In Riverdale proper, Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) attempts to host a nice dinner in his community center with the help of his loving girlfriend, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes). It’s an event that quickly devolves into a crime family hostage situation involving an unexpected explosion. Also, two teen girls (Madelaine Petsch and Vanessa Morgan) use cannibalism to cover up a murder they recently committed in an underground chapel. And, miles and miles away, youth detectives Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) look into a possible different murder, this time with secret society roots.
Naturally an assailant wearing a bloody bunny mask and carrying a deadly weapon interrupts them.
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 Chipping plot thickens
While Jughead’s hometown is besieged by criminal organizations, the teen author is digging deeper into the mystery of Mr. Chipping’s (Sam Witwer) “Hereditary” death and the possibility it is connected to Jug’s “My Grandpa Wrote the First Baxter Brothers Book” theory. Thankfully for Jughead, his expert sleuth girlfriend Betty is joining him for the long investigative weekend.
The appearance of Bret (Sean Depner) and Donna (Sarah Desjardins) in rabbit masks and wielding axes as a “prank” gives Bughead their first break in the case. Once Betty knocks one of them out and then repairs his bleeding head wound, the quartet agrees to play Never Have I Ever. Jughead hopes the game will allow him to ask the wealthy kids about Quill and Skull, the terribly named secret society both Chipping and supposed OG Baxter writer Francis Dupont (Malcolm Stewart) pledged.
Bret and Donna claim they’ve never heard of any secret society.
Yet, Jughead has already caught Bret with a fake Chipping suicide note. Bret claims the piece of paper is some extracurricular writing exercise, but that’s an obvious lie. Then Betty finds Chipping’s Quill and Skull tie pin in Donna’s room. Betty and Jughead assume these pieces of evidence confirm the richy-rich pair is trying to cover up Q&S’s conspiracy to force Chipping into death by suidice through blackmail.
Donna counters, tearfully claiming she and Chipping were having an affair before his death. Donna says that she tried to end things with her teacher, but he got aggressive. The next day Chipping jumped out of a window. Betty isn’t sure of this story. Still, when school resumes, Donna tells Stonewall’s headmaster the exact same admission, ending any investigation into the suspicious manner of Chipping’s death forever.
It’s a dark tale that would only be made darker — and more dangerous — should Riverdale later reveal Donna is lying. Television doesn’t need a new a new example of a girl lying about a powerful man to ruin his reputation.
Cheryl & Toni get away with murder
Last week, Cheryl Blossom and girlfriend Toni Topaz were forced to kill the former’s uncle Bedford (Alex Zahara) in self defense. Toni starts to feel the pressure of hiding a possible felony in “Ice Storm,” particularly after she realizes Cheryl’s aunt Cricket (Arabella Bushnell) is lurking outside of Thistlehouse waiting for the pair to mess up.
Cheryl comes up with a solution. It is not calling the police. Instead, she invites Cricket and cousin Foster (Alexander Lowe) over for Thanksgiving dinner. In the middle of the meal, Cheryl asks Nana Rose (Barbara Wallace) to tell the story of the first Blossom Thanksgiving. It is exactly as macabre as you would expect, as Nana reveals the Blossoms were forced into cannibalism that very first holiday. Then, with visions of people eating in the air, Cheryl suggests to her horrific extended family that they are reliving the Blossom’s oldest family tradition.
Cheryl claims that much like the unsuspecting people of Sweeney Todd, Cricket and Foster are nibbling on Uncle Bedford Meat Pies. Cheryl even put Bedford’s ring in Foster’s plate and has Toni wheel Jason’s preserved corpse into the dinning room to get the point across. Cheryl then tells her family that she will out them as bloodthirsty cannibals should they try to look into Bedford’s disappearance or steal the Blossom maple syrup legacy from her.
Cricket and Foster flee Thislehouse as though their lives depend on it.
Later that night, after Cheryl and Toni have disposed of Bedford’s body in Sweetwater River, they marvel at their genius plan and laugh about the lamb pies they served. This awful chapter in their lives is genuinely over. However, the lingering shot of the nearby haunted Julian doll suggests the gothic horrors of the Blossom family are far from over.
Hiram is mayor
Hiram is a known drug kingpin who put hits out on multiple well-liked adults and children in Riverdale. F.P. Jones (Sktet Ulrich) brings this fact up towards the close of “Ice Storm,” since Hiram ordered the near-death pummeling of his son Jughead in season 3. Still, inexplicably, Hiram was voted into office as mayor because he ran unopposed. It seems impossible not even famed busybody Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick) wouldn’t have thrown her hat in the ring.
Archie suffers through a melting pot of his old plotlines
Archie is accused of a violent crime he did not commit by a petty criminal’s family, while Hiram Lodge manipulates Red’s Labrador Retriever-like obliviousness for his own narcissistic gains. This is a plotline that dominated Riverdale season 3 (remember Randy Ronson?). It is also precisely what unfolds over “Ice Storm” following Dodger Dickinson’s (Juan Riedinger) off-screen “Hereditary” beating.
Someone please let Archie off of this doomed hamster wheel. If only for Veronica, whose storyline is being dragged down by her loyalty to Archie’s snoozy crusade.
Veronica stabs a man with a giant fork
At least in the Dickinson family Thanksgiving melee, Veronica gets to stab a man in the hand with a massive steel carving fork. It’s awesome.