“I’ve seen a porcelain doll possessed by my deceased brother move faster than you.”
Previously on Riverdale, Archie and Jughead were trapped in a fire that looked extremely life-threatening, but it turned out they had two fire extinguishers easily accessible and the house was basically undamaged except for a little bit of soot on picture frames. Of course!
The fire sparks (lol) Archie’s newest hobby of the week. From musician to football player to boxer to wrestler to mafia assistant to vigilante to bear wrestler to gym owner to soldier to teacher to savior of Riverdale, now Archie has decided to start Riverdale’s volunteer fire department just like his Grandpa Artie.
As is the case with most of Archie’s hobbies, he realizes he is completely useless and requires Veronica’s help.
Betty and Alice visit Dr. Curdle Jr. at the morgue the way others might catch up with friends over a cup of coffee.
The good news is, Cheryl has finally left the house. The bad news is, she (a woman in her mid-20s) left the house to challenge a high schooler to a dance-off.
So, remember how Jughead and Tabitha learned that there was maybe probably an alien invasion by the “mothman”? Well, it turns out that Pop Tate was once interviewed for a piece about the mothman (mothmen? mothpeople?) which I was selfishly thrilled about because it meant Pop Tate was back this episode.
Archie’s friend Eric from “the war” (we! still! do! not! know! what! war!) comes for a visit, and he immediately gives off the same vibes as Uncle Frank, which is to say…he’s going to be an issue.
Pop (who looks so happy in his retirement, I love to see it!) tells us about his experience with the mothman.
We get to see young Pop as he tells us about the time he was at Pop’s and saw some flashing lights that were maybe aliens or maybe a military experiment or maybe just like a huge rager???
But, PLOT TWIST, someone else we know and love was at Pop’s that night — NANA ROSE!!!!
Turns out, Nana Rose did see the lights, and she believes they’re from the mothman ship because she found an alien corpse, had an autopsy performed on it, and PRESERVED THE BODY IN MAPLE SYRUP! Because of course she did!
Lol so none of Archie’s friends want to join his fire club, so he recruits a bunch of teenagers to risk their lives putting out fires when they were just, like, trying to go to school.
Unfortunately, Veronica is engaging in equally stupid behavior, by attempting to fix the Riverdale economy by printing money (“riverdollars”) with her face on it.
I absolutely hate to have to agree with Hiram, but I do:
Speaking of Hiram, he won’t let FBI Agent Elizabeth Cooper and Sheriff Tom Keller search the swamp for dead bodies for…reasons???
Betty remembers to call her FBI boyfriend and he lets her know that the TRASH BAG KILLER (world’s funniest serial killer name!) is on the loose again.
With a tip from Reggie who remembers he’s human for, like, one second, Betty finds out about another dead body — this time the victim is a teen named Margaret Harper.
As a little treat, Nana Rose sends over the preserved alien corpse to Jughead and Tabitha:
Jughead plans to send the thing off to a scientist, which leads Tabitha to ask this perfectly valid question:
Cheryl officially starts working with the River Vixens again, and delivers a throwback line to one of my all-time fave Riverdale duos — JJ and Julian! I’ve missed these sweet bbs.
All the River Vixens drama meant Cheryl and Toni had an emotional reunion, but they’re still not on good terms. And we still don’t know the story behind Toni’s baby…
Also in Cheryl land, Minerva Marple (remember her?) somehow figured out that the $250k portrait of Jason Blossom was a forgery, and it seems like she’s about to get into some scheming with Cheryl.
Ummm, okay so Jughead gets abducted by aliens!!! Bye, Jughead!
Archie and his fire club get their first fire, and something about how this guy alerted them really cracked me up:
BTW, just as an aside, Archie’s fire club is sponsored by CORE water.
In sad news, Archie was unable to save this man, Earl, from the fire. At this point the death toll in this town is so astronomically high it would be impossible to count.
Kevin and Fangs realize it wasn’t nice of them not to volunteer to be firefighters (though, I honestly disagree! I think it’s perfectly acceptable to opt out of your friend’s fire club!) so they join up:
And finally, Betty and team discover that there’s actually, like 21 missing girls and Riverdale almost definitely has a serial killer problem once again. An arsonist, a serial killer, and a mothman — and that’s just one week in this town.
Well, that was a lot to unpack and preserve in a maple syrup barrel. Any theories? Questions? Concerns? Tell me in the comments, and I’ll see ya next week!
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