Riverdale ep. 3.8 “Chapter Forty-Three: Outbreak”

One thing Riverdale is good at is topping its own insanity. Kill off one boy? Try a serial killer next season. Caught the serial killer? Test the waters with drug-induced visions of Gargoyles.

This show loves to out-do itself so how do wrap up mid-season? With a quarantine, obviously!

The seizures in Riverdale have begun to spread at a more rapid pace. Namely hitting the entirety of the Vixens all at once (minus Cheryl). This prompts the Lodges to try and persuade Veronica that she needs to leave to go to NYC. Of course she doesn’t want to. She’s Veronica. So she begins to do some digging on why her parents are acting to desperate.

They even get the school quarantined, and all the Fizzle Rock-addled students have to be dragged out.

She and Cheryl work together, crashing an emergency school board meeting. Veronica confronts her father about the things we now know as truths: he’s a drug dealer, the prison-builders are making those drugs, and the drugs are being tested on the children at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy.

But before the girls can get to the bottom of anything, Penelope Blossom has a seizure. She’s ok, though, and the girls later torture her with maple syrup for information on Hiram.

In the land of the convent, Betty continues the good fight (surprise, surprise she wasn’t as broken as she appeared last episode). She eventually gets Ethel to join her side by locking Ethel in the Gargoyle King’s room until the drugs wear off her. Betty later explains to Ethel that while there is likely a real GK out there, he doesn’t live in the convent.

Together, the girls work to capture Sister Woodhouse. They manage to get her to admit the truth behind G&G. She explains to them that the children in the convent invented the game to cope with the trauma that they faced – particularly when they were in a room with a creepy gargoyle statue.

One they know the truth, they decide to get the other children out. They begin to role play – the only way to get the other girls to listen. Betty poses as the Gargoyle Queen, which goes down great! All the teens in the building leave, with no place to go.

But the other two wanderers, Archie and Jughead, end up at their final destination: with Jughead’s sister and mom. Gladys Jones seems pleased to see her son and his friend, but the reunion is awkward. Things become even more strained when Penny Peabody arrives after stalking the boys. I mean, I know there’s a bounty…but isn’t she a legit lawyer? Doesn’t she have better things to do?

Gladys tortures Penny (as is the theme of this week’s episode) and learns that Hiram is planning something massive for Riverdale. Not only is he after Archie, but anyone who helps him. That means Jughead…and Fred, who later arrives to help his son over the border into Canada (I think).

Archie dyes his hair dark and heads off into the woods with only Vegas at his side. FP (who arrived with Fred) takes Jughead back to Riverdale, but they’re told to go away.

Hermione and Hiram pulled the trigger and quarantined the entire city. Without outside interference, it appears as though the fate of the town lies solely with the Lodges.

It’s revealed that Hiram is indeed in cahoots with the Gargoyle King, who appears to just be chilling in Hiram’s office, enjoying the soft fireplace glow? It’s certainly one of the strangest directions Riverdale has ever gone in. Hiram, who at one point seemed simply surface-level ass hole, has now fully upgraded to being 100% mad.

This is why we’re all here, isn’t it? If we made it through season 2, all of us who are left are just those of us who enjoy this show at maximum crazy. And really, where can they even take it after this?

But it feels like we’re a lot less deep into the mystery than usual at mid-season. I imagined the Farm to be much more relevant than it has so far. But anyway, I’m intrigued. What will happen to the Jonses? Will they adopt Fred so that they can get up to shenanigans alone?

Who knows! I sure will never be able to guess. See you all in January.

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