Riverdale S04E03 Review: Dog Day Afternoon – Who even has a VCR anymore?

I guess after a cult gets into organ harvesting, the sky’s the limit on their other bonkers activities. And last week, when we heard about Edgar’s stockpiling weapons, I expected things to go a certain way. Charles even hints at it this week, asking Betty if she’s heard of Waco. But forget it, Salome–this is Riverdale. And things are about to go bananas.

Before we get to the culty stuff, let’s check in with everyone else. Although Mary wants Archie to leave the lawless environs of Riverdale (for the relative quiet of *checks notes* Chicago), Archie wants to stay in town. He’s got the boxing gym, after all, and dreams of turning it into a community center. That dream gets a jolt, by the way, when he hears about Monroe’s younger brother’s troubles. Little Malcolm is just trying to be a kid and hang out at the arcade, but it’s been taken over by ne’er-do-wells. Specifically, it’s been taken over by some jerk called Dodger.

Anyway, it’s going to take a lot of money to turn a basically derelict gym into a functioning community center for actual children. So Archie does the Archiest thing possible: he dons a mask and robs Dodger. Thankfully, he has Monroe to tell him they can’t use that dirty money. So then they do the Veronica-est thing possible and throw a charity car wash.

Veronica, however, dramatically overestimates the drawing power of shirtless youths, because they end up netting only $400. Only $36,600 to go! Anyway, this plotline just seems like filler, since Veronica is fully prepared at any moment to fund this thing. Also, Mary has the money in a fund she and Fred started. It’s supposed to be a college fund for Archie, but…*I turn and just look at you for seconds on end*

Anyway, Mary solves the problem by making the community center a nonprofit. I don’t know how exactly that solves the problem, but whatever.

The other big plotline this week* is Jughead’s start at Stonewall Prep. He gets a pleasant surprise in that one of his roommates is Moose. He’s going by Marmaduke now, by the way–the better to hide that whole unpleasantness with his dad. Unfortunately for them both, though, their other roommate is *ahem* Bret Weston Wallis (Sean Depner). (Yes, I am yelling.) Bret is a Mean Boy.

Note there that I didn’t say “bully,” although he certainly is. But his tactics are more common to the stereotypical mean girl: gossip, gaslighting, etc. He also thinks he’s God’s gift to literature and that Jughead’s work is “puerile.” You’re both terrible! Anyway, he distributes newspaper clippings with the story about Moose’s dad, so everyone knows. See? A mean boy.

And then nothing else happened and the episode ended.

Ha, just kidding. No, all bananas broke loose. Edgar figured out that Alice was a mole, so first he sends Polly, strapped with a bomb, to the FBI office. For some reason, Charles has Betty disarm the bomb. Hmm, I’m getting suspicious of him. Then Edgar calls Betty with a list of his demands, which include $250K, passports for the Farmies, and transportation.

Betty delivers it all, but is taken hostage for her troubles. She and her mom, who’s restrained with her, manage to slip their bonds, though, and escape from the motel room. Betty gets the Farmies onto the bus she brought, while Alice goes after Edgar. He is dressed up like Evel Knievel (so, Edgar Knievel) and about to board the–and even with this show, I can’t believe I’m about to say this–ROCKET he built. Before he can catch a falling star, though, Alice shoots him. He’s dead. Maybe. You never know with this show.

And that would be the end of everything, except that as Betty and Jughead are relaxing at home, sharing details about their day, there’s someone at the door. There’s not actually anyone there when they answer, but whoever it was left a VHS tape for them. And that might be the biggest shocker of all. Like, who the hell even has a VCR anymore?

7/10 – We are truly, madly, deeply back in the full-on craziness of Riverdale. I’m glad that the Farmie plotline has come to an end–knock on wood–and I hope that we can move on to some new stories.

*Speaking of, the plot summary for this episode mentioned that Cheryl would learn a dark secret about her family. Now unless the rocket scene made me black out–a real possibility–that never happened. I think they were hinting toward that with Nana Rose’s babbling about the “triplets,” though. Like, could there be a third Blossom kid? I sure hope so, because Cheryl’s relationship with her brother(‘s corpse) is beyond worrying.


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