An Illustrated Guide to the Gothic, Camp Genius of ‘Riverdale’ S3 (So Far)

Here’s a lovingly screencapped guide to all of our favourite moments from the first two episodes of the third season of the show. Because holy shit, my fellow serpents and ghoulies, S3 is shaping up to be one helluva dark, camp, horror-infused masterpiece.

First and foremost: We were deeply disappointed to discover that Archie Andrews didn’t attend his court hearing topless (as hoped)

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Instead “Archiekins” chose to wear a suit with a dickie bow and wound up looking like a high-end stripper who hasn’t been paid yet.

Mr. Andrews sucker-punched Mr. Lodge & it’s exactly the sort of hot-dad bravado we’ve all come to love about the show.

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Hottest Dads on TV, folks! IT’S OFFICIAL!

Cheryl Blossom strutted into Pop’s like it’s Coyote Ugly

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Can’t fight the moonlight, babe.

Fangs, Sweet Pea & Jughead looked like they’d walked straight out of some fan fiction written by a lonely housewife

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Wait….is this Twilight? Is fucking Twilight happening now?

The premiere followed up some stern words about Alice Cooper’s cult definitely-not-being-a-cult with an approrpiate drop of a Beach Boys song

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For those who don’t understand the reference here - do yourself a favour and read up on cult leader Charles Manson’s connection to the legendary group.

Josie’s Summer fling appears to be following Nada Surf’s “three month limit on going steady” structure from the song “Popular

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And if you see Jonny football hero in the halls - tell him he played a great game! Tell him you liked his article in the newspaper! etc. etc.

Archie & Reggie enjoyed a topless game of “ball” & it’s basically just a volleyball net away from being a scene in Top Gun

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It was a lot.

Somebody needs to get Betty some hard-wearing leather and a sword because HEY, XENA

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We’re completely sold on this.

Naturally, Archie’s first day in juvie involved an elaborate, slow motion sequence of him being stripped naked

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…not to mention getting hosed down and talced up. How can such a clean boy make us feel so damn dirty?!

Meanwhile, Jughead seemed to be talking over the top of this entire sequence and…what the fuck?

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Sorry, can you repeat your whole Greek Chorus thing again, Jug? We were distracted. Didn’t catch a word.

>Klaxon Blares< a hot Dad meeting happened

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No extra sugar in the coffee that these fellas are drinking, Ronnie cos (heh HEHHH) these guys are SWEET ENOUGH.

Jughead suspected the ritual that killed one of his pals might be a bit evil

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“…a talking goat who might have been the phsysical embodiment of Satan asked if I like butter and offered me a life of deliciousness. I don’t know, Betty - maybe he was just being nice.”

Calling it: Mad Dog is definitely some kind of juvie ghost

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I mean, probably not. But it’s awful weird that the guy refuses to give an answer when Archie asks him how long he’s been in there. Perhaps if Archie took a moment to look at the date on that suspicously vintage looking calendar he might be able to find out the answer to that question. But also: Aside from his sweats and sneakers, everything Mad Dog owns appears to be from the late 50’s / early 60’s.

Ethel is reading a book called Ship It because what the fuck else would she be reading, right?

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The school’s only apparent living nerd is reading a book about being a fangirl in a show that provokes a lot of huge fangirl love. It’s also no coincidence - Ship It is a real book and happens to be written by Riverdale writer Britta Lundin.

Archie’s trip to juvie appears to be completely sponsored by Adidas

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We don’t have nearly enough eyerolls for this.

The Riverdale Vixens showed up with a sexy performance of “Jailhouse Rock” for all the young felons & they don’t expect it to provoke a damn riot

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It caused a damn riot, for sure - IN MY HEART.

SPEAKING OF WHICH…

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Cheryl fucking Blossom has upped her game once again this season and hot damn, are we into it.

Wait, are these movie references for real?

As always, S3 of Riverdale looks flush with some brazen movie references. Here’s some we’ve loved so far.

Ethel was basically straight out of Hereditary for five screaming, scary seconds

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Are you there King Paimon? It’s me, Ethel.

The Blair Witch appears to be The Gargoyle King - and we’re here for it

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She seems to be spreading her BDE all over Riverdale and honestly, we’re not hating it. We look forward to whatever episode Jug decides to make a “documentary” about a local legend and various scenes where Betty loses the map and Reggie is found standing in the corner of Dilton’s hidden bunker.

This is so Cry Baby it’s ridiculous

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If “Please, Mr Jailer” doesn’t make a single appearance this season then we’re rioting.

This is basically the ending of The Witch, right?

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All they need is a guest appearance from the Baphomet.

Speaking of witchcraft- Betty is right to be suspicious of Alice’s tea. She’s giving us serious Ruth Gordon in Rosemary’s Baby vibes.

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She’s definitely being slowly low-key poisoned, right?

And finally, this has to be a shoutout to beach scene from I Know What You Did Last Summer

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Considering how the parents of Riverdale seem to be talking about a hidden secret from their past, it seems like the narrative will be heading towards a definite deadly secret coming back to haunt those who tried to bury it. Just like in I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Images: Warner Bros. / Netflix/ A24/ Columbia Pictures