Riverdale recap: Jughead helps Betty discover the truth about Polly
Cheryl's arguably a witch, two people are dead, and one big mystery has been solved! Welcome to another episode of Riverdale.
We'll start with Cheryl, who decides to go on a cleanse when Kevin asks about the higher power that they're worshipping and she doesn't have answers. But the cleanse works! She later tells him that the higher power is nature, which means that they worship the elements, and they pray to Mother Earth herself, Gaia. Kevin then promptly lets Cheryl know he'd like out of her cult.
And yet, Cheryl might be onto something because her powers come in handy later in the episode. But before we get to that, we should talk about the whole Veronica vs. Hiram and Chad thing we've got going on. So it's finally time for Veronica and Chad to have a divorce settlement, and at first, Veronica agrees to give him everything because all she needs is Archie. (TBH I had forgotten that they were "back together.")
But when Hiram hands Chad a ghost gun and tells him that he'll never get Veronica back if Archie's abs still exist, Chad tries and fails to shoot Archie. (He misses, and then Archie pulls a Captain America and takes him out with a trash can lid.) I'm not entirely sure why Hiram thought Chad could shoot a gun, but he quickly learned his lesson. And after that attempted murder, Veronica renegotiates their divorce settlement.
But the story doesn't stop there! Hiram decides to handle Archie himself, setting off an explosion in the mines that traps Archie and Eric underground. Veronica then holds Hiram captive and lets him know that if Archie dies, he dies. You know, in case Hiram was still holding onto any notion that his daughter loved him more than Archie. She clearly does not.
While Cheryl uses her witch powers to call upon the elements and save Archie and Eric, Veronica tries to take a bath when Chad breaks in with yet another gun. Who keeps giving this guy guns?! She then uses her version of an Alexa or a Siri to shut off the lights, crank some music, and just generally disorient Chad. They get into a wrestling match, and it ends with Veronica shooting and killing Chad. By the end of the episode, she's arguably the happiest person in Riverdale because she gets both Archie and that bath that was so rudely interrupted before.
And yet, it's safe to say she's the only happy person in Riverdale at the end of this episode, which brings us to the Betty/Jughead portion of things. When Tabitha gets a call from Squeaky's parents saying they haven't heard from her, Tabitha asks Jughead to work with Betty on the Lonely Highway case. And just as Jug is getting caught up on the case files, another body shows up at the morgue, but this one is fully dismembered.
It could be Polly. It could also be Squeaky. And knowing Riverdale, it could be at least 10 other people. But after a DNA test, it's confirmed to be Squeaky. But that's not all that the DNA tests figured out: It turns out that the trucker who bit his tongue off is a distant cousin of Betty, because all serial killers are somehow related to Betty!!
No, he's not a Cooper. But let's not forget — as I often do — that Betty is also related to the Blossoms. With that, Betty and Jughead ask Nana Blossom some questions.
She reveals that the corpse she gave Jughead — lol remember how she kept a corpse in a barrel? — was her cousin Timothy. She also reveals that her late husband was a compulsive philanderer and that he fathered at least half a dozen kids that she gave to a couple in the woods. That family preferred to keep to themselves, so they created the Moth Man fiction to keep people away. And then, at some point, they moved closer to the Lonely Highway. Long story short, Old Man Dreyfus is definitely part of that family, known as the Starkweathers.
When one of Toni's students goes missing, Betty assembles the hideously under-qualified team of Jughead, Tabitha, Toni, and Fangs for a raid. Jughead confronts Dreyfus while the others search the junkyard, and thankfully, there's one good Starkweather brother who helps make sure they don't all end up kidnapped because Fangs straight up steps in a bear trap and I say again: Who thought this was a solid team for a raid?!
Betty then calls the FBI in to come get the Starkweathers, but not until after she asks for Polly's location. And the episode ends with Betty and Alice finding Polly's body in the trunk of a car in the junkyard.
I have things I like and dislike about the conclusion of this mystery: I'm happy that they went through with killing Polly because it has more impact, even if I was never super attached to her as a character. But I don't like that the big bad was a bunch of people we don't know. Sure, we sort of know Old Man Dreyfus, but that barely counts. Next time, let's just go full aliens.