The episode starts with a shirtless KJ Apa…and his new demonic tramp stamp.
Jughead rushes back to the bunker to tell Betty about seeing not only the Gargoyle King in the woods, but the whole Gargoyle Gang. Archie tells them that Joaquin told Kevin “he was joining a new gang.” Jughead theorizes that the Warden is the Gargoyle King. Clearly he missed the end of the last episode.
Betty asks her mom if she knew Warden Norton in her old G&G days. Alice responds, “Why would you even ask that?” which means she definitely knew him. Was the Warden in that 80s episode?
More shirtless KJ Apa, who is now in bed with Veronica in the bunker. They have all the candles lit around them. These guys are averaging a post-sex scene once an episode this season if I’m doing my math right.
Sheriff Manetta is telling the students of Riverdale that aiding and abetting a fugitive is a felony. He tries giving Josie as shakedown which sends her into a seizure. I’m really interested in finding out what’s triggering seizures in multiple students this season. I honestly can’t figure out the connection here.
Warden Norton was the RROTC instructor when the gang’s parents were teens. Wait! Does this mean the new RROTC instructor is the new Gargoyle King? Moose’s dad? What’s he been up to since the first episode of the season? Also, where’s Moose been since the first episode of the season?
Jughead is going to rally the Serpents to find Joaquin. Gang leader Jughead will never not sound weird to me.
Is it me or does Kevin looks way more jacked than usual?
Whoa, Archie definitely needs a doctor. He’s hanging out in a dirty bunker with what is still an open wound. When describing who to bring Archie to, Betty tells Kevin “we can trust him. bring small bills.” Has to be Curdle Jr.
Meanwhile, Betty tricked all of the parents to come to Ronnie’s speakeasy by sending them all letters from the Gargoyle King. Everyone showed up. She wants them to start talking because “someone in this room is a murderer.” Dun, dun, dun!
All of that before the title card! Wow!
Back from commercial and back to the speakeasy. Hermione is pissed that Alice told Betty about their G&G past. I think this is the first time we have ever seen Reggie’s dad. How does this guy ever manage to kick Reggie’s ass? He looks like Reggie could snap him in two. He has all the scariness of an insurance actuary.
Skeet says they were all high off their gourds, hallucinating gargoyles the night that their principal was poisoned. Alice is amazed that Skeet saw the Gargoyle King that night too. Hiram gets up a little too quickly to leave. Hermione convinces him to stay put and walks through her theory, accusing Penelope Blossom, which makes me think even more that Hermione is the Gargoyle King. Penelope accuses Daryl Doiley, Dilton’s dad…who just happens to be dead already. Great. Penelope sounds not believable in the slightest as she talks about her relationship with Daryl, her shunning him and his eventual suicide. Betty doesn’t buy it. Neither does anyone in the audience.
Skeet is pissed that Jughead is still playing G&G and storms out of the speakeasy. He calls Jughead “boy” when he sees him, so I’m happy. If I can’t get Hiram calling Veronica “mija” every episode, this is the next best thing. Skeet cuffs Jughead to the fridge and then leaves. Uhhhh…I hope he’s coming back later that day at least. I mean, yeah, he’s got access to food. But what if he has to go number one or worse, number two?
More KJ Apa abs as Dr. Curdle stitches him up. Is this a sweeps week? Archie has his shirt off way more than usual this episode.
Archie is headed to the woods to find those dudes who can clear his name. Kevin joins him.
Ronnie examines the video of Manetta interviewing suspects. It’s been edited! But who has the original? Hiram walks in and continues to refuse to call his daughter “mija.” My heart continues to break a little more.
“There are too many variables up at Shadow Lake. Take care of them, all of them.” Hiram says on phone to someone. This seems like a red herring to get us to believe that Hiram is the Gargoyle King. I still think it’s Hermione.
Betty finds Jughead chained to the fridge and picks the lock. Betty is the MacGuyver of Riverdale.
Archie and Kevin skulk around the woods like they’re extras on Lost. They spot Manetta out for a hike. Maybe now would be a good time to turn around, Arch. You know, with the armed cop leading the manhunt for you walking right past you and all.
Veronica hacks her mom’s computer password. “Always my birthday.” She finds a file folder that has the Gargoyle King mark on the file folder. Why is she not freaking out that Hermione even has a folder that looks like that?
There are files like Shadow Lake Map.png and Exhibit D.png. If this doesn’t paint the picture of Hermione being the Gargoyle King, I don’t know what does. Veronica finds the unedited footage and emails it to herself. On the video, Manetta flat out bribes Donnie to frame Archie. As Veronica emails herself, someone from the Sheriff’s office comes in to arrest her. Reason #576 to be nice to secretaries – it was Mayor Lodge’s secretary who sold her out.
The Serpents find Joaquin in the woods. He’s got a gargoyle mask with him. Joaquin says Archie was already marked. Not with the symbol, but with something else? The symbol means “sacrifice.”Joaquin won’t spill who was giving Warden Norton his orders. Jughead flips a switchblade. Joaquin says it’s the man in the black suit.
Cut to Jughead and Hiram. Jughead flat out accuses him of being the Gargoyle King. Hiram has the best defence with “I’m not a 16 year old nerd!” Ha!
Hiram gets a call about Ronnie’s break-in into her mother’s office. “Does mom even know what you’ve been hiding on her desktop?” I get why Veronica would think it’s Hiram who is the evil mastermind, with everything he’s done since he first showed up in town, but I think this just points the finger more at Hermione. If Hiram wanted to hide a folder, why would he use an icon that has very recognizable symbol to anyone who knew what they were looking at, and why would he hide in on Hermione’s desktop? Wouldn’t he bury this in a deep sub-directory? “Your mother doesn’t even have a computer anymore,” Hiram weirdly answers. I rewound and watched that line multiple times and still don’t understand what it means. Ronnie wants to lawyer up. She uses her one phone call to call Archie’s dad to tell him what Archie is up to.
Dr Curdle Jr. shows Betty Daryl Doile’s death report. He didn’t die by carbon monoxide poisoning as was reported. He was murdered! Poisoned! Betty questions former Sheriff Keller about who he was helping cover up Doile’s murder. Keller gets a call from Fred Andrews and runs out.
Kevin and Archie are investigating the old mine at Shadow Lake. It’s covered in strange symbols and gargoyle drawings. They find the Shadow Lake crew! All dead! Except one! Did Manetta shoot them all? Kevin and Archie try to get the surviving Shadow Laker out and to a hospital.
Jughead returns to the trailer park to find a dead Joaquin with the mark branded to his head and his lips blue. The murder rate in Riverdale is insane. Why does anyone stay there? It maked Detroit look like the Garden of Eden.
The elder Andrews and Keller find the dead bodies and call them in. They rush to the hospital fearing one of their sons had been shot. Kevin tells Archie the Shadow Laker died. He lost too much blood. Archie says even if his innocence is proven, he isn’t sure he can go back to Riverdale. Ooooh spin off!
Josie’s mom springs Ronnie from the joint.
Betty confronts Penelope about the oleander in her greenhouse, the poison used to kill Daryl Doile. Penelope tells her to question her own mom, who reported his death as suicide.
Betty goes home to do just that. As she’s questioning Alice, the power goes out and there’s a dude in a hood passing a window followed by a banging on the front door. Alice opens the door, but no one is there. Why would you even open the door, Alice? They turn and the Gargoyle King is in the house! With some very interesting lighting effects behind him!
And the Gargoyle Gang made quite the diorama on Betty’s bed. The guy trying to get in the front door was FP, who climbs a ladder to Betty’s window. I’m guessing that ladder is how Gargoyle and Co. got in in the first place?
The Kellers reunite but Archie has fled. He left his dad a a note. “That’s why you always leave a note.” from Arrested Development rings in my head.
Veronica meets with her parents. Hermione didn’t know Veronica was in jail. Veronica is a little too quick to play her hand about having the goods to bring them down. If you think they’re killers or are in league with killers, why would you tell them so?
Betty and Alice are safe at home. Wait, where did the Gargoyle King go? Where did FP go? Alice is going to the farm. And she’s sending Betty to the Sisters. Two orderlies come in, grab Betty and take her away.
Alice ignores a call from someone. I had to pause the screen to see it was from Jughead. Was that Betty’s phone? If not, why was he calling Alice?
Archie is on the run! And he’s got some crazy hat hair!
Archie calls Veronica to her he can’t come home. He says he’s not alone. Who’s he with? He’s running away with Jughead! Jughead asks Archie is he’s ever hopped a train before. Honestly, leaving town is the smartest move anyone in Riverdale could ever do.
And somehow Arch and Jug walking on the railroad tracks into the sunset is not the end of the episode! Betty is with the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. The kids there are in art class, all painting Gargoyle Kings! What!!