Riverdale recap: A fog forces some serious conversations
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Sometimes, the answer to all of an insane town's problems is just to talk it out. And in a lot of ways, that's all this week's Riverdale was: An episode about people talking out their issues. Thanks to a very dense fog that knocked out power and kept people indoors, we got what was essentially a handful of mini-bottle episodes. But first, allow me to let Jughead set things up with the opening line of the episode: "The weather reports were grim. But we had a more dire prognostication to deal with: The apocalypse." Nobody — and I mean nobody — loves drama like Jughead Jones.
Hatching a plan to take down Percival, our four superheroes decide they need to get the town on their side and stage a coup to overthrow the town council. But when Percival catches wind of their plan, he gets Alice to issue a state of emergency for the town. Apparently, there's a highly convenient fog rolling into town tonight, and they're likening it to the great fog of 1922, surely you've heard of it. So, the town council institutes a curfew to keep everyone safe, meaning everyone is pretty much trapped wherever they are when the fog rolls in.
And that brings us to...
Betty and Archie
When Betty discovers a creeper standing in her front yard, she decides to use the backdoor to get to Archie's house. Then, instead of letting Archie figure out who's watching her, they decide to have sex! Because nothing puts these people in the mood quite like knowing a creeper might be watching!
Betty and Archie then use their alone time to have the "what are we" conversation, which I weirdly thought they'd had, but apparently not. Archie says he isn't seeing anyone else, and Betty is relieved because her period is late. It seems she went off birth control when she was, you know, held captive in a well for two weeks.
Speaking of that traumatizing time, Archie finally asks Betty how she escaped from TBK. And it's not the heroic escape you probably imagined! It seems, after a couple weeks together, TBK decided that he and Betty were kindred spirits, so he gave her a chance to prove it. Either she'd dismember a body for him or he'd kill her. (If this were an actual experiment, there would be a lot wrong with that "choice.") So, in order to survive, Betty obviously dismembered the body. And, as a result, TBK let her go, saying the world was more interesting if she were in it.
And that's all great and interesting, but can we talk about how jacked TBK is?! I cackled when that guy was wearing a tight tank top because, of course, our serial killers must be ripped!
Now, Betty worries that she's "psychically dismembered," and I can't believe Lili Reinhart managed to say that with a straight face. But don't worry, Archie's there to tell Betty the very thing every woman longs to hear: "You're not dismembered."
Archie then pivots the conversation to contemplate why he stays in Riverdale when it's clearly such a cursed town. The answer? Because he wants to raise a family here, because sure, when a town is cursed, the only reason to stay would be to subject children to said curse. Whatever, this is all to tie us back to the pregnancy test. Archie then pulls a Luke Danes and tells Betty that, no matter what, he's "all in."
The episode ends with Betty and Archie looking at the pregnancy test... but we don't see the result. Although, based on their faces, I'm worried it says she's having a TBK, because they look SCARED.
Fangs and Tony/Kevin and Moose
Yes, you read that correctly: Moose is back! But we'll get to that.
At the start of the episode, Toni invites Kevin to dinner so that they can try to talk through all this custody business without needing to go to court. And when Kevin brings up not wanting to raise Anthony in the Serpent life, Toni reminds him that she has dirt on him too: namely, that he likes to put himself in risky sexual situations. With that, Kevin agrees to dinner.
But thanks to the fog, he never makes it. Instead, he gets stuck in the high school with the new PE teacher: Moose! It seems Moose was fired from his job when the Lonely Highway shut down and now he's living with his dad, who's out of jail. We then get a reminder about the time Moose's dad — as the Gargoyle King — interrupted Kevin and Moose's first time, and somehow that leads to them rekindling their romance. (It also leads to Kevin experiencing some serious Gargoyle King-related nightmares.)
When Kevin texts Fangs that he won't make it over, Toni has to talk down a pissed-off Fangs. She convinces him that they need to keep things friendly with Kevin for Anthony's sake. But when Kevin calls Fangs the next morning and says he's willing to talk, Fangs turns him down. After one foggy night, Fangs is looking forward to going to court.
Reggie and Veronica
Oh these two. When the fog traps them at the casino, they do what they do best: Play strip poker and end up sleeping together. For like five minutes it seems like they're going to get back together. Veronica even calls them a "good match."
But when Reggie asks her to get rid of the painting of Hiram, things take a turn. Suddenly, we're talking about Archie again and how Reggie feels like a consolation prize. He then asks Veronica, in her ideal world, who would live in New York with her, and she... doesn't give the right answer. They then come to the conclusion that they're a good match because they're actually bad. Confused? Cool. Regardless, they break up and Veronica takes down that creepy painting.
Cheryl and Penelope
Penelope is a nun now! I repeat: Penelope is a nun!
It seems Penelope's travels landed her in the Himalayas — as they do — where the original convent for the Sisters of Quiet Mercy is located. They embraced Penelope in all her serial killer glory, and now, she's one vow away from fully pledging herself to Christ. But first, she has to wrap up her unfinished business with her daughter.
When Cheryl finds her mother looking at the Julian doll — which now houses Abigail — she knocks her out with a candlestick, as if this were a game of Clue. Then, she uses her new witchy skills to raise her mother's body temperature to levels I'm pretty sure would kill her. Although, looking at how many candles are in that room, perhaps Penelope is just sweating because it's hot as hell in there.
But before Cheryl can literally boil her mother to death, Penelope reveals her surprise: Letters from Heather. Heather was Cheryl's best friend (and crush) from junior high, and when Penelope caught Cheryl and Heather "together," she banned her. Heather then moved away and Cheryl thought she forgot about her. But it turns out that she wrote her! She wrote her 365 letters! She wrote her every day for a year! Just kidding. But she did write her a lot of letters.
Cheryl then sobs her way through her letters as Penelope asks one final time for her daughter's forgiveness. (TBD on whether she grants it.)
Tabitha and Jughead
Jughead starts the episode by asking Tabitha if she can go back in time and stop the bomb from going off so that he never loses his hearing, but she explains that it's a fixed point in time and she can't change it. She then gets mad when Jug reads her mind but it's... literally the only way he can hear?
When the power goes out at Pop's, Jughead starts working on getting the generator going, and Tabitha sends a call out on the radio to let people know that Pop's is open to all. "Look for the light," she tells everyone, despite the fact that the fog is crazy dense.
The next morning, just after the reveal that the town council met during the fog and elected Percival mayor, Tabitha comes clean: She tells Jughead that she could stop the bomb. But if she does that, they can't defeat Percival. She explains that she's seen 1,384 different scenarios play out, and only twice do they beat Percival. (Okay, Doctor Strange.)
Tabitha says that Jug's ability is key to defeating Percival, because it's the closest to Percival's and therefore, the biggest threat. And there's something else: Jughead dies in every scenario. But hey, it's not the first time the guy's been destined to die.
So if you're keeping track, Jughead is Iron Man, Percival is Thanos, and we're building to a battle. I think. I'm not entirely sure.
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