Riverdale – Chapter Fifty: American Dreams

Riverdale – Chapter Fifty: American Dreams | Season 3, Episode 15 | Rating: 8/11 |

Moving on Up

As it turns out, the damage caused by Betty and the candle was not so severe as to burn the house down; it just caused a little damage. Perhaps what’s a little more damaging is finding out that the anonymous buyer is actually Gladys Jones.

There was a very awkward run in when Gladys took the family to see the house she bought for them. While Jughead and FP wondered aloud why they were at the Cooper house, who should walk out but Alice to see the whole Jones family back together. Alice insists she wants nothing more to do with the house and it’s not a big deal, but she did decide to go visit FP later to find out where they stand. Needless to say, Gladys coming back to town and still technically being married to FP was enough for him to call a halt to whatever might have been between him and Alice. It’s a sad moment for Falice fans but Alice has the Farm and FP has his whole family back together.

Speaking of FP, he’s turning 50 and can’t believe he made it this far. Gladys threw him a birthday party at La Bonne Nuit (I guess she’s back in good graces) and she is doing an excellent job of playing the loving housewife. Jughead, on the other hand, isn’t buying into this so much, confronts his mother about what her true intentions are and she lies. His suspicions get confirmed when Betty spills that a source is saying Fizzle Rocks are coming back and Gladys has something to do with it. This source is Veronica who, of course, has intimate knowledge of the whole matter (she finally spilled the beans when Betty slept over) and Jughead confirms it after the Serpents make some inquiries around town.

Once again Jughead confronted his mother and she came clean with a rousing spiel about what they had to do to get by and survive as a family, and the trouble and sacrifices they made to have the American dream. Gladys sees this as finally giving FP what he’s always wanted: a house on the right side of the tracks. She also threatens Jughead with the thought that if FP knew his new house came from drug money, it would break him and possibly for the last time. Jughead definitely feels conflicted but after giving a rousing birthday toast to his father, he tells Betty his plan is to protect Jellybean, save FP, and run his mother out of town. On the plus side, Jughead and Archie will be next-door neighbors now.

On the Rocks

It looks like splitsville for a few of Riverdale’s young couples. While Toni and Cheryl have been rocky for a while, things are getting bad for Reggie and Veronica, too. Reggie has sacrificed a lot for Veronica and he’s worn a lot of different hats: pit boss, bartender, bouncer, and a mind to bounce things off of amongst other things. He’s done a lot for La Bonne Nuit and as such, Reggie wants to be made a partner…but Veronica is not biting.

It’s not that she doesn’t know what Reggie brings, but it’s that she thinks it’s unwise for her to go down that road right now. Or so she says. Clearly, things aren’t running smoothly and everything culminates when Reggie attempts and fails to steal his car back from Gladys Jones (which she took as part of the collateral for the money owed). Veronica and Reggie fight, especially because it was a stupid thing to do when they were so close to paying everyone off. Hear that Veronica? The “we” in your sentence?

The next day Reggie and Veronica have a sit-down. He wants to be more than the errand guy and the occasional hookup. He wants to matter and he feels like he’s not getting anything in return for all the time and energy that he’s invested. We also can’t forget that he robbed his father’s dealership and got grazed by a bullet in the process all to get some quick cash for Veronica. He also asks sadly if they would even be dating if it weren’t for the speakeasy. Veronica comes back with a probably not and reminds Reggie of her breakup with Archie which she also cites as a reason for going slow. When Reggie says he just wants what he’s owed Veronica pulls out the keys to his car. She bought it back from Gladys and now no one owes anyone anything. Damn.


For Cheryl and Toni, things could not be more different. It’s clear that Cheryl is getting jealous of Toni spending her time with the Pretty Poisons instead of with her – Cheryl even booked an impromptu spring break vacation with Toni who had already made road-tripping plans with the girls. The two are clearly on different wavelengths. After Cheryl stops by La Bonne Nuit to bring some goodwill muffins and sees Toni on stage singing with Veronica, it’s game on. Cheryl enters looking like a complete bombshell in a smoking hot red dress and Toni is immediately suspicious. Turns out she had good reason given Cheryl showed up that evening in an attempt to rob the place. However, Toni knew Cheryl was casing La Bonne Nuit and that Cheryl wanted Toni to know what she was up to. The two have a steamy makeout session before they take the time to talk about what’s really going on.

Toni is under the impression that Cheryl is jealous of not being the one in control and Cheryl thinks Toni prefers to spend her time with the lady gang instead of with her. There’s a squabble about Toni not feeling like she has a place in Cheryl’s house and “their room” is really just Cheryl’s room with Toni in it. They come to the conclusion that perhaps they moved too fast and Toni is asked to leave. At first glance, it seemed like they just needed some space, but it’s clear from Cheryl’s anger when she speaks with Kevin that the relationship is over.

As student body president Cheryl told Kevin Riverdale High is doing the musical version of Heathers, Cheryl will be playing Heather Chandler, and Kevin will be directing. Originally the Farm was sponsoring Godspell, but Cheryl totally nixed that since she needs a place to focus her rage. Hopefully, there will be no dead bodies in this musical production.


Archie took Jughead’s advice and is working on a way to no longer be a marked man. He starts by going to the least likely person for help: Hiram Lodge. Jughead discovered there are multiple “Kill the Red Paladin” cards all made at the same time and from the same stock and Archie wants to know how many cards are out there. Hiram discloses he had a “round dozen” made and his runners distributed them out at various locations. Hiram was even kind enough to make a list of where Archie could look to get those cards back. When Archie, Jughead, and Betty go out to investigate, they find the cards are already gone and it’s an advanced quest so the card won’t come up right away. Jughead gets a brilliant idea to force everyone’s hand; they fabricate an addendum to the quest to give it an end and then distribute it as if it came from the Gargoyle King. The new “quest” involves challenging the Red Paladin to a fight: he has 12 hours to defend his mountaintop and if he succeeds, the mark of sacrifice is lifted.

Once again, Archie goes to Hiram and asks for a place to host th quest and Hiram just happens to have recently acquired a city block that has a derelict boxing gym. The Serpents dressed as Gargoyles hand out the flyers in an attempt to get everyone with a card out in the open. The rules are simple: 1) the card is the cost of entry, 2) you have three minutes to fight, 3) no weapons, 4) if you fall to the ground, you’re out, and 5) whomever knocks Archie down wins. One by one, Archie fights everyone who shows up, holding his ground until the final guy comes in: Warden Norton’s lapdog and Archie’s guard, Captain Go Lightly, and you can tell he’s out for blood. It looks like Archie might finally fall but he manages to land a beautiful uppercut and Captain Go Lightly goes down. Archie may be a little worse for wear having just fought 10 people, but he’s no longer a marked man in this game.

When Archie goes to return the keys to Hiram, he insists Archie keep the gym as compensation and amends for everything that’s happened up till now. Perhaps Hiram is turning over a new leaf in his life? We shall have to wait and see.

Other Notes:

  • Jughead sweetly suggested Betty could stay in her old room, but she’s opting to stay with Veronica until she figures things out.
  • The Serpents will be having ride-a-longs with deputies and go through basic training as part of their transformation into law keepers. How exciting!
  • That little speech of support Fred gave to FP at his birthday party, I just can’t.