First, the gang celebrated Halloween, and now the town of Riverdale is celebrating Thanksgiving with an ice storm, a corpse, and a family standoff, because what else are you going to do for the holiday? Keep reading to find out exactly how everyone celebrated the feast-filled holiday in the seventh episode of season four of Riverdale, “Chapter Sixty-Four: The Ice Storm.”
At the Lodge residence, Hiram lets Veronica in on the fact that he missed her. Sarcastically, Veronica asks if his inauguration was that day. Hiram tells her she can make it up to him the following night seeing as he made reservations at the Sweetwater Country Club. Veronica says she’s helping Archie at the community center, and Hiram brings up that there was a man found bleeding out, on the verge of death, right in front of it. He says it’s a real problem what’s going on on that side of town. He tells Veronica to make sure to wish Archie a very happy Thanksgiving for him.
At El Royale, Archie tells the kids that he and Murnoe know some of them have nowhere to go for Thanksgiving, so they’re going to keep the center open. Munroe says they’re going to have hot meals with all the fixings. Archie tells them to tell their friends as there’s an open-door policy and everyone’s invited.
Cheryl and Toni are at Thistlehouse, and Cheryl tells her there’s a category-four ice storm heading towards Riverdale like the wrath of God. Toni wants to know how this is good news. Cheryl tells her while the rest of Riverdale sits down to give thanks, they’ll be dumping Bedford’s body in Sweetwater River just before it freezes over. By the time spring thaw comes around, the salmon will have gobbled up his eyes. Tony says she feels like somebody is watching her all the time. Cheryl tells her whatever guilt she’s experiencing, free herself of it. She didn’t set out to do anyone any harm. Cheryl tells Toni she was defending her, and she loves her for it.
Veronica is showing Archie and Munroe a true Thanksgiving cornucopia at the El Royale. She says she put in a to-go order at the county club; she figured it could supplement whatever they’re cooking for the kids. FP walks in, and Archie tells him he should come by the next day, but FP tells him that’s what they need to talk about. He tells him he hates to do this, but he’s under orders to shut him down. Without saying from whom, Veronica immediately knows it’s her father. FP says Hiram’s the mayor now, and he can do anything. And technically, the attack on Dodger is an open investigation, so the place is still an active crime scene. Veronica says he’s doing this to punish her, to get her to spend the holiday with him. Archie asks him if they can push back and FP says he did, for a couple of hours. Before leaving, FP tells them he’s not supposed to say this, but he knows what he would do if he were in Archie’s place. “Screw him!” Archie says he’s sorry, but Hiram Lodge is not canceling Thanksgiving. FP says, “good man, he’s doing his dad proud.”
Veronica gets home and finds Hermione, Hiram, and Hermosa all waiting for her with a Thanksgiving dinner on the table. Hermione tells her the club was closed because of the storm, so they decided to order in. Hermosa adds that she has to take an earlier flight back to Miami, but she couldn’t bear to miss her first Thanksgiving all together. Hiram asks Veronica to join them to which Veronica replies with never, only his blackened heart would take away Thanksgiving from a bunch of underprivileged kids just to get what he wants. Hiram says if she’s referring to Archie’s center, it was a matter of public safety, and it’s nothing personal. Veronica grabs the table cloth, and pulls it off the table, taking the turkey and plates and glasses and everything else with it. “Neither was that… Papi.”
At the Andrews’ residence, Archie asks Mary if she’s sure she still wants to come to the center. Mary replies, yes, it’s Thanksgiving. And she knows the difference between the letter of the law and doing what’s right, and feeding those kids is what’s right. Archie says he’ll put chains on the truck’s tires and salt the sidewalk around the center to prep for the storm. Mary starts crying, and Archie asks her what’s wrong. “Your father. I just miss him.” She says it’s not right. Archie agrees, but says they’ll get through this, and they’re doing exactly what he’d be doing.
Toni tells Cheryl they’re in trouble. She just ran into Cheryl’s Aunt Cricket, and she’s parked down the road, spying on them. That’s the reason why Toni has been feeling watched. Toni wants to know how they’re going to get rid of Cheryl’s Uncle Bedford’s body now that Cricket is staking them out? Cheryl tells her they need to scare her off, once and for all, and disabuse her of the idea that she will ever get even a sliver of their maple empire. By inviting her to celebrate a traditional Blossom Thanksgiving with them, one honoring her Gothic, ghoulish roots. Cheryl explains there’s a family legend Nana Rose shared with her on one of her more lucid days that will be the centerpiece of a carefully-planned performance art piece, a tale so gruesome it will turn Aunt Cricket’s hair white and send her fleeing into the night, never to be heard from again.
Thanksgiving is in full swing at the El Royale. Archie thinks they should keep the center open overnight because of the storm. Veronica asks him how he’s holding up, and Archie says it hasn’t totally hit him yet, he doesn’t think. She tells him when it does, she’s there for him. Dodger’s family comes in, and Archie welcomes them, not knowing who they are.
Cheryl welcomes Aunt Cricket and Cousin Fester, telling her she’s thrilled they were able to join them. Cricket says she wanted witnesses, so she doesn’t go missing the way Bedford did. Archie is trying to deep-fry the turkey when Eddie comes up to him and points out Dodger’s family to Archie. He tells him he’s seen them at the arcade, and Archie asks him if he’s sure they’re Dodger’s family. He thanks Eddie for the heads-up and tells him he’ll take care of it. Archie sits down next to Dodger’s mom, Darla, and tells her he’s not sure what they’re there for, but she and her boys need to leave. They’ve got kids there, and they don’t want any trouble. Darla says they don’t want any trouble either and pulls out a gun. She says they’ve come for the man who tried to kill their Dodger, and she’s got a feeling he’s Archie or one of his friends. Archie swears to her no one there tried to hurt Dodger. One of the men says if they wait there long enough, the guy will show up. Darla says in the meantime, how about some of that delicious food she’s smelling?
After everyone is seated, Munroe asks Archie how long can this go on for, they have to fight back. Archie says if he can get into the office, in his desk, he has a drawer full of weapons that he confiscated off of the kids. Veronica mentions that one of those kids could get hurt if they just add more weapons. One of the kids goes up to the table that Dodger’s family is at and tries to take the gun, and Archie butts in. Archie gets punched by Dodger’s brother, and Mary and Veronica are watching in horror to the side.
Darla is pointing the gun at Archie, telling him his mother is going to find out exactly what it feels like to spill tears over a son. The deep-fryer blows up, and Munroe ushers the kids into the office for safety. Archie starts beating up the men, and Veronica takes a tuning fork and stabs it in one of the guys’ hands. Mary grabs the gun and points it at Darla, telling her to step away from her son. She has the right to protect herself against intruders with deadly force. She tells them unless they want her to use it, they have exactly five seconds to get the hell out of there. Mary starts to count to five, and the three rush out of the center. Mary goes over to the food and sees the blackened turkey and exploded deep-fryer and wants to know who in their right mind tries to deep-fry a turkey inside.
The Blossoms are just starting their Thanksgiving feast, and Nana Rose tells the story of the first Blossom Thanksgiving, but it’s deeply dark. Toni tells her it’s fine, and she’d love to hear more about their family, warts and all. Nana tells them how the weather was all brutally icy like it is that current night. The wagons were snowed in, and soon the hunger set in. The hunger got so deep that the Blossoms turned on each other. Cheryl says she can only imagine what a scandal like cannibalism would do to the Blossom family name, especially after Aunt Cricket has been negotiating the family business. She ate her brother Julian in the womb, and Cricket and Fester are eating the meat pies she and Toni prepared especially for them. Fester feels something hit his teeth, and he takes out Bedford’s ring from his mouth. Cheryl tells Cricket she’s welcome to search the house, it means that Uncle Bedford will never be found, it means that any evidence he was ever there is in the process of being digested. Cheryl says it’s time for dessert, and she has Toni wheel out Jason’s corpse. After Cheryl tells off Cricket and Fester, they leave in a hurry.
Cheryl asks Toni how she’s feeling, and Toni tells her relieved. Cheryl tells her by morning, Sweetwater River will have frozen over, and Aunt Cricket and Cousin Fester will be back in whatever ring of hell they typically inhabit. Toni admits she does feel a sense of peace in some weird way. For the first time, Choni says those three little words to each other.
Thanksgiving dinner is back to normal at the El Royale. Mary starts off by saying although their house wasn’t particularly religious, the one thing they always did, the one thing her husband always liked to do when they sat down together to eat as a family was to say grace. He believed in that. Archie says grace, and they all dig in.
FP goes to the hospital and tells the doctor that Dodger’s family is large and dangerous, and they have reason to believe they might try to get him before they skip town. They open the door to Dodger’s room, but he’s nowhere in sight.
Mary comes into Archie’s room, saying how they had the weirdest Thanksgiving she’d ever had, and Archie says it’s a far cry from how they used to celebrate it, just him, Mary, and Fred eating fried turkey and watching football. Mary can’t stop thinking about the fryer exploding when it did because it saved them. Archie says they got lucky and Mary says no, that wasn’t luck. “That was your dad watching out for us.” It gives Archie an idea.
At the El Royale, a picture of Fred is put up alongside a plaque, honoring the life of Fred Andrews. Mary tells Archie his father would never have believed this; everything he’s been building there. Mary turns to everyone and says that Fred would be honored and so proud.
Like all Riverdale episodes, it had its messed up moments, and it had its heartfelt moments. The episode having a few more touching tributes to Luke Perry/Fred Andrews will make anyone choke up. This was the first time the show has done a Thanksgiving episode, and it was truly one like no other. The series will be taking a break next week for the actual Thanksgiving holiday but will be back the following week, Wednesday, December 4, at 8/7c on The CW.