Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 306: "Manhunter"

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Things are getting seriously weird in RIVERDALE as Betty (LILI REINHART) and Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) won't let go of their investigation into the Gargoyle King and the addictive role-playing game of Griffins & Gargoyles. With the Warden having commited suicide via the traditional means of ascendance -- cyanide and blue fruit-like-flavored drink (Kraft Foods will seemingly never break the link to them and the Jim Jones tragedy that forever tainted their brand) -- Jughead is left without a primary suspect for the Gargoyle King. But Betty uncovers that their parents knew the Warden when they were playing G&G in high school, when he was the RROTC instructor. She lures all the parents to Veronica's speakeasy through forged invitations from the Gargoyle King, intent on interrogating them to find out which of yhem might have committed the first G&G murder. The finger of suspicion points conveniently to Darryl Doiley -- convenient, because he killed himself years ago. However, when Betty digs deeper, she learns the suicide story was a cover-up for what looks to have been a murder.

Both our heroes are back to square one, seemingly -- until Betty confronts her mother about the cover-up, and their home is invaded by the Gargoyle King's minions! 

Alongside this, Sheriff Minetta (HENDERSON WADE), visits Riverdale High to strongly warn the students about covering up for the escaped fugitive, Archie Andrews (KJ APA). While he questions them, Josie McCoy (ASHLEIGH MURRAY) goes into a seizure. And, yes, once again, Evelyn Evernever (ZOE DE GRAND MAISON) is present in the room. There seems to be enough of an epidemic of seizures in Riverdale for the CDC to become aware and involved, but no doubt nothing sinister in this town ever gets reported to outside authorities. If it did, there's no way the Sisters of Quiet Mercy would still be in operation -- and it's very much in operation, and infiltrated by forces more sinister than before! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) continues to work tirelessly to find evidence to exonerate Archie from the murder that got him arrested, and finds it on the mayor's -- her mother, Hermione (MARISOL NICHOLS) -- desktop computer. Meanwhile, Archie and Kevin Keller (CASEY COTT) leave the safety of the underground bunker so Archie can track down the three witnesses whom he believes were paid off by Hiram Lodge (MARK CONSUELOS) to frame Archie. But they'll have to get there fast, because Hiram has already sent Sheriff Minetta to the same hiding place to eliminate any chance of things getting tied back to him.

Ultimately, just as Veronica clears Archie's name, Archie skips town, realizing that even with his name cleared his friends will never be safe because Hiram Lodge is still operating freely. Alice Cooper (MADCHEN AMICK) also leaves for the farm out of terror, but, knowing Betty would not join her, arranges to have Betty committed to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy -- where art class is a fresh new corner of Hell!

The mystery deepens, and it seems every adult in town is a likely suspect. The writers are doing a great job with this one, keeping the fans guessing and the conspiracy mill running at full capacity.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0