Brace yourselves, betches, because Riverdale is BACK and so is my will to live. I’ll be your resident recapper this season, so expect to hear a lot of expletives whenever Archie breathes, and an unnecessary/embarrassing amount of fangirling whenever Jughead is on onscreen. You can thank me in the comments later. Now, when last we left off, the Black Hood was revealed as Hal Cooper, as if Betty needed one more reason to act out on her daddy issues. I can’t wait to see how this new development plays out in her and Jughead’s sex life. Hermione is the new mayor of Riverdale and Jughead inherited AN ENTIRE GANG from his father. I’m sure that will go over well on his college applications. Oh, and Archie got arrested for that murder he witnessed when he still wanted to be one of Hiram’s henchmen. I mean, I’ve been asking The CW to kill and/or seriously injure this character since Archie made that semi-homoerotic Red Circle video last season, but I guess this scenario will do. So, shall we dive right in on the Riverdale season 3 premiere recap? We shall.

I guess we’re starting this season off during summer vacation. Veronica is slaving away at Pop’s, which is weird because I thought she owned it?? Like, why is she asking people “if they want fries with that” when she’s the owner?

Meanwhile, Archie spent his summer vacation on trial for murder, while Betty interned for his legal team wearing daisy dukes. So, just like how I spent my summer vacays. Side note: please keep in mind that I’m using the term “legal team” loosely here as Archie’s defense consists of his mother and the former mayor of Riverdale. Sounds promising. I’m telling you right now, Archie, that whole “my mommy defended me” thing will not go over well in the prison yard!

The court recesses and somehow I doubt Archie is allowed to just walk around freely in the courthouse when on trial for first degree murder. There would at least be handcuffs involved. God, the Riverdale justice system is so broken.

Okay, WHAT? The judge is just going to send the jurors home for the weekend so Archie can get wasted with his friends one last time? Never mind that the jury members—who are not on trial for murder!!—might also want to have a nice Labor Day weekend with their friends and family. What sort of white nonsense is this?

JUDGE: I dismissed the jury early because I want Archie to have one last Labor Day weekend with his friends. Take it seriously. Get lit, kids!
ME: This must be that scary time for young men our President keeps referring to…

Cut to Pop’s Diner, where everyone is moping around because even though there’s no witnesses to the crime, no murder weapon, and no motive, Archie is probs going to jail. Evil Hiram did such an amazing job framing him for murder without using one single shred of evidence. YES, THIS IS PLAUSIBLE. Seriously, where is Olivia Benson when you need her?

Cheryl shows up while everyone is moping and describes the most terrible summer vacation I have ever heard. She’s like “we rode cross country on our bikes and it was amazing!” I’ll have to take your word on that one, Cheryl. She invites them all to the back to school pool party she’s throwing because she is really taking that judge’s advice to heart and wants Archie to get sh*t-faced one last time. A true friend!

Okay, what is this Hooverville tent city the Serpents are calling home? Seriously, how is this even legal? I know they lost their favorite bar over the summer, but don’t these people still have houses to go home to?? Were they all just squatting in that bar before? I’m so confused.

And standing in the center of the tent city is Archie, whose desperation to up his street cred is so palpable that FP gives him a pity serpent tattoo. As if that’s going to keep him from being some guy’s b*tch when he’s on the inside.

Cut to Cheryl’s pool party and it is…extra. Everyone is decked out in Target’s latest swimwear line and having good, sober fun in the sun. Cheryl also pulled out a velvet chaise lounge for her and “TT” to sit on as they watch their friends dive for glow sticks in the deep end. My end of summer parties went a little bit differently, but okay.

Veronica is pissed Archie’s attorneys won’t put her on the stand so she can tell everyone that her dad framed Archie. I don’t know why blaming the whole thing on “daddy” didn’t sound credible enough for them? Josie knows where the jury is being held for the weekend and she thinks she can “sneak” Veronica in. Like, she’s late for curfew or something and needs to get back into her house unnoticed. Also, girls, THIS IS JURY TAMPERING. I know Riverdale is a godless city, but MY GOD, you can certainly still get arrested for that!

Naturally, Veronica is immediately apprehended because the jurors are being guarded by Hiram’s thugs. His power is so far-reaching! Honestly, he did you a favor, honey. I know you want to save your boyfriend from prison so you can have a date to homecoming or whatever, but this is not the way to go about it.

Elsewhere, Jughead tries to steal Hot Dog, the Serpents’ mascot (don’t ask me why it’s not just a serpent), back from the Ghoulies. I know this is supposed to be a v dramatic scene or whatever but I f*cking can’t with these Ghoulies who came to a fight looking like Peter Pan’s lost boys (or a very good impression of Mod Sun).

Ghoulie or Mod Sun? Seriously, I can’t tell the difference.

I guess the Ghoulies are the reason all the Serpents are squatting in an abandoned corn field somewhere, because they took over all of the Serpents’ homes? Again, I feel like this isn’t legal, but fine. Let’s suspend reality once more, CW.

Okay, I haven’t addressed this yet because I’ve been too preoccupied by the SHAM that is Archie’s murder trial, but Polly is back for good and apparently has converted Alice into a farm freak. (Sidenote: I could make a drinking game out of all the times Polly has said “the farm” this episode and/or has worn something beaded to emphasize her new, earthy nature, but I only have about three functioning liver cells left, so I won’t.) 

Alice thinks Betty hasn’t fully processed that her dad is a serial killer and, like, I was with her until she started acting like journaling was a gateway drug to addiction and prostitution.

ALICE: First you started journaling, now you’re writing your own prescriptions for Adderall? Betty, this is a slippery slope!

Also, I love that Alice is fine with Betty taking off all her clothes and seductively dancing on a pole at a public bar, but Adderall and journaling is where she draws the line.

BETTY:

ALICE: You’re doing amazing, sweetie!

Archie saves Betty from answering by showing up in the old timey car he’s been fixing in between cross examinations. The crew takes off for Archie’s (maybe) last night of freedom and practically have an orgy in the lake. I paraphrase. I guess they took the term “sending him out with a bang” literally.

Betty is still realllly taking the argument with her mother to heart. She’s like “maybe I do have an Adderall addiction??” and it’s like, b*tch, so do I. What’s your point? As per usual, Jughead has to calm her crazy ass down and OMG HE JUST PUT HIS HAT ON BETTY’S HEAD AND I AM NOT OKAY.

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Archie and Veronica get one last bang in by the fireplace before he goes to prison. So sweet. Veronica is already planning her future as a prison wife, and she makes it sound so bright. Don’t get me wrong, I like my men as emotionally unavailable as the next girl, but a prison boyfriend? Come on. Though something tells me Veronica would be really into conjugal visits.

Holy sh*t. The jury comes back deadlocked, which means Archie is kind of off the hook unless the prosecution wants to press charges again. My extensive knowledge of the legal system Law & Order: SVU tells me this. Literally two seconds after the jury reads their verdict, Archie declares he’s guilty and would like to take a plea deal.

JUDGE: Let me get this straight, you’re going to ignore the advice of your mommy counsel and take a deal that would put you in prison when you don’t have to be there?
ARCHIE: Hell yeah I am!
JUDGE:

MY GOD, ARCHIE. The jury was deadlocked! You were practically free! You know what? Your dumbass deserves prison.

I love that Fred just keeps screaming at him “we’ll get you out, don’t worry!” Like, no, you will not get him out. He said he was guilty and took a plea deal. CASE CLOSED. Also, I guess only in Riverdale and in America if you’re white can you MURDER someone and only get two years in kiddie prison. Good to know.

Archie heads off to juvie and I just don’t think his first impression with the other inmates should be in a bowtie. I only have one word of advice for you, Archie: don’t drop the soap.

Meanwhile, Jughead goes to track down Dilton. All episode, Dilton has been talking in symbols, and I mean that literally. I have no f*cking clue what he’s been saying for the last hour. Jughead does though, because he sees the symbols and knows where to track him down.

He finds Dilton and one of his friends passed out worshipping at some kind of altar. So chill. Like, seriously, can these kids ever have any normal extracurricular activities? My god.

Elsewhere, Betty wakes up in the middle of the night and finds Polly and her mother using the incest babies in some sort of satanic ritual. Like, WHAT am I watching on my screen right now?

The episode ends with Betty passing out after she sees the twins levitate above the fire. She’s either sleep deprived from all the Adderall, or the journaling is starting to play tricks with her mind. Either way, we’ll have to find out next week if, in addition to webbed feet, Polly’s babies can also fly. Can’t wait!

Images: Giphy (2); The CW (3); @kjapa /Instagram (1); @addictedtobughead /Instagram (1)

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