Okay, Riverdale fans! It’s that time to go on a roller coaster ride. I will admit up front that I missed the opening three minutes but I did get back for the action. While Riverdale was good tonight, I’m a little upset that they revealed the Gargoyle mystery a little too early (okay, a lot early). I won’t reveal the one behind the scam until last but will just refer to the person as game master throughout the initial round. And yes, we do get some resolution but only to have a new mystery presented toward the end of all of this. I will save that comment to the end.
Tonight we basically have two tales that come together toward the end. We have Betty’s (ahem) rescue, the GK’s final game, and the end of the Black Hood. Of course, this is sci-fi. Of course, death doesn’t always mean anything as Cheryl shows but that’s all the hints I’ll give you now.
The Great Hunt
If you have ever read sci-fi lore by Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time), you have heard of the Great Hunt. It’s a common theme that goes from hunting for something (Gawain and the Green Knight) to running for your life to survive. Riverdale chooses the “run for your life” and it is Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead who are doing this. The core four find themselves invited to one final game of Gargoyles and Gryphons (although I doubt this will ever end). They are the children of the original Midnight Club. Before you ask how Betty could be there, the game master has “bought” her from Edgar. Isn’t that sweet that Edgar will sell people for devious reasons? Well, the core four find themselves at dinner with the game master who has two special guests. Can you guess? That’s right Hal in his Black Hood shows up and a very much alive Chic. Oh great, he’s back and made to look like Jason. The good news is Jughead knows Arthur Conan Doyle and already figured out that the Gargoyle King wasn’t Jason but someone else.
The game master finds out that Jughead is way ahead of the game and has figured out much of the plot. Well, the core four and Hal don’t get their dinner (well maybe Hal does). The core four are invited to the green area outside where they find out that they will have to survive the night/run for their lives. As they run, tasks will be assigned which must be completed. If they don’t complete the assigned task, the game master’s gargoyle minions will kill them. When the core four hesitate, the game master sic the minions on them and the gang is off at a run
The first task is Archie’s and he must battle a grizzly beast. It’s a very tall man dressed as a wolf, complete with claws. I’d like to take a claw to the game master right about now. Anyway, when it looks like Archie is about to lose his life, Archie finds a weapon (a log) and takes the grizzly human out. Task one is won and it’s on to the second task.
The second task is Veronica’s. She must play spin the bottle with one of her friends. There are six chalices with one containing poison. Whichever one the bottle stops on is the one from which they drink. Okay, Betty steps forward and the game begins. When it looks like Betty will lose, she drinks but nothing happens. The game master appears and Ron says all the glasses were poison free. Oh no, the games master replies. They must get the antidote.
Okay, I have a plot point here. In many of the novels I have read (much less the D & D games I have watched), the characters/players are supposed to drink. To pass this challenge, the players pretend to drink (or in the case of the Princess Bride have a tolerance for the poison) and either pretend to drink before spilling their glass on the ground. Betty and Ron took a sip then poured their glass out. Haven’t they studied enough literature or seen enough movies to fake this plot point? Evidently, they aren’t as smart as I thought!
Oh well, the game master sends them into the woods with the minions close behind. While on the run, Archie tells Ron that he loves her regardless of what is going on with Reggie. Ron admits that nothing happened because she loves her Archiekins. Oh great, we get the kiss we were promised.
The next task belongs to old Hell whatever himself, Jug. He must fight the Gargoyle King Chic. Chic has gotten used to being adored and worshiped and doesn’t plan to let Jughead kill him. Once again, it looks like evil has won but Jughead knocks out Chic and they’re off again to the final task.
The last task is Betty’s and it is to face her dad. Betty opens a case to find a gun. Hal confronts her with one also. If she doesn’t kill him, Hal tells Betty he will kill one of her friends until she does. Betty pulls the trigger and wounds Hal. Archie grabs the antidote which makes the game master mad. The game master isn’t satisfied and comes out of hiding to finish Hal off with a bullet in the head. The minions are told to kill the core four but I’m going to make you wait for a few more paragraphs as I tell Cheryl’s story. It does, in some ways, impact the finale.
Cheryl and the Farm
Somehow (maybe during those three minutes I missed) Cheryl has escaped those holding her prisoner and fled down the hall. She finds Kevin and Fangs and tells them what is going on. Kevin and Fangs are too far gone on the doctrine of Edgar (the Kool-Aid promise of being sane) and don’t believe her. She tries to prove it but instead finds empty rooms until the last door. When she pulls it open, she finds a person in a wheelchair and then goes on the hunt for Edgar (of course we don’t find out who until she gets to Edgar).
Edgar and Alice are talking. Alice is worried about Betty’s disappearance and the rumors of organs. Cheryl burst in asking why Edgar has dug Jason up and put him in a wheelchair (yeah – we have the grave robber tagged now). Alice looks shocked but Edgar has it all under control. He tells Alice to go gather the devoted and the guards to take Cheryl and lock her in her room. Again, Cheryl should have foreseen this from old movies and had a duplicate key.
Have no fear Riverdale fans. This isn’t the end for Cheryl. Alice comes to her rescue carrying Polly’s daughter (and no I’m not using the name here because I think it is ridiculous!). Alice rescues Cheryl and shows her a way into Fox Woods. Cheryl’s to take the child and go. Alice refuses to leave because she must stay with Polly. Of course, we find out it is a little more later about this plot later.
Meanwhile, Toni is awoken by Cheryl’s aunt who tells her what the game master is doing in the Blossoms’ game park. Toni is supposed to rescue the core four but first, she is going to get Cheryl out. As she rallies the Pretty Poison, Cheryl appears with the baby. Auntie takes the child and Cheryl and the Poisons head out.
The Great Hunt Ends
Okay, now I will reveal the game master. The game master is none other than Penelope Blossom. She has held a grudge against the evil town of Riverdale and our core four parents from their high school days. It seems they knew what was happening to her and didn’t do anything to rescue her from becoming the bride of Blossoms’ son. She is the one who bought Betty from Edgar. Penelope is the one who had an affair with Hal who has been brought back as the Black Hood for the hunt. I don’t think he was happy but what could he do? She saved Chic and remade him into Jason (sick right). Penelope, to get her revenge, is staging the great hunt.
In the end, when Hal is first hurt then killed, it was Penelope who pulls the trigger. While the core four have survived, she will not let them live. As she tells the minions to kill the core four, Cheryl in her Chrisom Hood, Toni, and the Pink Poisons show up to take the minions out. Cheryl sure does love to use her bow and arrows and her aim is true.
The wrap-up begins with a voice-over by Jughead about how the town is back to normal and show the Serpents painting over all signs of the gargoyle. Question for Jughead: Is Riverdale ever normal? We learn that when the group reached The Farm, everyone has vanished except Kevin. He has been left behind to tell them what had happened. Penelope escapes and hasn’t been seen since. Of course, she is waiting. We have to have a villain for next year.
In other cases, Hermione and Ron think all is well (they got their property back) only to have the FBI arrive and arrest Hermione for trying to kill Hiram. (Show of hands, please. How many now wish she had). Hiram tells us that Ron has no idea what is coming while Smithers is Ron’s guardian. (Another move that reeks of Hiram). Archie has been given El Royale and he plans to turn it away from just being just a boxing gym to a community center with Mad Dog’s help. Jughead opens his door to an FBI agent hunting for Betty. Betty and Jughead are asked to help the FBI who have been trying to get the goods on The Farm. Alice has been working with them. This shocks both Jughead and Betty but the FBI’s identity shocks them more. A round of applause to everyone who thought Betty’s real brother, Charles, would arrive. He’s in charge of everything. Not only that, Charles is also a brother to Jughead. Yes, FP and Alice had a child.
And what about Cheryl? Cheryl is going off the deep-end folks. She has taken Jason’s body back to the mansion and it appears that she has created a shrine for him. Gross! I don’t think that is sanitary much less sane.
As the gang meets at Pop’s to update each other, they pledge themselves to have a nice, quiet, normal senior year in school. Again, we all know that won’t happen. All of a sudden, we get the words “Spring Break” and Betty, Ron, and Archie with blood on them and burning their clothes and Jughead’s beanie. Where is Jughead, we ask, but Archie comes out of the trance. Was it a foretelling or the writers’ messing with us or both? I’m saying both.
So – where do we go next year? The things we know are:
Hiram is still scheming.
Penelope is still free.
Is there any truth to Archie’s trance?
Can Riverdale ever be normal?
How many myths/fables do I need to do for homework this summer?
Hope to see all next year! We’re out for the season!