Previously, on Riverdale
More like, what didn’t happen? Hiram got arrested, we found out The Farm is a body farm, and Ethel told Jughead that the Gargoyle King is Jason Blossom. Read our recap here.
At The Farm, Cheryl and Alice have taken up where Betty left off. Alice questions Edgar about the rumors she’s hearing of organ harvests, and Cheryl’s trying to convince Kevin and Fangs it’s time to leave or be chopped up. When she’s searching for proof, she comes across a slumped-over body that causes her to shriek like she’s auditioning to be Drew Barrymore in the next Scream remake. And with good reason — we found Jason’s body, guys! Edgar exhumed it and hypnotized Cheryl to believe she’d been talking to him. This is next-level gross and creepy. He locks her up, but Alice breaks her out and helps her escape with baby Juniper.
The Game is Afoot
The core four are more-or-less kidnapped away to Thornhill Hunting Lodge, where we find out the mastermind behind both the Black Hood *and* the Gargoyle King was Penelope Blossom! Enraged and emboldened by the loss of her son, she encouraged Hal in his mission of murder as the Black Hood. And as for the Gargoyle King, it’s none other than Chic, who didn’t die the night Betty turned him over to her father. Instead, Hal took him under his wing, and Penelope weirdly made him dye his hair and pretend to be her dead son. When Hal was arrested, Chic/Fake Jason took over as the right hand in Penelope’s quest for vengeance against the town that wronged her for her entire life, by introducing G&G and being the figurehead of its dangerous quests.
But Penelope’s vendetta isn’t over. She’s decided to go full-on “The Most Dangerous Game” on the kids, and has set up a series of tests that they must pass and survive the night. Haven’t these children been through enough this year? Apparently not, because Archie has to fight a giant man dressed like a bear, Veronica and Betty have to drink poison, Jughead has to fight shirtless Chic/Fake Jason/The Gargoyle King, and Betty has to shoot her father (non-lethal). Despite them passing all the tests and surviving the night, Penelope decides to have them hunted anyway, and shoots Hal in the head for good measure (very lethal). Cheryl and Toni show up with the Poisonous Serpents just in time to rescue the gang and get them to safety. Weird archery fetish aside, Cheryl is a pretty great gang leader, loads better than Jughead as much as it pains me to say it. She’s bossy, she’s organized, and she’s capable. Looking back, I should have known this was foreshadowing for later horrors.
In the Light of Day
Two crises averted, they all head back to The Farm to save Alice and Polly from whatever the Ascension is. There are no giant snake men at graduation, so it’s definitely not a Buffy-style ascension. But it’s too late–everyone’s gone and has left their clothes and shoes behind. Everyone, that is, except poor Kevin, who always seems to get left out. And right when he seemed to be having a cute thing going with Fangs! This boy has a type.
Chic heads to jail, Hal heads to the cemetery (for real this time), and Penelope heads to wherever it is they put characters they want to bring back in the future. I’m guessing this means the dissolution of the town’s premiere sex club, and drops in the stocks of red leather and black lace. Hermione heads to jail, too, as Hiram pulls strings from behind bars. He may be in prison, but it’s his prison, filled with men who answer to him. It’s Hiram’s world, the rest of us just live in it. I’m glad that the Riverdale staff’s really leaned in this season in their commitment to abs of all kinds, and acknowledge that while KJ Apa’s got some truly spectacular muscles, Mark Consuelos ain’t no slouch.
Most plotlines nicely wrapped up, the gang comes together for a celebratory milkshake. Archie requests another vow: that they maybe try to avoid murder cults and RPGs, and don’t let anything ruin their senior year. As they clink their glasses, we get a FLASH FORWARD to Spring Break of the following year: Archie, Betty, and Veronica covered in blood, about to burn their clothes *and* Jughead’s beanie, but he’s nowhere to be found. Betty insists they never speak of this, graduate, and go their separate ways so they won’t get caught. Back in the present, the sweet, naive kids drink their milkshakes, continuing to believe they can have a life that is anything resembling normal in this messed-up town filled with their messed-up families. So much for that pipe dream!
Hermione couldn’t have picked a better arrest outfit if she’d planned it. That is a sick jumpsuit and she looks fierce as hell.
A Fine Line
“Kevin’s father is a lawman! He won’t abide his son living in the 10th circle of hell!” – Cheryl can crack wise even as she’s being bodily handled into lockup. The woman has a gift.
All the Farmies except Kevin “ascended,” so…I guess that storyline is TBD? I mean, they’ve gotta be somewhere.
Where is Jughead in that flash forward, damn it?! I know that logically, there’s no way he’s dead. There’s no way! I’ll riot! But I swear, if they harm a hair on his head…it almost broke me to see that beanie tossed so casually on those flames.
Bonkers Things That Happened That You Might Have Forgotten About, Amidst All (gestures vaguely) ‘This’
- – Jughead quotes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, like he is actually Sherlock Holmes, in the middle of his own kidnapping. Ah, to have the hubris of a teen boy!
- – Archie and Veronica are reunited! Mary Andrews will be so happy, since this seems to be all she talks to Archie about. This doesn’t fall into the bonkers category because it happened; in fact, I took surety in its inevitability. It’s bonkers cause these kids take a break in the middle of searching for an antidote to her poison to put that tainted mouth to good use.
- – Alice has been working this entire time as an FBI informant. I’ll admit, I did not see that coming at all, and it makes me sad I ever doubted her. Here’s hoping they catch Edgar, and she can make millions on a true crime book deal.
- – Jughead and Betty share a half-brother now, and he’s staying in town for a while. NOT WEIRD AT ALL, RIGHT?
- – Drunk Nana Rose waking Toni up from her drugged stupor is a Big Mood. “Your school chums are the prey!”
- – Speaking of the Blossoms, Cheryl’s officially ventured firmly into the category of not okay. It’s bad enough Edgar went and broke her brain, but then she took Jason’s corpse with her to Thistle House. Now that she’s got her twin back (rotting flesh or no), Toni’s never going to get any alone time with Cheryl!
Guys, this has been a whirlwind of a season, and I’ve loved recapping every crazy minute of it with you. See you in the fall for *~*SeNiOr YeAr!*~*
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