This week’s Riverdale felt like one of those episodes where a lot happened, but also … nothing really happened? I could honestly sum it up by saying “Everyone is at war, and Archie and Josie had sex.” I won’t. But let it be known that I’d like to because this episode did not keep my interest in the way that the rest of the season has.
Let’s break this down by various wars…
Gladys vs. Veronica vs. Hiram
Now that Gladys is in town, Veronica is working on paying her back, but Gladys comes up with an idea to lessen Veronica’s debt: Now that Hiram is well and looking to rebuild his empire, Gladys tells Veronica to spy on him. That way, they can work together to get what they both want: Hiram out of the drug business. Veronica’s first bit of information is that Hiram is looking to use the Ghoulies to get things up and running again. So naturally, Gladys gets her hands on them first … only the Ghoulies are now the Gargoyle Gang, and thanks to Gladys they’re now Serpents? Are you following? Cool.
Over drinks, Gladys suggests that she own the streets while Hiram focuses on his prison, and when Veronica tells her father that she’d be willing to step in and help the family business if that were the deal, Hiram agrees. As for Hermoine, he claims she won’t be a factor, mostly because he all but accuses her of having him shot during a family dinner. Veronica, thinking quickly, tells her father that she was the one who burned up his drugs and equipment. Hiram, somehow completely forgetting about that whole assassination attempt, tells his daughter that she owes him $75,000 and calls it a day.
Archie vs. A real-life boxer
I realize you all probably have a lot of questions about this storyline, so allow me to fill you in: Yes, Josie and Archie are apparently a couple now. Yes, Archie spends his days training with Tom Keller to become a boxer. And yes, it’s INSANELY STUPID that Tom Keller trains Archie while wearing jeans and a jacket. I thought the very least we’d get out of this story would be a shirtless Keller!! Is that too much to ask?!?!
Long story short, Archie thinks he’s destined to be a boxer, which is yet another embarrassing thing Archie’s done on this show. So, the teen takes his first fight with an undefeated professional boxer, because that makes sense. Furthermore, Archie agrees to throw the fight … until he changes his mind.
Without any sort of training montage, Tom prepares Archie for the fight, which he ultimately loses. But considering that the guy didn’t successfully murder Archie, perhaps it’s more of a win? Regardless, Archie and Josie sleep together, so yeah, I’d say the night is a win. (Next: Betty takes on the Farm)
The Pretty Poisons vs. The Serpents
When all of the female members of the Serpents leave to join the Pretty Poisons, Jughead meets up with Toni to ask her to rejoin her family. But unless Jug’s willing to make Toni the Serpent Queen — which honestly just makes sense because Betty’s not even a real Serpent — she’s out. And so when he says no, she decides to send a message. Or rather, Cheryl decides to send one for her.
Cheryl brings a handful of the Poisons to Pop’s to beat up Sweet Pea and Fangs, a move that lands her in the doghouse with her girlfriend. Toni confronts Cheryl and asks, “Is this gang mine or yours?” (This feels like a good time to remind you that these are teenagers!!) Cheryl admits that the Poisons belong to Toni and promises never to deploy the Poisons in that way again without permission.
Betty vs. The Farm
When Alice brings her wedding dress down to get it altered, Betty finds out that her mother is about to be baptized into the Farm. And when she can’t find so much as one photo of Edgar online — she clearly didn’t Google “One Tree Hill” — she decides to reach out to people who have escaped the Farm. (By the way, Kevin is now thinking of joining the Farm, because everyone in this town is hella lonely and will take friends of any kind, including the creepy/cult-y kind)
Before the baptism, Alice has to sign a form that means the Farm isn’t held responsible if she dies during the ceremony, and the news only gets worse when Betty meets a Farm escapee whose sister DID die during the baptism. With no time on her hands, Betty decides to run across town — surely there was a faster way to do this? — and gets to her mom just as Polly holds her underwater for too long and Alice loses consciousness.
Betty then performs CPR — which she just knows how to do – and brings her mom back to life, an act that backfires when Alice declares that she was reborn just as the Farm promised. Now, she intends to sell their house so that they can all live together at the Farm.
So weirdly I think Archie might have come out of this episode as the biggest winner? I’m not entirely sure. But I think it’s time we meet Edgar, meet the real Gargoyle King, and get some answers. I need some of these storylines to intersect or else I fear I’ll lose interest.
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