Never trust someone who looks so sweet and innocent. They might be a gargoyle hiding in sheep's clothing.
On Riverdale Season 3 Episode 14, Archie learned this lesson the hard way with his newest friend.
Gryphons and Gargoyles might seem like a distant memory, but the game is still going on. The players are playing, and Archie still has a target on his back. Who knew Ricky would be vying for the grand prize?
Archie should settle into his role of "The Red Paladin." After all this time, no one was willing to let him forget his past or move on.
A majority of Archie's problems typically stem from his own bad decisions. He is a lightning rod for reckless actions. However, this time around, he wasn't at fault since he did the right thing.
He didn't need to help Ricky, but he showed kindness for someone in need. Even with all the red warning signs flashing in his face!
Neither Archie, Josie, Betty, or Pop Tate would've known that Ricky was a traitor.
This occurrence shouldn't deter Archie from doing something good like this again. Having him recognize his own past issues and looking out for someone in need was an important growing moment for the character.
He needs to think of others and their concerns. Plus, whenever Archie spots his own mistakes, that moment gives us a glimmer of hope for the toxic-free Archie we hope to have someday.
Ricky came across as a complicated kid who exuded horror movie vibes.
Right from his introduction with the shadows and the lighter, it was easy to deduce that this kid would be trouble. He always seemed to hide a secret, and his connection to the Gargoyles kept becoming a common talking point.
The sacrificial mark, on the other hand, posed as an interesting red herring.
That mark made it easy for us to drop our guards and believe in his innocence. He had a similar connection to Archie, and since he was Joaquin's little brother, he gained more sympathy.
However, the second he turned off the video game and the house went silent, I knew that Ricky was evil. We didn't need his butcher knife to confirm our goosebumps. No one creepily disappears in a house for no reason.
Great choice by the editors to film the scene like a horror movie! The slow pacing and silence raised the tension before the big reveal.
Ricky: I thought this would be the last place they’d come looking for me, but I’ll never be able to escape them. I’m marked for death. That’s what this symbol means, isn’t it? And you have it too!
Archie: Yeah, it means sacrifice, but that’s not gonna happen. I swear.
Jughead had no chance of trusting Kurt.
The former Gargoyles leader had another agenda going on that would never comply with the Southside Serpents. Between stealing the chemistry equipment and nearly killing Fangs, Kurt was the type of gang member that only caused trouble.
Plus, he knew his value and would continue bringing up the fact that the Serpents reached out to him for help. Eventually, he would make a play for leadership or do something to undermine Jughead.
The best thing that could've happened for Jughead was Kurt leaving the group.
Now, Jughead can foster relationships with those who stayed behind, and he can change the image of the Southside Serpents. I'm still on the fence about his leadership abilities since people kept quitting. However, he has a fresh start now to set his path.
Jughead better not mess up the gift that FP bestowed on him.
Speaking of the new work-study/deputy program, this might be Riverdale's way of setting up a few characters to graduate from high school.
There has been an increase of dialogue about universities and the future, like with Betty's education fund. Here, the Serpents could earn credit toward applying for schools.
We might need to prepare ourselves for a few familiar faces bidding adieu at the end of Riverdale Season 3.
Since they're not all in the same grade, some could be graduating pretty soon. Could it be Fangs and/or Sweet Pea next?
Kudos to Veronica for FINALLY standing up to her oppressors!
While the Gladys and Hiram control only happened recently, this wasn't a theme that's new to her. Let's not forget how her parents controlled her during Riverdale Season 2. And, the strain it put on Archie's life earlier this season.
Veronica's character development felt like a bird trapped in a cage. When she fell back into debt after all the goodwill spent to get her out of it, I feared she had majorly slipped back into bad habits.
Thankfully, she developed the courage to set her own standards and define her worth. (And she needed it ASAP; Hiram and Gladys were ready to walk all over her!)
Veronica isn't the same person from The Black Hood days. She'll bite back to people like Hiram or Gladys, and she'll fight to keep what's hers.
Let's hope her bravery doesn't blow up in her face.
Toni: Babe, you wear many hats.
Toni: But when you put on that purple jacket, you represent our gang. And now Weatherbee is out for our blood!
Cheryl: I can handle Weatherbee.
Toni: Cheryl, I don’t want to have to suspend anyone for loose cannon behavior. Least of all my own girl friend.
It's a shame that in the goodwill earned by Toni through Veronica's success, there had to be tension with "Choni" to cloud the positivity.
The work contract at La Bonne Nuit gives the Pretty Poisons a hefty sum in the gang's bank account. Plus, the role provides some power over the people of Riverdale.
It's a great deal for Toni who's looking to rise up in the ranks while earning money.
On the other hand, her relationship with Cheryl might not withstand all the work conflict brewing. This is why you should never work with your significant other! Trouble always finds a way to emerge.
Just look at the cold shoulder Cheryl gave Toni in the bedroom. Summer will come late thanks to the frost exuding from Cheryl Bombshell!
The best thing this couple can do is talk things out. If Cheryl internalizes the tension, the resentment will tear them apart.
Toni and Cheryl need to work things out and talk about their issues before it's too late.
What has happened to you, Kevin Keller?! You're a shadow of your former self.
Don't get me wrong, it's sad that Moose is gone and that Kevin can't be with the man he loves. However, a toxic love life doesn't justify how he treated his friend or him joining a cult. (Dating is terrible for everyone, and we're coping just fine...)
He had some nerve to call Betty a "detractor" and dismiss her concerns. They've been best friends for years; of course, she would worry about him and his well-being. Who wouldn't for their friend?
For as much as he is a loving and witty character, Kevin showed his self-involved side yet again.
Kevin knew about Betty's struggles with The Farm and the pain it caused her life. He knew how evil they were going into the situation. And yet, he threw caution to the wind for the chance at finding a boyfriend and HIS happiness.
That ego brought out Kevin's ugly side. His continued attitude pushed him beyond a point that might be hard to find the character redeemable.
Riverdale has a bad habit of disregarding their secondary and tertiary characters outside of the core four. They typically get ignored or altered to fit the plot.
This happened to Alice and Polly with their brainwashing. This happened with Hermione and her changing mob plot. Also, Kevin with his focus only on his love life. And Josie with ... everything.
Here, Kevin became the villain who would throw his best friend under the bus for a group he just joined. Sure, he's brainwashed, but he made that decision effortlessly. He's a villain for the time being.
Let's hope when The Farm plotline does end, Alice, Polly, and Kevin haven't burned all their bridges.
Kevin: Betty, last night was scary and fun ... cathartic. It felt euphoric like nothing I’ve ever felt.
Betty: That’s your point of view. I think my readers and your dad will have a different one.
Evelyn: You’re not publishing that article, Betty.
Evelyn: Tell her why Kevin.
Kevin: If you do, we’ll tell everyone about the shady man your mom killed in the kitchen, and how you and Jughead dumped his car in Swedlow Swamp. And how Mr. Jones dissolved his body with lye in the woods.
Evelyn: Remember Betty, thanks to your mom, everyone at The Farm knows about your dirty secrets.
[Evelyn and Kevin leave. Betty slams her laptop shut]
Oh, hi Dark Betty! We missed you.
Betty's inner dark side came out in full force after experiencing the worst from her loved ones.
You could tell that she was positively furious over Alice's delusions this chapter; so much so that she reached her limit. Not just with setting the fire, but with her pained expressions.
As much as I love Betty as a heroic character, she's also a protagonist that you can't trust due to her darkness.
The girl-next-door internalizes everything until it lashes out.
Betty setting the fire in her home was the perfect symbolic manifestation of the anger brewing these last few months.
After keeping her head high and doing the most to save her loved ones, constantly being letdown chipped away at her. There's only so much someone can take. And losing her home was the last straw.
If the fire means Betty is taking the fight to The Farm, the cultists should be worried. Riverdale's newest Queen of Dragons (or the "Gryphon Queen") has risen in flames.
I can't wait for her next move!
Alice: First off, I’d like to say this is a wonderful place to raise a family. Many a fort were built by my two girls in this very room.
Betty: And bonus, it’s also where my serial killer father showed us creepy snuff films.
Alice: [She laughs] Elizabeth! Shouldn’t you be at school?
[Alice changes topics]
Alice: We have wonderful schools in this district. Oh, I see that you eying the fireplace, which is original to this house.
Betty: Yes, which comes with accessories, like the shovel, which my mother used to knock out my father, the notorious serial killer, “The Black Hood.”
Alice: It’s true, you can Google it. But make sure you look up “Alice Cooper” and not “Alice Smith.” It’s all there. Or try “Murder House on Elm Street.” That’s this house.
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
Fred continued to be a great dad through and through. Luke Perry, you will be missed!
How many people are left in the Southside Serpents? It seems like the group keeps getting smaller by the week.
The casino might come back to hurt Veronica and Reggie. Hiram and Gladys will do something to get control, especially after this latest power struggle.
Betty interrupting the house viewing is peak Petty Betty, and I was living for every second of it!
Chances are whoever bought Alice's home is someone we've already seen before. Cheryl? Hal?
- The man heckling Gladys made no sense. She had a great voice. Who wouldn't be entertained by the performance?
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans!
What did you think of "Chapter Forty-Nine: Fire Walk With Me"?
Will Kevin ever come back to his senses? Will Ricky try to attack Archie again? Will Betty get in trouble over setting the fire?
If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.