• Category: Episodic Recaps
  • Written by Rick Ellis

'Riverdale' Recap: Chapter 52: Just Who Are The Masters?

Okay "Riverdale," you did it to me again.  I had a great opening but the ending of the episode changed everything.  I’m going to open with this with a simple question:  Just what cult is The Farm based on?  I thought I had it pegged only to get thrown for a loop.  Let’s just say I thought it would take at least one episode to bring that question up!  "Riverdale," I was hoping for some resolution for Jughead and Veronica.  And you did the same thing there!  Threw me for more loops.  Okay, where to start?  I guess we’ll hold off on The Farm to the end.  So, let’s go for the other half of Bughead – er – Jughead.

Jughead’s Big Confrontation

Jughead and his mom, Gladys, are just not seeing eye to eye.  He’s fed up with her for her drug dealing and she’s not happy about the destruction of the old home trailer.  While Jellybean distracts FP, mom and Jug have a discussion about the drugs.  She tells him not to cross her.  Doesn’t Gladys show concern for her son, Jughead?  Right, she’s really never been a mom to him!  Why does she care?

Next up, the Serpents take the old haunts as the way to track the Fizzle Rock.  At a comic store, they get their first break and learn that the signal is Gargoyle’s sneakers over the telephone wires.    As the Serpents start their task the accidentally stop one of FP’s stakeouts.  Jughead sure does suffer a tongue lashing from that.  When FP confronts Jug in front of Gladys, Gladys agrees with FP that it is too dangerous and tells Jughead after FP leaves to drop the search.  Like Jug is going to do that.

While Archie’s story will come later, I have to note that Archie and Mad Dog go on a hunt with the Serpents for the Gargoyles.  It’s personal for Mad Dog but it becomes personal for all the Serpents.  As the group closes in, they are – well let’s just call it – sucker punched who knew they were coming.  The Gargoyles attack and it literally becomes a fight for Jughead’s life when Kurtz attacks and fires at Jug.  When Jug grabs him, Kurtz forces them out the window and they fall to the ground.  Ah, good, Jughead lives but Kurtz is free.

Back at home, Jughead confronts Gladys about this.  Shouldn’t a mom worry about her son?  A good mom would but did I ever say Gladys was a good mom.  She threatens Jughead AGAIN.  Jughead is expendable to Gladys to keep her business going.  Jughead is now determined to shut her down.  And poor old FP has found another dead body (was it Kurtz) kneeling to the Gargoyle King.  Kurtz did say he was ascending.  And Gladys — I knew she had the need to be  – oh – a mob boss which brings us to Hiram Lodge and Veronica.


Veronica is upset over the divorce as we saw last week but she is also determined to get her parents together.   Hermione isn’t stupid.  She has realized that her life isn’t worth anything since Hiram and she has split.  After learning this, Veronica tries to reason with her dad and mom again.  Veronica reminds her dad that to his family means everything.  Wait, where have I heard that before?  Oh, right, Gladys’ pitch to Jughead upon her return.  Back to Ron and her problem!  Veronica reminds her dead that the family angle cost her a boyfriend with his many attempts on Archie’s life. Later, mom finds a dead fish on her desk.  What, no horse’s head.  I thought that was what the mafia used.   Evidently, she makes an impression as the whole family are present when the Hiram Lodge Prison opens with the governor present.  Hey, governor, I have a couple of suggestions to go there and two are on the podium with you.

Later, Veronica finds her dad with the priest who has had the Lodge marriage annulled.  Hiram tells Ron that he figured out she sent the dead fish to her mom and she confessed.  I’ll say one thing for Ron – she’s a chip off Hiram’s block but maybe with a good heart.

Archie and the Gym

Archie gets a call at Pop’s from Mad Dog and goes to talk with him.  Mad Dog doesn’t want to go to Hiram’s jail which is where he is slated to go.  Ron and Archie managed to threaten the governor with the old “fight club” and Archie.  Seems Archie saw the governor at the fight.  I knew there was some stupid reason for that whole storyline but isn’t this just a convoluted reason for that?

The Governor springs both Mad Dog and Baby Teeth out of jail.  Archie takes both to the guy and they meet former sheriff Keller and Archie seem to offer them a place to stay at the gym and a job.  As all this goes down, who should appear but good old Elio, the skunk.  Yeah, I’m calling him that and I believe he’s a full-fledged mobster now.  He wants Mad Dog to come and fight with him.  Archie convinced Mad Dog not to do it but I have to wonder at the time if this will work.

Archie and Mad Dog go on the raid I mentioned earlier.  Mad Dog had found his grandmother and younger brother in the Gargoyle’s drug den.  While no one got hurt, Mad Dog realizes he has to get them out.  Elio gives him the opportunity and the ability to provide a safer place for Mad Dog’s family.  Thus Mad Dog says goodbye to Archie.

Betty and Cheryl’s Not So Excellent Adventure

At the start of this saga, Veronica and Betty take a tour of the new addition to The Farm – the school where Betty was held.  Betty found a locked door and was told that it was a janitor’s space.  Of course, Betty believed that right.  Well, I wouldn’t and neither did she.

After getting nowhere on her own, Betty asks Cheryl to help in the investigation.  Cheryl convinces Evelyn that she’s still upset over her brother, Jason, death.  Evelyn offers her help and Cheryl agrees to go to the chapel where she submits to the recording of a session with Evelyn.  Betty has wired Cheryl up.  What Betty didn’t count on was that Edgar would show up to do the session with Cheryl.  This Edgar is one spooky guy.  This who cult Is spooky.  Hey!  I’ve watched some shows on cults and I can’t figure out (for sure) which one this is based on.  Cheryl, if he offers you kool-aid, turn it down (old 90s reference folks).

The next day, Cheryl tell Betty she’s not helping her anymore.  We know Betty won’t accept this answer and she doesn’t. After offering Cheryl her recording which Betty stole (along with her mom’s), Betty tries to convince Cheryl not to return but Cheryl refuses.  Little by little (and I mean it seemed to take forever), we learn that Cheryl was taken by Edgar to a room where she saw Jason and talked to him.  Raise your hand, please if you remember a dead boy of Jason pulled from the river!  Raise your hand if you remember that his dad killed him?  Don’t ask me how Cheryl could see, touch and talk with her dead brother.  I have my suspicions but I don’t think that "Riverdale" would go there!

Betty meets her mom as the episode ends and asks Alice if the reason she believes in the farm has something to do with Chuck.  Guess what!  That’s how they got Alice under their thumb.  She sees and talks to Chuck.  And that leads to the momentous meeting as the show ends of Betty and Edgar.  For some reason, he knows he can’t snow our Betty.  He wants to know what she wants to know and Betty states the obvious.  Betty wants Edgar to tell her the story from the beginning.  Do I believe we will get this?  Heck no!  They have to build toward a season finale and set up for season four (yes, it’s been renewed).  Unfortunately, we have to wait until around April 17th (please tell me I heard wrong) for any more answers.

So where does that leave us?

As previews ran, we heard Betty threaten to kill Evelyn?  What would leave to this?

Could Hiram let anyone hurt Veronica?  Is she really his daughter if the marriage was annulled?

Can Archie really run a boxing center with his limited business skills?

Can Jughead take down his mom?  If so, at what cost?

Just what does the dead body that FP found and the Gargoyle King mean?  Has Gladys brought this back?  Hiram?  Edgar?

And who is the biggest villain:  Hiram, Gladys, Edgar or a player to be named later?

I’m out of here for tonight.  See you in April.