What is the point of having Halloween specials on a show where weird, spooky and strange things happen every episode? Now they happen in costume.
The most important takeaway from Riverdale this week is that Toni is the best girlfriend in the world. Imagine finding out your girlfriend was keeping her dead brother out on display in the basement of the house you two share and still loving her? That’s how you know it’s real.
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Even after Toni convinces Cheryl to bury Jason again, her horrors are not over. A doll begins to terrorize Thistlehouse. Toni believes that Nana Rose and Cheryl are playing a prank on her—if Jason comes back, the haunting of his ghost through the ghost will stop. Luckily, Toni and Cheryl get all dressed up in their Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn costumes…just to host a seance with Jason. Nana Rose then informs the girls that the ghost is not Jason but a third child that Cheryl absorbed while in the womb. When the hauntings continue after Toni and Cheryl dig up Jason’s re-buried corpse, they think she may be right. I guess this doll of babies past will be sticking around.
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One thing Riverdale has always done right is their incorporating of classic horror tropes. Betty all alone on Halloween, Jelllybean playing silly pranks. Phone calls claiming to be the Black Hood. Loud knocks on the door. With Betty dressed as a character from the original Halloween, every small sound and every ring of the phone leaves you wondering.
Apparently, the phone calls were from Polly in the mental hospital, but she doesn’t really give much of an explanation over the phone. Either way, with small children dressing up as the Gargoyle King and the Black Hood, I don’t think Halloween is Betty’s holiday.
While Betty stirs at home twitching at every noise, Jughead was busy getting buried alive as some sort of Stonewall Prep initiation ceremony—you know, the kind that happens at every school. It seems as though the students want Jughead gone. Probably because his literary genius is so threatening and they’re afraid he’ll write a better sonnet. Sometimes a prep school brat’s love of Edgar Allan Poe goes a little too far and you just have to trap someone in a coffin. We’ve all been there.
Jughead also learns about the “Stonewall Four,” where four students from Stonewall vanished out of thin air one right after each other. Of course, Jughead doesn’t vanish. In typical Moose fashion, he is in one episode, gets my hopes up about a “Mevin” reunion, and then disappears. Yes, Moose joins the vanished lot, now named the “Stonewall Five” because Kevin (and myself) are not allowed to be happy ever again.
Speaking of Kevin, while his past lover was disappearing, he was getting reprimanded for vandalizing Mr. Honey’s office with Reggie. When you have no friends, these are the types of things that you get roped into. Mr. Honey realizes this. One of the best parts of the episode was Mr. Honey saying that Kevin’s top school is NYU (Violet pride) but quickly shutting him down (because Kevin can never be happy) and saying he will never get in. What a great educator. I’m glad to see Kevin’s storyline is finally picking up again.
Mr. Honey also blames Reggie’s bad behavior on his father’s abuse. To rectify this bold statement, he continues to be a good educator by vandalizing Reggie’s car right back. It’s hard to tell if this man is playfully witty with a good heart or just plain mean. He doesn’t have a great track record so far.
If you’re wondering why I save Veronica and Archie for last, it’s because I care about them the least. See? Full transparency. You won’t find it anywhere else. I have to say, Veronica’s storyline was pretty interesting in this episode. She keeps Pop’s open late for a weary traveler just trying to drive through the night to meet his family. While he finishes his meal, Veronica hears on the news of a serial killer on the loose who matches his description personally. This also mirrors a typical horror scenario. Since Riverdale kids are no strangers to serial killers, she gets away not without burning him alive first. Way to go, Ronnie…I guess.
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Self proclaimed hero Archie Andrews actually gets the suit he so deserved. We get the first mentions of the new CW Archie Comics spinoff, Katy Keene, in this episode when Veronica tells Archie and Munroe she can get costumes for them from her designer friend in New York. These costumes are skin-tight superhero costumes, of course. My hero, Archikins.
Our eighteen-year-old savior throws a Halloween party in the community center he has created in the time since the last episode to keep the kids off the streets for the night. Of course, a dangerous gang shows up who a lot of the kids in town work for. Things get violent, a child is shot, Archie is devastated, since he is personally responsible now for every bad thing that happens in Riverdale. After the fiasco and little Eddie turns out to be okay, Veronica poses an amazing suggestion—”Why don’t we clean up the streets?” I cannot believe no one has thought of this before! Veronica for New York City mayor 2020.
The episode ends once again with that looming plotline of Jughead’s future death. Jughead alludes to him going missing and Betty being the one to find him. Meanwhile, Charles listens in through the device he was using to trace the prank calls Betty got. Very creepy, bro. It then shifts to FP and Betty identifying Jughead’s body. Suddenly, this threat of Jughead’s eventual death seems a lot more real, despite Roberto Acquirre-Sacasa promising Jughead’s vitality before the season started. I trusted you, Roberto. Now I don’t know what to think. Also, Charles has clearly shown himself as a shady character. Can’t Betty have one family member who is stable? Is that too much to ask?
The answer is yes. Everything is too much to ask in Riverdale. We already know this.