Season 3 of Riverdale is in full swing, and there’s a lot going on that mysterious little town. From masked killers roaming the streets to a quarantine of the whole town, Riverdale is in its darkest days yet, and fans are anxiously waiting for Archie and the gang to swoop in and save the day. With so much drama a foot, you might want to know, what is going on on Riverdale?
Season 1 was all about the mysterious death of Jason Blossom, where the killer turned out to be none other than his father, Clifford Blossom. Season 2 centered around the Black Hood, a serial killer who was unmasked as Betty’s dad, Hal Cooper. Now, in Season 3, the mystery revolves around a decades old role playing game called Gryphons and Gargoyles, a creepy Gargoyle King, and the deadly fizzle rock drugs that have been making their way around town.
Of course, while dealing with all the town’s drama and the pressure of taking their SAT’s, Archie and the gang still have their own individual demons to face. Betty is at odds with her mom about The Farm cult, Veronica is still fighting with her parents about everything, Jughead is learning to be the new Serpent King, and poor Archie is still on the run from everything and everyone.
If all this has you lost, here’s a breakdown of what Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead have been up to on Riverdale this season.
The season started out with Archie being framed for, and then pleading guilty to the murder of, Cassidy Banks, for which he accepted a two year sentence in juvenile detention. He was framed by Hiram Lodge, and while in juvie, Archie realizes that Hiram is working with the warden to try and get him killed via the secret prison fight club. He later finds out that the warden and other inmates, including Joaquin are playing Gryphons and Gargoyles, a deadly game once played by Fred, FP, Alice, Hermione, and Penelope when they were students at Riverdale High.
Luckily, Archie’s friends help him escape from juvie, and he remains a fugitive from the law until Veronica proves his innocence and has his case thrown out. But Archie still has to hide from Hiram, who’s still trying to kill him. He decides to go on the run, and Jughead joins him for the trip. Before leaving, Archie calls Veronica to break things off because he thinks she’d be better off without him.
Jughead and Archie head out on their road trip, and end up meeting a deceptive woman named Laurie Lake, who tricks them and tries to return them to Hiram. They escape and flee to Toledo, and find refuge with Jughead’s mom, Gladys, and his sister, Jellybean. When Penny Peabody shows up as Hiram’s henchman, Gladys realizes that both of them are in danger. Archie tells Jughead to go back to Riverdale, while he heads to Canada to hideout.
Archie finds a cabin in the Canadian woods, but it isn’t long before he is attacked by a grizzly bear. His injuries leave him unconscious, and he dreams of killing Hiram to get revenge, but soon an EMT comes to the cabin and saves him. Archie returns to Riverdale a new man, and it looks like his near death experience and vivid vengeful dreams have changed him. He reunites with Veronica, but finds out about her and Reggie. When she accuses him of shooting Hiram, he realizes that his relationship with her is over.
To add to the frustration, Archie walks out of class during his SAT exam and fails it. Seriously? Can the dude ever catch a break?
Season 2 ended with Betty’s dad, Hal aka The Black Hood being sent to jail for murder. Now her mom, Alice, and sister, Polly are finding solace in a mysterious cult like group called The Farm. The cult’s leader, Edgar Evernever, has yet to be seen, but his daughter Evelyn has been making her way around town trying to recruit people, including Betty. Of course, Betty’s too smart to fall for their emotional ploys, but it puts her at odds with her family constantly.
The super sleuth that she is, Betty has been hot on the trail of the mysterious Gargoyle King ever since the murders of Dilton Doiley and Ben Button. She figured out that her mom once played Gryphons and Gargoyles, and has been putting together the clues ever since. When the Gargoyle King showed up at her house, Alice forced Betty to go to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy for safety. But while she was there, Betty realized that patients were being given fizzle rocks so they could be mind controlled into playing Gryphons and Gargoyles.
She also found out that Hiram was the one supplying the drugs, so she detoxed Ethel (who was also there), and together they helped the rest of the patients escape. Because the patients were still completely involved in the game, Betty took on the persona of the Gryphon Queen to lead them out. But as Betty and the others escaped the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, Riverdale was put under quarantine for a mass epidemic of seizures. Betty realized that Hiram has something to do with it, but she's still trying to prove his connection.
In Season 3, Episode 10, Betty finds out that Alice took all of her college money and gave it to the cult. In hopes of getting the money back, she visits Hal in prison, where he tells Betty that he wants to keep a relationship with her, and ensures her she’s smart enough to get a scholarship to any college. But while there, Betty finds out that Penelope Blossom has been secretly visiting Hal, telling him all about Gryphons and Gargoyles and the Gargoyle King. She knows something is up, but she hasn’t figured out what it is yet.
When she gets home from visiting the prison, Alice and Evelyn inform her that they used her money to purchase the Sisters of Quiet Mercy building, and are going to use it to house Farm members, including the women Betty helped escape.
Life can’t be easy when your parents are Hiram and Hermione Lodge. Veronica has been at odds with her parents, especially after she found out that Hiram framed Archie for murder. Hermione is now the town’s mayor, and so far, to Veronica’s dismay, she’s been doing most of Hiram’s bidding. Veronica knows that her parents played Gryphons and Gargoyles when they were teens, and she knows they are connected to it’s deadly resurgence, but she isn’t quite sure how to connect them.
At the end of Season 2, Veronica bought Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe and opened a speakeasy called La Bonne Nuit (The Good Night) in the space under it. She has been running the speakeasy with Reggie, and after Archie left and broke up with her, Reggie was there to support her. The midseason premiere brought Reggie and Veronica closer, and they sealed their romance with a kiss.
Now that Archie is back in town, Veronica is pushing Reggie away. She gets back together with Archie and throws him a welcome home party at her speakeasy. But when Hiram gets shot and lands up in intensive care, she accuses Archie of pulling the trigger. Archie is shocked that she would think that, and he admits that their relationship is over. Later, Reggie comes to visit Veronica in the hospital, and the two end up hugging. Does this mean the end of Varchie? I seriously hope not.
As of Season 3, Jughead is the King of the Southside Serpents, and he is taking his responsibility seriously. He makes sure that the serpents are well taken care of, have jobs, and are well protected. He is proving to be the leader they needed, but the emergence of the Gargoyle King has kept him preoccupied.
When the Gargoyle King first appeared in connection with Dilton and Ben’s death, Jughead starts playing Gryphons and Gargoyles to defeat him. He immerses himself in the game, and begins ascending the ranks. When Archie needs to get out of juive, Jughead uses his high rank in the game to orchestrate Archie’s escape in the guise of a mission.
But when Archie needs to skip town to hide from Hiram, Jughead leaves everything behind to support his friend. They end up near a rundown town that is devastated by fizzle rocks, and local teens tell Jughead that a “Man in Black” is responsible for distributing the drugs.
After narrowly escaping Hiram’s hooks in that town, Jughead takes Archie to Toledo where he reunites with Gladys and Jellybean, but it is apparent that he holds a grudge against his mom for leaving him. When Gladys realizes that Jughead is in danger because of Archie, she asks him to go back to Riverdale. Eventually FP comes to pick Jughead up, and they both head back home.
Upon returning to Riverdale, Jughead asks fellow serpent Fangs Fogarty to infiltrate the Gargoyle gang, and with his inside information, the Serpents take down the Gargoyle King, who turns out to be Tall Boy. Jughead, FP, and Archie use Tall Boy to lure Hiram, but Hiram sends the “Man In Black” in his place, and he turns out to be Claudius Blossom. Jughead and FP turn Claudius into the police, but he is later seen dead on a jail cell floor, probably thanks to Hiram.
Tall Boy tries to escape, and is accidentally shot by Fangs, so Jughead throws a big Serpent party as a distraction. When a Sheriff’s car pulls up to the rowdy gathering, Jughead seems nervous at first. But when he sees that the new Sheriff is FP Jones (thanks to Hermione), Jughead is both surprised and thrilled.
This is a just a breakdown of the main characters on Riverdale, so if you need more detail, it might be a good idea to rewatch the season. The CW keeps the five of the latest episodes on their website, so you can catch up whenever you want.
New episodes of Riverdale air on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.