Welcome to our Riverdale Recap of the Riverdale Review, a weekly update on the goings-on of everyone’s favourite childhood story gone wrong.
With the newest episode of Riverdale coming out this week, it’s the perfect time for a recap of where we’ve been. Look out for our next post, detailing everything to know about the newest episode. If you need a refresher on the story, or just don’t have a clue about the show, this is the place to be!
The first season follows the investigation into the murder of Jason Blossom. Jason, the son of the richest family in town, and one of the most popular people in school (only tied by his twin sister, Cheryl), is found dead. He was shot in the head and washed up on the banks of Sweetwater River. The stories of our four main characters (Veronica Lodge, Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, and Jughead Jones) circle around the mystery. We come to learn more and more about the horrible circumstances Jason was in. The Blossom Family and the Cooper Family have hated each other since Betty’s great-grandfather Cooper was murdered by Jason’s great-grandfather Blossom. It is revealed in the season that the two were in fact brothers. This complicates things the most for Betty’s sister, Polly, who was not only engaged to Jason before his murder but is now carrying his twin children.
Meanwhile, Veronica and her mother have come to town to escape a scandal in New York. Veronica’s father was recently sent to prison for fraud and embezzlement. The two learn to survive on their own, and Veronica finds herself mixed up with Jughead, Betty, and Archie. As Jughead and Betty investigate Jason’s murder on their own, Veronica comes to be wary of her mother, whom she catches having quiet meetings with gang members and anonymously buying up Riverdale land. She suspects her parents might have had Jason killed by the gang member – none other than Jughead’s father, F.P. This fear is nearly confirmed when F.P. confesses to everything, including Jason’s murder.
The truth was much darker. Following a lead from Kevin, Jughead and Betty investigate Jason’s varsity jacket, which F.P. had been holding on to. Finding a hole in a pocket, and a thumb drive is hidden there, the two watch security footage in horror that shows Clifford Blossom, Jason’s father, shooting Jason himself. They rush to inform Cheryl, and the police. Yet by the time the officers go to arrest Clifford, he has hung himself in a syrup distillery owned by the Blossom family. At long last, the truth emerges. Clifford Blossom was in the drug business, and Jason found out. Clifford killed Jason to stop him from exposing what he knew. Devastated and distraught, Cheryl attempts to commit suicide in Sweetwater River – but is saved by Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Archie. In her rage at her family, Cheryl returns home once well to burn down their family mansion, Thornhill.
At the end of season one, we are left with several cliff-hangers. In addition to the metaphorical and literal burnt ashes of Cheryl’s life, we learn that Betty has a secret brother, one that Alice Cooper, her mother, gave away at her husband’s behest when they were in high school. Finally, the last episode ends when Archie meets his father, Fred Andrews at the local diner, where a masked gunman arrives to shake the place down. He then turns to Fred, demanding his wallet. When Archie tries to intervene, his father is shot.
Season two follows the story of a murder called the Black Hood. Starting with Fred Andrews, and continuing to wreak havoc on the town, the Black Hood targets those he considers sinners. As the story progresses, the Black Hood seems to have a strange relationship with Betty, to whom he continues to harass with calls, puzzles, and threats. He even forces her to separate herself from her best friend (Veronica) and boyfriend (Jughead). Betty is determined to discover the identity of the Black Hood, and several accusations are made before one finally sticks; Joseph Svenson, their high school Janitor. Attempting to force Betty to bury Archie alive, Betty manages to stall long enough for the sheriff, Kevin Keller, and backup to arrive. After a chase, they shoot and kill Svenson.
Meanwhile, tensions rise between the South Side and the North Side of Riverdale. Hiram Lodge, Veronica’s father who has been released from jail and is back in town, begins to buy up and renovate South Side property. Archie, now Veronica’s boyfriend, has become mixed up with Hiram’s business to please him. Despite the dangers, Archie’s position did offer the group some perks. It included the use of the Lodge’s lake house for the inner circle to relax at for a while. The group just can’t catch a break though, as a group of men raids the house. Thankfully, Veronica triggers a silent alarm, and a man of Hiram’s comes to scare them away, killing one.
Southside residents on the other hand, including the South Side Serpents (the gang that Jughead and his father are members of), are less than pleased with Hiram. The South Side high school is bought to be torn down and the students are transferred to the north side’s school. When Hermione Lodge decides to run for mayor, there is no lack of objections. Not only from the southside, but by Hiram’s mobster associates.
Another black swan of Riverdale, Cheryl Blossom lives her own personal horror story as she and her mother move to a smaller, plant infested home. The two women fight to dominate the other. Finally, Cheryl discovers that her mother and recently-discovered uncle had unsuccessfully attempted to kill Cheryl’s grandmother. When Cheryl confronts her mother, Penelope, it leads to Cheryl being committed, in the same home where Polly was once hidden from Jason. While there, she underwent disturbing conversion therapy by the nuns. Thankfully, a Southside Serpent named Toni Topaz and Veronica discovered where she was and sprung her. The two shared a kiss upon her escape and began dating soon after.
Archie begins to fear that they had not caught the real Black Hood soon after Svenson’s death. His fears are not confirmed until the Black Hood had already claimed another life. A girl named Midge is hung on a set wall with knives, with a message warning of the murderer’s return. Secretly, he contacts Betty and offers to get rid of a recent problem she had been having. Her supposed half brother, Chic. 0After the death of Svenson, when they thought they would be safer, Betty encourages her mother to attempt to contact her son, named Charles Smith. It is discovered he is not Hal Cooper (Betty’s Father)’s son, but rather Alice and F.P. Jones’ child.
Betty is set on a hunt for him, and eventually finds Chic, a webcam model and disturbed young man. He claims to be Charles Smith and returns to the Cooper house to live with the family. Unfortunately, he brings nothing but trouble with him, as his past comes back to haunt him and forces Alice to kill his attacker in their home. Betty’s instincts encourage her to investigate, and she discovers that Chic is not who he says he is.
When she confronts him, he confesses that he murdered her real brother and stole his identity. Betty, with little remorse, hands him over to the Black Hood. She lies to Alice, saying that Chic left town. Alice casually mentions that her father was out of the house when Betty knows she was handing over Chic, and she begins to suspect Hal is the Black Hood. After more attacks, Hal returns home to be confronted, and finally reveals he was the Black Hood all along.
The season comes to a head when Hal admits one of the attacks by a man in a Black Hood wasn’t him. A member of the South Side Serpents, Tall Boy, is found to have been masquerading as the Black Hood. When Hermione discovers this, she reveals to Veronica that Hiram may have hired Tall Boy to attack the debate. Her father plans to consolidate the Southside, but he needs a bar called the Whyte Worm. Veronica uses this information to buy the Worm and offers to trade it to Hiram in exchange for the diner where Fred was shot.
The season ends with some victories; Jughead has become the Serpent King in his father’s place, with Betty as his Serpent Queen; Hermione wins the mayoral election; Archie wins student body president. Archie’s happiness is short-lived, however, as he is soon wrongfully arrested by the new Sheriff, placed in power by Hiram and Hermione, for the murder of the man killed by Hiram’s guard at the lake house.
The current and still airing season three of Riverdale is keeping viewers by the horns. “Bizzarodale” is the most recently aired episode, from February 6th, 2019. The season follows a game called Griffins and Gargoyles, not unlike our real-world Dungeons and Dragons. G n’ G is a twisted roleplaying game thought to manipulate its players into performing insane actions with real-world consequences. They aim to please a dark figure known as the Gargoyle King. It is first identified in the side characters of Riverdale’s story, as it creeps its way into popularity. Dilton Doiley and Ethel Muggs are among the first to mention the game to the inner circle. However, at the start of the season, they have more pressing concerns.
Archie and his family and friends spend the summer at his trial for murder. Despite Archie’s innocence, Hiram’s powerful lawyers make for a long and difficult trial. Despite his friends’ and family’s best efforts, the jury comes out on labour day still hung, six to six. As the crowd gasps, Archie realizes that this mistrial will mean the process restarting through the school year. So when the district attorney offers a plea deal of two years in juvenile detention so long as Archie pleads guilty, the boy doesn’t hesitate. In juvey, he finds two sides at odds – the Southside Serpents, and the Ghoulies, their rival gang. After some time there, the juvey’s warden offers Archie the opportunity to take part in boxing matches between prisoners below the building.
Meanwhile, Jughead and Betty investigate what begins as the murder/suicides of three Scouts, including their leader – Dilton Doiley. The more they investigate, however, the more they learn about Griffins and Gargoyles, as well as the Gargoyle King. It becomes clear that the parents of all the main characters and more are hiding what they know about the game from their children. Finally, Betty convinces her mother to share what the parents have been hiding; that they played the game as a group as teenagers and became addicted to it. The principal at the time, Principal Featherhead, encountered the Gargoyle King and was found dead, with strange symbols etched into a door nearby. Alice tells Betty she knows someone of their parents was trying to kill one of the others. Principal Featherhead was only unlucky enough to be caught in the middle.
When Archie is finally sprung by his friends, the warden of the juvey commits suicide. He failed to complete his G n’ G mission: kill Archie. Though Veronica eventually finds evidence to clear Archie’s name, he chooses to leave town instead to escape the panic of Riverdale. This effectively ends his and Veronica’s relationship. On his road of self-discovery, he runs into Jughead’s mother, Gladys Jones. Hearing his pain, she offers him a quiet position as a scout in the northern woods. He remains there for a month, but while there, he is attacked by a bear and severely injured. When he recovers, he finally decides it is time to return to Riverdale.
Young girls across Riverdale begin to have unexplained seizures, and the Gargoyle King’s presence looms over the town. Alice has Betty forcibly taken to the group home. There, all the other girls are playing Griffins and Gargoyles, and swear that they have seen the Gargoyle King. Betty proves, however, that this Gargoyle King at least is a hallucination brought on by drugs the nuns are feeding their patients. The drugs have been trafficked in by Hiram Lodge himself. Betty, with help from Ethel, manages to set the other girls free, but now must find someplace to house them all.
Living with Betty and Alice does not prove a viable option. Betty must fight her mother and sister who want to bring them to their “Farm”, a cult-like organization they have both recently fallen prey to. There is only so much Betty can do though. She returns home one day to find that all the other girls have been shipped to the Farm. Her college fund has been liquified to pay for their resources. Furious, Betty seeks legal action and is advised to visit her father in jail so she can prove that Alice did not have his signature to remove Betty’s funds. Hal uses this leverage with Betty to manipulate her into continuing to visit him.
The hunt for the Gargoyle King continues. The Serpents, working for Veronica as part of her newly-opened speak-easy under Pop’s, find the Gargoyle Gang (the followers of the Gargoyle King) in a clearing, worshipping the King. They pull his mask off to reveal Tall Boy, an ex-member of their gang they thought dead. Turns out, he has been working for Hiram Lodge. The businessman is using their unfortunate circumstances to his advantage to take over Riverdale. In a bout of karma, Hiram is shown to be shot by an unknown assailant and critically injured. Despite reconciling with Archie when he returned from the woods, her belief that he may have shot her father leads to their breakup. She finds comfort in a mutual friend, Reggie.
The most recent episode of season three follows the story of a side characters Kevin Keller and Moose. The two have been in a complicated relationship since episode one of the show. Moose’s father, Marcus is a homophobic man who was manipulated by the nun’s conversion therapy. He dresses as the Gargoyle King and attempts to scare his son straight by appearing just after Kevin and Moose have consummated their love. Moose leaves Riverdale after Marcus is found out, attempting to find space.
Josie, a side character, and Archie at the end of the episode share a hesitant kiss, having spent ongoing time together working on music. In the meantime, Archie’s ex Veronica and her new boyfriend Reggie attempt to settle a deal for Veronica’s mother. They soon discover it is a deal with Gladys Jones. Gladys and Jughead’s little sister, Jellybean, move to the town with the intent of manipulating the town for their benefit.
We want to hear yours! What are your favourite fan theories about the Gargoyle King? Do you want Archie and Veronica to get back together? Do you think that Gladys and Jellybean will be able to take over Riverdale? Let us know in the comments below, and keep an eye out for our update on the most recent episode!