“Prom is this weekend? We still do things like that here?”
Yes. Yes you do, Ronnie. But as ever, in the most Riverdale of fashions, with serial killers, a Ren Faire theme and rigged Prom Queen elections.
This week Riverdale took a little bit of time to get back to its roots again: high school. And while the kids faced the usual unusual, there was also a bit of the kids being a bit, will, like the 17-year-olds they supposedly are.
The largest and most obvious reminder of how young these kids are was the presence of Molly Ringwald again as Mary Andrews. This episode marked the first after Luke Perry’s death. Her entrance is clunky (she gets more screen time in this episode than Perry did all season), but how on earth could it have gone smoothly?
Fred takes off on a business trip, leaving Mary to head from Chicago to watch over Archie. She realises his growing fondness for boxing and shows some reasonable reluctance towards the latest hobby.
Behind his mom’s back, Archie signs up for a big fight. Of course this leads to issues when Mary introduces him to her friend at a Naval academy. She tells Archie about their boxing program, and he only seems slightly interested. But to please his mom, he agrees to an exhibition fight. Conveniently this conflicts with the regional classic that he signed up for in secret.
Meanwhile, speaking of sneaking, Betty begins investigating her father’s fate after the bus that was transporting him crashed. When she speaks to the coroner, she learns that he can confirm her father’s death.
But let’s face it: none of us are convinced here. Including Betty.
Betty gets another call from the coroner, this time to see a body. The coroner shows her and Jughead the boy’s back, which is covered in G&G tattoos.
They go to a tattoo artist (presumably the only one in Riverdale?) and ask him about the marks. He tells them that he did a similar one for another man a year earlier. One with sandy hair and blue eyes. Betty immediately assumes that it’s Edgar Evernever, but it’s pretty clear her prejudice is making her jump to conclusions. It also describes her own father…and Chic.
Jughead shows Betty the book he had fond on the Gargoyle’s bus. It’s a sort of Gargoyle King “gospel”. They discover that there is a way to lure the king out by crowning a queen (and who better than Betty?).
At the most delicious 80’s Fantasy Prom, the couple get to work. Using the Pretty Poison’s help, they rig the Prom Queen election in Betty’s favour.
But she’s called away via fancy invite by the Gargoyle King, and she isn’t even there for the crowning. Like her mother years before, Betty goes into the ladies’ toilets and finds the chalices. She leaves the bathroom and comes face-to-face with the Gargoyle King AND a Black Hood WITH A HOOK!
For what might be the first time ever, Betty is shook. Turns out scared Betty isn’t totally convincing, but as she stumbles across body after body of fellow classmates, her fear increases. She’s eventually found by Jughead, and all the excitement ends for the night.
But with two serial killers on the loose, Betty doesn’t feel safe. She goes to find Alice, and before she can convince her mother to go into hiding, Edgar offers her security inside The Farm. And Betty actually accepts it.
So who is the real Black Hood this time? Is it Hal? Did Hal cause the bus to crash a la Michael Myers and manage to get a hook? Is it Chic? Is it Edgar? (He has shown off his clean, and sculpted, back.)
I don’t know. MTV was at my prom, and even I can’t say that was half as much fun as Riverdale’s.