• Category: Episodic Recaps
  • Written by Linda Martindale

'Riverdale' Recap: Just Who Is The Grim Reaper?

Tonight’s episode of "Riverdale" appears to be very aptly named.  We have references throughout this episode that the "reapers" are everywhere but who is the real reaper?  I’m betting Kurtz but we’ve seen Archie and Gladys in that role too.  And let’s add Edgar as a reaper of souls.  Sheesh – I hate Edgar.  Anyway, there are surprises galore tonight.  Some of these touched my heart and others gave me a little smile (actually laugh until Edgar arrives).  Why should I spoil any of this now?  Just wait for it.  I’m not even going to rant tonight (or at least not much).

Archie and the Title of "Riverdale Reaper"

Okay, Archie isn’t really a reaper but that title was given to him by Elio.  Elio is up to dirty tricks again.  He blames Archie with Randy’s death.  Elio sets Archie up to take the fall by accusing him of giving Randy the "juice."  Elio sends the cops to get the drug that he left at Archie’s gym which gets Archie arrested.  The one thing Elio didn’t count on was Ronnie.

Ronnie has teamed up with Archie.   Ron is the only one who can get through to Archie after Randy’s death.  She’s the one who bails Archie and Mad Dog out of jail plus figures out a way to clear their names.  Ronnie even does a benefit for Randy’s parents when they learn that Elio won’t pay the insurance.  Yet, nothing stops Elio.  Let’s call him Hiram Lodge, Junior from now on shall we?  Elio takes the money to Archie but he refuses because he doesn’t want the blood money.  Yet, Archie finally goes to see Elio and catches him alone.  He gets the money and gives it to Randy’s family along with the donations and benefit money from Ron.  This changes Randy’s mom mind but will it change the sister who slapped Archie.

Meanwhile, Hiram Lodge, Junior clone meets with the real Hiram.  Elio tells Hiram that he could make a bundle off of the Riverdale Reaper.  Hiram tells him that Archie has two sides to his personality – the good guy and the guy who would have shot him.  Hiram, my dear man, everyone has those two sides.  It comes down to which persona is more in control.  Meanwhile, Mad Dog wants Archie to spar with him.  Archie doesn’t want to and it is Ron who gets him into the ring.

Now which to do next?  Let’s go with the lesser of the main evils (did I say that?) and do the new version of Gryphons and Gargoyles.

The Jones’ Family Game to Save Jelly Bean

Okay, what does the Jones’ family do?  Guess what Kurtz wants to play with them?  That’s right we get the old hateful game of Dungeons – er – I mean Gryphons and Gargoyles.  Let me state here now.  I never played Dungeons and Dragons.  The guys I knew who played thought it wasn’t “girl appropriate.”  I watched it and realized that unless you know mythology, you don’t get it.

But let’s get back to the Jones’ game.  There are four quests they must complete.  The first one falls to Gladys who must tell her darkest secret.  She admits to FP about being the Fizzle Rock dealer.  This sets FP off especially when he learns that Jughead knows.  Gladys though finally takes the blame for something.   She should have done this a long, long time ago but it sets up the later story so waits.

The second quest involves robbing Pop Tate’s and giving the money to Kurtz.  They all put masks on and enter the restaurant with empty guns and masks.  Unfortunately, Pop has a loaded gun and gets FP in the arm (shadows of Fred Andrews here).  Guess Fred is the reason for the gun.  FP falls but tells Gladys and Jughead to go ahead and get Jelly Beans.

The next task is to take on the Cyclops.  Turns out the Cyclops is Penny Peabody who Gladys wounded when Archie and Jughead were on the run.  They fight with martial arts swords.  While Penny does hit Gladys in the stomach/ribs, Gladys survives and has Penny at the throat.  Jughead tells her no, so Gladys cuts Penny’s leg.  Another quest won but another one down and in the hospital.

The final quest falls to Jughead (of course).  We all know that Jug has to be the final one to play because Kurtz hates him so much.  For Jughead, it is the game of “Lady and the Tiger.”  Again, another myth comes into play.  In this story, the knight must guess which door hides the lady.  Jughead is no dummy.  This is Kurtz and there’s a good chance that Jilly Bean isn’t there.  He opens the first door and quickly follows with the second.  Kurtz is going to freeze Jughead to death in a “freezer box.”  Well, it is snowing.  Kurtz calls and Jelly Bean has been taken home by Ricky.  (In case you don’t remember, Ricky tried to kill Archie, the Red Paladian).  Kurtz locks Jughead in but Jug slams the door until it opens.  He goes out to find a dead Kurtz lying on the ground and the (we’re supposed to shudder) Gargoyle King in the background.

Jughead returns home to find Jelly Bean safe.  Ricky had just left.  He visits Gladys and tells her that Jelly Bean needs to stop running.  Jug also wants Gladys to stay with him, Jelly Bean and FP.  FP is going to get out of jail free on the robbery due to being coerced into it (yes I know I made a rhyme). Gladys can’t stay and face things.  She leaves but Jelly Bean stays.  FP will take care of her and maybe one day Gladys will return.

Betty and the Cult of the Farm

Betty is on her own for this story.  She knows that something is up with the farm but what.  She and Ronnie have managed to get Hiram to agree to transfer Hal to his prison.  Betty goes and tells her father.  She also drops the bomb that Alice plans to marry Edgar and adopt Polly’s twins.  This upsets Hal who tells her to go talk to her Aunt Penelope.

Penelope Blossom knows what is going on.  After all, her daughter is now part of the Farm.  Is she worried?  Does anything worry Penelope?  It isn’t until Betty tells her about the twins that she decides to get into action.  Penelope meets with Edgar and manages to get the boy (I think they called him Dagwood, ugh) and immediately calls him Jason, Jr. Edgar keeps the girl.

To say Betty is upset is an understatement but she’s not through yet.  At school, she overhears that the Farm doesn’t believe in vaccinations.  When they tell Evelyn she needs the meningitis shot, Evelyn lets that drop.  It also gives Betty a clue.  She sneaks into the school that night and finds out that Evelyn is a liar.  Didn’t I tell you something was funny there?  It seems Evelyn is really 26 years old and has been going from school to school.  Ms. Weiss provides this information. So Betty calls Toni for help.  Unfortunately, Toni has bought into the farm and belonging.  (I call it drinking the kool-aid.)  She sets Betty up for a meeting with Edgar who tries to convince Betty to stay. When Betty tells Alice that Evelyn is really Edgar’s wife (the other secret I didn’t mention),  It sounds like a Gregorian chant with all the people Betty knows telling her to stay.  Betty flashes back to the twins over the fire and runs.  Why does Edgar want her so badly?  He has plenty of women to worship him, but I digress.  Betty gets to the car and flees.

When Betty gets to Ronnie’s, Ron is waiting.  Hiram did get Hal transferred with several other inmates.  In the process of the transfer, there was a wreck that killed all of the people in the van.  Hal and the others didn’t survive.  You know where I place that blame, don’t you?  Squarely on Edgar’s shoulders!

Other Notes:

Josie and her father have some tender scenes with him seeing her perform.  He asks her to join him on tour in Asheville and Josie leaves for the tour.  So, we no longer have Josie and Archie.  And Josie now heads off to the new spinoff of Katy Keene.

Tonight marks the last episode that Luke Perry filmed as Fred Andrews.  He played the usual role of understanding father.  How will they write him off?  It will be a huge loss.

Next three weeks:

We only have three more weeks of Riverdale season three.  While we know Betty fires a gun and Archie fights, we don’t get any more clues which lead me to wonder:

Can Elio convince Archie to be the Riverdale Reaper?  If so, what is in it for Hiram?

Jelly Bean is now a full-fledged member of the Jones’s family.  Will Gladys ever return for good?

With Gladys and Kurtz gone, does that end Fizzle Rock?  Please, please let it end that storyline?

The Gargoyle King is back AGAIN!  Does he have ties to Edgar like I suspect?  Which one of the good guys will take him out?

Edgar is charismatic but he is breaking the law?  Will he get caught for bigamy?  Just which cult does his group resemble?  Has he formed an army of the undead?  And why does he seem intent on getting to Betty?