TV Reviews

Riverdale Season 3 Episode 3: As Above, So Below Review

If you would like to read my review of last episode of Riverdale, click here.

Synopsis: A series of suspicious roadblocks threaten to delay the opening of the speakeasy, so Veronica enlists the help of Cheryl, Toni, Reggie, Kevin and Josie to ensure opening night goes off without a hitch. Elsewhere, Betty and Jughead follow different leads to learn more about the strange incidents going on in the town. Finally, some unwanted attention forces Archie to make a difficult decision about his future. (TVGuide)

Writer: Aaron Allen

Director: Jeff Hunt

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45 mins

Airs: Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW (United States)

“As Above, So Below” starts off with the warden opening the door to Archie’s cell in solitary asking if he has considered his offer. When Archie replies that his answer is still no, the warden promptly closes the door saying see you in another week. FP and Alice wake up together in bed and discuss the blue lipped suicides that happened nearly three week ago and how their kids are too nosey for their own good. Let’s start off with these nosey kids, shall we?

Betty and Jughead are staying in Dilton’s bunker for some privacy and discuss the cult surrounding the Gargoyle King. They suspect this game does not have a rulebook so they decide to ask Ethel more about it. She invites Jughead to an official Griffins and Gargoyles initiation where he chooses Ben’s character the Hellcaster. Ethel promises to show him the rule book if he makes a choice between two chalices, which turn his lips blue, but he passes the test. As Jughead looks through the King’s Scripture, Ethel drinks the other chalice, prompting Jughead to take her to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Betty’s investigation leads her to believe that her family’s obsession with the Farm might be connected to this mysterious role-playing game with Edgar Evernever playing the role of the cult leader. At the Cooper house, the Farm entices Betty to confess her sins, as Alice and Polly have also done. Jughead returns home with Betty, where FP and Alice confront him about his rulebook and burns it telling Jughead to avoid this game as it is pure evil.

Onto the more lighthearted story of the week, the opening of Veronica’s speakeasy! With money becoming an issue at Pop’s, Veronica knows she needs to open her speakeasy, despite wanting to wait for Archie to be there. She brings her pals to the secret location of La Bonne Nuit, recruiting Reggie as the mocktail bartender, Josie as the lounge singer and Kevin as the emcee (and occasional singer). Almost immediately she receives an offer from Penny Peabody for protection from the Ghoulies, but after rejecting it she tries to frame Veronica with a massive shipment of Jingle Jangle. It doesn’t help that Sheriff Minetta stops by asking for a bribe to stay off their backs and Veronica traces these threats back to her father, but she won’t punch back until she’s properly armed.

Veronica needs to gain the upperhand so she turns to Cheryl and Toni for help. They learn that the Whyte Wyrm has been turned into a Jingle Jangle lab by the Ghoulies so she does what any respectable citizen would do. She takes photos and blackmails her dad with threats of going to the FBI in exchange for weekly money. That evening, the speakeasy opens and Hiram arrives with a peace offering of a massive oil painting of Veronica. He reveals that she can go to the FBI if she desires because they won’t find anything at the Wyrm anymore.

Meanwhile, Fred goes to visit Archie in juvie, but the warden won’t allow him to see his son, even after three weeks. He says the prison will hear from his lawyer. And he will need it because Archie is dealing with his own Shawshank-Fight Club situation at juvie to the amusement of the warden and guards. The warden congratulates Archie for his first win, but wants more of a show next time. He offers a perk to Archie, giving him a special lunch delivery from Pop’s that he shares with all the other fighters.

In his next fight Archie takes a beating before defeating his opponent to appease the warden and his cohorts. With Archie losing hope, he finds a rock-shaped hammer hidden inside Mad Dog’s copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. Archie approaches the fighters and decides that they need to plan a prison break. The episode ends as Ethel has dispersed the Griffins & Gargoyles rulebook to the lockers of Riverdale in search of fresh blood for their game.

Questions

  • Is Mad Dog really dead?
  • Will Archie escape with Joaquin and Baby Teeth?
  • Will Josie and Sweet Pea’s summer fling become a full fledged romance?
  • Will Joaquin’s escape cause Kevin’s love life to become complicated?
  • How will Veronica get back at her dad for his ‘punishment?’
  • Will someone die in the battle against the Ghoulies?
  • Will Moose and Kevin continue their romance?
  • What happened to the parents of Riverdale?
  • What is the Gargoyle King and what does it want?

Overall, this was a good episode. Finally, Veronica’s speakeasy is open and it is easily the most Riverdale feeling part of this episode. It’s suave, but mob-like in atmosphere and it feels like a place that needs to be frequented this season. Veronica’s battle with her father finally had a few punches thrown, but this battle won’t be over any time soon. Especially with her father being a part of the group trying to protect their children from the mysterious forces surrounding Riverdale. The supernatural themes took a step forward as well giving more insight into the game of Griffins & Gargoyles and the potential problem it poses for the residents of Riverdale. Archie’s story is the least intriguing of the three, but with his discovery at the end, hopefully he will join his gang sooner rather than later to fight their scariest foe yet.

Score: 8.5/10

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