Riverdale Season 3, Episode 12 Recap: The 5 Wildest Moments Of “Bizarrodale”

Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
Another Riverdale episode, another theme, amirite? Last week, the CW soap went noir with the very poison-friendly “Red Dahlia.” Well, now it’s time to go Bizarro(dale). The episode switches focus from our usual core four of Archie (KJ Apa), Veronica (Camila Mendes), Betty (Lili Reinhart), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) to the B-team of Riverdale. That means more Kevin (Casey Cott), more Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch), more Toni (Vanessa Morgan), more Reggie (Charles Melton), and an actual storyline for the ultra talented Josie (Ashleigh Murray, now heading to a time jump-based spin-off!).
It also means a kiss no one was exactly looking for, some heartbreak, and someone getting shot. But, hey, no one can say “Bizarrodale” wasn’t a shockingly coherent, character-driven hour of television.
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Let’s get down to the most bonkers moments of the episode and try to unravel them. They’re in no particular order, because Riverdale thrives in the chaos.
Archie & Josie Kiss
Well, that didn’t take long. Last week, Riverdale suggested romance was in the cards for Archie and Josie when the latter is the only one who could get Red out of his PTSD-induced downward spiral. Now, a mere seven days later, Archie is there for Josie as she worries about her future as a musician — worry not, girl, you’re heading to Katy Keene’s bright New York City streets — and who will be her date to the upcoming McCoy-Keller wedding. It’s not especially sexy, but it is pretty sweet.
After singing “People Like Us” from musical The Wild Party, Archie asks Josie if he could kiss her. She leans in as an affirmative, and the episode closes on this smooch. Between this scene and Grown-ish during the same time slot, TV is here to remind us consent can be sexy.
While Archie’s new romance is fine, we should all demand justice for Josie’s longtime hookup buddy Sweet Pea (Jordan Connor). At the beginning of the episode, Josie rebuffs the Serpent Teen because he offers to treat her nicely. Now, Josie is making out with Archie precisely because he is treating her nicely! At least Josie and Sweet Pea’s conversation suggests they had plenty of surreptitious sex in the Serpent tent city. Good for them.
Kevin & Moose Suffer The Single Creepiest Scene In Riverdale History
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A lot of “Bizarrodale” centers around Kevin’s secret boyfriend Moose (Cody Kearsley) coming out. Cheryl outs him in the most obvious blind item ever created, which is bad. However, he also comes out to his dad Major Mason (Simon C. Hussey), which seems to be good.
Then, on the evening Kevin and Moose first “spend the night together,” a bunch of terrifying “Gargoyle Gang” members break into the Dilton Doiley Sex Bunker And G&G Den. They’re all outfitted with red flashlights, and the claustrophobia of the scene creates one of Riverdale’s scariest tableaus yet. Then the Gang drags both queer boys, clad in only their underwear, into the forest to stand under the judgement of yet another Gargoyle King. For a moment, you believe the series is about to continue the horrific Bury Your Gays trope. Thankfully Cheryl, sporting her killer Little Red Riding Hood costume, and the sheriff's department show up to save the teens.
F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) unmasks the latest Gargoyle King, Scooby Doo-style, and out pops Moose’s dad of all villains. Eventually, we learn Major Mason once had a crush on Hot Sheriff Keller (Martin Cummins) — a true snack as his bride to be Sierra (Robin Givens) says — and was sent by his parents to the Sisters Of Quiet Mercy in response. There, he was broken by their gay conversion “therapy” and has now turned to terrorizing his son. After the trauma of Major’s dastardly deed, Moose, whose real name is Marmaduke (!), tells Kevin he’s heading to Glendalenot Greendale — to heal. This is the first time a Riverdale High Student has had a normal reaction to a Riverparent’s shocking villainy.
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All The Teens Of Riverdale Are Horny At The Exact Same Moment
Amid the Midnight Club’s latest Gargoyle King panic, they realize the baddie is going after their children. So, they call all of them. Hysterically, each and every Riverteen is in the throws of passion — and all of them pick up. No teen in the history of the world has been mid-straddle and stopped everything to chat with their mom.
Penelope & Hermione Tie For Riverdale’s Worst Mom Award
Penelope Blossom (Nathalie Bolt) pulls multiple extreme strings to ensure her queer daughter Cheryl can’t attend her all-girls alma mater, Highsmith College. Penelope, an extremely sex positive madame who specializes in BDSM play, is apparently very upset at the mere idea of a lesbian attending Highsmith. Strange.
Across town, Hermione Lodge (Marisol Nichols) tells her own 16-year-old daughter she has to figure out how to pay back an infamously dangerous drug kingpin solo, essentially hanging her only child out to dry (or, you know, die). Hermione doesn’t offer Ronnie any advice on how to handle her surprise new, huge debt other than an eye roll. Considering the mayor’s neck would also be on the line if her teenage daughter doesn’t find a fortune to give a bloodthirsty criminal, Mrs. Lodge seems bizarrely blasé about the impending catastrophe.
Runner up for the RWMA: a returned Gladys Jones (Gina Gershon), the queenpin Hermione was so worried about. Gladys has embroiled her tween daughter Jellybean (Trinity Rose Likins) in her mysterious new criminal enterprise.
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Reggie Gets Shot
Reggie got shot robbing his dad’s (Matthew Yang King) car dealership. He shrugged it off as “just a graze” like a member of the Scandal gladiator team. A dye pack exploded in his face. Reggie — who also reminds us his father is genuinely abusive — is going through the most and somehow keeps rolling with a smile on his face and pop culture references aplenty. Baby Driver would be proud.
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