Riverdale (S03E18) ‘Chapter Fifty-Three: Jawbreaker’

Hey there, Riverdale fans! After a brief hiatus, the show is back and raring to go! Here’s my review of the latest episode entitled ‘Jawbreaker’.

who will save our souls?

After a brief recap, the episode opens up at the crime scene of Baby Teeth. Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and FP (Skeet Ulrich) are investigating the latest murder. Jughead speculates it could be a copycat killer. There is also the theory that this death is a message from the real Gargoyle King.

Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Edgar (Chad Michael Murray) are finally talking. Edgar tells her a brief story of a time in his life long ago. He was in a dark place and went to the desert to die. At death’s door, he found a farm. The farmers took him in and healed him. Now it is his mission to help others heal. He wants to save the lost and wandering souls.

time to kick butt and take names

Archie (KJ Apa) and his boys want to honor Babyteeth. Mad Dog (Eli Goree) shows up and tells them about the Gilded Gloves Tournament happening on the weekend. At school we see Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) walking with the other members of the farm. It looks like she’s officially part of the farm now. An angry Toni (Vanessa Morgan) confronts Betty about Cheryl’s change of heart. Betty tells her about what she had learned about the farm.

Veronica (Camilla Mendes) decides to help Archie enter the boxing tournament. She corners Elio (Julian Haig) in the men’s steam room and tries to talk business. Needless to say, it doesn’ go well. When FP and Jughead get the autopsy of Baby Teeth, they discover he had a matchbook lodged in his throat. It was from The Maple Club. They pay a visit to Penelope (Nathalie Boltt). She seems just as surprised as FP and Jughead about the situation.

he’s stark raving mad

While they are there, FP and Jughead encounter a violent man foaming at the mouth. He looks rabid. They figure it’s more fizzle rocks.  Veronica promotes Archie’s gym on TV. Betty visits her dad, Hal (Lochlyn Munro) and fills him in on what’s been going on. Veronica is able to make an agreement with Elio about the tournament. It will be held at Archie’s gym, and Archie can have his re-match if he moves up a weight class.

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FP trying to deal with the new drug. Photo courtesy of Google.

Cheryl is in full denial about Jason’s death, despite Toni showing her the video footage Betty had kept on her laptop of the shooting. Betty shows Alice (Madchen Amick) the grave of Charles. She refuses to believe anything about his death.  Betty chloroforms her mother and puts her in the bunker. She talks to her mother, who is resistant. Betty shows her mother the photo album she brought. Eventually, Betty reveals that she had faked the grave. She leaves her mother in the bunker.

burn baby burn

There are more cases of people going on bad drug trips. They’re calling it Fizzle Psychosis. Evelyn tries to warn Toni off Cheryl. Naturally, Toni’s response is hostile. At Archie’s gym, Mad Dog comes to warn him about his opponent. He was taking a powder that made him super strong and also super crazy with rage. Mad Dog gives Archie some powder just in case.

Jellybean (Trinity Likins) is playing G&G with Ricky (Nico Bustamante). When Betty goes back to see her mother, she discovers that her mother had burned the family photo album. At school, Evelyn (Zoe De Grand Maison) inquiries about Betty’s mother. In response, Betty threatens Evelyn and tells her to leave Alice alone. Archie is training with his boys. They visit Baby Teeth’s grave and pay respects. As the people who had been high on the strange fizzle rocks get sober, FP and Jughead find out Kurtz (Johnathan Whitesell) is the one responsible for the upgraded drug.

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Betty threatening Evelyn. Photo courtesy of Google.
I’m in your corner

Betty listens to her mother’s confession tapes. She realizes that Alice was terrified of her. Betty confronts Edward about the tapes. He says that Alice is deeply wounded and needs to heal. Betty was actually making things worse for her. Betty decides to do the right thing. She takes Alice out of the bunker and back to Evelyn.

Veronica gives Archie a gift. It’s a new robe and trunks. She also tells him that she ‘is in his corner’. Later we see Cheryl looking upset. She tells Toni that Evelyn is making her choose between Toni and Jason. Toni joins the farm undercover to try and get to the bottom of the mystery once and for all. Jughead and FP manage to ambush and catch Kurtz. Kurtz warns that Baby Teeth ‘was only the beginning’.

The boxing tournament starts. Betty talks with Hal about her change of heart. In turn, he asks her a favor. He wants to go home. Archie is fighting his rematch and getting badly beaten up. He receives some sound advice from Tom Keller (Martin Cummins) and is able to eventually KO his opponent. But he remains down and out, which sends everyone into a panic.

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Archie fighting in his rematch. Photo courtesy of Google.

FP and Jughead question Kurtz further. He tells them of The Ultimate Quest in the last and final game. Jellybean is in danger and the last thing we see is The Gargoyle King appearing before her.

final thoughts

This episode seemed pretty brutal to me. Between Betty bodily threatening Evelyn and the brutal re-match with Archie, I was quite surprised at the amount of violence they actually showed. Toni’s response to Evelyn’s cautions about ‘not ruining’ Cheryl amused me. It was very much in character, so brava and well done.

I am glad that FP and Jughead are bonding, even though it’s through a murder investigation. Was anyone else sad when Luke Perry had a bit of screen time? Also, why has Ricky randomly showed up again? Lots of questions and no real answers this episode. Hopefully, we’ll get some more information next episode.

Overall I give this episode a 9/10.

Catch a new episode of Riverdale on Wed, Apr 24 on the CW at 7/8C.