'Riverdale' Recap: The Man In Black Is Not Will Smith

Hello friends! Welcome to this week’s recap of Riverdale, or as I call it, A High School Story Written By Someone On Psychedelic Drugs. You may have noticed that I’m not It’s Britney, Betch. I’m sorry, but your old reviewer can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because she’s dead. Kidding! She has, like, a life or something?? So I volunteered as tribute. I’ll try to do her hilarious recaps some justice here, but I’m only human.

I’m sure you want a reminder of what happened last week, and for all my effort to forget it, it seems to have lodged its way into my skull like a piece of shrapnel you can’t remove, but one day might kill you. So let me refresh all your memories. In the episode, Veronica gets her Archiekins exonerated (somebody tell Kathleen Zellner she can go home), but he goes on the run anyway and breaks up with her via payphone. I also think Joaquin was murdered, the gargoyle king paid a visit to the Cooper house, and Alice casually surrendered Betty over to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, and yada, yada, yada I’m just watching for Archie’s abs.

We kick off the episode with Archie and Jughead on their quest to go literally anywhere else, so they don’t get murdered by Mr. Kelly Ripa and his little gang of thugs named after fast food. They stumble across YET ANOTHER payphone, and Jug stops to call Betty. Look guys, I am willing to suspend my disbelief. Sure, have a teen fight club in a prison. Sure, have a mysterious “gargoyle king” torment a town. Sure, have everyone in said town have red hair. BUT I DRAW THE LINE AT THIS MANY PAYPHONES. I will not believe it. It’s 2018. They no longer exist. Archie wouldn’t know what to do with one if he saw it. Can’t they just use a burner phone like everyone else on the run? For f*cks sake.

Archie actually attempting to use a payphone:

But I digress. Betty is obviously not answering the phone. Dun dun dun. Jug leaves a voicemail. AS IF!! Wtf even is a voicemail? This whole scene is pissing me off. Methinks we need some millennials on the writing staff.

Anyway, Archie and Jug are hoping they can find a place to lodge, so naturally when they spot the barn from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre they think it’s a great place to lay their heads. They are immediately stopped by a tween with a shotgun and her sister that looks suspiciously like Riley Keough (please don’t let it be Riley! I can’t bear for Elvis’ spawn to have fallen so far!) because DUH this is clearly a murder house. Archie and Jug make up some story about how they got robbed on the train, and that worked well enough to convince the shotgun sisters that they should pretend everything is cool and feed the boys now, and then skin them and wear them as suits later.

Riley brings a pile of blankets and is obviously interested in making one into her coital bed with Archie. Wait till you see his abs my sad, lonely farm girl. JUST WAIT FOR IT.

Early in the morning Jug goes to town to take some pictures, and Archie stays at the farm to ask Riley to lick the sweat off his chest.

I’ve got some bad news for you all. If you thought that the barn was murder-y, just wait until you see this abandoned sh*thole of a town. TBH if I accidentally strolled onto Main Street here I would just say “oh so this is how it ends,” and let the rapture take me.

And what do ya know, some of the symbols that were burned into the backs of the nerds that played G&G are graffitied on walls in Murdertown, USA. WHAT A COINCIDENCE. I NEVER COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING.

Jug approaches the sole inhabitant of the town, sitting in front of their local Killers ‘R’ Us, and she tells him that the jingle jangle and the fizzle rocks came and ruined them. I wish I made that sentence up but unfortunately it was verbatim.

Okay WTF is this scene? Archie is shirtless in jeans and Riley is shaving his “beard” with an old-fashioned razor. As if this is a barbershop and not a stash house for the people she just disemboweled.

UM EXCUSE ME, ARCHIEKINS?! Riley is so turned on by Archie’s semi-nude state and the blade she has to his neck that she just HAS to straddle him during this little personal grooming session. Archie tells her he has a girl back home, but not until after he has enough material to jerk off to in his sleeping bag tonight.

Me RN:

Archie immediately starts spewing the truth. He tells her his real name, Hiram’s name, why he left town, his astrological sign, his entire birth story, and where Lily and James Potter are hiding. He is literally the worst fugitive ever. I have a very bad feeling that Riley is actually one of Hiram’s henchmen and goes by the name of Chicken Nuggets or something equally stupid and food related and Archie is f*cked. Just call it a cliche hunch.

We’re back to Jughead in town. He’s casually taking some pics of the gargoyle king graffiti to give his Insta some street cred, and then begins to talk to some tween girls who are playing G&G.

Unsettling tweens: Have you played before?

The tweens also tell Jug that all the men are gone because they are off building a prison and cooking meth. My apologies. I was clearly wrong about this town. It’s not murder-y at all.

They say the ringleader is a “Man in Black.” Please let it be Will Smith, please let it be Will Smith, please let it be Will Smith.

Well, well, well, I hate to say I told you so but actually I love to say I told you so. Ask anyone who’s met me. I was right about Riley/Chicken Nuggets because she just whacked Archie across the head with a frying pan. Honestly he deserved it for being so f*cking stupid. I’m on board with this.

Sh*t. The man in black is not, in fact, Will Smith. It’s everyone’s second favorite mafia Don, Hiram Lodge. And here he is, being led into the house by Riley Chicken Nuggets and her shotgun sister. While they’re inside, Jug unties his useless sack of dead weight, Archie, and fills him in. Archie is SHOCKED. Oh honey, I guess it was too much to ask you to be pretty and smart. Jug wants to make a run for it but Archie, emboldened by his recent massive head trauma, would like to stay and fight. But isn’t his stab wound still oozing pus? Perhaps he should wait until he’s at 100%.

It turns out Riley Chicken Fingers is trading Archie in return for her brother and father, and honestly that’s a good trade. Archie ain’t worth it, girl. Abs will fade, but stupid is forever. You need to get your family back. But when Hiram gets to the barn in his sleek new Club Monaco coat, Archie and Jug have already escaped.

Back at home, Veronica is ready to GTFO of the Pembrooke. Hermione tries to convince her not to go, but she’s not having any of it. Ronnie decides to move into her speakeasy. Not the best housing situations going on in this episode, but on a scale of murder barn to Nun’s Prison, I’d say this sits squarely at the top. Well done, V.

The next day at the speakeasy, Ronnie is complaining to Reggie about how she works “all day and all night” and they’re barely scraping by. Okay, what? When did everyone stop going to high school? I know it’s been a while since I was there, but did they make it optional? Veronica speaks to Elio, son of another crime family, and enlists his help with turning the speakeasy into a casino for one night only.

And now casino night is here! That was quick. I would have thought it would have taken more prep work. But then again, none of these teenagers are going to school so I guess they had time to set up? Guys, take it from someone who would GLADLY go back to high school, treasure those work-free moments while you can! There’s so much on Netflix!

I’m getting a very riverboat in the ’20s kind of vibe from this night. Anyone else? Reggie has some bad news for V, though: Elio hasn’t lost a hand all night. Oh, so you mean he’s going to scam her. What an unpredictable turn of events.  

Elio RN:

Veronica decides she needs to stop the metaphorical bleeding so she proposes one hand with Elio, winner take all. They’re playing for pinks the deed to Pop’s. In an incredibly tense moment where I could not even imagine what was ever going to happen, Veronica hits exactly 21 and shows Elio’s sad ass the door.

After much celebration, Veronica reveals to Reggie what actually happened. Her father warned her Elio would try to screw her over, recommended that she use his own personal shady dealer, and she beat Elio by cheating. Ronnie, it is a BAD idea to get back into business with your dad! Because now one day he’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse and then the next thing you know you’ll be leaving the bloody head of a horse in your boyfriend’s bed.

The next day, Pop decides to burst Ronnie’s bubble by telling her that Sheriff Minetta’s body was found in the marsh. But they can’t be sure it was him BECAUSE HE WAS DECAPITATED AND HIS HANDS SAWED OFF. Lovely. I have to tell you, this town is going to really need to do some serious damage control if they ever want anyone to visit again. They should get the people that do Iceland’s PR. That place is blowing up, am I right?!

And now we’re on to Betty’s story. I don’t love how our leads are separated this week. It’s revealed to me a sad, depressing truth: I find Archie’s story the most fun. I know. I hate me too.

Over at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, a nun is showing Betty ink blots and she’s pretending to be perfectly sane. They’re also giving her drugs and calling it a “treat.” TBH that’s what I called Amoxicillin when I was younger. That bubble gum flavoring was bomb. If you were actually wondering what was happening this whole time, never fear, Betty is narrating the entire thing. It’s incredibly annoying and very insulting that they think viewers wouldn’t be able to understand what was going on otherwise. Not all of us are as dumb as Archie!

After Betty ditches her drugs in the garbage can, her roommate ETHEL walks in. Oh hi Ethel, I should have known you were coming by the chill it sent down my spine. Ethel tells Betty that she’s been getting very close to the gargoyle king. Gross. Then she proceeds to hang up a “warrior board” that basically has the words “Mrs. Ethel Gargoyle King” scrawled all over it. Damn. I thought my freshman year roommate was weird because she changed in front of her dad one time while she thought I was taking a nap, but this is much more alarming.

Outside the Nun’s Prison, Betty sees Claudius Blossom delivering maple syrup, and then HIRAM LODGE SHOWS UP. Dude, can these teenagers go ANYWHERE without Veronica’s dad spoiling the party? Expect to see him at your next pap smear, ladies! If you’re on a first date, he’ll pop up! When you’re at your mom’s funeral, there’s Hiram! 

Later, Betty fakes a seizure so she can get closer to her medical records. She’s taken to the infirmary, breaks into their file cabinet, and finds out what they’re dosing her with. And it turns out HIRAM LODGE is the one who told them to give it to her. Told you. He’s always there.

Betty decides to escape, but unfortunately since they last broke Cheryl out of the Nun’s Prison, the escape route has been covered with bricks. These nuns may be stereotypically evil, but they aren’t stupid! That tattletale b*tch Ethel and her accomplice Sister Woodhouse find Betty and force-feed her the fizzle rocks. Then they drag Betty to FINALLY MEET THE KING. They shove her into the room and she screams.

We don’t get to see the king, but Betty does bless us with this poem to end the episode, “My king, my savior, ride me through the night, bless me with your darkness, gift me with your flight.” That’s beautiful. I’m going to put it in my vows.

Well folks, that was a wild ride! In my opinion, a little too much gargoyle king stuff and not enough of Archie’s body. There’s always next week!

Images: The CW; Giphy (5)