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RIVERDALE 3x07: The Man in Black

That Hiram Lodge is a bad egg.

RIVERDALE 3x07: The Man in Black
Previously on Riverdale

Veronica works hard to exonerate Archie, but it’s not enough to keep him from dumping her unceremoniously and skipping town. G&G takes over everyone's lives, and Betty gets sent off to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Read our recap here

The Rundown

Archie and Jughead make a stop at a weirdly unpopulated farm, and Archie gets close to one of its residents. Veronica runs a casino night to drum up some business for the speakeasy and dips her toes into some light crime with high stakes along the way. Betty uses her time with the Sisters to investigate further, and finally meets the Gargoyle King face-to-face. 

The Teens

Archie and Jughead seem to have tired of walking after about 30 minutes. That’s real, guys--no shame in that game. They decide to stop at a farm (not to be confused with “The Farm”) where the only residents are two young women who invite them to stay the night. No one should ever let Jughead pick the fake names.

The eldest sister seems VERY interested in the Archie Andrews Ab-ateur Hour and in no time at all, she’s on top of him with an open straight razor. Seriously...is Stranger Danger not taught in Riverdale? Sweet dummy that he is, he takes this overt sexual overture for genuine connection and proceeds to spill every secret he’s ever kept. “By the way, here’s who I really am, here’s where I’m from, here’s who I’m running from, and here’s his phone number even! I think I have his wife’s if you can’t reach him!” Obviously this is the right tactic, because she immediately ties him up to turn over to Hiram. Here he’s known as “The Man in Black” (original). He’s taken over the town and ensnared all the residents into his scheme to manufacture Fizzle Rocks. Jughead rescues Archie and they run, but first he has to talk him out of murdering Hiram. Damn, Archie! Prison changed you. 

Money’s tight at the speakeasy, so Veronica devises an idea for a casino night. She invites her old NY friend Elio to bring all his high-roller friends. Hiram warns her against getting involved with Elio, whose family is a bunch of cheaters and crooks. She brushes Hiram off, and sure enough, come casino night Elio hasn’t lost a single round. He’s going to bankrupt the house and refuses to quit. Veronica sidles up to the table and challenges him to a shootout: one single game of blackjack, winner take all, Pop’s and the speakeasy included. She shocks everyone and wins big. As she and Reggie count the money afterward, Reggie is *visibly* sprung for her.

He might as well be the heart eyes emoji! I really hope this goes somewhere now that Archie’s on the run. How meta would it be if both Bughead and ...Veggie (?) Regonica (?) were dating in real life? He’s particularly enamored of how she pulled everything off. But Veronica’s got a secret: she did listen to her father. She knew that Elio would cheat, so she set him up and stacked the deck for that final round. Summer of scam lives on! Without Opie Archie’s influence around, Veronica is starting to bear an uncanny resemblance to her dastardly father. Even Pop casually knows that Hiram had the Sheriff killed (and decapitated, and his hands removed).

Betty’s away with the Sisters looking at Rorschach inkblots and lying about the gruesome things they bring to her mind. What’s worse, the Sisters are dosing the residents with Fizzle Rocks, aka The New Jingle Jangle, aka Hiram Lodge’s Drug Candy. Ethel’s not dead but I kind of wish she was now because she’s pretty awful. And she’s trying to break up Betty and Jughead!

She claims to have talked to the Gargoyle King, but keeps Betty from doing any further investigation into it. Betty gets some decent information and heads to the exit they used to break out Cheryl. Unfortunately it’s been bricked up, and Ethel’s ratted her out. The orderlies capture her and force-feed her Fizzle Rocks. She finally gets to see the Gargoyle King...but it doesn’t seem like a pleasant experience. Afterward they show her the Rorschach inkblots again, and she doesn’t hide the macabre nature of her responses. She acts like she’s been lobotomized. What have you done to the fiery, spunky heart of this show, Gargoyle King?

The Grownups

Hiram is really leaning into his role as Villain No. 1, with his fancy black suit and car. He’s even MORE villainous now that he’s gotten his claws back into Veronica. AND he’s testing his drugs on the residents of the Sisters, including specific instructions for how to dose Betty! This is some Disney-Villain next level evil. Is there anything bad that happens in this town that is not connected to him in some way or another? Not even just Riverdale - we’ve now seen evidence of the spread of his power outside the town. Sister Woodhouse...also bad. We’re running really low on reliable adult role models at this point in Riverdale.

Outfit MVP

This week's a twofer. These kids know that running a club is all about proper cocktail attire!

A Fine Line

“This psycho bitch.” - Hey, Betty’s inner monologue sounds a lot like my inner monologue!

Burning Questions

What happened to Betty in the Gargoyle King’s chamber?

Why does everyone on this show believe in extreme honesty about their secret plans? Is there truth serum in the water? Did they dose it with Fizzle Rocks? It’s like an epidemic. Not one single person can keep their mouth shut!

What’s Coming

Mass seizures, war, Cheryl's back (finally!), and Gina Gershon!


Fellow lovers of Riverdale, we're almost at the mid-season finale. Do you think we'll get some answers, or only more questions? Come discuss theories in the comments!




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Kate Pranger's photo About the Author: Kate has fallen asleep before the end of every movie she’s ever watched after 9:00 pm, yet can often be found reading into the wee hours of the morn. She is a lifelong Arkansan, and works for the state at a generic desk job. She spends most of her days wishing she were at happy hour with the rest of her LRFYA lit fam, talking about The Raven Cycle and Sarah J. Maas. Her cats rule the roost.