TV Reviews

Riverdale Season 3 Episode 14: Fire Walk with Me Review

For our review of the last episode of Riverdale, click here.

Synopsis: Betty takes matters into her own hands when she learns that The Farm has set their sights on someone in her inner circle. Meanwhile, when Hiram and Gladys’ control over Veronica becomes too much to handle, she sets a plan in motion to turn the tables on them. Elsewhere, Archie grows concerned about a young runaway he meets at the gym, while Jughead struggles to maintain control over the Serpents. (CW)

Writer: Aaron Allen

Director: Marisol Adler

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

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

“Fire Walk with Me” starts off with Alice trying to sell the house to some prospective buyers, but Betty intervenes. She tells the couple this is the house of the Black Hood which definitely isn’t a selling point. Archie is approached at the gym and asked to start paying for his time. Meanwhile, at Riverdale the Gargoyles, Poisons and Farmies start a large brawl. Jughead and Toni are brought into Principal Weatherbee’s office where he reveals a bunch of lab equipment was stolen and that this is their final strike.

Josie swings by the gym to see Archie doing janitorial duties to pay for his time. They hear a noise in the distance and decides it’s best to investigate. Inside they find Ricky, a runaway boy, who has been squatting at the gym. They take him for a bite at Pop’s, but when Josie brings up social services he tries to run. He doesn’t want to go back because they branded him with the same symbol that Archie got.

Archie sets him up in the garage because his dad won’t notice and promises not to call social services. After talking with Betty, he gets the idea to call Ms. Weiss, someone who could find Ricky a good home. He comes by Pop’s to find Ricky was run out by some thugs. He drew a message on a placemat for Archie showing a sacrifice to the Gargoyle King. Archie and Betty sit down with Ms. Weiss who explains that the G&G problem is still a big issue. She assures them that if she finds Ricky, she will let them know.

Toni discusses her frustration with Cheryl over the way the Poisons have been acting. Of course, Cheryl fights back and threatens taking the Poisons away. Meanwhile, things are getting tense when the Serpents learn that the Gargoyles stole the equipment. They want them to return it which causes tensions to boil. Jughead believes it’s time for their initiation, but the Gargoyles won’t budge. They are holding all the cards.

Jughead asks FP for guidance who explains it is in his hands to figure this out and out-think the bad guys. Archie brings his concerns of Ricky to Jughead and the Serpents. They hope to search the town and find him, despite some Gargoyles initially being hesitant. Archie and Jughead find one of the Gargoyle’s strongholds which has a list of sacrificial names on it. The only two that remain are Archie and Ricky. Conveniently, Ricky is hiding in the walls and they manage to grab him and get to safety.

Archie brings Ricky to the gym and starts to train him in order to feel a little less anxious about the world around him. Turns out Ricky was branded because he refused to be a runner for the Gargoyles. Archie tells him that he will protect him. Jughead comes to the Serpents and decides they need to find the fanatical Gargoyles who might still want blood. However, things get dicey when Toni rushes in. Down the hall Kurtz is planning to kill Fangs.

They rush into the hall and see Fangs hanging by his feet. They plead with Kurtz, but he drops Fangs. Luckily, Jughead and Sweet Pea are able to run underneath him and break his fall. He brings this latest problem to FP and decides it is time to usher in a new chapter for the Serpents. They decide that the Serpents will be deputized and work for FP. Everyone is in, except Kurtz who is kicked out of the gang.

Archie receives a call from Ms. Weiss about Ricky’s true identity. Turns out he is Ricardo DeSantos, Joaquin’s younger brother. He also has a history of violent behaviour and self-harm. Archie returns to find Ricky has disappeared. Archie walks through the house and finds Ricky holding a knife. He wants to finish what Joaquin started to be accepted by the Gargoyles. Ricky slashes at Archie, but Fred arrives prompting him to flee. They find a quest card on the floor that says “Kill the Red Paladin.”

Betty talks with the gang about her Farm problems saying its pushed her family and Kevin away from her. They all offer to take Betty in, but she has other things to deal with. She confronts Kevin about what he is doing, but Kevin calls her a detractor. On her way out of school, she spies in on a Farm meeting. Evelyn has the other members, including Kevin, placing their hands above lit burners.

Betty comes to Josie with her concerns about Kevin. Josie explains that she has heard Kevin sneaking out at night and perhaps that is him going to meet with The Farm. Betty heads into Fox Forest to find Evelyn forcing Kevin to walk across a bed of fiery embers. Despite her screams, he continues to walk and finds himself purified. Evelyn and Kevin confront Betty at school who is writing an article about The Farm. They threaten her with Alice’s secrets that she revealed to The Farm. From the murder to body dump, they know it all. Betty returns home to find Alice packing because an anonymous buyer is taking the house.

At the speakeasy things aren’t going well. Gladys and Hiram are both using it for their business meetings and calling it comp for what Veronica owes them. She sits down with Reggie and discusses a second casino night to bring in some big bucks and he agrees. They set up safety measures in case the cops come by making sure that everything is all set for their big night.

Hiram comes by Veronica’s room to ask for a favour. He wants to use the casino to land a mega-client. Veronica agrees so long as she gets a 5% cut on her debt. She also makes the same deal with Gladys going behind both their backs. At La Bonne Nuit, Gladys takes the stage for a show-stopping number. That is until Hiram’s VIP starts chirping Gladys. She pulls a knife and Veronica has had enough. She kicks out Hiram’s VIP which he is not happy about.

However, Veronica sees Gladys bartending and her dad is referring to the speakeasy as his place. She knows they see La Bonne Nuit as their own and she has had it. Veronica sits down with Toni and makes a deal to have the Poisons provide muscle for the speakeasy. This should solve their problems right? That evening, both Gladys and Hiram are blocked from entering the speakeasy.

In the end, Betty looks over the empty house for the last time after she questions doing the fire hand test. Jughead and Archie look over the Gargoyle’s old stronghold that they hope to make the new Serpent Headquarters. Archie questions how G&G is still a part of their lives, but Jughead and Betty vow to help him out. Jughead comments on how cheery Betty looks and she states she feels a lot better about things. Suddenly, Alice returns home to a smoke detector ringing as the house has been set ablaze.

Questions

  • Who will wind up dead next?
  • How many Gargoyle Kings are there?
  • How long will Archie and Josie last?
  • Will Betty forgive her father?
  • How are The Farm and The Gargoyle King connected?
  • What is Gladys’ plan?
In Memoriam

Luke Perry was a beacon of optimism and charisma every time that Fred Andrews appeared on screen. He was a hard worker, a dedicated community member and a selfless father. All of these attributes made him an instant fan favourite with Luke Perry easily taking the reins for such an important role. Fred wasn’t just a role model for Archie or his friends, but for all those watching these past three seasons. The rest of this season will be bittersweet to watch and Riverdale won’t be the same without you. Rest in peace.

Overall, Fire Walk with Me was a decent episode. It was a sombre event as the slow-paced story was what everyone needed following the tragic news this past week. The storylines concerning G&G, the ongoing gang war and the Farm all moved a bit forward, but it felt a little lacklustre. The ridiculously petty issues surrounding family squabble made these stories feel a bit over the top and stretched thin to fill the runtime. Hopefully, the fallout of the few cliffhangers leaves some characters with an axe to grind in the coming weeks.

Score: 7/10

What did you think of “Fire Walk with Me”? Where do you see this season going? Let me know in the comments below!

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