We continue our recap of the entire Riverdale series with episodes 19 and 20 of the third season, “Fear the Reaper” and “Prom Night”.
In this bi-weekly column (every Tuesday and Thursday), we will review the third season of Riverdale, two episodes at a time. Catch up on everything you might have missed, including recaps for all of Season 1 and 2, and everything we’ve covered so far in Season 3 using the links below — or just dive right into to our most recent recap below.
Season 1 Recaps:
Episode 1: The River’s Edge
Episodes 2 and 3: Touch of Evil and Body Double
Episodes 4 and 5: The Last Picture Show and Heart of Darkness
Episodes 6 and 7: Faster Pussycats! Kill! Kill! and In a Lonely Place
Episodes 8 and 9: The Outsiders and La Grande Illusion
Episodes 10 and 11: The Lost Weekend and To Riverdale and Back Again
Episodes 12 and 13: Anatomy of a Murder and The Sweet Hereafter
Season 2 Recaps:
Episodes 1 and 2: A Kiss Before Dying and Nighthawks
Episodes 3 and 4: The Watcher in the Woods and The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Episodes 5 and 6: When a Stranger Calls and Death Proof
Episodes 7 and 8: Tales From the Darkside and House of the Devil
Episodes 9 and 10: Silent Night, Deadly Night and The Blackboard Jungle
Episodes 11 and 12: The Wrestler and The Wicked and the Divine
Episodes 13 and 14: The Tell-Tale Heart and The Hills Have Eyes
Episodes 15 and 16: There Will Be Blood and Primary Colors
Episodes 17 and 18: The Noose Tightens and A Night to Remember
Episodes 19 and 20: Prisoners and Shadow of a Doubt
Episodes 21 and 22: Judgement Night and Brave New World
Season 3 Recaps:
Episodes 1 and 2: Labor Day and Fortune and Men’s Eyes
Episodes 3 and 4: As Above, So Below and The Midnight Club
Episodes 5 and 6: The Great Escape and Manhunter
Episodes 7 and 8: The Man in Black and Outbreak
Episodes 9 and 10: No Exit and The Stranger
Episodes 11 and 12: The Red Dahlia and Bizarrodale
Episodes 13 and 14: Requiem for a Welterweight and Fire Walk With Me
Episodes 15 and 16: American Dreams and Big Fun
Episodes 17 and 18: The Raid and Jawbreaker
Episode 19: “Fear the Reaper” Synopsis
FP and Jughead return home while searching for Jellybean and find clues that reveal that she was taken by Kurtz and his goon squad. They, along with Gladys, proceed to kidnap Kurtz and beat him into a bloody pulp to try and find out what happened to Jellybean and are forced into a game of G&G to try and uncover her whereabouts. Through a game where secrets must be revealed, Gladys reveals that she was the kingpin of the drug trade in Riverdale and is assured by FP that she’ll have a reckoning as soon as Jellybean is safe. They then attempt to rob Pop’s and fail when FP gets shot and only Gladys and Jughead are left the play the game. After moving to the bunker, Jughead tells his mother that she ruined their happy life in Riverdale (despite literally everything else that’s gone on in this hellpit of a town) and they awaken Kurtz for the battle with the Cyclops: Penny Peabody. Gladys and Penny fight with sais and Gladys wins and is taken to the hospital where she decides to leave Riverdale after Jellybean’s recovered. Jughead gets trapped in a fridge and almost killed, only to break out and find Kurtz dead and the Garogyle King standing over him.
Randy’s confirmed to be dead and while Elio’s the main focus of the investigation (being the one who gave Randy the drugs that killed him in the first place), Archie’s not exactly out of the woods completely since he and Randy were fighting when he died. Archie plans to quit boxing but after being confronted by Randy’s family after the fight and getting encouragement from both Veronica (who wants to hold a benefit concert for the Ronsons) and his father. After beating up Elio, Archie takes the prize money from the fight, the insurance on Randy’s life, and the proceeds from Josie’s concert and gives them to Randy’s family.
Veronica and Betty ask Hiram for a transfer for Betty’s father from his windowless cell and after being assured of all the positive press it could garner him he says he’ll see what he can do. Besides that and planning Josie’s concert, she really doesn’t do much this episode.
Edgar Evernever wants to marry Alice Cooper and Betty wants to stop the wedding before it’s begun and in the process uncovers both that the Farm is anti-vaccination (which she uses to try and get Evelyn in trouble) and that Evelyn is not all she seems. It’s revealed then, through Mrs. Weiss’s help, that Evelyn is actually Edgar’s wife and much older than she seems, using her youthful appearance to coax teens into the Farm. After failing to get both twins out (only able to get Dagwood with Penelope Blossom while the Farm keeps Juniper), she tries to kidnap Juniper with Toni’s help only for Toni to betray her. She barely escapes, babyless and hopeless, and learns that her father’s been killed in a car accident while on the way to Hiram’s prison.
Josie finally decides to leave town and go on tour with her now repentant father, and leaves Riverdale with a blaze of glory and a bright future ahead of her.
— This episode is the final on-screen appearance for Fred. May Luke Perry rest in peace. I do wonder how they’ll handle it next season, though. I know they have Molly Ringwald coming into play Mary for the last few episodes, but I don’t know what the plan is for season 4.
— This was also, for much less sad reasons, the final appearance of Josie in Riverdale. Josie (and Ashleigh Murray) will reappear in the spin-off Katy Keene We won’t cover that show for here because it has literally nothing to do with horror (it’s basically going to be Glee meets Riverdale), so happy trails Josie. I hope you find what you’re looking for in New York. I also hope the other Pussycats come back.
— Of course the Farm is run by anti-vaxxers. Of course it is. Just a personal note here: the true horror is the return of diseases like the measles and rubella and the possible return of polio! Vaccinate your kids!
— Roberto, I am begging you to stop it with the pseudo-incest. It isn’t cool, it isn’t edgy, and shock value doesn’t equal good writing. No one cares that Evelyn is Edgar’s wife and not his daughter, that’s like seventieth on the list of the weird things he’s done.
— The fact that Archie still technically killed a guy is a lot, but it was good of him to give the money to Randy’s family.
— Everything with the Jones family tires me out. At least Gladys leaving means we might have thinned the herd for who the true big bad this season is. Gladys’s gonna come back someday. Not this season, but someday. I can feel it.
— Josie’s last song was really good.
— Good on Pop to finally start having weapons around! It makes sense, a guy almost died earlier this year in his shop!
— That being said, I’m glad Jellybean is safe and sound.
— I give it until the season finale until they reveal that Hal’s not really dead. He’s not the Gargoyle King but he’s not dead.
— I trust Penelope with that baby as far as I can throw her. Especially with her renaming him Jason Jr. Ew.
— Riverdale Parents Ranking: Fred, Myles, FP, Gladys, Penelope, Alice, Edgar, Hiram.
Top cursed lines from this episode:
“The Farm doesn’t believe in putting foreign substances into our bodies.” – Evelyn.
Episode 20: “Prom Night” Synopsis
Betty doesn’t believe her father’s dead, having not seen his body in the charred remains of the truck he crashed in, and grows paranoid that he’s wandering around Riverdale’s forests as a free man and is more than ready to try and kill again. She tries to warn her mother and is rebuffed while seeing her mother’s “engagement ring” tattoo. She asks Jughead to go to prom with her after hearing about it, along with their other friends, from prospective prom queens Cheryl and Toni (something forbidden by the Farm, and something dropped as soon as Edgar says that if she keeps going she can’t talk to Jason anymore).
Cheryl’s new lack of enthusiasm for prom makes it easy for her to change the theme to a more royal themed prom which fits Jughead and Betty’s plans to coax out the Gargoyle King. With fake votes, Betty wins prom queen but is attacked by the Black Hood while uncovering the vandalized bathroom. So now there’s both the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King. She agrees to live at the Farm so she can finally be “safe”.
Mary’s returned to visit Archie and talk about his passion for boxing while his father’s away. Archie assures her that everything’s fine as he preps for Regionals. Mary’s worried for him, but doesn’t directly make him stop. He forges her signature on the permission papers and gets Veronica to submit it for him. Eventually, she comes around and gets him a meeting with a naval academy recruiter friend who encourages Archie’s work while offering him a potential position in the navy with all the strings attached (including five years military time and a college education). He sets up an exhibition match with Fangs to show off his skill, and Veronica helps him lose weight so he can fight. He loses at Regionals and, despite injuries and Veronica’s disapproval, still agrees to the exhibition brawl. Finally, Mary decides to let Archie give boxing a shot and decides to stay in Riverdale a little longer to help her son.
Jughead, happy to have his sister home, warns her not to play G&G again and through her learns about the Gargoyle King’s Gospel. Apparently she and Ricky were to find it and failed, which sends him looking out for it. He finds it after he and FP uncover Kurtz’s lair in an abandoned school bus in the local junkyard. He reads the gospel to Betty in the Serpents’ den and it reveals that the Gargoyle King is still just flesh and blood and can just die. After a meeting with Dr. Curdle Jr and a failed meeting with Kurtz’s tattoo artist, Betty and Jughead come to the conclusion that Edgar is the Gargoyle King which he immediately disproves through showing no tattoos.
Veronica, seeking property on the Southside as La Bonne Nuit grows more prosperous, also helps Archie get into the Regional boxing tournament. She gets a loan after Pop’s is appraised and says that she’s helping Archie as a friend only. After all of this , Veronica finally learns that Pop’s and La Bonne Nuit is still owned by her father and she’s been his patsy the entire time. She convinces Archie to help her take him out for good.
— Doing the synopsis this episode gave me a migraine.
— Good to see the Serpents all together again! Except Fangs and Sweet Pea, but Fangs is barely an entity in this show anymore and Sweet Pea’s just completely missing.
— Always good to see Luvia Petersen in shows (she plays Brooke, Mary’s recruiter friend), the lady’s very good at what she does!
— I like Mad Dog and Archie’s dynamic a lot.
— I hated almost all of the prom outfits. This prom sucked so badly, not just because of the serial killers.
— That being said, kudos to Roberto for turning around his twist in a single episode. Any interesting concepts get shot out of the sky as quickly as possible on this show.
— So no one gives a damn that Evelyn’s almost thirty? No? Okay.
— I love Mary so much. The circumstances she’s coming back in are very sad but it’s good to see Archie still has some form of parental guidance because goodness knows the boy needs one.
— Does anyone else miss when Archie cared about music? I sure do!
— Betty Cooper needs to be in therapy ASAP.
— Alice’s never gonna marry Edgar, we all know this. It’ll be Jonestown before she and Edgar get married.
— Jughead and Jellybean are the only sibling relationship in this show that isn’t completely gross.
— This season’s almost over and I’ll be very happy when it is. If you don’t watch the show, you don’t know how draining it can be sometimes.
— Riverdale Parents Ranking: Mary, FP, Alice, Hram, Hal, Edgar.
Top cursed lines from this episode:
“And for all I care, change the theme, make everyone wear chainmail and corsets. Turn the photo booth into a pillory. Hand out turkey legs. What does it matter if I’m not gonna be queen?” – Cheryl