Riverdale recap: The One With All the Thanksgivings
Welcome to Riverdale, the town with pep! At least that’s what its welcome sign says. I suppose they couldn’t fit “the town where you’re VERY likely to be murdered.” But it’s Thanksgiving, y’all, and with Hiram as mayor — he ran unopposed — and Dodger in the hospital, things are…moderately interesting. I’m not going to lie, I thought this episode was a little boring. But let’s break it down one Thanksgiving at a time, shall we?
A Blossom Family Thanksgiving
Let’s jump into the deep end with a truly strange, truly disturbing meal over at Thistlehouse. With an ice storm headed for Riverdale, Cheryl comes up with a plan: They’ll dump Uncle Bedford’s body — so he IS dead — in the river just before it freezes over. That way, by the time the river thaws, his corpse will have been eaten by fishes. Apparently. But Toni points out the obvious problem with that plan: Aunt Cricket is parked down the road watching their every move. So, Cheryl decides she’ll invite her aunt over for dinner and scare her off with a traditional Blossom Thanksgiving honoring their gothic roots. Rumor has it Nana Rose has a family legend that’s so gruesome Cheryl’s confident it will send Aunt Cricket running for the hills.
That family legend? CANNIBALISM! In case you were wondering if the Blossoms could get any weirder. As Nana Rose tells it, many years ago, the first Blossom Thanksgiving took place during an ice storm, and when the Blossoms got hungry, well, they had to “survive on Blossom flesh” as she put it, so that’s lovely. Then, just as Cheryl’s cousin finds Uncle Bedford’s ring in his meat pie, Cheryl convinces them that they’re eating poor dear Bedford, and seeing as how cannibalism is illegal in their state, she threatens to out them unless they leave.
So leave they do, and we find out that it was actually lamb in the pies because Bedford is where he was meant to be: At the bottom of Sweetwater River. Meanwhile, I’d again like to ask: How is Toni just okay with all of this? Cheryl is one thing. This has been her life. But is Toni genuinely not weirded out?! JASON’S CORPSE IS STILL IN THE HOUSE! Toni wheeled it into Thanksgiving to help scare Aunt Cricket. How is she okay?!
The Parents Do Thanksgiving
In a weird turn of events, Hiram, Hermione, FP, and Alice all end up spending Thanksgiving together at Pops. (Alice and FP always planned on it because Alice hates cooking. Hermione and Hiram end up there after Veronica throws their entire “family” meal on the ground.)
Now that Hiram is mayor, FP feels very weird about doing his dirty work again, so of course, those two get into it. After a couple nice comments about Fred (I understand that they’re trying to be sweet but those lines felt weirdly jammed into this other story), Hiram and FP throw some punches and FP breaks a bottle over the bar at Le Bonne Nuit and tells Hiram that he deserves to die. The holidays, amirite?!
FP then ends the hour by talking to Alice about his predicament: He’s a Serpent through and through but now he has to be a cop. When Alice asks why he can’t be both, he realizes that if Hiram can be a kingpin and mayor, “who says I can’t be sheriff and a gang leader?” UMMMM I’m pretty sure the law says that?! Talk about a conflict of interest.
A Prep School Thanksgiving
Betty braves the storm to join Jughead at Stonewall Prep for Thanksgiving where everyone else has gone home for the holiday. Well, everyone except for Bret and Donna, who decide it’d be funny to sneak up on Jughead wearing bunny masks and holding axes? Do you realize this guy lives in RIVERDALE?! In Riverdale, if you see a person in a mask, you kill them before they kill you. (The face mask market probably really suffers there, to be honest.)
And seeing as how Betty and Jughead already decided that their Thanksgiving would be spent looking into Mr. Chipping’s supposed suicide, they’re on edge. (Jug found old photos of DuPont and Chipping wearing the same tie pin, so his theory has to do with a secret society.) So, when Betty sees Bret sneak up behind Jug, she knocks him out with a golf club, AS SHE SHOULD.
Of course, Donna isn’t too happy about it, but by the time Betty finishes stitching Bret up — I love that she never apologizes but instead says, “Maybe next time don’t threaten my boyfriend with an ax” — Bret drops what appears to be a suicide note out of his jacket pocket. He claims it was a class writing exercise to see who could best capture the inner-workings of Mr. Chipping’s mind? But if that’s the case, that is truly the most effed up writing exercise I’ve ever heard of.
Betty comes up with a plan to get some answers out of Bret and Donna: Booze. The four of them engage in a little “never have I ever,” the most high school way to interrogate anyone ever. Jug tries the whole “never have I ever been in a secret society thing,” but he does get that these people aren’t like under oath right? Clearly, they wouldn’t admit that. BUT when Betty sneaks into Donna’s dorm she does find Mr. Chipping’s tie pin.
Donna claims it’s because she and Mr. Chipping were having an affair and when he got aggressive, she threatened to go to the headmaster and the next day he jumped out the window. (Sorry, swan-dived out the window.) Betty and Jughead don’t fully believe Donna’s story, but the next day she tells the headmaster. So the case might be closed for the school, but Betty and Jughead are far from done with it. Also, someone’s recording them in Jug’s room? Cool!
Thanksgiving for Everyone!
Archie, savior of Riverdale, has decided to host Thanksgiving at the community center. It’s there that he intends to deep fry a turkey, soemthing Fred did every year. I will say that all of the Fred stuff in this story worked a bit better for me, because it’s Archie’s dad, but it still just felt like they were trying to squeeze it in? The Fred tribute episode was so beautiful, but this didn’t work.
Long story short, Dodger’s family wants revenge and they show up at the community center where, for some reason, Dodger’s crazy mother is the only one to say the obvious: When Archie tells her he runs this place for kids in the community, she says, “But you’re just a kid yourself.” THANK YOU, RANDOM LADY!!!
When one of the kids recognizes Dodger’s family, Archie confronts them and Dodger’s mom pulls a gun. Things escalate, and when the deep fryer explodes, Veronica puts a carving fork through a guy’s hand and Archie’s mom ends up holding the gun. For once, Archie’s idiocy has paid off because who tries to deep fry a turkey inside?!
In the end, Thanksgiving is lovely, Dodger escapes town, and Archie’s mom decides that the explosion was Fred’s way of looking out for them. With that in mind, Archie hangs a plaque dedicating the community center to Fred Andrews.
All in all, I just found the episode a little bland, which is not how I like my Thanksgiving meals. The Stonewall Prep stuff intrigues me, but the rest of it feels like it needs a little excitement. But this is Riverdale, so I’m sure we’ll get some soon.