Riverdale – Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night

Riverdale – Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night | Season 3, Episode 20 | Rating: 7/11 |

For Betty, news that her serial killer of a father died in a crash leaves her suspicious more than upset and she’s convinced that he managed to escape and is still out there. After going to the crash site with Veronica, it’s hard to imagine anyone managed to survive that wreck and she’s still doubtful until Dr. Curdle Jr. says a hand has been recovered and the fingerprints match her father. Betty breathes a sigh of relief, thinking she can get back to her life. She already tried to tell her dismissive mother that Hal had escaped and of course Alice went on about Betty’s desire to live in the world of morbid delusions instead of letting go of her past. Regardless, Betty’s guard is mostly down and now she can focus on other things like prom and the Gargoyle King.

Fresh evidence (thanks to Jughead’s chat with his sister and a walk through Junkyard Steve’s place) reveals a “gospel.” Call it the Gargoyle bible (it’s where he keeps his secrets) or whatever you wish, but it was found in the seat of an abandoned school bus that looks to be the replacement Gargoyle hangout complete with weird things hanging from the ceiling. Further examination reveals a way to summon the King and it involves prom. More on that later…

The lead up to prom is a little odd, although not by Riverdale standards. At first, prom looks like a Fire & Ice theme with Cheryl campaigning to be named prom queen with Toni by her side. However, the Farm takes issue with Cheryl’s campaigning and she’s told to drop the campaign. It’s only when Edgar threatens to take away Cheryl’s access to Jason that she finally concedes and tried to act completely indifferent. She even raises no objections to Jughead and Betty’s suggestion to change the theme at the last minute. Why would they do such a thing? Well, they are hoping to catch the Gargoyle King and unmask him once and for all. There was a bit in the gospel that he could be summoned by the prom queen and right now, it seems like the best and only shot to get at him. The key is to make sure Betty is crowned prom queen and a change of theme from Fire & Ice to Medieval Times can’t hurt matters either. Prom night arrives with the Serpents and the Pretty Poisons working security in the room. Betty is on a solo punch run when she gets a note addressed to the Gryphon Queen who got it from someone, who got it from someone, who got it…. well, you get the idea.

The note says to go to where the first ascension night was held and to come alone or else everyone would pay a price. Betty stupidly follows the directions and does manage to come across the Gargoyle King after exiting the graffitied ladies bathroom just like her mother so many years ago. She asks him to reveal himself and goes so far as to pull a gun on him but the gun is knocked out of her hands by none other than the Black Hood aka daddy, complete with a hook on his hand. He’s literally standing between Betty and the Gargoyle King and what follows next is an immensely terrifying game of cat and mouse where Betty is literally running for her life from her masked father.

She comes upon the dead bodies of students with throats slit for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are a few close calls where it looks like the Black Hood might actually get Betty but she manages to find refuge in a janitorial closet – perhaps the same place where principal Featherhead was found? Betty managed to fend him off until Jughead located her hiding spot in the close with the Black Hood nowhere to be found. Betty, Jughead, and FP come to realize the whole thing was a setup and the following day, Betty goes back to warn her mother. Alice is initially reluctant to believe Betty or even accept the facts because she left it all in the past but when Betty mentions she thinks Hal will be headed for Alice because she spilled the beans about the wedding, Alice looks genuinely worried. When Betty asks what they should do, Edgar suggests that Betty let the Farm protect them. They have strong walls and strong members for protection and Betty, finally gives in and agrees to stay at the Farm.

The Fight Life

Archie is full blown back into fighter mode and Veronica is acting as his manager for now. She’s managed to get him into a major fight, but he needs parental permission before it’s official.

He brings the application home to mom since she’s in town but she flat out refuses to sign it: she’s not behind Archie’s new dreams, not yet at least. Archie does what Archie does and forges her signature anyway, thinking nothing of it. But mom has a change of heart and ends up bringing a Navy recruiter friend to town to have a sit down with Archie. The meeting goes well and Archie agrees to set up a fight while she’s in town so she can see what he’s got. Unfortunately for Archie, the big fight was moved to the same day as his fight to show the Navy lady his stuff. Just Archie’s luck, right? To make matters worse, his weigh-in for the big fight had him overweight and he would have been disqualified but he swore to get those extra pounds off in five days time. For Archie, this meant overwork and undereating to the point of being nearly worked to death. Plus after losing the first fight and making Veronica drive him back to the second fight, his hobbled and depleted body collapsed when he entered the ring.

Later he awoke in the office with his mother by his side where he was able to tell her he wasn’t interested in the Navy option and she told him she supports his new ambition, just as long as he’s safe about it.

The Tattoos

Kurtz had some tattoos on his back, which were the same markings that were carved on Dilton, Baby Teeth and Ben. According to the gospel, you need those markings in order to ascend and it looks like Kurtz was cheating by having them tattooed on. Betty and Jughead tracked down the guy who did them for Kurtz and it turns out he wasn’t the only one to get them. A year ago, a guy came in and asked for the same tattoos but wouldn’t give a name or let a camera near him. Evidence suggests that Edgar was the first to get the tattoos, but a shirtless Chad Michael Murray (yummy!) shows us this is not the case. The question remains is who could the sandy-haired, blue-eyed man be?

Other Notes:

  • Hiram gave Veronica a fake deed to Pop’s. He still owns it and he’s getting money on both ends of the deal. She obviously wants some form of revenge and enlists Archie for help so they can take Hiram down for good. Of course, he says yes.
  • Did I mention Archie and Veronica were prom dates? Just as friends, though. For now…
  • Alice got an infinity tattoo on her wrist and she thinks of it as an engagement ring. Others in the Farm have a similar tattoo.
  • Cheryl is having second thoughts about the Farm after not being allowed to run for prom queen. Humility is not her strength and the whole thing is starting to make less sense for her.