‘Riverdale’ Recap ‘Chapter Nine: La Grande Illusion’: Kings and Queens of Promise

In the ‘Riverdale’ recap, Archie gets invited into the Blossom family with plenty of strings attached while Veronica and Hermoine begin to pay for Hiram’s crimes…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

Archie Andrews has never exactly lived on the wrong side of the tracks but he’s never quite lived on the right side either.

So it’s understandable how Archie might be tempted to step out of his department store bought blue jeans and put down his pawn shop guitar when the richest family in town invites him to wear custom made suits while playing vintage instruments just for escorting Cheryl Blossom to a few important functions.

While the Blossom family might be the most powerful in all of Riverdale, Jason’s death has left them invulnerable to predators looking to take over their business, which just so happens to be a maple syrup conglomerate that has fueled the town for decades.

But the striking resemblance between Jason and Archie already caught Penelope Blossom’s eye at her son’s funeral and pairing him up as the perfect match with Cheryl could be just the bit of stability the family needs when the board of directors comes looking for the first sign of weakness.

Also this week, Vernoica and Hermoine Lodge start to feel the effect of Hiram Lodge’s many crimes and how it hit much closer to home than they could ever realize when first returning to Riverdale. Needless to say, Hiram’s eventual appearance will surely send shockwaves around town, especially when a major revelation is made about him at the end of the episode.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Riverdale’ titled “La Grande Illusion’…

Tapping Day

The Blossom family empire was built on maple syrup but following Jason’s death, it has investors worried that the future of the business is no longer in the most stable of hands. It’s not entirely clear why the board of directors behind the Blossom maple syrup business is so worried about family patriarch Cliff kicking the bucket in his last 40’s or early 50’s but apparently this group really likes to plan ahead.

The executives arriving in Riverdale has the Blossom’s worried but it gives Alice Cooper the opening she needs to tear them down at the roots. Alice is seething with anger after her daughter Polly chose to live with the Blossom’s rather than return home so she’s out for blood. A possible corporate coup could be just the story Alice has been looking for to bring the Blossom’s down to everybody else’s level in town.

With her family in need, Cheryl Blossom decides to turn to her fellow ginger Archie Andrews by asking him to escort her to the traditional “tapping day” ceremony where they crack open the first tree of the season for the first syrup of the year. It was only a year ago when the tradition passed from father to son when Cliff handed over the responsibility to Jason but now that he’s gone it’s left to the only other child remaining and that’s Cheryl. Her relationship with mother and father is tumultuous as best so that probably stands to reason why Archie would be a good support system for her.

Unfortunately, Archie declines her invite because he has a girlfriend after all but when Penelope Blossom shows up at school and asks him personally to attended alongside her daughter while also mentioning that she could put a good word in with a prestigious music school that he could attend, he quickly changes his mind.

Even Valerie — the not often seen girlfriend of Mr. Andrews — gives her blessing because the Blossoms carry a lot of weight in this town and throwing some of it behind Archie’s music career would be a huge deal for him.

Of course everybody else cautions Archie that this a very slippery slope, especially when it comes to trusting the Blossom family. Still, Archie can’t resist the possibility and he even offers to act as a spy for Betty after she reveals that Polly hasn’t returned any of her messages since moving into the Blossom family home just recently.

At the Tapping Day ceremony, the tradition is passed from Cliff to his daughter Cheryl, who pulls off her part flawlessly with Archie right by her side. Even when some of the investors are overheard questioning Cheryl’s capability to eventually run the company, Archie stands up for her and says that underestimating her would be a mistake they would pay for one day.

Archie’s appearance produces the desired effect and the Blossom family is overjoyed. It leads to Cliff Blossom extending yet another invite to Archie to attend a banquet dinner in just a couple of nights and he’ll even get him a custom fitted suit for the occasion. Archie reluctantly accepts because he knows that this music school could be a game changer for his future.

Sins of the Father

At school, Veronica and some of the others are moved by a very dark poem read by Ethel Muggs in class, which leaves a few of them concerned about her well being. It’s a wake up call for Veronica, who admits to being a bully in her former school and so now she’s trying to turn over a new leaf.

So she invites Ethel over for lunch where she finds out that the source of her issues stem from a bad home life where her mother and father have been arguing a lot over money. Veronica decides this is the perfect moment to offer up some hand me down trinkets to spice up Ethel’s wardrobe, but really all she wants is a friend. Meanwhile, Hermoine is shocked to find out Ethel’s last name is Muggs because it turns out her father was one of the people fleeced by Hiram before he went to prison.

In fact, the Muggs family are expected to testify against him in court — the same hearing where Hermoine and Veronica are going to give testimony while trying to keep Hiram out of prison.

Things turn from bad to worse when Ethel’s father attempts suicide and that forces Veronica to finally come clean to her new friend about Hiram’s role in her family’s downfall. Ethel’s mother is enraged and she demands Veronica leave the hospital immediately after showing up to pay her respects following the suicide attempt.

As for Hermoine, she’s got problems of her own because she has to come clean to Fred Andrews about Hiram owning the drive-in theater land while also being the person behind attacking the job site after he discovered the two of them were having an affair.

Fred is furious and ready to walk away from the job all together, especially after Hermoine lied to him about all of this for weeks. But after seeing his son being manipulated by the Blossom family and watching his own business being toyed with by the Lodge empire, Fred decides to fight back for his own piece of the pie.

Fred agrees to stay on to do the construction on the land but he wants a 20-percent stake and his budding relationship with Hermoine comes to a screeching halt. Hermoine agrees and now Fred has a vested interest in making sure the drive-in land turns into a profitable business while also attempting to keep it away from the Blossom family.

Polly Said

When Archie returns from the Blossom family outing, he reports to Betty and Alice about Polly’s well being and how she claims to be doing just fine. It turns out Polly is having twins so that’s even more news. But then he also mentions how the board of directors have come to town with doubts about the family business, which gives Alice the perfect story to put in the newspaper that could tear them apart.

Unfortunately when she arrives at the paper, Hal Cooper has changed all the passwords and informs his estranged wife that she’s been fired as the lead writer.

Alice finally snaps and throws a brick through the front door because while she’s been boiling with anger, she’s quietly been simmering with regret about how things ended with her daughter Polly. All Alice wants is Polly to come home but now she’s locked away in the Blossom compound while cutting off all contact with her family.

Thankfully the Cooper’s get some much needed good news after Archie returns with one more message from Polly — she’s staying at the Blossom home because she’s convinced they had something to do with Jason’s death and the search is on for proof.

Kings and Queens of Promise

The many gifts of generosity have Archie on cloud nine — especially when Cheryl shows up with a vintage guitar as a thank you for attending the family banquet by her side. As happy as Archie is about his new status as boy toy to Cheryl Blossom, his father reminds him that this all comes at a price and this is one family that cannot be trusted. Fred helps Archie remember that the Blossom family wanted to put him out of business just days ago due to the dispute over the drive-in theater land.

At the Blossom family dinner, Archie is welcomed into the fold before speaking to Cliff about a new arrangement. He wants to trade off his music school invite for Cliff making sure that his dad’s construction business is kept busy at all times so there’s no chance he goes under. Cliff is so impressed by Archie’s willingness to sacrifice his own needs for those of his father that he knows he’s made the right choice.

Cliff believes that Archie can be the stabilizing force next to his daughter Cheryl and the two of them together can help lead the Blossom family into the future. It only gets more intense when Cheryl kisses Archie and proclaims that she wants the two of them to be the next power couple in town.

Sadly for Cheryl, Archie spurs her advances and explains that he can’t get involved in the family drama, especially after Cliff more or less offered him the chance to be Jason’s permanent stand in. Before leaving the grounds, Archie overhears Cliff and Penelope talking about the drive-in theater land and how they were the ones responsible for dropping the dime on Hiram Lodge.

Later that night in her room, Cheryl’s rage ends with her looking at the picture taken at Tapping Day before she scratches out Archie’s photo and then a second later doing the same to Polly.

Cheryl is going to be the heir apparent to her family’s business no matter who has to be sacrificed.

Highly Suspect

Following a couple of days as part of high society, Archie comes back down to Earth but it’s clear his trip to the other side was more than enough for Valerie to know she wasn’t that important to him to begin with. She breaks up with Archie so that’s 0-2 in his relationships on this show thus far.

Archie does share the news with Betty and Jughead that the Blossom family helped put Hiram Lodge in jail, which means a new suspect has just been named in Jason’s murder investigation.

If the Blossom’s were responsible for tearing down the Lodge family empire, perhaps Hiram did the same in return by eliminating their only male heir.

‘Riverdale’ returns next Thursday night at 9pm ET with a brand new episode on the CW.

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