The title isn’t completely off base, though. We were promised blood, and there will... be blood.
Sorry. Let’s just start the recap.
Part I: Kelli
We begin the episode with Jughead chugging coffee as the clock ticks away, an indication that his time is running out. He needs to get more info on Hiram Lodge, and fast. He wants to publish a piece that will take Hiram down before Lodge Industries takes down Riverdale, but he doesn’t know how to do that when he doesn’t have any real proof or know what Hiram’s “master plan” is. He seems to have typed out quite a lot of information for having no proof, but what do I know? Maybe he has a separate doc open on his laptop for his poetry.
Meanwhile, the Lodges and the Andrews are having a weirdly friendly family dinner. Fred, Hermione, and Hiram leave to drink 30-year-old rum in the study, and this is when Veronica reveals to Archie that there’s going to be a special election to replace Mayor McCoy… and the Lodges want Fred Andrews to run.
For good reason, this concerns Archie. On the car ride home, Fred tells Archie that he’s “always” wanted to be the mayor of Riverdale, which seems a little weird. Is ‘mayor of a small town’ something that children aspire to be? Fred admits that Hiram offered to make a donation to his campaign, but he assures Archie that if he does decide to run, it won’t be for Hiram — it’ll be for himself. Archie turns his sad boy face up to eleven and stares resignedly out the car window.
Betty has now turned her investigative journalism skills to Chic, who she’s been growing increasingly suspicious of. She tells Kevin that she’s been catfishing Chic via his camboy chatroom to try to find out more information, because he won’t open up to her (and any time she tries to talk to him in person he starts crying as a diversion). She asks Kevin if he’ll pretend to be the invented chatroom dude for video. Kevin is reluctant, but agrees when Betty makes a sad face.
I’m wondering — is this the reason Betty got Chic to show her how to cam in the first place? Was she even suspicious of him at that point?
They set up the cam and Kevin and Chic talk while Betty watches from the other side of the computer. Kevin already knows a lot of camboy terminology for some reason, so it’s already going well. Kevin asks why Chic won’t tell him anything real about himself even though they’ve already been chatting for a while, and Chic says he’ll be more forthcoming if Kevin takes off his shirt. Winky face.
At this point in the episode we find out that Clifford Blossom, as all rich weirdos do, has a “secret will.” His request was that it be read publicly, and said public will reading is happening tomorrow. This has all escalated very quickly, and I have a lot of questions. Why did the attorney take this long to tell them about the secret will? Didn’t all of Clifford’s assets dry up as soon as the family business was revealed as a drug front? And most importantly: who gets to keep the wig?
Over at the Cooper residence, Hal sits down with his wife and daughter and demands a divorce. Why Betty had to be present for this conversation, I couldn’t tell you, but it is what it is. I guess this means Alice and FP can have guiltless sex now.
Archie, still freaking out about his dad getting caught up with the Lodges, approaches Jughead about the situation. He tells Jughead that Hiram bought Pop’s, hoping that Jughead can use that information for his piece against Hiram so that Fred will be dissuaded from running for Mayor. Jughead compares Hiram to Dracula, and it’s kind of confusing if you’re like me, a person who simply knows Dracula as a vampire, but don’t worry — Archie explains the reference in awkward detail later on!
Just in time for the divorce, Polly shows up at the Coopers’ with Dagwood and Juniper, who are babies. Polly’s all, ‘where’s dad? Aren’t we supposed to go to the will reading together?’ and Alice is like, ‘what will reading?’ Uh oh.
Veronica shows up at the Andrews residence hoping to get Archie’s help collecting signatures so that Fred can run for mayor. She’s also brought her designs for Fred’s campaign materials, because apparently she’s a graphic designer now. This is, of course, after her parents told her to sway Archie in favor of their plan, and Archie seems to sense this. He takes her upstairs and tells her to stop ‘steering’ them. He tells her Fred isn’t cut out for what her parents want — he won’t be a ‘dog on a leash.’ Despite Archie’s rampant overuse of metaphors, Veronica agrees to ease off. Later, she tells Hermione that she doesn’t want to put her relationship with Archie at risk, and that he’s off limits for her.
Finally, we’ve reached the good part of the episode — or the bad part, depending on your outlook — it’s THE WILL READING!
Cheryl has invited Toni to serve as emotional support, and Penelope is very unhappy about it. The group — relatively small for a supposedly public event — settles in, and the reading begins. Nana, who is in fact still alive, receives Thistlehouse. Penelope gets Thornhill, which is an obvious bummer for her being that she nearly died in the fire Cheryl set to burn it down. The rest of the estate will be split, half going to anyone in Riverdale with Blossom blood in their veins. Before we can get to the second half, however, Alice Cooper storms in screaming, “I KNEW IT!”
She proceeds to accuse Hal of divorcing her so that he could cheat her out of the Blossom money they otherwise would have shared. She calls the Blossoms inbred and then delivers one of her sickest burns yet, calling her a HALF-MELTED TEN CENT TROLLOP. Toni’s reaction is basically all of us, every time we watch another episode of this fucking show.
Once Alice is escorted out, we find out that the other half of the remaining fortune will obviously go to Cheryl. Cheryl, being Cheryl, decides to give a speech, wherein she declares there will be “no more blood.” Oh, but Cheryl… THERE WILL BE BLOOD.
I wish you had more time to appreciate what I just did there, but unfortunately, it’s at this point that Clifford shows up. Yeah, Clifford, the one who’s will is being read. He marches in and declares that he 'couldn’t have said it better himself.' Cheryl passes the fuck out.
When she comes to, Penelope is waking her with smelling salts, because the Blossoms are living in the 17th century. Don’t worry, Clifford isn’t still alive — that would be ridiculous, and there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. It was just Clifford’s long-lost identical twin brother, Claudius.
Apparently, C&C were best buds until their 14th birthday when Clifford pointed a shotgun at Claudius and told him about the Blossom Family Twin Curse: one twin will always die violently, usually at the hands of the other. I guess Claudius got left off of that e-mail. Anyway, Clifford generously spared his brother’s life, and Claudius ran off to join the marines. Luckily, he found his way back just in time for the very public will reading that only Alice Cooper didn’t know about.
Speaking of the Coopers, back at their house, Polly and Betty discuss getting their DNA tested so that they can claim their Blossom reward money. They want Chic to get tested too, but he refuses, because he ‘doesn’t know those people’ and ‘needles trigger him.’ Obviously, this is suspicious as hell, because Chic seems like the kind of dude who would do just about anything for money.
Betty concocts a plan and convinces Kevin to pose as camboy again. She instructs him to start a conversation with Chic about getting tested for HIV. It’s actually pretty sad, and Chic says he went through a pretty bad scare — but Betty is gesticulating so wildly on the other side of the computer that Kevin can’t help but look up at her, and Chic notices something is amiss. Kevin, who would never make it as an undercover agent, slams the computer shut and tells Betty he’s done because Chic seems like a legitimately good guy, which… does he tho?
Over at Pop’s, Jughead asks Pop himself about Hiram’s ownership of the restaurant. Pop admits that he did what he had to do, but he made a promise to his mother that he would always keep the diner in the family, so he tells Jughead he doesn’t want the information to get out publicly — not until Mama Pop dies, at least. Jughead reports back to Archie with this information, and they agree not to publish the intel because they don’t want to break Pop’s heart. Jughead thinks he’s out of leads now because he’s talked to pretty much everyone, but Archie realizes that the best way to get information out of the former mayor might be to talk to her daughter, Josie.
Archie approaches Josie at Pop’s while she’s having “brunch,” which in Riverdale appears to be a basket of fries and a milkshake. He asks Josie if her mom would talk to his dad about the dark side of being the mayor, and Josie says her mom couldn’t implicate herself like that. But surely there must be other stuff McCoy could say to Fred that would, in Archie’s words, ‘kill his buzz…’
Part II: Mary
Mayor McCoy (who I guess is just lawyer McCoy now) tries to mentor Fred about how hard it is being mayor, but really I don’t see how it’s been so hard for her, except that she had an affair and got outed for it. The whole conversation is very strange, and McCoy seems way too pleased to be telling Fred what a crappy job it is.
Pop confronts Hiram at home and tells him that Jughead has been asking questions. Hiram slams his hand on the table and screams, “JUGHEAD JONES!” in the most dramatic, stupid way ever. Hermione defends Veronica by saying that she gave Jughead information in order to satisfy him and delay him finding out something REALLY important. Oooh, but what?!
It turns out that Hiram asked the Serpents to trash the drive-in in order for him to buy it at a low, low price. Jughead seems less upset about this than he should, and agrees to meet some shady mystery person at a bus stop to get more information on Hiram.
Cut to Archie doing pull ups because he has to be shirtless in every episode. Veronica tells Archie that he’s playing with fire and he shouldn’t be leaking information. Archie just thinks Fred needs to know “the whole truth” about who the Lodges are. Um, alright Archie.
Betty snoops around for Chic’s DNA, and I highly suspect Chic isn’t who we think he is. Chic confronts Betty in her room, in the dark, and tells her that love is finite. Polly is ruining everything!
At the old timey bus station, Jughead meets with a shady bus driver. The driver is actually SMITHERS, the beloved butler of the Lodges, who was fired for a younger model. This seems like BS to me, because Hiram basically kills everyone he’s done with, but okay. Smithers asks how Veronica is and says that Hiram has connections to Shankshaw. This just seems very fake to me.
At dinner, Claudius talks about the most beautiful island—Lesbos. TEEHEE. We’re supposed to laugh because Cheryl might be bisexual, get it? Ugh.
Polly says that Chic is creepy. Uh. Duh. When she and Betty get home, Alice tells them that Chic took the twins for a walk along Sweetwater River. Understandably, Polly starts yelling. Turns out the babies are fine, but it’s still scary! Polly tells Alice that she’s driving west and leaving the family, and Chic menacingly cuts Polly off of a Cooper family portrait. Sure, he’s probably fine.
FP and Jughead visit War Baby in prison. He’s supposed to know everyone’s business.
Archie and Hiram chat about Fred’s candidacy for mayor. Archie tries to blackmail Hiram by saying he’s taken notes on what he’s learned about Hiram’s mob connections. Yes, the notes of a high schooler are going to incriminate Hiram. Hmm.
Someone reports information about Hiram and Hermione and Veronica are worried about it. Betty and Jughead talk about a big expose Jug has written about the Lodges, and knowledge of the story inspires Hiram to tell Fred about what he’s really up to. The Lodges’ grand scheme is revealed—
Hiram wants to turn Southside High into a private, for profit prison. The housing that Andrews’s Construction has been building is for the workers who will work at the prison.
Instead of Fred running for mayor, Hermione is going to run now. She gives a speech to an adoring crowd as Fred opens up a box of “Fred Andrews for mayor” buttons. Meanwhile, Cheryl hears Penelope and Claudius talking about getting revenge on “Nana...then Cheryl.” Betty tells Chic that he isn’t who he says he is, confronting him with the DNA results of the floss she sent off to the lab. Hiram shares more details of his plan with Archie and pulls out a fancy knife so he and Archie can make a blood pact. You know, just normal stuff you do with your daughter’s boyfriend. The two drip their blood on Archie’s mob journal and toss it in the fire.
Kelli: I can’t believe they pulled the long-lost twin, although I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if Clifford had faked his own death. The only way this could get more ridiculous is if Clifford had found his long-lost brother, murdered Claudius to use the body to fake his own death, and is now back in town PRETENDING to be his OWN long-lost brother.
On a plausibility rating of 1 to Riverdale, I’d put that at a Riverdale.
Mary: I’ve said it for weeks, but this show is off the rails. I’m still wondering if we’re just over the Black Hood stuff, but I’m also interested in who Chic is. Obviously he isn’t who he says he is. Who’s surprised by that, really? I don’t know why Archie wants in with the Lodges so badly. He doesn’t really seem THAT interested in Veronica, especially considered what happened at Sex Weekend, and he doesn’t seem overly enthusiastic about the mob either. Ugh. Where is this all even going?
That being said, I’m glad to see Smithers again! I missed him.