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Boy Counter: 1

The start of the new episode of Riverdale plays like the start of a Mission Impossible movie. Jughead leads an elite squad to break into Riverdale High after hours. There’s a lot of hand signals being thrown about and everyone moves with determination. Suddenly, they’re discovered. Wait, it was all a training session for the Serpents turned sheriff deputies put on by Mr. Keller and Sheriff Skeet. Skeet lets loose with his first “boy” quickly this episode.

Crosstown, Farm Girl wants to hang Farm flyers for their open house at Pops. Veronica lets her. Betty and Veronica plan on spying on the Farm’s open house. Of course they do.

Skeet’s deputy found the family’s old trailer burnt to a crisp. Skeet’s bummed that there were drug making supplies inside. Gladys surmises quickly that it was was Jughead who torched the trailer. Jughead tells Gladys he won’t stop until she’s out of Riverdale. She takes that as well as you would expect a woman who once flashed a knife at a heckler while she was singing.

Farm Heat

Kevin gives an uber-creepy Farm tour to Betty, Veronica and some other kids. He’s in the Farm 100%. Betty asks about a locked door that Kevin says is the janitor’s closet, which means it’s definitely not a janitor’s closet. Betty encounters her mom, who gives her the cold shoulder. A Farmie offers Betty an interview. Farm Girl sees through Betty’s motives, but gives her an interview anyway. The interview has the tension of DeNiro and Pacino in Heat.

Hermione is not happy that Hiram isn’t inviting her to his prison’s opening. Her freaking out here makes me think she’s not the most stable parent in town. Hmm, maybe crazy enough to the be the real Gargoyle King (Queen)?

Besssssssst Friends

Archie and Jughead are neighbors! For some reason, that didn’t occur to me when Gladys bought the house. Then I think about best friends Fred and Skeet living next door to each other, and get sad once again about Luke Perry’s passing. Jughead fills Archie in on his plans to drive his mom out of town. Archie gets a collect call from Mad Dog. He says he needs Archie’s help. Is this a setup? Probably!

Archie meets up with Mad Dog. The juvies are being transferred to Hiram’s new prison, and the fight club is reopening there. Archie pledges to help Mad Dog escape. He does this on the prison phone, while being the only one there. Good call, Archie. Surely no one could possibly be listening in on this call.
Archie shows off his gym to Vernonica. She’s suspicous about her dad giving Archie the gym for free, but Archie isn’t. Archie also isn’t the smartest character on Riverdale.

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Meeting with the Mayor

Veronica sets up a meeting with Governor Doiley and Archie. The Governor is the first adult on the show to declare he’s not taking these kids seriously. Finally! Archie threatens to take his story to the news if Doiley doesn’t help. That gets Doiley to stay. Veronica wants the juvies from fight club pardoned. Wait, besides Mad Dog, what do we know about these other fight club members? I’m all for criminal justice reform, but what if these guys were seriously violent offenders?
Betty enlists Cheryl’s aid in going undercover at the Farm. She gets Cheryl to agree by bringing up her dead brother and his plans to flee to the Farm with Polly. Doesn’t Cheryl want to know why?
Cheryl plays Farm Girl by crying in a toilet stall when Farm Girl walks in. She tells Farm Girl that she and Toni broke up, and like that, Cheryl’s in.

“Hey, do you have the latest issue of Crazyman?”

Sweet Pea hits up the local comic book store. The comic book guy sells fizzle rocks hidden inside old Continuity comics. I wonder how Neal Adams feels about this. Sweet Pea buys some Continuity-wrapped fizzle rocks. Ha, it’s a bust, sucka! You’ve just been Jugheaded!

Cheryl wears a wire on her Farm interview so that Betty can listen in on such hot topic questions like “What’s your favorite color?” Seriously, that was the first question Farm Girl asked Cheryl. Imagine if she had said green! The scandal! Farm Dad walks in and takes over the interview. Creepy. As he asks questions, I can’t help but feel once again like the Farm is the Riverdale writers talking about Scientology. They even have those Scientology engram meters on the table. Farm Dad walks Cheryl through her season 1 and 2 memories. He says she was baptized when she fell through the ice. A tear runs down her cheek. Is Cheryl a great actress or has she gone full Farm?

Mad Dog and Baby Teeth are out of jail! Mad Dog is off to find his family. Archie lets Baby Teeth and some of the other guys move into his gym. Mr. Keller will train them all.

Boy Counter: 2 & 3

Jughead maps out all the drug dens around Riverdale, and the Serpents break them up vigilante style! They’re clearing out the town of Glady’s gargoyle goons until they accidentally break up an actual drug bust, incurring Skeet’s wrath. Skeet’s pissed! He yells at Jughead at home in front of a Gladys who can’t stop smiling.

Archie and Mad Dog box like it’s old times. Elio swings by. He tells the guys he’s a boxing manager looking for new talent. Archie threatens to remove him physically.

M’Hija Counter: 1

Veronica suggests her parents go to marriage counseling. When Hiram balks at the idea, Veronica tells him that he “wouldn’t be the first mobster to see a therapist.” Sweet Sopranos reference, V.  She threatens to call the monsignor. Did she really think that would work?
Betty wants Cheryl to find where Farm Dad stores the interview tapes. She wants to rob the Farm of the leverage they have over the Cooper family. Cheryl admits to liking talking with Farm Dad, and seems at least mildly attracted to him.
At Pops, Mad Dog tells Archie that he found his grandmother and little brother. They’re in the projects, which are overrun with Gargoyles cooking drugs. This stinks of setup.
A red package waits for Hermione on her desk. It’s full of dead fish. We’ve all seen The Godfather. We know what this means. Hermione Lodge sleeps with the fishes!

Archie cased the projects. He saw Gargoyles coming in and out. Jughead, the Serpents, Archie and the former fight club agree to raid the lab.

Second Round Farm Interviews

During her second interview, Cheryl asks about the tapes and where they’re stored. Farm Dad is suspicious of her. He offers to show her something “illuminating.” Cheryl’s mic goes dead after Farm Dad leads her into what I’m guessing was that broom closet, or at least that’s what Betty hears. Is Riverdale making me paranoid, because this sounds like Betty is being set up! Is anyone on this show not being set up right now?

Betty finds Cheryl in school the next day. Cheryl quits as Betty’s mole. She’s gone full Farm. Oh boy.
Hiram enjoys some sushi when Veronica bursts in and accuses him of sending the dead fish to her mom. Bad day to be eating raw fish for lunch, Hiram.

No shirtless Archie this episode, but shirtless Jughead? We have gone through the looking glass.

The Lodge family opens the new jail. It’s weird that Veronica is there, right?

Fight Club and the Serpents raid the drug lab in the projects.

Not My President

“Not my president”? Riverdale is getting political!

A Gargoyle emerges from an apartment and shoots at Jughead. In response, it seems as if a Gargoyle streams from every apartment door to fight the boys. This is like an action scene from Netflix’s Daredevil. Jughead takes out his would be shooter with a fire extinguisher. Archie saves him from another shooter. Mad Dog buys them time by taking on a hall full of Gargoyles.
When they raid the lab, Archie almost gets shot in the back by Kurtz, but luckily Jughead intervenes. Archie assists Mad Dog while Jughead grabs Kurtz.
Kurtz tells Jughead that he’s ready to ascend and then kicks both of them through a second floor window. Jughead is fine but Kurtz escapes!

M’hija Counter: 2

Veronica sounds almost as surprised as I am that Hiram met with the monseigneur. Hiram had his marriage with Hermione annulled. What? How much money did he have to give the Catholic Church for that one? Hiram also figured out that it was Veronica who sent Hermione the dead fish. Man, we’re getting a whole lot of m’hijas and boys tonight!
Jughead confronts his mom. He tells her he’s going to Skeet. She says he’s not. It’s kind of crazy that she’s okay with her guys shooting at him when you stop to think about it for more than a second.
Betty breaks into room 317 at the Farm. It’s not a janitor’s closet. It’s the tape library! Over the loudspeaker, she hears Cheryl’s initiation. Betty finds her family’s tapes and grabs them. Just light up the whole room, fire bug! You know you want to!

Mad Dog breaks the news to Archie that he signed with Elio. He needs the money to relocate his family. He also says that Baby Teeth has been missing since the raid.

Farming the Dead

Betty gives Cheryl the tapes the Farm made of her so that Cheryl can turn her back on the Farm. Not so fast, Betty! Cheryl says the Farm let her see Jason and that she’s not leaving. She saw Jason in the room at the Farm that Farm Dad took her to. Cheryl is convinced it was really Jason. I think you’re high on fizzle rocks, Cheryl.
Betty and Alice meet at Pops. Betty asks her if the reason Alice is obsessed with the Farm is because they let her talk to her dead son, Charles. Alice says yes. Oh geez. Betty asks if she can meet with Farm Dad.

Betty and Farm Dad sit down to chat. He asks what she wants to know, and she says everything.
A fight club dude found a chalice outside with a tooth and a  quest card in it that says “Defang a Wolf Cub.” They think it’s Baby Teeth’s tooth.

Skeet finds what’s left of Baby Teeth in the woods! He’s dead! And his baby teeth were all ripped out of his mouth!

RIVERDALE
Riverdale The Day Before Cover
PS. Have you entered our contest to win a copy of the new YA novel, Riverdale: The Day Before? Send an email beatscreenings@gmail.com which Archie Comics character you’d like to see debut next on Riverdale! 

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