Riverdale has gone ham on the mysteries this season, and tonight they went ham on solving them.
We got so many explanations and solutions at such a breakneck speed that we almost missed them. We definitely missed them last week (or more accurately, we dismissed them because we didn't believe them), and we had to go back and watch multiple scenes multiple times. You'd think adopting a film noir detective style would have slowed things down a bit, but you would be wrong!
"The Red Dahlia" not only brought a truce between Hiram and Archie, but it also introduced us to Kelly Ripa as Mrs. Mulwray (a gun-toting water inspector), revealed a dead guy wasn't dead (but then he was dead again), lit some sparks between Archie and Josie, and pinned all the villainy on a face we should have been suspecting all along.
What follows is a list of the things tonight's episode revealed, explained, or addressed:
Archie was TOO ANGRY to take a union-rules break during his new construction gig, so he was fired after like an hour and went to get drunk.
Riverdale has a brothel called the Maple Club, (not) shockingly run by Penelope Blossom. It specializes in domination.
Clifford Blossom was already dead when he hung himself (back in season 1).
That anticlimactic town quarantine was a distraction so Hiram could shut down his drug factory.
Penelope DID kill Clifford, and Claudius, and Claudius caused all the seizures by dumping Fizzle Rock runoff into the river. She's also sleeping with serial killer Hal, just in case anyone else forgot that.
But why did it only affect girls, Betty asked? Who knows!?! Penelope's just an herbalist, Betty.
Mrs. Mulwray (Ripa) is a water inspector who was paid to make a false report that the Riverdale water was clean (and not filled with Fizzle Rocks). And she's really protective of her "Glamourge" egg.
Sheriff Minetta is alive and sleeping with Hermione, and Hermione faked his death.
FP was hired by Hermione to shoot Hiram, and she paid him by appointing him sheriff.
Archie kept getting drunk and took a gun to kill Hiram, but instead he scared away Minetta, who was trying to frame FP.
Archie and Hiram, who hunted him internationally and tried to kill him multiple times and made his life al iving hell, are now totally cool because Archie saved his life.
Tall Boy (whose role as Gargoyle King is still not something we're totally buying?) has now been framed for Hiram's shooting, nicely cleaning up the whole problem of the Serpents just having his body lying around while the Gargoyle gang were trying to find him.
Veronica and Reggie messed up real bad by burning all the drugs, and now Hermione's mysterious drug buyer is going to be out for blood.
Sheriff Minetta is no longer alive, because Hermione shot him in the head (multiple times).
So what's where we are now, with nearly all of this season's mysteries solved. Everybody was killed by either Tall Boy or Penelope, the seizures were caused by drugs in the river, Hermione was responsible for any other loose ends, and Archie and Hiram are totally cool.
We sure were right about last week's SAT distraction. When the real reveals came, we were not ready. We're still not ready. Can you explain all that one more time please?
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.