Riverdale Season 4, Episode 3 Recap: “Hound Dog” Day Afternoon

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This week’s Riverdale recap ties up a few leftover plots from last season that we had totally forgotten about, but don’t you fret: Archie is shirtless at least four times, and guest star Chad Michael Murray gets in on the ab action by not putting on real clothes until he changes into an American flag Elvis jumpsuit in the last five minutes of the episode. Classic Riverdale.


riverdale recap

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We open this Riverdale recap with Archie Andrews back in the ring. I know nothing about boxing, but I can’t imagine Archie is actually *good*. Still, beggars can’t be choosers, and anything is better than his fledgling singing career from season one. Mad Dog enters and asks Archie to revisit his plan to turn the gym into a community center. Undertaking this project will cost a cool $40k, and Archie refuses Veronica’s financial help. He considers using his college fund for the center, which leads Molly Ringwald to ask Archie to leave behind the sinking town of Riverdale for Chicago. Somehow, this conversation inspires Archie to go beat up some arcade thugs as Veronica pleads with Molly to secretly take the $40 grand for Archie’s center. Molly has a change of heart and decides to use her legal powers for good by staying in Riverdale and having Archie’s business declared a non-profit.

Meanwhile, Jughead’s new roommate is none other than Moose, who now goes by Marmaduke. Um, okay? Actually, no, that’s not okay at all. Marmaduke like the cartoon dog? Is this a name people give their children? Is Marmaduke worse than “Forsythe”? I was so busy recovering from the Marmaduke Incident that I missed Moose’s tragic new backstory: After his father’s unmasking, Moose’s life went into a downward spiral that culminated in him starting fresh at Sweet Valley High. Moose says he feels better, but we don’t trust it. We just want this poor rich man to be happy! Moose warns Jug about Brett, aka Eric Trump post-nose job, who shows up on cue. Speak of the Devil, and he shall appear to reveal Jug is behind on a reading assignment. The assignment was Brett’s short story, and Jughead gives his honest opinion — “It’s Salinger-adjacent” is apparently an insult now — so Brett tears apart Jug’s essay as “unrelatable” because Brett doesn’t understand the poor. That’s not a joke, that was his actual argument. Brett retaliates by posting flyers with Moose’s life story around campus, ruining Moose’s fresh start just to upset Jughead.

Lili and Charles finally found The Farm, but their undercover agent is immediately discovered and shot. Isn’t Chad Michael Murray’s subsequent murder confession grounds to prosecute? We got Al Capone for tax evasion, there should be more than enough evidence against Chad to take down The Farm. A shirtless Chad Edgar calls Betty, and internally everything went fuzzy for a minute. Edgar gives Betty a list of demands for her mother’s safe return: $250k, blank passports, food, water, and a bus. What’s he going to ask for next, the Hope Diamond? Charles wants Edgar to release a hostage as a sign of good faith, and he lets Polly go… with a catch. She’s hooked up to a suicide bomb and has made her way into Charles’s makeshift headquarters. For some reason, *Betty* is the one who has to disarm the bomb, not one of the literal FBI agents. Since the FBI is, apparently, useless, Veronica gives up her family’s Faberge eggs for the cause. Toni gets the blank passports, and Betty steals a high school bus. In a few hours, one seventeen-year-old got everything a cult leader demanded, and somehow it’s not the weirdest thing that happened this episode. Betty ends up taken as a hostage in a motel room with her mother, who reveals Edgar’s evil plan. While the Farmy-filled bus is driven over a cliff as a Jonestown-style distraction, Edgar is going to escape in his rocket. Yes, his rocket. That he’s been building. His rocket. And Betty just accepts this as normal. During a dramatic, beret-accessorized escape, Edgar spots the Coopers while he’s wearing an American flag jumpsuit that looks like something you could buy at a Graceland gift shop. Alice confronts Edgar as he gets into *his rocket* and shoots him.

Choni’s domestic bliss is disrupted by Nana Rose’s random screams, who’s a little creepy but until now has been the only Blossom who isn’t a full-on psychopath. So, Toni hires a sexy male nurse to help Nana out. When Cheryl finds that Jason’s body has been moved, she’s convinced it was the murse, who she fires. It turns out that the murse was right-on about one thing, though. Thistlehouse has rats, and they’re living inside of Jason’s body. Instead of seeing this as a much-needed wake-up call, Cheryl just empties her dead brother of the rat using his corpse as a home, which Toni has the misfortune of seeing.

As if that’s not bad enough, our Riverdale recap’s closing Bughead scene is interrupted by the unexpected delivery of a VHS tape titled “Famous Last Words.” Tune in next week when the entire hour is just a montage of Betty and Jughead trying to find a VCR in 2019.


Betty Cooper using her bobby pin to disarm a bomb.

How We Feel


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Veronica’s D-plot honestly didn’t merit an explanation in this week’s Riverdale recap — she’s going by “Luna” instead of “Gomez” now, you’re all caught up — but she still came away as this episode’s uncontested MVP. Chad Michael Murray’s abs were a close second, though.

Archie’s friends helpfully suggest things like a bake sale to raise $40k, which at this point sounds like Baby Boomers telling us we could afford college tuition if we stopped eating avocado toast and got a part-time job at Arby’s, and Veronica’s car wash plan doesn’t do much more than satisfy this episode’s Shirtless Archie quota. Still, Riverdale just did a voyeuristic high school car wash where all the men were shirtless and covered in soapy suds, while Veronica was more clothed than she usually is. Is this fifth wave feminism? After her idea only makes $400, Veronica suggests that the Archie, Reggie, and Mad Dog strip down to “the full Monty” to make the remaining $39.6k, possibly making her my new favorite character on this show.

Speaking of Veronica, her extremely active sex life with Archie is once again on display, albeit less so than usual, and while she’s doing a fantastic job selling underwear (no, dead*ss, where does she buy her bras?), I’d love to see Riverdale do more in the realm of Sex Ed. If Varchie is going to be a relationship entirely based on sex, it’s time for a B-plot about Veronica at the gyno getting a pap smear, peeing after sex, or checking for her Mirena strings in the name of due diligence.

The show’s other central couple, Bughead, aren’t doing so great. Like, their relationship on the show is intact, but I’m starting to get a little worried about their IRL counterparts. Sprousehart breakup rumors have been floating around for months, and while I’m not the type to publicly spread celebrity gossip outside of these Riverdale recaps, Bughead’s lame-o goodbye kiss when Jughead moved into his new dorm was weirdly off — Lili’s entire body was literally angling away from Jughead’s, and it’s not like Riverdale is known for its stellar acting.

The biggest moment of this truly nuts episode, though, was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it line from Nana Rose, who strongly implied that Cheryl was one of the Blossom *triplets*. That little Easter Egg went totally over Cheryl’s head, but in her defense, it was after midnight on a weekday.

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