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Riverdale Review: Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night (Season 3 Episode 20)

Reviews, Riverdale

On Riverdale Season 3 Episode 20, “Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night,” with the return of the Black Hood, the series’ uneven second half continues to unravel.

Fans of Riverdale know, accept, and love the absurdity of the events on the show. It is based on a comic that isn’t always steeped in reality. Riverdale is a teen soap opera, and soap operas don’t traffic in mundanity either because who wants to watch that?

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Riverdale — “Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night” — Pictured (center, L-R): Casey Cott as Kevin, Vanessa Morgan as Toni and Drew Ray Tanner as Fangs Fogarty — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

But there comes a point when we have to start drawing some lines in the sand. This is one of those times. “Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night,” is a monster mash.

The Black Hood returns (as we all knew he would), sporting a hook for a hand. Hal Cooper has become an amalgam of so many pop culture characters and clichés, he’s almost a pile of walking regurgitation. 

Forget the fact that his motives are all over the place: he wants Betty to be his protégé, he wants to kill Betty, he wants Betty to embrace her dark side, he wants to kill Betty, he wants to help her and be a dad, he tries to kill her. Granted, the man is one of many bent branches on an incestual family tree and bat crap crazy, but what is going on with this guy?

Conveniently, Hal’s return pushes Betty right into Edgar Evernever’s arms which is what the cult leader has wanted all along. Will living among the Farmies lead Betty to finally figure out WTF is up with Edgar and his daughter-wife, or will Edgar take advantage of her vulnerable state?

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Riverdale — “Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night” — Pictured: Lili Reinhart as Betty — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

We’ve still got the Gargoyle King, and if this isn’t the OG, it should be. Hearing Betty say these latest sightings could be another copycat is unbearable.

This Gargoyle King is the real deal because there’s no other way he/she could recreate the scene in the bathroom from almost three decades ago, unless Alice herself dictated every detail (that’s it, Alice is the Gargoyle King). 

So a handless Hal walks away from an accident he orchestrates, plants clues to get his daughter and her boyfriend to set an elaborate trap for the Gargoyle King, and then takes the opportunity to try to slash her throat himself. 

Then there’s FP who continues to be the worst detective ever, leading his son to a potential crime scene where Jughead quickly spots a key piece of evidence. There’s nothing suspicious about that, right? (that’s it, FP is the Gargoyle King)

We’ve also got a man of unknown age who has sandy hair and blue eyes who has rune symbols tattooed on his back right before the G&G craze and the Farmies come to Riverdale. It’s strange that a tattoo artist can quantify what “magnetic” means. That’s a very subjective adjective.

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Riverdale — “Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night” — Pictured (L-R): KJ Apa as Archie and Camila Mendes as Veronica — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

Not a lot of sandy-haired guys with light eyes hanging around other than Edgar, and, of course, Chic. The last person to supposedly see Chic alive is Hal. Hal’s been living behind glass, but we know little things like incarceration never stop a true psychopath from carrying out a plan (that’s it, Hal and Chic are co-Gargoyle Kings).

With two episodes left in season 3, it’s unlikely this will all be tied up neat and tidy in the finale. We’ve still got other depressing subplots to explore. There’s Veronica’s continuing daddy issues, and Archie’s recent passion for taking off his shirt and hitting people in the face. 

Riverdale’s most egregious offence is expecting viewers to believe a prom theme can be abandoned just days before the big event. That’s how low we’ve sunk.

Fans are willing to play along as long as the pay-off is timely and satisfying. It’s still entirely possible all the fractured pieces and parts are going to come together to form the most beautiful puzzle. 

Riverdale needs to stop forcing us to ask questions because if you start pulling at too many of these threads, any resolution is going to easily fall apart. Let’s unmask the real Gargoyle King, bury the Black Hood for good, and let Edgar Evernever continue to walk around shirtless. 

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Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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Jennifer has been working as a freelance writer for six years, contributing to BuddyTV, Screen Rant, TVRage, Hidden Remote, Gossip On This, and PopMatters. She prefers binge-watching old episodes of The Office (British and American versions) to long walks on the beach. She's still holding out hope that Happy Endings will get a revival.

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