Riverdale is heading to the mid-season cliffhanger. Will it end on the mystery that we’re promised or will it end with a serial killer taking Betty or Veronica? Only time will tell. Plus, now that I saw the episode, what does Reggie and Hiram know about the swamp and how can it delay the turnpike. Sorry, I should have saved that for the end but I’ll put my speculation there.
So the fire was put out and they survived. Archie now realizes that the unincorporated town needs a fire department. Jughead sees a picture Archie has of the department during its heyday and gives Archie the name of the former fire chief, Mr. Russell. Archie meets with Mr. Russell who is not interested in being associated with the fire department anymore. Veronica knows someone in New York and calls him (was that Jose?) to help. Veronica knows that this was done by her father and she’s not standing for his methods anymore. After work, Archie returns to the house and finds his Army buddy, Jackson, there who gets an invitation to stay.
Later, at the bar, Archie tries to recruit Kevin and Sweet Pea but they’re not interested.
The next day, Archie and Jackson meet the ROTC class who gets stories from Jackson. Archie mentions the fire department and the class wants to help. He reminds them that school and football come first but they will not be deterred. So the fire team is set for those 16 and with parents’ consent. At the meeting, they train. During the training, a homeless man, Earl comes in (I sincerely hope he’s not a Hiram set-up). Evidently, he’s not because almost immediately, Earl’s back reporting the pool hall is burning down. He tells them that one person is still inside and Archie goes in to save the victim. Archie does have to go to the hospital where Keller tells him it is arson but no trace of who started it. (Of course, Hiram didn’t do it. If Slimy Reggie is behind it, his “firebug” football team was involved.)
Archie goes home to find Jackson with his gun and ready to take Hiram out. Jackson didn’t get his slot at the rehab center that would ease him back into civilian life. Archie and he have a verbal exchange and Jackson wants to know why did they have to fight for people like Hiram. Archie calms him down and tells him not to go after Hiram. Archie tells Jackson he has the same feelings and asks Jackson to stay in Riverdale. Archie will help him because saving Riverdale is all that is keeping Archie sane. Jackson can help Archie and he will help Jackson.
Jackson and Archie are at the fire station later. Jackson is going to work there and now Sweet Pea and Kevin have agreed to help. Chief Russell shows up and says he wants to be a part of it because of Archie’s brave deed. To top it off, Ronnie arrives driving a new fire truck which she gives to the department to help Archie and hurt Hiram. She tells Archie “anything for you.”
Betty and the Swamp Mystery
Kevin, Alice, and Betty found a body but the question is: was it Polly? The answer is no but they’re not sure who it was. They can’t keep the body because it is in too bad of shape. It must be cremated. Betty does some checking in the sheriff’s records and finds another missing girl, Margaret, but the missing person’s description doesn’t fit her case either. So now we have three girls who have gone missing.
Betty meets with the missing girl’s mother who feels the problem was the truckers. No one has any idea what happened to Margaret. Sheriff Keller tried but the one who helped Margaret’s mom get through this was the social worker, Toni. That’s right! Toni is a social worker in addition to a teacher, pregnant mom-to-be, and cheer coach.
Betty goes home to find her mom has been back to the swamp and found evidence that Polly had been there. Betty talks to Toni about Margaret. Toni had a hard time reaching Margaret. Betty tells Toni about the body found in the swamp and asks for help which Toni gives. Betty, Alice, Sheriff Keller, and Kevin return to search only to be stopped by Hiram with Slimy Reggie who threatens to shoot them. It seems Reggie is Hiram’s enforcer. Should I change his new nickname – naw, not yet. Betty tries to continue the search by calling on her FBI identity but Hiram doesn’t buy it.
Betty calls the FBI for help but doesn’t get any due to the “trash bag killer’” being back. Of course, we get Betty’s flashback. Betty tells Glenn not to worry but work on that case while she tries to work on this one. She goes back to the swamp hunting for clues only to find Slimy Reggie is there with his gun. Reggie does admit that he’s found something – a body – but puts her in a “cone of silence” for telling her. Seems Hiram wouldn’t be happy about it. Okay, which side is Slimy Reggie coming down on? Would he really do this without Hiram’s permission? Could Hiram be involved (of course he could)? The body Reggie found was Margaret and it was pulverized.
Reggie talks to Hiram about the swamp. Hiram wants to know how they found that body in the swamp. Reggie doesn’t own up to his part but tells Hiram that the toll pike can wait because it’s not the end game in the swamp. So what is the end game? I’m betting the military. Betty talks to Margaret’s mom about the body and promises to find out what happened.
Betty holds a meeting with Toni, Sheriff Kline, and Alice. There have been many missing girls in neighboring towns. Toni’s scared of trafficking while Betty takes it further – a serial killer.
Veronica Still Can Outthink Dad!
Veronica knows that Hiram was behind the fire. After talking about the fire station, she knows something needs to be done. She also has a plan of what to do. Her idea is that her class is going to jump-start the economy. She will support the initial start-up expenses with $50,000. They will print Riverdale dollars and that will become the currency of the town. It helped a town in Oregon and should work with Riverdale.
It appears to be working but Hiram finds out about it and shows up at class. Later, Veronica finds out that there is something funny going on with her money. There’s more that was spent than what was supposed to be printed. She tells her class that the experiment looks to have failed and two students admit to printing $10,000 more of the currency. Ron decides to continue the experiment but makes them work off the extra money that they printed. Interestingly enough, they have to clean up what I will call “skid row.”
Jughead and Tabitha’s Mystery
Jughead shows Tabitha an article about a strange event in Riverdale’s past which was attributed to the Mothman. (Please don’t go there! That movie creeped me out!) The article talks about a mysterious light that appeared one night and it happened at Pop’s Tate. Yes, Pop witnessed it. So Jughead turns to Pop.
Pop tells Jughead that it happened when he was much younger one night at the diner. All of a sudden, the electricity went crazy. Everything began to shake. The lights went out and suddenly a bright yellow light appeared at the door. Both he and his customers went outside. And just as quickly as it came, it ended with the lights in the diner coming back on. When Jughead asks who caused it, Pop tells him that some think it was aliens but Pop thinks it was the military. Pop hopes the lights return one day then Pop drops a bombshell. One of the customers was Nana Blossom. Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me at all. Nana is a strange person!
Jughead and Tabitha talk to Nana and she tells her version of what happened. She found a misshapen body in the swamp and the aliens returned to get the body. Her story was that the body had been cremated but really she had put it in a barrel of maple syrup. Jughead and Tabitha get a delivery from Nana “straight from the Twilight Zone” (a barrel of maple syrup). Okay, my question: How did this barrel of syrup survive all the arguments of the Blossom family for this long. Inside, they find a misshapen body (like we have seen a thousand times before) that glowed green (or so it seemed to me).
While working the late shift, Jughead starts seeing strange things happen at Pop’s. The jukebox comes on, the building shakes, the lights go out. The strange light reappears outside and Jughead goes to see what is happening. Everything returns to normal except for the bright light from above shining down on Jughead. Are they getting ready to beam him up? I guess we’ll have to wait for the answer. All Jughead can tell Tabitha is that he remembers being outside but woke up in Pop’s restaurant with the alien gone.
Toni and Cheryl and Nana Blossom’s Troubles
Toni and the squad get a visit from Cheryl who wants her squad back. She challenges Toni to a cheer-off but a student steps in as Toni is pregnant. The cheer off starts and Cheryl still has it. Her competition has the moves too and it is close. The squad decides for their friend. Toni has won but it’s not over as far as Cheryl is concerned. She later visits Toni in the gym. Toni tells her that she needs to make a decision. Toni knows Cheryl is looking for revenge (okay, that’s a new theme) and she needs to get on the team as a good guy. Toni tells her to take a hard look at herself and make a decision.
Cheryl and Veronica run into each other in the lounge. Veronica wants to hire Cheryl to do some artwork. Guess who produces the artwork for Riverdale money. Cheryl! And her artwork hasn’t gone unnoticed elsewhere. At home, the art dealer is waiting with Nana. She realizes that the picture of Jason was a forgery and needs to have a long talk about the skillful counterfeit. I’m betting she wants more.
Summing Up This Big Episode:
So we have Archie and Jackson trying to maintain their sanity together while staying in Riverdale. Cheryl was caught as a forger. Veronica is teaching hard life lessons about the economy to students. Betty trying to find her sister while worrying about the trash can killer. Slimy Reggie who seems to have a good side (really). My guess with Reggie is that he is only out for himself. And Hiram? Just what does he know about the mystery of the swamp?
And Next Week:
Cheryl throws a party and the gang (plus more) shows up. It looks to be heating up between Archie and Chad.