“At 8:47 on a Wednesday morning, Archie Andrews died.” Now that’s a way to start an episode! Oh wait, Archie is alive. But he’s “reborn.” Hopefully new Archie makes better decisions than old Archie. Probably not, but a Riverdale watcher can dream.
Archie returns home, looking pretty much exactly the same minus his obscenely orange hair.
After surviving a bear attack, Archie is no longer afraid of Hiram. Likewise, since being attacked by the Black Hood and surviving twice, Fred isn’t afraid of Hiram either. Watch out, Hiram.
When Archie reappears in Veronica’s life, her first question is “What the hell happened to your hair?” and not in a happy way. Was she actually a fan of Archie’s agent orange color?
Hey Archie, does Veronica taste like Reggie?
The gang reunites at Pops. To show that Archie has changed, he’s now drinking rootbeer floats. He basically says he needs something stronger than his usual strawberry shake. Oh, Archie.
Jughead has Serpents watching Archie and Fred 24/7. Jughead tells the Veronica, Archie and Betty about Fangs being deep undercover infiltrating the Gargoyles.
Betty’s debit card gets declined at Pops. It turns out that Alice transferred all of Betty’s money to the farm as a donation, including all of Betty’s college fund. Nothing says “This isn’t a cult” like giving them all of your kid’s savings.
Fred Andrews, Skeet and a couple of older Serpents pay Hiram a visit. Fred flat out says he’ll kill Hiram if he does anything to Archie. I want someone to look at me the way Skeet looked at Fred after this went down.
Sweet brooch, Weatherbee.
Principal Weatherbee suggests Archie repeat his junior year of high school right as we head into the Riverdale title card break. I’m amazed Archie hasn’t been left back more than once already.
Reggie tries getting some hallway nookie from Veronica, but she puts the kibosh on it, because Archie is back. Wait, Reggie, if you had any concern with keeping your relationship with Veronica a secret from your close friend who is also her boyfriend, why are you trying to make out with her in public?
Betty meets with Attorney McCoy about Alice stealing her money to give to the farm. It looks like Alice forged her Hal Cooper’s signature to get it done. To get her money back, Betty just needs to get her serial killer dad to sign an affidavit saying he didn’t sign the original letter. Easy-peasy.
The Blossoms and Hiram meet to plot their latest dastardly deeds. Hiram wants Claudius Blossom to be the new Sheriff of Riverdale. Considering the last sheriff was found decapitated, Claudius is less than thrilled about this job opportunity.
Jughead and Betty are giving Archie some SAT prep. On his practice test, Archie scored a 600…total. Yikes.
Fangs tells Jughead that he’s been invited into the Gargoyle King’s inner circle. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
Betty dyes Archie’s hair back to unnatural orange, just in time for Archie’s surprise welcome home party at the speakeasy.
Oooh, Reggie is not enjoying this song.
Veronica’s song is sending Archie into a PTSD fit over the last two seasons of Riverdale craziness. He bolts from the party mid-song. Awkward.
Betty visits her dad in jail. He’s gone full Silence of the Lambs. Dad confirms that’s not his signature. Hal Cooper is doing his best Hannibal Lecter, to Betty’s Clarice Starling, even offering to help Betty catch the Gargoyle King. I half expect Hal to recount his love of liver paired with chianti and fava beans. He says he’ll sign her affidavit only if she brings him a copy of the G&G manual.
Reggie is concerned about Archie, and voices that concern to Veronica. The dude’s got it hard for Veronica and is using anything he can to ice Archie out. Cold, Reggie, ice cold.
Shirtless KJ Apa and Shirtless Reggie square off in the locker room! It looks like a fight! But then Reggie sees Archie’s bear scars and backs down. By the end of this series, I fully expect Archie’s body to be as put through the ringer as Rick’s on The Walking Dead.
Hiram tells Hermione that he’s buying The Sisters of Quiet Mercy so that they can move out of the Pembroke. Yay? “Let’s leave this swank hotel in favor of living in a creepy orphanage!”
Betty brings Hal the G&G manual in exchange for his signature on her affidavit saying that he didn’t sign Alice’s letter. Hal asks Betty if she wants to talk about Ascension Night. He admits to sending out the invitations to Ascension Night, poisoning the chalices and dressing as the Gargoyle King. Hal Cooper was the Gargoyle King in the past! The guard lets it slip to Betty that Alice visits Hal every Monday…or does she? It doesn’t look like he checks ID. Anyone could sign Alice’s name on the sign-in sheet. But if not Alice, who?
Fangs Fogarty kneels before The Gargoyle King at the secret meeting in the woods. They’re going to brand Fangs to initiate him. Jughead and Skeets intervene just in time. The Gargoyles scatter but the King is captured! They rip off the Gargoyle’s King’s mask to reveal…TALLBOY!?!
Tallboy is alive? Wait, Tallboy was dead? Tallboy admits to breaking into the Coopers’ house, and to carving the symbol in Joaquin’s head before killing him. Sweet Pea is ready to kill Tallboy at this, but Jughead wants Tallboy alive to set up a meeting with Hiram.
Alice is prepping for a TV job interview. Betty confronts her about visiting Hal. Alice denies ever visiting him.
Archie and Reggie are on good terms again. “I need to talk to you about cheating,” say Archie. “She told you?” responds Reggie. Oh man, Archie was talking about cheating on the SAT, not Veronica cheating on Archie. Whoops. Smooth one, Reggie.
The Gargoyle King calls Hiram and says he’s captured the Red Paladin. Hiram doesn’t look all too convinced as he gets off the call.
Betty calls the prison to find out what this Alice Cooper who was visiting Hal Cooper looks like. Cut to the next scene with Betty confronting Penelope Blossom about visiting her dad. Penelope had been visiting him for conjugal visits. Gross. Penelope says she may have mentioned G&G stuff to Hall during pillow talk.
Hal admits that he only told Betty all that to keep her coming back to visiting him. Awwww?
The Man in Black meets The Gargoyle King on a bridge. Except the Man in Black is Claudius Blossom and The Gargoyle King is Skeet. Surprise! Double surprise!
Archie and Veronica talk about her affair with Reggie. Archie seems pretty cool with it.
It’s SAT day! Archie looks worried. Everyone’s working hard, but Archie is stuck on question #1. His pencil breaks on the first bubble, and Archie walks out. Achie is having another PTSD attack in the bathroom and punches the mirror. Hopefully Riverdale has a good community college.
Hiram is on the phone with someone saying that he’s always one step ahead of everyone else. And just then, he’s shot in the stomach. #WhoShotMrLodge?
The farm people are cheersing over milk. They bought the orphanage with Betty’s money. Just how big was that college savings account?
Hiram is in the hospital. Veronica thinks Archie did it. Well, she doesn’t not think he didn’t. No, she totally thinks he did. Veronica breaks up with Archie is the hospital hallway.
Tallboy’s dead! He’s dead for real this time! Fangs and Sweet Pea killed him by accident when he tried escaping. Oh, how I love this image of Fangs banging the gun against his own head in frustration. What should they do? Jughead’s solution: “We’re going to throw a party.”
Archie and Fred have a heart to heart.
Cornelius Blossom is dead in his cell!
Hermione meets with FP to tell him “It’s time.” Time for what?
Betty returns to visit Hal. Wow, Alice, way to fail as a mom when your serial killer husband is outscoring you in the parent department.
Reggie brings flowers and a balloon to Mr Lodge’s hospital room. Seriously, the things this guy will do to get back in Veronica pants.
At the Serpent Party, Fangs is welcomed back into the fold. The new Sheriff shows up at the party. He lifts his head and it’s SHERIFF SKEET!!! “You’re looking a the new law in Riverdale.” Oh boy.
In his attic, Archie is hitting both the heavy bag and the bottle. When this kid goes downhill, he goes downhill hard. Fred is rightfully concerned. I feel like we’re heading down the path of Archie evolving into becoming the eventual final season’s main villain.