Hello, Riverdale fans and victims! As we prepare for some exciting things on the Book Squad horizon, Mary takes control of the recap yet again. While she misses Kelli horribly, she's doing her best to keep you abreast of all the moving and shaking happening in our favorite hot mess of a show. This week, we're breaking things up by character yet again, because this show loves nothing more than rando one second scenes. Join us after the cut for more drama than a pit full of serpents.
We pick up where we left off—the scene of a MURDER. Alice Cooper is mopping up blood like her life depends on it, and betty decides she’s going to help like the dutiful, fix-everything daughter she is. When Hal calls, Betty answers tearily, trying to act “normal.” Great job, Betty. The two women mop up the blood with bleach (fun fact, you can’t really clean blood up with bleach!) while Chic cries in the corner.
Hal comes back to get some toiletries or something—remember, he won’t stay in the house because Chic is there—and he is SUSPICIOUS because he smells bleach. Alice has some great excuse about how she spilled tomato soup. OK, Alice. After Hal leaves, Alice and Betty dump the body in Alice’s “secret place,” AKA a drainage tube no one uses anymore.
While Betty and Alice continue cleaning, Betty has a moment where she looks at a bowl of apples and then begins cleaning them manically. I think the audience is supposed to interpret this as a manifestation of Betty’s vague mental illness, which just complicates Betty even more. I have to call BS on this detail. It feels like the writers don’t know what they want Betty to feel; is she obsessive-compulsive? Does she experience some sort of anxiety or panic syndrome? It’s hard to say, and it’s becoming increasingly troubling that she’s exhibiting these signs and her parents say NOTHING. Alice is willfully ignoring Betty’s symptoms in a way that would be dangerous if this was the real world, and Betty continues to hide what she feels from her friends and family—which sets a bad precedent for actual teens who might watch the show. I’d like to see a healthier representation of mental health on Riverdale.
Kevin tells the gang a body is found and Betty runs to the bathroom to throw up, digging her nails into her palms the whole way. Here, we get one of our few Cheryl moments for the episode. Cheryl comes into the bathroom to try and help Betty, then helpfully tells her she has puke on her collar. Gosh, I miss Cheryl.
Because Betty can’t leave well enough alone, she goes back to the site of the body and takes the mystery man’s phone. From his tons of missed calls, she figures out he’s a drug dealer and begins calling random numbers to see if anyone knows who the man was. Obviously none of his junkie friends want to give him away. I’m curious what kind of drugs he was selling, honestly. Was it jingle-jangle? We can only hope.
While sitting outside talking about the dead body, Jughead and Betty watch as a parking officer rolls up and asks, in her moment to shine, “Hey! Either of you know the owner of that car?” This actress is giving it all she’s got, and hoping that the viewers don’t wonder why Riverdale has parking officers in little golf carts that drive around at night, or why it’s not okay to park on the street for a couple of days. It’s such a weird moment that takes us out of the grimdark plot that I had to laugh. Jughead claims it’s his car, and now the teens have to get rid of a car OR FACE THE WRATH OF THE PARKING GODS.
Hal comes home to be rude to Chic. Hal is the worst and I hate him.
Still embroiled with the FBI, Archie tries to tell all about the Lodges without really saying anything. It’s not going so well. He doesn’t even know what a capo is. sigh I’m going to take care of Archie in the Lodge section because, let’s face it, he’s boring and does not deserve his own space.
He’s still feeling uneasy because Betty is acting weird now that they’ve had sex. He has no way to know she’s just participated in hiding a dead body.
FP comes home angry because the trailer park is getting evicted from their homes. He’s also angry because GENERAL PICKENS’S HEAD IS MISSING.
I truly understand Jughead’s anxiety about his relationship with Betty throughout this episode. He has sex with Betty (at least we’re assuming they had sex) and then Betty starts acting weird—it’s logical that he has some assumptions. I’m the type of person who texts immediately after a date to say I had a good time or keep chatting. I like a lot of communication. So I would be the Jughead here, for sure.
Juggy confronts the mayor and says that she needs to come clean to the public because she is clearly in on some shady dealings. While he’s not wrong, she stands firm.
Veronica says she’s going to broker a deal to the benefit of Hiram. Hiram has a great line where he tells Ronnie, “This isn’t high school.” OH, BUT ISN’T IT?!
Veronica feels like she’s dragging Archie into gangland and feels frustrated that she doesn’t know for sure what her dad is up to. Agent Adams continues to hound Archie the entire episode and he feels more embroiled in the mob drama than ever. Archie has some heart to heart chats with Hiram and, for once, Hiram seems kind of logical and nice? Hiram says he didn’t have anything to do with Poutine’s death (yes, I’m still losing my mind that someone is named Papa Poutine), and he seems genuinely concerned that Veronica is struggling with her family’s tendency towards crime.
Hiram talks to Veronica like a good dad and assures her he didn’t have anything to do with Papa Poutine’s death—and I’m starting to think at this point that maybe he didn’t!
Archie tells Agent Adams that Lenny Kowalski might have something to do with the death of Poutine. OK, Archie. Judging from his shifty eye contact, he doesn’t believe it.
Hiram confronts Jughead and FP and tries to work out some sort of deal with them. He wants peace, and he also wants his name kept out of the paper. Jughead, ever the respectable journalist, says that sounds like a bribe. And he doesn’t take bribes.
Mayor McCoy says she’s going to tell Jughead everything, and Hermione declares, “It’s time for operation ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.’” Um, okay. It’s clear the Lodges are about to explode McCoy’s life, and it seems that they’re going to do that by exposing her relationship with Sheriff Keller. Veronica later warns McCoy about this, and McCoy’s face drops. Mayor McCoy resigns and returns to her career as a lawyer before the Lodges can blackmail her. Veronica seems pleased, telling her parents it would be cruel to manipulate the mayor. Hiram KNOWS Veronica warned the mayor, and Veronica lies and says she did not. This is a family of really terrible liars.
Agent Adams, still on Archie’s case, confronts Fred and shows up in the Andrews house. It’s boring, tbh.
Archie tells Hiram that the FBI hired him to be an informant, but assures him that he hasn’t told them anything. This is the ultimate act of loyalty, Hiram feels.
Even though Cheryl doesn’t do much this episode, we get a fabulous shot of her doing some archery and confronting Penelope again about her “courtesan ways.” Penelope tells Cheryl (while seductively eating strawberries) that what she has with Hal is love, not lust, and Cheryl—like the audience—is appalled. Penny isn’t doing a good job at being a prostitute. I’m pretty sure she broke rule number one.
Cheryl tells Hal that what he’s doing with Penelope is disgusting and he needs to go home and be with his family. She graciously offers to keep this secret from Betty.
That Ending Tho:
The Lodges’s driver Andre takes Archie to an undisclosed location that feels like maybe a cool murder spot. He keeps vaguely saying that he’s taking Archie to meet “the boss,” but never confirms it’s Hiram.
When Archie arrives, he sees a long haired woman standing in the wilderness, and she whips around to reveal SHE IS HERMIONE LODGE. Hermione tells Archie that this was all a test, that Agent Adams doesn’t really exist and he’s now ready to join the family proper. Riverdale is known for its dramatic cliffhangers, and this one felt like it should’ve been more shocking than it actually was.
Alice goes to FP for help with the dead body, and FP gladly agrees. He says, “I’m not gonna let you make the same mistake I did with Jason Blossom,” and hurries out to help by burying the body in both dirt and lye, so it’ll decompose quickly. This isn’t the most foolproof plan, but it’s a heap of a lot better than what Betty and Elizabeth did. Team Dead Body meets at Pop’s (because that is where everyone meets always), and FP shares a genuinely tender moment with Alice, holding her hand. I gotta say, readers, I ship it. He tells her, “We take care of our own,” and I swooned a bit. I want Alice to acknowledge and own her Serpent roots, as she’s been moving to do for a while now.
I’m really missing my partner in crime this week because I need to know her final thoughts, too! My gut response is that this is NOT a great episode to serve as the cliffhanger for the Olympics hiatus. I’m not even entirely sure why we’re going on an Olympics break because the CW doesn’t even air Olympics coverage. Oh well. Did I just completely miss the mark and think the Black Hood was NOT who they said it was? I’m still waiting for the BH to come back. I’m still waiting for it to be Hal.
Also, I’m not sure how I feel about the whole Lodge-mafia storyline. As someone who really loved all things The Godfather in high school, and was borderline obsessed with Jisuk Cho’s mob series Fishbones, I’m just not seeing this plot as genuine. It should have been clear much earlier that the mob was involved, right?
That being said, I’m still along for the ride.
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The authors of this blog are four women with opinions about pop culture. That's all you really need to know.