The messy teens of Riverdale returned for their third season last Wednesday. With the rollercoaster that was season 2, the show eases back into the events of the spring finale.
As you may remember the mystery of the Black Hood was mostly solved with Betty’s father Hal being the culprit. Meanwhile Archie, after winning Riverdale High’s student body president, was arrested for the murder of a local teen.
We resume at the end of the summer, where Archie’s trial has dragged for weeks. With his mother and Mayor McCoy as his council, it looks grim for Mr. Andrews. The judge calls for a recess until after the Labor Day Weekend. Then the jury will decide their verdict.
Elsewhere Betty, Veronica and Jughead all face mini-dilemmas. Betty’s mother and sister insist she join their new farm healing
cult group. Betty refuses being skeptical of the whole charade.
Veronica aches for a way to free Archie from a guilty verdict. When Hiram refuses to budge, she attempts jury tampering. Hermione finally convinces her to stand down, noting that she isn’t a willing participant in her husband’s nefarious dealings.
Jughead gets a visit from the Ghoulies and their new leader, former Serpent, Penny. When they steal the Serpent’s dog, Jughead must wager his jacket to make peace. But not before Cheryl sends an archer’s bow in one Ghoulies’ arm. War has commenced.
In addition to the Ghoulies, Jughead stumbles upon a sinister mystery involving a fictional character known as the Gargoyle King. In what looks like a strain of Stranger Things meets Slenderman, the somewhat supernatural arc could be a gateway into Riverdale’s sister universe – Netflix’s Sabrina.
We return to the courtroom to hear the jury’s verdict: they’re deadlocked. In fear of making his family and friends suffer through another trial, Archie grows up and accepts a plea deal of manslaughter. He is ordered to serve two years in juvie. Everyone is stunned.
While I was surprised by Archie’s decision, I saw no qualms. He was an absolute terror last season, and did do all of Hiram’s bidding. I hope they have him behind bars for the majority of this half.
As for the ending scene, I sense the Cooper’s holistic healer and the mysterious Gargoyle King must be linked. Did Betty actually see her niece and nephew float in thin air? Or was this hallucination a symptom of her physical ailment. We’ll have to watch next Wednesday to find out.