Archie's cellmate Mad Dog got killed during a riot, Veronica and the River Vixens performed during a football game, and Ben committed suicide on Riverdale Season 3 Episode 2.
Below, TV Fanatics Kat Pettibone, Brandon Vieira, and Becca Newton debate the secret of the Riverdale parents, Kevin's bumpy relationship with Moose, and the possible connection of Ethel's seizure.
1. Archie refused Joaquin's demand to attack the Ghoulie in exchange for Serpent safety. Why do you think Joaquin wanted him to perform this action?
Kat: With any other show, I'd assume there was a motive for Joaquin acting so out of character. But it's Riverdale, so part of me just thinks they wanted to bring Joaquin back, and they needed some conflict, so they went with this.
I guess it could always be chalked up to him being in juvie for a long time and losing his "humanity" like Mad Dog said, or him wanting to keep his credibility with the Serpents and look tough. Either way, it was a little confusing to me.
Last I remembered, Archie and Joaquin weren't best friends, but they definitely weren't enemies, and Joaquin had a definitive loyalty to both FP and Jughead.
Brandon: There are a few possibilities as to why he wanted Archie to do this. It could've been to prove Mad Dog's point that people change when they've been locked up in juvie for a while. Plus, Joaquin might've heard about Fang's shooting and might still think Archie had something to do with it.
He could've also wanted Archie to do this just to prove his loyalty to the Serpents. The Serpents and the Ghoulies war is probably on another level inside, so having new Serpent recruits stabbing a Ghoulie is like an initiation.
Becca: I agree with Kat that it seems Joaquin was written this way because they wanted him back and to create conflict.
It seems like yet another example of the Riverdale writers wanting so badly to get from point A to point C; they wind up not caring about how they get from point A to point B or the characterization they destroy in order to satisfy plot goals.
For a more in-universe answer, I'd say Joaquin, to paraphrase Firefly's Shepard Book quoting Shan Yu, was tying Archie up and holding him over the volcano's edge in order to really test Archie's limits. Whatever the result, it would inform Joaquin on how best to use Archie in the future.
This, and the last scene featuring the warden, really hammered down the notion that there is an endless parade of people (Miss Grundy, the Blossoms, Hiram, etc.) wanting to use Archie because they do see him like a dog.
2. Hermione called all of the parents together to discuss a secret they've kept hidden since high school. Share your prediction(s) for what this could be!
Kat: I'm pretty sure it has to do with the Gargoyle game. My prediction is they started playing it when they were in high school, and someone died because of it. Then, they covered up the murder?
Brandon: I'm on the same page as Kat and think it has something to do with the Gargoyle game. However, maybe they didn't just play the game, maybe they invented it? The Gargoyle King could be someone connected to their high school days.
Becca: It involves the Gargoyle game and murder. Oh, and the murderer was one of their fathers. No Riverdale mystery can be solved until a main character's father is discovered to be the perpetrator, right?
3. Kevin is trying to make his relationship with Moose work, but more tensions keep coming up. Do you think this relationship will last?
Kat: It could go either way. Moose could snap out of it, realize he really loves Kevin and admits to his father he's gay. Or, Kevin could continuously do things to show Moose how much he cares for him, and Moose could keep pulling away until they break up. Right now, I'd rather see them end it.
I feel awful for Kevin; I think that character deserves more. It would be one thing if the story were developed in a way that Moose communicated with Kevin and just wasn't ready to be out yet, but instead, it just reads like he's ashamed to be gay, and ashamed to be with Kevin.
Meanwhile, Kevin is changing his personality in order to be near Moose? I'm not a fan. I say bring back Kevin and Joaquin. I'm so here for that.
Brandon: Riverdale seems to like long-term relationships. I would've never guessed that Varchie and Bughead would still be together after all this time. Will the relationship last? Yes. Should it last? No.
Kevin has wanted a boyfriend for so long, and now that all his friends are in a relationship and have less time for him, he's more desperate than ever. Kevin is pretty much willing to do whatever it takes to be with Moose, even though Moose hasn't really shown to have anything other than a physical attraction towards Kevin.
Hopefully, we'll start to see a more caring and loving side of Moose soon because right now, I would much rather prefer Kevin moves on with someone better.
Becca: I think it could last because, despite the little screen time Kevin and Moose get, there does seem to be intent to tell a story about them and their relationship. If there is follow through on this storyline, I expect them to stay together. Do I want them together is a whole other question.
As much as I want a romantic win for Kevin, I want him to be in a relationship with someone who actually wants to be in a relationship and doesn't require Kevin to hide or compromise himself. At the same time, I want Moose to have autonomy over the choice to go public, especially to his dad and other members of his family.
So, whether or not I want Kevin and Moose together is going to come down to whether Riverdale can execute their storyline in a way that balances all of these concerns without resulting in one of them having to compromise too much for the other.
4. Now that both Betty and Ethel suffered seizures, could this mean that the individual cases (The Farm and the Gargoyle King) are connected?
Kat: It definitely seems that way, especially with all the exposition in this episode. The writers like to tell us instead of showing us, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. Betty literally said to Jughead, "Maybe because we both had seizures, The Farm and the Gargoyle King are somehow connected!"
I feel like Riverdale Season 2 was so sporadic and messy, they want to make sure everything connects somehow this time. But, instead of just making a cohesive storyline, they're doing it through exposition dialogue. Ah, Riverdale.
Brandon: There's no doubt in my mind that they are now. Especially since Evelyn claimed to be at Betty's house when she suffered her seizure, which was in front of The Farm and was there when Ethel suffered hers, who's a part of the Gargoyle game. There's no such thing as a coincidence on Riverdale.
Becca: Yes, and I really hope this makes the resolution more satisfying. I think a factor in why the reveals of Jason Blossom's murderer and the Black Hood underwhelmed me was because I kept expecting there to be tie-ins to the other plots and wound up disappointed when there wasn't.
I'm also hoping that because they are showing connections between the two plots early on, it's an indication the mystery is more planned out this time around.
5. Archie developed a quick friendship with his cellmate Mad Dog. Are you sad that Mad Dog got killed? Do you think he's still alive?
Kat: I'm sad in the sense that I wish we would have gotten the time to connect to the character before hearing he was dead. I would say he's probably still alive and Archie will eventually find him. Or, if he is dead, Archie will figure out how and why he was murdered. Or, they'll just drop the character completely.
Brandon: I doubt he's dead. That just seemed too out of the blue. Claiming that Mad Dog is dead is probably a part of the warden's and Hiram's master plan.
From what I've seen for the promo for Riverdale Season 3 Episode 3, Archie has been recruited for unsanctioned prison fights. Mad Dog will probably show up and end up being one of Archie's opponents. Whatever ends up happening, there is something much bigger at play here.
Becca: Since there was nobody and we only have the warden's word on the matter, all signs point to Mad Dog being alive. I did like his scenes with Archie and am worried because whatever happened to him couldn't have been pleasant unless he somehow sold Archie out.
6. Ben jumped out a window to "ascend" in honor of the Gargoyle King. React!
Kat: Honestly, it was terrifying to me! I think this episode had a lot of issues and was way weaker than the premiere, but that whole last few minutes had me holding my breath. And this storyline in general actually has the potential to be a really chilling one.
I hope they don't take it supernatural. I want to see it stay in the frame of realism because the kids being completely enamored and hypnotized by this mysterious force is really quite creepy. Also, kudos to everyone acting in that scene, Ben included.
Brandon: It was the most chilling thing to happen on this show, and that's saying a lot. Ben killing himself for some sort of higher power pretty much affirms that Riverdale is now dealing with a cult. While I was necessarily shocked by it, it did leave me wanting to learn more about the Gargoyle King.
If they don't start introducing supernatural elements, I'm all in for this new story. Hopefully, both Jughead and Betty remain shaken up for the next few episodes after witnessing this. It wouldn't be realistic otherwise.
Becca: It was a twisted scene, and I mean that as a compliment. As hammy as the coroner was, as of this point in time, he wasn't wrong. The Gargoyle King already feels way more menacing and competent than the Black Hood ever was.
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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.