Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 403, "Dog Day Afternoon"

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Riverdale 403, Dog Day Afternoon

Things take a turn for the seriously weird in this episode of RIVERDALE. But there are enough mundane troubles to maintain a balance of sorts. For instance, there's the issue of Archie (KJ APA) wanting to turn the boxing gym into a community center. A crime-ridden town like Riverdale desperately needs something like that to keep any Artful Dodger from conscripting urchins into a becoming a gang of thieves. (This actually happens in the show -- and the guy's name is actually Dodger.) Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) offers to help raise the money, suggesting the buff boys hold a car wash. It makes cash, but not nearly enough to get the building up to code for being what it needs to be.

Then there's Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) and his learning how to navigate the hoity-toity circles of his new school. His roommate turns out, surprisingly, to be Moose Mason (CODY KEARSLEY), seeking a fresh start after his father was revealed to be the Gargoyle King. But snooty Bret (SEAN DEPNER) knows all the right things to say to get under Jughead's skin, trying to provoke him into a fight, in defiance of the zero-tolerance policy against violence laid down by Mr. Chipping (SAM WITWER).

And we get some more father/daughter tension between Veronica and Hiram Lodge (MARK CONSEULOS). Turns out owning the jail you're locked up in has its privileges, and when he learns that Veronica is thinking of changing her last name, he threatens her -- which only serves to strengthen her resolve to move forward. I almost wonder if that's what Hiram had in mind the whole time, since he tosses out a name that she ultimately decides to go with, thinking she's spiting him with it.

But the weird stuff is going on with Betty (LILI REINHART) and Cheryl (MADELAINE PETSCH). Okay, Betty's situation is weird; Cheryl's is just downright effed-up.

Betty has been working with Agent Charles Smith (WYATT NASH) to locate where Edgar Evernever (CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY) has holed up with his cult from The Farm. They don't have to look hard, because Edgar starts calling Betty, making demands while he holds her mother (MADCHEN AMICK) hostage. As a show of his intentions. he releases her sister Polly (TIERA SKOVBYE)--who may just die because of it. When the raid finally does go down, Edgar has an escape plan ready to go: a rocket. Yes. A home-made rocket, ready to launch, with him ready to ride off in it in his Evel Knievel jumpsuit. Only in Riverdale...

Out at the Blossom place, Cheryl's life is spiraling out of control. Grandma Rose seems to be losing it, calling Cheryl "Penelope" (her mother), and imagining that she saw "the triplets" thrown into the fireplace. Is this a hint that there was a superfluous Blossom child other than Cheryl and Jason? And speaking of dear, not-so-departed Jason, he's still lounging about in the basement. Only now... he's moving. Not bad for a dead guy, but there's a very plausible -- and rodent-driven -- reason for his reanimation.

Hold onto your hats, folks. This episode is undoubtedly the wildest yet, as all the secrets we knew get revealed, and new secrets are hinted at.

Rose Blossom: BARBARA WALLACE

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0