The entire town of Riverdale went completely insane in Season 3 Episode 3
I regret to inform you that Archie is no longer the biggest idiot in Riverdale
by Nian Hu
After the terrifying suicide and not-so-terrifying Gargoyle King reveal in the last episode, the show has decided to take it easy on its long-suffering viewers by giving us a hefty dose of stupidity this episode. Shockingly, the majority of idiotic decisions are NOT made by Archie this time. Can you believe it? Archie… getting smarter? Is this the elusive character development that I've heard so much about?
The rest of the town, however, appears to have collectively lost their minds. We see Veronica address Cheryl and Toni as "President Blossom and First Lady Topaz," Betty turn down free pizza from Evelyn, Hiram get blackmailed into giving his daughter $10,000 a week, Jughead walk around in public with blue-stained lips, and Alice Cooper and FP Jones cuddle with each other post-coitus. And this is only the tip of the insanity iceberg, if you can believe it!
Archie finally gets some sense knocked into him (literally)
In what is perhaps the most forced and clichéd plotline in the entire world, Archie is forced to fight his fellow inmates to sate the bloodlust of a sadistic prison warden in some kind of Fight Club rip-off and/or allusion to the gladiatorial games of the ancient Roman Empire. That being said, this is perhaps what Archie does best. Let's be real — the boy is simply not equipped to deal with crime or handle gang disputes or solve murder mysteries. Archie is many things, but he is certainly not intelligent. In this episode, he plays to his greatest strengths — his ripped bod and his selfless streak — by walking around shirtless 99 percent of the time and intentionally getting punched in the face over and over again.
After getting punched out, Archie actually starts to make sense for a change. Dare I say that he even becomes… smart? He opens a book for probably the first time in his entire life, discovers a small hammer hidden inside, and comes to the earth-shattering revelation that going to prison and beating the crap out of his fellow inmates is actually NOT a great way to atone for the bullshit he did last season (wow, American prisons weren't designed for rehabilitation? Who woulda thunk it!).
Armed with the confidence of a mediocre white man who has come to an incredibly obvious conclusion, he goes to the other fight club inmates and declares that they're escaping. "Somehow, we're gonna get the hell outta here," he proclaims. He doesn't appear to have any concrete idea as to HOW this will happen, but knowing Archie, it will involve lots of rippling abs and lots of random punching. Count me in!
Jughead is forced to almost kill himself and also kiss Ethel, and it's not clear which is worse
Supposedly the smartest character in the show, Jughead manages to descend to Archie-level intelligence in this episode. He starts off on a strong foot by using unnecessarily long words like "modicum of privacy," but soon it becomes clear that he's a giant fucking idiot. For starters, he and Betty are sleeping in the bunker. THE BUNKER. The fucking nightmare murder cult bunker where Dilton Doiley and Benjamin Button played a Satanic role-playing game that culminated in both of their deaths!! Also, if memory serves me correctly, the bunker is located in the same creepy forest where the two ran into the Gargoyle King himself in the last episode. Despite all of this, Jughead actually thought to himself, "This is a good place for me and Betty to have sex every night." Incredible!
For the rest of the episode, we watch as Jughead gets pushed around and utterly dominated by Ethel Muggs, the least intimidating person in the entire world. He asks her to give him the player's manual for Gryphons and Gargoyles — oh sorry, it's called the SCRIPTURE — but she quickly shuts him down. "You haven't earned that privilege yet," she tells him. "I want to be worthy!" he begs pathetically in front of his lowkey offended girlfriend. Ethel finally deigns to allow him to prove his worthiness to her — but only him. "Sorry Betty, but you'll never be worthy no matter how hard you try," she says. Jughead, like the impotent little bitch that he is, just stands there and lets her insult his girlfriend. Poor Betty!
Next thing we know, Ethel and Jughead are playing Gryphons and Gargoyles together in the candlelit bunker. The scene is oddly romantic, although the effect is slightly ruined by the crown of literal sticks on Ethel's head. As the game progresses, Ethel forces Jughead to flip a coin and drink from one of the "sacred goblets," one of which contains poison. At first Jughead doesn't want to play this game of Russian Roulette where the chances of him dying are 50 percent, but he eventually gives in and downs one of the cups. Sadly, he lives.
As if that wasn't enough, Ethel then forces Jughead to kiss her. "It's in the Scripture," she claims. And with that ironclad explanation, Jughead locks lips with Ethel Muggs. Damn, Betty really can't catch a break this episode huh? After all of this humiliating nonsense, Jughead is finally given the sole copy of the Scripture…except it turns out that Ethel is a fucking liar and there are actually HUNDREDS of copies of the Scripture which get handed out to every person at Riverdale High — none of whom have to almost kill themselves and kiss Ethel, by the way. You got cucked, Juggy!
Betty goes undercover to investigate the farm and succeeds for approximately five seconds
The second half of Riverdale's stupidest couple decides to go undercover and investigate the mysterious farm that may or may not be throwing babies into fires and watching them levitate. Betty comes up with a completely unsubstantiated theory that the Gryphons and Gargoyles game is connected to the farm. Her reasoning is that Dilton and Ben started playing the board game at around the same time that Evelyn showed up. Wow, who can argue with THAT solid logic?
So while Jughead "investigates" (read: makes out with) Ethel, she is left to investigate Evelyn. Sadly, Betty does not make out with Evelyn. She does, however, successfully convince Evelyn that she's genuinely interested in joining the farm and getting help from her mysterious father Edgar Evernever. Delighted, Evelyn summons a bunch of people from the farm, gathers them in Betty's living room, and demands that Betty tell them all her deepest and darkest secrets as part of the initiation.
Unlike Jughead, who is smart enough to know that he has to play along with Ethel's twisted game in order to get to the bottom of things, expert detective Betty immediately blows her cover by losing her shit when she finds out that her mom told the farm about how they had murdered the "shady man" in the kitchen. Instead of trying to gain Evelyn's trust and get closer to her cult leader dad, Betty flips out and starts to spill ALL the tea. Unfortunately for Betty, she doesn't exactly have any tea to spill.
With no evidence whatsoever to support her claims, she loudly accuses Evelyn of causing seizures and declares that her dad is the Gargoyle King. In Betty's head, this was probably intended to be a moment of righteous fury that would compel Evelyn to confess the truth. In reality, however, it just came off as an unhinged rant that made everyone look at her funny and make a mental note to never trust her with any valuable information about the farm. Good job, Betty! You tried it, I guess.
Veronica opens a speakeasy and immediately forgets all about Archie
At the start of the episode, Veronica bemoans the financial losses that she's accrued from running Pop's Diner — which is frankly shocking, considering it appears to be the only eatery in the entire town of Riverdale. She reveals, however, that all of her monetary concerns would be easily remedied by opening her speakeasy — except she doesn't want to open it until Archie gets out of prison. Girl, for a self-proclaimed "entrepreneur," you are seriously lacking some business sense. You sunk ALL of this money into buying Pop's from your dad and building an entire goddamn speakeasy — just to not open it?? Because your idiotic ginger boyfriend isn't by your side? No wonder you're broke!
Thanks to a rousing 30-second pep talk from her best friend Betty (wait, are we seriously expected to believe that they're still friends? This is the first time I've seen them talk to each other in… a while) she decides to plunge ahead and open the speakeasy. After that, she literally never mentions her imprisoned boyfriend ever again. Archie who? Evil Daddy tries to throw a wrench in her plans by sending Penny Peabody and Sheriff Minetta to threaten her, but Hiram is quickly foiled when Veronica, Cheryl, and Toni — dressed in lacy black lingerie for literally no reason whatsoever — take photos of the underground drug lab that he's running and use it as blackmail.
Well, that was surprisingly easy. Gotta say, for a dude who's supposed to be some kind of scary supervillain, Hiram is a fucking softie! He comes to the opening night of the speakeasy, congratulates Veronica and gives her a present, and makes no attempt whatsoever to fuck shit up. He just sits there beaming at her like a proud dad. Come ON, Hiram, I thought you were supposed to be evil!
The Gargoyle King continues to be the least terrifying thing in the world
The show continues to try to convince us that the Gargoyle King is the "true face of evil" or whatever, but at this point it's a losing battle. Like, are we actually expected to be terrified by this ragtag bundle of sticks? It doesn't help that the Gargoyle King emits a low rumbling sound that was makes it sound like a giant purring cat. Ooh, terrifying! I'm honestly more frightened of that 16-year-old ginger farm girl Evelyn. Seriously, I hope we start seeing the Gargoyle King butcher some innocent kids or something, because so far, the only thing it's done is stand around and rumble ominously. Step up your game, you decrepit pile of twigs!