Riverdale you have me scared. There’s too many things you have done this year that makes me think that you jumped into the future to get the stories. From the extended view I got tonight, I believe that Percival’s evil has now reached into banning books. I am not a fan of book banning! As a child, I was advanced in language, reading and writing for my age being moved into the “big” kids library halfway through the second grade. I was reading Dumas and Dickens in the seventh grade. The only books that were not allowed were books my parents and family members thought had subject matter too childish (comics) or advanced (adult romance novels). Thus, it’s a concern when I see anything that implies banned books.
Let’s review superpowers and abilities so far. Reggie and Ronnie have no powers (that we know). Tabitha is a time traveler. Cheryl has pyrokinesis. Jughead can read hidden thoughts (except Percival’s). Archie cannot die (except through palladium). Betty has heightened vision. Toni is the reincarnation of Lady Llorna (but protects kids). On the other side, Percival is “Legion” or demons and Satan. Alice and most of the town are cult members (again). Kevin – well he’s still to be defined. He is buying into the cult but Moose’s appearance may change that. Tonight does not have Toni or Tabitha in the story so I’m not sure what is going on. All are immune to Percival.
The Mystery of the Missing Books
Jughead is narrating and talking about Betty’s pregnancy test which we learn was negative. BEtty and Archie also discuss a family. Betty wonders if she should have children due to her parents and their track records of crazy and serial killer. Meanwhile Reggie is moving out and he and Ronnie fight. Ron accuses him of stealing. Reggie tells her that she’s the type that needs a man in her life because eshe can’t be alone. Oh, and he does mention her reputation as “Black Widow of Wall Street.”
Jughead is the first we see get hit with Percival’s latest plot. Percival tells Jughead they’re closing the library to build a motel for the new rail system. Jughead has a book outstanding, and Percival wants it back. Since Jughead doesn’t know where the book is, Percival takes something for collateral – grandfather’s first edition novel. This happens to Ronnie (Hiram’s picture), Reggie (dyslexia book) , Archie (guitar), Betty (diary), and Cheryl (trunk with body in it). When Archie threatens him, Percival pulls out the palladium. Ronnie offers to write a check, but Percival will not take it. He wants the book or collateral.
All that had things taken meet to discuss Percival’s latest scheme. Jughead speaks the truth. Percival wants to get rid of books because they make people think. Archie sees the maneuver as a distraction but to what. Cheryl says there is a risk to what Percival did. All books change people and the way they see things. Cheryl sees Percival as wanting to use the items as a means to an end. Jughead replies that books are free thinking. If people stop reading/thinking, they start following Percival. Archie sees it as a distraction. Jughead reminds them that some states will throw people in jail for reading certain books. Cheryl knows that there is sorcery at work that could affect all of them and it’s part of Percival’s evil plan. Percival has all the personal items in one place. He lights candles, and speaks an incantation over them. Then the gang really starts having problems. Meanwhile Kevin is being confronted by Percival on the fact that he has an outstanding book, “The Lord of the Flies” which needs returning.
At the high school, Archie finds the students looking at the yearbook and learning that he played guitar. Later he sees Ms. Grundy in the music room with her cello. Betty meanwhile has an adverse reaction to bleach. After visiting Percival and reading the diary, she realizes that signs existed when she was 12 that her father was the Black Hood killer. Ronnie sees a spider on her portrait and smashes it only to find out it wasn’t there. Cheryl hears laughter and when she checks it out. It appears to be her first girlfriend, Heather (whose body was in that trunk). Jughead meanwhile finds burns on his hand.
Reggie goes to ask for his book back so he can get rid of the dyslexia which has come back. Percival gives him a Faberge egg that he has gotten from Ronnie’s apartment. Reggie takes it and sends it to Ronnie who opens it and finds black widow spiders inside. They disappear and her staff cannot find any in her apartment. Later Renaldo (the bodyguard) comes in to discuss things with Ronnie. She shares a kiss and her bed only to find him dead the next morning. Off he goes to the morgue where the doctor finds it was from black widow spider bites but there were no puncture wounds. Guess what Ronnie’s power is now! She quite literally has the kiss of death.
Betty’s vision freaks her out and she tells Archie about it. Hal was cleaning the trunk of the family car. She had figured out how to do something with the car and went to tell Hal. While Archie refuses to talk about Grundy, he realizes something is going on. Betty feels that Percival is running his dirty fingers through her mind. Meanwhile, Jughead is on a search for the book in the alley. He finds one wheelchair bound man who tells Jughead that Percival didn’t truck people out on a bus. Percival cleaned out the alley by telling them to start walking west into the ocean. He asks the lone resident of the alley why he didn’t go. The man states something to the effect that Percival said walk and he’s can’t because of the wheelchair. He has a number that might reach Doc in Venice Beach, California. So Percival isn’t as clever as he thought.
Cheryl meets with the gang at her mansion. They must find the books and give them to Percival and retrieve their belongings. Once that happens, they must do a purification that gets rid of the items and curse. Archie breaks into the Curiosity Shop (remember Tabitha’s time travel) and finds a note and the cello. When Betty comes back to the house, her sunglasses look like Grundy’s. Percival is still busy recruiting. Kevin will help him as a soldier (and I didn’t hear why if it was said).
The next morning, Betty is given more information on the Trash Can Killer and flashes back (once again) to Hal in her bedroom. Betty is scared and Hal puts a nightlight in the bedroom. He tells young Betty not to be scared because the two of them are scarier than any monster. Betty realizes that the Trash Can Killer could not be the loner she thought but a family man. This changes the parameters of the investigation. (Good use of Hal tonight Riverdale producers!)
Jughead has an idea of where he can find the books and goes to get them as Reggie confronts Percival and wants the book back. Reggie also wants to know what (not who) Percival is. Reggie buys a clue but still signs up for Percival’s army for the book. He knows that there is something strange about Percival and wants to be like Percival. Meanwhile Jughead has returned and the gang meet. Jughead has found the books in Pennsylvania.
The gang returns the books to Percival who gives them the articles. Ronnie says he can keep Hiram’s picture as it nor Percival has any control over her. All realize that Percival may have launched some hard-core memories they must now control. At Cheryl’s they prepare to destroy the items that Percival had. Cheryl starts the fire without the trunk because she’s already taken care of it. Jughead won’t burn the book because it’s all he has of his grandfather. Meanwhile, Percival realizes that he’s lost control of the gang (for now) but lists two new “soldiers” to the recruit list. And Veronica realizes that her kiss has become a weapon. Will she try to use it on Percival (on whom it won’t work) or Reggie for double crossing the gang.
Next week: Ronnie looks like she’s ready to use her power. Can she turn the tables on Percival and what does the rest of the power have to play?
Note: My computer jammed at the 30 minute mark of this episode. Is there something supernatural about it. The joke use to be that “Quantum Leap’s” Stephen King’s episode had something happen when people watch it (weather usually or VCR tapes losing the episode). Is this episode like that also???