“You locked your mom in Dilton’s bunker.” Those are now the most Riverdale words to ever Riverdale. For a moment earlier in this, the third season of the CW’s teen fever dream soap, I believed “The Gargoyles are mixing it up with the Poisons and the Farmies” would forever hold that title, but I was wrong. Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) very calmly surmising that his girlfriend Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) had trapped her mother Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick) in the G&G-Sex Bunker in the woods with Wednesday’s all-new episode “Jawbreaker” more than deserves than honor. Alice Cooper was handcuffed to the bed her daughter, her ex-boyfriend’s son, the hunky neighbor kid (KJ Apa), her daughter’s best friend (Camila Mendes), and her daughter’s other best friend (Casey Cott) have all had sex in over season 3.
And, with that brand new Riverdale twist, everyone’s favorite mob-drug-serial killer-cult-boxing(????)-speakeasy young adult drama rights its formerly slightly shaky ship. “Jawbreaker,” continues the momentum of previous solid episode “The Raid” to stand as one of the best episodes of the season. Riverdale is back!
So, 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 excels in the chaos.
Zombies? (Aka, Archie may have murdered a guy)
There is a third terrible drug in Riverdale and it is called G, which criminals believe stands for “Gargoyle.” In a town where there have been, at a minimum, three Gargoyle Kings, that is a fair assumption. Unlike the MDMA-like jingle jangle or the crystal meth-ish fizzle rocks, G turns people into foaming-at-the-mouth, catatonic monsters. Or, say, zombies. The zombie storyline of Riverdale’s comic inspiration has dogged the series since its beginning; G presents an exciting, appropriately twisted take on Archie Comics’ Afterlife With Archie title.
Drugs that make people zombies? That’s as Riverdale as a wholesome, milkshake-slinging dinner that’s actually a front for a speakeasy/gambling den run by a teen socialite.
The G outbreak eventually makes its way to through Riverdale High School and into Archie’s inexplicably still-going boxing storyline. Archie’s adult boxing rival Randy Ronson (Darcy Hinds) gulps down some G before fighting Red. Of course, Randy is a monster in the ring and nearly kills our hero. However, Archie bobs and weaves away from Randy’s brute strength long enough to land a knockout punch. This would be something to celebrate until everyone realizes Randy isn’t getting up after the hit.
It seems obvious the G killed Randy — rather than Archie — and Archiekins’ punches simply didn’t help the situation. I will bribe Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to keep Archie from yet another murder trial.
Veronica & Archie’s Teen Fighting PSA
The comic highlight of “Jawbreaker” is Archie and Veronica’s appearance on Alice’s local news show. The pair arrive to promote the opening of the El Royale boxing gym, a space gifted to Archie by Hiram Lodge (Mark Conseulous) as reparations for the countless times the mob boss tried to kill his daughter’s (now ex) boyfriend. Though Archie and Veronica are broken up, the teen business titan becomes the El Royale’s sponsor with “Jawbreaker.”
Imagine turning on your television and seeing a pair of 16-year-olds very seriously shilling for the boxing gym they own — and offering to train you as well! And then one of the teens demanding to fight a grizzled 30something-year-old man on live TV. Live life with the unblinking confidence of Archie Andrews and Veronica Lodge (whose plan works, for the record).
Betty’s Crime Gloves
Betty shows up to the new Farm headquarters — formerly the Sisters Of Quiet Mercy Nightmare Convent — to try to talk some sense into her cult programmed mother. Betty is wearing a pair of long black leather-ish gloves. Immediately, one should recognize the accessories as Crime Gloves. No one just wears gloves like that around. Not unless they have a nefarious scheme afoot. A scheme like taking your mom to a gravestone you faked, trying to convince her your dead brother really is dead, and, when that doesn’t work, chloroforming her in the car (hence, the gloves), and then handcuffing her to your sex bed in a dead nerd’s woodland bunker.
Or, as we can now call that long list of crimes, The Betty Cooper. The Dilton Doiley Sex Bunker And G&G Den can officially been renamed the Dilton Doiley Sex Bunker, G&G Den, And Parent Prison (DDSBGGDPP for short).
At least a deeply broken Alice is allowed to leave the DDSBGGDPP once Betty hears her mother’s awful Farm testimony about her daughter. This leads Betty to yet another conversation with Edgar Evernever (Chad Michael Murray, the newest hot dad of Riverdale), who convinces the teen detective the Farm is the only way Alice can heal. So, Betty hands Alice off to Evelyn (Zoé De Grand Maison).
Of course, this show of good faith isn’t actually a show of good faith by Betty. Instead, she’s getting sneakier. With Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) fully in the Farm’s thrall, Betty deploys Miss Bombshell’s girlfriend Toni (Vanessa Morgan), as a secret double agent. At least Toni looks great in Farm-approved all white ensembles.
Riverdale gets a sexy, sexy new set
The beginning of “Jawbreaker” features Veronica honing in on fellow mob teen Elio’s (Julian Haig) trip to a sauna. That means Riverdale spent money making a sauna set. That also means the series will likely have to return to the sauna for budgetary reasons (see: all the ways the bunker has evolved over season 3). Everyone please start taking bets on which Riverteen will get it on in the steam room first.
J.B., The Unwitting Damsel In Distress
Jughead’s little sister Jellybean “J.B.” Jones (Trinity Likins), the youngest major Riverdale cast member, hasn’t really been given anything to do beside smirk alongside her crime queenpin mom Gladys (Gina Gershon). That is until now, because she started wearing giant elf ears and hanging out with Ricky DeSantos (Nico Bustamante), the child who stabbed Archie. Ricky kidnaps J.B. as part of the “real” Gargoyle King’s latest, biggest scheme. Now, Jughead and dad F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) must save her with next week’s ominously titled “Fear the Reaper.”
No matter what happens, with one strange, over-the-top kidnapping in the books, J.B. if officially a true Riverkid.
Archie’s Bear Scar Returns
Speaking of Archie being stabbed by a child, the ghost of Red’s other baffling attacker, the bear, returns in “Jawbreaker” in the form of his mauling scar. It appears multiple times throughout the hour, including during Archie’s weigh-in and subsequent boxing match. I, like Riverdale, hope we never forget: Archie got attacked by a bear.