Riverdale recap: The Gargoyle King is back
I have a very serious question for all of you: Did you care about Baby Teeth? Did you ever hear him say more than, I don’t know, two sentences? Because I feel like a lot of this episode was really dependent on us caring about Baby Teeth and no matter how insane his name was, I just didn’t care!
Anyway, here’s the deal with his death: Jughead thinks the real Gargoyle King has finally arrived and he’s angry. Why else would he decide to pull all of Baby Teeth’s teeth out? (Perhaps as punishment for calling himself “Baby Teeth” all these years?) But I do have to say, the incredibly dramatic coroner might be my favorite part of this show. As he delivers his report — which is that Baby Teeth lived my worst nightmare, which is dying from the blood loss accompanied by his teeth being pulled — he says, “I thought I’d seen the true face of evil but this, whoever did this isn’t even human.” It’s almost as if, with every report, he’s auditioning for the lead role in a Shakespearean tragedy, and I love it.
While Archie decides to enlist in Elio’s latest boxing tournament to honor Baby Teeth — we’ll get back to that — FP and Jughead continue to work together, but their latest predicament is the fact that Kurtz seems to be selling a bad batch of Fizzle Rocks. How bad, you ask? Well, they’re making people foam at the mouth and ram their heads repeatedly into lockers. So … pretty bad.
FP and Jughead spend all their time trying to find Kurtz, which they eventually do. They arrest him outside of Archie’s fight, but here’s the thing: While they spent so much time looking for him, they weren’t paying attention to Jellybean (and you already know Gladys wasn’t because, well, she’s a terrible parent). So with Jellybean on her own, Kurtz — along with the kid who stabbed Archie — were able to complete the ultimate quest: Save the princess. Translation: Jellybean ends the episode by coming face-to-skull with the Gargoyle King.
From a king to a cult leader, Betty’s meeting with Edgar goes … fine. He gives her his backstory: His old life was terrible, so he walked out into the desert to die. But when he was on the verge of death, he found a nearby farm, and when he knocked on the door of that farm, the farmer nursed him back to life. He then spent some time on that farm, planting things and watching them grow. In other words, he was … farming. In that moment, he felt reborn and promised himself to open his own farm one day where he too could help lost souls wandering in the darkness by giving them farm chores. Do you hate your life? Go milk a cow! Are you unsure of your purpose? Try plowing a field!
As fascinating as that story is, Betty doesn’t get the answer to her real question, which is how Alice has been seeing her dead son. And so, Betty comes up with a new plan: She takes Alice to a fake grave for Charles to remind her he’s dead. And when that doesn’t work, she handcuffs her mom to the bed in Dilton’s bunker. (Reminder: Every teen on this show has had sex on that bed!) Betty leaves her mom — who recently filed for divorce from Hal and might be engaged to Edgar (which is a real improvement, tbh) — in the bunker with a bunch of old photos to remind her of who she used to be. But when Betty returns from school, Alice has somehow managed to start a fire — maybe with her mind? — and is burning all of Betty’s memories. Moms really suck sometimes! Oh wait, I’m so sorry. I forgot to mention the best part of this episode: In order to get Alice in the bunker, Betty chloroformed her own mother!!! So sometimes daughters really suck, too.
As Betty listens to the tapes from her mother’s sessions with Edgar, she hears Alice talk about being scared of Betty. As Alice puts it, Betty has her father’s darkness inside of her. Upset, Betty then confronts Edgar about the tapes, but as he points out, they were Alice’s words. Alice is on a journey to find her truest self, and if seeing Charles — real or fake — comforts her, why is that a bad thing?
With that, Betty hands her mom back over to the Farm and asks her dad to sign the divorce papers. (He wants his freedom in exchange, which is hilarious because he murdered a bunch of people. Does he think Betty can get him out of prison? She’s a teen not a wizard!) However, Betty also ends the episode by landing an inside man: After the Farm tries to force Cheryl to choose between Jason and Toni, Toni joins up … in order to take the Farm down from the inside.
The other big event this week is Archie’s boxing tournament, which is really Elio’s boxing tournament. Long story short, Archie gets a rematch against Randy Ronson and he wins, despite the fact that Randy was foaming at the mouth and no one stopped the fight. Veronica, who’s clearly making her way back into Archie’s heart, helps facilitate the entire thing (minus the drugs). The bad news is that, after Archie knocks out Randy, he doesn’t get back up. To be fair, it’s probably the fault of the drugs and not Archie, but either way, it’s not great. Let’s hope Archie has fight insurance (if that’s a thing?).
Altogether, I’m not sure how I feel about a lot of this episode. The Alice-Betty stuff was good, and I really like Chad Michael Murray as Edgar. I just don’t care about Baby Teeth or Archie’s fighting career, and if the Gargoyle King is back, the reveal better be GOOD.