Riverdale ep. 3.17 recap “Chapter Fifty-Two: The Raid”

Kids, cults are a dangerous thing. When you’re a child, you should be taught this, just as much as you learn “look both ways before crossing the street” and “don’t play with fire”.

Clearly all lessons that you don’t learn when you’re in the Cooper family (but I suppose when one parent is a serial killer, maybe you’re off the hook).

Betty has decided, though, to go against all common sense and really go for the Farm. After attending an opening day at the Farm with Veronica, she manages to convince Cheryl to go to the Farm as her spy. Betty thinks this is a good idea because Evelyn already tried to sign-up Cheryl for the cult fun squad.

But this is of course a very bad idea just because Evelyn already tried to recruit Cheryl.

Cheryl enters the Farm premises with full determination to learn more about her head brother, Jason. She wears a mic to her interview where she manages to have a chat with Edgar. He listens to her, and he gets to the heart of her issues following Jason’s death. Betty learns from listening in that Edgar records all of his conversations with the Farm members.

And, unsurprisingly, Cheryl becomes infatuated with the cult. Betty tries to get Cheryl to leave to no avail. But she does break into the Farm and steal back the tapes from her family and Cheryl. But even when she tries to get Cheryl to leave, Cheryl admits she doesn’t want to go because she’s “seen” and spoken to Jason in the flesh.

Which, considering how long he’s been dead doesn’t really sound ideal.

But it does get to the heart about why people are obsessed with the cult. Betty adds the new information together and realises that her mother is so attached to the cult because she gets to see her dead son.

Archie, meanwhile, reunites with his old cellmate, Mad Dog. He gets a call from the boy, alerting him that the inmates at the juvenile detention centre are being moved to Hiram’s new prison. Apparently filling up the cells for opening day is a big deal (but all that says to me is that Hiram just really didn’t plan for future development and growth! Who wants to be completely filled immediately? Poor business planning, everyone.)

Archie, with Veronica’s help, manages to convince the governor to release the young men. The boys all go to stay at Archie’s new boxing gym. Giving them a home, but not really any purpose.

But Mad Dog brings worse news: his family’s apartment have been taken over by drug-making Gargoyles.

Jughead agrees to help Archie remove the gang from the building. This is one of the dumbest ideas that the boys have ever had. Jughead continues to be in hot water with his parents. One for trying to destroy her drug business and the other for getting in the way of his drug-busting.

But the boys go into the apartment building anyway. And it’s hardly surprising when the Gargoyles react with guns a-blazin’. Nothing really comes of it other than a lot of scrapes and bruises.

Following the unsuccessful purge, Mad Dog admits to Archie that he wants to box for Elio. He gets a house out of it for his grandma and little brother. AND he gets paid! For an ex-con, it doesn’t actually sound like a bad deal. Even if Archie isn’t convinced.

Why aren’t we getting any scenes of Veronica acting as a child? She’s always been the most mature of the group, but parading around as a business woman while trying to salvage her parents’ marriage is a little bit tedious. The mafia plotline of season 2 was definitely the worst, and continues to be the worst thing about season 3.


She decides to send dead fish to her mother, in hopes of convincing her father to stay and “protect” Hermione. This apparently works, but I suppose if you’re in a mafia, you deal with the fallout?

Either way, no one made the best decisions they could this week. Jughead in particular is getting a bit tedious. What happened to the “I’m a weirdo” weirdo? This birthday-hating child has become a full-on blockhead almost to the point where his motives don’t make sense anymore.

But where would Riverdale be without characters making silly decisions? I suppose our lives would all be more simple and happier… Sort of sounds like a certain comic book series I’ve heard of…

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