Riverdale – Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper

Riverdale – Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper | Season 3, Episode 19 | Rating: 6/11 |

The Fallout

The aftermath of Archie’s fight with Randy Ronson takes a somewhat surprising, but not altogether expected, turn. Randy is in the hospital and they are unable to save his life. As per Elio’s standards, he places the blame solely and squarely on Archie, calling him a murderer. In fact, Elio goes so far as to say Archie was the one juicing, denying that he gave Randy anything, and had no knowledge of what Randy was putting in his body. To cap it all, his only surviving family wants Archie’s head on a platter.

Archie, overwhelmed with guilt, wants to do something to clear his name and help the family. A press conference goes horribly wrong but, thanks to some help from Veronica, they hold a fundraiser at Pop’s to support the family, with Josie as the main attraction. As if Elio couldn’t get any slimier, he denies Ronson’s family the insurance payout but wants to give Archie his winnings for the fight and recruit him as a fighter, giving him the moniker, “The Reaper.” What a douche.

While Archie initially declines to take the money from Elio, he does go back to Elio for the cash after hearing about the denied insurance payout. Between Archie’s fight winnings and the contribution from the fundraiser at Pop’s, Archie has some money to give Ronson’s family as some small consolation. All is somewhat forgiven between Archie and Ms. Ronson, however, we come to find out that Elio’s boxing gym is being bankrolled by none other than Hiram Lodge. During a steam room conversation, we find Elio frustrated by his recent encounter with Archie and Hiram still willing to invest in Elio’s gym and also wanting revenge on Archie. It seems Hiram remembers that Archie was at the hospital to shoot him and that’s the Archie Hiram is going after, truce or not.

Betty’s Nightmare

Betty’s battle with the Farm has reached an all-time high and the refrain is becoming fairly predictable if not downright humorous. I imagine if I were in Betty’s shoes I might be some mixture of annoyed/terrified, but the way the whole thing is playing out is like some bad horror flick. Let me explain…

Toni is Betty’s newest inside gal to provide Betty with information for the purpose of getting their respective family members out of the clutches of this cult. Sounds all good, right? Well, not so much. Prompted by a comment from Evelyn, Betty breaks into Riverdale High at night to check on Evelyn’s school records (I’d like to take a moment to say, I wish I had Betty’s skills with a lock and a bobby pin, but I digress). Betty’s findings in Evelyn’s transfer records lead to more questions than answers and our Betty begins a deep dive. It turns out Evelyn has been to multiple high schools over multiple years, repeating her junior year each time. Betty hands this information over to her social worker contact who further finds out that not only is Evelyn long past high school age, she’s Edgar Evernever’s wife, not his daughter.

Of course, Betty rallies immediately to save her niece and nephew, whom Edgar wants to adopt and to prevent her mother’s impending marriage to Edgar. After a suggestion from her father, Betty reaches out to her Aunt Penelope for help getting the kids out. Penelope is only able to negotiate the release of one Blossom baby but Betty isn’t satisfied. Betty reaches out to her inside gal, Toni, for help and manages to sneak in to steal baby number two but takes a detour when she thinks she might be caught. Toni leads her straight to a room with all of Betty’s people and when Betty asks what’s going on, Toni’s reply is, “Only what has been foretold.” Now, Betty is trapped in a room with Edgar, Evelyn, her mother, Kevin, Fangs, her sister, Cheryl, Toni, and others.

When Betty asks Toni what happened, Toni proclaims she’s finally found her family and happiness that she’s always longed for. Edgar tries to persuade Betty to join since everyone she knows is always there and the group begins to chant along like some perverted ritual. For the briefest moment, Betty considers the notion, but then remembers her vision of seeing the twins dropped over the fire and floating into the air back home. She makes a run for it with Edgar telling everyone to get her. Betty manages to make it to her car in time and lock the doors but everyone is banging on her car like some rendition of zombies trying to get at the only fresh meat in sight. Thankfully, Betty makes it out of there intact.

And if you’re wondering what her mother said about Evelyn being Edgar’s wife and not his daughter, Alice said she already knew as there were no secrets. Yeah, she’s gone off the deep end.

The Quest

When we last left the Jones family, Jellybean had been kidnapped by that tiny wannabe Gargoyle terror in the form of Ricky and older Gargoyle terror/annoyance, Kurtz, said the family had to complete a quest to get her back. After much debate in the household, they decide the best option is to play the game.

The game starts with character picks and FP is aptly given deadeye, Jughead is hellcaster and Gladys is given the alchemist card to no one’s surprise. The game starts off with some simple stuff including truth-telling whereby Gladys finally comes clean to FP about being the new Fizzle Rocks drug lord in town. That family fallout is quickly mitigated by a quest card, which involves committing a robbery. The three of them storm Pop’s for cash and FP gets shot in the process by Pop Tate. FP reveals himself so Pop won’t kill him while Gladys and Jughead make a run for it. The next quest involves battling the Cyclops and who should appear but Penny Peabody.

Despite impressions of her being dispatched by Gladys Jones, it turns out she only took an eye for an eye. Gladys and Penny must fight it out once and for all. The battle isn’t long and the two land blows on each other but Gladys comes out victorious but slightly broken. After dropping Gladys off at the hospital, it’s just Jughead and Kurtz with one final mission. Jughead is blindfolded and taken to a location that’s akin to a junkyard. Kurtz is under the impression this is his last gig and he can take the money from Pop’s and blow this town, but he needs Jughead to finish this last task. It’s something like picking which chalice doesn’t have the poison in it only it’s two marked old refrigerators and one is supposed to have Jellybean and the other death. But the whole thing is a gambit as both fridges are empty and Jughead needs to get in one to secure his sister’s freedom. A quick call to verify she’s safe (and consequently back home) gets Jughead in the fridge, which Kurtz closes and latches shut with a screwdriver. Jughead does manage to break the feeble lock and escape and what he finds is a dead Kurtz on the ground and the Gargoyle King menacing close by. Jughead grabs the truck, gets outta dodge and heads back home where his sister is safe.

Ultimately, everyone is safe but the fallout of Gladys’ deception is too great and she leaves the house, despite Jughead’s insistence that she stay. We don’t know if Fizzle Rocks are gone for good but the kingpin has left town for now.

Other Notes:

  • Josie wants to go on the road with her dad and get out of Riverdale. She gets her wish to try her hand at the real world so she breaks it off with Archie saying they were “never endgame” and it’s the sweetest breakup I’ve ever seen.
  • This episode showed how much Veronica is still in Archie’s corner so maybe there’s a chance for reigniting that flame?
  • Betty and Veronica sat down with Hiram and asked if he could help transfer Betty’s father to Hiram’s new prison. Hiram looks into it and ultimately is able to get the transfer but then tragedy strikes. The van transferring all the prisoners is in a wreck and apparently there are no survivors. However, this is Riverdale so that could be totally bogus. We shall have to wait and see.