Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 215, "There Will Be Blood"

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Riverdale There Will Be Blood

The bombs are dropping so fast in this episode of RIVERDALE it's a veritable plot-point barrage.

For weeks, Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) has known in his gut that Hiram Lodge (MARK CONSUELOS) has been buying up distressed properties in Riverdale for nefarious purposes, but he hasn't been able to say what they are. When Hiram urges Fred Andrews (LUKE PERRY) to run for mayor in the special election, it concerns Archie (KJ APA), who is willing to work for Lodge himself, but doesn't want his family involved. So he gives Jughead a bit of information he didn't have before: that Hiram had bought Pop Tate's Choklit Shoppe. This solidifies Jughead's desire to out Hiram's plans, but he cannot get anyone to go on the record against him.

And then he gets a phone call from an anonymous source asking to meet him at a bus terminal. It's a very "deep throat" conversation, their backs to each other. The man is a bus driver who claims to have been employed by the Lodges in the past, and we can see that the bus driver is none other than Smithers (TOM MCBEATH) who Hiram dismissed shortly after returning home from prison. Smithers puts Jughead on the trail to Shankshaw Prison (really, guys, you couldn't have come up with a better name than that?), a place where Jughead's father, FP Jones (SKEET ULRICH) has spent time. FP knows a man on the inside who can give them information, and they arrange to meet him, which is where Jughead finds the scoop of his young journalistic career. But Hiram has already bought the Riverdale Register, and Principal Weatherbee (PETER BRYANT) nixes it for the school paper as well.

Hiram is quite upset that the information about Pop's leaked to Jughead, as nobody except Hermione (MARISOL NICHOLS), Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) and Archie knew about it. He blames Archie, but Veronica takes the heat for it, claiming she told Jughead during their weekend at the cabin to put him off the scent of the other properties he was asking about. However, Veronica reads Archie the riot act when they meet again for betraying their trust. Archie demands to know what the ultimate endgame is, and he needs to know it before his father jumps into the mayoral race.

When Hiram finds out that Jughead has all the information from a source within Shankshaw, he meets with Fred and Archie to tell all: he's converting the Southside High School into a private, for-profit prison, and the new housing developments are for those who would work there. Fred is vehemently opposed to this idea, and storms off. But Archie is actually behind it, and stays with the Lodges.

The other bombshells are falling around the Blossoms and the Coopers. Hal Cooper (LOCHLYN MUNRO) is filing for divorce, and agrees to give Alice (MADCHEN AMICK) half the profits if she'll accept the terms. However, Alice finds out there's to be a public reading of Clifford Blossom's will, and learns that Hal stands to inherit a fortune from the distribution of the assets. She storms in on the reading, and is escorted out before the real surprise guest puts in an appearance, causing Cheryl Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH) to faint -- it appears that Clifford Blossom has returned from the dead!

Alas, however, twins run in the Blossom family, and the ghost is actually Clifford's twin brother, Claudius Blossom (BARCLAY HOPE), who tells a tale of why he had never been heard from, a tale that involves twins, a rifle, and Sweetwater River. He's been with the Merchant Marines since he was 14, and has returned to help put the Blossom house in order.

Since Clifford's will is evenly distributing half his assets among anyone in Riverdale who shows a genetic link to the Blossom family, there's a DNA testing facility set up. Betty (LILI REINHART) and her returned sister, Polly (TIERA SKOVBYE) are going to get tested, but brother Chic (HART DENTON) refuses. He's remaining as creepy as ever, trying to isolate Alice's affection and attention, and is starting to show intense jealousy toward Polly's twin babies, Juniper and Dogwood. Betty, curious about his reluctance to share in the money, decides to do some more sluething, and steals some used dental floss from Chic's bathroom. She submits it to the lab for the DNA testing, and at the end of this episode is confronting Chic with the results.

And with Fred Andrews no longer a viable candidate, we meet the most likely shoe-in winner of the office: Hermione Lodge. This seems to be checkmate for Jughead Jones, who sees the Lodges' conquest of Riverdale as complete.

Riverdale: Topaz BlossomThe laugh of the night however belongs to Claudius Blossom, regaling the family with his tales of seeing the world, and the most beautiful place he ever visited -- the Isle of Lesbos. This, as Cheryl is holding hands with her secret new friend, Toni Topaz, a relationship Cheryl's mother (NATHALIE BOLTT) suspects and will likely interfere with as she has in the past. Perhaps, as the ominous closing scene suggests, in a permanent fashion.

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0