Riverdale Ep. 113 Recap & Review – ‘Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter’
First of all, I apologize for not putting up a recap for Episode 12. Simple and plain…I forgot. The biggest things you need to take away from that episode is that Clifford killed Jason point blank to hide the fact that Clifford is a real-life kingpin. The maple syrup business is just a front that allows him to smuggle heroin out from Canada. Riverdale’s own Scooby gang found a video of Clifford shooting Jason, and went to the police. To face, Clifford took his own life by hanging himself in a barn full of drugs.
“The Sweet Hereafter” picks up after some time where the previous episode left off. The whole town already knows of Clifford’s transgressions. To Betty’s dismay, the citizens of Riverdale are settling right back into their old habits as if nothing horrifying just happened. Well, that’s not entirely true. The mayor wants someone to blame and the only people left are F.P. and the Southside Serpents.
If there’s one thing the people are willing to nod their heads at is that Riverdale seems to have a major drug problem. As far as F.P. knows, the only drugs the Snakes have been peddling are dime bags of weed. As we’ve seen exactly one time, however, at least one Snake had access to (and overdosed on) heroin. Naturally, everyone is ready to blame the big, bad Serpents for everything, and F.P. may be the first to pay.
It’s generally known by now that F.P.’s involvement in Jason’s murder was that he was basically Clifford’s clean-up guy. It’s also known that F.P. was berated into compliance by Clifford, who threatened to do the same to Jughead what he did to his own son. Nevertheless, Clifford’s suicide robbed the public from seeing any real justice done on behalf of Jason Blossom. They still needed someone to blame, so why not F.P. and the Serpents and the overwhelming drug problem that is supposedly plaguing this sleepy little town?
Of course, whatever happens to F.P. also happens to Jughead. As a result of his father’s incarceration and his mother’s absence, Jughead is being moved to a foster home by the end of the week. The foster family, whom we don’t meet in this episode, lives on the south side of the tracks. Side note: I still love how the morality level in Riverdale is literally divided by a set of train tracks. Because the foster family lives in another school district, Jughead will have to transfer out of Riverdale High.
Jughead’s a tough cookie. Despite F.P.’s genuine concern for his son’s well-being, it looks as though Juggy will adapt just fine with his new surroundings. Especially so now that the Southside Snakes are stepping up to look after him as their new charge. After all, Jughead was already considered Serpent royalty with F.P. being a high-ranking “officer” in the group. And because F.P. didn’t snitch on any of his guys in favor of a lighter punishment, Jughead is practically untouchable at this point. Okay…maybe one does need to worry a little bit. He seemed to take to putting on the signature Serpent jacket a little too well.
But all of that is Baby Town Frolics compared to everything else that’s happening to the gang.
Against her mother’s wishes, Betty publishes her side of the truth concerning Jason’s murder and F.P.’s involvement, as well as the town’s overall willingness to push under the rug anything not perfectly tied in a bow. For that, she’s being harassed at school. Some students even went as far as plastering her article all over her locker and write threats in pig’s blood. Gross.
Then there’s Cheryl. She’s inwardly spiraling as she tries to make amends with the people she wronged the most throughout the series, most notably with Veronica and Jughead. Veronica shows great concern throughout these sudden acts of charity and kindness, to which Cheryl takes note. Maybe this is why Cheryl sends only Veronica a goodbye text before making her way to Sweetwater River to commit suicide.
The gang make it to the bank of the now frozen river just in time to see Cheryl break open the ice and fall through. The group runs over only to find that Cheryl has already been swept under by the current. Archie finds her and literally punches through the ice to pull her up and carry her to safety. This is where Archie finally becomes the hero of the series.
Remember how, in the beginning of the series, the most notable trait about Archie was that he got jacked (as in super hot and muscly) over the summer? As much of a running joke as it is, this superficial characteristic saved Cheryl’s life.
Archie continues on his hero’s journey when he meets his Fred over at Pop’s for breakfast. Only…their father-son moment gets completely run over when a masked gunman charges in and threatens Pop. Archie, coming from the bathroom, is ready to intervene when the gun turns toward Fred. Through some very suspenseful editing, we’re allowed to think that it was Archie who gets shot. In those few seconds, I really thought we were going to end the episode there. Cliffhangers like that are the worst! But then we cut back inside Pop’s and find that it was Fred who had been shot. Guys, there is a lot of blood coming out of him….
Meanwhile, back at Thorn Hill….
Let me just say that every Cheryl scene in this episode has been haunting. Her final scene takes her back home where she is waiting for her mother to come home. Penelope finds Cheryl dressed in her best white power dress holding a lit candelabra. There’s also a strong smell of gasoline in the room. Yes, Cheryl doused her father’s library in gasoline and is setting it on fire. Don’t worry, Cheryl is no longer suicidal, and mother and daughter both make it out alive. Uuuuhhhhh. We’re not sure about Grandma Rose, though….
According to a vengeful Cheryl, she wants the Blossom family to start all over. If that means burning down the family mansion, then so be it. That place was beyond creepy anyway.
Speaking of creepy, why is it that every time Cheryl has thought about being with her “soul mate” in this series, Jason always appears as a decaying zombie? Is it because her vision of him is forever ruined because she saw his body when he washed up on the river? Is she teetering on some kind of Edgar Allan Poe, “Fall of the House of Usher” madness? Oh please let that be the case….
- Archie and Veronica are officially together. They’ve announced it to the group, and Betty is totally cool with it. For now.
- Betty and Jughead said “I love you” to each other!
- Brown chicken brown cow! (You’ll get it)
- Veronica and Valerie performing on the same stage with Archie… Awkward.
- Don’t think that this is the end of the Betty/Veronica/Archie love triangle. It will never be over.
- How mortifying is it that Fred is already aware that his teenage son did the deed with Veronica?
- “It was the ultimate Cliff-hanger.” Haaaaaaaa. I see you, Narrator Jughead.
- Turns out that Alice Cooper did not have the abortion Hal wanted her to have while they were still in high school. We now know that Alice finished out her pregnancy at the same institution she sent Polly and gave her baby boy up for adoption. So now we have a long-lost Cooper out there in the wild.
- We technically did get our long-rumored Sabrina, the Teenage Witch cameo, but not in the way any of us were expecting. She shows up on the cover of one of F.P.’s jailhouse reading materials: