1.It's Thanksgiving in Riverdale, so here's a bunch of home video footage of normal families before we return to the madness of demon brother dolls, corpses, murder cover-ups, and serial killer brothers.
2.Let's take a moment to remember that the mayoral race in Riverdale was an ENTIRE SEASON's worth of plot in Season 2. But it's been exactly one episode since Hiram announced he was running for mayor (and also announced his rum business?) and now he is just…mayor.
3.There's a "biblical ice storm" a-brewing, because of course there is? This means Jughead and Betty have no choice but to hole up and solve a murder, as one does on a snow day.
4.Archie is throwing a big Thanksgiving dinner for all the kids at the El Royale, and it's the first time I've actually loved this big dumb goof.
5.So about that Blossom uncle that Toni killed last week? Yeah, he's going right in Sweetwater River until it freezes over. I find it touching that Toni Topaz is the only character on this show to show the slightest bit of remorse over killing someone.
6.Veronica just, like, "orders takeout" from the country club for the Thanksgiving dinner, and an assortment of food larger than the selection at the Whole Foods in my neighborhood shows up.
7.Petty ass Hiram Lodge wants to cancel Thanksgiving at the El Royale, so his even pettier daughter does THIS:
8.After seasons of angst and longing, FP and Alice are finally just together and it's so cute, but also feels like an after thought?
9.Cheryl's Aunt Cricket has been stalking the Blossom house to try and find her missing husband, instead of getting the authorities involved. Even she understands that the Riverdale police is useless (sry FP!).
10.In case you forgot about the BIBLICAL ICE STORM we are dealing with, the true victim here is the Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe sign:
11.Ah yes, there was a rabbit with an ax. Just another Thursday.
12.So the rabbit was actually Bret (who overheard Jughead's very public phone call about trying to solve this murder), and Betty whacked him over the head. Then, Betty Cooper (a teenager who already defused a bomb in this very season) gave him stitches. A true Renaissance teen.
13.Jughead, Betty, Donna, and Bret end up playing a rousing game of "Never Have I Ever," which reminds me once again that Jughead and Betty are technically still gang members. It also gives us one of the greatest lines of the episode:
14.Betty discovers a tiepin from the secret society with Mr. Chipping's initials on it in Donna's room, and it all comes out that Donna was having an affair with Mr. Chipping and then he got aggressive with her, which all happened right before he died.
15.Veronica remains under the false impression that Archie is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I guess her bar is so low given that she is the daughter of two of the shadiest people on the planet, but still!
16.And now for the plot I was dodgering this whole time: Dodger's family. I have about A MILLION questions about Darla, I don't know where to start. First of all, if you'll recall, Darla actually first appeared last season as the girlfriend of the drug dealer whose murder the Cooper family completely covered up and now I guess she is DODGER'S MOTHER????
17.I guess I'm just confused as to how these people who appear to be the same age are mother and son? And how does Darla have such bad luck that both her boyfriend and "son" have been murdered/almost murdered due to the actions of Archie and his friends?
18.Anyway, because I cannot just let things go, Azura Skye (Darla) and Juan Riedinger (Dodger) are LITERALLY the same age in real life.
19.Sorry, back to the plot. Darla points a gun at Archie, which is basically just like a handshake on this show. Luckily, the big dumb dumb was frying a turkey indoors, so the fryer explodes and it's enough time to distract Darla — and for Mary Andrews to go FULL BADASS and save the day:
20.Okay you leave me no choice but to talk about the Blossom Thanksgiving dinner table, complete with Julian. Cheryl invites Cricket and Cousin Fester (he has a name!) and gets Nana Rose to tell a story as a plot to scare them away for good.
21.Anyway, during the first-ever Blossom Thanksgiving, there was also an ice storm. So, like any family would, they ENDED UP EATING EACH OTHER TO SURVIVE.
22.So, anyway, Cheryl tricks Cricket into believing that THE MEAT PIES are actually Uncle Bedford's remains!!!! And Cheryl will expose the fact that they committed cannibalism unless they leave them alone. And then she brings out corpse JJ for dessert. Yummy.
23.Toni and Cheryl finally say "I love you" because there's nothing more romantic than convincing your Aunt she ate the remains of her dead husband! Anyway, the moment is totally ruined by this:
24.Unlike literally everyone else in Riverdale, FP has remembered that the Southside Serpents exist.
25.Donna comes forward with the information about Mr. Chipping, and that chapter is seemingly over. (Read: not at all over). Also for two very good teen detectives, Jughead and Betty do NOT notice this GIGANTIC camera with a flashing red light watching them, presumably left by Bret or Donna:
26.Oh, and Betty has a murder board!
27.Finally, Archie and Mary have an amazing exchange, which reminds me how delightfully self-aware the writers of this show are:
On a completely earnest, not snarky note, the episode also was another touching tribute to Luke Perry/Fred Andrews, and there were some genuinely touching moments between Mary and Archie about it.
That's all I've got this week! Happy Thanksgiving and see ya after the holiday!