1.Forgive me for starting this recap on a bit of a sappy note, but at its heart, this episode was all about family — which is really what the epic highs and lows of Riverdale are all about. It's about parents murdering their children. About families joining cults together and levitating their babies over fire. About children waterboarding their parents with maple syrup. About the serial killer genes that run rampant in families.
2.I promise we will get to that very special family reunion very soon. But Riverdale is also a show about pretending to introduce new couples while ultimately friend-zoning them so that Bughead and Varchie can be together for the trillionth time.
3.Unfortunately, Glen is still in town, and even more unfortunately, he's only wearing a robe when we first see him this episode. He thinks there might be a connection between Black Hood and the recent murders that have been happening in Riverdale, and he has one rule for this FBI investigation:
4.Cheryl takes Min Min (Minerva's new Cheryl-ized nickname) to collect maple syrup from the groves, but unfortunately the buckets are completely empty, which prompts her to say this:
5.But WHY is the maple syrup tapped, you may ask? (You actually probably wouldn't ask because no one gives a flying fuck about the Blossoms' maple syrup business, but alas!) Anyway, Nana Rose is convinced it's all to do with that pesky Blossom family curse.
6.Hiram is scheming yet again, and it's still so boring. This week, he wants to mine Riverdale's palladium supply??? Apparently, that's a metal that's more valuable than gold AND Riverdollars combined, and it's conveniently stashed under the prison and the Blossoms' maple groves.
7.By the way, in case you're keeping track, Reggie has lost the conscience he found last week and is working with Hiram again.
8.This guy is theoretically Jughead's literary agent, but I'm pretty sure his actual career is just eating hot dogs in the park?
9.Jughead decides that the only way he can break through his writers block is to take a bunch of maple mushrooms to unlock his trauma??? He asks his new "pal" Tabitha to babysit him just in case, and she makes him a burger with a maple mushroom sauce.
10.Ugh, freaking Chad is back and he lures Veronica back to NYC with lurid pics of her kissing Archie in his sexy football coach attire before he's willing to sign their divorce papers.
11.Unfortunately, it seems like Juniper and Dagwood have inherited some of the...darker Cooper family traits. Yeah, so, the twins pushed a kid named Jerry down the stairs and showed no remorse. It's not great.
12.This episode also introduces another exhausting plotline when Archie's general comes to town, and — like EVERY CHARACTER WHO COMES TO TOWN — he is secretly evil.
13.Just to give you a look ~behind~ the recap, these are the notes I took about Veronica and Chad's plotline in their original form, and I don't think I can really improve upon them:
14.Glen admits to Betty that he's secretly just been writing his dissertation, Family of Darkness: Varying Displays of Serial Killer Genes in the Cooper Family Tree, this entire time. When I TELL YOU that I CACKLED.
15.LOL, so Hiram blows up the prison, and all of the inmates escape, including Penelope Blossom.
16.Anyway, part of Hiram's plan is that the escapees hold Riverdale High hostage during parent-teacher night. VERY NORMAL STUFF. It's chaotic, but at least we get to see Kevin wield a sword:
17.Like, this absolute CHAOS??? All so that Hiram Lodge can, like, sell some houses, I guess?
19.Okay, now the moment we've ALL been waiting for — the absolute chaos that ensues at the Cooper family home. There are, of course, two more prison escapees: Chic and Charles.
20.BTW, Chic is now rocking long hair and a middle part, like the on-trend sociopathic Hanson brother wannabe that he is:
21.It's Juniper and Dagwood's 9th birthday — time really does fly like babies over a fire, huh? So, the family sits down together like a normal family of serial killers and sociopaths, with a couple of guns at the table, of course.
22.Ummm, yeah, and the reason Charles and Chic REALLY came is because they wanted to get married...oh, and by the way, Alice is conveniently already ordained! So, yeah, there was a whole-ass WEDDING this week on top of everything else.
23.BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! So, Glen shows up at the party and we learn that he and Charles were ~nemeses~ at FBI school (which is where Glen got the idea for his dissertation). That leads to this moment:
24.BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!!! So, Charles suggests playing a game of "Pincushion Man" where the "youngest member of the family" jabs the "pincushion" with a "pin," but the "pincushion" in this case is Glen and the "pin" is a knife. Unfortunately, the youngest family member is Juniper.
25.Yeah, so anyway, then Betty stabs Glen...but it's all just a distraction so she can turn around and throw the knife at Chic. (I feel like she kind of wanted to stab Glen, TBH????)
26.Meanwhile, in the sex bunker...Jughead is seriously hallucinating! He makes out with Dream Betty and then sees this alien entering the bunker. Is it a memory? Or something really happening? Or just the influence of maple mushrooms???
27.I really have no idea what the heck happened with Cheryl, Penelope, and Nana Rose at the end. I guess Penelope warned them about the fire, and Nana suggests sacrificing Minerva (who rightfully peaces THE HELL OUT)! Instead, they end up praying to the Blossom ancestors and I guess it works??? This. Show.
28.Finally, Tabitha returns to the sex bunker only to find Jughead missing and lots of traces of blood. This is approximately the 18th time this man has been fake murdered on this show, and I'm tired! But I guess it's only the first time he's been ~officially~ abducted by aliens. So there's that...
Ummm...so, yeah. That's what happened on the Riverdale midseason finale! We won't be getting any new episodes until the summer, but I'll see y'all then. Until then, leave your comments, theories, questions, and concerns. This recap has been brought to you by Tostitos chips and flannel shirts: