At exactly 26 minutes and 11 seconds into this week’s Riverdale screener, I put my glass of wine down, turned my head to the ceiling, and screeched, “I knew it!” Because, Evelyn Evernever (Zoé De Grand Maison), alleged daughter of Farm-y villain Edgar Evernever (Chad Michael Murray), is not at all Edgar’s daughter. She is his wife. Edgar and Evelyn are married!
I didn’t realize the Evernevers were a coupled-up duo until about 15 minutes minutes into “Fear The Reaper,” when Riverdale’s best sleuth, Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), susses out that Evelyn has been posing as a high school junior for about a decade. All of a sudden, the suspicions I’d had about exactly how young Edgar, played by a 37-year-old, had his nearly adult daughter made sense.
Now, that mystery is solved — and it’s only a small part of a very solid Riverdale episode. Elsewhere, there is a Jones family-ruining hunt for Princess Jellybean (Trinity Likins), a tense, Boston-y boxing plot ripe for Saturday Night Live’s Heidi Gardner, and one last fatherly moment between the late, great Luke Perry’s Fred Andrews and his consistently embattled son, Archie (KJ Apa). Honestly it’s a perfect episode to set up Riverdale final sprint to the end of season 3, which only has three installments left.
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.
The phrase “dog walk” comes out of Veronica Lodge’s mouth
Apparently, the shady magic of Cardi B. has made it Riverdale. Because, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) inexplicably tells Archie she is going to “dog walk” rival mob teen Elio (Julian Haig), or, as she calls him, “that lying cad.” Since it is entirely impossible Camila’s Upper East Side posh pals were threatening to “dog walk” each other in between brunch, the only way to explain Veronica’s threat is by accepting Cardi B and her tweets. are also a superstars in the Riververse. Unfortunately, that means Tomi Lahren exists as well.
Varchie returns, more earnest than ever
Veronica is pushed to share her very unexpected tough talk because Archie is in trouble with the law. Again. In the wake of last week’s deadly Randy Ronson (Darcy Hinds) fight, Elio, who actually drugged his fighter, is working double-time to make Archie look like the guilty party. Archie, bumbling ginger retriever that he is, practically makes the case for Elio. Not only is he caught trying to smuggle unused drugs out of his boxing gym locker — they’re the ones Mad Dog (Eli Goree) gave him to prep for fighting a juiced-up Randy — but he apologizes to Randy’s grieving sister live on camera. It’s like he wants to go back to jail.
Well, Veronica won’t let that happen. With Reggie Mantle (rising movie star Charles Melton) off shooting the Bad Boys threequel or something, Veronica has time to focus her energy on Archie. Ronnie bails him out of jail, and, when he spirals about a return behind bars, she promises, “With me in your corner, never.” Later, when a soaking wet and panicking Archie runs to Veronica’s home, you expect some sexual healing will be used to calm him down.
Instead, a smart plan is cobbled together in seconds. Progress!
Yet, all the signs of a Varchie reunion are there. Red’s lady friend Josie McCoy is on her way out of Riverdale (more on that in a few) and Veronica is giving Archiekins dreamys looks. She gives her ex a sweet nickname, “Riverdale’s Red Hope,” over Elio’s macabre “Riverdale Reaper.” With prom ahead, don’t be surprised if Varchie simply have to go together.
Fred & Archie’s final moment
With Archie facing guilt and possible time behind bars once again, it’s up to Fred to impart some fatherly wisdom. It’s beautiful. Although Archie wants to blame himself for Randy’s death, Fred reminds his son he’s “innocent” not only by the law, but in spirit. An autopsy will reveal the drugs killed Randy, and Archie didn’t make Randy take the drugs. Easy as that.
Archie is against Fred’s reassuring words because he still fought Randy, knowing he was drugged. Fred, realizing Archie needs to figure this one out for himself, lets Archie leave. Thank you for your service, Luke Perry. You were one of Riverdale’s kindest pleasures.
Josie leaves for Katy Keene
Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) has a CW spin-off to go anchor, so she needs to get the heck out of Riverdale by joining her painfully absent father Myles McCoy (Reese Alexander) on tour. It’s not like she and Archie are “endgame,” as she tells her bruiser. Please do not ask if Josie informed her mother of this scheme or whether she is now a high school dropout.
Oh my God, Hiram
Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) is behind Archie’s recent bad luck and near-arrest. Even after the supposed truce and boxing ring gift. This is all so terrible, we’re only going to talk about one slim-but-real possibility: Veronica being in on Hiram’s plan.
During the twist reveal, Hiram tells Elio, “With my daughter in [Archie’s] corner, we’ll see about that.” Those are almost exactly the same words Veronica uses earlier in the episode. Is he bugging Pop’s? Do the Lodges think that much alike? Or, did Veronica finally join the family business?
The Evelyn twist arises, aka Alice Cooper: Sister-Wife
Betty breaks into the Farm to save her niece, baby Juniper, from the Farm’s polygamist, criminal clutches. Betty’s inside woman, Toni Topaz (Vaness Morgan), sells her out, taking Betty to an ambush. Toni has been seduced by the Farm’s very new age-y culty ways. Oh no.
This is how we learn Alice has no problem with polygamy — she alreay knows Edgar is married to a 26-year-old. In fact, now she wants Betty to join the farm more than ever, as does Edgar, Toni, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch), Kevin (Casey Cott), and Principal Weatherbee (Peter Bryant). Rather than give in to Edgar’s sway, Betty runs out of the Farm, leading to one of Riverdale’s best horror moments: the Farmies chasing Betty like a pack of zombies. Thankfully, her car doesn’t stall as they swarm the vehicle. How can this end?
Gladys Jones battles a dead woman
Drug-dealer Kurtz (Jonathan Whitesell) helps to kidnap Jellybean at the Gargoyle King’s behest. This conspiracy shouldn’t be all that surprising since Kurtz ends up dead and Jellybean survives, despite the fact Kurtz tells “acolyte” Ricky DeSantos (Nico Bustamante) to kill her.
However, to find her daughter, Gladys Jones (GIna Gershon) fights a back-from-the dead Penny Peabody (Brit Morgan) with sais. Sais are traditional three-pronged Asian weapons, for those of us who weren’t in Okinawa in the 15th century. Why do both Gladys and Penny know how to use these with expert efficiency? Why did the Gargoyle King buy the sais in the first place? We’ll never know, but it certainly is fun to watch this intense little brawl, which leaves an already eye-less Penny with a sai in her leg.
The Black Hood definitely escapes
Betty pulls some strings to get her dad Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro), aka the bloodthirsty Black Hood, out of his Silence of the Lambs cell and into a nearby Hiram Lodge-owned prison with a view. Then, in the midst of his van transfer, a horrible car accident occurs and there are no survivors. This means Hal escaped, and the Black Hood is on the loose once again. Josie, you picked a good time to get out of Riverdale.