|“||Thanksgiving. The time of year when friends and family gather to eat turkey, watch the big game, and give thanks for all that they have. But for Archie, this year was all about what he'd lost. It was the first Thanksgiving without his father. The void that Fred Andrews left was as cold as the winds blowing through the town. And while Archie was thinking of ways to give back, Riverdale's new mayor was grabbing all that he could. Hiram Lodge had run unopposed, allowing him to ascend to power virtually overnight. Meanwhile, across town, at Riverdale General Hospital, a different family gathering was taking place. For the Dickenson crime clan, the only dish on the Thanksgiving menu was revenge. [...] Weather forecasters were calling for an epic ice storm, and you could literally feel the temperature dropping.||”|
THANKSGIVING IN RIVERDALE — Archie's plan to host a peaceful Thanksgiving dinner at the community center quickly gets derailed when some unexpected guests arrive. Stranded at Stonewall Prep by an ice storm, Jughead and Betty search for clues about a recent death on campus. Elsewhere, while FP, Alice, Hiram and Hermoine wait out the storm together at Pop's, Cheryl and Toni get resourceful as they host a dinner for Cheryl's family.
The town of Riverdale is celebrating Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, for the Andrews, rather than giving thanks for what they have, this year is a time about loss for Archie and Mary as they visits Fred’s grave.
At Riverdale General Hospital, the Dickenson crime family, Darla, Bill, and Fagan, watch over Dodger as he lays unconscious in a hospital bed. They plot to take out the person responsible for putting him in the hospital, and they suspect that Archie is the attacker.
Hiram approaches Veronica after she missed his inauguration. He hopes she will join him and the rest of the family for Thanksgiving dinner at the Sweetwater Country Club. However, Veronica already has plans to assist Archie at the community center. Hiram points out how dangerous the area is, especially since Dodger was just found beaten and bloody in front of it.
Archie and Munroe announce to the kids that they’ll be hosting at Thanksgiving dinner at the center tomorrow night considering most of them have no other place to go.
DuPont dismisses Jughead, Bret, Donna, Jonathan, and Joan for Thanksgiving break. Before leaving, Jughead asks DuPont if there’s been any new developments in Mr. Chipping’s death. DuPont claims alcoholism drove Chipping off the edge. He was a man with many demons allegedly. DuPont insists that Chipping’s death was a suicide and that there’s no need to dig further. He also claims that Chipping never came to him to speak about Jughead’s notion that the first Baxter Brothers novel was written by Jughead’s grandfather, Forsythe Pendleton Jones I.
Jughead calls Betty to see if she still intends to visits him over the break. She does, in spite of the ice storm approaching. Considering that Jughead and Betty will be the only ones on campus, he wants her help as he investigates Chipping’s death. Unbeknownst to Jughead, Bret has eavesdropped on his entire conversation.
Cheryl informs Toni of the quickly approaching ice storm and her plan to dispose of Bedford’s body in Sweetwater River before the ice freezes over. Toni’s guilt-ridden having killed Bedford. She feels as if she’s being watched. Cheryl tells her to free herself of any guilt she’s feeling as she acted in self defense.
Thanks to Veronica, who put in a to-go order at the country club, the community center is stocked with food, enough the feed the town. Archie informs Munroe of his plan to deep fry a turkey, which his dad has done every year. FP interrupts with some alarming news. He’s under orders by the mayor to shut Archie down for Thanksgiving. Hiram's doing it to punish Veronica, to get her to spend the holiday with him. FP tried to fight him on the matter, but Hiram insisted. However, if he was in Archie’s place, he’d go through with his plans for Thanksgiving dinner for the community, which is exactly what Archie does.
Betty arrives at Stonewall Prep just as Jughead finishes up the first chapter for his Baxter Brothers novel. Betty interrupts his writing as she sits on his lap and starts kissing him.
FP and Alice have the house to themselves. FP is struggling with the fact that he’s working for Hiram and doing his dirty work yet again. FP could quit, as he and Alice previously discussed, but he doesn’t want to give Hiram the satisfaction. Whatever he decides, Alice backs him completely. But she does have one request. She wants to have turkey dinner at Pop’s tomorrow night, to which FP agrees. She then proceeds to undress and they presumably have sex.
Veronica returns to the Pembrooke to find that her family has moved the dinner to their apartment as the country club was closed on count of the ice storm. Plus, Hermosa has to take a early flight home to Miami. But, she couldn’t bear to miss their first Thanksgiving as a family. Hiram and Hermione welcome Veronica to join them, but she refuses, especially after he ordered the community center to be closed for Thanksgiving, depriving dozens of kids from a place to eat and stay warm. Hiram claims that his decision was a matter of safety and not at all personal. Veronica grabs the table cloth and snatches it off the table, along with all the food, claiming her father’s sentiment of it not being personal.
Mary tells Archie that she would like to join him at the community center for Thanksgiving. She assures Archie that feeding the local kids is the right thing to do. She’s more worried about the storm than she is Hiram. Mary then starts to cry, overwhelmed by Fred’s absence. Archie assures her that they’ll making to through the holiday.
Toni informs Cheryl that her aunt Cricket is parked down the road, spying on them, making it impossible to get rid of Bedford’s body. Cheryl plots to scare Cricket off once and for all, and disabuse her of the idea that she will ever get a piece of the maple empire. Cheryl wants to invite her to celebrate Thanksgiving with them while honoring her Gothic, ghoulish roots. There’s a family legend that Nana Rose shared with Cheryl during one of her more lucid days, which will be the center piece of her plan. A tale so gruesome that it will send Cricket running off into the night and never to return.
Betty and Jughead lay in bed and discuss the suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr. Chipping’s death, such as how he died shortly after confronting DuPont about the story that Jughead’s grandfather wrote. Jughead suspects that DuPont threatened or blackmailed Chipping into killing himself. Betty questions the motive. Jughead informs her that the Baxter Brothers empire is worth $200,000,000. Certainly a compelling motive. Assuming that is the case, Betty wonders what leverage DuPont could’ve had over Chipping to make him kill himself. Jughead shows Betty two year book photos of DuPont and Chipping, which are decades apart. The single similarity between the two is that they’re both wearing the same tie pen. Apparently, it’s the mark of the "Quill and Skull". One of Stonewall’s oldest secret societies. Jughead suspects that their initiation may involve revealing one’s own deepest, darkest secret, and if this is true, DuPont could’ve used this information to coerce Chipping into suicide. Jughead wonders if any of his current classmates are part of the society. He turned up nothing on Bret’s side of the room though. Suddenly, the room starts to get colder. Jughead jokes this is the part where they freeze and starve the death. However, Betty would rather get back in bed and order Chinese food.
Hiram and Hermione enter Pop’s for a Turkey dinner. Pop Tate tells them to take a seat as he gets everything prepared. Across the diner sits Alice and FP, who invites Hiram and Hermione to join them.
Unfortunately, Betty and Jughead’s plan to order out goes awry as the storm has gotten too bad. Leaving them with the vending machines as their only viable option. Betty asks for cookies, chips, soda, and candy. As he retrieves Betty’s cookies from the vending machine, Jughead is startled by a man wearing a bunny mask with an ax in hand. Jughead asks who he is and what he wants, but he doesn’t answer. Betty sneaks up from behind and knocks him unconscious with a golf club. Donna rushes over to them, also wearing a mask and carrying an ax. The man under the mask is Bret. He and Donna were simply trying to scare Jughead.
Archie and Munroe host a Thanksgiving dinner at the community center as planned. As Munroe and Malcolm welcome guests, Archie tells Veronica of his plan to keep the center open over night so that no one is forced to go out in the storm. Veronica remarks that Archie to good for this world before asking how he’s holding up. He claims that he’s doing fine. It hasn’t totally hit him yet. However, when it does, Veronica will be there for him. Archie then unknowingly welcomes Dodger’s family into the center. He explains to Darla how he and Munroe run the center, much to her surprise as he’s just a kid.
Betty stitches up the back of Bret’s head after hitting him with a golf club. Once she finishes, Bret grabs his coat, from where a letter drops out. Jughead partially reads the letter, which appears to be Mr. Chipping’s suicide notes. Bret snatches the letter from Jughead, claiming it was merely an exercise he and Donna did to capture the inner workings of Chipping’s mind. After Bret and Donna leave, Betty questions why they’re still at the academy. Whatever the reason, Jughead isn't buying their story about writing exercises. Betty wonders if maybe they're trying to either get rid of evidence or plant it. So, she devises a plan to get the truth out of them.
Cheryl invites her aunt Cricket and cousin Fester over for dinner as planned. Cheryl, Toni, Nana Rose, Cricket, and Fester all take a seat at the table.
Eddie informs Archie that Dodger’s family is in the community center. Archie approaches them and tells them to leave. Darla claims that she doesn’t want any trouble as she slams a gun on the table, explaining that they’ve come for Dodger’s attacker. Veronica, Munroe, Mary, Malcom, Eddy, and Toby watch as this unfolds. She has a feeling either Archie or one of his friends nearly killed Dodger, and they don’t plan on leaving until they find out who.
At Pop's, Hermione recalls how they all used to hang out and complain about how terrible their parents were. FP points out how Fred never complained about his parents and the amazing father he turned out to be. He thinks they could all take a lesson from that. Hiram proposes they take things downstairs into the speakeasy for a drink, to toast to Fred.
Jughead and Betty convene with Donna and Bret to play a game of "Never Have I Ever." Donna starts to game with never having kissed a girl, which Betty drinks to. Betty then says she’s never done drugs, which Bret drinks to. He then says he’s never been in a gang, looking to Jughead. Much to Donna’s surprise, Betty’s also part of a gang, stating that she’s not as sweet as Donna may think. The final play of night, Jughead states how he’s never been part of a secret society. He’s forced to finish off the flask when neither Bret nor Donna cop. Betty then grabs the flask and heads back to Jughead’s room to refill it, or so she claims. Instead, Betty breaks into Donna’s room, where she finds Mr. Chipping’s tie pin. She shares this with Jughead and points out how killers often take something from their victims as a souvenir or trophy.
Archie and Munroe want to fight back against Darla and her family, but Veronica advises them otherwise as Darla has a gun. Nevertheless, Archie wants to get to the drawer full of weapons he has in his office that he’s confiscated off the kids. Veronica tells him not to in fear that the kids will get caught in the crossfire. Mary remains quiet during the discussion. Malcolm brings Darla and her boys a dish. He sits it down on the table and reaches for the gun, but is unsuccessful. Archie and Munroe intervene, explaining that he’s just a kid. Fagan punches Archie in the face, certain that he’s the one who put Dodger in the hospital. Darla agrees with him. She thinks Archie beat Dodger into a coma and then called the ambulance so that no one would suspect him. She then points the gun at Archie and forces him to his knees.
Darla demands that Archie admit to beating up Dodger. Archie will admit to it only if Darla agrees to let everyone else goes when he does. She agrees to his terms, but before Archie can admit what he’s done, Eddie, Toby, and Malcolm all claim they’re all responsible for putting Dodger in the hospital, but Darla isn’t convinced. Just as she is about to shoot Archie, the deep fryer explodes, causing a distraction long enough for Archie to disarm Darla. As Archie takes out her sons, Munroe orders the kids into the office. Veronica assists in the take down by pinning Bill Dickenson to the table by stabbing his hand with a carving fork. Mary grabs the gun, bringing the altercation to a head. She gives Darla, Bill, and Fagan five seconds to leave the center or the else. The three of them scurry as she starts counting down. As they leave, Eddie and Toby lock the door behind them. Archie, Mary, Veronica, and Munroe then investigate the cause of the explosion.
FP, Alice, Hiram, and Hermione have drinks in La Bonne Nuit, during which time a fight breaks out between Hiram and a disgruntled FP. He informs Hiram that he’s not his puppet. When he became sheriff, he pledged to serve and protect Riverdale, not to do Hiram’s bidding. FP then confronts Hiram about the hit he put out on Jughead. However, Hiram hasn’t forgotten that FP tried to murder him at the behest of Hermione. He then shoves FP and the two trade blows before FP smashes a bottle on the counter and holds the sharp, jagged edge to Hiram’s throat and threatens to kill him. Ultimately, he lets Hiram goes.
During dinner, Cheryl looks to Nana Rose to regale them with the tale of the first Blossom Thanksgiving. Cheryl, Toni, Cricket, and Fester listen closely as Nana Rose tells the story of the Blossom settlers. The weather turned and the settlers were surprised by the sudden, brutal onset of ice. The wagons were snowed in and soon after, the hunger set in. They grew so hungry that they had to eat their own to survive. Cannibalism, Cheryl remarks. She can only imagine what a scandal like that would do to the family name, especially if it were to come out right as aunt Cricket was trying to negotiate the sell of their maple business. Cricket is certain no one would believe Cheryl. Cheryl retorts the Blossoms have always been highly carnivorous. She ate her brother Julian in the womb and Cricket is eating the meat pies Cheryl made specifically for her and Fester. Inside his meat pie, Fester finds Bedford’s ring. Cheryl tells her aunt Cricket that she’s welcome to search the house as uncle Bedford will never be found. Any evidence that he was ever there is in the process of being digested, meaning Cheryl fed uncle Bedford to her aunt Cricket and cousin Fester. Cheryl then offers them desert as Toni rolls Jason’s corpse into the dinning room. Cheryl informs them that they’ve just committed a vile act of cannibalism, which is illegal. She threatens to expose them to the world should they continue to pressure her. With no other option, Cricket and Fester leave Thistlehouse.
Jughead accuses Bret and Donna of trying to cover up Chipping’s murder. They’re not as devious as they think given the evidence they left, such as Chipping’s tie pin. Between the suicide note and the tie pin, Betty and Jughead are certain that Bret and Donna are trying to cover something up about Chipping’s murder. Donna storms off, and Betty follows her. Donna tearfully explains that she and Mr. Chipping were having an affair and that he gave her his tie pin. She knew it was wrong, and she didn’t want anyone to get in trouble, so she tried to break it off with him, but he got aggressive. She told him if he didn’t stop she would go to the headmaster. Then the next day, he jumped out a window, which she blames herself for.
FP and Alice return home. He can’t live his life doing Hiram’s bidding. There's too much blood on the tracks. FP’s a Serpent at heart. So, Alice suggests that he be both the sheriff and the leader of the Serpents. Welcoming to the idea, he kisses Alice.
As Cheryl and Toni snuggle up on the couch, Toni reveals that she’s feeling relieved. She can’t believe Cheryl’s plan worked. By morning, Sweetwater River will have frozen over and aunt Cricket and cousin Fester will be long gone, having digested the lamb meat pies, contrary to the Bedford meat pies Cheryl claimed to have fed them. With all said and done, both Cheryl and Toni feel peace, having defended their home. Lastly, Cheryl tells Toni that she loves her and is grateful to her. Toni reciprocates those feelings and they kiss.
Jughead’s left with confused as he’s seeing things differently for the first time. This entire time he thought Bret or DuPont was the bad guy, but it was Chipping, or at least so Donna claims. However, Betty isn’t certain that Donna isn’t playing them. There’s a possibility that the story she told Betty was just to stall them from uncovering the truth. Betty recommends that Jughead speak to the headmaster about everything going on at the school. Jughead agrees. He’s hoping that the storms clears up by the morning so he and Betty can go home for the weekend. Until then, they have sex, completely unaware that there’s a hidden camera in the room recording them.
At the community center, Munroe, Mary, Archie, and Veronica sit at the head table. Mary starts the evening by stating they were never a particularly religious house. But the one thing Fred always liked to do when they sat down to eat as a family was to say grace. Archie takes the lead in blessing the food and then they eat.
FP rushes over to Riverdale General after learning that Dodger’s family made an appearance at the community center. He has reason to believe that Dodger's family might try to get to him before they leave town. However, FP is too late. Dodger is long gone by the time he arrives.
Jughead and Bret watch as Donna comes clean to the headmaster about her affair with Chipping, how he basically abused and harassed her. She was trying to protect his family from any pain, but after Betty broke into her room, Donna felt like she had no choice but to talk to the authorities about all the awful things Chipping did to her. Bret concludes that this could only mean that Chipping’s death was a suicide driven by his guilty man’s fear of exposure. Still, Jughead remains unsure.
Betty has constructed a new murder board at the Blue and Gold. She crosses Chipping off, leaving Bret, Donna, Jonathan, and Joan on the board.
Mary tells Archie how yesterday was undoubtedly the strangest Thanksgiving she’s ever had. It’s a far cry from their usual tradition of making fried turkey and watching football. Mary has been thinking about that deep fryer exploding when it did and how it saved them. She believes it was Fred watching out for them, which gives Archie an idea. With the memory of his father in mind, Archie puts up a plaque in his father’s honor at the community center. Betty, Jughead, Veronica Kevin, Reggie, Munroe, Cheryl, Toni, Mary, FP, and Alice attend. Mary assures Archie that his father would be honored and so proud of him.
- The episode title is a reference to Rick Moody's 1994 American novel of the same name and Ang Lee's 1997 American drama film of the same name that is based on the novel.
- This episode takes place during Thanksgiving and will be a crazy episode for Mary Andrews.
- It is sort of the three story episode, though not as segmented as previous years.
- Archie references Dirty Harry, a fictional character in the Dirty Harry film series.
- Betty references Charlie Brown, a fictional character in the American comic strip, Peanuts.
- Final Adjusted TV Ratings for Wednesday 20th November 2019 - SpoilerTV
- Riverdale - Episode 4.01 - 4.07 - Titles Revealed *Updated 20th September 2019* - SpoilerTV
- Riverdale Spoilers: "Chapter Sixty-Four: The Ice Storm"
- Mary Andrews' Thanksgiving Confirmation - Alex Zalben @ NYCC (@azalben) - Twitter
- 3 Story Thanksgiving Confirmation - Alex Zalben @ NYCC (@azalben) - Twitter