or grounded in reality. Riverdale fully crossed into Glee territory when musical numbers randomly appeared out of the blue with choreographed backup dancers and music ready to go. In reality, the mention had only just been said about music.

How did Melody rehearse her song with the servers at the Whyte Wyrm? Did Valerie train with her backup dancer? Did Tabitha, Toni, and Alexandra rehearse a number from “Little Shop of Horrors” before the dinner rush?

Fangs: So, I’ve been thinking, and is there any chance I can tag along with you? You know, I can pull my weight. I can drive your bus, I can be your roadie, I can be your anything.
Josie: It’ll be a tight squeeze, but yes.

Plus, the random sounds for hair whips, flips, movements, and other moments took me right out of the scenes.

If Riverdale wants to do musical numbers, the show needs them to feel believable. Simply doing them and throwing them in one line doesn’t solve the problem. Stop trying to be Glee; you’re better at being Riverdale.

Josie Solo - Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15

Who do you think killed Josie’s dad? “Chapter Ninety-One: The Return of the Pussycats” ended with a big cliffhanger for a (potential) spin-off.

My early bet is on Alexander Cabot or Mr. Cabot (Alexander’s father) from Katy Keene. There’s a reason Alexandra appeared here, so I have a feeling those characters will return in the future to tie the series together.

Valerie: You know Alan, you don’t have to come with us.
Alan: I still love you, Val. I’m in it for the long haul. Married or not.
Valerie: In case I haven’t told you today, I’m crazy about you, Alan Mayberry.

Plus, there needs to be a spin-off!

The structure of the chapter came across as a backdoor pilot for The Pussycats and introduced another character from the original cartoon, like Alan M. And, the first location will be in New Orleans where many series are filmed; the budget and plot threads lined up nicely.

We’re so close to a Josie and the Pussycats series. Crossing my fingers that this becomes a reality.

The McCoys - Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15

Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:

  • Fangs and Josie are finally getting their chance to be a real couple. Their timing could be working out now as adults.
     
  • Come on; the Old Navy product placement wasn’t subtle in the slightest. The scene looked forced as Toni had the bag and baby jeans reference ready to go.
     
  • Who else called it that Toni was going to give birth during the performance?
     
  • A good portion of the chapter was only music or performance. Riverdale could’ve dropped one number to give more plot development to the group.

Milkshake - Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15

Now, over to you, Riverdale fans.

What did you think of “Chapter Ninety-One: The Return of the Pussycats”?

Which was your favorite performance from the reunion? Do you think The Pussycats will be its own series? Did you cheer when Josie called out everyone?

If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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