I’m going to be honest: I do not fully understand what is going on with the Gargoyle King and … I really like it?! This show is leaning into the mystery of the Gargoyle King, and with every episode, it feels as if things only grow bigger and more out of control, and unlike the Black Hood mystery, this is what I want out of Riverdale. I don’t care if I’m confused because I’m intrigued, and that’s more important.
This week’s episode starts with Betty taking care of Archie while Jughead tells her about his Gargoyle King sighting. Apparently, after Jug saw the King, he followed him to a clearing where ten of his disciples were wearing gargoyle masks and seemingly worshipping him. Archie mentions it could be Joaquin considering he told Kevin about a new gang before running into the woods. As for Betty and Jug’s theory that Warden Norton is the Gargoyle King? Well, that dies when he does.
Betty finds out about the warden’s suicide when she returns home, and when her mother claims not to have known Norton, Betty discovers that Norton was the RROTC instructor at Riverdale High during the days of the Midnight Club. So Betty decides it’s time to start getting answers from the town’s parents.
While Betty works on getting the adults in one room, Archie tells Veronica about the Shadow Lake mines, a.k.a. where he thinks the witnesses that put him behind bars are hiding. He wants to go there, but Veronica makes him promise to stay put in the bunker. She’s got another plan, and it involves looking into his case files for evidence of his innocence. Oh, also, I should mention that this conversation is happening after they had sex in Dilton’s bunker, which is now officially the grossest place in all of Riverdale. I’m betting no one’s washed those sheets in quite some time…
At school, Sheriff Minetta is giving a speech to the kids about how anyone who helped Archie escape is also a criminal, and I’m thinking the gang should’ve thought twice before involving Josie in their scheme because she is a truly terrible liar. But when Minetta sees her weakness and gets in her face, she has a seizure. So maybe those seizures are good for something?
While Jug tasks the Serpents with finding Joaquin, Kevin realizes that Archie’s wound is infected, so Betty suggests he bring him to the medical examiner, who has proven he can be paid off for just about anything. As for Betty, she’s gathered all the parents in V’s speakeasy — she sent fake invitations from the Gargoyle King — for some answers. Someone in that room is a murderer, and Betty wants to know who it is. (Betty is obviously fine being in a room with a murderer because she lived with one for her entire life.)
Betty calls the parents out on all their lies — including the fact that Reggie’s dad hits his son — and Tom Keller admits that Norton confiscated a game manual during his days as the RROTC instructor. Hiram claims that he had no idea that Norton was playing the game, and Hermione thinks Penelope is the murderer seeing as how she was game master. Penelope, however, reminds everyone that Daryl Doiley was also game master, and apparently he was secretly in love with her. Penelope says he poisoned the chalice because he wanted them to ascend together, but she said no. She then assumed the chalices were emptied, but they weren’t.
Years later, Daryl once again confessed his love for Penelope, but when she refused him a second time, he killed himself. He was found sitting in a running car in his garage with his windows up.
Betty’s not buying the story that the dead guy is the murderer, but when FP finds out that his son is still playing the game, he’s done with Betty’s interrogation. FP leaves and the rest of the parents follow.
FP heads straight home, where he handcuffs Jug to the fridge in order to “sober him up” from his G&G addiction. It doesn’t last long seeing as how Jug’s girlfriend wears the most bobby pins in her hair of anyone. (Come on FP, you should know that.) Once Betty frees Jug, he heads out to meet up with Fangs and Sweet Pea, who have found Joaquin. Betty goes to check out Daryl Doiley’s autopsy report. (Next: The Gargoyle King claims another victim)