• Category: Episodic Recaps
  • Written by Linda Martindale

'Riverdale' Recap: Chapter 56 - How Many Pop Culture References Can We Use?

Riverdale, I have a headache.  Guess what!  It’s not Edgar induced.  It’s storyline induced.  That’s why I’m calling this pop culture hell.  Not only do we get “Coma” (a great movie by the way), but we get “Scream,” a hint of “Lord of the Flies,” more “Fight Club,” and a new take on any “Revenge” series that ever ran.  Oh, and let’s not forget the salute to my take on Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Lost Boys (Peter Pan), and so many others it’s hard to keep them straight.  I don’t know how you will top this in the season finale, but I have a big fear that Cheryl  and Betty may have “bought the farm.”

Archie, Veronica, and Reggie

Okay, let’s start with the less crazy story.  Remember on Riverdale last week Ronnie swore revenge on her daddy.  Well, her plan got some steam this week when Hiram tells Hermione that he is taking over Riverdale and the governor has agreed to let him.  Hiram’s going to buy up the whole town and remake it in his image.  Now isn’t that a scary thought.  I guarantee it won’t be Disney World.  Hiram will want to be extremely wealthy with big hotels, tax evasion – wait!  I think I am mirroring the news that I watched before the show so back on track.

Ronnie has a scheme.  She needs Archie’s help and ends up talking to the FBI.  Ron isn’t a dummy.  She tells them everything that has been going on at the speakeasy but she’s covered.  The business and Pop Tate’s belong to Hiram, oh my.  FBI cannot do anything until they catch him in the act.  Enter Archie.  He must challenge Hiram to a fight.  And of course, we get the bare chest scene with Archie and Hiram for good measure in the steam room.  Archie challenges Hiram.  If Archie wins, Hiram drops his plan.  If Hiram wins, the gets town is left alone.

On the night of the fight, Martha shows up in support of Archie.  At the speakeasy, Reggie is back in Ron’s good graces and helping her with that end of the scheme.  As the fight gets ugly (and illegal), Hiram goes in for the kill.  The FBI and FP are on the move but Reggie tells Ronnie they’re getting bets that Hiram kills Archie.  Just as it looks like Hiram is going to deliver that blow, Ronnie arrives and stops the fight.  FP and the FBI come in.  Hiram is arrested and carted off to jail.

Ronnie does have a heart (she is a Lodge after all).  She goes and sees dear old dad in Riverdale jail and tells him that she took him down because he took her club and Pop Tate’s.  He sees her as a chip off the old block and tries to convince her to help.  He really doesn’t get the words out because Ronnie shows her true colors.  I did mention that she was a chip off the old block, didn’t I?  She smiles and says:  “I win.”  Well, Hiram isn’t happy and looks like he’s like to rip the bars out of the cell.

As to who gets the girl (Ronnie), Martha tells Archie he is Ronnie’s “endgame.”  I take that to mean that he and Ronnie are meant to be.  Unfortunately, that’s not what Archie finds when he arrives at Ronnie’s.  Reggie and Ronnie have reconciled and are a couple.  Of course, Archie plays the good guy and says he will see them at school but is hurt.  Can we say “Bad Romance.”

Jughead Meets the Lost Boys and Princess Ethel

Oh Riverdale, I have one plea.  Get Jughead and Betty together in the story, please.  This phone tag isn’t working.  And that rant is done.

Jughead is at the high school as FP and the police are trying to figure out what Prom Hell was.  The coroner has checked the hand and it was amputated and not lost from the explosion.  Jughead now is aware that Hal is back as the Black Hood.  At the high school, Jug starts the investigation into who gave Betty the message.  He tracks the message to a guy named Louie but Louie got the message from none other than Ricky (that Serpent brat).  Would someone get this child under control, please?  He’s just as annoying as Edgar.

This starts Jughead looking for Ricky.  Jelly Bean tells Jug where Ricky hides out.  Unfortunately for Jughead, it’s a trap with the “Lost Boys” waiting when Jug gets Ricky.  They attack Jughead planning to kill him with staves (you know makeshift spears) and Jughead ducks into the bunker only to find Ethel waiting.   It seems she is to care for the Lost Boys and they protect her.  Now the reference to Peter Pan comes into play.  Let me say, for the record, if they were protecting Jelly Bean I might, just might, buy that.  Unfortunately, they’re protecting their mother figure who has been assigned this role by none other than the Gargoyle King.

I knew we wouldn’t be that lucky!  Gargoyle King rears his head.  Ethel tells the kids to leave the woods and head to Riverdale.  Ricky is gone and so is Jack.  They start tracking Jack and get back to an old bus.  As they’re convincing Jack to leave, the Black Hood shows up with murder on his mind.  Now we have “Halloween.”  Just like Jason, nothing can kill the Black Hood.  Jughead, Ethel, and Jack escape and head to the sheriff’s office.  FP gets the boys to safety and Ethel still needs to calm down.  She knows who the Gargoyle King is and it seems Jug to be a grave robber.

Should I reveal now who the Gargoyle King is or wait?  I think he’s a take on Frankenstein myself, but it is the main spoiler of tonight’s show.  It’s someone who died in season one!  That’s right!  Jason Blossom is the Gargoyle King.  Maybe that explains why Cheryl and Polly see him at the farm.  The rest of this Frankenstein theory will be revealed in a moment.

Betty and Inmates of The Farm

If you remember last week’s Riverdale, you know that Betty is at “The Farm” for her safety.  Does she trust Edgar?  No!  Edgar though thinks he has the means to control Betty.  It seems Betty was in the hospital as a child, or so Alice tells.  While there, they for some reason tested Betty’s DNA for the serial killer gene.  I checked.  There are web references to this and they even used some of the DNA genes in the description (so kudos to the writers.  According to Alice and Polly, Betty has shown this tendency from her childhood.  Wait!  Alice, did you know then that Hal was a serial killer (check this please with references).  According to Alice, Betty killed her cat, Caramel,  and pushed Polly down the stairs.  Edgar offers counseling which turns out to be a means to hypnotize Betty.  In her (what I call) trance, Betty sees a shadowy Betty who identifies herself as the true Betty.  Betty has become her true self, a serial killer.

Betty talks to Jughead about what is going on.  In addition, she has seen Evelyn in a room hooked up to an IV.  Betty barges in and finds that Evelyn is on anti-rejection serum.  Betty is beginning to question just what The Farm is.  When she hears that both Kevin and Fang have had an operation to help cure them, she starts Nancy Drew-ing again.  What she discovers is scary.  Edgar is harvesting body parts from the teens but why.  Betty assumption is to sell them on the black market.  I’m beginning to think something different but it’s too early for that.

Betty has tried to talk to Cheryl but it hasn’t worked so, being Betty, she takes a different angle.  She gets into the room, steals an organ, and shows it to Cheryl.  Toni is having her procedure that night so Cheryl goes to save Toni while Betty tries to convince Kevin and Fang about what is happening.  Kevin and Fang have drunk the kool-aid too much and grab Betty preventing her escape.  Cheryl does get Toni out and gives Toni the ultimate gift.  She allows herself to be captured so Toni can be free.  True love reigns between those two and Cheryl has finally bought a clue.

Betty wakes up to find herself chained to a table with Edgar prepping her for surgery.  He’s going to do this operation himself.  As Betty screams she goes under and Edgar starts the procedure as the show fades to black.

My Theory of What May Be Happening

Okay, we have Jason alive and Hal without a hand.  We know Edgar has medical knowledge.  Have we got a modern take on Frankenstein?  Is Hal trying to construct the perfect killer?  And what will happen to the victims when he has finished with them?  Will it be Kool-Aid for all or will he leave them disillusioned?  My guess is that he’s trying to control the Gargoyle King and used organs from others to help resurrect Jason.  If this is the truth, I guess he didn’t watch that episode of “Once Upon a Time” or read the book.  It doesn’t work, Edgar.

Next Week and Questions:’

Let’s not even try to decipher the previews.  Betty seems to be farm-like.  The Black Hood unmasks himself.  Someone has a gun (maybe Hiram).  If Hiram has the gun, you know he wants revenge against his daughter.  Will he turn the gun on Archie instead of Reggie?

Will Hiram get a “get out of jail” card from the governor and try to get even with Veronica?

Just where is Jason hiding?  Is he a lab experiment at The Farm.

Just how twisted is Edgar?  How many people have died at his hands?

Will Betty and Cheryl recover?  Are Kevin and Fangs too far gone?

Who will survive to be in Season Four?

We may get the answers next week on Riverdale!