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TV Review: Riverdale (Season 3, Episode 20)


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Barring more of Archie's seemingly endless boxing, this week's instalment of Riverdale, "Prom Night" was actually one of the show's most exciting ones in a while, with only two episodes to go until the end of the season, it's time to start tying up those loose ends and building to the season's climax and this episode definitely did that!

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Image Credit: © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

We start the episode from where we left off last week, after Betty has found out that her dad was killed during his prison transfer. Betty and Veronica arrive at the scene, to be greeted by FP who confirms that everyone in the bus was found dead. Betty is unconvinced however and believes that her father staged the crash as a way to escape and that the Black Hood has returned. She throws herself into shooting in order to protect herself, and she and Jughead double down on their Gargoyle King investigations.

Meanwhile, Archie's mum has returned, determined to stop her son's newfound boxing career. Whilst the entire audience is cheering for this plan because it means that we no longer have to watch Archie's inane boxing subplot, Archie is not as convinced. Mary brings over a friend of hers who is a Navy Recruiter, in order to convince Archie to go to college. Archie seemingly agrees but goes behind his mother's back to enter a fight, which he loses and then promptly collapses at the exhibition fight set up by his mother due to crash dieting to make the weight. This whole subplot is entirely redundant and not at all connected to the rest of the episode, but that's pretty standard for Archie stories.

Jughead and Betty decide for some reason that Prom Night is the perfect night to try and confront the Gargoyle King (it's also slightly jarring when the kids do anything that could be constituted as normal high school, considering that their lives revolve around weird cults and mass murderers). After finding a Gospel of the Gargoyle King in the bus Kurtz was sleeping in, which reveals that the Gargoyle King can be summoned in a Renaissance style setting, they plan to change the Prom theme to Renaissance and rig it for Betty to win Prom Queen in order to summon him. 

Their digging into Kurtz's tattoo eventually reveals that someone with sandy hair and a magnetic personality also has the same ink. Betty, of course, assumes that this is Edgar, but the search turns out to be fruitless as Edgar doesn't have the required ink (but of course he could be covering it up). 

Cheryl meanwhile, is starting to become dissatisfied with The Farm. She is bound and determined to win Prom Queen, but withdraws from the race when Edgar threatens to stop her from "seeing" Jason. This isn't exactly a major storyline this week, but I have a feeling that Cheryl's lack of confidence in the Farm will majorly play into the next two episodes.

Meanwhile, at the Renaissance Prom (which may be one of the strangest proms I've seen on TV), Betty is summoned by the Gargoyle King to the bathroom. She refuses to flip for her fate and drink from the chalice but as she is about to confront the Gargoyle King, the Black Hood turns up once more and attacks her, with a hook now rather than a hand (he seemingly cut his off in order to complete the ruse of his death in the van crash). Betty is chased through the school by him and is seemingly about to shoot when the Black Hood calls off the attack.

She's fine when Jughead finds her, but clearly shaken when she is interviewed by FP about the incident. She goes to the Farm to gather up her mother, sister and niece and bring them to safety but in a shock move, Edgar manages to convince her that there is nowhere safer for her than the Farm. I don't know if Betty really has bought into the Farm, or if this is just another attempt to infiltrate their ranks, but it certainly seems as if she is going to be there for the final two episodes.

With two more episodes to go, Riverdale certainly seems to be cranking up the danger, and with both the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King on the loose, it will be interesting to see how the storylines from this season are finally wrapped up, and hopefully, the Gargoyle King's identity will finally be revealed. 

Riverdale Season 3 is available on Netflix, with new episodes streaming every Thursday. 

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