• Category: Episodic Recaps
  • Written by Linda Martindale

'Riverdale' Recap - Is The Game Afoot??

Ah, it’s Wednesday and we know what that means.  It means it’s another chapter of Riverdale! The question is:  which way will we go tonight.  Will it be prison?  Will Riverdale revisit the Serpent Ghoulie fight?  Will Betty and Jughead meet the gargoyle or get wrapped up in a game.  And more importantly what do the parents know.

Last week’s "Riverdale" had Archie getting blamed for a riot he didn’t commit.  We lost Dilton to some bizarre ritual he and Ben were having in the woods.  Betty and Jughead find a new mystery only to lose a clue (Ben) as he falls out a window.  And Veronica, you ask?  Riverdale’s big, bad daddy Hiram Lodge is heading for a fall if Ron has her way.  And what is this Gargoyle character?  What is concerning the parents, especially Hermione?  Well, it is Riverdale which likes to play things strange?  And they also never give us a clue!

A Tale of Our Parents (NOT!)

What!  Alice and FP are in bed together while Jug and Betty are also?  Mom and daughter are already shadowing each other.  Why would Ben’s death be bedroom talk for Jug and Betty, oh, the mention of the game?  Better yet!  Why is FP counting weeks???

Wait, I just realized that we are 20 minutes into the show and still not seen the story of the parents.  Wasn’t this billed as “that” show?  And why do I see this sequencing into the Jug and Betty story of . . .  Oh, and there’s a surprise twist at the end which I won’t spoil here.  Let’s just say Alice needs her head examined.

‘The Game’s Afoot

At school, Ethel is back and Jug and Betty watch as Ethel and Evelyn have a talk in the hall.  Did I mention that Evelyn’s dad owns the farm that Alice loves??  Is there a connection here between the game and the farm?  Wait!  I’m getting ahead of myself.  I have to wonder if Alice sees the connection already?  No, Alice is blind and dumb, I think.  Too many questions at once folks!

Betty and Jug later talk to Ethel about her collapse.  Betty asks Ethel if she had visions.  Oh, a reference to the baby sacrifice (almost) that we saw in the first episode of this season.  Evelyn then enters the discussion when Ethel mentions the “peer group” Evelyn is starting called “The Farm.”  Oh, I see.  She’s recruiting for dear old daddy’s little experiment.  Jug mentions Ben and asks about other players’ names.  Jug asks for a game book (the scripture) which he wants to know who else plays but Ethel doesn’t tell him anything.  She finally tells him she will show him the next night at Dilton’s bunker but Jug must come alone. Somehow I think “something wicked this way comes.”

Betty meanwhile investigates Evelyn’s “Farm” group.  No one is there but Evelyn’s brought pizza.  When Betty seems willing to go along, Evelyn asks her if she takes meds.  Betty says she doesn’t and I’m not liking the way this is going.  Haven’t I seen something about this before? And again, I won’t say any more until a little later due to a spoiler.

When Jughead arrives at the Bunker, Ethel is ready to teach him the game.  He chose Ben’s character, Hellchaser, and it isn’t long before Jug must make a choice.  Ethel presents him with two goblets.  Somehow I knew this was coming and I saying quietly — don’t choose Jug.  The temptation offered by Ethel is too strong.  If he plays and drinks, he gets the “bible” of the game.  He drinks but it doesn’t affect him.  Ethel drinks and almost dies.  Luckily (for her) Jug is there to get her to the hospital.  Of course, we should have seen that coming.  Jug is the hero of this piece.  It seems Ethel has another plan for Jug.  He’s to become the one to spread the gospel of the game to others.

Betty meanwhile has her own problems.  Remember the spoiler I just skipped over.  Well, it seems that Alice, Evelyn, and Polly think that Betty’s ready to confess all her sins.  They have set up the house for her confession scene but Betty’s not having any of that.  In fact, she’s ashamed that her mom told “Edgar” all their secrets.  When Betty asks where Edgar is, she learns that she’s not ready to meet the “big man.”  Big man, oh, the one that scams everyone and I believe definitely has ties to the Gargoyle.  I’m beginning to have many suspicions of that person’s plan.  There’s also another interesting development here folks!  Evelyn seems a little too nervous when Betty asks her if the “farm” has ties to Gryphons and Gargoyles (I’m still seeing Dungeons and Dragons).  Cue the seizure!  That’s right folks.  Betty almost has one of those again but manages to stop it.  Did her mom drink something that is passed on to the child?  Well, it’s either that or Evelyn slipped something into the pizza.

And the Winner is...

Poor Archie seems to have been passively fighting the prison warden about taking Mad Dog’s place.  He fights or stays in solitary.  Fred tries to visit Archie and refused admittance.  Told you last week not to trust this warden.  Now Fred is really goofing up.  He’s threatening the “crook” with a lawyer.  Fred, I thought you were smarter than that!

Archie is rudely awakened by the dirty guard who takes him to a (cough) ring for a fight.  It seems Archie must learn a visual lesson as he watches Joaquin fight.  As Joaquin is beaten to a pulp, Archie finally agrees to fight.  Only thing I can figure about this whole change in the story is that they had to do something with Archie.  The other option is that this is how Hiram wants him to die.  Anyway, it’s more punishment for the “good guy” but it’s not a rating grabber for me.

For his first fight, Archie goes in strong as the warden and guards watch.  He takes his opponent down fast which earns him a “reward.”  Being the nice guy he is, Archie asks for burgers from Pops which he shares with the others that belong to the prison “Fight Club.”  I think I’m channeling too many 80s movies here folks.

Later, the warden informs Archie that he has to go to a party.  Archie must entertain him when he returns with a match that should go more than one round.  In fact, the warden would love for it to go four to six rounds.  The warden must really love to watch the fights or else he’s into watching the prisoners knock each other out.”  I hate to put this here but can’t stop.  As the night goes on, we see a party which I won’t mention yet with Josie singing.  Archie has had a visit from Dad who gives him advice.  With the guards and warden watching, Archie fights a young man who is scared to death.   Archie tells him not to hold back.  Both take punches and Archie finally knocks his opponent out.

Archie returns to his cell to find some of Mad Dog’s stuff there.  It’s a “reward” from the warden.  A reward, I ask, or a “lesson” of what happens when you fail.  Anyway, the warden gives Archie a bottle of alcohol which he throws through the cell.   Now, why did he flash to Hiram and the trial?  Is Archie realizing just how deep Hiram plays?  Archie does have a plan.  He tells the other “Fight Club” members that he plans an escape and asks who will go with him.  Joaquin joins the crew.  I see a set-up coming.  Somewhere in this group is the rat.

Veronica’s Scheme and Dream

Okay, why do I feel like I’m watching a mish-mash of 80’s movies?  Maybe it is because in some sense I am.  Anyway, Veronica has a secret under Pop’s.  She’s ready to open a speakeasy.  A speakeasy!  I’m surprised Ron knows about those but this whole bit is going to surprise me.  She’s got Reggie stocking for her and has invited Josie and Kevin along.  They enter through a secret door and learn Ron’s plans and dream (no, I won’t mention the movie).  Josie is going to perform and Kevin, well, he’s master of ceremonies. Of course, there is a kink in the plans when Penny shows up demanding protection money.  It seems dear old daddy Hiram will pull out any stop to — well — literally stop Veronica’s plan.

Veronica needs help (of course) and goes to the Serpent’s camp looking for Jug.  No Jug, but Cheryl and Toni will help.  Ron’s problems don’t end there as her shipment has been messed with and the sheriff appears after — get ready — protection money.  Hiram has no respect for his daughter, now does he??  Veronica plans to get even though and Toni has a plan.  It seems Toni knows some of Hiram’s plan and knows where the drug base is.  Now, that calls for an excursion to said drug den where the trio of Cheryl, Toni, and Ron make pictures.  Ron uses these to shakedown her father and demands that he leaves her club alone or she's going to the FBI.  Also, she wants a $10,000 payment (in nice sequences).  Ronnie has learned that at least from dad.  Always get paid for evidence.  Of course, after leaving the pictures, we know what Hiram will do, don’t we?  He moves the lab before the party.

The party goes off without a hitch.  Everyone s there but Archie (who must endure a fight while Josie sings “Anything Goes”).  I will say Josie did a beautiful rendition of the song.  Reggie tells Ron before the song that she has a visitor upstairs.  Dear old dad has shown up to wish her luck and bearing the gift of a painting of Ron.  She tells him to come downstairs and watch how an honest business operates. Reggie is given the job of watching Hiram.  Does anyone else have trouble telling the difference between Kevin and Reggie or is it me?

The Wind Up (ending of the episode)

There is too much in the last 10 minutes to put anywhere but here.  Everything seems to be tied together from Archie’s planned escape to “The Farm.  When Betty and Jug get back to FP’s,  Alice and FP are waiting for them.  They’ve found the book and plan to destroy it.  The game is pure evil, FP says while Alice looks scared.  So we know that the parents know about it.  Jug admits that he was told that was the only copy and FP burns its.  Yet later, the book shows up in everyone’s locker at school confusing Jughead.  In the hospital, Ethel gets a visit from the Gargoyle who she bows to.   I definitely see ties to “The Farm” here and that troubles me.  Just who is the mystery leader.  I have to think he has ties to Hiram (just because I dislike Hiram that much).  By the way, later in bed, Betty and Jug talk about the game and Betty buys the clue that their parents have played.

Speaking of Hiram, he visits his daughter in her room at home.  He didn’t stay for all the party.  My thoughts are that he was busy watching Archie’s beautiful face getting beaten to a pulp.  Ron’s not stupid and realizes that dear old dad moved the drug lab.  Somehow that look she gave as he left tells me that Ron isn’t through with dad yet.

Coming Soon:  Looks like the show is taking a break for Halloween.  I don’t see why though because we have all the Halloween elements here.  When it returns on November 7th, we FINALLY get the parents’ episode where they are in detention — wait for it — on a Saturday.  Cue “Breakfast Club” here.

Can you wait or do you want more?  With no spoilers, we will have that wait.  Sorry folks.  No clue on where we go next.