I have to warn you all: The opening images of this week’s Riverdale are truly disturbing. First, there’s Archie, who’s been thrown into solitary after refusing to be the warden’s new Mad Dog. Then, there’s FP and Alice in bed, which is not disturbing on its own — how could it be?! — but is only disturbing in the context that the show cuts straight from the shot of FP and Alice in bed to a shot of Jughead and Betty in bed together. I fully understand that Jug and Betty are not related just because their parents are hooking up in today’s world, but it’s still SUPER WEIRD. Do not give me that imagery ever again, Riverdale.
Also, what’s even worse than the parents-to-kids sex parallel is the fact that Jughead and Betty are having sex in Dilton’s twin bed in his secret bunker!!! They claim that the bunker is the only place where they can get some privacy away from their parents (who seem a little too busy to be watching you all the time but fine). All I have to say is that this is NOT OKAY. First of all, that bunker is super creepy. Also, you have no idea what Dilton did in that bed. Ethel and Ben could’ve consummated their relationship and never cleaned the sheets! AND HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR DEAD DILTON. I’m so disturbed by this, guys. Honestly, I’d rather face the Gargoyle King than that mattress.
Once Jughead gets off that mattress, he figures something out: Every game needs a rule book. And that’s what they need to find. So, after Betty convinces Veronica to stop putting her life on hold for Archie and to “open the damn speakeasy” so that Pop’s doesn’t go out of business — more on that later — she and Jughead revisit the Ethel of it all. It seems Ethel is back in school post-seizure, and Evelyn Evernever is trying to help get her off all of the medication that she just got on to stop the seizures. Just then, Betty starts wondering if there isn’t a connection between the Farm and G&G.
So while Jughead convinces Ethel to make him “worthy” of the game’s “scripture,” Betty joins Evelyn’s school chapter of the Farm, where so far, there are two members: Evelyn and Betty. But of course, Betty’s plan backfires when Evelyn tells Alice, and suddenly, an entire group of Farm members is waiting at Betty’s house to welcome her. Betty quickly loses her temper when she finds out that her mom and sister have told the Farm EVERYTHING, including things that could get them sent to prison, and so Betty outright accuses Edgar Evernever of being the Gargoyle King. That’s when Betty realizes her mom knows something about the game, but when Betty looks like she’s about to pass out again, she heads upstairs. (What IS this seizure thing?! Why does everyone keep acting like it’s normal for all these teens to start having seizures suddenly?!)
As for Jug, he meets Ethel in Dilton’s bunker — his favorite hook-up spot — to play his first game. It starts simple enough: Jughead picks a player and gets his first “quest card.” But when Ethel reveals he has to prove his worthiness by flipping the coin and drinking from one of the sacred goblets — one of which we know has cyanide in it — Jughead nearly quits. But he knows they need that scripture, so he risks his life, and thankfully, drinks from the safe cup. Then, all Jug has to do is kiss Ethel — she claims it’s part of the game; I think she just has game — and she hands over the scripture. But just as he starts to read, Ethel drinks from the other cup, thereby poisoning herself. Jug rushes her to the hospital.
The good news is that the doctors get Ethel the antidote in time, but the bad news is that Ethel’s plan doesn’t end there. Long story short, FP and Alice discover the scripture in Jug’s trailer, and FP throws it in a fire. But by episode’s end, Ethel has put a copy of the rule book in every single locker at Riverdale High. “Soon they’ll join us,” Ethel says as she bows down to the Gargoyle King, who is casually standing in her hospital room. COOL. (Next: Veronica opens her speakeasy)