Episode 97 of
Riverdale Rivervale begins with Jughead (Cole Sprouse) introducing us to the Romeo and Juliet tale of Ghoulie Princess Sandra and Serpent Prince Daniel, whose love causes strife between the warring gangs. In one such gang fight, Daniel takes an errant knife thrown by Toni (Vanessa Morgan), killing Daniel, who is Darla Dickenson’s son. Toni talks to a therapist about this but seems to have completely avoided manslaughter prosecution. Though I guess snitches get stitches in Rivervale.
Reggie’s (Charles Melton) dad isn’t doing well. He’s in the hospital. Reggie buys him the same model car he had back in high school off of some dude and fixes it up. But when he starts the car, some ghostly lady is in there with him. Reggie doesn’t find it weird until he turns the car off and realizes he was seeing things.
Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) works hard all day at Pop’s and wants Jughead to do one thing: hang their art around their new house. Does Jughead do it? Big time nope. Tabitha takes matters into her own hands, but accidentally hits a wall a bit too hard with a hammer and reveals a hidden room full of boats in scotch bottles. The weirdest part is the room has a window that they didn’t notice went to any room in their house.
Over in the lake, something, or someone emerges from the water and approaches town. Is this the ghoul from the trailer?
The ghoul’s first stop is Thornhill, where she tries to drown Cheryl’s (Madelaine Petsch) niece Juniper in the bath, leaving bruises on her arms. Juniper is saved by Cheryl’s timely arrival. When Cheryl enters, the ghoul is gone.
Betty (Lili Reinhart) tells Kevin she’ll name the baby Archie if it’s a boy and Polly if it’s a girl. This is Archie’s (KJ Apa) only mention in the entire episode after being ritualistically murdered during the closing minutes of last week’s episode of Riverdale.
Tabitha isn’t happy with their realtor, whom she feels knew about bad things happening in their new apartment. The realtor claims she told Jughead about Sam and Diane, the young couple who died in a murder-suicide there. The Riverdale writing staff must be big Cheers fans.
Reggie lies to Veronica (Camila Mendes), saying he’s with his dad in the hospital when he’s really in the Riverdale High shop room working on his car. The school bell ringing rats him out though. Veronica shows up at school wanting answers. She’s more understanding when he explains the car reminds her of happier times.
Tabitha isn’t happy that Jughead didn’t tell her about the murder-suicide, or that Jughead made the new room all nice for his new office but still hasn’t hung the art she asked him to hang at the start of this episode.
Betty is working the case on another drowned girl. The FBI wants to charge her mother with murder. She asks Toni to talk to her. Lucinda claims it was “La Llorona,” but Betty says she can’t put the spirit of vengeance on her report.
Some Bulldogs catch Veronica and Reggie making out in his car in the Pop’s parking lot, and Veronica is less thrilled about it than Reggie. Reggie looks ready to high-five the high schoolers over it, winning him no points with Veronica.
Tabitha has a nightmare in which Jughead is typing through the night, the clacks of the keys and dings of his return key keeping her awake. She bludgeons him with a hammer, just as Diane killed Sam. She wakes with a start.
The next day, there’s more strife at home between Tabitha and Jughead, where she accuses him of leaving the toothpaste cap off the tube, but he claims it wasn’t him. Later, Pop asks if she’s okay. She’s been dropping plates all shift. Tabitha says she hasn’t been sleeping well. When Tabitha asks if Pop believes in ghosts, not only does he say yes, but tells about when the diner was haunted by the ghost of a waitress who died in a deep fryer accident. He recommends making a big racket to scare the ghost away; that worked for him.
Veronica calls Hermosa for advice with Reggie, which really makes it seem like she’s at her wit’s end. When did Hermosa become Veronica’s go-to counsel?
Toni reads up on La Llorona in a book. She calls Betty to tell her what she found, warning Betty that La Llorona even goes after unborn children. That night, La Llorona visits Betty in bed, holding her hand to her belly. Betty wakes up to find a wet handprint on her pajama shirt.
Tabitha finds the hammer in the fridge and confronts Jughead about it. But Jughead is too excited to get into this fight. He’s been writing all night and finished a first draft. When she wants to read it, he says he never lets anyone read his vomit drafts, but will let her read a later one.
Veronica takes Bella out for a drive. She finds a photo of a woman and thinks it’s Reggie’s secret girlfriend. Uh oh. She storms off, smacking into Principal Wetherbee in the hallway. He asks what she’s doing with a photo of Isabella (Bella) Soprano, the old Driver’s Ed teacher, who was fired after allegations of inappropriate relations between her and her students.
Water drips through the ceiling in Toni’s class. She runs off into the hall, seeing La Llorona. She yells the “I know who you are and I know what you want” line from the season 6 trailer. Toni sounds the fire alarm. No one sees La Llorona except Toni, and the ghoul quickly vanishes.
Dr. Curdle tells Betty that she’s no longer pregnant. Not a miscarriage, never pregnant. Betty calls Toni, saying she believes now believes her about La Llorona, and that she’s going to help Lucinda with her case.
Toni gets a visit from Janice from Child Services. She received an anonymous complaint regarding Baby Anthony. Maybe the whole “maybe we should leave the baby in the woods overnight idea from last week”? La Llorona stalks Toni’s house, making her way to Baby Anthony’s crib. She and Janice rush upstairs to find Baby Anthony on the floor in a puddle. That can’t look good to Child Services, right? Baby left alone on the ground in a puddle of what looks like its own pee?
Veronica texted Reggie to meet her in the garage. She trashed Bella. She tells him all about Isabella Soprano, though she thinks Ms. Soprano had a sexual relationship with Reggie. Reggie says they never had that kind of relationship though. Ms. Soprano only ever listened to him about his abuse at home. Reggie isn’t having the best day. His dad died right before he came over here to find Bella the car trashed. Veronica consoles him.
Betty plots out La Llorona’s path on a map. It’s a straight line from Sweetwater River to Toni’s house. Toni tells Fangs to take Baby Anthony to the White Wyrm and keep him surrounded by Serpents while she gets supernatural help from Cheryl.
Trying to cheer up Reggie, Veronica gives Reggie a new Bella, but he doesn’t sound cheered up.
Cheryl leads a séance to bring forth La Llorona. Cheryl asks the spirit her name and commands it to reveal itself. It speaks through Nana Rose, saying she’s Martha Mallon, a nurse from Riverdale’s first hospital. Despite babies dying for a variety of reasons back then, the townsfolk scapegoated her for the loss of their children, called her a witch, and drowned her and her children as revenge. Cheryl asks who summoned her. It was Darla Dickenson, who did it from her son’s grave. That brings it all together.
Betty and Tabitha get to talking about Jughead, and Betty reveals Jughead used to let him read his vomit drafts all the time. Okay, Tabitha, you look angry. But they dated 7+ years ago. Maybe Betty’s notes are the reason Jughead doesn’t show his vomit drafts to people anymore!
Jughead comes home with more whiskey bottles to put boats in, only to find Tabitha read his first draft. She is in a rage and thinks the book is about them and their relationship problems. I mean, that is Jughead’s MO, right? But Jughead assures her it’s about Sam and Diane. This sets Tabitha into more of a rage since Jughead bought more scotch with her money just to dump the bottles and to put boats in. She smashes his bottles and his typewriter. Jughead saying the typewriter was a gift from Betty doesn’t help things.
Tabitha picks up a hammer and catches her reflection, seeing Diane. That’s enough to get her to drop the hammer, thankfully not on Jughead’s skull. She apologizes to Jughead and tells him she loves him. He returns the words and they kiss. The ghost of Diane leaves with a slam of the door.
Toni and Betty confront Darla at her son’s grave. She’s buried a lot of sons. It’s a big tombstone. Betty wants her to call her off, but Darla says no one can until Anthony is dead. Darla’s accent is ridiculously annoying when she says La Llorona.
Toni and Betty find the Serpents knocked out and covered in water. Fangs tells Betty and Toni that La Llorona took Baby Anthony to Sweetwater River. They give chase, hoping to beat her to the river.
Jughead seals up the room with the ships. Tabitha is worried that their fighting wasn’t the ghosts and was really them. Jughead says it was a test and they passed.
In his new car, Reggie finds that picture of Bella and tucks it into the mirror. He sees her in the rearview mirror smiling at him. Is she a ghost too? Is she even dead? I can only assume so based on the episode title of this week’s Riverdale.
Betty and Toni confront La Llorona at the edge of the river. Toni begs for mercy. Toni offers to take away her suffering by giving it to her in exchange for Baby Anthony’s life. She says Martha suffered enough. She gives Baby Anthony to Betty to care for and becomes the new La Llorona. La Tonrona tells Betty to protect Baby Anthony before descending into the depths of the water.
Rod Serling Jughead returns to bring this episode to an end. Three episodes to go until episode 100 of Riverdale!