And then, just like that, Riverdale decided to try the decoy play again.
Last year, the show gave us a fake-our reveal for the Black Hood. In the end, it turned out to be Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro). And this time, Hal tried to wedge himself into the mystery of the Gargoyle King by claiming to be the vision Alice saw in the restroom and the murderer of Principle Featherhead (Anthony Micheal Hall). Meanwhile, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and the Serpents discovered the identity of the current Gargoyle King.
Of course, that just shifts the goalposts to the “Man in Black,” who may or may not be Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos). Well, it probably is considering he sent Claudius Blossom (Barclay Hope) to the Serpent’s trap, but it is always possible there is someone else waiting in the wings to claim victory.
But one thing is clear from all of this: there were two Gargoyle Kings. One in the 1980s and Tall Boy leading the current Gargoyle Gang in disguise. Which suggests a subsequent reveal will still happen. And we’ll still suggest its Principle Weatherbee (Peter Bryant) just because he seems the least likely.
Meanwhile, the show introduced a new mystery by shooting Hiram in his own office. We’ll just go ahead and assume it was Hermione (Marisol Nichols) as she swiftly selected F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) as the new sheriff in the aftermath. We’re also presuming she took the hit out on Claudius. Presumably, Hiram will pull through, but nights at the Pembroke will definitely be strained.
And if it seems like we’re leaning heavily on the Gargoyle King plot, that’s because this was an Archie-heavy episode. To be fair, the character is a hard one to write. Unlike the other members of the main cast, his traditional good guy values make him a tough protagonist to layer. Betty (Lili Reinhart) has her darkness, Veronica (Camila Mendes) has her knack for business and Jughead has his role in the Serpents. Each has become a more rounded character from their starting places because of these scenarios. But for Archie (KJ Apa), nothing sticks. High School Capo flamed out, his Shawshank Redemption didn’t last and even his self-imposed exile ended with a putter. Sure, there’s the continuing hilarity of him saying “I got mauled by a bear” as though it were a typical adolescent rite of passage, but Archie plots tend to be the weakest element of Riverdale.
If the show could bank all of that into a pointed comment about the allegedly wholesome image of Archie Andrews, it would be worth all of the characters dumb choices and abandoned storylines.
Instead, let’s ponder the ongoing machinations around town while we watch a preview of next week’s show. Josie (Ashleigh Murray) helps Archie with his current issues, Jughead accuses Hermione of shooting Hiram and Penelope Blossom (Nathalie Bolt) introduces a new player to the game. Oh, but will Archie finish off Hiram for good?
Riverdale airs Wednesdays on The CW.