Last week, I opined that the Luke Perry memorial episode was more of a special and that the real start of Riverdale season four was episode two. I still stand by that, and things really kick off into high gear this episode as we say hello to someone forgotten and wrap up one particular plot thread.
Riverdale Chapter 60, Dog Day Afternoon opens on the boxing gym. Archie is practicing his punches when Mad Dog, um I mean Monroe, um I mean who am I kidding, he will always be Mad Dog, bursts in. He’s worried that his brother is going to get mixed up with the drug dealers and fiends who call the Wipeout Arcade their home. He asks Archie about what happened to the idea of turning the gym into a community center. Archie admits that particular plan got waylaid by all the craziness of the past few months, but recommits to the idea.
Betty JB, and Skeet move Jughead into his new prep school dorm room. I get that he’s moving in after the start of the term, but this is the messiest dorm room ever. I don’t know which bed is Jughead’s. Or where his bed even is. It’s just clothes and papers everywhere.
Veronica tells Archie that she has cold feet about changing her name to Veronica Gomez. Archie wants to meet with Ms. Weiss about turning the gym into a community center, but Veronica talks him into having sex first instead. At the rate these two are going, Molly Ringwald is going to be a grandparent on the show by season 5.
Back at prep school. Moose is here! He’s not dead? I honestly can’t keep track of which characters no longer on Riverdale aren’t dead. Hashtag so many dead. We find out that Moose’s real name is Marmaduke. It’s like he has two nicknames. So where’s Moose been, you ask? Well, after Moose’s dad was arrested for impersonating the Gargoyle King, Moose took a year off and transferred here. But wait a second, how did he take a year off? The Gargoyle King was last season. Is Moose just not great with calendars? Did his parents tell him he was taking a year off but only give him the summer off like the way I tell my daughter she can have five more minutes at the playground but say it’s time to go after two? If my daughter is reading this years from now, I never really did that. If she’s never reading this, I did it so many times.
Brett, the School Ties reject and Moose/Marmaduke (Moosaduke?) are Jughead’s new roommates. There’s something up with Brett. He has that Chuck from Gossip Girl Season 1 vibe to him. Not a compliment.
Betty gets an update about the FBI’s hunt for the Farm from Charles, her half brother full FBI agent. Alice hasn’t checked in recently, so they send an agent dressed as a pizza delivery guy to the Farm, but he’s made immediately and killed by Edgar. Or is this all a game and Charles is in on it too? Oh, that classic Riverdale induced paranoia, I know thee well.
At the Blossom estate, a blood curdling scream from Nana Rose gets Cheryl and Toni out of bed. They find her by the fireplace, looking like a ghost. Nana Rose calls her Penelope and says “I thought I saw the triplets burning in the fire.” Triplets, what?!? Is there a third Blossom kid besides Jason and Cheryl? Cheryl doesn’t pick up on this at all and thinks Nana Rose is talking about Polly’s twins. Come on, Cheryl!
Archie and his mom meet with Ms. Weiss about turning the gym into a community center. Redoing the gym is going to cost money, a lot of it. Veronica offers to help, but Archie doesn’t want to take money from his rich girlfriend. So they have a football team carwash instead!
They’re doing good business, and it’s an excuse for Archie to have his shirt off as per KJ Apa’s contract. Apparently everyone in Riverdale has cars from the 1950s. They made $400 at the car wash, which is amazing in 1950s money, less so when Archie needs about 100x that amount.
Veronica suggests they host a Magic Mike night at La Bon Nui. Amazingly, Archie is not into this idea. Come on, Archie, it’s all about taking your shirt off! You love that! Then again, Archie is so stupid that he might think Magic Mike is a close up magic show.
Edgar calls Betty from Alice’s phone. He sounds and looks extra crazy. He wants $250,000, passports and a bus. Betty asks why he didn’t call Charles. Because everyone knows the teens get the stuff done on Riverdale, Betty! Edgar gives her 5 hours to pull it all together.
Writing Workshop at Pemberton is in session. Everyone gives Brett yes man type notes, except Jughead, who says it was Salinger derivative. Brett doesn’t take this well. He comes back with a laundry list of criticism for Jughead, and doesn’t pull any punches about his thoughts on Jughead’s writing or lineage. Brett tries egging Jughead into a fight, but Mr. Chipping warns Jughead about the zero tolerance policy at Pemberton for fighting.
A red clad (of course) male night nurse greets Cheryl at her home. Toni hired him. Cheryl explicitly tells him he can’t go into the room in the basement where Jason’s body is hidden. Well, she doesn’t mention the dead body. But don’t go down there, Mr. Night Nurse! What if he’s the third Blossom child??? Oh wait, he’s way too old considering he’s not in high school. Never mind. The hunt for Blossom #3 continues!
Jughead walks in on Marmaduke with a girl. It’s Donna from the writing class. She tells Jughead to watch his back around Brett. She says he plays both dirty and psychological. When Jughead says he thought Marmaduke was gay, Marmaduke explains he likes both guys and girls. Jughead says no problem and that he’ll pay more attention for the tie on the door.
Edgar calls Betty when she’s with Charles. The FBI wants him to release a hostage as a sign of good faith. He says he already has. In walks Polly! She’s there! In the FBI office! And she has a bomb strapped to her! How did Edgar know where to send her? Charles explains that Betty needs to find which of the four wires is the real one and not a decoy and then hands her a scissor. There’s not a FBI guy better handled for this? When she makes her cut, the timer keeps going, so Charles says there might be a system override involving a pin and a chain. Polly says that Edgar took the pin! Oh no! Charles yells for everyone to go, but Betty grabs a hairpin from her hair, jams it in the slot and saves the day. No wonder Edgar calls Betty and not Charles.
Mr. Chipping gives the writing group an assignment. He hands them all a manuscript. It’s a mystery, but the final chapter revealing the murderer’s identity has been omitted. They need to write their own version of the ending in the style they choose. Then they’ll all vote for the best ending. Who else thinks everyone is just going to vote for Brett just because it’s not worth the trouble? Also, who thinks Mr. Chipping is just getting his class to write the ending he can’t nail on his unpublished novel?
Mad Dog grabs Archie at the gym and wants to beat up some drug dealers who beat up his brother. Archie, in a weirdly level headed move, doesn’t want Mad Dog to get arrested and says they should go to FP and the cops instead. Who is this orange haired body snatcher who replaced Archie?
Polly is safe and says there is no stopping Edgar. When Betty says the governor won’t give Edgar what he wants, Polly says Betty should just get it herself. Get…$250,000 and a bunch of passports, Polly? She says that Edgar will start sacrificing followers, including their mom, if Betty doesn’t do it.
Betty goes to Veronica, who is like “Yeah, that’s a lot of money even for me.” But Veronica offers Betty her mom’s collection of five glamerge eggs worth $50k each. Hey, remember those eggs from last season? Toni is going to get the passports. She knows a guy. What business are the Serpents mixed up in that Toni can get passports?
Betty then steals a school bus. Yup, that’s right. She tells a school office lady that she left a book on her bus, and then cut to Betty driving off in a school bus. She drives it to the Farm’s compound, which is some motel they’ve taken over and surrounded with barb wire fencing. The Farmies are strangely not all dressed in white. And Edgar is now big on open Hawaiian shirts. Gotta show off dem Farm abs. Betty asks for her mom. Farm Girl hits her in the head with the butt end of a gun in response. Farm Girl wears a beret now to signify that the Farm is militarized.
Back at Hogwarts, I mean Pemberton, Brett tries getting under Jughead’s skin as they all write. He wants to know if it’s common for gangs to have writers in their ranks. He knows a whole lot of specifics about Jughead’s personal life, as if he gets his info straight from watching Riverdale on the CW. Jughead knocks Brett down and grabs his collar to get his attention. Brett pretends to look scared, which has me thinking someone is videoing this.
Veronica gets home to find Hiram in his office. When she asks him, “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be in jail?”, he comments that he owns the jail and comes and goes as he pleases. He explains to m’hija that he heard she wanted to change her name and fills her in that Lodge isn’t his birth name. Hiram was born Jaime Luna. “I wasn’t born Hiram Lodge; I became him.” Hiram’s dad beat him when he found out. He says he didn’t understand why then, but does now. Thankfully, he doesn’t beat Veronica.
Molly Ringwald wants Archie to come back to Chicago with her. He says that the only way he’ll get into college, or pay for it for that matter, is on a football scholarship, so he need to stay in Riverdale where he’s the star of the team. Molly explains that Archie has a fund they set up for him. She says she didn’t want to tell him about it because she was afraid he’d want to use it on the community center instead of college, but really she didn’t tell him because she knows he’s the king of bad decisions. He says “Of course I would!” Molly wants him to leave town and calls out what everyone watching Riverdale knows: “No one is safe here!”
Archie is pissed at his mom and needs to work off some aggression. He puts on a hood and bandana, grabs his baseball bat and goes drug dealer hunting. He’s outmanned 5 to 1. Archie says he wants them out of Riverdale. Uh, Archie, you’ve got a bat and they have guns. Oh wait, they don’t have guns. What drug dealers don’t have guns? Archie takes his first of what I’m guessing is many punches this fight.
Veronica comes over with a check for $40,000 for the community center. Molly won’t take the money. She doesn’t want the community center to keep Archie here in Riverdale instead of college. Veronica leaves the check with her after giving an impassioned speech about believing in Archie.
Cheryl visits Jason in his locked room and realizes he was in a different part of the room last night. Uh oh.
Mad Dog finds Archie bruised and beaten in the gym office. But apparently Archie won the fight. And Archie stole the drug dealer’s money. They have a enough money now for a second bathroom. Mad Dog says “Oh hell no. It’s dirty money.” That’s right, Mad Dog, take a moral stand! And then Mad Dog says, “It needs to be cleaned first. Hey, can your girlfriend help with that?” These two…
At the fancy pants school, there were 3 votes for story C, making story C the winner….written by Donna. Brett and Jughead’s stories tied for last place.
Betty wakes up, bound to a chair, next to Alice. According to Alice, Edgar’s plan is for Farm Girl to drive the Farmies off a cliff in the bus while Edgar takes off in his rocket. To clarify, he didn’t buy a rocket; he’s building one. Alice and Betty are going to be tied to the front of the bus as shields.
The night nurse says there’s rats in the walls and needs some money and a skeleton key to deal with them. Cheryl isn’t buying it. She fires Night Nurse Darius on the spot, thinking he already knows too much. But if he saw Jason, wouldn’t firing him be a bad idea?
Farm Girl comes to get Betty and Alice, but they’ve escaped. They emerge from the closet behind her and knock her out. Betty puts on Farm Girl’s clothes and grabs her gun.
Archie brings the dirty cash to Veronica. Veronica advises burning the cash and letting her pay for the renovations.
Betty loads the bus. Amazingly, no one realizes it’s Betty, except Fangs. But Betty cold cocks him. Edgar spots Betty and Alice. Alice takes Betty’s gun. Betty loads the bus. She sees Mr. Weatherbee, who is down one finger thanks to Edgar. Betty instructs Weatherbee to load the bus and heads off after Alice.
Betty calls Charles, who says to get out of there. The governor is sending in a team of mercenaries to take out Edgar and the Farmies.
Edgar, dressed like Evel Knievel is about to get in a Kal-El sized rocket. This is the second time I’ve referenced Superman’s baby rocket in recaps this week! Oh man, it even says Edgar on his jumpsuit’s belt buckle! Edgar gets the drop on Alice and pulls his gun. Betty rushes to the roof when she hears the sound of gunshots but finds Edgar dead and Alice fine. What a shot Alice is. She still has at 5 bullets in that six shooter! Quick, jump in the rocket before the mercenaries get there.
Molly goes to the gym as Mad Dog is teaching young girls boxing. She smiles. She pops in the office and offers Archie help. Molly is staying in Riverdale. She’s taking on pro bono work and her first client is the new community center, and her first job is getting them declared a nonprofit.
Veronica visits Hiram in jail. She’s letting him know face to face she’s no longer a Lodge. She’s officially Veronica Luna and will be sleeping with a taser under her pillow in case daddy comes to visit her at home.
Cheryl visits Jason. Something is moving inside his shirt. It’s a rat! Did the rats move him across the room the other day? Toni walks in on Cheryl fixing Jason. Cheryl doesn’t even blink and is excited to introduce them to each other. Any level of excited here is way too excited.
Someone (clearly Brett) hung up newspaper front pages all around school exposing Moose’s secret. All because Brett didn’t win the writing contest? What a jagoff. Jughead asks if Betty trusts Charles and she’s a bit slow to respond before saying yes. The doorbell rings right after Betty says she’s happy this nightmare is over.
There’s no one at the door, just a white bag with a video tape. No nightmare ends in episode three of a twenty something episode season, Betty!