|“||At 8:47 on a Wednesday morning, Archie Andrews died. At least, the Archie we knew. What returned to Riverdale was something far different from the red-headed boy-next-door. He was now a stranger, with dark hair and scars both inside and out.||”|
SAT PREP – With SAT's around the corner, Alice and FP urge Jughead and Betty to stop investigating G&G and start focusing on their SAT prep. However, when Alice takes things one step too far, Betty is forced to come face-to-face with someone from her past. Finally, Jughead makes a bold move against the Gargoyle Gang.
At 8:47 on a Wednesday morning, Archie died. At least a part of him did. Archie now seems fine and completely healed from the wounds he suffered when he was attacked by a bear. Now he and Vegas have returned to Riverdale. He returns home and is greeted by Fred with a hug. Over breakfast, Archie shares with his father how he was attacked in the woods and how he woke up in the hospital knowing that he couldn’t continue to run, and that it was time to come home to regain a sense of normalcy. As for Hiram, Archie can no longer live his life in fear of when Hiram may come after him. Furthermore, Archie’s more concerned for his father, who reminds Archie that he survived the Black Hood twice and that Hiram doesn’t scare him. Not to mention that Fred also has friends in town. He then asks Archie about Veronica and whether or not he’s spoken to her.
Archie surprises Veronica at La Bonne Nuit. Veronica hugs him before asking a series of questions, from where he’s been to why he dyed his hair. Archie explains that he did so to keep from being recognized in case Hiram came looking for him. Archie apologizes for having left her, though Veronica’s simply happy that he’s back, and the two proceed to kiss at the bar.
Afterward, Archie and Veronica convene upstairs at Pop’s with Betty and Jughead. Jughead notes the dramatic changes with Archie both inside and out. As for what he missed while he was gone, Veronica informs him of the town quarantine orchestrated by her father, which resulted in Pop’s being shut down and just recently re-opening. Hiram’s also been attacking shipments to the speakeasy, but thankfully, Veronica’s hired the Serpents as her full-time protection. And that service extends to Archie. Jughead assures Archie he has no need to worry about Hiram as he has the Serpents looking out for Archie 24/7. Also, Jughead has a possible lead that may bring an end to it all. He had Fangs go undercover in the Gargoyle Gang. While he hasn’t met the Gargoyle King yet, when he does, they are going to take the him down. Jughead is certain that Hiram is the man under the mask, which would come as no surprise to Veronica. Betty then mentions the SATs, which has completely slipped Archie’s mind, and they are coming up Saturday. Betty assures Archie that they will all help him study. Pop Tate then returns to their table to inform Betty that her card has been declined, and so Veronica steps in to take care of the bill.
Betty returns home and confronts her mother after learning from the Bank of Riverdale that all of her accounts, including her college fund has been completely drained of assets. Alice explains that her funds were transferred. Most of it was blood money that Betty inherited from the Blossoms anyways. Alice tells Betty that it was wired to the Farm as a tax-deductible donation. To help support the children that Betty freed from the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Betty is distraught that her mother just gave away her tuition money, to which Alice replies that Betty can always study at the Farm for free. However, Betty refuses to be cornered into joining the Farm.
Fred and FP pay a visit to Hiram at the Pembrooke to inform him of Archie’s return. Hiram pretends to be pleased by this revelation, claiming that he’s never wished any harm to Archie. Or to even Jughead for that matter. Fred warns Hiram, threatening to kill him should he come after Archie. Moreover, Fred will be at peace with whatever the consequences of that are.
Archie goes to see Mr. Weatherbee as he continues his transition back into his life at Riverdale High. Weatherbee advises him to be realistic in terms of his goals. The SATs are approaching and Archie hasn’t had much of a chance to prepare. Mr. Weatherbee strongly recommends that Archie repeat his junior year, meaning he won’t graduate with his friends.
Reggie approaches Veronica at her locker and tries to kiss her, but she pulls away. He asks if something’s wrong as she didn’t text him back the night before. Veronica informs him that Archie’s back. While Veronica and Reggie may have kissed, she can’t tell him that it happened, her being his ex-girlfriend and Reggie being a close friend. Reggie understands and falls back. He wonders how Archie’s doing, to which Veronica explains that he’s unsettled and stressed. While she can’t do anything about the former, the latter, she can help with.
Betty visits attorney McCoy at the Five Seasons in search of counsel. She's wondering if her mother transferring her funds to the Farm can be reversed. Sierra explains that Alice can do this so long as both of Betty’s parents sign off to release her funds, and according to the documents, it looks like her father signed, however, that would be impossible as Alice never goes to see Hal. She must’ve forged his signature. In that case, Betty’s needs to get her father to sign an affidavit, attesting to the fact that he never agreed to liquidate Betty’s funds.
At the Pembrooke, Penelope and Claudius inform Hiram that the Sisters of Quiet Mercy asylum is up for auction. It appears to be a competitive situation with multiple bidders, including the Farm. Hiram however has other plans for the property, which doesn’t include Penelope’s brothel. The reason Hiram summoned them is because they need a new sheriff, and he’s nominated Claudius, who initially refuses as the last sheriff was killed, but is strong-armed into the position by Hiram.
Jughead and Betty help Archie study for the SATs as promised. Unfortunately, Archie performed terribly on the practice test, scoring in the bottom ten percentile. Jughead then gets a message from Fangs, warranting his immediate attention, and so Archie and Betty stay behind to finish studying. However, Archie is starting to feel hopeless. But Betty reminds him that he said the same thing in the 2nd grade when he couldn’t read, and eventually Betty got him caught up. Archie contemplates on whether Weatherbee was right and that he has changed too much. In one respect, that may be true, but Betty knows that the Archie she knew still exists.
Jughead meets with Fangs in the bunker, where Fangs reveals that he’s successfully infiltrated the Gargoyle Gang. The Gargoyle King is impressed by Fangs’ Fizzle Rocks sales and wants to invite him into the Inner Circle. They’re having a ceremony tomorrow night in Fox Forest and the Gargoyle King will be there. Jughead wants Fangs to attend the ceremony, but he does make a point to reassure him that he’ll have back up.
Back at Archie’s house, Betty has convinced Archie to wash out the dark colored dye from his hair, restoring it to its natural fiery color. She then takes him to La Bonne Nuit, where a welcome home party awaits him. In attendance is Veronica, Jughead, Reggie, Kevin, and many others. Archie, Betty, and Jughead take a seat as Veronica sings on stage for Archie. Not far away, Reggie sits visibly annoyed, though this goes unnoticed by all. As Veronica continues to sing, Archie seems to become overwhelmed by all his grief and suffering, taking off right in the middle of Veronica’s performance.
Betty visits her father in prison for the first time. She shows him the documents with his forged signature on it, explaining that her mother stole her college funds and so now Betty needs Hal to sign an affidavit that says the signature is a forgery. In reading the papers recently, Hal’s found himself compelled by the Gargoyle King, whose claimed 14 souls, which Hal states as being remarkable. He knows that it greatly angers Betty that she hasn’t caught him yet and even offers to help her. However, Betty’s only interested in her funds being returned. Hal tells Betty to bring him the Gryphons and Gargoyles manual that he’s heard so much about and then he’ll be more than willing to sign the affidavit.
Reggie and Veronica discuss Archie’s recent strange behavior, though Veronica does come to his defense, claiming that it all may be a bit too overwhelming for him, being back in Riverdale and all. However, the Archie they both saw last night is a different person. As for what this may mean for Archie and Veronica’s relationship, Veronica's too afraid to say out loud.
Reggie enters the locker room and picks a fight with Archie, referring to how he "stormed out of the speakeasy like a little bitch." A statement that doesn’t sit well with Archie. It is then that Reggie notices the scars on his body. Archie reveals to Reggie that he was attacked by a bear. Reggie reasons this is the reason Archie has been acting so strange since his return.
Hiram heads down to Town Hall, where he informs Hermione that he’s decided to buy the Sisters of Quiet Mercy and make it into their stronghold. Hermione sarcastically remarks that his plans sounds wonderful with the exception of the fact that the asylum is likely haunted by the ghost of the nuns who died there. Hiram claims he’ll have it cleansed. In the meantime, he asks that Hermione appoint Claudius Blossom as Sheriff of Riverdale. Hermione refuses to do so as Claudius is Hiram’s business partner, which will cause people to talk, not that Hiram cares. Given their recent expansions, it’s important that they have someone they can trust in the sheriff’s office. This is ironic considering Hermione doesn’t even know what these expansions are, to which Hiram replies that it doesn’t matter. He states that it’s what’s best for the family. So for all their sake, especially Hermione’s, Hiram advises her to do it quickly.
As requested, Betty brings Hal a manual for G&G, and as promised, Hal signs the affidavit. Betty takes the document and attempts to leave without so much as a goodbye, though Hal reels her back in with the mention of ascension night. He claims he was there for it even though he wasn’t a member of the Midnight Club. He was aware of them and claims that he sent out the invitations for ascension night, dressed up as the Gargoyle King, and poisoned the chalices. Hal’s plan was to kill as many members of the Midnight Club as possible as they were all sinners, but Principal Featherhead crashed the party and drank from the chalice. This is why Hal believes he can solve the mystery of who the present Gargoyle King is. It’s because he was the Gargoyle King of the past. As Betty signs out, the guard informs her that she and her mother keep missing each other. However, as far as Betty knew, her mother hadn’t come to see her father in months. Though, the guard tells Betty that Alice comes by to visit Hal every Monday.
Fred enters Archie’s room to find him reorganizing his room. Within all the cleaning, Fred finds a photo taken of Archie from the Variety Show. However, Archie claims to just barely have any recollection of it. Archie’s explains that he’s feeling restless and that it’s weird for him to be home after everything that’s happened. Though, he doesn’t wish to talk about it, at least not until after the SATs.
As planned, Fangs attends the ceremony in Fox Forest. The Gargoyle Gang, led by the Gargoyle King, surrounds a fiery pit as they await Fangs’ arrival. Once Fangs arrive, they instruct him to kneel before the King, which Fangs does. It seems that part of the ceremony involves branding the mark of the Gargoyle onto Fangs. Just off in the woods, Jughead and FP take out two armed guards. Moments away from being branded, Fangs is saved by the Serpents. While the Gargoyle Gang manage to escape, the Serpents do manage to capture the Gargoyle King. The man under the mask is revealed to be Tall Boy, much to Jughead, FP, Sweet Pea, and Fangs’ surprise.
Jughead, FP, Sweet Pea, and Fangs take Tall Boy to the bunker, where they tie him to a chair and torture him for answers as they were all under the impression that he was dead. FP asks where he’s been hiding. Tall Boy replies that he’s been held up in a small town called Athens. When Tall Boy reveals that it was him who broke into Betty’s house, Jughead punches him in the face. They know that he’s been working for Hiram, parading around in the Gargoyle King costume. Simply to gain a reaction, Tall Boy goes onto reveal that he took great pleasure in carving that symbol into Joaquin’s head after killing him, which deeply angers Fangs and Sweet Pea, though Jughead and FP hold them at bay. However, Jughead isn’t willing to do so much longer, threatening to turn Sweet Pea and Fangs loose should Tall Boy refuse to help them get to Hiram. Tall Boy explains that Hiram would never agree to meet with him, not unless he had something that he really wanted.
Betty returns home to find her mother all dressed up, asking if this is what she wears when she goes to see Hal. However, Alice has no idea what she’s talking about. Alice is prepping for an interview with RIVW, the local broadcast news. It has always been Alice’s dream to work for it. Betty reveals that she went to see her father after her mother forged his signature, but it was during that time that he revealed that he murdered Principal Featherhead. Alice states this as being impossible as Hal wasn’t there. However, he knew details about ascension night, which means he was either there or someone told him. Alice swears that in 25 years of marriage, she never mentioned ascension night to Hal. Furthermore, she hadn’t gone to see Hal since before G&G resurfaced.
Archie approaches Reggie in the student lounge to ask something of him. Archie wants to talk to Reggie about cheating, which Reggie takes to mean that Veronica revealed to Archie how they kissed. However, in actuality, Archie only came to Reggie to see if he knew of a way to cheat on the SATs. Realizing that he’s exposed himself and Veronica, Reggie apologizes, reasoning that he and Veronica didn’t think Archie was ever coming back, though Archie doesn't stick around to hear him out.
Jughead finds Archie at his home to ask for his help in taking down Hiram Lodge. Jughead tells Archie that Tall Boy is the Gargoyle King and that they have him locked down in the bunker. This is their shot to finally smoke out Hiram, but they need bait, that being Archie, who agrees to play his role.
Archie, Jughead, FP, Sweet Pea, and Fangs hold Tall Boy at gun point and force him to make contact with Hiram. During which time, Tall Boy claims to have captured Archie. They schedule for Hiram to pick Archie up at the usual meeting place at 9 PM.
Betty calls the prison to find out more about whose been visiting her father since it wasn’t actually her mother. Betty asks for a description of the woman claiming to be her mother and visiting Hal. Betty discovers that Penelope Blossom has been assuming her mother’s identity and so she calls Penelope to meet her at Pop’s. Betty asks if she’s one of those sickos who fantasize about serial killers. As a young woman, Penelope admits to having wrote letters to Jeffrey Dahmer. Betty now wants to know why Penelope has been posing as her mother, to which Penelope answers that it’s the only way for conjugal visits. Betty then asks if Penelope’s ever told her father about ascension night, which she has. As for why he told the lie, claiming that he was there for it, Penelope believes it’s as simple as self-aggrandizement.
Betty confronts her father with the information she’s gathered, that he wasn’t at ascension night and that he only knows what he knows because Penelope told him. But still, Betty wonders why he would lie about killing Featherhead. Then, Betty realizes that he did it to keep her coming back to her. Hal claims to have missed Betty and their talks, though Betty has no desire to talk to him any further.
That night, dressed in the Gargoyle King suit, FP awaits Hiram’s arrival with Archie at his side and Jughead crouched behind the railing, waiting to make his move. However, they’re disappointed when it’s Claudius who has arrived to pick Archie up. Claudius attempts to make a run for it, but Jughead and Archie restrain him long enough for FP to make a citizens arrest.
Archie returns home to find Veronica sitting on his bed crying after she had learned from Reggie that Archie is aware of their kiss. Archie tells Veronica that she didn’t do anything wrong. When they broke up, Veronica was angry at her father for chasing Archie away, but she was mostly angry at Archie for not fighting to stay by her side. And the more time passed, the more Veronica got tired of missing Archie. And now that he’s back, Veronica can’t even sum up the words as this is the worst time to talk about it. Archie suggests that they don’t talk about it, instead finishing the conversation tomorrow. For tonight, he only wants to be with Veronica, and so they have sex.
Saturday has finally arrived and the gang must now take their SATs, this includes Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, and Kevin. Archie immediately begins to struggle with his test, so much so that he ups and leaves class without so much as a word. Veronica attempts to go check on him, but if she does, it’s an automatic zero. Archie rushes into the bathroom, hoping to regain a sense of reality. However, the more he thinks about all Hiram put him through, the angrier he becomes, to the point where Archie shatters the bathroom mirror with a single punch.
Hiram assures Hermione over the phone that Claudius’ arrest is nothing they should concern themselves to with. That fact that it was a trap is the reason Hiram sent Claudius instead of himself. His instincts keep him alive, allowing him to always stay one step ahead of everyone else. Mere seconds later, Hiram is shot.
Betty enters the dining room to find her mother hosting some sort of get-together with several members of the Farm, Evelyn included. They’re celebrating. With a little help from Edgar’s connections, Alice got the job at the broadcasting station. Also, the Farm has found and bought its new headquarters. The Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Evelyn thanks Betty as it was her "donation" that paid for it.
Archie arrives at Riverdale General Hospital after receiving several frantic calls from Veronica. Hiram lays on a hospital bed, unconscious, with Hermione at his side. They don’t know if he’ll recover as he just got out of surgery. Veronica informs Archie that her father was shot some time after Archie ran out the SATs, leading her to believe that Archie may be the shooter. Archie denies doing anything of the sorts and can’t believe that Veronica would think he did. With this, both he and Veronica realizes that their relationship is over.
Jughead returns to the bunker to find Tall Boy dead and Sweet Pea and Fangs in a panicked state. Fangs explains that Tall Boy tried to escape and he accidentally shot him. And now they don’t know what to do. Jughead tells them both to shut up long enough for him to think. He comes up with an idea to throw a party.
At the Andrews house, Fred notes that Archie must be relieved that Hiram will be out of commission, at least for the time being, but Archie isn’t. He’s still upset over his breakup with Veronica. Not to mention that he walked out of the SATs. Archie can’t pretend that everything is the same as it was before. His father asks how he got through juvie and the wilderness, having spent all that time alone. Archie fought everyday and didn’t ever stop. Fred advises him to continue fighting then.
After Claudius is found dead in his cell at the sheriff station, FP is called to the hospital by Hermione, who explains that Hiram is stable, but that’s not why she called FP down. She tells him that it’s time.
Despite being so adamant against seeing her father again, Betty does just that, by going down to the prison to vent. No one else understands what her mother is capable of except her father. She gave all Betty’s money away as if her education meant nothing. Hal is sorry as her education means everything, but the good news is that Betty will have colleges lining up to give her scholarships. He recalls that the SATs has just passed, asking how Betty did. She thinks she did well.
As Veronica watches over her father, who lays in his bed unconscious, she receives a visit from Reggie, whose come to offer moral support, and so they hug.
As planned, Jughead, Sweet Pea, and Fangs throw a party at Sunnyside Trailer Park for the Serpents. Jughead instructs them to remain composed. As far as anyone knows, Tall Boy was exiled. Jughead then makes an announcement as they have a lot to celebrate. They finally unmasked the Gargoyle King and Hiram Lodge is down for the count. Lastly, they’re welcoming back one of their own, Fangs. Their celebratory partying is interrupted by the sound of police sirens sounding. Again, Sweet Pea and Fangs become concerned. However, much to their surprise the law enforcer is actually FP, who has been appointed the new sheriff of Riverdale.
The following morning, Archie has resorted back to working out his aggression on a punching bag. He takes a couple sips of alcohol and then continues to fight. Fred enters having been woken up by the noise, joking that of Archie hits the bag any more that Alice will file a noise complaint. He then remarks that Archie’s room looks like a cell, though Archie insists that he is fine.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Camila Mendes - Eres Tú
- Katie Garfield - All Is Lost
- The episode title comes from Albert Camus' 1942 novel of the same name.
- Veronica reference The Revenant, a 2015 American semi-biographical western film.
- Penelope Blossom references Jeffrey Dahmer, an American serial killer and sex offender.