Riverdale Season 3, Episode 13 recap: What is The Farm’s ascension connection?

Riverdale -- Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
Riverdale -- Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

Archie channels his angst into a boxing bet as Riverdale slyly hints at a connection between The Farm and Gryphons & Gargoyles.

If you’ve been waiting for Riverdale to get to the point of all this Gryphons & Gargoyles madness, then you’ll be pleased to learn it’s getting there… still slowly and surely. But the series dropped a thinly veiled hint from a breathless Betty that The Farm could, in fact, be connected to the deadly role-playing game sweeping the town, and it all has to do with ascension.

While Archie steps into the ring for a high-stakes fight, Gladys Jones plays puppet master on the unsuspecting town and Betty witnesses The Farm’s backward practices firsthand. Alice takes her commitment to the cult to the highest power, and it nearly costs her life. She’s playing a game as dangerous as G&G, begging the question: Is the Gargoyle King leading The Farm?

Let’s dig into the five most shocking moments from the latest jaw-dropping episode of Riverdale(Warning: It’s about to get real spoilery in here.)

1. Archie fights the unnecessary fight.

For once, Archie seems to have found a hobby he’s passionate about since he’s apparently forgotten all about music and football. He’s achieved some weird semblance of peace while boxing, but he can’t just be content with that peace. Instead, he approaches Elio to get in the ring for a fight. To make $5K, he’ll have to throw the match with a fierce competitor.

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After a crisis of conscience inspired by Josie, Archie wants to go back on the deal, but Elio’s threats scare him. He puts up a strong fight but loses on a split decision, a result he could have arrived at if he had worked toward his goals rather than chasing shortcuts. Whatever Archie learned from the fight is his business, but it provided a nice payoff for the Archie and Josie shippers.

2. Gladys Jones makes bad bacon and worse deals.

Did you see that bacon Gladys made Jughead for breakfast? It was unacceptable for that flimsy disgrace to be plated and served, and that’s how we know we can’t trust Gladys. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. Further proof that we can’t trust her?

She’s basically a Jedi. She coerces Veronica into spying on Hiram, convinces Hiram to allow her to assume control of the Fizzle Rocks trade, and forces Ghoulies gone Gargoyle on Jughead. You know, maybe we should cheer her on.

Riverdale — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Riverdale — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

3. Are the Pretty Poisons a bad idea?

Here’s the situation: Toni and Cheryl were tossed from the Serpents over a power struggle and created their own girl gang called the Pretty Poisons. Once again, Toni and Cheryl find themselves in the midst of a similar power struggle. Toni prefers to lead the bunch, while Cheryl teaches them the artform of archery.

But Cheryl’s decision to go rogue and beat up Fangs and Sweet Pea doesn’t sit well with Toni. There’s a lot to be discussed here, namely this major question: Is Riverdale romanticizing the idea of gangs?

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4. Veronica digs a deeper hole.

Just when you think Veronica’s reached the bottom of that sizable pit she’s been digging, she cracks into another layer of disaster. While trying to clean up the mess that she helped create, Hiram learns that Hermione made a payment to the governor at the time of his shooting. Veronica takes the blame for everything, including burning his supply, but this spells trouble for all parties.

Riverdale — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Riverdale — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

5. The Farm and Gryphons & Gargoyles are definitely connected.

If you have been following along with our coverage of Riverdale’s third season since the beginning, then you know The Farm was never once forgotten. Not when Betty was locked up in the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, not when the quarantine happened, and not now.

When Betty interviews Martha, the escapee from The Farm uses the word “ascension” in relation to the ceremonial baptisms. Betty’s Scooby ears stand at attention, and you guessed it: That also cannot be a coincidence.

Alice nearly dies during her baptism, but she rises “reborn.” Suddenly, things aren’t looking too different between The Farm and G&G…

Next. Riverdale refresher: Catching up with Kevin, Josie, and Cheryl. dark

Odds & Ends:

  • For an episode that was largely filler and moved the needle forward about a centimeter, it was one of the more compelling and balanced episodes of Riverdale this season.
  • Alice wants to sell the Cooper home and move to The Farm. Girl, don’t make any rash real estate decisions while under the Evernever spell.
  • Meanwhile, (cue massive collective eye-roll) Kevin has been talking to Evelyn Evernever after Moose’s departure and drinks the Kool-Aid. Betty’s *thisclose* to shouting, “I’m surrounded by idiots!” and storming out.
  • Again, Edgar Evernever is THE Gargoyle King, right?

What did you think of the latest episode? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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