‘Riverdale’s Halloween Episode Is Full of Horror, Hauntings & Danger (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 4, Episode 4 of Riverdale, “Chapter Sixty-One: Halloween.”]
It’s unclear what’s creepier in Riverdale‘s episode of Halloween: what happens at Stonewall, Thistlehouse, Pop’s, or under the Cooper/Jones roof.
First of all, it seems that everyone in Riverdale owns a VCR, which is good because they’re going to need them. That VHS tape from the end of “Dog Day Afternoon” is just the beginning. Betty, Jughead, Alice, FP, Jellybean, and Charles are the first to watch such a tape — featuring hours of their house from across the street — but over the following weeks, more people receive copies just like it. But hey, at least Alice can interview the recipients for a story; it helps that she gets the heads up from the live-in sheriff/her boyfriend, FP.
And as the residents of Riverdale wait to see who will be the next to open their doors to the unfortunate delivery, everyone prepares to celebrate Halloween. But while there are costumes, no one’s really in for a treat.
Here Lies Jughead Jones …
At Stonewall, Jughead learns Moose is planning to join the Army. Thanks to Bret’s article, everyone’s calling him “gargoyle boy.” But Jughead doesn’t want to give the prep boy the satisfaction of driving them both away.
In Mr. Chipping’s salon, the students discuss their favorite works of horror; Bret and Jughead get into it (of course), and the former remarks on his fondness for Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado. Wouldn’t it be a horrible way to go, sealed up behind bricks, and just vanish? Like the Stonewall Four, the other students add. Will Jughead make it Five?
Mr. Chipping insists it’s just an urban legend. Over about 30 years, four students disappeared without a trace, but they just dropped out, he says. So, Jughead does what he does best — research. However, Donna brings him a cup of coffee and he stupidly drinks from it before passing out. The others in the salon drugged him, and he wakes up in a coffin.
And that’s where Jughead spends Halloween night, at first pounding on the lid and calling out for Bret to let him out. In the morning, Mr. Chipping lets him out, and Jughead sees he’s in the salon room at Stonewall. It’s a tradition, he says, but insists he didn’t know. (Anyone else not believe him?) Jughead refuses to give Bret the satisfaction of him leaving Stonewall, but when he returns to his dorm, Moose is gone, his stuff cleared out.
And at the end of the episode, we once again flash forward, this time to Betty and FP at the coroner’s office. The coroner lifts a white sheet and reveals … Jughead’s body?! Betty did promise her boyfriend she’d find him if he ever went missing, but there has to be more to this, right?
The Call Is Coming From Inside the House
Betty spends Halloween night at home, with Jellybean, answering the door for trick-or-treaters (including kids dressed up as the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King — what were their parents thinking?!). Then she begins receiving phone calls from someone pretending to be the Black Hood, a.k.a. her dead father, complete with lines straight out of a horror movie: “Have you checked on the children lately?” and “Do you know where this call is coming from? It’s coming from inside the house.” Then there’s a loud pounding at the door and … it’s Charles, with a pizza.
He’s oh so helpful and just so happens to have an ancient machine in his car to trace the calls. As they wait for another call, he notes that they haven’t talked much since everything with the Farm. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of a real family, but I know that takes time,” he tells her.
When the phone rings again, Betty keeps the caller on the line, and after, Charles reports the person is at Shady Grove, where Polly’s being deprogrammed. They get Polly on the phone by pretending to be Edgar, and the sisters yell at each other for about a minute before hanging up. “This is fairly typical” of her life, Betty assures her brother.
He suggests that she enroll in the junior FBI training program and they work together to find out who’s sending the tapes. That sounds like sibling bonding right up Riverdale‘s alley … and oh, of course, Charles now has Betty under surveillance and listens to her conversation with Jughead as they discuss their crazy nights.
Toni, Get Out. Now!
Now that Toni knows about Jason’s body, Cheryl has him sitting at the table with them as they carve pumpkins. But Toni’s had enough and insists they rebury him. Cheryl warns her he won’t like it.
And it appears she’s right, since after they do, they find a creepy Jason doll on the couch. (Yes, that doll is more disturbing than Jason’s corpse.) Cheryl says it’s Jason’s ghost. And when the doll turns up in the chapel where Cheryl was keeping Jason’s body later, Cheryl again says it’s her brother haunting them. So they do the only thing they can — hold a séance.
According to the Ouija board, there is a spirit inside the doll, and its name begins with a J. But Nana Rose informs them it’s not Jason, but Julian. See, there was a third baby, but Cheryl absorbed him in the womb. Toni accuses Cheryl and Nana Rose of working together to make her realize things were better when Jason was there, so she agrees to dig him back up. Cheryl acts all accommodating when she offers to keep his body in the chapel.
But the haunting’s not over yet. Toni finds that creepy doll on the bed, and Cheryl insists she buried the doll like she said she would. Nana Rose tells them it’s Julian. Seriously, Toni, get out of there.
The Unkindness of Strangers
Just after Veronica’s closed up Pop’s, a man stops in, asking for a meal before he gets back on the road to return to his family. She agrees, only to hear a news report about a serial killer, the Family Man, who escaped Shady Grove, and has his victims cook him a meal before brutally murdering them. Veronica escapes to the speakeasy, then dumps a bowl of alcohol, on him while he holds a lighter to see in the dark.
Elsewhere, Archie and Munroe hold a Halloween party at the community center to keep the kids off the street and out of danger from Dodger. But Dodger still manages to show up and shoot Eddie in the leg. While Archie can’t go around as Pure Heart the Powerful (his Halloween costume), it does seem he’s planning to become The CW’s next vigilante since he tells Veronica he needs a mask.
Kevin joins Reggie in trashing Mr. Honey’s office, only for the new principal to catch them — and be quite brutal in each conversation. As he tells Kevin, he’s not going to get into NYU with his record. And he knows Reggie’s a prankster to cover the pain of his father’s abuse, but he tells him his classmates are laughing at him, not with him. Furthermore, when Reggie leaves the next day after spending all night cleaning Mr. Honey’s office, he finds someone’s trashed his car. “Such a shame when someone disrespects your property,” Mr. Honey comments. Can Riverdale High please get a normal principal?
Which part of the Halloween episode did you find the most disturbing?
Riverdale, Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW