We've seen the latest episode of Riverdale, and let us assure you, There Will Be Blood! Sometimes this show is busier than Union Station at rush hour, so let's just get started! Hiram (Mark Consuelos) and Hermione (Marisol Nichols) have Fred (Luke Perry) and Archie (K.J. Apa) over for dinner at the Pemnbrooke this evening. After some joking around down memory lane to get Fred comfortable they let him know that with a special election coming up for a new mayor of Riverdale they think he would make an excellent candidate. Hiram even offers to donate money to his campaign to get him started. Makes sense with Fred surviving the Black Hood attack that he should already have the public on his side. On the way home, Archie expresses his concern to his dad about Hiram and Fred lets him know he's not that naïve. He knows Hiram wants a friend in the public office to help him. But he says he's always wanted to help the town his whole life and maybe this is a way he can do that.
With her parents needing to feel Fred is fully onboard with their plan Veronica (Camila Mendes) shows up to the Andrews house with a full book of posters and buttons designed for Fred's campaign. While Fred seems to be grateful for her efforts, Archie is not thrilled with her work. He has already evaded her earlier when she said she wanted to go out and collect signatures to get him on the ballot but now he puts his foot down and lets her know he will not have his father be a pushed into running unless it's what he wants. Just because Archie has fallen under the Lodge's spell he's making sure his dad doesn't. So much that he calls up his trusty sleuth pal Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and offers him some contraband of information that he can use it for his Lodge expose he's been working on. His hope is the article might discourage his dad from running. He tells Jughead about how Hiram's "donation" to Pop's Diner was actually more of a sale because he bought the place.
Over at the "happiest place on Earth" otherwise known as Thistlehouse, we find Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) and her mother have a guest in the form of their estate attorney. He informs them that Clifford Blossom had left a secret will behind that was not to be read until the authorities had been done investigating his drug business. Which the funniest part of that is him acknowledging his drug business. They will have to wait to hear the contents of the will until they are revealed at a public reading to be held the next day.
At the Cooper residence, Hal (Lochlyn Munro) comes over to tell Alice (Madchen Amick) that he wants a divorce because he's fed up with her taking Chic (Hart Denton) over him. When she puts up a fight about it, he offers to give her half of the money that he got from the sale of the Register if she will get the deal done immediately. While Hal has been annoying as of late at least he's offering to buy his way out of this. But that would turn out to be a deceptive gesture on his part as Betty (Lili Reinhart) comes home later to discover Polly (Tiera Skovbye) has come into town and she brought the twins with her. While Betty and Alice are elated to see the babies, Chic looks like he just sat in vomit. But the joy would be brief as Polly asks them if they are planning on going to the will reading? Oh Hal, did you think they wouldn't find out somehow?
The next day at Thistlehouse, the Coopers (except Alice) joins the Blossom family reunion for the reading of Clifford's will. We know it's Riverdale but the number of rich white people in this room you could start a country club, except for Toni (Vanessa Morgan) who Cheryl has invited for "emotional support." After the inheritors of the two houses are named, Clifford's remaining assets are to be divided in two: The first half to any blood relatives that can be medically verified (good call Cliff) which is met with a storming in Alice Cooper who calls out Hal for trying to divorce her just so he could keep her from getting any of the possible inheritance. The other half to Jason and Cheryl. And the winner is of the Blossom will is Cheryl! As she comes up to give her acceptance speech she talks about how she's tired of all the violence and blood spilling in the Blossom family. She asks for, "No more blood. No more madness. No more horror." Her speech is met with a random voice out of the back saying "Here, Here" in approval. Cue the appearance of her deceased father as he walks out of the back room looking very alive! Nana Rose (Barbara Wallace) is in shock and Cheryl faints right away from this sight. Last time I checked we weren't in a superhero film but this show is based on a comic book. When Cheryl would come to later that night she would discover the man is her Uncle Claudius (Barclay Hope), her father's twin brother. Holy daytime soap opera!
Here's the origin story: When he and Clifford were growing up he was looking to be the inheritor of the Blossom empire. On the boys' 14th birthday, Clifford pointed a rifle at his brother down by Sweetwater River (that place again!), citing the Blossom family curse, and instead spared him. Claudius ran away and joined the Merchant Marines trying to outlive the family curse. Now, with his brother gone he is back and even though Penelope doesn't seem happy about it, she accepts his request to stay with them.
Back to the Cooper household, where Polly is anxious to get all of their blood tested so they can start getting paaaiiddddd!!! She didn't say it exactly like that, but I'm sure it's what she was thinking. But Chic is being a killjoy because he insists he is not getting tested because he doesn't like needles and the part that makes no sense, "I don't know these people." Who cares you, big baby? This sets off Betty's investigative skills that make Jughead love her and she returns to her plan of "catfishing" Chic by using Kevin (Casey Cott) to talk to him on the internet. She is trying to find out more about Chic because he won't talk to them and she is very suspicious of what he's up to. It had been going okay until Betty pushes Kevin to try and use a story of him getting tested for STDs to open up but Kevin can't handle the lying and ends the chat online. He tells Betty he feels bad because Chic seems like "a good guy" so he won't do it anymore. Is this coming from a guy who used to run into the woods looking for a date?
Jughead grabs his notebook and heads to Pop's (Alvin Sanders) to have a talk with him but when he sits down and asks for the truth about Hiram buying his diner he isn't ready for the answer. Pop explains he had to do it to keep the business going but if Jughead blows the lid on the deal it will kill his mother (figuratively I hope). So at Pop's request, Jughead agrees to keep the information to himself. Trying a different angle, Archie approaches Josie (Ashleigh Murray) to have her mother, the former mayor, talk Fred out of running for mayor. Sierra (Robin Givens) agrees and when she talks to Fred she lays out all the negative aspects of the job with filling potholes, threats, and your friends betraying you among others. Archie and Josie smile at each other because they can't see how this plan won't work.
While Jughead sits at home frustrated by not knowing how he can show Riverdale the threat Hiram Lodge is, he gets a random phone call from someone who says they have information. They ask for him to come down to the Riverdale bus terminal that night and when he gets there his contact ends up being the Lodge's ex-butler Smithers (Tom McBeath) who it seems is now a bus driver. Another casualty of the Lodge business empire. Smithers tells Jughead that Mr. Lodge used to make trips to Shankshaw prison which is not where he served time and received mail at home from its warden. Well, this nugget of a clue is just as tasty as it is puzzling.
Pop Tate makes goes to Hiram and tells him about Jughead paying him a visit and asking questions about the diner. This makes Hiram livid with anger because he knows other than the three people living in Pembrooke only Archie knew about him buying the diner. But quick thinking Veronica speaks up and says that she told him as a way to distract him from their master plan of taking over the Southside. Because Hermione agrees with her daughter's decision, Hiram settles down but now Veronica is going to pay Archie a visit. She immediately rips into him for snitching but he claims he had every right to protect his father from the Lodges criminal influence. While Veronica says she now questions his loyalty, Archie tells her that if they want his father involved that they both deserve to know whatever the Lodge's endgame is. I guess Jughead's comment about Archie being wrapped around her finger isn't relevant now!
Following up his new lead Jughead goes to his father FP (Skeet Ulrich) to ask if he still knew anyone in Shankshaw that can help them out. Anyone else realizing the similarity of the name Shankshaw with another famous cinematic prison or is it just me? With FP previously offering to go on the record about Hiram paying the Serpents to vandalize the drive-in so it would lower the market value, he has no problem helping his son with this favor. They go to Shankshaw and meet up with a contact of FP's named War Baby (Shaun Omaid) who looks like he got transferred from one of the prisons on The Shield. He gives Jughead enough dirt on Hiram that he is able to write his expose on Hiram but with no Riverdale Register to publish it he has to put it through the school paper, the Blue and Gold. Unfortunately, Principal Weatherbee (Peter Bryant) puts a stop to it before it can ever make it to press claiming that a "malicious take-down of one of the school's parents" is not what the school is about. NOW they are about censoring what the students write?!
Archie has another sit down with Hiram, in his study, in front of a roaring fireplace to discuss his concerns about his father. He tells Hiram that he has this journal from when Hermione sent the fake FBI agent to test his loyalty and while he doesn't threaten to use it, Hiram gets what the kid is implying. Hiram tries to explain to Archie that in 18 months Lodge industries will be legit and Riverdale will be crime-free. He just has to trust him. Archie agrees to give Hiram a chance but he's still holding on to the journal.
With her other plan in the crapper, Betty has to find a new way to bust Chic for the imposter she feels he is. She goes into his bathroom and finds some dental floss that she takes so she can send it to a lab for confirmation of his DNA. Chic catches her as she is exiting but isn't aware of what she actually did and just tries to scare her with his inner psychotic. When Polly and Betty return home the next night from shopping, Chic has taken the twins out for a stroll along Sweetwater River. This sends Polly into a panic until Chic returns with the babies unharmed and a mask of innocence for a face. But his plan has worked as Polly sees this as a sign she needs to leave. She has to think about protecting her children first. She tells her mom that she isn't going back to the farm but driving out west to San Francisco. After she leaves we see Chic taking scissors to the same family picture he cut Hal out of and now removing Polly. Betty, we fear for your safety.
Word gets back to the Lodges about Jughead and FP visiting the prison and as they feel their plan will be exposed soon they call Fred and Archie over to the Pembrooke to finally let them in on their future plans. The big revelation that has been building all season long is that the Lodges want to build a private for-profit prison on the grounds of Southside High with the housing that will be built around the prison to be for the employees. Fred is not interested at all and not only leaves in a hurry but says he is no longer running for mayor. But when he tries to get Archie to leave with him, his son stays and want to hear more from Mr. Lodge. After all that part about defending his father he now just lets him go?! Later on, Mr. Lodge would show Archie a dagger that has been in his family for generations that they use as a bonding ceremony by cutting themselves in a demonstration of unity. Archie tells Mr. Lodge that with all the tragedies that have happened in Riverdale lately he understands what he is doing and is with him. They both cut their palms and bleed on Archie's journal (how symbolic) before throwing it into the fire. The kid might as well change his last name by the choice he is making against his father.
In the end with Fred dropping out, Hermione announces to the town her candidacy to run for mayor. Cheryl overhears her mother and Uncle Claudius plotting to get rid of her, "Nana, then Cheryl." This is her own mother saying this! Betty gets the DNA results back and confronts Chic because it turns out he is not who he says he is. Great, I hope this gives them a reason to get rid of his repugnant self. So much going on in Riverdale and it's all exciting! Are you enjoying this season so far? Do you think the Lodges have finally won? Is there anything Jughead can do to save the town from them when Riverdale returns on The CW?