Riverdale Recap: Meet the Gargoyle Gang

Culture

Warning: Spoilers for Riverdale season 3, episode 6, “Manhunter,” ahead.

Tensions were running high in Riverdale this week, with every cop on the lookout for escaped convict Archie (KJ Apa) and the emergence of a new gang that has the Gargoyle King as their leader. Here’s what went down.

Betty & Jughead

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After stumbling across the Gargoyle King in the final moments of last week’s episode, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) makes his way back to the bunker to fill Betty (Lili Reinhart) in on what he saw. It turns out that the Gargoyle King has a group of devoted followers who were all meeting in the woods for some kind of ritual. Archie lets Jughead know that Joaquin (Rob Raco) is part of the Gargoyle crew, which was under direction from (now deceased) Warden Norton. The new mission is to find out how long the warden was involved with Griffins & Gargoyles and to find Joaquin.

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DEAN BUSCHER

Later at Riverdale High, the police and administration are interrogating students about Archie’s escape. Josie (Ashleigh Murray) has a seizure while Sheriff Minetta (Henderson Wade) puts her in the hot seat in front of the other students. The incident pushes Betty and Jughead to amp up their investigation. Looking through old yearbooks at the school, they learn that the warden was actually the RROTC instructor at the same time all of the parents first got involved with the game. They go their separate ways so Jughead can track down Joaquin and Betty can get more info from the adults.

After sending a letter to the parents pretending to be the Gargoyle King, Betty gathers everyone at Veronica’s speakeasy to find out what they know. It ends up being a pretty messy interrogation. FP (Skeet Ulrich) reveals that he saw the Gargoyle King the night of the ascension party while everyone was tripping. Mayor Lodge (Marisol Nichols) accuses Penelope Blossom of putting poison in the chalice that ultimately killed Principal Featherhead because she was game master. Penelope reminds them that Daryl Doiley was also a game master and suggests he poisoned the chalice because he wanted the two of them to ascend together. The guilt over the situation and Penelope’s rejection of him drove Daryl to take his own life years later. Betty finds it a little too convenient for them to pin the blame on a dead man and calls BS, revealing that she and Jughead have been tracking the Gargoyle King. FP is furious to find out that his son is still playing G&G and storms out. The rest of the grown-ups follow suit.

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DEAN BUSCHER

At the trailer park, Jughead is about to meet up with the Serpents who tracked down Joaquin when FP comes home. He accuses Jughead of being addicted to the game and handcuffs him to the fridge until Betty shows up and sets him free. The confrontation with Joaquin reveals that he and the warden were just pawns in the game, which seems to be focused on killing Archie, as evidenced by the symbol Warden Norton branded onto Archie’s hip, which turns out to mean “sacrifice.” The warden was taking his orders from a man in a black suit, whom Joaquin says Jughead already knows. This information makes Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) the prime suspect for being the Gargoyle King. Naturally, Hiram denies any involvement and argues that any of the men in town who played the game could just as easily be a suspect. After returning home, Jughead and his fellow serpents discover Joaquin’s dead body with the sacrifice symbol on his forehead and blue lips, indicating that he was poisoned.

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The news of Daryl Doiley’s suicide doesn’t sit well with Betty, so she pays a visit to the coroner to find out more information about the case. It turns out that even though he was found in his car, he was actually poisoned with oleander. Tom Keller (Martin Cummins) was sheriff at the time and it was his department who ruled the death a suicide, to help protect the other members of the so-called Midnight Club (the kids who originally played G&G). A conversation with the former sheriff at Pop’s restaurant once again implicates Penelope Blossom, who grows oleander in her greenhouse. Penelope denies her involvement—she knows better than to use a traceable poison. She suggests that Betty confront her own mother for reporting the misinformation about Daryl Doiley’s death to begin with.

Archie & Veronica

Still recovering from the pre-escape stab wound courtesy of Joaquin, Archie is laying low in Dilton Doiley’s G&G bunker. Though he knows he needs to stay out of sight, Archie tells Veronica (Camila Mendes) that he found out the guys who framed him for Cassidy Book’s murder are hiding out in abandoned mines by Shadow Lake and wants to find them. Urging him to stay in hiding, she vows to vindicate her man by looking at the case files and rewatching the interrogation footage.

While Veronica is off playing detective, Archie’s injury starts acting up while under Kevin’s (Casey Cott) care. Betty suggests they pay a visit to the coroner for treatment. Never knowing when to stay out of trouble, Archie gets all patched up and strongarms Kevin into going to the mines. Meanwhile, Veronica’s viewing of the interrogation tapes that got Archie locked up shows that some footage was deleted. Hiram knows his daughter is on the trail and orders Sheriff Minetta to head to the mines to deal with the “variables” up there. The boys arrive just in time to see the sheriff going in to take care of business.

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Once he leaves, Archie and Kevin go in and find G&G symbols all over the walls—and a lot of dead bodies. There’s one survivor, whom they take to the hospital, but he ends up dying anyway. It becomes clear to Archie that he’s in way over his head; even if he’s proven innocent, Hiram will never stop going after him while he’s in Riverdale. As all of this is going down, Veronica breaks into her mother’s office and finds the footage that proves Archie’s innocence but gets arrested in the process. She uses her one call to alert Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) that Archie and Kevin went up to the mines. Fred and Tom eventually track their sons to the hospital, where Kevin is waiting with a note from Archie explaining that he’s skipping town. Back at the jail, attorney McCoy (Robin Givens) gets Veronica out of lockup and brings the footage that exonerates Archie to the judge.

The Runaways

Things go south pretty quickly at the Cooper household when Betty confronts her mother about covering up Daryl Doiley’s death. Before they can even have it out, the power gets cut and the Gargoyle King appears in their living room. They seek shelter in Betty’s room but someone is trying to climb through the window. Thankfully, it’s actually FP, who’s hoping to find Jughead. (It’s worth noting that this scene is a nod to the first Scream movie. If we’re to take this as a clue and not just an homage, FP just skyrocketed to being prime suspect in the Gargoyle King mystery.)

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DEAN BUSCHER

There’s a “Welcome Home Archie” party in the works at Veronica’s speakeasy before she gets a call from her red-headed beau letting her know that he needs to leave town. She pleads with him, but he insists on fleeing and they have a tearful goodbye. Archie lets her know that he won’t be alone and we see that Jughead is joining him wherever he’s heading. Back at the Cooper house, Alice (Mädchen Amick) informs her daughter that she and Polly are moving to The Farm because she no longer feels safe after the attack. Betty refuses to join them, but we find out that isn’t by choice. Her mother has her committed to the care of the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Jughead attempts to call Betty but her mother rejects the call as she’s getting dragged away. As Archie and Jughead follow the train tracks out of town, Jughead alerts him that the symbol he was branded with means he’s supposed to be a sacrifice, so Archie’s pal insists he won’t let him out of his sight. The question is: Is this to protect Archie, or to carry out the deed himself and reach ascension?

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