Riverdale enters its Winter Break with a thud more than anything, as the excitement doesn’t come at all until the last five minutes of “Outbreak”. Season 3 has been a step-up from last year and with the promise of big events taking place that we have been waiting for since the first season, last night’s episode was supposed to be a bit of a pay-off. What it was ended up being a slog of 46 minutes where nothing really happened at all.
Starting with Betty and Ethel, Betty has figured out that the Gargoyle King being seen by the kids at Sisters of Quiet Mercy is a hallucination. She locks Ethel in the Gargoyle King’s chamber to ween her off Fizzle Rocks and free her mind, and the two decide to take Sister Woodhouse hostage and get some answers. She spills that they have used the gargoyle statue in the room to scare kids since well, forever and the kids in there created G&G. That’s right: the game started in there apparently. It was never meant to be played outside the walls, but best laid plans and all. They go to release all of the kids inside, but they don’t want to leave at all, they enjoy being high all the time and playing G&G. So, Ethel and Betty dress the latter up as the Gargoyle Queen, telling everyone that the King is dead and that they are now free. This works, and everyone escapes.
Also in Riverdale we have Veronica and Cheryl Blossom working in tandem to try and figure out what Hiram has planned, and it actually only takes one scene for Veronica to have it all figured out. Hiram denies everything about Fizzle Rocks and not opening the prison on the south side, and everything else going wrong in Riverdale, until five minutes later when he says just kidding, he totally is. Veronica and Cheryl water board Penelope Blossom with maple syrup so she will spill the beans on what Hiram has planned, and once she does, Veronica rounds up the gang to go relieve her mother of her duties as mayor (can she do that?), but it is already too late…
The most anticipated storyline was the introduction of Jughead’s mom and Jellybean, as Archie and Jughead reach Toledo. Gina Gershon fits right in on this show, as she is basically playing a female version of FP. Gladys Jones is running a junkyard populated by a bunch of young men, like her own mini-kingdom. Hiram would be jealous. Because Archie is bad at hiding, Penny Peabody tracked him so she could collect on the bounty on his head. Jellybean, or JB as she wants to be called now, takes her out with a slingshot, because of course that works. Gladys tortures Penny to get answers about what Hiram has planned, and it isn’t good (more on this in a minute), so Jughead decides to head back to Riverdale to take on Hiram. Archie is staying on the lam, even though he isn’t technically on the lam anymore. Gladys arranges for FP to meet Juggy to ride back with him, and we get a sweet reunion between Fred Andrews and his son. Fred drives Archie to the border, offers to go away with him and “live off the land” and for some reason it doesn’t happen. Arch dies his hair black, takes Vegas the dog, and heads off to never be seen again.
It is when Jughead and FP return to Riverdale that we see what Hiram has had planned this whole time. In the city, sirens begin to sound, and I seriously thought we were about to get The Purge: Riverdale and got very excited. As we see the pair pull up to a barricade at the city limits, we find out that the entire city of Riverdale has been quarantined, set in motion by Hiram and executed by his friend the governor of whatever start the city is in. The governor tells Hiram that he will do what he can to keep the rest of the outside world out of Riverdale. Hiram likes this news, as he turns and raises a glass to the Gargoyle King, standing in his office.
So, that is where we leave things for winter break. Archie is heading to Canada with his dog to live off the land, while Jughead and FP are on the outside looking in at Riverdale, where the rest of the gang is trapped. What does Hiram have planned? Who knows at this point, there is not much else he can really do now. Who do we think the Gargoyle King is? My money is still on Tom Keller. Not because it makes sense, but because it doesn’t. When in doubt on this show, expect the unexpected.
See you after the break!