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    21 Things That Actually Happened On "Riverdale" This Week

    "Where did Jughead get the shrooms anyway?"

    It's the end of summer, which means a lot of things to me. One last trip to the beach, one last barbecue, one last dose of hallucinogenic maple syrup mushrooms, and one last visit to the Church of Jason Blossom. Yep, Riverdale is back, baby.

    Penelope and Cheryl with the caption "Cheers!"
    CW

    Even though I've watched and recapped every episode of this season so far, I found myself shouting "HUH???" at the screen on several occasions.

    The most helpful plot points to remember are that Hiram Lodge blew up the prison and let out all of Riverdale's finest convicts (including Penelope Blossom) because there was apparently a bunch of palladium under the prison??? And the corrupt governor is somehow involved in all this?

    And also, Jughead went missing after taking a bunch of maple mushrooms, as one does. Anyway, let's dive in!

    1. Alright, so at the end of the midseason finale, Riverdale's most notorious convicts broke out of prison and headed...straight to trash Riverdale High, which feels more like "senior prank" than "horrible crime ring," but okay.

    Riverdale high trashed with the caption me searching for the plot this season
    CW

    Alice made a comment about returning to "remote learning," which makes me believe that COVID-19 does exist in the world of Riverdale, we just skipped past it with the time jump. Honestly, would be great if that was how things worked IRL too. 

    2. Veronica has a new life purpose outside of running a speakeasy or a maple rum company — and it's literally this...blue rock.

    Veronica holding the rock with the caption my precious
    CW

    Okay, yes, I know it's a very valuable opal, blah blah blah. In Veronica's defense, she needs to dedicate her life to the opal right now because Archie doesn't want to be with her until her divorce is final. Which seems...fair?

    3. Smithers frankly deserves better than being on opal delivery watch.

    Smithers with the caption "get this man a new job!"
    CW

    4. This absolute monster is out of prison and has started a ministry, because of course she did! But not just ANY ministry! A cult ministry that worships...JASON BLOSSOM and drinks maple syrup wine. I promise we'll get to all this later.

    CW

    This list above of Penelope's occupations is honestly one of the funniest things I've ever seen. But I also feel like I need to remind you all that Penelope is a genuinely HORRENDOUS person. She literally sent Cheryl to conversion therapy and was the mastermind behind the Black Hood and Gargoyle King, among her many awful crimes. 

    Cheryl calls her out for her "gaslighting, lies, and her deranged Julian doll."  (Yes, she's referring to the doll that Cheryl believed was the triplet that she absorbed in the womb, of course.)

    5. Betty did Smartfood #spon.

    Betty eating smartfood with caption "what keeps a teen detective turned FBI agent sharp on the job? Smartfood!"
    CW

    6. Tabitha gets held up at gunpoint, and it's hardly even a plot point in the episode. The amount of horrible things that happen in this one diner and the way it's just shrugged off is kind of wild. Like, do you remember that Veronica once LIT A SERIAL KILLER ON FIRE THERE? Or how about the time Fred Andrews was almost killed?

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    7. LOL, so Darla and Dodger (who, as Veronica reminds us, crashed Thanksgiving at the El Royale once upon a time) also got out of jail in the prison break and come to rob Veronica's very poorly secured jewelry store — and yup, that includes her precious opal.

    CW

    To refresh your memory, Archie once left Dodger for dead and rolled him up in a rug, and then Darla and Dodger CAME FOR REVENGE during the middle of Thanksgiving dinner at the El Royale. And I kind of remember that Archie and Dodger were big-time enemies, but I'm honestly fuzzy on the details...there's just too much to remember on this show.

    8. Then Darla disguises herself as a nurse at the hospital, which has ALWAYS been set in, like, 1940.

    Darla with the caption pointing to her 2020s phone and her 1940s uniform
    CW

    Basically, she's there to make sure another ex-inmate "doesn't speak" (he's the same one who held up Pop's), and then she also takes Tom Keller hostage for PLOT.

    9. And, uh, so Archie made a deal with Hiram that he would round up the criminals that Hiram HIMSELF let escape from prison, but unfortunately, this plan hits a snag when Hiram is also kidnapped.

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    Hiram is kidnapped by Ted, who I'm sure you'll recall from the SCENE WHERE HE ATTACKS ARCHIE IN THE RIVERDALE HIGH BATHROOM. I can't believe we don't get Pop Tate in these new episodes, but we're stuck with Ted and Darla once again. Sigh.

    10. Genuinely, my favorite thing to come out of this episode was the team-up between Tabitha and Betty to try and figure out what the heck happened to Jughead, who absolutely does not deserve either of them, sorry.

    CW

    11. Speaking of Jughead, he's NOT DOING GREAT.

    CW

    He gets beat up by a bunch of guys in suits and then he ends up on "Sketch Alley." I honestly hardly know what's going on here. I thought he had been abducted by aliens at the end of the midseason finale, so clearly I was super off. 

    Jughead is saved by Doc, who I THOUGHT I'd never heard of, but the show reminded me that Jughead's darkest secret was that one time he left this man to die. 

    12. Tabitha and Betty meet up with Jughead's ex, Jess, from New York, the one who supplied Jughead with the shrooms that caused him to fixate on Mothmen and Mole People.

    Betty, Tabitha, and Jess at Pop's
    CW

    My First Wives Club joke doesn't quite work, but I'm sticking with it. Betty plays the very harsh voicemail she got from Jughead all those years ago, and it really does not make Jughead look good at all. 

    And then Jess decides to drug Betty and Tabitha with maple mushrooms (as one does!) so that she can steal Jughead's manuscript just in case it...says anything about their time in New York together. What the heck happened in NY?!

    13. But enough about all of that, let's go back to the ministry!!!

    CW

    14. At first, Cheryl thinks it's only about scamming people out of their money, but after a brief visit with JASON'S SKELETON, she reconsiders.

    CW

    It will hurt my brain too much to think about how Cheryl re-acquired Jason's body after their funeral at sea, so I'm just not going to think about it. I cannot believe we're going through ANOTHER cycle of this. 

    15. This leads us into a COMPLETELY BONKERS AND UNNECESSARY MUSICAL NUMBER! I have no words.

    Penelope singing with the caption hey mr. arnstein here I ammmm from funny girl
    CW

    I do think I need to clarify that Penelope was NOT singing "Don't Rain on My Parade" from Funny Girl. But that would have made things slightly better.

    16. And this happens:

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    17. AND! THIS! HAPPENS!

    Penelope and Jason Blossom with the caption starting a gofundme to give this guy just one speaking line
    CW

    Your eyes do not deceive you — that is Jason Blossom in the flesh, except not really...he's a hallucination.

    18. There's no way this is leading down a healthy path for Cheryl. I just want her to be happy.

    Jason and Cheryl
    CW

    19. Meanwhile, in the sex bunker:

    Betty and Tabitha high on mushrooms
    CW

    Jess is pretty apologetic about drugging Betty and Tabitha, and she suggests they just listen to music and wait it out, and it honestly seems like a fun time.

    20. Meanwhile, at the El Royale:

    Riverdale scene where Archie and co. enter the El Royale on strings vs. NSYNC's no strings attached cover
    CW

    Uncle Frank, Kevin, Reggie, and Archie give us their best NSYNC impression and save Hiram, Tom, and Veronica's precious opal. But don't worry, Hiram is still peak Hiram and threatens the governor and tells him he'll never get his hands on his palladium. Okay, lol. I guess now is where I admit I have zero clue what palladium is. 

    21. And, finally, Jughead realizes he'll never feel truly free until he unpacks the trauma he endured in NYC, so he plans to go there. Unfortunately for him, he hitches a ride on the MURDER TRUCK.

    CW

    Yup, the same truck connected to all those missing girls, including Polly. (Is Polly alive? We still haven't seen her body, and this is Riverdale...but I digress.) 

    This REALLY does not seem like good news for Jughead, but luckily the guy has like 27 lives, so I think he'll be okay. 

    Anyway, that's all I've got this week. Next week, Riverdale brings us the Hiram Lodge origin story I swear nobody asked for. I will be on vacation though, so I'll see you back here in two weeks for the next recap.