It’s official: Sierra McCoy has the best taste in Riverdale because she’s ready to let the world know that hottie Tom Keller is her man! Put another way, the couple is getting married! But they don’t want a big wedding, so instead, they agree to let their overeager children throw them an afterparty — otherwise known as a reception — at Veronica’s speakeasy, and Kevin and Josie waste no time inviting people. Marcus Mason, however, makes it clear that he’s not too interested in attending the wedding. (Rumor has it he and Tom were close in high school and he had a crush on Sierra.)
Come to think of it, this entire episode was essentially sectioned into couples, so let’s follow suit, shall we?
Toni and Cheryl
After receiving her practically perfect SAT scores, Cheryl sets up her first (and only) college interview. Her dream is to attend High Smith College seeing as how it’s where all the women in her family have studied. But when her interviewer tells her that a board member has started a new initiative to diversify the student population outside members of the alumni families, Cheryl heads straight to talk to her mom. OF COURSE, Penelope was behind the new initiative, because apparently, her daughter isn’t good enough for the school. (So in case you were wondering how Penelope’s priorities lined up, it goes brothel then college then poison then her outfits then her daughter).
Cheryl then heads to school, where she runs into Kevin and finds out that Moose still hasn’t come out to his dad, so she decides to PUBLICLY OUT HIM as a “blind item” during the morning announcements. Naturally, Toni is pissed at her, so Cheryl puts a plan into action that will right all these wrongs. First up, she and Toni take pictures of the brothel’s clientele and threatens to ID them publicly, which would not be good for business. In exchange, Penelope lifts the initiative at High Smith, and because Cheryl’s obviously getting in, she gives up her interview time to Toni. Nothing’s going to separate these two. Not even college.
Next up, Cheryl apologizes to Moose before giving Toni the thing she’s been missing: A new family. (Read: A new gang.) Cheryl has gathered up a group of women, and they’re going to call themselves The Pretty Poisons because they’re pretty by day and poison by night. Get it? (Although perhaps Cheryl should rethink naming them after something her mother loves more than her own daughter…)
Moose and Kevin
Remember the whole Cheryl outing Moose thing? Well, it came about because Kevin wanted to take Moose as his date to his dad’s wedding “afterparty,” but Moose said no. And weirdly, Cheryl’s announcement seems to help Moose, because he ends up coming out to his dad and agreeing to be Kevin’s date. Actually, he doesn’t just agree to be his date. He agrees to put out!
Kevin and Moose agree to finally spend a night together, and Kevin decides the bunker is the perfect place for romance. WHY ANYONE THINKS THAT PLACE IS ROMANTIC IS INSANE. But thankfully, Cheryl at least advises Moose to bring some fresh sheets because, as she CORRECTLY puts it, “A lot of people have had sex on that cot.”
But Kevin and Moose’s romantic evening comes to a dramatic end when the Gargoyle Gang shows up. But before we get into that, let’s go back to another couple…
Tom and Sierra
Before Tom and Sierra tie the knot, they get an invitation from the Gargoyle King. He wants the Midnight Club to finish ascension night, so Tom and Sierra gather all the parents, and that’s where FP explains that Tall Boy wasn’t the REAL Gargoyle King. He was simply using the game as a cover to sell drugs, but he certainly wasn’t the one who set up the chalices back in the days of the Midnight Club.
Without any other option, the parents break into the school to finish ascension night, and in case you were wondering, Hiram getting shot means he now walks with a cane and in doing so has taken another step in his evolution to full-blown pimp. Once Penelope hands out a cyanide antidote to all the parents, they search the school for the chalices, but instead, all they find is a Gargoyle King skull covered in blood and note that says “Got you.” It seems ascension night was simply a way to distract the parents from their kids. (Although if the Gargoyle King knew anything about these parents, he’d know you don’t need to distract them. They never know what their kids are up to!)
And that brings us back to… (Next: Josie lands herself a man)
Moose and Kevin
After Kevin and Moose sleep together, members of the Gargoyle Gang break into the bunker and kidnap them, dragging them to the forest to see the King. It’s there that the King makes them flip for their fate and drink from chalices. But just as Kevin’s about to take a sip, Vigilante Cheryl shows up and puts an arrow in the King. FP and company are with her, and this time, they arrest Marcus Mason as the King! And here’s where we get some backstory on Marcus.
Turns out, he wasn’t in love with Sierra all those years ago. He was in love with Tom!!! And when his parents found out he was gay, they sent him to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, where their conversion therapy worked a number on him. That’s where he was introduced to the Gargoyle King, and he was hoping that the King would scare Moose the same way it scared him all those years ago. (Also, this guy is terrible at interrogations. FP barely asked him anything and he’s spilling EVERYTHING.)
And that brings us to the end of Kevin and Moose’s story: Moose is moving away from his crazy father and going to live with his aunt in Glendale and Kevin kisses him goodbye. As for Tom and Sierra, they end up getting married but skipping the afterparty. They’ve had enough excitement for one day. (They probably would’ve attended it if people called it a “reception.” Just saying.)
Veronica and Reggie
Off on their own this episode, Veronica and Reggie are dealing with the fact that Hermione’s buyer is coming to town and they need to find a way to pay him or her … fast. Surprisingly, it’s Reggie who comes up with an idea! Not surprisingly, it’s not a great idea.
Reggie decides to rob his father’s dealership! After all, it’s more than deserved after “all the shiners he’s given me over the years,” Reggie says. (Side note, they are way too casual with this abusive father storyline! It just pops up here and there and I’m here to say that it’s not okay!)
Long story short, the robbery doesn’t go as planned and Reggie ends up with a bullet wound — it’s just a graze, don’t worry — and a bag of useless money because there’s a dye pack inside. (Also just a heads up: NEVER hire Veronica Lodge as a getaway driver, because when Reggie shows up yelling “go go go go!” she pauses and asks about his arm!!!)
But here’s where things get interesting: When Veronica and Reggie go to meet with Hermione’s buyer, they find out that it’s none other than Gladys Jones, Jughead’s mom!! She agrees to a payment plan with the kids, because it seems she’s going to be sticking around for a while … and she doesn’t want Jughead to know about her business deals. (She ends the episode by taking Jellybean home to be with Jug and FP and ominously telling her daughter that their plan is working: They moved back to Riverdale at the right time.)
Josie and Sweet Pea (or is it Archie?)
After Josie can’t commit to being in a relationship with Sweet Pea — because she’s too dedicated to her music — Archie offers to drive her to her Julliard audition, which she thinks she kills. However, Julliard doesn’t feel the same. When she doesn’t get a callback, Archie tries to cheer her up by offering to be her date to her mom’s wedding afterparty, but as we know, that doesn’t happen, so instead, Josie tells Arch all about the intimate ceremony.
For now, Josie says she’s taking things one day at a time, and today, she’d like to sing with Archie. But when the song ends …. THEY KISS!!! So there’s a twist that I really don’t know how to feel about!
But before we get lost in my very confusing emotions about Josie and Archie, I have to bring up one more thing: When the parents realized that the Gargoyle King was distracting them from their kids and they all went to call their kids, ALL OF THEIR CHILDREN WERE HAVING SEX. Veronica was straddling Reggie. Betty and Jughead were in bed (which I assume is what they were doing this entire episode), and Toni was straddling Cheryl. Suddenly I’m very concerned that Riverdale doesn’t have a good sex education program, which could very well be the cause of ALL of the town’s turmoil if you think about it.
And that brings us to the end of an altogether fine episode of Riverdale. I like the return of Jughead’s mom. I’m unsure of how to feel about Archie and Josie. And I feel sort of “eh” about the rest of it. Any questions?