I’m not even sure how we got here, but after being a goon for Hiram Lodge and the mob last year, Archie — that sweet boy who once couldn’t decide between playing football or following his dreams into a music career — is now the kingpin of a bare-knuckle group of prison boxers who are about to try and orchestrate a prison breakout.
I cannot wait until season 5 when Archie and Betty are Natural Born Killing their way across America in a black van with Hannibal, Face, and Murdoch. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? Riverdale is off the deep end now, staring into the Mariana Trench with a gleeful smile on its face and blood on its teeth, and it’s never been more entertaining.
So, how did we get here? Last week, Archie started a football game in the prison yard, and the prison guards started a riot. Archie is scapegoated and thrown in solitary for three weeks, where he apparently works on his pec muscles and his alabaster tan. When he gets out, the prison warden forces him into the ring. In a secret lair beneath the prison, the warden holds bare-knuckle boxing matches between the prisoners. The guards place bets. Loser goes wherever Mad Dog is now, which is either dead or locked up in a cage beneath the prison with The Kid from Castle Rock.
After winning two fights (one in a 5-second knockout, and a second after he drags it out for five or six rounds to appease the warden), Archie’s had enough. He rejects the bottle of rum and other perks that the guards give him and instead plots with his fellow bare-knuckle boxers a prison break.
How is that going to work, Archie? You can’t exactly break out of prison and go back to high school and make out with Veronica. You have to game plan, Archie! Whatever. Riverdale can worry about that next week.
This week, there are still other matters at hand. Like the fact that Veronica has finally decided to open her speakeasy, La Bonne Nuit, but not before both Sheriff Manetta and Penny Peabody try to squeeze her in a protection racket. Veronica, however, sniffs out her father as the culprit behind that scheme, takes a few photos of Hiram’s drug lab where the Jingle Jangle is produced, and voila! She not only gets the cops and the Ghoulies off her back, but she secures $10,000 a week from her dad. In a very touching father/daughter moment, Hiram expresses how very proud he is of his daughter for blackmailing him.
Meanwhile, two people are dead — Dilton and Ben Button (again, his name is Ben Button, people) — owed to a role-playing game called Griffins & Gargoyles that’s gotten a little too out of hand. Also, is death so commonplace in Riverdale now that the high school doesn’t even flinch after the deaths of two of its own? Because at my high school, when a kid died of asthma, the place practically shut down for a couple of days. Anyway, while Betty and Jughead are boning in Dilton’s creepy old gaming lair? trailer? bunker?, Jughead strikes upon inspiration. There MUST be a rulebook! Find the rulebook. Find the Gargoyle King! To obtain it, however, Jughead has to play a game of G&G with Ethel, which means playing Russian roulette with cyanide and goblets and kissing Princess Muggs. Ethel, unfortunately, is also DTC (down to cyanide) and ends up in the hospital. Jughead, however, ends up with the one rulebook to rule them all!
Elsewhere, Betty is trying to figure this out from the Farm angle. Evelyn has brought the cult into the school, and Betty false-flags her way inside of it, only to find out that Alice has spilled all the beans about, you know, the murder they covered up. This cult is very NXIVM — you have to give up all the goods so they can blackmail you if you leave, and Evelyn’s father is apparently the Farm cult’s Keith Raniere. (I will be very surprised if there’s not a sex component). Betty’s out, but no matter, Jughead’s got the rulebook, so this crack investigation team will have no problem getting to the bottom of … wait? Nevermind. Alice and FP — who are hooking up again after all these years — discover the rulebook, and so terrified about it getting into the hands of others, FP tosses it in the fire, much to the consternation of Jughead.
Case closed, right? Not exactly. It turns out, the one rulebook to rule them all was just a copy. Before Ethel tried to kill herself with cyanide, she stuffed a copy of that rulebook into every locker in school. Griffins & Gargoyles is about to become the Fortnight of Riverdale, only like, everyone drinks poison and dies, and Ethel — who is air humping her hospital bed and bowing down to the Gargoyle King — has never been more pleased.