Stop right there! If you’re not caught up yet, check out last episode’s recap here.
This week starts off where last week left off, with Jughead Jones’s narration reminding us that Chic’s blood test confirmed Betty’s worst fears — as Betty yells at her brother over the results, which prove that he has zero Blossom blood, which, as we now know, is also Cooper blood. As she storms off to sit down with her mother over it, Alice confirms that she already knows that Chic has no Blossom blood, because he’s not Hal’s son. As she refuses to answer any further questions about his real father, Alice comforts Chic — as he menacingly flashes a triumphant grin at Betty.
Elsewhere, Hal Cooper is attending to other business, as he sits down with Hermione Lodge for a Riverdale Register interview about her mayoral candidacy. Hermione outlines her campaign focuses for him, and drops the bombshell (for the first time publicly) of the maximum-security prison Lodge Industries is building in the south side of town — however noting that due to the Southside High closure in is wake, they will donate a quarter of their profits to benefit and expand Riverdale High. Hal turns his questioning to Veronica, who is also present, and asks if she will follow her mother’s lead and run for student body president, but she is undecided. At this point he introduces their special guest (and the most disgustingly obnoxious cameo in the history of TV) — Bravo’s Andy Cohen, who loudly and brashly stumbles through his endorsement of Hermione Lodge like he’s never observed someone act before in his life. That’s it. That’s the whole reason he’s here. Terrible. Later, as Kevin Keller (who Veronica invited for the sole purpose of meeting him/the Riverdale marketing team padding their ‘Kevin-run’ Instagram page) schmoozes with the host, Hermione pulls Veronica aside and begs her to keep a low profile and not cause any waves while the campaign is ongoing.
The next morning, Fred Andrews sits at his kitchen table reading the interview in the Register scowling, when his son enters and argues his case for the Lodge’s prison. Fred doesn’t wish to argue, and announces to Archie that he can’t support the plan, and that Andrews Construction is severing all ties with Lodge Industries and the SoDale Project. Later, at school, Jughead mocks Veronica for the spin in the paper and boldly asks her if she knew about this prison plan beforehand, but Archie and Betty defend her before she can speak, stating that it was all her parents’ doing. Jughead decides to back off to ‘conserve his energy’ because he’s the literal worst and plans to hunger strike until Southside High is reopened. Ethel Muggs (oh hey welcome back) interrupts this moment, by showing up and dumping a strawberry milkshake on Veronica for her parents’ ‘crimes against Riverdale’. Later, as Veronica washes the shake out of her hair in the school bathroom, she defends Ethel to Betty, admitting that the Lodge family has essentially ruined the Muggs family’s life and attempts to follow her mom’s advice to lay low. Elsewhere, Reggie Mantle is putting up delightfully douchey #RegForPrez posters when he grossly offers a washroom-exiting Ronnie some nuts to go with her shake. Betty cautions him to back off, but he keeps at it with jokes about her parents being inmates at their own prison and paying a conjugal visit to her mom, and Veronica clocks him right in the hallway.
Later that night, Cheryl Blossom wakes up in horror to a jostling of her locked bedroom doorknob, and blockades the door with a chair until it stops. The next morning she confronts her mother about it over breakfast, but Penelope gaslights her as crazy before trying to make succession plans for Nana Rose’s syrup empire with Claudius. Rose is understandably upset by them talking about this preemptively in her presence, but Claudius soothes her by pouring her a suspicious ‘special blend’ of Penelope’s tea, which Cheryl eyes cautiously. Meanwhile, Veronica’s parents enter the dining room to accost her over her fight at school, and menacingly remind her yet again to keep her head in the sand and be their good little pawn. Veronica, clearly not taking this to heart, later announces to her friends at school that she is running for student council president, and, despite Jughead’s hangry apprehensions, appoints Betty as her running mate.
That afternoon, Toni Topaz puts on a racy mid-season audition and is inducted by a pleased HBIC Cheryl into the River Vixens cheer squad. Keeping the inner circle behind after practice, she invites Josie McCoy, Toni, B & V over for a slumber party at Thistlehouse to celebrate the new member. As this is happening, Fred Andrews sits with Hermione Lodge and announces his separation from the project, while Archie sits with Hiram for a secret mission: provide difficult info to Jug to soften the blow by coming from a friend. Sitting in Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe, Archie tells Jughead that Southside High is being demolished by the end of the week, and he’s understandably pissed — threatening at an impending war between friends and family over this.
Later, at the slumber party, Cheryl confesses to her gal pals that she’s terrified of being alone in this house with her potentially murderous mom and uncle — and Betty admits the same, due to Chic. That night, sharing a bed with Toni (YAS), Cheryl privately confesses to her alone that she really had only wanted to invite just her, but knew her mom wouldn’t allow it. As the two go in for a kiss (!!!) they’re interrupted last second by a crash… and rush to the staircase to find Nana Rose Blossom, sprawled out next to her wheelchair at the foot of it. As the paramedics explain to a salty Penelope and Claudius (suspiciously garbed in Cliff’s pyjamas) that Rose is lucky to be alive, Cheryl makes the horrifying assumption that they pushed her down the stairs to try and kill her, and that she’s next.
The next morning, Archie is surprised and delighted to see his lawyer mother Mary come for a visit from San Fran, in an attempt to properly legally separate assets from Lodge Industries. Archie begins to defend the Lodges to his parents as they discuss the legalities, and Mary takes issue with his tone before he heads to school. At school, Veronica is running a ‘cupcake & kiss’ stand to campaign for student council office, when Ethel rolls her eyes and accuses her of sexualizing the election. In a bid to make peace, she tells Ethel she is making amends for past wrongs and will get her parents to offer her dad a good job at the prison. Meanwhile, at Jughead’s ‘Sword & Serpents’ club (are they even gonna actually play an RPG?) he calls for a Serpent revolution against the demolition of the south side.
Meeting her son for lunch, Mary Andrews tells how she doesn’t like seeing Archie and Fred fighting, and reminds him to stay true to himself — not just aligning himself with the Lodges against his better judgment to curry favour with his girlfriend’s dad. Meanwhile, Betty comes home for lunch to find Chic and Kevin Keller flirting in the kitchen, with the latter admitting to having sold her out on her failed catfishing scheme. She kicks Kevin out and warns Chic not to mess with her friends, because he ‘doesn’t know anything about her darkness… yet’. At cheer practice, Veronica tries to make amends with Josie after borrowing the Pussycats from her, and begs her to be her celebrity endorsement, namedropping Andy Cohen as her mom’s and offering to get her a guest spot on Watch What Happens: Live. Elsewhere, the Andrewses are meeting with the Lodges and arguing the unfair terms of the contract when Hiram gets a call, which he turns around and relays to his muscle Archie via phone: the Southside Serpent kids have chained themselves to the foreclosed Southside High out of protest. Riding his bike there, Arch urges Jug to back down, and he refuses.
That night, Betty wakes Chic up with a lit Zippo next to his face, for no other reason than to remind him she’s dangerous and that he’s not safe. In the morning she joins Jughead at the protest briefly and brings him hot water, and he reassures her that if he is arrested, the police presence would make the scene look ugly, and, since virality is more exposure to his cause, this is welcome. (Plus FP and the adult Serpents are keeping watch from afar in case anyone gets too handsy.) Betty leaves to join a V. Lodge campaign rally, which is hosted by Josie and her resounding endorsement. As she and Ronnie sing a women’s rights song (with Archie accompanying, and Kevin filming on his phone for his promotional Instagram), Ethel enters and hands our flyers to the supporters — sporting Veronica’s face with devil horns, and calling her out for her foreknowledge on her parents’ plans and similar lies. Veronica stops the song early and publicly confronts her over her sources, but Ethel won’t divulge — admitting that Ronnie’s bribe didn’t work, causing Betty to storm out as Archie collects flyers and Ethel thanks the double-crossin’ Josie for the intel. Later, in the bathroom, Betty resigns as Veronica’s running mate over her lies, stating that she can’t trust her anymore.
That evening, when Ronnie dejectedly gets home, matters are made worse when Hermione confronts her over not keeping a low profile — she heard from Principal Weatherbee everything about the candidacy and the takedown. Getting emotional, Veronica states that she just wants to be liked and not seen as the daughter of criminals. Meanwhile, Betty gets home and is confronted by her mother over her tormenting of Chic, and brings up the Dark Betty cabaret wig, which Chic tells her is used for freakay bedroom-times. Betty admits that she and Jughead are having sex (though terrified as to how Chic knows) and Alice storms off, exasperated. That night, FP visits Jughead (the last man standing at Southside High — the others took a break to warm up) and the two have a DADTALK over burgers and the promise of not telling anyone he broke his hunger strike. He admits that Hiram offered the Jones family — Gladys and Jellybean included — a penthouse in SoDale, and, to Jughead’s delight, he hung up. Meanwhile, the Andrewses are having supper when Archie and his dad get into it again, with Archie regurgitating Hiram’s rhetoric about ‘having a vision’ and ‘doing what needs to be done’. Mary snaps and defends Fred, saying that he may want to side with a crook (who has no intention of dropping the contract) over his father, but she will not listen to him disrespect a man who DOES have a vision and DOES do what needs to be done, before storming out.
Elsewhere, as Betty finishes up homework, Alice visits her in her room and makes sure she’s being safe — admitting that the fan ships are true and she had dated FP Jones in the past, but shuts down the idea that he’s Chic’s dad. She notes that she realizes how crazy and messed up and dangerous Chic is — she’s not blind — but he needs them right now. Betty later approaches Chic and tries to make a truce, noting how if she wanted to get rid of him she’d go to the sheriff’s office. He counters, pointing out that her involvement with the body and crime scene is way more extensive, and says that she’s the one scaring him, before she stalks off. Meanwhile, Cheryl learns from Dr. Masters that her nana had inexplicably been paralyzed with the rare Tannis root prior to her fall — which Cheryl recognizes as a plant her mother grows in the greenhouse. She tries to warn the doctor, but is swooped up by her mother to take her home. As they go, Cheryl accuses her mother of paralyzing and pushing Nana Rose, but Penelope calls her mad — and promises that ‘they’ will make her all better.
As this is happening, Hiram sits with Arch in his study and announces his plan to remove Jughead and the Serpents by force — but since adults against teenagers looks bad, he needs Archie to be his muscle again, along with the wrestling team. Archie initially refuses, but gives in once reminded of his blood vow… on the condition that Hiram release his dad out of the contract. As a growing rally of ‘I Stand with the Southside’ protesters picket outside the school, Archie and the wrestlers stroll past Sheriff Keller (here keeping the peace) with bolt cutters. FP tried to stop him, but Jughead stands him down, and Arch and Jug mutually apologize for what’s about to happen. Despite Jughead’s speech about the public watching this will now see Hiram as even more evil, Archie and his crew cut the chains on the protesters and escort them off the premises, tension higher between the two best friends than it’s ever been.
Later, Jughead wonders aloud in the trailer park whether he made a difference, and Betty reassures him he did. Unwilling to lose a second school to the Lodges, he tells Betty that he wants to run for student body president, and without hesitation she agrees to be his running mate — in the condition that she can live with him here, away from Chic. They agree and seal the deal with a kiss. Meanwhile, Archie comes home to his parents laughing and chatting — Hiram just let them out of the deal. Considering that the last thing holding him back, Fred announces he will run against the Lodges for mayor, and Mary agrees to stay in Riverdale for a while longer to help. Meanwhile meanwhile, Toni shows up at Thistlehouse, concerned that Cheryl wasn’t in school, but Penelope unconvincingly tells her she left for a Swiss boarding school, which Toni doesn’t buy for a second. (You know, for a villain she’s pretty inept. Do we have a Cersei Lannister on our hands?) We quickly see where Cheryl Bombshell really is — as the Sisters of Quiet Mercy orphanage slash asylum attempt to begin conversion therapy on her to pray the gay away in her cell. FUCK. THAT.
Drama, drama, drama! Find out where everything picks up every Wednesday on The CW, or every Thursday on The CW app or international Netflix! Don’t forget to peep The Game of Nerds for all your Riverdale and fandom fun stuff!