Riverdale is back! Man, it seemed like that was an extra long two weeks off. Did you miss #Vereggie? #Jorchie? Did you miss me? What did you do during the break? Did you read the new Riverdale novel, The Day Before?
It’s straight-up household bliss on the first scene back. Mother Jones, aka Gladys, cooks breakfast for the family. Damn, those eggs and bacon looks good. We learn some important things here. Skeet sleeps on the couch, and JB is a coffee fiend. How old is this kid? Fourteen? Thirteen? She really gives off a Terra from Teen Titans.
Over at the Cooper house, Alice takes her wedding dress out of storage. She plans on wearing it when she gets “baptized” into the farm. Okay…
Before we even see Hiram, the M’hija counter goes to 1. No, that’s not a typo. I recently found out I’ve been spelling it wrong for the past two seasons. It’s m’hija, not mija. A big thanks to the novel Riverdale: The Day Before for clearing that up for me. Hiram asks Veronica about some missing “assets,” namely the drugs that Veronica and Reggie burned. He thinks the Joneses are behind the theft because the drugs went missing as Gladys arrived in town. You almost nailed it, Hiram. Almost.
M’hija Counter: 1
Archie tells Josie all about his newfound love for boxing. Josie asks Archie if schools offer boxing scholarships. Subtext: what about your music, Arch?
Betty tries “digging up dirt on the farm” and Jughead doesn’t even blink at that pun. Come on, Jugs! The Serpents are losing all its female members to the Pretty Poisons. Jughead plans on inviting Toni back into the Serpents in order to bring all the Poisons back into the fold.
Mr. Keller trains Archie in the ring. Archie doesn’t want to train and spar; he wants to fight. Keller tells him he’s not ready. Boxing isn’t something you want to do half-assed, Keller says. But that’s how Archie does everything!
Veronica tells Gladys that Hiram thinks the Joneses are behind his recent loss in drug trade. Gladys offers to go lenient on Veronica if she continues to bring her inside information on Hiram. Veronica wants her family out of drugs. Gladys wants to take over the drug trade in town. It’s a win-win, right?
How to Succeed in Boxing: The Archie Andrews Way
Elio tries getting a fight for one of his boys, but the boxing ring owner won’t have it. Archie volunteers, that is, until Elio tells him he needs Archie to take a dive. Big Red isn’t down for that, but changes his mind as soon as Elio offers him $5,000 to lose in round 3. Archie has principles, but they walk out the door one dollar after $4,999.
Veronica confronts Hiram about going clean. She suggests he can make more money imprisoning drug dealers than supplying them. Hiram has a different idea. With Penny Peabody out of the picture, he wants the Ghoulies dealing his drugs.
Jughead wants Toni back in the Serpents. Toni wants to be Serpent Queen. Without that, she’s not coming back. I’m not sure why Jughead won’t demote Betty here. She’s only the Serpent Queen because she’s dating Jughead. Meanwhile, Jughead can double his numbers and have Toni back on his team with this move.
Alice signs a release form in the advent of her baptism. It indemnifies the Farm if something should go wrong. What kind of baptism is this? Polly calls Betty a detractor when she questions it. The Farm is Scientology, right?
Mr. Keller is not happy about Archie taking a fight with Randy Ronson. He tells Archie that Ronson is a vicious, dirty fighter, and that Archie isn’t ready for the likes of him. Mr. Keller threatens to quit as Archie’s coach if Archie goes through with the fight.
Cheryl teaches the Poisons archery. Toni tells Cheryl she’s going to put Jughead in his place for calling the Poisons a vanity project. Oh boy, Cheryl is bound to take this well, I’m sure.
Cheryl retaliates! (I knew she’d take this well)
The Poisons surround Sweet Pea and Fangs outside of Pops. Cheryl wants to send a message to Jughead that the Poisons aren’t to be trifled with. The message is in the form of the Poisons beating down Sweet Pea and Fangs.
Gladys suggests Jughead recruit the Ghoulies to keep the Serpents numbers strong. Jughead isn’t that big a fan of this idea. Can you blame him? The Ghoulies almost killed him last season.
Toni isn’t happy that Cheryl took matters into her own hands against the Serpents. She asks Cheryl point blank if the gang is hers or Cheryls. Cheryl says it’s Toni’s. Uh huh, surrrrrre.
Josie wants Archie on guitar on Sunday night, but he can’t make it. He tells Josie all about his boxing match, even saying he’s taking a fall to Ronson. He really thinks this is the way you move up the ladder, by being a jobber. I’d do a bad decision counter for Archie, but there aren’t enough numbers. Josie tells him he’s worth more than five grand. I honestly don’t know if he is.
Betty wants more dirt on the Farm. Will someone acknowledge this pun of hers?! She enlists Kevin to help, but Kevin won’t help, because he’s in the middle of getting recruited by them.
Skeet doesn’t like the idea of the Serpents taking in Ghoulies as members. Jughead, just make Toni the Serpent Queen.
Hiram is concerned that Governor Dooley isn’t returning his calls. He asks Hermione about it, who plays dumb. Hiram set up a meeting with Gladys, and laid out their best bottles of rum for it. But we find out in the next scene that the meeting isn’t that night. Who puts out drinks that early?
Archie tries giving Elio his money back. How many dealings does Archie need with the local mafia before he realizes things don’t work that way? Elio explains to Archie how fight fixing and betting goes, and warns him against going off script.
Serpents + Ghoulies = Serpies?
Jughead meets with a Ghoulie about recruitment. The Ghoulies are really into bedazzling their jackets. They are holed up in a house that looks like a crackhouse housed by D&D nerds. Actually, there was a frat at my college that looked just like this. Jughead offers the Ghoulies immunity from the Sheriff’s office if they join the Serpents. The Ghoulie leader is way off the G&G deep end. Jughead wants to play G&G with him. But it’s not a game to this pale dude. It’s a way of life. This kid sounds super creepy. You know what, Jughead, maybe do tell your dad to arrest these guys.
Archie tells Mr. Keller that he can’t get out of the fight. He needs Mr. Keller’s help to train for this fight if he wants to get out alive. Keller thinks he can train Archie to beat Ronson, or at least not get killed.
Veronica joins Gladys and Hiram’s conversation. Why wouldn’t you have a 16 year old join your mob boss meeting? Gladys wants Hiram out of the drug trade. Hiram wants in. Gladys is about to rat out Hermione, but Veronica interrupts her. She tells her dad that if he agrees to this scenario, he’ll help her. Hiram is all for it. Expect many more m’hijas on the m’hija counters in the future. Hiram says ominously that Hermione won’t be a factor either way. Uh-oh.
Betty is getting nowhere calling people who defected from the farm. She finally gets someone on the line who will talk to her. The woman will only meet her somewhere private. Five will get you ten it’s the bunker.
Shirtless Archie Returns!
After weeks of Archie staying fully clothed, we finally see the return of shirtless Archie. Sure, he’s wearing a robe, but I see abs, so this counts. Archie tells Elio he won’t take the fall. Interesting strategy, Archie. He gives Elio his money back and walks off. Elio tells Ronson to kill Archie in the ring.
Jughead tells his family that the Ghoulies don’t exist anymore, they’re all Gargoyles now. The Ghoulie-Serpent merger is off.
The Farm escapee, Martha, tells Betty that the Farm had places similar to the bunker, little hidey-holes. Martha’s sister died during her Farm baptism, which is when Martha fled. She tells Betty that the Farm believes everyone has to “ascend.” ::In my best Church Lady voice:: Where have we heard that phrase before?
The Big Fight!
Archie and Ronson fight. Big Red holds his own against Ronson. Josie sings We Don’t Need Another Hero at a club, but makes it to the match in time to see her man fight for his life. Archie makes it to round 4, costing Elio some money. Ronson head butts Archie hard, breaking his nose. Keller, as Mickey, tells Archie, as Rocky, to go for the KO in round 5. Spoiler: Rocky lost in Rocky. Archie peppers Ronson with punches and makes to the end. It comes down to a a decision, which Ronson wins in a split. And I can’t help but have the feeling that Archie Andrews is a dead man walking once again.
Betty rushes on foot to the Farm’s new home, formerly the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Alice is being baptized. Everyone is dressed in white. Why is Betty running here? There has to be someone with a car who can get her there faster, Also, how close is the Sisters to town? It’s at least a few miles away, right? Who knew Betty was a long distance runner, and a fast one at that?
Polly submerges Alice in a tub of water as Betty bursts in to the Sisters. Polly is holding her mother underwater. Betty pulls Alice out of the water. Alice isn’t breathing. Betty tries CPR and tells someone to call an ambulance. They all just stand there. Alice lives! Betty saved her!
Josie stuck around after the match for Archie. Amazingly, all those mob guys didn’t stick around also. Josie suggests they get a milkshake at Pops, unless Archie has a better idea. Oh, does he have a better idea. I hope you like making out with dudes with open wounds, Josie.
Hiram lets his family know that the governor filled him in on everything Hermione did while he was in the hospital. Veronica fesses up that she’s the one who burned all the drugs. Hiram isn’t happy, and tells Veronica she owes him $75,000. Wait, so Veronica now owes $75,000 to both Gladys and Hiram?
Gladys recruits the Gargoyles to the Serpents. That makes sense, since she’s so into bedazzling too.
Betty took Alice home. Betty thinks her mom has been scared straight, but Alice tells Betty that she was reborn. She’s talking crazy talk. Alice announces she’s selling the house and that they all will live at the Farm together. Betty’s face during this is everything.