Riverdale Prom Night
Ah, prom night. Always a go to trope for high school movies and television shows. No one in real life cares more about prom night than fictional characters do. And in a world with as a heightened sense of dramatic tension as Riverdale, I expect prom night to be extra high stakes.
This episode begins hot on the heels of where last episode ended. Investigators check out the charred remains of the prison bus transporting Hal from his old jail to Hiram’s new jail. Betty and Veronica roll up. Betty is convinced that the Black Hood is back. Skeet tells her that there were 6 bodies on that bus and six heads found on scene. Betty won’t believe her serial killer dad is actually dead until she sees a body.
Molly Ringwald returns to Riverdale! It’s been a while since we’ve last seen Mary Andrews. I wonder if she’s going to become a regular part of the cast in light of Luke Perry’s recent passing.
Sweet Number 8 Tattoo
Betty warns Alice that Hal might still be out there, but Alice believes Hal died in the crash and refuses to hear anything different. Farm Dad talked Alice into a new tattoo. It’s the number 8? Okay… Just kidding, it’s an infinity symbol. I guess Farm Dad is big fan of Thanos.
JB tells Jughead about her G&G games with Ricky. The Gargoyle King was at her game, she tells him very nonchalantly. He gave her a quest to find the Gargoyle Gospel. Skeet is combing junkyards trying to find it. Is this Gospel something the Gargoyle King actually lost and needs recovered or something the Gargoyle King planted? I feel like it’s all a set up, but I say that every week. “Own your paranoia, Billy.” That’s my motto with Riverdale these days.
Shirtless KJ is the Only KJ
Shirtless KJ Apa makes an early appearance. We haven’t even had the title card yet! Veronica is now Archie’s fight manager. She’s investing in his gym too, in addition to owning Pops and owning and operating La Bon Nui. Veronica Lodge: 17-year old small town mogul.
Cheryl’s not in her Farm whites at school. What gives? Oh, she’s running for junior prom queen.
Betty asks Jughead to prom. Archie and Veronica both eye each other like they’d like the other one to ask. Man, has Josie even been out of town for a week yet?
Archie tells his mom that he plans to go pro as a boxer. She’s not too keen on this this plan.
Deadeye Betty Cooper shoots targets at the range. Forget the Serpents; Skeet should deputize her. Dr. Curdle Jr calls Betty to tell her that one of the hands on the scene of the accident matches Hal’s fingerprints. Hal is dead! Or more likely, Hal has one hand, Jaime Lannister style.
Does Jughead Go to Class at All Anymore?
Jughead skips school to meet his dad at a junkyard. In a hollowed out seat on a Gargoyle Gang vandalized bus, Jughead finds the Gargoyle Gospel! He pockets it instead of giving it to his dad. WTF, Jughead?
Archie gives Veronica the signed permission form allowing him to fight. Looks like Mrs. Andrews changed her mind about Fight Night Archie. Archie asks Veronica to prom. Cheryl is politicking heavily for prom queen. She gets in trouble with Farm Girl. Running for prom queen goes against the tenets of the Farm. Cheryl counters that Farm Girl is 30 and has been to about a dozen proms at this point. Point: Cheryl.
Jughead gets heavy into Gargoyle lore from the Gargoyle Gospel. Betty reins him in, pointing out that the Gargoyle King is just another serial killer, like her dad.
In a conversation between Archie and his mom, it becomes clear that Mrs. Andrews isn’t on the Fight Night Archie train and didn’t sign his permission form to box. Looks like he forged it. Oh, Archie. There’s no way this can come back to haunt you.
At Kurtz’s autopsy, it’s revealed that Kurtz had the same tattoos as previous Gargoyle King victims. Jughead points out that in the Gargoyle Gospel, it says people need these symbols to ascend, and I suddenly realize how annoying I sound to friends and family when I bring up the latest Game of Thrones fan theory video I obsessed over on YouTube.
A Navy recruiter shows up to the Andrews house to meet with Archie and his mom. Mary and the recruiter know each other from their college days. They roomed at “Sarah Florence” together. Mary isn’t down with Archie boxing, but she is down with Archie boxing for the Navy. Did the Navy pay for this episode of Riverdale? This conversation here sounds like a heavy handed Navy recruitment ad aimed at high schoolers.
Betty and Jughead question the tattoo artist that worked on Kurtz. The tattoo artist tells them he did the same tattoo on another guy about a year ago. “Sandy hair, blue eyes, weirdly magnetic?” “Yup.” Farm Dad?
The Candidate No More
Speaking of Farm Dad, he speaks to Cheryl about campaigning for Prom Queen. He doesn’t want her doing it, and threatens to restrict her access to Jason if she keeps campaigning. Cheryl immediately drops out of the race.
Veronica takes out a mortgage on Pops to help renovate Archie’s gym.
More shirtless KJ. Who are we who are so lucky? Archie is 6 lbs overweight for the fight. Uh-oh. And the fight has been moved to the same night as his naval boxing audition. Double uh-oh!
Betty theorizes that Farm Dad found out about G&G from Alice when Alice first visited and the Farm and then co-opted it to his ends.
Lose Weight Now; Ask Archie How
Archie jumps rope in heavy sweats in an attempt to lose weight. And he needs to have two fights on Friday.
Betty barges in on a Farm meeting, accusing Farm Dad of being the Gargoyle King. He invites her to join the meeting. Farm Dad has the same number 8 tattoo (sorry, I can’t let this lame joke go). He takes his shirt off to prove to Betty that he doesn’t have Gargoyle tattoos, and to seemingly show off his 6 pack abs and lack of any water weight. Damn, I need to get on the Farm diet! Hmm, blue eyes, sandy hair, charismatic. Could it have been Hal who got the tattoo?
Mad Dog and Archie train Apollo and Rocky style in an attempt to get Archie down to fight weight. I’m pretty sure KJ Apa has been shirtless more than shirted this episode. By Friday night, fight night, he makes weight.
Jughead reads from the Gargoyle Gospel, “After the false prophet is sacrificed, the shire have a bacchanal to celebrate the coronation of the Gryphon Queen. Upon her crowning, the Gryphon Queen will ensure the King’s arrival by subjugating herself and declaring that the one true monarch of Eldirvare is the Gargoyle King.” Am I watching too much Game of Thrones or are the Riverdale writers? Jughead wants to get Betty crowned prom queen, to fulfill the prophecy and draw out the Gargoyle King. Cheryl is the chair of the prom committee. The prom’s theme is Fire and Ice. Is this more Game of Thrones symbolism? Betty wants to change it to Medieval Times. Cheryl could care less and agrees quickly. She’s completely disinvested now that she can’t run for queen. I won’t lie, it’s weird to see Cheryl this broken.
Double Fight Night
Damn, Veronica has a nice ride. Archie is bummed. He lost his first fight of the day offscreen. He’s bruised and beat up, which I guess he didn’t see coming? Veronica wants to reschedule the Navy audition, but Archie wants to continue. They arrive late to his sparring fight with Fangs. Veronica spins a story about Archie having food poisoning, but Archie comes out from the back ready to fight. No one says anything about his fresh bruises. Archie is in worse shape that everyone thought. He hits the ground getting into the ring. Instant KO!
The Poisons and Serpents settle on a truce for prom. They’re teaming up together with Betty and Jughead to take down the Gargoyle King.
Hey, I Majored in Poli Sci!
Archie wakes up on his gym office’s couch. Veronica came clean to Archie’s mom. Mrs. Andrews is not happy with Archie’s latest round of bad decisions. Archie doesn’t want to join the Navy or go to college. He declares both a losing battle for him. I mean, he has a point. Archie wants to see how far his fists can take him. Mom wants him to look more big picture. No one is asking you to go to Yale, Archie. Just box for a state school and coast through a Comms or Poli Sci major.
Pop breaks some crazy news to Veronica that he had been holding back on. She doesn’t actually own Pops or La Bon Nui. Hiram gave Veronica a fake deed. She’s been working for her father, not herself. Veronica wants revenge. I’m not sure I fully get how she doesn’t own La Bon Nui, since it didn’t exist until after she “bought” Pops. Sure, maybe he doesn’t own Pops or the land it sits on, but La Bon Nui is a separate business from Pops, not just Pops After Dark, right? If not, she’s not the 17-year old mogul I thought she was earlier in this recap.
Ren Faire at Riverdale
The whole school was very quick to adopt the Ren Faire at Riverdale prom theme. It’s amazing how many very detailed medieval costumes were acquired in the past two days. Amazon must have a whole bunch of Prime eligible Ren Faire costume options. That, or everyone at Riverdale High is so far down the G&G path that they had these in their closets already.
Betty is running unopposed for prom queen but packs the ballot box regardless. It’s so jarring to see Betty not in a ponytail. Cheryl is bristling at being cut out from the prom queen election. For a minute, I think she’s going to make a last minute run at the election, but that doesn’t come to pass.
A masked man gives Betty a note form the Gargoyle King. She’s been summoned to the room where the first Ascension Night was held…alone. She sneaks out of prom and down the hall. Just in time to miss her own coronation. Her name is announced, but Betty is nowhere to be found.
Ascension Night: The Remake
Betty makes her way to the girls room where Alice saw all the Gargoyle graffiti at Ascension Night I. Gargoyle graffiti covers the walls today too. Two chalices are on the sink. Betty says, “Not gonna happen” and leaves without drinking. The Gargoyle King is waiting for her in the hall. She stands up to him and pulls a gun. Someone knocks her down before can fire. It’s the Black Hood! Betty flees to the newspaper office and it looks like there’s a dead girl on the ground. Is that Farm Girl? The Black Hood breaks in after her. Betty brains the Hood with a vase and runs. The Hood hasn’t talked at all here so we don’t know if it’s Hal or not. This Black Hood does seem to have only one hand, the other being a long hook.
The doors back to the gym are chained up, so Betty keeps running. The Black Hood pursues. She flees to the showers and turns them all on. Another dead body! The Black Hood drags his hook on the walls and I’m like “Please stop doing that.” Betty hits him with a hockey stick but he no sells hit like he’s the Undertaker. She runs to the same closet the principal was found dead in after Ascension Night I. She calls Jughead, but in the light of the phone sees another body in the closet. The Hood is breaking his way in. but then stops. Jughead knocks on the door and Betty comes out. She tells Jughead that the Black Hood is back.
The Next Day
Skeet interviews Betty and Jughead. Betty believes it was all a setup. Skeet isn’t angry that Jughead pocketed the Gospel without telling him? Not even one “boy”? Wait, were those bodies that Betty actually saw? Did someone drug her with hallucinogens during prom? How much of that was really real?
Archie and his mom discuss his future over breakfast. He says, “I tried music, I tried football.” And I all I can think is maybe try seeing something through for once Archie. I can’t believe I’m actually missing “But my music” Archie from season one.
Betty heads to the Farm and tells Alice about the night before. Alice refuses to believe her. Betty wrns her that Hal might be coming here next. She knows he’s missed about Alice’s remarrying and her plans to raise his grandkids at the Farm. Farm Dad suggests that Betty stay here for at the Farm for protection. Is it really that safe a place? Betty seems to sneak in here daily unannounced.
Who Was That Hooded Man?
Okay, so is the Black Hood working for the Gargoyle King? Was that even Hal in the Black Hood getup at prom? Was that Black Hood even real or just a hallucination? Looking at the still above, that definitely looks like Farm Girl dead on the ground in the newspaper office. Either that was her and she’s dead (very unlikely), or she was either pretending to be dead (cementing the Farm-Gargoyle King connection) or Betty hallucinated it. Right now, I’m leaning towards drugged Betty hallucinating parts of tonight’s chase. I don’t believe Farm Girl is dead. I definitely believe a handless Hal survived the bus crash, but I’m not sure I believe that was Hal in the Black Hood get up on prom night. As we get closer to the Riverdale season finale, the closer we get to this mystery unraveling and the reveal of true identity (or identities) of the Gargoyle King.
Did you catch last week’s recap of Riverdale S3E19: Fear the Reaper?