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We continue our recap of the entire Riverdale series with episodes 11 and 12 of the third season, “The Red Dahlia” and “Bizarrodale”.

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, 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


Episode 11: “The Red Dahlia” Synopsis

Jughead continues to help Fangs and Sweet Pea cover up the fact that Tall Boy has been murdered from his father, who is now the Sheriff of Riverdale,  while also helping Veronica try and uncover who it was that actually shot her father. He questions Hermione, who claims innocence and reveals that she has photographs of Hiram with another woman, and Penelope, who is now running a brothel called the Maple Club. All this, only to be held at gunpoint by Mrs. Mulwray, Hiram’s mistress, when he’s caught snooping around her office at the water works department. He reveals Hermione’s plan to his father, having finally figured it out after confronting Dr. Curdle: she plans to frame him for Hiram’s assassination. The truth finally comes to light: FP shot Hiram as revenge for Riot Night. With Alice’s help, they get Hermione to comply to an interview but Veronica silences Jughead from telling people the truth by promising that she’ll take FP down with her.

Archie, haunted and purposeless, turns to drinking for comfort. Josie, however, refuses to watch her friend fall into alcoholism and encourages him to sober up by spraying him down with cold water and telling him to try and get himself together by facing his demons. He does this by considering killing Hiram – only to stop his attacker (the apparently alive Minetta, discovered by Sweet Pea and Jughead) and come to a truce with Hiram. He resolves to continue working with his dad, boxing, and even asks if Josie will sing with him. She agrees, as long as he sings back up.

Betty, suspicious about Clifford’s death, confronts Penelope after Cheryl refuses to give her information after Claudius’s funeral and after finding information from Dr. Curdle: Clifford was poisoned with pufferfish venom. Penelope admits that it’s true: she poisons men. She killed Clifford, who killed her son, Darryl Doiley, and Claudius, who caused the seizures by poisoning the water supply of Riverdale with drugs – the falsified water tests mentioned previously. She’s shaken and goes to her father to talk about it, debating her own morality and that of her family.

Veronica tries to keep her family’s business together, firing her useless capos and bringing in her inner circle: Reggie and Smithers, for their assistance. She collects the money owed to her family, and uncovers that her mother’s involved in the Fizzle Rocks industry with the Blossoms and there’s someone willing to buy the lab and drugs. Reggie and Veronica proceed to take all of the Fizzle Rocks in a raid and burn them. Doomed at the hands of the unknown buyer, Veronica pays Jughead off for his work and refuses to know who shot her father and Hermione shoots Minetta, her lover, in the head.

Observations 

— I understand why Betty wanted to talk to Cheryl, but I also understand why Cheryl and Toni refused to talk to her. I mean, would you start demanding information from your distant cousin if their uncle had just ‘killed himself’?

— I liked Kelly Ripa in this episode! She’ll probably only make this one appearance but it wasn’t a bad one!

— Is Minetta finally dead? For sure? I feel like he is but apparently death isn’t a real thing in this town.

— Does everything with the Blossoms have to do with maple syrup?

— Archie shouldn’t have shot at Hiram, no, but someone should have shot him down.

— Hal is absolutely not the best choice in the world to act as Betty’s parent again. She shouldn’t see him as a father figure again because he literally spent months, maybe even a year, threatening her. If this show is setting up a redemption arc for him, it really shouldn’t be.

— I don’t know how I feel about the parents in this show anymore. Almost all of them are awful.