Riverdale Roundtable S3E10: “The Stranger”

Welcome back to Riverdale Roundtable: a recap series where we chat about all the drama and sexy intrigue from last week’s Riverdale. Today we’re yelling about academic responsibility as we cover Riverdale Season 3 Episode 10: “The Stranger.” Join us as we puzzle through the legal and ethical dilemmas of teen dating apps, bad parenting, and hot sheriffs.

Jenny: so, to start, i think we should just get this out of the way:

Jenny: a) of course he’s not dead
but also b)
y’all were totally right; they just did not have the budget for a bear

CC: lolololol
look, I am The Worst for saying this but: I knew it!! no way you could kill off archie in his own IP, I guess
really right up until he was trying to cheat on the SATs did I think wow, he came back from that bear attack a slightly less terrible dude, way to go, bear
the bear slapped the dumb right out of him, I initially thought

Jenny: honestly
it was almost to the point that when jug asked him to trap hiram
i genuinely thought he was going to be like “no, man; that’s behind me. i really need to study for the SAT tonight!”
bc also
they’ve finally decided to remind us all that these are totally, definitely, teens

CC: can you even get a cumulative score of 600 on the (new) SAT? (new meaning in this post-2000 world when the scores changed?)

Jenny: i honestly do not remember

Rachel: i mean i don’t know and i’ve never really known, the sats where a mystery to me then and continue to be so

CC: isn’t it out of 2400 now????

Jenny: yeah 4 sections of 600, i think?

CC: god i don’t remember anymore

Jenny: i’m so glad i’m not a teen

CC: me too

Jenny: but i will say
i definitely remember that there were like, plenty of opportunities to take and retake it
like, ok archie — storm out now; you can take it again in like 2 months

Rachel: oh wait wait, let’s do some recap

Jenny: smart

Rachel: 1. Archie is all healed up from the bear, not dead, and back in Riverdale

CC: but Changed

Rachel: he has seen the other side and tried to metaphorically beat the dumb out of himself

Jenny: LOL

CC: finish what the bear started

Rachel: he literally just walks back into his dad’s house with his dog
i’m back!!!!!!!
remember how i left because my girlfriend’s dad wanted to kill me???
well a bear slashed me real good and now i don’t give a fuck
come at me Hiram!!!!


Rachel: i do not understand archie’s motivations here

Jenny: yeah i mean
he did just spend most of this season, like, uncharacteristically into the idea of murder
and then when V is like
did you shoot my dad? he — the dummy whom jughead had to talk out of doing just that — has the gall to be offended

CC: you know, I’m surprised she’d be mad anymore
I mean it’s her dad and all
i hope hermione did it tbh

Rachel: oh man that would be VERY GOOD

Jenny: same
hiram blows
oh! but that’s point 2.

Rachel: YES

Jenny: hiram tries to appoint clifford blossom the new sheriff, hermione won’t do it, and then hiram gets shot in the chest
and then she appoints FP!!

Rachel: *claudius

Jenny: fuck you’re right

Rachel: well they needed a reason to finally get that actor off the payroll

Jenny: god yeah

Rachel: so Hermione doesn’t want to make him sheriff but Hiram THREATENS HER
so she does it and then guess what, he gets murdered
now it’s FP TIME

Jenny: and she decides that it’s time for us to find out that she was secretly a good parent this whole time
had a plan of her own

Rachel: ok wait tell me more about that
because i didn’t pick up on that line

Jenny: oh she calls fp, he comes to her, and she says ^^ “I think it’s time”
and, like, i’m just extrapolating from there

Rachel: oh yeah but how does that make her a good parent?

Jenny: like, FP knew about this plan and didn’t tell anyone?
(i think the writers just thought it up and are going to rationalize his silence later)
but it’s a plan that H and FP developed together, presumably??
and maybe other people also helped?
could be a whole ~~ midnight club ~~ thing

Rachel: i’m honestly worried that it means that FP is up to something sinister

Jenny: ah…
could be

Rachel: ever since he showed up after the gargoyle king was in the Cooper house and did a weird smile thing at Betty
he’s been acting weird

Jenny: oh no
oh you could be right

CC: no!!!!

Jenny: i mean
who wouldn’t trust this face

Rachel: i will be so devastated

CC: maybe he contracted whatever brain fungus has transformed alice into a cult monster

Rachel: alice really is the worst

Jenny: oh god
she is

CC: rachel you are 100% vindicated
you called it
but would we listen??
we were swayed by her sick outfits and bad attitude
i’m…..so disappointed in her….

Jenny: just
betty’s college fund

Jenny: hannibal makes a fine point about her ability to get scholarship money
but also
what the actual fuck, alice

CC: halible

Jenny: oh no

Rachel: lolllll

CC: all of these nightmare parents remind me
I fell asleep thinking about riverdale last night for whatever the heck reason
and legit had a dream that what’s his name? who plays fred andrews? and don cheadle were co-starring in a movie about being dads and best friends and I was taking photographs for an entertainment magazine

Jenny: that is so much better than my riverdale stress dream from last night
which was just betty trying to escape from The Farm
and i hated it


Rachel: yours is probably more along the lines of a vision
of a future episode

Jenny: lol would not be surprised
hire me cw

Rachel: hire her!!

Jenny: speaking of fred though

Jenny: i feel like this has really been the season of “how do raise stakes??”
just, like, why is everybody threatening to kill everyone else
stop it
fred is a good dad who does not do murder
archie is a good boy who does not do murder!

CC: fred is just like
“I will kill you, with THIS specific weapon, using my LEFT hand, at 6:00PM”
and when he gets framed for murder will just be like

Jenny: LOL
like father like son
these dummies

Rachel: ????how could this happen to meeee????
^ the song they will sing during jail times


Rachel: ok also, how dare jug put precious fangs in this position
to recap: jug sent fangs to be a spy for the gargoyle gang
which almost gets fangs branded but does reveal that tall boy is working for hiram

Jenny: i mean
i might be out on fangs, tbh

Rachel: oh man i still love fangs, a sweet soft boy

Jenny: he is definitely that
but he also might just be, like, Too Dumb

Rachel: lolllll

Jenny: like, shooting tall boy??
it’s possible that my actual gripe is w the writers for not doing any work to set that up
but fangs and sweet pea this whole ep were just
can’t do anything right

Rachel: you know if it had been cheryl and toni, they would not have fucked it up so bad

Jenny: that’s true

Rachel: well, maybe they would have fucked it up but for totally different reasons
not dummy reasons but probably like defiant, make out reasons

Jenny: fair enough
that tracks; it does

CC: i mean, or they would have just
had a bad idea and carried it out flawlessly

Rachel: where were they this episode

Jenny: lolololol
they’re not serpents anymore

Rachel: but like they aren’t even around studying for their sats???
at the study party ronnie threw for archie?

Jenny: they might be in the background? idk
but also maybe cheryl got them both a private tutor and they’re going to college abroad anyway
so, like

Rachel: that’s how we get the spinoff

Jenny: YES
all i want
cheryl and toni
windswept hair
very old bridges
something i don’t want:
any more scenes w penelope for at least 3 episodes

Rachel: ew ew ewwwww

riverdale writers:
“how far can we possibly take this bullshit?”
the writer who wrote this: [that screenshot above]

Jenny: i feel like that’s their whole mindset going into every ep, tbh

CC: i think all these kids just gotta really focus on what’s important here:
getting the heck out of riverdale
and going to college as far away as they can

Jenny: honestly

CC: so, speaking of
should we talk about
whatever the heck is going on with betty?

Jenny: she’s just trying to go to college

CC: if we had been playing our drinking game, we might have really had to worry about our health this episode

Jenny: god yeah

CC: can’t believe hal got so much screentime honestly
at this time in my life

Jenny: it was unbearable

Rachel: i so thought we had seen the last of him
but i guess that’s not true, even when a character dies

Jenny: i mean, see: Tall Boy
what the fuck is that about?
the two of them
A) who gives a shit

Jenny: and B) again i say: who gives a shit??

CC: the most forgettable men in riverdale
(who also happen to be murderers)

Jenny: truly
but also
i really had forgotten about the whole ‘gargoyle king’ nonsense
i thought we were back on the ‘organized crime’ nonsense
but the crossover between the two is just a little too scooby doo
like — oh this guy dressed up in a monster costume to scare people away from looking into the crimes he was doing/helping do
and as much as i VERY MUCH WOULD LIKE a gritty CW scooby doo remake
i don’t want it like this
where’s my velma
betty is her own person, dammit

Rachel: betty is…. all over the place

Jenny: it’s true

Rachel: they all are!!! their motivations don’t make sense!

CC: i can’t imagine having hal and alice for parents

Rachel: no wonder polly turned to the farm

Jenny: lol fair enough

Rachel: but also like, ronnie
i do not understand
you wanna be with archie and cut ties with your dad, who literally framed your bf for murder
but now he’s shot and you’re like HOW COULD YOU ARCHIE

Jenny: arguably: did kind of ruin his life

CC: look man hiram is an apex predator & this is a kill-or-be-killed situation

Jenny: if we’re going to run w the metaphor they’re pushing so hard
hiram killed the old archie

Rachel: i can’t believe archie came to the hospital to see how HIRAM LODGE was doing
none of these characters function in any consistent way

Jenny: presumably it was to comfort veronica?
but he didn’t have flowers or a balloon, so…

Rachel: yeah but also fuck hiram!!!! ughhh!!!!!!!!!

CC: yeah fred showing that picture of archie playing guitar was legit sad bc that side of archie really is as much a thing of the past as this show’s potential to be a prestige teen drama
also agreed, jenny

Rachel: oh Reggie
what are you getting yourself into

Jenny: oh REGGIE

Rachel: don’t you see how this went for Archie??
maybe don’t date the daughter of a mobster!!!
sorry Ronnie but for real!!!!

Jenny: i’m p on board w reggie though
he’s tougher than archie was
and he knows more what he’s getting into

CC: i mean TO BE FAIR archie legit joined the mob, for….reasons????
don’t date a mobster’s daughter if you’re too dumb to operate in the world lbr

Jenny: Yeah!
reggie works w veronica to run her business

Rachel: but i mean Reggie is not the sharpest tool in the shed either

Jenny: reggie takes different routes every time he runs her illegals, though

CC: archie would take the same route every single time

Rachel: also how much did bumble pay for that ad spot

CC: probably so much money lol

Jenny: oh god
yeah the so subtle bumble marketing

Rachel: do teens use dating apps???
this isn’t just a thing for folks not living with their parents???

Jenny: that’s a good question!!
i feel like there would be A LOT of legal issues w that though

Rachel: oh good point!

Jenny: it would have to be a teens-only (under 17 only)
and even then you know that pedophiles would infiltrate it
but like
if reggie is 16?
would he even be allowed to select interest in an age range that’s very much above that?
is that something dating apps think about??
surely they just have a “must be 18 to participate” rule
but also i don’t super trust teens not to lie on there

Rachel: what a time to be alive

Jenny: god

CC: there’s no way reggie doesn’t have tinder tbh

Jenny: truly — he does not seem like a bumble guy
bc isn’t that the difference?
like, on bumble men can’t initiate conversation?
idk idk who knows
moving on
there’s something i wanted to gripe about

Jenny: when reggie sees the bear attack scars, he’s like: no wonder you’re so messed up
but, like, didn’t archie also get, like, branded???
wouldn’t that imply a way higher level of fucked-up-ed-ness??

CC: oh no! they’d been doing so well showing how much damage archie has taken this season!

Jenny: yeah they had been p on top of things, re: consistency
but it couldn’t last forever

Rachel: yeah i don’t really follow reggie’s line of thought here, like how does being attacked by a bear give some insight into him running out on Ronnie’s song??

Jenny: fair
it does not make sense

Rachel: like obviously getting mauled by a bear is terrible but
i don’t see the connection reggie is making to archie’s actions re: veronica

Jenny: yeah it’s not like, emotionally as damaging as being hunted by your girlfriend’s dad (i assume)
and it was def the hiram-ness of veronica that led to his storming out
so idk what reggie is thinking, necessarily

CC: who knows
i did think the balloons and flowers were very charming

Jenny: they were sweet!

Rachel: that’s very true
well, y’all ready for final thoughts?

CC: i am!

Jenny: yeah go for it

CC: if y’all are ok with it, my final thought is a question
is there anybody on earth who would want to get zou bisou bisou-ed the way veronica did to archie? like: is this a gift??? a gift that would make anybody feel any way other than on the spot????
like, I agree that V is a great singer
idk i’d feel awkward as hell about it and idk if I’m just being a grump or what
i mean like, he just survived a bear attack can the boy LIVE

Jenny: i mean, as w many things about v: this gift isn’t really about you; it’s about her
i would also feel weird

Rachel: yeah same honestly
but also that’s a very veronica thing to do
and archie has historically been into her over-the-top-ness

Jenny: that’s definitely true
but that’s the OLD Archie
the new archie is almost reasonable
(that’s my final thought)
look at him

Jenny: granted this was about a vocabulary thing
i think it applies to his whole life
and also!

Jenny: i’ve never in my life been a ross gellar, but they were on a break

Rachel: LOL


Jenny: archie understands this
he’s good about it
she DIDN’T do anything wrong
mostly it’s just like: i have some hope for archie, moving forward
he’s on the road to not being such a dummy

CC: i mean same
good for him

Rachel: man i hope so, because my appreciation of jug is waning more and more

Jenny: YES

Rachel: and that’s my final thought
sweat pea and fangs ACCIDENTALLY kill tall boy and jug comes up with a plan on the spot to…. throw a party???
i do not understand the logic here either!!!!
how does that solve the problem!!!!!
what are they doing with the body???

Jenny: it wouldn’t have been so bad if they had taken ANY TIME AT ALL to explain!!

Rachel: shit what did they do with Joaquin’s body!!!!

Jenny: a great question!!

CC: lotta bad plans in this episode imo
this being the worst of them

Jenny: the writers were too horny to introduce sheriff fp


Rachel: you’re so right tho lol

Jenny: they assumed no one would care about the things happening around that reveal, and they’re not that far off base

Rachel: i just can’t imagine the show getting better from here
that’s my forecast

Jenny: FAIR
it’s been bad for a while now

CC: yeah the flame of hope has officially been extinguished from my heart

Rachel: …..
when does the next season of sabrina come out anyway

Jenny: april

Rachel: FUCK
that’s not too bad

Jenny: we’ll get there

Rachel: if archie can go to canada, get mauled by a bear, and make it back to riverdale
on top of somehow magically getting the dark hair dye out of his hair in a single try
we can make it to april

Jenny: that’s the spirit

CC: amen

Rachel: and hail satan

Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.
CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!

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