Riverdale Season 3 Episode 14 Recap Twin Peaks Without Metaphor

first_img Riverdale was a tough watch this week. Though this episode was filmed long before Luke Perry’s death, every scene with Fred Andrews in it reminds us that he’s not here anymore. In the wake of his death, those who worked with him, both on Riverdale and Beverly Hills 90210, talked about what a giving actor he was. We heard about him being a mentor on the set of Riverdale. That was absolutely clear on camera. The humanity and empathy with which he played the role grounded all the insanity happening around him. He didn’t have the biggest role on this show, but it was a crucial one. We’re all going to miss him a lot.As for this episode, that insanity is starting to spin up once more. We’ve enjoyed a few episodes of Riverdale getting back to its twisted teen soap roots. Now, it’s time to get the Farm cult and G&G back in the mix. The latter is introduced back into the story when Archie finds a young boy hiding out in the boxing gym. The owner is letting him do some work around the place in lieu of membership dues. While sweeping up, he finds Ricky, a boy who says he’s being hunted by the Gargoyles. He has the same sacrifice mark on his arm that the warden gave to Archie in juvie.Ashleigh Murray as Josie and KJ Apa as Archie — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CWSeeing an opportunity to help someone in a similar situation, Archie takes the kid into his home. While trying to find him a good family, he starts teaching Ricky how to box so he can defend himself. Archie is actually good at playing big brother. This is the most competent we’ve seen him at anything… probably ever. Archie’s protective instincts only grow when Ricky disappears, seemingly having been chased off by gargoyles. Archie and Jughead find him hiding out in the Gargoyles’ hideout after they’ve cleared out. There, he sees both his own name, and “Ricky Dee” on the list of sacrifices. He gets Ricky out of there, and everything seems like it’s going to be OK. Until he gets a call from the social worker who’s been trying to find Ricky a safe home. It turns out “Ricky Dee” is actually Ricardo DeSantos, Joaquin’s brother. He’s just as mixed up with the Gargoyles as his brother was. It turns out Ricardo has a history of violence and self harm.That’s when Riverdale decides to flex its horror movie muscles. Damn, is the show good at that. Archie returns from the phone call to find Ricky gone. The tension builds as he searches the dark house. All that was missing was a shadow moving across the camera or something. Ricky ends up behind Archie holding a knife. The only way the Gargoyles will let him play, he says, is if he kills Archie, the Red Paladin. No matter what, Archie can’t escape this weird tabletop RPG gang that wants to kill him. Ricky slashes up Archie’s chest pretty good before Fred arrives home and the kid runs off. We don’t get a sense of where this is all leading, but the story was thrilling enough that I don’t mind for now. At least the creepy Ghoulies den is going away. Jughead and the Serpents take it over, planning to give it a fresh coat of paint and make it the new HQ.Bernadette Beck as Peaches ‘N Cream, Camila Mendes as Veronica and Vanessa Morgan as Toni — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CWSpeaking of, the teen gang and business leaders are all beginning to lose control in this episode. The power struggle between Toni and Cheryl continues. The Pretty Poisons are ostensibly Toni’s gang, but Cheryl keeps using them as her own personal hit squad. When Toni says she doesn’t want to suspend her own girlfriend, Cheryl threatens to take away the use of her home as headquarters. Meanwhile, after Gladys pulled the Serpents out of speakeasy security duty, she’s started moving in on the place. Between that and Hiram Lodge using the speakeasy as his own client entertainment venue, Veronica starts to feel like she’s losing control of her own business. The solution? Hire the Pretty Poisons as security. She keeps out the problem elements (aka the adults in Riverdale), and Toni gets to make a decision about her own gang without Cheryl. You can bet Cheryl’s not too happy about that.Jughead, on the other hand, has a harder problem. After his mother forced the Gargoyles and Serpents to join together, there have been issues. The Gargoyles know they outnumber the Serpents. As far as their concerned, the Serpents are subservient to them. When they nearly kill Fangs for being Jughead’s spy, both he and FP know drastic action needs to be taken. For the survival of the Serpents, FP deputizes the gang. That’s what the new HQ is for. They’ll be the Sheriff’s eyes and ears on the street. It’s not great to see them turn into cops, but it looks like the only way to survive. As a bonus, it clears out any Gargoyle influence still lingering in the original Serpent crew. I don’t know what affect this new dynamic will have on the school, but it I know Riverdale, it’ll be the wildest outcome possible.Lili Reinhart as Betty — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CWThen there’s Betty, dealing with her mother’s and Kevin’s descent into cult life. Hers is still the story I’m most interested in, and we get a lot of it this episode. I was intrigued by the title of this week’s show. “Fire Walk With Me” is probably the most well-known, evocative phrase from Twin Peaks. It was the title of the semi-prequel movie David Lynch made. (Which is excellent, by the way. Anyone expecting clear answers from Lynch wasn’t paying attention.) Here, despite Riverdale’s history of dabbling in the surreal, it’s much more literal. Just like last episode, Betty tries to save Kevin from a dangerous initiation ritual. This time, it’s walking over fiery coals. Betty shows up too late to stop Kevin, and fortunately he makes it over without incident. The downside is what’s basically a parlor trick (seriously, once you look up how it’s done, its way less impressive) now has Kevin fully believing in the cult’s power. Enough for him to join Evelyn in threatening to reveal Betty’s secrets if she interferes again.Not that that stops her. She spent most of the episode discouraging any prospective buyer from purchasing her house. While Alice is showing a couple around, Betty pops up to inform them that her serial killer father murdered people there. It’s a hilarious opening scene, but it’s only a temporary solution. Eventually, an anonymous foreign buyer makes an offer. It turns out Betty has a solution for that too. While Jughead surveys his new headquarters, Betty smiles at him, saying she thinks everything’s going to be fine. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Dark Betty, but she was so wonderfully present in that smile. We don’t have to wait long to see exactly what she did either. Alice returns to the house to find it going up in flames. Dark Betty isn’t above a little arson, it seems.Even with the incredibly sad recent news, Riverdale spinning up again remains joyous to watch. It wears its inspirations on its sleeve and has unapologetic fun with them. It abandoned the concept of realism a long time ago and has never looked back. I wish more of the stories this week had given some indication of what we could expect, though. Just a little taste to make us excited for next week. As it is, we got a lot of enjoyable set up, but we aren’t quite sure for what. There are worse problems a show could have I guess. I do still love how cartoonishly evil they’ve made Hiram. You have a character just casually bragging about exploiting prison labor. God, so many of the adults on this show are eminently hateable and I love it.Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.Previously on Riverdale:Riverdale Season 3 Episode 13 RecapRiverdale Season 3 Episode 12 RecapRiverdale Season 3 Episode 11 Recap SDCC 2019: ‘Riverdale’ Cast Spills Details on Core ‘Mystery’ for Season 4Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019 Stay on targetlast_img read more