For our review of the last episode of Riverdale, click here.
Synopsis: With SATs around the corner, Alice and FP urge Jughead and Betty to stop investigating G&G and start focusing on their SAT prep. However, when Alice takes things one step too far, Betty is forced to come face-to-face with someone from her past. Finally, Jughead makes a bold move against the Gargoyle Gang. (TVGuide)
Writer: Brian E. Paterson
Director: Maggie Kiley
Running Time: 45mins
Airs: Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW (United States)
“The Stranger” starts off with a time jump and Archie having healed has returned to Riverdale. He enjoys a meal with his father before surprising Veronica at La Bonne Nuit. They reconcile with Veronica omitting her little fling with Reggie before they get right to their make out. Back at Pop’s the gang discusses how Jughead’s mole Fangs is close to uncovering the identity of the Gargoyle King. Surprisingly, they have more important things to focus on like… school?
Betty learns that her mom has transferred all of their assets, including her college fund, to The Farm after forging Hal’s signature. Betty brings this information to Attorney McCoy who reveals that she can get her funds back if she visits her father. She visits Riverdale’s resident Hannibal Lecter who agrees to sign the papers for a copy of Gryphons and Gargoyles. She plans to leave, but he mentions Ascension Night and explains he invited the Midnight Club and killed Principal Featherhead. He claims to have been the Gargoyle King before prompting her to leave. But not before she also learns that her mom has been regularly visiting Hal.
She confronts her mom, but learns that someone has been impersonating her to visit Hal and that person is Penelope Blossom. She has also been the one telling Hal everything about Ascension Night. Betty confronts her father about this lie and he confesses it was to get her talking to him again. She returns home to find that the money Alice gave to The Farm helped them purchase the Sisters convent for their new home. She returns to her serial killer father, realizing she feels more connected to him than her cult crazed mother.
FP and Fred visit Hiram to inform him that Archie has returned. Hiram jokes around, but they state that if he hurts either of their kids, they won’t hesitate to kill him. He later meets with the Blossoms and decides to appoint Claudius as the new sheriff. Hiram brings his plans to Hermione forcing her to put Claudius in the police department and turning the Sisters convent into Castle Lodge.
Jughead meets with Fangs to learn he was invited to the King’s inner circle. At the ceremony in Fox Forest, the Serpents ambush the Gargoyles and apprehend the Gargoyle King. They unmask him to discover it’s ex-Serpent Tall Boy under the skull! Jughead and the Serpents take him to Dilton’s bunker where they interrogate him. They force Tall Boy to lure Hiram into a trap by saying he has Archie. The gang arrives at the pier where Hiram is nowhere to be found. Instead, he sent his lackey Claudius prompting FP to make a citizen’s arrest.
And finally, Archie returns to Riverdale High and discusses the upcoming SATs with Principal Weatherbee who recommends he repeat junior year to get caught up. Reggie tries to surprise Veronica with a kiss, but she cuts it off explaining that Archie is back and decides to throw a welcome-home party for him. Problem is that during Veronica’s Spanish serenade, Archie relives his Revenant experience and dashes out.
Paranoid about failing the SATs, Archie goes to Reggie about cheating and a misunderstanding leads Archie to learn about Veronica’s fling. He comes to Veronica who breaks down about how angry she was when he left and she just missed him. Totally an excuse for what happened. He reassures her not to worry about what happened and that he wants her to spend the night. The next morning is the big day as the students buckle down and do their SATs. Well everyone except Archie who relives more of his nightmares and walks out.
At the brownstone, Hiram talks on the phone about avoiding the ambush at the pier when he’s shot by a sniper through the chest. Hiram is rushed to the ICU and Archie arrives to console Veronica, but she questions if he left to do it and inevitably they break up. This of course allows Reggie to swoop in and console Veronica in her time of need. Jughead returns to the bunker to find Sweet Pea and Fangs had killed Tall Boy in self-defense causing complications for their plan. Archie confides in his dad about being unable to cope with his near-death experience. Claudius is found dead in his cell prompting Hermione to call FP saying it’s time. As the Serpents party, partly to hide Tall Boy’s death, a police car rolls up and out pops the new sheriff: FP Jones.
- Who shot Hiram Lodge?
- Will Archie ever return to the things he loves like music and Veronica?
- Will Cheryl and Toni seek retribution against Jughead?
- What is The Farm’s plan?
- Is there something still brewing between Jughead’s parents?
- Will the dynamic of Riverdale change with FP donning the sheriff’s hat? Hopefully he isn’t cursed to the same fate as its previous owners.
Overall, The Stranger was a great episode. As Archie returns a stranger to his family, all of the characters are finally back in the same place giving some stability to the storytelling. While some characters were absent from this episode, it allowed the focus to be on the main players in the fate of Riverdale as someone finally managed to strike a blow to the Man in Black. With various characters having closed door conversations with unexpected friends, could that change the tide of the war raging in Riverdale? Let’s just hope that Archie and the gang can return to some form of their normal lives at season’s end.
What did you think of “The Stranger”? Where do you see this season going? Let me know in the comments below!
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