Riverdale recap: Rivervale claims another victim
People are dropping like flies in Rivervale.
The second installment of Riverdale's five-episode event is all about ghost stories. So, to quote our creepily cheerful narrator, Jughead, "Gather round kiddies!"
First up, we find Reggie having a very bad day when he gets a call that his father, who's in the hospital, isn't doing so well. But when a guy shows up at Mantle Motors driving a car identical to Reggie's high school love, Bella, Reggie buys it on the spot. And it's actually a really great deal, because with the classic sports car, he also gets a ghost!
Veronica starts to get frustrated when Reggie's supposed quarter-life crisis starts taking up a lot of his time, so she decides to try to understand why Reggie is so obsessed with his car. But when she sits in the driver's seat, she finds a photo of a woman — the aforementioned ghost! — hidden in the visor.
She goes to confront Reggie but instead finds Principal Weatherbee, who informs her that it's a photo of Ms. Soprano, the school's former driver's ed teacher. It seems she was fired following allegations of inappropriate relations with students. The kicker? Her first name was Isabella.
After learning this information, Veronica does the only thing she can do: Goes all Carrie Underwood in "Before He Cheats" and takes a bat to Reggie's beloved Bella. Only, Veronica was wrong about pretty much everything.
Reggie tells her that Ms. Soprano was just a confidant for him, the only adult he told about his troubled home life. Speaking of that troubled home life? Reggie's father just died. (Oof. Way to go, Veronica.)
This ghost story ends on a nice note, however, when Veronica buys him a new car, tucks Ms. Soprano's photo in the visor, and Reggie gets to spend another day with the ghost of his hot teacher!
Sam and Diane
Yes, you read that right. After Tabitha and Jughead discover a secret room in their apartment — one Jughead immediately decides would be a perfect writing nook — Tabitha learns of the story of Sam and Diane. Apparently, their realtor had already told Jughead the story, but Sam and Diane lived in the apartment before them but died from a murder-suicide. More specifically, Diane killed Sam with a hammer and then hanged herself.
It's a disturbing story, though admittedly not as disturbing as the dirty, hideous robe Jughead refuses to change out of.
Almost immediately, Tabitha starts to grow sick of Jughead's excuses (and probably his robe). Every day that she goes to work, he claims that he's going to start writing. And every day, she comes home and he's still in that stupid robe, having done nothing. Then, one night, Tabitha has a dream about taking a hammer to Jug's head.
Eventually, Jughead starts writing, and in one night, he finishes his "vomit draft" of his next book, which he says is based on Sam and Diane. But when Tabitha finds out that Jughead used to let Betty read his vomit drafts, she loses it. She heads home, breaks into his desk, and reads his book. And when Sam and Diane's story starts to sound a lot like their own, she starts breaking stuff, including the typewriter that Betty got Jughead.
But before she bludgeons him with a hammer, she stops herself and reminds them both that they're stronger than Sam and Diane. With a kiss, they get rid of the ghost. (Ghosts hate PDA.) Then, in a truly weird moment, they finally say, "I love you." Because nothing brings a couple together like an almost murder.
The episode ends with them closing up Jug's writing nook and enjoying the fact that they both survived their first fight.
At the start of the episode, Toni finds herself in a Serpents vs. Ghoulies war that's straight out of West Side Story. And when she goes to throw a knife at Darla Dickinson, Darla's son Danny steps in the way. As Toni later tells her therapist, what haunts her is that she was aiming to "wound, not kill." THAT is what haunts you, Toni?!
As the therapist suggests Toni apologize to Darla, we cut to Sweetwater River, where the lady in the lake from Bly Manor seems to be emerging. Only, this ghost is wearing a black lace veil over her face. The ghost's first stop? Thornhill, where she nearly drowns Juniper in the bathtub.
Betty then asks Toni for her help with a case. It seems a Serpent named Lucinda is being accused of drowning her own daughter. But Lucinda informs Toni that La Llorona, a vengeful spirit that drowns children, killed her child.
Toni then goes full Sam Winchester and starts looking into the lore, explaining to Betty that La Llorona can even go after unborn children. But Betty's not interested in a ghost story... until La Llorona shows up in her bedroom, and suddenly, Dr. Curdle Jr. is telling Betty that she isn't pregnant anymore.
Then, someone files a complaint with child services about Toni. (Can ghosts use phones?!) And when social services show up at the apartment, La Llorona attacks baby Anthony.
My favorite part of this episode? When Toni tells Fangs that the spirit is after Anthony and he asks how she knows, and she says, "Mother's intuition." Or, you know, the fact that the spirit literally just tried to kill Anthony?!
Toni and Betty head to Thornhill to channel the spirit, which is where they find out that her name was Martha. She was a nurse in the children's ward of Rivervale's first hospital, and when babies died, the townsfolk blamed her. So, they drowned her and her children in Sweetwater River. As for who summoned her now, well, that's Darla Dickinson.
After Darla informs them that La Llorona cannot be stopped, Toni and Betty head to Sweetwater River, where Toni comes up with a way for her to pay for killing Danny Dickinson: She volunteers to take La Llorona's place in exchange for baby Anthony. La Llorona agrees, and Toni hands her baby off to Betty for safekeeping as she then becomes the lady in the lake.
So for those keeping count, Archie is dead, Betty's no longer pregnant but is seemingly going to raise Anthony, and Toni is a vengeful spirit that lives in the lake! Speaking of Archie, he got a couple mentions this episode, but small ones: Cheryl and Nana toasted him in celebration of their healthy maple groves, Betty mentioned naming her son Archie, and then his face appeared on the side of a milk carton, which just felt right if I'm being honest.
With three episodes left, there's no telling who else we might lose.