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Riverdale season 6, ep 2 recap: Toni aka the lady of Sweetwater River?

Riverdale season 6 continues its “Rivervale” event with episode 2 of the season, “Chapter Ninet-Seven: Ghost Stories.”

Spoilers ahead of Riverdale season 6, episode 2

Given last episode’s shocking death, you’d think that the show would drop viewers into the immediate aftermath of Archie’s ritual sacrifice but nope. It seems there will be no grieving period as the people of Rivervale move on as if he didn’t die at all.

It’s a rather curious plot element that’s made even more curious by the lone appearance of our redheaded jack-of-all trades.

Archie’s not in the episode physically. In fact, he’s not even there spiritually as an apparition or a disembodied voice haunting Betty Cooper. Our sole glimpse of Archie comes in the form of a missing notice found on the side of a milk carton in Jabitha’s apartment.

He’s mentioned. Betty tells Kevin that she plans on naming her baby after Archie or her sister, Polly. She’s even quietly jovial about it. There’s no a hint of stress on her face. It’s as if she’s unaware that he’s “missing.” Talk about weirdness!

But “Ghost Stories” isn’t about Archie or his absence though it’s certainly felt. No, the episode focuses primarily on Toni’s fight against La Llorona, Veggie’s deteriorating relationship, and Jabitha’s haunted apartment.

What happened to Toni in Riverdale season 6, episode 2?

The episode opens with Jughead adopting his 60 Minutes persona as he did in “Welcome to Rivervale” though he’s in his waiter’s uniform not a suit.

He leads us to a chaotic tussle between the South Side Serpents and the Ghoulies. The rival gangs have clashed for decades but at the heart of this fight are two teens in love.

Sandra, a Serpent princess we’ve never heard of, had been in a relationship with Daniel, a Ghoulie prince. The reveal of their romance triggered an all out brawl between the two factions West Side Story style but without any dance routines this time.

Things go fatally sideways when Toni throws a knife at Darla Dickerson (yes, that Darla). She’d been aiming to disarm the woman not kill her, but Daniel threw himself in front of his mother to protect her. The knife lodged in his heart and killed him.

Now Toni’s in therapy and somehow not brought up on charges or being questioned by the local authorities or the FBI since she killed a minor. It’s a very puzzling situation, but one this episode basically requires you to suspend disbelief for so that’s what we did.

When Betty comes to see Toni, she informs her that Sandra’s mother drowned her. It’s shocking news to Toni who knows Lucinda personally. The two decide to work together to get to the bottom of what happened though Betty’s skeptical about Lucinda’s story that La Llorona did it.

Betty’s line of questioning with Lucinda ends up going nowhere while Toni’s dive into the mythology surrounding La Llorona leads her to believe the ghost is real.

It’s not until the Victorian age specter visits Betty and lays a hand on her non-existent baby bump that Betty comes to that belief as well especially because now she’s mysteriously not pregnant.

La Llorona targets children. Toni had warned Betty that the weeping woman even goes after the unborn and now, unfortunately, she knows that to be true. Dr. Curdle, Jr. tells her she must have gone through a hysterical pregnancy, as in it was all in her mind, but Betty doesn’t think so.

After spotting La Llorona at Riverdale High, Toni has to contend with a visit from Janet the social worker. Apparently, someone called Child Protective Services on Tangs.

Toni suspects Kevin who was concerned after she pulled the fire alarm and found her pushing through the crowd of students with an axe in her hand.

The weeping woman nearly takes her son during the visit but Baby Anthony’s cries bring Toni running to the room. She and the social worker find him lying in a pool of water.

It’s the last straw for Toni who calls on Cheryl for help to commune with La Llorona.

The budding witch had her own run in with the ghost when it attempted to drown her niece, Juniper, in the bathtub. Before the incident, she and Nana Rose had been toasting to Archie’s sacrifice which brought the sap back to their maple trees.

Interestingly, with exception to Baby Anthony’s colic, none of the problems she promised to fix were resolved. In fact, they’ve only seemed to have gotten worse, but I digress.

Toni, Cheryl, Betty, and Nana Rose summon La Llorona’s spirit who explains through Nana that she was a nurse in Rivervale who was drowned along with her children when the town’s hospital was unable to save kids that had fallen fatally ill.

She also reveals that she was summoned by Darla.

Daniel was Darla’s last son. All the others lost their lives. She called La Llorona so that Toni could feel the pain that she does.

As there is no way to call the ghost off once she’s been summoned, Toni decides to protect her son by giving up her life. In exchange for leaving her baby alone, she tells the ghost that she’ll take her place and adopt the role of La Lllorona.

Toni asks Betty to take care of Baby Anthony and then lets the spirit past through her. She transforms into La Llorona and steps into Sweetwater River to take her place in its depths.

Three’s a crowd in Riverdale season 6 with Reggie, Veronica, and Bella

Veggie’s relationship in “Welcome to Rivervale” was strained and it remains so in “Ghost Stories” thanks to Reggie’s car, Bella. Yes, you read that right. V is competing with a car this episode.

It all starts when a man comes to the Mantles’ dealership to sell his car. It’s the same make and model as the one Reggie’s father gave him in high school. Considering his dad is in the hospital, the unexpected arrival of the car is a bright spot for him.

Reggie names the car after his first one or at least that’s what he tells Veronica. In truth, it’s named after a former Riverdale High teacher named Isabella. She’d been accused of carrying on inappropriate relationships with her male students and had been fired because of it.

Veronica finds this out after she goes to put fuzzy dice in Reggie’s car as a surprise. She felt like she and Reggie were growing more and more distant.

They kept fighting over things. From her absentmindedness when it comes to Reggie’s place in their casino business that had been his idea to his adolescent behavior in Pop’s parking lot when they were making out in his car.

Her sister, Hermosa, suggested she do something nice for him. That on top of the stress of Reggie’s father being in the hospital that he could be going through a quarter life crisis that would resolve itself in time.

However, finding out who Bella actually was prompts V to bust up Reggie’s car. In an impassioned speech, she informs Reggie that his teacher had taken advantage of him. She pushes for him not to romanticize the situation Isabella put him in.

Considering Riverdale started with an inappropriate relationship between Archie and Ms. Grundy, I wish we weren’t back in this territory but at least it’s acknowledging out the gate that Isabella was a predator.

Reggie says he didn’t have a relationship with his teacher that she had simply been there for him during the period of time that he suffered his father’s abuse. He named his car after her though so that’s hard to believe.

In the face of his dad’s death, however, that plot point takes a backseat. Veronica tells Reggie that she’ll help him make arrangements and even gets him a brand new car, but he’s still barely present even when they’re at the same table together.

Though considering he just lost his dad, Veronica really shouldn’t be worrying about their romantic relationship. He’s grieving.

She should table that for the next episode since it seems Bella’s ghost is capable of haunting any car that is the same make and model of the one she inhabited previously. It looks like Isabella isn’t going out without a fight. Truly can’t wait to see this predator go up in flames.

Jabitha go through growing pains in Riverdale season 6 that nearly end in murder

So, Jughead being Jughead didn’t tell Tabitha that their apartment is the site of a murder-suicide.

As sweet as it was that he didn’t want to pop the bubble of her excitement since she had her heart set on the place, he should have popped it swiftly and without remorse. It might have saved them a lot of heartache.

See, the couple that had previously lived in the apartment had a dynamic quite like theirs. Sam was a creative who was obsessed with his work. Diane, his girlfriend, killed him in a fit of possibly sleep deprived rage and feelings of neglect. Then she killed herself.

Throughout “Ghost Stories” Jabitha fall into Sam and Diane’s patterns.

Tabitha, who had taken on the full weight of her and Jughead’s financial responsibilities, is stressed because Jughead isn’t doing what they discussed.

He was supposed to be working on his writing that was their agreement. She also simply asks him to hang some pictures, and he doesn’t do it.

Jughead doesn’t put the cap back on the toothepaste either but that’s a small grievance that gets blown up because Tabitha keeps coming home to find him in his ratty robe having done nothing all day. When it comes to the things he does do, they’re centered on him.

After Tabitha accidentally puts a hole in the wall when she goes to hang up the pictures that Jughead didn’t hang, they find an extra room in their apartment full of ships in bottles.

Energized, Jughead opens the wall up while Tabitha is at work. He clears out the space to make it into his own writing nook and even displays some of the ship bottles. Though he didn’t write a lick, he assures Tabitha that this is his process and he’s close to writing again.

His first story? A tale inspired by Sam and Diane.

Jughead’s not the only one inspired. So is Tabitha’s subconscious which provides her with a ghoulish nightmare of her killing him.

Worried, Tabitha asks her grandfather if he believes in ghosts. He says that he does due to a woman who had haunted the diner after dying via the deep fryer. She wasn’t cast out of the place until the Riverdale riots in the ’80s which scared her enough to leave.

Things seem to be improving for Jughead despite Tabitha’s sanity seeming to slowly be leaving her. He’s written what he describes as a ‘vomit draft’ of his novella and promises her she can read his story once he’s polished it.

Cue a conversation with Betty where she inadvertently informs Tabitha that Jughead always used to show her said vomit drafts. Tabitha lies and says it’s exactly that way with her, too, but it’s clear she’s hurt.

That hurt turns into rage when Jughead gets home.

He’s carrying a crate of scotch bottles, his drink of choice. As he did earlier in the episode, he assures her that he’s not drinking. That he simply plans to continue his new hobby of putting ships in bottles.

However, when he said that previously, the scotch bottles he had in the apartment were empty. These ones are full and Tabitha doesn’t believe him.

It’s likely Jughead is testing the boundaries of his sobriety and using his new hobby to associate a bottle of liquor not with his drunkness or his alcoholism but with creating something new that he can admire just like his writing. But Tabitha is too buzzed and angry to reach that conclusion.

Instead she accuses him of spending her hard earned money to slip off the wagon. She also read his story which Jughead calls out as a violation of boundaries.

The scene devolves into an amazing display of toxicity from Tabitha as she throws things and even breaks Jughead’s typewriter which he exclaims was from Betty.

All the frustration she’d been harboring over her fear of being taken advantage of financially by Jughead. Of not being good enough, of always coming in second to Betty, of mistakenly giving her heart to a man who would never love her like she loves him, comes bubbling up to the surface.

Tabitha grabs a hammer, lifts it in the air ready to bludgeon Jughead, but then she lets it fall from her hand back down onto the floor away from him.

She says that they’re stronger than this. Before they moved in together, they promised they’d work through their problems and that’s what she wants to do. She’s sorry for what happened and says that she loves Jughead.

The declaration takes Jughead by surprise, and he admits he’s been wanting to tell her he loves her, too. Their first fight was a scary and near fatal one, but they’re still together.

They’ll never truly know if what went down between them in their apartment was because of Sam and Diane or if it was an extreme manifestation of their worst traits, but they intend to keep communicating with one another so it doesn’t happen again.

That extra room, however, is walled over again. Jabitha aren’t taking any chances.

New episodes of Riverdale season 6 air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW and are available to stream next day on The CW app.