If Archie had just accepted the mistrial and turned down the plea deal, he’d be starting this week’s episode heading into the halls of Riverdale High. Instead, because he’s seriously the dumbest person ever, he’s being admitted into teen jail. He’s stripped down (getting that shirtless KJ Apa scene out of the way early, I see), hosed, powder soaped…and then handed a towel. Wait, shouldn’t he be hosed down again before being handed that towel? The kid is covered in powder soap! Who is running this teen prison?
The Warden, that’s who, and that’s also who Archie meets next. The Warden says to Archie, “You like music? We have a music room. No one uses it.” Wait, is he dangling this in front of Archie? Is he trolling him by saying “You want music? Tough!” I’m confused by this line.
Betty’s not looking good. When Polly shows concern about her well being, Betty snaps and acts shocked that Polly is concerned about Betty when “I saw you and Mom throw the twins into a bonfire last night!” Maybe Betty needs to start prescribing herself different meds.
Jughead announces that Dilton is dead! I can’t lie, I always find it weird when Archie Comics mainstays like Midge and Dilton get knocked off on this show. Dilton was ranting and raving about somebody called the Gargoyle King before he died. Jughead has a new mystery to solve.
A guard shows Archie to his room and tells him “You’re bunking with Mad Dog.” Mad Dog has a pretty sweet set up: a TV, a record player, books, art on the walls. Mad Dog doesn’t talk, despite Archie’s best efforts to get to know his new roomie.
Veronica sees Principal Weatherbee. She wants to fill in as interim Class President while Archie is temporarily incarcerated. Too late, Weatherbee tells her, another student already asked for the job and he handed it to her. Cheryl is now Class President. Because, you know, throwing a new election would just be too hard. Wait a second, what school has class officer elections before the school year even begins? The obvious folly of doing so is that your Class President might transfer schools, or end up a convicted felon over summer break.
Ethel is ranting about some winged monster. Looks like she was in Dilton’s AD&D group.
Out in the yard, Archie flashes his Serpents tag. It doesn’t get him far. Joaquin is in juvie too, and doesn’t have fond memories of Archie, basically blaming him for his ending up there. He makes Archie an offer to prove his loyalty. If Archie shivs a Ghoulie, he’ll get Serpent protection. While Archie was all ready to “make his bones” and murder a guy for Mr. Lodge last season, season 3 Archie isn’t going to shiv a guy in the yard. He declines.
Betty and Jughead visit the coroner, Dr. Curdle. They want to see Dilton’s body. The old coroner is dead and the new coroner is Dr. Curdle’s son, Dr. Curdle. This sounds too much like Mr. Noodle’s brother Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street. I can only assume the Riverdale writers used to work on Elmo’s World. The new coroner being the old one’s son is a weird way to keep the same character name with a different actor, but oh well. The new coroner is super creepy. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out that he killed the old coroner. Dr. Curdle describes the markings on Dilton’s body as “we’re looking at the true face of evil.”
Jughead takes a bunch of photos of the symbols on Dilton’s back. He develops them in his dark room.
Archie somehow made it into the music room that no one uses. He’s strumming a guitar when a bunch of Ghoulies surround him. They jump him and take his shoes. Maybe you should have shivved that guy, Arch.
Betty calls the hospital about Dilton’s son, Ben Button. Wait, there is a character on Riverdale named Benjamin Button? Does he age backwards? I can’t wait to meet next week’s new literary named student, Atticus Finch.
There’s a new girl in school. She’s Evelyn, the farm cult leader’s daughter. She introduces herself to Betty, who unsurprisingly wants nothing to do with her when she finds out who her father is.
Kevin tries to get a little PDA from Moose in the school hallway, but Moose shuts that down fast. Moose’s dad is the new ROTC instructor and it’s heavily hinted that he does not know his son’s sexual preference. Moose wants to stay in the closet. Kevin is frustrated by this.
Veronica kicks Cheryl out of Pops because Cheryl stole Archie’s class presidency. Despite this, Cheryl gives Ronnie the sincere advice to check out The Innocence Project. Maybe they can help her save Archie.
Jughead and Betty visit Benjamin Button in the hospital. His nurse, Nurse Ratchet, kicks them out. Just kidding, there’s no Nurse Ratchet in Riverdale. That would just be silly naming. There’s a weird twig doll on Ben Button’s door. It looks straight out of True Detective. Sheriff Manetta walks in and kicks out Betty and Jugs. But then a deputy comes in to announce that another kid is missing! Don’t worry, Sheriff! Betty and Jughead are on the case! What, you’d rather do the police work yourself? Well, then you’re on the wrong show!
Veronica meets with her mother, Mayor Lodge. Veronica wants her mom to endorse Veronica’s plan to start a chapter of The Innocent Project in Riverdale. Mrs. Lodge is hesitant to do so out of fear of incurring Hiram Lodge’s wrath. Veronica said she wouldn’t be siding with her daughter over her husband, she’d be siding with a concerned citizen of her town. Because Hiram Lodge is one to see that kind of nuanced distinction?
Jugs confronts Ethel about the twig doll. Ethel says that she made that talisman to protect Ben, not to hurt him. She’s dating Ben and tells Jughead that “we spend all our time in the bunker.” You know, Dilton’s bunker in the woods. The more we find out about Dilton, the more you get the feeling he spent a lot of time wearing tin foil hats.
Mad Dog gives Archie some life advice: “Be an animal.”
Skeet and Mrs. Cooper confront Betty and Jughead. They want them to let this whole thing with Dilton, Ethel and Benjamin Button go.
Veronica visits Archie in prison and gives him new shoes. Reggie helped her pick out the right ones. “We’re missing our star running back.” This line gives Archie an idea. Later, Archie gives an impassioned speech that the guys in the teen prison should give up the gang violence and have a football game. He even offers up his new sneakers to whoever is crowned MVP. The Warden looks less than thrilled.
Betty sneaks out of her house and joins Jughead to search the woods. Jughead is concerned about Betty’s seizure and wants more details. Before Betty can get into it, they comes across this monster made of sticks that might or might not also be covered in blood. And I think it’s moving. They don’t stick around for a closer look. They run.
Veronica wants Cheryl and the Vixens to perform a pep rally at Archie’s jail yard game. As you do.
Kevin tries to say hi to Moose as Moose enters Pops, but Moose kind of blows him off. He’s there with his ROTC crew.
Archie wants Mad Dog to play in the game, but Mad Dog has to skip it because he’s busy running some assignment for the Warden. Mad Dog tells Archie that the Warden banned Mad Dog’s family and girlfriend from visiting him, and that in two years, he’ll be transferred to the adult prison.
Jugs and Betty find Dilton’s hatch. The shot of them opening it is straight out of Lost. Those stick figure twigmen dolls are hanging all around the hatch. They find Dilton’s Gryphons and Gargoyles game and a bottle of cyanide. They teens weren’t poisoned. They did this to themselves! A kid is hiding under the bed. It’s the missing teen from earlier in the episode. He tells them he’s supposed to “stay hidden until Master Dilton returns.” Uh, kid, Master Dilton is dead. The kid basically says, “That’s what he said you’d try to tell me!” Uh, kid…
Up at the prison, the football game is underway. Archie is tackled hard. No one is wearing helmets or pads. Mid-game, the Riverdale Vixens show up and give the boys a show from the other side of the barbed wire fence. The game comes to an immediate halt as all the guys start grinding the fence while they watch the Vixens do their own rendition of Jailhouse Rock. It’s weird that all the guys then went back to playing the football game mid-song, right?
Hiram drives up as the Vixens are performing. Veronica confronts him. He calls her mija. MIJA TRACKER: 1 (Are we really only getting one mija per episode this season?). Hiram nods to the Warden, who says, “Stop the riot!” Just then, a platoon of guards in riot gear storm the field and beat the kids. The Vixens scatter. Archie fights back hard, knocking down more than a few armored guards. Hiram does a David Caruso sunglasses look and drives off.
When the guard brings Archie back to his cell, Archie is surprised to see that all of Mad Dog’s stuff is gone. The guard tells Archie, “Mad Dog died in the riot, the one you started!” Wait a second, Mad Dog wasn’t even there! Archie see right through it all.
Veronica can’t visit Archie. Her dad had the Warden add her to the Do Not Admit list. Cheryl suggests she get a fake ID from Reggie. Cheryl and Toni did for their cross country summer adventure.
Jughead and Betty confront Ethel. When they call G&G only a game, Ethel says, “It’s more real than you philistines will ever understand!” Ethel tells them she can’t talk to them about the game out of fear of being attacked by the Gargoyle King. As she says this, she breaks out into a seizure. That cult leader’s daughter is watching all this go down. Definitely nothing suspicious there.
“Monica Posh” visits Archie is jail. You guys, it’s Veronica in a blonde wig. Sneaky Veronica.
Kevin Keller enrolls in the RROTC in order to spend time with Moose. Moose’s dad seems surprised when Kevin walks into the meeting, even though Kevin shows up in full RROTC gear. Who else would he have gotten that uniform from, Moose Sr?
The Warden visits Archie in his cell. The Warden was impressed with Archie’s viciousness in fighting the guards. He tells Archie, “You’ve been tapped. You’re going to be my new Mad Dog.” Uh oh. But seriously, what happened to Mad Dog 1? I’m hoping that Mad Dog gets to make a speech about not even being the first Mad Dog, a la the Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride.
The parents of all the main kids in town are meeting in a dimly lit room. “We made a vow in high school,” Hermione Lodge says, and talks about “the secret we buried all those years ago.” The parents know something about what’s going on in the woods, but they’re clearly all spooked by it. Former sheriff, Mr. Keller, is all didn’t we say we’d never talk about that again? This isn’t talking about that again. Even Hiram is there, even though three of the dads in attendance tonight were meeting to conspire against him in a similar dimly lit room last episode. Dear people of Riverdale, buy higher wattage bulbs.
Betty and Jughead pay another visit to Benjamin Button. Ben is sitting at the open window. He tells them, “I’m going to be with Dilton now.” They try to talk him off the window, saying what about Ethel? He says that she’ll understand and jumps to his death. What kind of hospital has windows that open all the way like that?