Did ‘Riverdale’ Just Reveal the Truth About the Farm & the Gargoyle King’s Identity? (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains major spoilers for Season 3, Episode 21 of Riverdale, “Chapter Fifty-Six: The Dark Secret of Harvest House.”]
By now, Riverdale fans should expect crazy.
The penultimate episode of Season 3 sees Betty’s (Lili Reinhart) investigation into the Farm not only lead to quite the unexpected chat, but also the truth about what Edgar’s (Chad Michael Murray) up to — and after everything else, you probably just shrug and accept that yes, this is happening in this small town.
Meanwhile, the other half of the town’s favorite and most accomplished crime-solving couple, Jughead (Cole Sprouse), follows the clues from prom night and may uncover the identity of the Gargoyle King … if you believe it.
Oh, and Archie (KJ Apa) faces off against Hiram (Mark Conseulos) in a dangerous boxing match, as teenagers do with their ex-girlfriends’ fathers.
And so, in the latest edition of School Really Doesn’t Matter …
At Least They’re Not Vampires?
Now that Betty’s a T-shirt wearing member of the Farm, Alice (Mädchen Amick) lets her in on a secret. When she was 8 years old, doctors discovered she has the serial killer genes after running tests when she got a concussion after falling off her bike. (Because those are normal tests to run after such an accident?) Not even Hal has those genes.
But Edgar can help her heal, through one of his sessions in his office in front of the Newton’s cradle on his desk. All she has to do is tell him her fears. She admits she feels like there’s another person inside of her capable of doing dark, terrible things.
He tells her the first step is confrontation, and Betty finds herself alone in a room, facing someone she knows “very, very well”: her dark self. “I’m the shadows that you hide from our family and friends,” the other Betty says. “I’m all the dark deeds you did in our youth and now.” For example, she forgot she drowned her cat and pushed Polly down the stairs.
“I am the real Elizabeth Cooper,” this other Betty continues. “You are the illusion.”
Betty finds herself back in Edgar’s office and with a stabbing pain in her forehead. Her body located her trauma, he says, and “healing is painful, but together we can discharge that pain forever.”
After, she calls Jughead, who warns her not to let Edgar get in her head. He may be trying to influence her with the Newton’s cradle. But she has an idea for her next session.
Betty then learns that Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner) just had a “minor procedure,” which Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) says was the purging of all the pain crushing him. Edgar transforms emotional pain into physical pain so it’s easier to treat. Toni’s (Vanessa Morgan) next. Kevin’s (Casey Cott) already undergone his, but his scar suggests he had major surgery.
When Betty runs into Polly, her sister asks if her darker half mentioned pushing her down the stairs.
For her next session, Betty puts candle wax in her ears, so she’s fully aware of everything — and sees that her “darker half” is really Polly playing the part. “Soon the one will become many and the many one. You can finally be your truest self,” Polly says. “You’re a killer, just like Dad. And it’s time that you embrace that.”
Betty tries to convince her friends that Edgar’s a horrible person, but they refuse to see it. So, she gets them proof.
First, she learns that Evelyn is hooked up to dialysis and on anti-rejection meds. Her kidneys failed when she was little, and Betty begins to put the pieces together.
She gets the full picture when she breaks into a medical room and finds a giant freezer full of organs for “The Farm Harvest Program.” Going by the price list she finds, it’s a lucrative business.
She brings one of the coolers to Cheryl as proof, and Cheryl immediately leaps into action because Toni’s just been taken in for her “procedure.” She’s able to free her girlfriend from her nurses, but she lets herself be caught so Toni can escape out a window.
Betty’s not so lucky. Kevin and Fangs refuse to listen to her and grab her when she tries to run. When she wakes, she’s bound to a bed and Edgar’s wearing a serial killer apron. As she insists Jughead and FP (Skeet Ulrich) are going to come for her, he gives the order to have her prepared for her procedure.
It’s Sort of Like Gym Class
Dr. Curdle Jr. confirms to FP and Jughead that Hal cut off his own hand, hence the Black Hood’s hook.
Jughead investigates the connection between the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King and starts with the envelope Betty received at prom. That leads him to Ricky, who’s about to “ascend” when he finds him in the forest. Jughead tries to talk to the kid, but the “lost boys” chase him through the forest to the bunker.
There, he finds Ethel (Shannon Purser). She rejoined the true King after Betty saved her from the false one at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. She refuses to reveal his identity because she loves him. She does, however, get the lost boys to stand down, only to realize Ricky’s gone and Jack went to get his knife from the bus.
Jughead and Ethel find Jack in the junkyard just before the Black Hood shows up, making everyone cringe as he scrapes his hook along the sides of vehicles. They manage to trap the Black Hood in the bus long enough to escape.
For his bravery, Ethel rewards him with the name of the King. After she whispers it in his ear, he says, “That’s impossible.”
Why? Because, as he tells Betty, Ethel says it’s Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines). His girlfriend tells him there’s only one way to find out, so Jughead digs up Jason’s grave — and finds his coffin empty.
If Jason is really the Gargoyle King — and that is a big if — it would explain Cheryl seeing her brother.
Even the FBI Has Given up on the Kids of Riverdale Being Normal
Hiram plans to save Riverdale by buying the town, and the governor has already signed off on it. But Veronica (Camila Mendes) overhears his plan and has had enough.
“Yeah, Ronnie, your dad sucks,” Archie says (which may be the most normal teenaged thing anyone has said in a while) when she fills him and Mary (Molly Ringwald) in.
Veronica hopes to use the fact that he owns the speakeasy against him by having him prosecuted for everything shady that goes down there, so Mary calls in another college friend, this one an FBI agent. The federal agency has wanted to bring in Hiram for a long time, but they need to catch him in the middle of committing a crime. So, Veronica comes up with a plan and brings Reggie (Charles Melton) in to help.
It begins with Archie challenging Hiram to a boxing match. If Archie wins, Hiram walks away from Riverdale. If Hiram wins, the town is his. Veronica then tells Hiram she’s getting calls from people wondering if La Bonne Nuit is taking bets, but she doesn’t want any part of it. He leaps at the opportunity and tells her to run all betting through the speakeasy.
Mary catches Archie as he’s heading out for the match, but rather than stop him, she wants to watch. Has she spent so much time in Riverdale that she’s come over to the dark side and is now ignoring common sense?
The FBI, led by Mary’s friend, raids La Bonne Nuit to put a stop to the illegal betting, and Veronica helpfully points them in the direction of the speakeasy’s owner, Hiram, in the middle of an illegal boxing match. But then new bets come in, and odds are Hiram is going to kill Archie.
Fortunately, Archie keeps him busy long enough for FP to walk in and arrest Hiram “with great pleasure” for conducting illegal activities at his establishments.
But it’s Veronica who gets the last word, informing her father, “I won,” as he sits in a cell.
Even Endgame Has Its Roadblocks
Mary tells Archie he and Veronica are quite the dynamic duo and thinks they’re “endgame.” But what matters is what Veronica thinks.
So, Archie goes to find out — only Reggie got there first, and he and Veronica are back together.
Do you buy that Jason is the Gargoyle King? And what do you think of the latest craziness (organ harvesting) to come to the small town of Riverdale? Sound off in the comments below.
Riverdale, Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW