Riverdale Season 3 Ep 20 Recap A Slasher Returns

first_img After Betty’s dad apparently died in a prison transport accident at the end of last week’s episode, there was one question on our minds. Is he really dead? Because unless Riverdale shows us a body, I’m gonna assume the answer is no. Betty’s on the same page because she’s one of the few people in this town with a modicum of sense. She’s sure that her dad planned this. He got her to get him a transfer and his bus mysteriously catches fire. That’s fishy. So uh… you ready for more Black Hood. I sure as hell am not. For a show with only 3 episodes left though, it sure is taking this development slowly. Betty gets a call from that creepy coroner. The dental records match. Her father is dead. Yeah… still not definitive enough for this show.For now though, she accepts that evidence as fact and pushes forward with the Gargoyle king investigation. Solving murder mysteries might not be the healthiest way to process grief, but it’s definitely the most fun. Eliminating her dad as the Gargoyle King, she joins Jughead to chase new leads. And as luck would have it, one immediately comes in. Before he died, Kurtz got runic tattoos from the game on his back. The same symbols other victims of both the game and the Ghoulies have had carved into their skin. They question the tattoo artist who reveals someone else got the same ink about a year ago. Right around the time Edgar Evernever showed up.Betty immediately thinks that means Edgar is the Gargoyle King. She has a pretty compelling case too. He uses people’s trauma against them. All the parents in Riverdale have the shared trauma of the Gargoyle King, so it’s natural he could use that. But that would be way too simple a solution for this show. Betty demands Edgar show her his back, and we all know there’s not going to be anything there. Let’s be honest, this scene is here for one reason. Edgar Evernever may be a creepy cult leader, but he’s still Chad Michael Murray. And Chad Michael Murray still looks good without a shirt on.Vanessa Morgan as Toni and Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl. (Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW)So it’s time for a new plan. Betty and Jughead study the game and figure out the best way to meet the Gargoyle King is to become the Griffin Queen. For real this time. And the best way to do that? Make Betty prom queen. Yes, there’s a prom at this school. The show has a fun bit of self-awareness here. “We still do things like that here?” Betty’s path to prom queen just got a lot easier too. Edgar and Evelyn both tell Cheryl to drop out of the race or lose access to the farm. And Jason. As if the neon “CULT” sign over this place couldn’t get any brighter. Also, Cheryl makes a pointed remark towards Evelyn about how she’s pushing 30 and still going to high school. So… this is common knowledge? And she’s still allowed to go here? What kind of school is this?Betty wins easily and at the big dance, receives an invite from the Gargoyle King. She walks out to the hallway alone to meet him just as her name is called as the winner. Isn’t that always how it goes? She comes face to face with the Gargoyle King and demands to know who he is. At gunpoint. You know, with everything else going on, having a character bring a gun to school in 2019 is somehow the least crazy thing to happen this season. I can’t even call it tone deaf because Riverdale’s complete disregard for any semblance of a consistent tone is part of its charm. That said, having it happen as a matter of course like this feels increasingly tasteless in a world where there are multiple school shootings in a year. There just never will be a good time to do this. Turns out Betty and the Gargoyle King aren’t the only ones in the hallway. The Black Hood attacks her from behind. With that, the Gargoyle King is immediately forgotten. Understandable when there’s suddenly a serial killer after you.Lili Reinhart as Betty. (Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW)Riverdale goes full horror movie here, and I love it. It was fun watching Betty and Jughead play detective, and while I’m annoyed it didn’t even gesture at a satisfying conclusion, this was a thrilling way for the story to play out. We have two episodes left of the season, and I imagine the show wants to save all its remaining reveals for later anyway. Watching the Black Hood stalk Betty through the school is scary. It only gets more horrifying as she comes across dead body after dead body. All the while, the Black Hood is dragging his hook across the lockers for added effect. (I’ll let you add your own man door hand hook car door joke here.) The scares reach their peak when the Black Hood traps her in a closet with another dead body. He nearly gets the door open, but hears someone coming and runs off.Fun as the horror movie sequence was, the real interesting part came afterwards. Jughead offers to have Betty stay in their house again now that his mother’s gone. Betty feels she needs to protect her mother and sister. The Black Hood is back, and she’s pretty sure it’s her father. That’s when the episode takes an even more sinister turn. Edgar tells Betty the one place her and her families safety will be guaranteed is on the Farm. After all, it has concrete walls and guards. Betty may not like it, but she agrees to stay. Hmmm. This starting to feel fishy to anyone else? I’m going to guess this was Edgar’s plan all along. He may not be the Gargoyle King, but he could still be affiliated. And orchestrating a prison van accident and the apparent return of a serial killer would be a good way to stop Betty’s snooping. As the episode ends, we’re just wondering one thing. Does this mean Betty will end up falling under Edgar’s spell?KJ Apa as Archie and Camila Mendes as Veronica. (Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW)While the Black Hood well unexpectedly still had some water in it, that’s not the case for the other storyline that keeps coming back. We’re dealing with Archie’s boxing career again. This time, Veronica takes on the role of being his manager. She even gets him into a competition. A legit one this time. All he needs is his mom’s signature. She’s staying in town while his dad’s… away. She refuses to sign the waiver because she doesn’t want Archie boxing. So he does what a lot of kids in this situation do: He forges her signature. No way that comes back to bite him. Kidding, it does almost immediately.His mom says if he’s so into boxing, he do it for a scholarship to the Naval Academy. Because boxing is dangerous, but there’s no place safer than the military. The scout wants to see Archie perform, so she sets up a match… the same day as the tournament. Archie’s confident he can do two fights in one day because he’s a dumbass. He can’t. He loses the first one and collapses in the ring before the second can start. The truth comes out, and Archie tells his mom he doesn’t want to go to school. He wants to see how far his fists can take him. So we’re gonna get a whole lot more of this. Great.Casey Cott as Kevin, Vanessa Morgan as Toni, and Drew Ray Tanner as Fangs Fogarty. (Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW)Riverdale has never really known what to do with Archie, and this boxing story is an extension of that. Archie’s best stories on this show were when he was trying to do right by his friends and screwing it up because he’s still a doofus. He’s not really doing that here, and boxing is always the least interesting part of the show compared to everything else going on. His relationship with his mother gets some nice development here, so that was a plus. Even if it was more out of necessity. This was the first episode shot after Luke Perry’s tragic death. Knowing that, it’s super weird that there wasn’t even an attempt at a goodbye. He’s just “out of town.” There’s no right way to handle this, but ignoring it is just awkward. If there is a bright side, it means Molly Ringwald gets more screentime. That always makes me happy.Also, Veronica has to explain multiple times in this episode that she and Archie are just friends. She wants to support her friend. She’s going to prom with her friend. Because they’re friends, you see. Only friends and nothing more. I’m calling it now, they’re getting back together before the season is over.Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.Previously on Riverdale:Riverdale Season 3 Episode 19 RecapRiverdale Season 3 Episode 18 RecapRiverdale Season 3 Episode 17 Recap Stay on target SDCC 2019: ‘Riverdale’ Cast Spills Details on Core ‘Mystery’ for Season 4Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019 last_img