Okay, this might be morbid, but you almost have to wonder if Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) was scheduled to be the Gargoyle King.
Sure, his placement in the Midnight Club might make that difficult, but as Betty (Lili Reinhart) pointed out this week, the one her mother saw in the Riverdale High restroom and the one currently plaguing Jughead (Cole Sprouse) may not be the same person. It’s something we’ve definitely considered before — even if it makes Principle Featherhead’s death a random factor in the story — but if it frees up Fred as the mastermind, it would make the Gargoyle King part of a recurring theme on the show: fathers go bad. Consider Clifford Blossom (Barclay Hope), who killed his own son. Then there’s Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro), the infamous Black Hood. And who can forget omnipresent bad faith father Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos). It seems the only good fathers in town are F.P. Jones (Skeet Ulrich), Tom Keller (Martin Cummins) and Fred.
One of them has to break bad at some point, right? And come to think of it, Tom Keller looks more like the man who shot Fred at Pop’s than Hal Cooper ever did.
But we bring this all up as the identity of the Gargoyle King is once again a quest for our band of champions. In fact, this week’s Riverdale put our pet theory to the test: Betty straight up asked Edgar Evernever (Chad Michael Murray) if he is the Gargoyle King. Unfortunately, Betty was using a pretty weak piece of evidence to prove his guilt: the suggestion he got the sacrifice runes tattooed on his back shortly before he moved Farm activities to Riverdale. With Edgar lacking the back tattoos, Betty backed down. But it feels like an intentional dodge. Why did the tattoo artist they talked to give such a pointedly accurate description of Edgar unless it was to throw Jug and Betty off the scent?
Also, to bring it back to the bad fathers of Riverdale, one has to wonder if Gladys (Gina Gershon) is still on the board and behind the mask after all. For one thing, we’ve yet to see any of the mothers turn out to be spree killers — even if Penelope (Nathalie Boltt) and Hermione (Marisol Nichols) seem capable of it. For another, it was Jelly Bean (Trinity Likins) who clued Jughead onto the Gospel of the Gargoyle King; something he would be suspicious about if JB wasn’t his sister. Though she kept throwing all of it in Mikey’s direction, this could be part of the long con she and Gladys discussed when they first came home. Also, it should be noted, Gladys was not part of the Midnight Club and her whereabouts at the time are not accounted for.
Is it possible she set up both ascensions scenes in the restroom for a Smith-Cooper girl to find? Alice was dating F.P. at the time of the Midnight Club and Jughead is dating her daughter, but Gladys never made one comment about that fact in any of her time on the show. There’s something suspicious about that.
The real meat of this week’s restroom scene, though, happened just outside when the Black Hood reappeared to chase down Betty. The show likes to tease proper horror movie scenes, but this may be the best one they’re ever attempted. And even if Betty seemed uncharacteristically scared, the situation merited it. Her father was trying to kill her. Well, presuming the person wearing the Black Hood get-up is Hal. It’s still possible he’s dead and the Gargoyle King co-opted the iconography to convince Betty to stay at the convent with Alice.
But for that to work, it means Edgar is either the Gargoyle King or in league with him (or her). So let’s ponder The Farm’s connection to Gryphons & Gargoyles while we watch a preview of next week’s show. Archie (KJ Apa) and Hiram are back to their fighting ways. But this time, its in the ring at El Royale. Will Archie prove to be the Riverdale Reaper again? Meanwhile, Ethel Muggs (Shannon Purser) re-emerges to tell Jug the identity of the Gargoyle King. Considering his reaction, maybe it is Fred.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays on The CW.