By Chris Place
After the massive cliffhanger at the end of season two, “Riverdale” finally made its return on Oct. 10 for the season three premiere. The end of season two really shaped the future of “Riverdale” and this review and recap will rely heavily on spoilers from the past seasons.
The biggest mystery of the season was solved, as Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro) was revealed to be the Black Hood. Cheryl Blossom (Madeline Petsch) officially made her South Side transition as she joined the South Side Serpents. Along with Cheryl, Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) officially joined the Serpents and is now the Serpent Queen. Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) became the new Serpent leader after his father passed the title on to him because of Jughead’s sacrifice. The real cliffhanger that left everyone in shock was Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) being framed for murder by Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos).
That leads us to season 3, which picks up right before Labor Day weekend, while Archie is on trial for murder. Throughout this episode, you can really see the toll that this trial has taken on Archie. He starts seeing visions of his friends moving on without him, and he even starts to see himself as the man who committed the murder. I really liked this idea because it shows that Archie isn’t Superman and can’t get through everything so easily.
Betty is going through a lot of trauma herself as she is still dealing with the aftermath of her father being revealed as the Black Hood. Betty seems to be in denial about her father, as pointed out by her sister, Polly (Tiera Skovbye). She also is shown in her role as the Serpent Queen for the first time. She still is overly-protected by Jughead because he thinks everything is too dangerous for her. I like the route they are taking with Betty because she’s going to prove that she belongs with the Serpents.
On the other hand, Alice has done a complete 180. She seems to be healed from the past events due to her following Polly’s advice of meeting the people on the farm where she lives. Betty still hasn’t come to terms with it as she feels that her mother isn’t just healed, but a completely new person. I enjoyed this angle very much because at some point, I expect Betty to embrace the people from the farm, which will change everything about her character.
Furthermore, this episode details the crumbling relationship between Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) and her father, Hiram. This has been teased for a while now, but Veronica has officially reached her breaking point now that Hiram has framed Archie for murder. Veronica disowned herself from Hiram by saying that he doesn’t have a daughter anymore. I am a huge fan of this storyline. Seeing Veronica being able to take down Hiram would change the entire show. She already proved that she’s not afraid of him, as she blocked his plans of buying the bar and securing the entire South Side.
The show went back to show the end of Archie’s trial. After the jury was tied at 6-6, the judge declared a mistrial. To avoid another trial, a plea deal was offered to Archie, and he accepted it immediately. He didn’t discuss it with his own legal team, which included his own mother. He will have to serve two years in juvenile detention. This was the only way to go with the storyline and it shows that Archie is his own worst enemy. I’m very much looking forward to how Archie deals with life in prison.
What left everyone talking was the final five minutes. First, the dads of Riverdale vowed to take down Hiram. Next, Betty comes home to Alice and Polly dropping two babies into a fire, but ended up coming back up and floating in the air. This caused Betty to have a seizure and also showed that she is more vulnerable than ever. The most interesting plot angle of the episode was the introduction of The Gargoyle King. There aren’t many details to this character yet. What we do know is this started off as a game between Dilton Doiley (Major Curda) and Ben (Moses Thiessen), but then became a reality. Dilton left a map and a compass at Jughead’s house, which leads him to find Dilton and Ben unresponsive in the woods with symbols carved into their backs. This will be the main mystery and sets up endless possibilities throughout the season, which is what “Riverdale” is all about.
This episode may be considered overstuffed by some, but I think it was the perfect premiere episode. What this episode did was introduce all of the different plots that will take place throughout the season and has endless possibilities. Also, season three is set to become even darker than the last season, which is a welcomed change. With 21 episodes left in the season, the storylines will be told in a timely fashion, which was already proven in season two. Judging by the premiere, “Riverdale” looks geared up to have another fantastic season that will have the audience at the edge of their seats.