On the newest episode of Riverdale, Archie joins the wrestling team, Betty gets to know her brother, and Jughead discovers disturbing Riverdale history.
Previously on Riverdale, Betty met and saved her brother Chic, while Veronica became more involved with her parent’s schemes. Archie met a man named Adams who claims to be an FBI agent and started informing on Hiram Lodge. Finally, Jughead struggled with being back at Riverdale High.
“The Wrestler” begins as usual with Jughead’s narration, this time in the halls of Riverdale High. Jughead thinks about how school is changing. Archie plays basketball in the gym, getting ready for the new season. Jughead mentions the town is getting ready for a gathering to celebrate its founder, General Augustus Pickens. In class, Cheryl shares a presentation about Pickens and how her ancestors helped create the town and received no recognition.
The Lodge’s, Keller, McCoy, and Fred gather to talk. The Lodge’s and Fred offer to sponsor a bigger celebration for Pickens Day. McCoy remains unconvinced, but Veronica interrupts saying it will be a way to get the Southside and Northside to celebrate together. McCoy thinks it will backfire and Keller asks about the Serpents. They want to hire the Serpents as security for the event, thinking it will help keep the event peaceful. Archie comes home from practicing and the group quickly disbanded. He tries to kiss Veronica goodbye, but she pulls away citing his sweating.
At the Cooper’s, Hal questions Chic about what happened the day Betty brought him to their home. Chic answers the man who runs the hostel was angry that he did not want to take clients that day. They skate around the answer of Chic’s job, but it sounds like a sex worker. He mentions his many scars, saying he can show them, and Betty mentions the ones on her palm. Alice attempts to keep the peace.
Archie meets with the man claiming to be FBI Agent Adams, who gives him a paper which says it is immunity for Fred for anything to do with the Lodge’s. Archie tells him about the meeting the previous night. Adams tells him to get closer to Hiram if he wants to help the investigation move forward.
Betty shows her friends a picture of Chic, who Kevin says looks familiar. Veronica tells Betty to bring him to Pickens Day so they can meet. Jughead shares his annoyance that the Serpents were asked to do security and leaves to go interview Toni’s grandfather for a report. Later, Kevin calls Betty and says he knows Chic because he is a webcam boy.
Archie talks to Veronica and asks for suggestions to get to know her father. She mentions her dad was a big deal on the Riverdale High wrestling team and that he is involved in financing the team now. Archie decides to give up basketball this season and try out for the wrestling team.
Jughead meets with Toni’s grandpa Thomas Topaz, the oldest living Serpent and one of the founders. He says the laws were based on Uktena traditions, a Native American tribe that was destroyed by General Pickens. Pickens massacred the tribe. He says they created the Serpents as a way to stay together. Jughead is appalled that people do not know about the town’s bloody history.
At the McCoy’s, Veronica convinces Josie to get back together with the Pussycats for the Pickens Day celebration. Mayor McCoy arrives and is upset by the idea and says she and Josie will discuss it alone. Later, Veronica tells Hermione how McCoy treated her and Hermione believe it is because they let Veronica be part of the family business. Hermione says she will talk to McCoy if her behavior continues.
Archie goes to wrestling tryouts and finds it more difficult than he imagined. Hiram and Keller watch as Kevin continues to overpower him on the floor.
In the newspaper’s office, Kevin tells Betty about the tryouts and how he beat Archie. Betty talks to him about the webcam business and finds it interesting. She asks what to do, if she should talk to Chic about finding out, but Jughead arrives and interrupts the conversation.
Jughead shares his research with Betty, saying Cheryl’s ancestor Barnabas Blossom hired General Pickens “to remove the Uktena tribe by force.” 400 people were murdered. Jughead wants to write an article and Betty asks if he is going to talk to Hiram, given that he is sponsoring Pickens Day. Later, Jughead calls Hiram, but he hangs up after he hears what Jughead wants to talk about.
Veronica comforts Archie after his defeat at tryouts. She notes if he is not great at wrestling, perhaps he could sing with her and Josie at the Pickens Day event.
Chic bursts through the Cooper’s door, surprising Betty. He is in a rage because his landlord took all his stuff, including his laptop. Betty says they will help him, and he calls her crazy for believing her family will want him long term. Later, Betty knocks on his door and leaves an old Riverdale Register laptop for him and apologizes.
Veronica and Archie practice their music in her room and Hiram interrupts. He insults Archie multiple times, insinuating he is not manly. Veronica and Archie start kissing in front of Hiram and then Archie decides to go home and work on wrestling.
At the Cooper’s, Hal continues to be a jerk to Chic, saying he is only a filler for Polly. Chic, in turn, accepts Hal’s abuse and says he does not expect to stay there for free.
At wrestling practice, Hiram joins the practice to show the kids a move and flips Archie in a headlock. Hiram says he will always win.
Toni reads Jughead’s article and is upset that he used her grandfather and portrayed him as sad and broken down. She understands his frustration but says it was not his tale to share.
McCoy tells Josie she cannot perform at Pickens Day, citing the article and saying there might be violence. She also begins to tell Josie about Veronica and the Lodge’s. After, Josie tells Veronica she will not be a part of the celebration.
Penelope and Cheryl go to Pickens grave and Cheryl asks about the article. Penelope admits it is true and Cheryl cries, saying the maple trees they gained are not worth human lives. Her mother says the land was important and so was power.
After practice, Archie confides in Kevin with his frustration about Hiram. He says he wants to earn his approval.
Chic questions Betty in her room about why she seems to care about him, saying he does not believe anyone is just nice for no reason. She tells him she wanted to see if he also had a darkness inside of him, and see if they could help each other. She mentions she knows about his webcamming business and says he can talk to her if he wants.
At the Lodge’s Archie confronts Hiram about not liking him, and Hiram blames Fred’s infidelity with Hermione. Archie says he is not like his father, while Hiram replies he is not good enough for Veronica. Archie says he can take care of Veronica and did so when Hiram was locked up. Veronica arrives to interrupt the display of toxic masculinity and they claim to not be fighting.
Early the next morning, Hiram calls Archie and demands he meet him in five minutes. They meet and go for a run. After they go to Pop’s and have breakfast. Hiram says they will pretend to like each other until Veronica gets tired of Archie. He says he will always win because boyfriends come and go, unlike dads.
At the Lodge’s, Veronica tells Hermione about her fight with Josie. Hermione offers to talk to McCoy, but Veronica says no. She decides to figure out something else for Pickens Day.
Jughead goes to talk to Toni and her grandpa. He apologizes and Mr. Topaz says Jughead told people about the history of Riverdale and he has to help heal the town.
At the last wrestling tryout, Veronica comes to support Archie. After talking to Hiram, Coach Kleats puts Archie in the first match against Chuck Clayton, despite Chuck being in a higher weight class. The two fight and Archie manages to pin Chuck and win, all while looking at Hiram.
Around town, the Pickens Day celebration is beginning. Alice is excited to go with her family, though Hal declares he will not be joining her and Betty and Chic. Families walk around and Hermione meets the McCoy’s, and the Mayor says she could not let her daughter sing after the article came out. Hiram sees Archie and shakes his hand and Archie agrees to meet him later.
Alice is delighted to show Chic around, but Hal arrives and ambushes her, asking if she knows about Chic’s webcam show. He went through Chic’s stuff and Betty defends her brother. Hal mentions Alice knows why he is so angry, but Alice threatens to throw him out again, so he leaves.
Fred introduces the entertainment to the stage: Veronica and the Pussycats. Josie looks on with surprise and hurt. While they sing, the Serpents approach with picket signs. Cheryl sees them and joins the protest. Veronica stops singing to ask what is going on and Toni addresses the crowd, saying Pickens Day is built on a lie and her ancestors were slaughtered. Hiram interrupts the protest and gives an impromptu speech saying to celebrate our difference. Jughead goes to attack Hiram but Mr. Topaz pulls him back. Later, Penelope goes to talk to Hal and asks if he needs comforting.
At the Cooper’s, Chic talks to Betty and admits to going into her room the first night. He says he wanted to understand why she came back. He tells her about webcamming and how it is his job, but also an escape. Chic says it helps with his darkness and Betty asks him to show her how and he opens the laptop.
Archie meets with Hiram at the Lodge’s home and talks to him about future plans. Archie says he wants to major in business and be able to gain ownership of Andrews Construction again. Hiram offers to help Archie learn about business and Archie accepts, declining a call from Adams during the meeting.
Keller, McCoy, and the Lodge’s stand in Pickens Park the next day in front of the Pickens statue. Someone beheaded the statue and poured red paint around the shoulders. Hiram says it was obviously a Serpent who destroyed the statue.
Since returning this year Riverdale has been okay, but not great. The newer storylines so far as not very engaging, or at least not as interesting as the Black Hood. Hiram and Archie’s entire storyline was weird, and gross given their objectification of Veronica. I think the Hiram’s “fathers are forever” speech was super creepy. He continues to prove he is the worst parent in Riverdale. Speaking of terrible parents, Hal’s hatred of Chic makes much more sense if Chic is someone else’s son. I think that might be what he was hinting at during the celebration. The core four keep changing and generally not in a positive way. I hope to see more Toni, Cheryl, Kevin, and Josie in the coming episodes.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW. Check out the trailer for the next episode below.