Riverdale Season 3 Episode 19 Review: Fear the Reaper

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Nothing ever stays a secret when Betty Cooper is on the case.

One of The Farm's dirty little secrets got uncovered on Riverdale Season 3 Episode 19. And it was a doozy, to say the least!

Edgar and Evelyn Evernever's big twist provided one of Riverdale's most shocking moments yet. But did this bold blindside match the rest of the chapter?

The Big Discovery - Tall - Riverdale Season 3 Episode 19

Riverdale's resident Nancy Drew made some big headway in her fight against The Farm during "Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper."

Even though Betty suffered another major setback in this ongoing mystery, she at least had a few small wins to add to her victory pool. It's more than she's had in a long while. The Farm keeps coming out on top and getting the villain's luck that Hiram once had.

Firstly, she freed Dagwood from the clutches of The Farm. (I mean ... "Jason, Jr.")

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You have to give respect to Penelope Blossom here. She walked into that cult and bartered her way into freeing one of her grandchildren. The tactics didn't work on saving both, but she accomplished a 50% success rate here.

Why Dagwood over Juniper? I have a feeling that Penelope fought for the boy just so she could raise a little Jason again. Her intentions were very transparent.

It's great that whenever Betty feels low, she can turn to her Blossom aunt for help. Whether you like her or not, Penelope is a key frenemy and asset on Betty's side.

The second win of the night was Betty uncovering the truth of Evelyn Evernever. It was also the biggest revelation of the chapter.

Let's get this out of the way: I was shocked! (Jaw on the ground and screamed out in the air a "What?!" type of shock.)

Out of anything that Betty could've discovered about her Evernever enemies, this revelation didn't seem like a possibility. Sure, the teens on Riverdale look older since they're 20-somethings, but the show gives room for disbelief. And Evelyn looks and acts younger than her classmate counterparts.

Betty: Ms. Weiss. What is it? What did you find?
Ms. Weiss: Betty, I followed your paper trail. You were right. Evelyn is much older than she appears ... 26, to be exact.
[Ms. Weiss hands Betty a piece of paper]
Ms. Weiss: I also found this. Evelyn is Edgar Evernever’s wife, not daughter.

The fact that the twist involved a deception regarding her age made the extent of The Farm's plotting much eviler.

Evelyn has been doing this con for at least 10 years. She's manipulated and brainwashed teenagers to join the cult, and she's had to do high school homework for a decade. That's a reality not many would sign up for willingly.

Plus, she's legally married to Edgar, who is most likely 10-15 years older than her. It's gross realizing that Edgar had Evelyn in his clutches since she was 16.

Riverdale has had a few lackluster twists for the sake of shock, but this was a big bombshell. Good job for the writers!

Edgar Evernever's Death Stare - Riverdale Season 3 Episode 17

Edgar and The Farm have been determined to make Betty join the cult. Could there be a special reason why Edgar is trying so hard to win her over?

Instead of letting her run out of the asylum, he made the group chase after her to bring her back. He brainwashed many important people in her life, and they had the creepy chanting to win her over. Edgar is desperate to get Betty on his side.

Related: Riverdale Season 3 Episode 18 Review: Chapter Fifty-Three: Jawbreaker

Whatever the reason may be, I think Betty's hallucination (or memory?) of the babies floating above the fire will play a big part in the future.

There has to be a reason why that memory appeared and snapped Betty out of Edgar's growing spell. It's almost like a lightbulb clicked in her head warning her of the danger. She saw something that she wasn't meant to see.

She needs to look into that moment to discover its purpose if she wants any hope of saving her friends.

Girlfriends Unite - Riverdale Season 3 Episode 18

Josie is putting herself and her career first, which is a great sign of character development. The aspiring singer can't be the lounge performer at La Bonne Nuit forever; she's always had her eyes set on bigger things.

For a while, it seemed like her father was poised to break her heart yet again. His distance and disapproval of her musical talent ruined her momentum during Riverdale Season 1 Episode 6; he had that power to do it again here. But, they reached a closure that their plot sorely needed.

Having Josie's dad be the one to help foster her career is the perfect end to their family arc.

Now do you see why I need to get the hell out of this town?

Josie

The father/daughter relationship, which had plenty of tension between them, came together to find common ground. Josie's dad finally saw her performance and welcomed her talent with open arms and applause. This is the type of recognition that Josie needed throughout Riverdale's three seasons.

Since Josie is going on tour, this could be Ashleigh Murray's final episode on Riverdale. It will be sad to lose her, but hopefully, the Katy Keene series gives her room to grow.

There's nothing left in Riverdale for the character to prosper.

That also includes her recently doomed relationship with Archie.

We all knew the outcome. Archie kinda knew. Josie definitely knew the truth.

This couple wasn't endgame, but they had a few good moments together when they needed someone. Josie and Archie will always be good friends, and they'll have the memories of their sugary fling during their junior year.

This is a romance we can all agree ended on the right note for the right reasons.

Save The Princess, Save The World - Riverdale Season 3 Episode 19

The mission to save Jellybean became more chaotic as time went on. Kurtz had plenty of power over the situation, even though he was a prisoner in their house.

You know he purposely got Gladys to spill the secrets of her Fizzle Rocks business just to cause tension.

I wouldn't be surprised if the other two bags had black rocks in them too. Kurtz seems like the sneaky type of person to do that. Plus, his other two missions were skewed heavily in his favor.

Gladys: I’m the new Fizzle Rocks dealer in Riverdale, and Kurtz used to work for me before he lost his damn mind.
FP: What? [He turns to Jughead] And you knew about this, Boy?!
Gladys: Don’t blame him. I told him not to say anything because I wanted to keep you out of it. I did it to protect you, to protect the family.
FP: How’s that working for Jellybean?! Huh?! You are the reason that this psycho kidnapped our daughter! You brought this into our lives!
Jughead: Dad.
FP: I’ve heard enough! I’ve heard enough! We need to finish this damn game and bring Jellybean back home safe and sound. But there will be a reckoning.

This is a downside of Gryphons and Gargoyles because, for as much as this is a brainwashing and powerful game, the power still stays heavily in the hands of the gamemaster. People clearly control the fates of others.

Kurtz abused his role as gamemaster to lure the trio into multiple traps. If it weren't for the Gargoyle King killing and stopping him, Kurtz would've gotten away with everything. (It must've been GG who told Ricky not to kill Jellybean.)

But, Kurtz's manipulation worked in the end: the Jones family split under the pressure (we'll miss you Gladys!), and they had the big battle against the "Cyclops."

Gladys' fight against Penny Peabody (!!) made no sense. None whatsoever with its connection to the tone of Riverdale. This scene stood out like a sore thumb.

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Visually, this fight looked great. The action felt like a mix of Kill Bill with a fighting video game, like Mortal Kombat. To suit this Gryphons and Gargoyles plot, the reveal of Penny as the challenger tied nicely to the twist. However, this entire development was so overdramatic and outlandish as a plot device.

Seriously, they were fighting each other with sais!

How did Riverdale Season 1 Episode 1 get to this point? Riverdale has to start reining itself in and recognizing the line between campy fun and absurdity.

Fizzle Rocks Hunt - Riverdale Season 3 Episode 18

And I can't believe I'm saying this, but Archie was the most grounded character during "Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper."

His guilt over accidentally killing Randy was a natural response to the trauma he experienced. He didn't want his enemy to die, but one decision he made resulted in negative consequences.

Even though Elio was completely at fault here, Archie needed to work through that guilt of delivering the fatal punch. He's not wrong to go through the turmoil, but he's not right to place the blame all on himself. There were other factors in the mix that caused death.

Fred: Son, from everything you said, it’s clear that Randy died from those drugs. An autopsy will support that you’re innocent.
Archie: But I’m not, Dad!
[Awkward pause]
Archie: I knew! I knew Randy was juicing. I could’ve stopped the fight, but I didn’t want to forfeit. If I ... I’m never stepping into that ring ever again. I can’t.
[Archie walks away]

I liked that he took the time to work out his issues and do something beneficial for Randy's family. He made amends in his own way, and he'll get revenge on Elio for all the pain the mobster caused.

The day Elio gets his comeuppance will be a very satisfying day.

Speaking of comeuppance, why did the plot revert back to a "Hiram wants revenge on Archie" storyline? We moved past this, Riverdale!

We climbed the hill and saw the sunshine, but nope, Riverdale brought us right back to this spiral.

Whoever accurately guessed that all of Hiram's generosity to Archie lately was part of a greater deception deserves a cookie. Hiram played the long game for a frustratingly clever twist. He needs a Masters degree in being a puppet master; he's earned those extra credits by this point.

Related: Riverdale Round Table: Toni's Undercover Mission

Still, Riverdale didn't need a retread of this storyline. There's already too much going on; a Hiram vs. Archie feud is old news. Even the steam room scene of Elio and Hiram together doesn't make up for this new development.

If Archie's/Veronica's/Hiram's plot progression is heading down this track, let's hope they end it with a bang once and for all. The last gunshot twist apparently wasn't enough.

Gym Hero - Riverdale Season 3 Episode 18

Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:

  • How long were FP, Gladys, and Jughead playing Gryphons and Gargoyles? They started playing at night, but as the other scenes went on during the day, the trio was still playing at night. Did they play all day or was it an editing mistake?
     
  • I may have criticized the steam room scene of Elio and Hiram earlier, but regardless of its unnecessary purpose, it's nice that Archie got a break from being the shirtless character.
     
  • Poor Toni! She went in undercover and ended up as another brainwashed minion.
     
  • Hal is most likely not dead. My guess is that he was kidnapped by The Farm and he'll appear again as leverage against Betty.
     
  • Archie and Veronica are so getting back together. Their last scene in the boxing ring didn't event pretend the development that's going to happen between them.
     
  • Riverdale Season 3 Episode 19 marked Luke Perry's final episode on RIverdale. He ended his run still being the supportive and great man he always was. He will be missed.
Light Betty - Riverdale Season 3 Episode 14

Now, over to you, Riverdale fans!

What did you think of "Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper"?

What revenge plan does Hiram have up his sleeve for Archie? Is this the last we'll see of Josie? Why does Edgar Evernever want Betty to join The Farm so bad?

If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments.

Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Riverdale Season 3 Episode 19 Quotes

Fred: Son, from everything you said, it’s clear that Randy died from those drugs. An autopsy will support that you’re innocent.
Archie: But I’m not, Dad!
[Awkward pause]
Archie: I knew! I knew Randy was juicing. I could’ve stopped the fight, but I didn’t want to forfeit. If I ... I’m never stepping into that ring ever again. I can’t.
[Archie walks away]

Gladys: I’m the new Fizzle Rocks dealer in Riverdale, and Kurtz used to work for me before he lost his damn mind.
FP: What? [He turns to Jughead] And you knew about this, Boy?!
Gladys: Don’t blame him. I told him not to say anything because I wanted to keep you out of it. I did it to protect you, to protect the family.
FP: How’s that working for Jellybean?! Huh?! You are the reason that this psycho kidnapped our daughter! You brought this into our lives!
Jughead: Dad.
FP: I’ve heard enough! I’ve heard enough! We need to finish this damn game and bring Jellybean back home safe and sound. But there will be a reckoning.