There’s a great scene in the middle of this week’s episode of Riverdale where Alice has got some Jiffy pop on the stove when the Gargoyle King materializes inside the house. Betty and Alice race upstairs to escape the Gargoyle King, where they find Daryl Doiley’s gravestone on Betty’s bed with his name scratched out and replaced with Betty and Alice’s name. Suddenly, who but Billy Loomis himself would show up in the form of FP to save them. It’s a great meta-homage to Scream, but I don’t like the implication from that movie that FP might be the Gargoyle King. Then again, I understand that at some point, in a show full of shady parents, that one of the big three — Alice, FP, or Fred — is going to have to be sacrificed as the villain for the greater good of this show. Fred’s been playing it super low key this season … I’m just saying.
In the meantime, in this week’s episode, Betty — posing as the Gargoyle King — sends invitations to all the parents to meet at Veronica’s speakeasy (which is obviously where the Gargoyle King would want to meet because the Gargoyle King loves alcohol-free cocktails). Betty uses the opportunity to j’accuse each member of the Midnight Club of being the real Gargoyle King now that the prison warden has been scratched off the list of suspects on account of a case of the deads. Hiram seems to be the obvious suspect, but as he tells Jughead later in the episode, he’s not the murderer that Jughead is looking for. Then he sends Sheriff Minetta out to kill the witnesses who framed Archie, which is to say: He’s definitely the murderer that Archie is looking for.
Back at the speakeasy, Camilla cast aspersions on Penelope, who shifts blame to Daryl Doiley, the father of Dilton Doiley who “committed suicide” a few years ago after Penelope rejected him. The conversation doesn’t get much further than that before all the parents take a hike, but it sets Betty on another investigative path. She finds out from the very busy coroner that Daryl didn’t actually kill himself, he was murdered using a poison that Penelope grows in her greenhouse, oleander. However, Penelope shifts blame again, saying she’d never use oleander (because it leaves a trace) and casts suspicion on Alice, who used the Riverdale newspaper to cover up Daryl’s murder by calling it a suicide, when she knew good and well that he was poisoned. Hiram, meanwhile, suggests to Jughead that it could’ve been Keller, Clifford Blossom, Hal Cooper, or even FP.
I’m beginning to believe that all the parents are behind the Gargoyle King and have been working in cahoots all season long to spread the blame around. I don’t think any of them are the Gargoyle King himself, but that the Gargoyle King is playing an I Know What You Did Last Summer trick on all the parents — they did something, and the Gargoyle King is trying to resurface it by drawing attention to their crimes with additional murders. The parents, meanwhile, are trying to silence both the Gargoyle King and the kids trying to investigate his identity.
Alice’s decision at the end of the episode to send Betty to the Sisters Of Quiet Mercy “for her own protection” doesn’t exactly dissuade me from that notion. Alice doesn’t want Betty to find the truth, because the truth would implicate them all. Meanwhile, at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, Betty is greeted with an ominous sign: All the students are painting pictures of the Gargoyle King. Aaaaahhhhhh.
Meanwhile, over in Archie-land, he tries to chase down those witnesses who helped Hiram frame Archie for a murder that he didn’t commit, but Hiram had the Sheriff kill them before Archie can find them. Veronica, however, found video evidence that exonerates Archie, which is also expected to put Sheriff Minetta away for a long time (if the Gargoyle King doesn’t kill him next). However, it’s not enough to keep Archie in town. He calls Veronica to tell her that he’s leaving Riverdale because as long as Hiram wants him dead, he puts everyone else’s life in danger. Jughead decides to tag along, but don’t worry: Both Jughead and Archie will eventually be back (but not before they pay a visit to Jughead’s mom (Gina Gershon) and sister, Jellybean).
— Joaquin was reintroduced to the series a few episodes ago only to be unceremoniously killed off by the Gargoyle King (presumably) this week, but not before revealing that Archie’s prison tattoo is basically a symbol from the game indicating that Archie has to be sacrificed. Poor Joaquin — always a plot device, never a bride.
— Cheryl Blossom had a very important role in this week’s episode: When Josie had a seizure, Cheryl tended to her. The end. Cheryl needs her own spin-off with Josie and Kevin and Pops. They’re all being wasted on Riverdale.
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