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Riverdale: SPOILER Returns in a Major Way in "Prom Night"

The central characters of Riverdale have been through some crazy things this season. A cult has largely infiltrated their town and families, Hiram Lodge's machinations nearly destroyed Archie's life, and if that wasn't enough there's the whole bit with the Gargoyle King that has made the town's already dark and somewhat sinister vibe even more so. With all of that, the kids of Riverdale High certainly deserved a little bit of normalcy with prom, but this is Riverdale. Normalcy doesn't happen -- as evidenced by a shocking and horrifying return.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of Riverdale, "Prom Night", below.

At the end of last week's episode Betty got difficult news. Her father had been killed while being transported to Hiram's prison. The accident had no survivors and despite being told this by multiple people, Betty struggled to believe it. She even went so far as to try to warn her mother -- who wouldn't listen. After finally getting some sort of concrete proof that one of the body parts found at the accident site belonged to Hal, Betty seemed to accept things and shifted her focus to helping Jughead trap the Gargoyle King at prom, ending things once and for all.

Except, that didn't happen. The master plan to have Betty as the Gryphon Queen and be crowned as Prom Queen to fulfill a quest went a bit awry when Betty was slipped a note from the King to meet her at the site of the first Ascension Night and to go alone. Betty complied and find the mysterious figure, but that wasn't all. Betty was attacked by none other than the Black Hood and subsequently chased around the school where she found various dead bodies, all victims of Riverdale's infamous serial killer.

As fans will recall, Betty's father went to prison for his Black Hood murders so the fact that the Black Hood is back and killing people along with the fact that Hal is "dead" is enough for Betty and others to believe that perhaps Mr. Cooper survived that bus accident and is free to kill those sinners he wasn't able to before. It's that fear that sends Betty to The Farm to warn her mother and, at episode's end, to agree to stay at The Farm for safety.

Yet, this is Riverdale and the most direct answer is rarely the right one. One of the things that has been established over the last few episodes is just how badly The Farm -- particularly leader Edgar Evernever -- wants to bring Betty into their cult fold. None of their previous attempts, including a full-on intervention, worked but now that the Black Hood is back tried to kill Betty? It's enough for her to stay with them. One can't help but wonder if the whole return of the serial killer is real or simply a manipulation of Edgar's, a trick to drive Betty to them. After all, The Farm allegedly reunites members with their dead loved ones something Edgar is seen using to strong arm Cheryl into doing what he wants -- and Alice probably did tell him all about the Black Hood. Edgar faking the serial killer's return seems eerily on brand.

Provided you haven't fallen for The Farm's charms yet.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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