As always, the newest episode of Riverdale was a lot to take in. With Percival now trying to push out Toni and the Serpents, Kevin’s feeling more protective over Baby Anthony. Meanwhile, Abigail’s determination raises suspicion among Archie, Betty, and Jughead.
Keep reading to find out what happened in this week’s Riverdale, “Chapter One Hundred and Four: The Serpent Queen’s Gambit.”
Percival Pickens has been making his rounds across Riverdale, and his next stop is the Andrews household to have a word with Frank. Percival is conducting a town-wide census with Alice and Frank’s approval. Archie kicks him out, much to Frank’s dismay. Frank defends Percival, saying he has a lot of great ideas about improving Riverdale.
At the town hall meeting, the town-wide consensus determines that residents aren’t fond of the ongoing gang warfare between the Serpents and Ghoulies. With Toni being on the council and the Serpent Queen, she gives her thoughts about it and how she’s been in contact with Twyla Twyst in efforts to de-escalate tension. Tabitha butts in after Percival asks about disbanding the Serpents, saying Toni isn’t on trial.
Archie, Betty, and Jughead hang back after the town hall meeting, discussing just what is up with Percival. Jughead’s been researching heightened psychic abilities and how some people believe that mind control is a real thing. If superpowers are real, mind control isn’t completely far-fetched. If Percival really can control people’s thoughts and actions, he needs to be stopped.
“Classic superhero narrative.”
Archie suggests they go to their friends, people they trust, and recruit them for their side. They’d be concerned citizens talking to their neighbors. Archie wonders if this is why they were given their powers: to protect the town from Percival.
Archie, Betty, and Jughead meet with Cheryl, or Abigail, first, but she is not willing to help, as she is not so forgiving. The trio meets with Veronica next, and she reveals that she had one of her associates look into him, and it turns out that Percival Pickens doesn’t exist. There was no trace of him before he showed up in Riverdale. She tells them what happened at her casino with him, proving Archie, Betty, and Jughead’s theory.
Not that an explosion giving them powers makes sense, but now they have to figure out how Percival can control people’s minds.
First, Percival went after the folks in Sketch Alley, and now he’s going after the Serpents. Pop’s experiences a drive-by shooting. Tabitha later calls Toni to tell her that Alice and Frank are convening an emergency meeting of the council to remove Toni from the council. Of course, it’s Percival’s idea, and he’s using the drive-by as an excuse.
Even with Toni’s strong argument about what she’s done for the town, besides Tabitha, it’s a unanimous vote to remove Toni from the council. Later in the episode, Percival is voted to fill in the vacant spot on the town council.
Abigail is longing for her long-lost love Thomasina, but she has a plan. Much like herself in Cheryl’s body, Abigail wants to reincarnate Thomasina’s soul into Toni’s body during the blood moon. Once the two of them reunite, they will get rid of Fangs.
“And seal our love for all eternity.”
Along with Fangs, Abigail still has her sights on Archie, Betty, and Jughead since they are the descendants of her assassins. She later shows up at Riverdale High with scones of her own making, giving one to Archie, Jughead, and Betty. Thanks to Betty being able to read her aura, which is red, she can tell there’s something up with Cheryl and accuses her of poisoning the scones. She saves Archie and Jughead, but mostly Jughead since Archie is invulnerable.
Abigail doesn’t like that Archie, Betty, and Jughead are still alive, but she’s going to move on with the ritual and get some of Toni’s blood by way of a bouquet of roses with some thorns. Abigail gets an idea from Toni of how to kill Archie after hearing about his problems with the Ghoulies.
Dressed as a Ghoulie, Abigail throws a Molotov cocktail at Archie. Due to his invulnerability, it doesn’t prove very helpful, at least not for Abigail.
The Truth Comes Out
Archie catches Betty and Jughead up on what happened with “Cheryl,” and Jughead leaves to read her mind to try to pick up on anything. When he gets to Thornhill, Britta greets him. Sensing how scared she is and hearing her thoughts, Jughead convinces her to think really loudly about what’s going on since he might be able to hear it. And Britta tells him, or thinks, all of it.
After Jughead tells Betty and Archie about Cheryl, Betty goes to Thornhill, acting like Archie died. Abigail lets her in, and Betty immediately puts a cloth over her mouth and knocks her out. Betty tries to tell her cousin that help is on the way.
Abigail wakes up to a scene that is all too familiar with her: tied to a stake in the woods, surrounded by Archie, Betty, Jughead, Britta, and Nana Rose, who is holding the (still creepy) Julian doll. Abigail is burned by the ancestors who once burned her as they say a banishment spell.
The fire goes out, and the Julian doll falls out of Nana Rose’s hands. Cheryl, emotional, confirms she’s back, and Abigail is now in the doll. Child’s Play, anyone?
Cheryl, Nana Rose, and Britta lock the Julian doll (now very clearly Abigail with hair) in a case next to an eternal flame so that Abigail will never escape or claim Cheryl’s body ever again.
A Broken Family
After watching Baby Anthony for some time now, Kevin gives him back to Toni and Fangs. He expresses his concern about Anthony being raised around gang culture, despite Toni and Fangs growing up in the same environment.
Toni brings up the idea of rebranding the Serpents to Fangs; instead of a gang, the Serpents are a political activist group like the Black Panthers. Fangs isn’t so much into the idea. But before they have a chance to talk more about it, they get raided by the sheriff’s department. They have a warrant to search for illegal weapons. The weapons are found, and when Kevin says he’s going to check the baby’s room, Fangs pushes him back and is arrested.
When Toni visits Fangs in jail, Fangs admits the weapons were his. He was storing them for a battle royale with the Ghoulies.
Do You Get Deja Vu?
Janet, the social worker, meets with Toni to conduct a wellness check after being informed of an unsafe environment for Baby Anthony. Toni gets a weird sense of deja vu of the same thing happening. Only, it didn’t happen in Riverdale, but in Rivervale. Toni tells Janet she would never do anything to put Anthony in harm’s way. However, that claim may have been overwritten because Anthony is not in his crib and has been kidnapped.
Where in the World is Baby Anthony?
A search for Baby Anthony commences at Pop’s, headed by Betty and Tabitha. Unfortunately, not everyone helping out is feeling sympathy. The thoughts Jughead reads rank between Toni not being fit to be a mother to her putting her child in harm’s way and more harsh stuff.
Toni gets a call from Twyla Twyst, who is standing next to Percival Pickens, who just so happens to have Baby Anthony. Twyla demands one last fight: The Serpents vs. the Ghoulies for Riverdale. And Baby Anthony. Toni agrees on the condition that Anthony is delivered to Pop’s before the fight, and she gets word from Tabitha that he’s safe.
While Tabitha is waiting for Baby Anthony to be brought to Pop’s, she overhears Kevin and another officer talking about a turkey shoot out with the Serpents. After Kevin tells her what’s happening, Tabitha calls Toni and warns her that she has walked into a trap. Toni tries to get the Serpents to leave, but it’s too late. Sheriff Keller and the entire department have shown up. Toni and the Serpents comply, dropping their weapons and getting on the ground immediately, and Toni records it all.
Tabitha posted Toni’s bail, but Percival won’t let her leave until the morning. Luckily, they raided a Ghoulie lair earlier and found Baby Anthony. He got out safely, but for the Ghoulies, it was a blood bath. Twyla was the only one who survived.
“Like the roach she is.”
Baby Anthony is safe and sound with his father.
A Difficult Choice
Toni is released from jail, and Kevin brings her Baby Anthony. Kevin gently tells Toni that he’s filing for primary custody of Anthony. Given Fangs and Toni’s recent behavior, Kevin says it shouldn’t be hard for him to win guardianship. Toni pleads with him, not understanding why he’s doing this. Kevin is only concerned with Anthony’s safety, though there might be a bigger part in this, as Percival stands out in the hallway.
Dr. Curdle Jr. calls Betty at the FBI office and tells her that Ghoulies’ slaughter that left 22 dead may not have been a slaughter after all. While the Sheriff’s report says that the Ghoulies were killed in a gunfight with deputies on the scene, Dr. Curdle Jr. says that the wounds were self-inflicted.
With Percival elected on the town council, killing 22 Ghoulies and maybe almost killing the Serpents, Archie, Betty, and Jughead are at a loss of what to do. Jughead figures that they stopped Hiram, they can stop Percival. Archie, however, has other ideas about Percival.
“I don’t think Percival wants to take over Riverdale. Something tells me he wants to destroy it.”