Riverdale – Chapter Thirty-Six: Labor Day

Riverdale – Chapter Thirty-Six: Labor Day | Season 3, Episode 1 | Rating: 8/11 |

Riverdale is finally back and it’s the start to a whole new batch of weird and crazy. Let’s unpack the premiere, shall we?

The Trial

We knew from previews that Archie was in jail, but it’s a bit of a surprise to see him in court during closing statements. Momma Andrews has come back to defend her son and while she gives a good closing, the mood isn’t very confident.

The judge ends up sequestering the jury so they can finish deliberations over the weekend and recommends Archie (apparently out on bail) take the time to spend with friends and family.  When he’s back in court after the long Labor Day weekend, the foreman says the jury is hopelessly deadlocked and no amount of time will change minds. Upon the declaration of a mistrial, the prosecutor offers Archie a deal: two years in juvenile detention and much to everyone’s surprise Archie takes the deal and off to jail he goes. It’s a terrible way to repay Betty for spending her summer working on his trial, not to mention the fact that he is innocent. But Noble Archie is back and he’s decided this is his way of paying for all the horrible stuff he did with Hiram and it’s a way to spare his friends the anguish of another trial.

Meanwhile, Mom is going to work on an appeal for Archie from Chicago and you can bet that Veronica, Betty, and Jughead are going to work out a way to clear his name.

The Long Weekend

Before getting hauled off to jail, Archie smartly takes the judge’s advice and spends his time with his dad and Betty fixing up that vintage car he bought at the end of last season. He also goes to the local swimming hole with Veronica, Betty, and Jughead where they enjoy a swim, sitting around a campfire and some respective sexy times. He also fails to break up with Veronica because she’s sticking by his side no matter what. There’s also Cheryl’s massive pool party to attend which ends with the rescue of the only Serpent Dog, Hot Dog, from the Ghoulie hangout on the Southside. Another fight almost broke out but, thankfully, Cheryl brought her bow and arrow and after a well-aimed shot to the shoulder of a henchman, the rescue crew all made it out alive with Hot Dog in tow.

At the Cooper residence, Betty is clearly avoiding the rest of her family as much as she possibly can until she gets called out by her sister Polly for filling fake Adderall prescriptions and lying about seeing a therapist. Betty also doesn’t want to hear what her mother and sister have to say about coping with the trauma of having a serial killer in the family. It probably doesn’t help that her mother reads like someone who recently joined a cult, even if her advice is good and genuine. Betty later comes to realize that her mother and sister are right: even though she doesn’t want to slow down and face everything, it’s probably for the best that she get off the Adderall and see a therapist for real. We think things are going in a better direction for her until she comes home to a weird ritual/ceremony in her backyard with strangers around a fire along with her mother and sister holding up the twins as if for a sacrifice.

They both drop the twins and seem to literally fly up of their own accord when Betty faints and starts having a seizure. Oh dear.

The Mystery

Dilton Doiley and a new kid, Ben, appear to be of the Dungeons & Dragons persuasion and Dilton is behaving especially weird and awkward: he’s been at Pop’s, he’s been to Cheryl’s pool party, and he showed up looking for Jughead when he wasn’t home. Just before Archie’s trial resumes, he enters and starts raving to Jughead about how he thought it was just a game but the Gargoyle King is real. Jughead asks him to wait at the trailer until he gets back from Archie’s trial. Upon return, Dilton is gone but left a map which shows squares, but the overlay is clearly Riverdale. Jughead (stupidly) follows the map alone to find the Gargoyle King statue and the two kids at the base of it, apparently bowing down. All we know by the end is that one kid is alive but spitting up blue foam like rabies mixed with blue cotton candy and the other seems unresponsive.

Other Notes:

  • So what’s up with the Serpent tattoos this season? They look like they were painted on at a local fair. By the by, Archie now has a Serpent “tattoo.”
  • Kevin and Moose still seem to be a thing and Kevin has set a timeframe for them to lose their virginity. Moose seems worried.
  • For all those upset at Hiram, we felt a little vindication when Fred punched him in the face at Archie’s trial. Not in the courtroom, obviously, but he did get the only blow.
  • Speaking of Hiram, he’s punishing Veronica for choosing Archie over blood. Okay, psycho.
  • Veronica and her mother had a lovely moment of understanding where it was laid out to Veronica that she enjoys certain protections Hermione does not since she’s his daughter.

Quote of the Week:

  • “I’m a prisoner, Veronica, but I am not his puppet.” Hermione Lodge