Riverdale went full-on prison kink in last nights episode, with exposed six-packs, macho stand-offs in the yard, cat-calling, and even a football game! Archie is officially behind bars, and you can tell the writers room is excited about it.
We get many scenes of Archie and his new prison pals gettin gin each others faces right from the start, when we meet his cell mate Mad Dog. Mad Dog is the warden’s favorite, which gets him all kinds of special treatment, and wants nothing to do with Archie. Once he ventures outside his cell, he of course goes high and mighty when trying to gain favor with Joaquin (remember him?) and the Serpents. To prove he’s not a goody-goody, Joaquin tells Archie to shiv another inmate. Arch of course refuses, and I have no doubts that he will still be ok anyway.
Naturally, the Ghoulie he was asked to shiv rounds up a gang and beats him up when he is just trying to play a guitar. Shoes stolen, he decides to give one of his famous can-do speeches to all of the inmates and even though they have spent their whole lives fighting and hating each other, gets the Serpents and Ghoulies to participate in a scrimmage football game ala The Longest Yard. Well, not really. Very little football goes on. Not even 30 seconds into the game (I think, its a little confusing), Veronica and the River Vixens show up outside the fence for a spirited performance of ‘Jailhouse Rock’ that sends the boys into a tizzy (I swear, their only direction in that scene must have been “Hump fence”). It is then Hiram shows up and motions to the warden to kindly stop all of this. The yard floods with guards who shout out “Contain the riot!” and beat one everyone. Archie of course takes out multiple guards because he is a superhero, and returns to an empty cell. Mad Dog is dead he was told, killed in the riot even though he wasn’t even there. The warden enters the cell and tells Archie he is his new mad Dog, because of course he is. This is Riverdale after all, we can’t go more than a half hour without being reminded how special Archie is.
Outside the bars, Bughead spends the episode trying to investigate the attack on Dilton and Ben from the end of last weeks episode. Dilton is dead, and Ben starts the episode in a coma. Betty is convinced by her mother and sister that the floating babies were all in her head, and her seizure was sure weird huh? Man, this show. Betty meets Evelyn, who just happened to be there for the floating baby part, and is as creepy as you think she is. After that intro, Betty and Jughead go to see Ben, and find out their old friend Ethel Muggs had also been around, making a creepy totem and leaving on the door as a talisman.
Turns out Ethel and Ben were…dating? Those two and Dilton spent the summer in some kind of bunker playing RPG’s as one does. When they go to investgate, the actually scary bone monster thing appears and chases them. Is it Ethel? Maybe, but one thing is for sure: the Gargoyle King design deserves some serious props. Using Dilton’s map, they get away and find the bunker, which looks like every cliche RPG players secret bunker in the woods would look. They find cyanide and blue powder, more tailsmans, scribbles of the Gargoyle King, and a kid! One of Diltons Riverdale Adventure Scouts claiming to be his apprentice is down there, missing for days. He name drops Ethel, and when confronted, Ethel conveniently has a seizure. In the background, Evelyn stands looking very much like she is the one causing it. Maybe she has mind powers. Maybe she cause Betty’s seizure as well!
Bughead once again goes to visit Ben, who is now awake and sitting in a window. If we know anything from watching other shows and films, this is going to end badly. And it does.“We both flipped the coin. He was scared to ascend, but I’m not. It’s all part of his plan. You’ll see. Soon.” and he leaps to his death in front of Betty and Jug.
Some other highlights:
-Veronica thinking that putting on a blonde wig and sunglasses would disguise herself so well that nobody will know it is her visiting Archie after she is banned from the prison is hilarious.
-We got our first tease of the big Riverdale flashback episode coming up, and it looks like it will involve the Gargoyle King. Hiram and Hermione Lodge, Penelope Blossom, Alice Cooper, FP Jones, Fred Andrews, Sierra McCoy, and Tom Keller all gather in a room and discuss their “secret” and FP looks scared when Hermione mentions Dilton and Ben were found in the woods with blue lips. Anything that cares FP like that must be terrifying.
-Mad Dog wins best abs of the season so far. My favorite is that instead of wearing a shirt, he carries it around on his shoulder for many of his scenes.
-I hope the show can find time to focus on Kevin and Moose more. Moose still will not openly admit he is with Kevin, blowing him off at Pop’s when he is with his RROTC buddies. Kevin joins himself at the end, and I would like to spend more time with this story instead of prison Arch and bone monsters. These are still high schoolers after all.