The mystery of Gryphons and Gargoyles deepened tonight on Riverdale, and while Betty, Jughead, and the gang got answers to some of their questions, every only led to more questions -- both on the show and for viewers, too.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Riverdale, "Manhunter, below.
Tonight's episode saw Veronica's efforts to exonerate Archie pay off when she found evidence that Archie had been framed, but what should have been a happy moment was decidedly not. The video evidence? Found in a folder with the strange mark associated with Gryphons and Gargoyles while Joaquin revealed to Jughead that it was Hiram who was giving the warden orders to kill Archie. This lead Jughead to think Hiram might be the Gargoyle King. Joaquin ended up dead, Betty found out that there was another mysterious death associated with the game and realized pretty quickly that the adults are still lying about everything.
If all of that wasn't enough, Josie had a seizure, the existence of a "Gargoyle Gang" was revealed, the Gargoyle King came for Betty and Alice, Alice had Betty shipped off to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy and there was a truly epic homage to the movie Scream, too.
Sound like a lot? It is, but also doesn't even scratch the surface. There is a lot to unpack about "Manhunter" and we have some big questions while we try to process things. Want to know what we're scratching our heads over? Read on to found out and make sure to let us know what questions you have in the comments below.
There are a lot of questions about Gryphons and Gargoyles, but one of the biggest is who the Gargoyle King is, but after tonight we have to wonder if maybe it's Hiram Lodge.
Now, a popular fan theory suggests that it's Hermione that's the Gargoyle King, but it's possible that it's really her husband. First, Hiram is just shady, full stop, but tonight Joaquin reveals that the now-deceased warden at Leopold and Loeb was taking his orders from Hiram -- and not just the "business" ones. We also discover that Hiram wants the Shadow Lake crew dealt with as they could lead back to him when it comes to Archie's predicament. When they're found dead in the mines, the walls have Gargoyle King symbols all over the place.
Let's also not forget that back in high school, Hiram was considered trouble by Hermione's parents and he was also a member of the Midnight Club as one of the players in Darryl Doiley's game. It's also worth noting that Hiram was the one who provided the Midnight CLub with drugs when the principal was murdered and that we find out tonight that Darryl Doiley also eventually ended up dead.
When you put it all together, you really can't rule Hiram out.
Speaking of Darryl Doiley, Penelope Blossom drops a bit of a bomb tonight. She claims that it was Darryl who set up the poisoned chalices so that he could ascend with her as he was in love with her. In Penelope's tale, she refused and she assumed he had dealt with the chalices, but the principal's death proved that wrong. Later, he ended up killing himself via carbon monoxide poisoning as an adult.
Except, that's not how Darryl Doiley died. Betty finds out that the suicide story was one big cover and that Darryl died from oleander poisoning. For those unfamiliar oleander, also known as nerium, is a poisonous plant that is very toxic though how lethal it is has some corrolation to the size of the victim. Smaller victims (like children) would be more likely to die from oleander poisoning than larger ones (like adults) which likely means that Darryl probably was exposed to oleander in significant quantity meaning it definitely wasn't an accident.
As Penelope Blossom is well-known for her garden, it's not impossible that the oleander was her doing -- potentially to keep Darryl from revealing something incriminating about her during their time in the Midnight Club.
The Riverdale parents continue to be extremely secretive about their involvement with Gryphons and Gargoyles and it's clear that Alice hasn't been completely honest with Betty about things, either. It begs the question: could the parents still be playing the game?
Honestly? Yes, maybe just not quite the same way they were in high school. As we saw in the case of the warden, the game doesn't have to include a proper gaming session, costumes, or even any of the usual trappings of a rolepaying game. Instead, we find out that the warden was playing a more solitary version which means its not impossible that the parents could be doing much the same with their lives still being controlled by this mysterious Gargoyle King.
On one hand it would make quite a bit of sense if the parents were still playing the game in some fashion. They were all present at the high school when the principal was murdered. Maybe they've been kept in the game as a way to keep them silent. It's something that would explain why, near the end of the episode, the Gargoyle King shows up at the Cooper house and makes it very clear that they are the next targets to die. Maybe Alice has disobeyed or even made a wrong move in the game, prompting this sort of threat.
If the parents are still playing, things will likely only get weirder as the season goes on.
Shortly after telling Jughead about the warden (and Hiram Lodge) Joaquin ended up dead, his lips blue and the mark for "sacrifice" burned into his forehead. Who killed him?
It could have been the Gargoyle King themselves, but maybe it was members of this other gang Joaquin had joined -- the Gargoyle Gang, another mysterious element of things that we don't know much about yet.
It's also possible that Joaquin killed himself. After all, some of the others who have died thanks to the poisoned Freshaide willingly drank it hoping to "ascend".
The Farm has had kind of a low profile for a little bit, but two things tonight have us wondering how the sketchy cult factors into things.
The first thing is Evelyn Evernever. When the sheriff is interrogating the kids at Riverdale High, Evelyn is quick to offer her cloyingly believable alibi. However, Josie struggles to provide one and at first it seems like it's because she's guilty (which she is -- she did help with the jailbreak, after all) but that quickly becomes a question when she starts to have a seizure. This makes Josie the third girl to have a seizure with Evelyn's presence being the common denominator. Is she a witch? Is she causing the seizures?
The second thing is at the end of the episode when Alice ships Betty off to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy at the urging of Edgar Evernever. While that alone may not seem suspect, when Betty gets there she goes to an art class and quickly discovers that literally everyone in the room is painting images of the Gargoyle King. Is the Farm working for the Gargoyle King? Is Edgar the Gargoyle King? It's unclear, but it's slowly starting to look like there might be a tie between the cult and the game.
Speaking of Betty, it looks like it's her turn to spend some time with the sinister Sisters of Quiet Mercy. So what's next?
Based on the synopsis for next week's "The Man in Black," it sounds like Betty may come face to face with someone dangerous from her past -- potentially Hal Cooper, a.k.a. The Black Hood.
You can check out the synopsis for "The Man in Black" below.
"INTO THE BELLY OF THE BEAST — Fearful that he will be caught, Archie (KJ Apa) hits the road and ends up at a farm outside Riverdale, where he meets Laurie Lake (guest star Riley Keough).
Meanwhile, after Alice (Madchen Amick) takes extreme measures to ensure Betty’s (Lili Reinhart) safety from the Gargoyle King, Betty finds herself up against a formidable foe from her past.
Finally, after learning that La Bonne Nuit is in trouble, Veronica (Camila Mendes) makes a risky business decision that could cost her everything.
Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, Mark Consuelos and Charles Melton also star. Alex Pillai directed the episode written by Janine Salinas Schoenberg."
Archie and Jughead struck out on the road at the end of tonight's episode because, despite Archie being exonerated, Hiram Lodge still poses a threat.
It's a solid enough reason to leave, but that doesn't mean they are out of the danger yet.
Next week's episode will see the guys encounter Laurie Lake (Riley Keough) a character described at the time of casting as "all-American farm girl" who will turn the heads of both Archie and Jughead after she takes them in when they find themselves in need of shelter. Laurie will be flirtatious with both Jughead and Archie, but the boys may well find themselves in "More danger than they could have imagined."1comments
Is Laurie connected to the Gargoyle King? Is she part of The Farm? Anything's possible, but it certainly doesn't sound good for Archie and Jughead.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.