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We continue our recap of the entire Riverdale series with episodes 9 and 10 of the third season, “No Exit” and “The Stranger”.

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


Episode 9 (Mid-Season Premiere): “No Exit” Synopsis

Despite paying her father off to protect her friends, Josie’s almost attacked by a gargoyle and Veronica goes to Hiram to ask why. He reveals that he knows she’s been cooking the books to keep money from him and reveals that a faberge egg has been stolen from the Lodge home. She brokers a deal with Jughead who kicks not only Cheryl and Toni from the Serpents (a series of cat burglaries and Cheryl’s lipstick kiss of hubris doing them in) but also Fangs for selling Fizzle Rocks to people (because  his mother is sick). When the egg is returned, Veronica promptly ends up destroying it and breaking the deal with her father.

Meanwhile, Reggie has troubles with the Gargoyle Gang while doing beer runs. After making a deal with the Serpents, they all work together to run off the Gang after they’ve scared Josie and attacked one of the Sisters of Quiet Mercy kids that Betty was caring for. He and Veronica get close and end up kissing at La Bonne Nuit.

Betty’s caring for the Sisters of Quiet Mercy kids and trying to get legal work done against the convent with Sierra to no avail. After finding one of the girls with Fizzle Rocks, she helps to get Fangs kicked from the Serpents. Tyler, the boy with the drugs, is beaten up and reveals to everyone that Betty lied about the death of the Gargoyle King. She promises that they’re all safe there but finds them more places to stay with the Blossoms (after she refuses for them to go with the Farm). Finally, Sierra reveals that Hiram posted the Sisters’ bail and they left a message in their cells saying “We go to join thee.” Rushing to the convent, she finds all the Sisters dead – a mass suicide.

Five weeks after fleeing Riverdale, Archie’s hidden away in a cabin with Vegas. He’s joined a park ranger service and goes out on patrol with the dog when he comes across a bear. The bear attacks him and he returns to the cabin deeply wounded and he tries to save himself. He then proceeds to, as he loses blood, have a psychotropic trip where he sees, in order: Cassidy and the other boys of Shadow Lake playing G&G and saying that the way out of the dream is to go back to Eldervair, the Black Hood (who he tackles, which causes the Shadow Lake Boys to disappear), Warden Norton (who says he ascended), Hiram Lodge (who he kills, sadly not for real), and his friends Betty, Jughead, and Veronica, and himself (who he beats to death as Fred watches). The park rangers finally come to Archie’s cabin, only to find him possibly dead.

Observations 

— There’s zero way Archie is dead. Killing off the main character is a season four move, not a season three move. Roberto’s a bad showrunner but he’s not that That being said, I actually really liked his run through his own head. The boy needs therapy.

— Is a bear a deus ex machina? I think so.

— Cheryl really hasn’t made much progress since season 1, has she? All of these awful things happened to her and she’s still an asshole who took her girlfriend out of the gang she was born into.

— I feel like the kids shouldn’t be with Nana Blossom, considering that we found out that she literally groomed her adoptive daughter to be married to her brother.

— Honestly, when I saw the promos for this episode in the first place, I thought Hiram was going to actually die. I was so hopeful, and then Riverdale stomped out that hope as it has so many times. This show is good at stomping out my expectations at good writing.

— That being said, Jughead shouldn’t have banned Fangs. Cheryl and Toni I get, but one: Fangs is selling the Fizzle Rocks to help his mom, this is not the way to go about helping him, and two: he leads a gang! Gangs do crime! His dad sold drugs too! I feel like the only reason why he kicked out Fangs is because Betty needed it and the boy’s as whipped as a fresh chocolate mousse. Speaking of ‘mousse’…

— Are Kevin and Moose going to be a thing this season? An actual thing? I hope so, Kevin’s first crush died and he deserves better.

— ‘Maybe This Time’ was fine, but I prefered ‘Cabaret’. Ashleigh Murray’s voice is lovely but I must say that Camilla’s has gotten better!

— I genuinely don’t really care about the concept of Reggie and Veronica as a couple. The show can do whatever it wants with that. It’s better than Bughead, I guess.

— I like Choni, but I feel like they need some real help. So does every other couple on this show.

— Does this mean that we’re officially done with the Sisters of Quiet Mercy? Because I feel like mass suicide is probably the end of the Sisters. I did like the aesthetics of that scene though.

— Now that Sisters of Quiet Mercy is hopefully out of the picture, can we focus in on Hiram or the Farm as villains? Pick one!

— Thank you Riverdale for, at least, assuring us that Vegas is safe.

Riverdale Parents Ranking: Fred, Sierra, Alice, Rose (I guess????), Hiram.

Quotables

Top cursed lines from this episode:

Veronica continuing to call Hiram ‘Daddy’. He’s done so much to you Veronica, stop calling him ‘Daddy’.


Episode 10: “The Stranger” Synopsis

Archie returns to Riverdale after healing from the bear attack with dyed hair and a promise to take down Hiram and protect his family. He and Veronica kiss at the speakeasy, despite her having a thing with Reggie. The Core Four reunites at Pops’, where they talk about what’s gone on while Archie was gone and Jughead mentions the SATs. Fred and FP visit Hiram to tell him that Archie’s back and Fred threatens to  kill Hiram if he hurts his son. Archie undergoes the test with Betty’s studying help, but has a breakdown mid-test and fails. He’s also accused of shooting Hiram by Veronica and rejected by her, and so he turns to drink and boxing to cope.

Betty’s card is declined at Pops and she comes home to find that her mother has donated everything – including Betty’s college fund – to the Farm.  She goes to Sierra for an affidavit to have it proven that her father never agreed to liquidate her funds for donation and goes to see him in prison. He apparently knows about the G&G game and everything else, and asks for a manual for the game before he signs – which he gets. He also knows about the Midnight Club and says that Alice has been visiting him and that he was the one to kill Featherhead She tries to stay away and asks her mother but she denies everything. Penelope has apparently been masquerading as Alice for conjugal visits with Hal, and it’s revealed that he wasn’t even at the Midnight Club. He lied so he could keep seeing Betty, and she tries to stay away but returns to vent, finding solace with him.

Veronica attempts to reconnect with Archie after he returns, but it’s complicated when Reggie reveals that he and Veronica kissed and Hiram’s shot by an unknown assassin. She accuses Archie of doing it after it turns out to be around the same time he fled from the test and they break up. She tries to find comfort in Reggie.

Jughead apparently has been using Fangs as an undercover agent for the Gargoyle Gang and promises his assistance when Fangs gets entered into the inner circle. It’s revealed at the ceremony for his induction that Tall Boy is both alive and the Gargoyle King. He’s captured by the Serpents and it’s revealed that he also killed Joaquin. After getting Archie to act as bait for Hiram, Jughead and FP arrest Claudius Blossom, the new Sheriff, in a citizen’s arrest. They aren’t the ones to shoot Hiram, but Jughead does come back to the bunker to find that Fangs and Sweet Pea killed Tall Boy. They have a party to cover up what happened, only to be broken up by the new Sheriff: FP, appointed by Hermione to replace the newly dead Claudius.

Observations 

So now we’re treating them like teenagers???? The gang leader, his girlfriend who just saw a ton of nun corpses, the speakeasy owner, and the dude who almost died in the woods in Canada all have to focus on the SATs????

— I know he’s not dead but I want Hiram to be dead so bad. Kill him off so we can focus on one villain at a time.

— RIP Claudius, maybe? Apparently no death is sacred in Riverdale because Archie made it through and Tall Boy apparently lived long enough to get killed by the Dumbass Duo that is Fangs and Sweet Pea.

— How long has it been since Archie was attacked? He’s pretty well healed physically and that was a bear attack so bad that he almost died.

— Alcoholic Archie is going to be a very bad plotline. I give it an episode.

— I don’t blame Veronica for being suspicious of Archie considering everything that’s happened. That being said, she should have heard him out. They need some time apart – maybe for good.

— This episode solidified for me how far gone Alice is. The Alice I know from season 1 wouldn’t ever dream of taking away her daughter’s college fund.

— That being said, literal serial killer Hal Cooper is not a better option Elizabeth.

— Do we even know if Alice is telling the truth about anything involving the Midnight Club? She’s brainwashed and losing her mind, she’s not going to be the most reliable of narrators.

— Honestly, as someone who is online and knows a lot about the ‘true crime community’ aka the people who want to have sex with serial killers, it doesn’t surprise me that Penelope was among their ranks.

— Good to see Sierra’s doing lawyer stuff! I have nothing else to say on this, it’s just nice to see one of the few good parents on this show still doing well!

— So is Hal just garbage Hannibal now?

— It also doesn’t surprise me that FP is now apparently the Sheriff. Crime doesn’t matter in this town anyway, no one cares about criminal records, let’s just make the former head Serpent into the town Sheriff.

— Archie really shouldn’t worry too much about the SAT score. You can take it multiple times, I should know because I did. Of course, who knows how it works in the Riverdale universe?

Riverdale Parents Ranking: Fred, Sierra, FP, Hal (I guess???????), Penelope, Alice,  The Lodges.

Quotables

Top cursed lines from this episode:

“What? You serious? You were attacked by a friggin’ bear? Damn, no wonder why you’re all messed up.” – Reggie

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