Other than the fact that Jughead says “Bizarrotown” somewhere in the episode, I actually couldn’t figure out why this episode in particular got that moniker. I mean, no one even gets attacked by a bear or adopts approximately a thousand troubled youths or attends a fight club in a drained-out gym pool, so… not that bizarre, actually. In fact the real bizarre thing about this episode is that poor forgotten Kevin gets a plotline, so, maybe that explains the name.
In this episode, Betty learns moral lessons totally unjustified by actual events; Jughead channels Humphrey Bogart to rather amusing effect; Archie continues to be an absolute bore; and Veronica’s outfits are by far the MVP of the episode.
It will, I’m sure, surprise no one to hear that last week’s ending was a fakeout. Nor will it surprise you to hear that this episode contains gratuitous shirtlessness, ludicrous plot twists that no one bothers explaining, and shaky understandings of legal concepts. But it combines a Silence of the Lambs homage with a classic high school show Taking-the-SATs episode as only Riverdale could do, and the jokes were on point!
So you know all those cliffhangers from last episode, and the part where Hiram’s evil plan had finally come to complete fruition? Forget about all of that. This episode, true to Riverdale’s ever-more-incoherent form, careens into entirely new plot arcs with barely a glance at the supposedly climactic disaster at the end of the last.
This episode, as always, leaned in to the camp factor with toothy delight. And it also… maybe… got rid of my least favorite character, or at least freed Jughead from his clutches. All in all, rather fun if also bewildering.
This episode takes place in several chapters, somewhat improving the viewing experience, which in recent weeks sometimes resembles an episode of TV less than it resembles a really intense Scrambler ride. I’m not sure how I feel about it overall, because Veronica and Archie are both still driving me crazy, but at least there are some genuinely scary moments in here.
Previously on Riverdale: The warden told Archie how Hiram framed him, by paying off the witnesses, and suggested that the witnesses were hiding by Shadow Lake in the mines; Joaquin stabbed Archie at the warden’s command and was possibly-probably-definitely playing G&G with him; Veronica helped Archie escape, leading to the warden chewing some MAJOR scenery; Veronica retroactively declared that everyone in the room was in a pact not to tell about Archie; and Jughead went out to find the Gargoyle King.