Betty’s Prom Night Becomes a Horror Movie on ‘Riverdale’ (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 20 of Riverdale, “Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night.”]
Only on Riverdale can a teenager talk about diversifying her portfolio and wonder about normal events like prom still existing.
Betty (Lili Reinhart) is convinced that all is not what it seems when it comes to the accident in which her father died, but she and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) have another serial killer to catch: the Gargoyle King.
Oh, and The Farm is still creepy.
Yes, They Still Do Normal High School Stuff (Unless They’re Farmies)
“Easy for you to say, Evelyn. Aren’t you like 30? How many proms have you been to?” Cheryl asks her. She may have bought into The Farm nonsense, but she’s on point with her quips.
Cheryl even tries to convince Edgar (Chad Michael Murray) that she can use the prom queen win to spread The Farm’s message, but he gives her a choice: let prom queen go or she can’t speak with Jason anymore. Unsurprisingly, Cheryl chooses her brother.
However, later at the dance, she admits to Toni that “being a Farmie is making a lot less sense” to her. Is this a sign she’ll turn on the cult?
Speaking of prom, “we still do things like that here?” Veronica (Camila Mendes) asks because something so normal like a school dance just doesn’t fit in with mobster fathers, serial killer fathers, and twisted cults.
They do, and Betty and Jughead share a sweet moment where he agrees to go “only” for her.
Archie and Veronica, meanwhile, awkwardly watch, but later decide to go as “friends,” which no one thinks will last for long. Archie really can’t stay single for more than an episode.
Riverdale‘s Definition of Normal: Investigating Serial Killers
Betty’s convinced that her father orchestrated the accident that supposedly killed everyone in the prisoner transport. Even if he did, FP (Skeet Ulrich) assures her that Hal (Lochlyn Munro) is dead, and they’ll have proof once the DNA results come in.
In the meantime, Betty tries to warn her mother, but Alice (Mädchen Amick) is too Farm-y. “Stop indulging in these morbid delusions that your serial killer of a father is somehow still alive,” she tells Betty, as though worrying that her serial killer father is out there isn’t exactly what a sane person would do.
But then Dr. Curdle Jr. calls Betty and informs her he identified a hand as Hal’s. He’s dead.
Meanwhile, Jellybean (Trinity Likins) provides Jughead with a G&G clue from one of her quests: The Gargoyle King keeps all his secrets in a gospel. And when FP calls Jughead to check out the bus where the Gargoyles crashed — because why should he worry about his son attending something as trivial as school? — Jughead finds that gospel in one of the seats.
Betty argues that all the gospel does it build the Gargoyle King up as some sort of supernatural creature when he’s just a serial killer, like her father. “The Black Hood was flesh and blood, and so is the Gargoyle King, which means that he can die,” she says.
The sleuthing couple gets their next lead when the coroner once again puts having Betty on speed dial to good use and informs them of the results of Kurtz’s autopsy. Kurtz had the same symbols carved into Ben, Dilton, and Baby Teeth tattooed on his back last month.
When Betty and Jughead track down the tattoo artist, they he also put those same symbols on the back of a sandy-haired guy with blue eyes who was “weirdly magnetic” a year ago. Betty assumes it was Edgar, and he used Alice’s testimony to take on the Gargoyle King persona.
Edgar bought the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, where the game originated. Both he and King preach ascension. Both manipulate followers. And, most importantly, “they’re both really, really creepy,” she points out.
At this point, Betty’s had enough and goes right up to Edgar and makes him take off his shirt because this is Riverdale and The CW, and demanding such things is completely normal. His back is tattoo-free.
Jughead suggests Betty focus on the positive: “Your mom’s not marrying a second serial killer.” But the Gargoyle King is still out there, so they decide to set a trap using a ritual in his gospel which means ensuring Betty is prom queen.
But before her coronation, Betty receives a note from the Gargoyle King summoning her “to the place where the first Ascension Night was held.” It’s even signed “best wishes.” At least the Gargoyle King is polite.
The bathroom walls are once again decorated with “Flip for Your Fate,” but Betty refuses to play. Back in the hallway, the Gargoyle King waits, but before she can do more than take out a gun, the Black Hood attacks her — and he has a hook where one of his hands should be. (The sound of that hook against the walls may be worse than nails on a chalkboard.)
“Dad, why are you doing this?” Betty asks as he chases her all over the school and past a couple dead bodies. She finally hides in the closet under the stairs, and that’s where Jughead finds her. The Black Hood and the Gargoyle King are both gone, but now they have another problem: this was all a set-up to get Betty along with her father, and the two serial killers may be working together.
When Betty goes back to Alice to try to force her to accept the reality of their situation, Edgar suggests she stay at the Farm and let them protect her — and she agrees. Was this all so Edgar could get his hands on Betty?
Archie Forgets He’s Human
Right now, Riverdale is just pretending that Fred is out of town. Mary’s staying a while because Archie really needs adult supervision.
Veronica gets him into a regional classic competition and offers to invest in his gym. La Bonne Nuit has been doing well, and she wants to “diversify [her] portfolio.” Yes, a teenager utters those words.
Archie forges Mary’s signature for the regional competition when she refuses to sign. However, she does try to support him with an introduction to a recruiter from the Naval Academy. He can box there and think about his future. The only problem is the recruiter wants to see him in an exhibition match the same night as the other competition.
Not only does Archie agree to fight in both, but he also does some extreme training (to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”) and starves himself to lose six pounds to qualify for the regional.
Needless to say, this does not go well. He loses the regional, and he collapses the moment he steps in the ring for the exhibition.
His mother once again tries to talk to him about his future, but he sees college as a “losing battle” and would rather see how far his fists take him. Mary’s far too rational for this show when she argues, “You’re 17 years old. You’re thinking about tomorrow. I’m thinking about the rest of your life.”
But in the end, she agrees to support him if he does it right. “The world is such a scary place, maybe it’s not the worst thing to know how to fight, to be able to defend yourself,” she says. We can only assume she’s given up on trying to get him to leave Riverdale.
Hiram Is Still a Horrible, Horrible Person
Pop informs Veronica that Hiram owns the diner and La Bonne Nuit. Her father gave her a fake deed and kept the original.
But she and Archie are teaming up to take Hiram down for good by doing what he would and “manipulate him into digging his own grave.”
Riverdale, Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW