Tonight’s episode starts with the Warden paying Archie a visit in the hole. He asks Archie if he had time to think his offer over. Archie tells him the answer is still no. The Warden leaves him in solitary. Hey Archie, never forget you’re the only reason you’re in here.
Skeet and Mrs. Cooper are naked in bed together at the Farm. Looks like they’ve renewed their on again off again romance. They’re talking about the blue lipped deaths. Mrs. Cooper points out that no one else has died in three weeks, so maybe they’re out of the woods.
Jugs and Betty are naked in bed together too. This is the creepiest case of like father like son since Dan Humphrey and his dad were dating mother and daughter van der Woodson on Gossip Girl. Wait, where are Betty and Jughead? Does Jughead live in the sewer now? When did he move into the Ninja Turtle lair? I hope Michelangelo shows up. Betty is obsessing over the G&G deaths. Jughead starts mulling it over and says “Every cult has it’s king.”
Cut to Luke Perry. Wait, is Dylan the Gargoyle King? Is that what they’re telling us with that quick cut? Nah, that’s crazy. That would be as crazy as Hal Cooper turning out to be the Black Hood. Oh crap. Just kidding, I have no idea who the Gargolyle King is at this point, but Mr. Andrews is towards the bottom of my suspect list. Mr. Andrews is meeting with the Warden. The Warden won’t let Archie have visitors. Mr. Andrews won’t take this lying down, and tells the Warden, “You’ll hear from my lawyer!”
Veronica admits to Betty that Pops is bleeding money. Betty wants to know how far along the speakeasy is. I forgot that Veronica was planning on opening an illicit bar in the basement of Pops. I have a head cannon theory that Gossip Girl is really Veronica: The New York Years. Part of the reason for that is that the high school kids on both shows never seen to actually be in high school classes. Another part is that Gossip Girl really went out of its way to glamorize teen drinking and it looks like Riverdale is headed down the same path. But really, when are these kids in class? Veronica says the speakeasy is ready, but she wanted Archie to be out of jail before she opened it so that he could be there on opening night. Betty says that she needs to open it, and that Archie wouldn’t want Veronica to put her life on hold for him.
Ethel is back at school. Ethel and Evelyn, the cult girl are chatting. I just realized I need to specify which cults I’m talking about. Evelyn is the farm cult girl. Ethel is the G&G cult girl. Betty makes a bunch of connections between the farm and the G&G game, which definitely means that the two will turn out to not be connected.
Josie and Kevin look for Veronica at Pops. Pop Tate tells them to pick up the phone dial 642. Someone on the other end prompts Kevin for a password. Flummoxed, he says “Stonewall.” Reggie, the voice on the other end, says “Close enough” and lets them in. Mocktails only, says Veronica. Okay, maybe this isn’t Gossip Girl.
Veronica wants to hire Kevin to be the MC and Josie to sing. The name of the Speakeasy is La Bonne Nuii.
Ronnie is getting a lot of visitors today. Next up is Penny. Wow, Penny really looks like Courtney Love on a bad day. Penny tries to shake down Veronica for protection money using all the standard “It’d be a shame if something bad were to happen to this nice place” lines.
Archie is in the hole. Solitary. Like father like son (that’s a callout to Luke Perry’s time on Oz). A guard puts a bag on Archie’s head and takes him somewhere. “Welcome to the pit.” Joaquin and another teen are fighting in an empty indoor pool. The Warden puts Archie through a weird guilt trip where if Archie agrees to be the Warden’s new Mad Dog, he’ll call the fight before Joaquin, whose ass is being royally kicked, ends up in the infirmary. Achie agrees. What a sucker.
All of that happens before the title card!
Okay, Archie. Time to meet the rest of the team. “Baby teeth” introduces him to “Thumper,” and “Pay Dirt” in the secret outdoor gym for the Warden’s fighters. The Warden is running a teen fighting ring. Archie wants to know about what happend to Mad Dog, but Baby Teeth (and here I thought Sweet Pea was a silly name) tells him “It’s best if you don’t ask too many questions.”
Veronica has a proposition for Toni and Cheryl: they get free drinks for hanging out at La Bonne Nui. She tells them “Sweet Pea and Fang should definitely be in attendance.” Looks like Veronica is looking for protection from the protection money shakedowners.
Ethel is eating alone in chem lab. Betty and Jugs walk in. They ask her the dumbest question this episode, which is amazing, because Archie also asks questions this episode) when they ask, “Eating alone?” Ethel doesn’t trust either of them. Betty asks Ethel if she had any visions. When Betty finds out that Evelyn visited Ethel in the hospital and that Ethel thinks “Evelyn’s the best,” Betty loses it. Then Ethel tells them Principal Weatherbee let Evelyn form chapter of the farm cult at the high school. WTF. A cult at school? Sounds great! Solid principalling there, Weatherbee. Jugs asks Ethel for a copy of the G&G rule book. She says “You mean the scripture?” This is so weird. Jugs realizes he needs to play along with her weird role play speak and says he wants to be worthy of the King’s Scripture. Ethel agrees, but only to Jughead, saying Betty will never be worthy. Ethel is so coo coo for Cocoa Puffs.
Shirtless Reggie is filling in for shirtless Archie. He’s hauling boxes down to La Bonne Nuii from topside. He and Ronnie freak when they open the boxes and it’s filled with a bunch of straws. Were their packages switched? What’s going on here, I’m really not getting it. Oh crap. It’s not straws. It’s Jingle Jangle, the favorite drug of Riverdale that looks suspiciously like Pixie Stix. There’s so much Jingle Jangle there and wouldn’t you know it, Sheriff Manetta just showed up upstairs. Is this a Polly thing or a Hiram thing? Veronica wonders the same thing. Ronnie tries to stall Manetta, while Reggie disposes of the Jingle Jangle. Manetta wants to do an inspection. Reggie tries playing it cool, emphasis on tries. I almost expect Reggie to yell out, “Don’t look in the closet! There’s nothing in the closet!” Manetta clearly knows what he’s looking for, and seems pissed that he doesn’t find it Oh, and he’s shaking Ronnie down for the Sheriff’s Department. Cash only, please.
Veronica says she’s going to deal with all these problems, but adds “Not until I’m properly armed.” What the heck does this mean?
Betty shows up at the peer support group/School Farm Cult meeting. Only Evelyn is there. No one else showed. Betty lies about still having seizures to get Evelyn to talk more. Evelyn seems like she’s actually concerned about her co-students.
A guard leans into a sleeping Archie and says “Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey.” That’s not creepy at all. He takes a shirtless Archie to prison fight club. First up is Archie vs a Michael Phelps looking dude. Archie takes down the Olympian with one punch.
Arch is is hanging in his cell afterwards. A guard comes in. “Winners get perks. Any special requests for lunch?” “Ever heard of a place called Pops?” Archie orders Pops for all the guys. Baby Teeth asks what the Warden had to say about ending the fight so quick.
Riverdale crosses into the real world when Cheryl says about Jughead, “You mean True Detective?” Even Cheryl thinks this season is Riverdale: True Detective. Toni is shooting Cheryl in a trailer park photo shoot. Toni gives Ronnie the lowdown on the Ghoulies’ Jingle Jangle lab. Thee three of them sneak in dressed all in black and completely non-nondescript. Toni takes a bunch of photos of the lab in action.
Jugs joins Ethel in Dilton’s subterranean lair. Wait, this is where Betty and Jughead were naked earlier? Oh, gross. They’ve been staying there? Ethel is deep in her G&G character. She’s pissed at her dead boyfriend Benjamin Button (that name will never not sound weird on this show), saying “I was supposed to ascend with him, but then he betrayed me and ended the game with Dilton instead.” Ethel is in deep.
Betty comes home to a Farm meeting at her house. Betty was hoping she’d meet Edger, the leader. No dice. You need to go up a few levels first, Betts. Evelyn knows all of Betty’s dark secrets: disposing of the dead body in her kitchen, being her father’s “dark apprentice,” the webcamming. Betty feels more than slightly betrayed that her mom told the Farmies all this. Betty flat out says the Farm and G&G game are connected to each other. Evelyn says that the first time any of them ever heard of G&G was from Betty’s mom. Betty almost passes out again. Mrs. Cooper wants to G&G talk to end right now. What’s weird is that Mrs. Cooper told all the Farm folk about the “we will never speak about this horrible secret again” from her G&G high school days. I know they all pledged secrecy but you’d think one of them would leak with the dead teens that have been piling up.
Ethel and Jugs are still playing G&G. Ethel is one weirdo DM. She gives Jugs two chalices. He needs to drink one. Jughead isn’t down with playing Russian Roulette. He has to flip a coin for his fate. He gets Ethel to promise to give him the scripture if he does it. He flips the coin, pulls the Gryphon and takes a big old chug. He downs the whole glass. Ethel asks him how he feels. Uh, Jugs, your lips are blue. He says he feels okay. Ethel says she has to kiss him to get he rule book. Jughead is like, are you sure this is a rule? They kiss, he gets the book. While he’s reading it, Ethel downs the other glass, which was full of poison. Jugs says he’ll call 911.
Jugs is reading the rules in Ethel’s hospital room. She’s on suicide watch. Ethel claims she didn’t try to kill herself. Jugs says she has to tell her parents about it. Ethel says, “You’ve proved yourself, Hellcaster. I told him. I told him you were worthy enough to spread his gospel.” Who? “The King, of course.” Ethel Thank you, Hellcaster for helping me finish my game.” Okayyyyy.
Hiram calls Veronica Veronica. What the hell? She’s mija, sir. Veronica extorts her dad for his drug lab. She’s going to the FBI if he doesn’t have his people back off her speakeasy.
The Warden wants to talk to Archie about his next match. He needs Archie to give the people a show. The Warden is so creepy. Five or six rounds “should fully sate the crowd’s bloodlust and mine.” If the Warden wasn’t so busy running this fighting ring inside the prison he also runs, I’d think he was the Gargoyle King, but who has that kind of time? Archie realizes that he maybe made a mistake pleading guilty. Glad to see Archie is finally catching up to everyone else on that one.
Hey, the Warden is letting Luke visit Archie…or is this all in Archie’s head. Pretty sure it’s all in his head. Yup, all in his head.
Betty wants to know what Mrs. Cooper knows about G&G. Mrs. Cooper stonewalls her.
It’s opening night at the speakeasy. Cheryl and Toni arrive hand in hand. There’s a line to get in, but Toni and Cheryl don’t wait. Reggie shows them right in. The place is packed with Riverdale teens. Cheryl IG stories’ Ronnie’s opening. Wait, can I follow Cheryl on IG? ::Billy immediately opens up Instagram::
Betty and Jugs compare notes at club. Betty is still pushing the Farm-G&G connection.
Reggie tells Ronie they have a problem topside. Hiram is there. He calls her Veronica again. What the hell, dude? MIJA. Say it. MIJA. Ronnie offers to give him a tour of the place. Reggie is instructed to keep an eye on Hiram. Is Hiram drinking a mocktail? He must be, right? Or did Ronnie grab some diner liquor from Pops for her dad.
Kevin introduces Ms. Jospehone McCoy. Josie gives a sultry performance of Anything Goes. While she sings, a montage plays of Archie fighting. Archie wants the other kid to hit him. Archie takes as many punches as he can. He’s bloodied and battered. Um, maybe you took too many punches Archie. Archie falls first, but gets back up all bloodied. He then knocks the other guy out in one punch.
Archie is given Mad Dog’s hand me downs in his cell: books, the record player, TV. He’s the new champ. The Warden shows up and gives him a bottle of rum too. Archie takes it. “You and I, we’re just getting started.” Oh man, it’s Lodge Label Rum. Archie thinks back to how badly Mr. Lodge screwed him over the past few episodes and goes buck wild. He shatters the rum bottle and flips his bed. Archie opens a book to find one is cut down with a small rock hammer inside it.
Skeet and Mrs. Cooper confront Jugs and Betty. They’re pissed. Skeet wants to know who gave him the book. “This game is pure evil.” Skeet throws the rule book in the fire. No Skeet! That’s their only copy!
Hiram congratulates Veronica on opening night. Mija Tracker: 0.
Archie shows up in the gym. He tells the other guy about the small rock hammer he found. Archie says Mad Dog kept that rock hammer “to remind himself that there’s a life outside of here.” Seriously, Archie? He didn’t keep it as a figurative thing. He kept it to dig his way out, Shawshank style. Good lord, you are dumb. Archie invites them in on his escape plan. I almost get the feeling it doesn’t involve the rock hammer when he says he plans to get out of here, somehow. Joaquin joins in. I hope a teenaged Michael Scofield joins their gang of prison breakers.
Betty and Jugs are still sleeping in the Dilton’s hatch. WTF. It’s where those kids all played that game that got them to kill themselves. Also, it must smell rank down there. I’m guessing the survival bunker didn’t get cleaned much. And all those creepy stick men!
In the hospital, Ethel is kneeling on her bed. She says, “I did what you asked, I spread your gospel.”Everyone in Riverdale High finds a copy of G&G. In his voiceover, Jughead says that “By next weekend, almost every student will be playing Gryphons and Gargolyes.” Really? A free copy of the rule book and the whole school becomes D&D nerds? The Gargoyle King shows up in Ethel’s hospital room. Wait, is that the real Gargoyle King or just Ethel’s hallucination?