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We continue our recap of the entire Riverdale series with episodes 15 and 16 of the third season, “American Dreams” and “Big Fun”.

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
Episodes 11 and 12: The Red Dahlia and Bizarrodale
Episodes 13 and 14: Requiem for a Welterweight and Fire Walk With Me


Episode 15: “American Dreams” Synopsis

Gladys Jones bought the Cooper family home from Alice to live in it with her family.  Jughead is torn and offers to let Betty live with them but she refuses politely and instead stays at the Pembrooke with Veronica. Now on patrols with his father (who breaks up with Alice this episode in an attempt to start things over with Gladys)  and preparing for FP’s birthday party with his mother. However, Veronica finds out that Gladys is taking over the drug trade. After confronting his mother and promising not to tell FP in order to protect his feelings, he gives a speech at his father’s party at La Bonne Nuit and makes plans with Betty to take down his own mother.

Betty, dealing with her mother’s selling of her childhood home, puts her focus on helping out Archie as a means of coping – trying to help figure out where the ‘Kill The Red Paladin’ cards that were found with Ricky and Warden Norton came from. She helps Archie win and then agrees to help Jughead try to save FP, Jellybean, and the whole town from the clutches of Gladys.

Archie visits Hiram who, having printed out a lot of the cards to give out to his team while trying to slaughter Archie, gives him a list of his Fizzle Rocks pickups since most of his buyers were G&G players.  With help from Jughead and Betty (and Hiram, but only through the usage of a boxing gym he apparently has) he proceeds to fight and win all of the ten people left with ‘Kill The Red Paladin’ cards, including Captain Golightly who worked at the prison Archie was in. Hiram allows Archie to keep using the gym as a way to make amends for his past misdeeds.

Veronica makes herself even with Reggie after a blowout argument about him not being her partner in the speakeasy and after he tries to steal back his car from Gladys by getting it back for him. The two owe each other nothing now, but they still continue dating.

Cheryl and Toni break up after a lot of fighting and after having sex. Cheryl tells Toni, who is homeless, to move out as soon as they break up. She also threatens Kevin into making the school musical Heathers.

Observations 

— Does the fact that Hiram’s actually trying to make amends with Archie mean that he isn’t the big bad of the season anymore? I sure hope so. I’m so tired of having to pay attention to his supervillain antics.

— I didn’t even know Alice and FP were still a thing. Good on him for cutting ties.

— Bad on Cheryl for kicking out her homeless ex! I understand not wanting to live with her but at least help her find a place since you supposedly care a ton about her.

— Jughead’s speech was actually very sweet.

— Juxtaposing the Golightly fight with Cheryl and Toni having sex was an extremely weird stylistic choice, Riverdale. I don’t like it.

— Are we gonna not have Archie almost die again this season? Thank goodness, the boy needs a break.

— Alice is going to end this season in the Farm or dead, mark my words. There’s not going to be any getting out for her. Maybe Kevin but not her.

— At this point, I’m pretty sure we’re going to get a Jonestown ending for the Farm. These people will not make it out alive. We’ve already had one mass suicide this season, why not make it two?

— I’m so burnt out from this season. There’s too much going on, and none of it makes sense. I’m just tired.

— I’m not excited for this next episode. I don’t want to listen to people butchering songs from one of my favorite musicals.

Riverdale Parents Ranking: FP, Gladys, Alice, The Lodges. I’m not counting Nana Rose.

Quotables

Top cursed lines from this episode:

This episode was pretty innocuous when it came to lines.


Episode 16: “Big Fun” Synopsis

Despite literally everything that happened with the last musical, Hermione Lodge can’t stop the new suicide, murder, and booze filled production of “Heathers: The Musical” from going on — because the Farm is going to sponsor it and Evelyn is going to direct it alongside Kevin.

Veronica, reeling from the fact that her parents are going to get a divorce, convinces them to come together to the show after failing to convince them to reconcile. They come to the musical to watch her perform as Heather McNamara, but don’t speak to one another.

Betty spends most of the episode fighting with Evelyn over the Farm and trying to stop them. She gets photos of Kevin and Fangs’s induction into the Farm and tries to get Weatherbee to help her — only for him to be a Farmie too. All of this failed, she helps Jughead find the drug lab beginning in the Jones family trailer before going to perform her role as Heather Duke.

After a lot of fighting and a failed threesome with Peaches n Cream and Sweet Pea (who is playing JD), Toni and Cheryl reconcile and make amends just before they perform as Heather Chandler and Betty Finn respectively — despite both still having a host of mental issues and relationship problems to work through. Also, Cheryl’s forced to go back to the convent she had conversion therapy in for a cast party, because this is Riverdale and trauma matters to literally no one.

Archie, playing Kurt Kelley to Reggie’s Ram Sweeney, tries to start a relationship with Josie (who is playing Veronica), who refuses to start a relationship at all after Sweet Pea tells everyone about her and him.

In the end, the musical goes off without a hitch — and the only people who clap are the horde of Farmies in the audience including Midge’s mother, Weatherbee, and the finally visible Edgar Evernever.

Observations 

— I was extremely right to not be excited for this. This wasn’t a good musical, not at all. Riverdale, you’re going to kill me and gut me like a fish. There’s so much autotune and none of it could save this. These people, except for Ashleigh, Casey, and maybe KJ (who still sounds like knock-off Sun Kil Moon), were not made for musicals.

— The only songs I enjoyed were ‘Fight for Me’ and ‘Our Love Is God’. I will admit, the lack of a ‘holy shit’ chorus and someone dying respectively kinda killed the vibe, but still. All the other songs were kind of hot garbage.

— Cole Sprouse hasn’t gotten better at singing.

— Where was Alice during all of this? Her daughter’s in the show and her cult’s all for it, where were her and Polly?

— Hermione was right! They shouldn’t do this show! Someone literally died during the last musical they performed!

— Speaking of Hermione, Veronica I know that being the child of divorced parents is probably really hard on you but in this case your mother is leaving a manipulative douchebag and it’s for the best.

— Why is Weatherbee in the Farm now!?

— I get why they used the edited version of the musical, but I still really hate it.

— Someone should have died during this musical. I know it seems repetitive, but it would have made so much sense.

— We finally got to see Edgar Evernever, and his actor Charles Michael Murray would have been fourteen when Evelyn’s actress was born. Riverdale continues to be awful with time.

WHY WOULD YOU HAVE A CAST PARTY AT THE SUICIDE NUN CONVENT!? WHY WOULD VERONICA, TONI, AND KEVIN LET CHERYL GO IN THERE WITH THE EXPLICIT KNOWLEDGE THAT SHE HAD CONVERSION THERAPY THERE!?

— So fun fact: Betty Finn isn’t in the Heathers musical. You know who takes her place as Veronica’s best friend? Martha Dunnstock, the only plus-sized girl in the whole show. I wonder why it is that they didn’t have Martha in there? Is it because they’ve just stopped giving a shit about Ethel Muggs, the only plus-sized character in the show?

Riverdale Parents Ranking: FP, The Lodges, Edgar.

Quotables

Top cursed lines from this episode:

“Some tweaked-out Fizzle-head was playing G&G in the middle of the damn road.” – FP

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