Riverdale season 3 episode 11 recap: The Red Dahlia is murderous

Things haven’t been quiet in Riverdale of late.

The last episode saw Archie and Veronica split, as he embraced his darker side and Hiram Lodge was shot by a mysterious assailant.

In addition, Betty started visiting her murderous father Hal Cooper (aka the Black Hood) in prison, prompting him to give advice on her detective adventures.

Finally, FP became the new Sheriff in town thanks to Hermione – but why now?

This week, Riverdale went full on neo-noir with Jughead having a more present voice-over than ever and the show paying homage to the hard-boiled detective genre.

So what went down in The Red Dahlia (itself a homage to the classic noir The Blue Dahlia)?

Here are the details for what went down for each character in The Red Dahlia.


Riverdale season 3 episode 11 recap: The Red Dahlia is murderous

Betty and Jug investigate the Red Dahlia
(Image: THE CW)

Miss Cooper attempted to find out more about who killed Claudius Blossom and is convinced of Penelope’s guilt in his death and that of her husband Clifford, and discusses this with her father Hal in prison.

Betty attends Claudius’ funeral for answers to see if Cheryl knows anything they could prove Penelope killed Clifford, but Cheryl is offended and she and Toni tell Betty to leave. Betty looks into autopsy results for Clifford.

While helping Jughead with his own mystery, Betty comes across a brothel named The Red Dahlia, run by Penelope Blossom who protests her innocence and that she had been at the brothel she runs during the deaths of the Blossom brothers and Darryl Doiley.

Visiting the morgue, she finds that despite Penelope’s requests, a secret autopsy was performed on Clifford and showed he’d been killed by poisoning before he was hung – meaning he was likely murdered and didn’t commit suicide.

Betty confronts Penelope again with the evidence. Penelope confesses she killed both Clifford and Claudius. Clifford killed Jason and Claudius was using the Blossom family maple business to create Fizzle Rocks drugs and leak them into Sweetwater River, causing seizures in women. Penelope claims she killed them out of a hatred for men.

She says she did not kill Doiley and the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, however.

Betty threatens to turn her over to the law, but Penelope reveals from her conversations with Hal that she knows Betty led con artist Chic into the clutches of the Black Hood and is therefore also guilty of conspiracy to murder.

They each agree to keep each other’s secrets.

Betty visits Hal again and he muses that he and Penelope are products of their awful upbringing and Betty reveals her empathy for Penelope and that sometimes murder isn’t always black and white.

Hal says he hopes Betty can be as sympathetic towards him in future.


Still drinking and struggling to be back in Riverdale, Archie asks for a job on Fred’s construction site.

Archie is swiftly fired for his aggression at work and moves to Le Bonne Nuit to drink until Reggie has a bouncer try and remove him.

Josie, performing at the bar, takes Archie home and gives him a cold shower to sober up. She also suggests he return to music or get into boxing to face his demons.

Archie decides to confront Hiram instead and visits him in hospital, where he draws a gun and contemplates killing him (mostly out of anger for Hiram ordering a hit on Fred), before a masked man enters and prepares to kill Hiram. Archie shoots the gunman in the shoulder and the assailant flees.

Afterwards, Veronica thanks Archie for saving her father’s life and he admits he wanted him dead but no longer does. Veronica reveals her father wants to see Archie.

Speaking with a recovering Hiram in his hospital room, the pair agree to a truce and to stop causing each other harm.


Riverdale season 3 episode 11 recap: The Red Dahlia is murderous

Veronica works hard for her father
(Image: The CW)

Reacting to her father’s shooting, Veronica asks Jughead to investigate who shot her father.

Meanwhile, as the crime families attempt to capitalise on Hiram’s precarious situation, Veronica is resistant and decides to show unity – firing Hiram’s disloyal capos and completing his weekly shakedowns with some theatre work from Smithers and Reggie.

Veronica also discovers that Hermione wants to sell Hiram’s drug empire for a large windfall and that she ordered the quarantine to distract from the moving operations away from Sweetwater River.

Deciding to not let her mother receive any profit from the crimes of the Lodge family, Veronica and Reggie destroy the drug business, enraging Hermione who fears the repercussions from her buyers who paid her in advance and who she used to pay off the state Governor.

Veronica thanks Archie and Reggie each for their help, but wants to remain Archie’s friend only.


Riverdale season 3 episode 11 recap: The Red Dahlia is murderous

There’s a secret in the bunker
(Image: Netflix)

Jughead deals with Tallboy’s death as his body is concealed in the bunker and from new Sheriff FP, who doesn’t believe the Gargoyle King ran away.

Our favourite beanie-wearer is asked to investigate Hiram’s shooting by Veronica, who remembers an argument between her parents after her own seizure.

Finding evidence from Hermione of Hiram having a mistress named Miss Mulwray, Jug tracks her down in the same hotel as Penelope’s brothel and she pulls a gun on him. Jug learns that she obtained a priceless Egg from Hiram as payment for abusing her position as a water supply inspector, where she doctored a report to hide the drug leaks into Sweetwater River that Hiram and Claudius’ business caused. With the evidence, Jug leaves her.

The Serpents also come across Hermione having an affair with an alive Sheriff Minetta and Jug discovers that she now wants him to finish the hit on Hiram and frame FP for it – as they both have a sheriff’s gun.

Jug confronts FP with this knowledge but his father confesses that he shot Hiram the first time in revenge for Jug almost dying in the riots (in the end of season 2). FP reveals he conspired with Hermione on it.

Riverdale season 3 episode 11 recap: The Red Dahlia is murderous

Jug on the case
(Image: CW/Riverdale)

The younger Jones then reveals that Tallboy is dead as they both have secrets and FP suggests a plan, using Alice’s help.

Facing Hermione, FP and Alice reveal the story of “Tallboy shot Hiram but they brought him to justice” and that they need to share a united front on it as Mayor and Sheriff. Hermione is evidently angry that her plans have been scuppered and FP will remain Sheriff. The problems of Tallboy and Hiram’s shooting are removed.

Jug is confronted by Hermione who reveals she wanted Hiram dead not just for the money but because he was poisoning the town’s young girls and even their own daughter. Jug threatens to turn her over to the authorities but she threatens to take FP down with her. In the end, a truce is called.

After Minetta fails to kill Hiram and is injured by Archie, he recuperates whilst with Hermione, until she shoots him dead to tie up loose ends.

Jug is then visited by Veronica who pays him for investigating her father’s shooting. She reveals that Hiram believes Tallboy was responsible and that the case is closed, but when Jug asks if she wants to know who really shot her father, she declines and says “It’s Riverdale.”

Read More
Riverdale season 3

  • Riverdale season 3 episode 11 recap: The Red Dahlia is murderous

    Latest episode recap

  • Riverdale season 3 episode 11 recap: The Red Dahlia is murderous

    Next episode on

  • Riverdale season 3 episode 11 recap: The Red Dahlia is murderous

    Season 3 guide

  • Riverdale season 3 episode 11 recap: The Red Dahlia is murderous

    Gargoyle King theories

Riverdale continues weekly on Netflix in the UK.