Saddle up, my friends, because tonight's Riverdale included a murder. No, the Black Hood didn't strike again; it was actually one of your faves who got their hands dirty…I think. Spoilers ahead, naturally.
Archie is Hiram Lodge's "intern," a.k.a. his errand boy, which is a good job for him because he has the stamina to run all over town. (Archie's abs remain his best personality trait.) His last errand of the day leads him back to the Lodge condo, where Veronica is getting a dress fitted for her belated confirmation. The Lodges are Catholic, apparently. The more you know!
What we still don't know, however, is who beheaded the statue of Augustus Pickens. Hot Sheriff Keller thinks the Serpents did it, of course, and he keeps interrogating F.P. and Jughead about it. They're pissed, but honestly they should be grateful the hot sheriff is blessing them with his presence.
But holy crap, we just pivoted to Betty, who's now a full-on cam girl. Her brother, Chic, showed her the ropes, so now she's wearing her Dark Betty black wig and talking dirty to strangers on the Internet.
From sex cams to Catholicism: Veronica's inviting the crew to her confirmation because they're her "chosen family," which would be cute if she wasn't cribbing that phrasing from queer people. The dress code is "Catholic chic," so obviously my Madonna-stanning self is having visions of the "Like a Prayer" video.
Sheriff Keller's vendetta against Jughead is affecting Jughead's budding journalism career: Because the newspaper story he wrote about the Uctana tribe sparked so much backlash in Riverdale, both he and Betty are suspended from the staff. As a journalist, I think this is outrageous—but as a Jughead detractor who hates his pretentious words and ridiculous beanie, I'm pleased.
Betty's apathetic about getting axed from the staff, though; she's more curious about Jughead's relationship with Toni Topaz. Jughead comes clean about hooking up with Toni, but Betty lies about kissing Archie, so obviously that will come back to bite her. I don't really care if Jughead's feelings get hurt. Honestly, Betty should keeping making out with Archie and lying to Jughead about it. IDGAF!
"Special Agent Adams," Archie's FBI buddy, knows about Veronica's confirmation too, and wants Archie to spy for him at the event. This will go up in flames, I'm sure, especially because Archie is now Hiram's intern.
More Jughead vs. Sheriff Keller drama: Keller's now evicting the Serpents from their trailer park in Riverdale. I'm trying really hard to care about all of this, but I just want to get back to Betty's web-cam story.
We're not quite there yet. First, Josie and Mayor McCoy have an awkward kiss-and-make-up session with the Lodge women that ends with Veronica and Josie agreeing to duet at Veronica's confirmation. Then, F.P. gives an annoying speech to the Serpents about how they're not going anywhere despite Keller's eviction notice. Jughead and Tall Boy accuse each other of beheading the statue. It's rough and manly and dull.
Later, Jughead confronts Mayor McCoy about why she's being so vindictive toward the Serpents. It's because the beheading pissed off the state governor, she says, but Jughead has a feeling she's being manipulated by the Lodges. He talks to Betty about this, and they agree that finding the beheaded statue head would blow the wind out of Mayor McCoy's sails, so they put their detective hats back on. This is boring. I'm bored. Where's Cheryl?
OK, Mr. Lodge is officially deranged: He's "impressed" that Archie beat up a cast-bound Nick St. Clair and invites him to help out at a high-stakes poker game he's hosting for his family at Pop's that night. This is some Molly's Game shit. Like, Archie's literally Jessica Chastain. Of course, this means Archie will have more access to spy and get info for the FBI. So...he's both Jessica Chastain in Molly's Game and Zero Dark Thirty?
Thank God, Betty's back. Chic warns her not to tell any of the guys she talks to online where she lives, which means she's absolutely going to.
Also, remember Penny Peabody? The snake charmer lawyer whom Jughead kicked out of town after slicing her Serpent tattoo off? She's back and says she can get the Serpents' eviction notices delayed. Her price, though, is Jughead: She wants Jughead kicked out of the Serpents and asks to cut his tattoo off with a dirty knife. Yeesh.
F.P. and Jughead have a heated fight about this, which ends badly: F.P. basically says Jughead's the reason why the Serpents are in trouble, which isn't a lie. Jughead's always to blame, in my book. He doesn't see it that way, though: He insists the mayor is just using his article as an excuse to kick the Serpents out of Riverdale for a much larger reason. He's probably right, but honestly, I'm cool with kicking Jughead out of town.
Hal's leaving town too. He doesn't want to stay in the Cooper house so long as Chic is there, which leads me to think there's more to this whole "long-lost son" story. Alice doesn't care about his leaving, though, which is iconic.
We're at Hiram's poker game now. The dudes there are scary and immediately start talking about Hermione's involvement with Fred Andrews. Then, one of the guys insults Pop's cooking, and Archie officially learns that Hiram owns the Chock'lit Shoppe. He also overhears one of the men saying Hiram's gotten "sloppy" and he needs to be "removed." So…is he…going to kill Hiram? Al Pacino is shook.
Archie's on edge during the whole confirmation the next day. Veronica and Josie sing "Bittersweet Symphony," and now I'm demanding those actresses star in a Cruel Intentions reboot. At the reception, Mayor McCoy tells the Lodge parents they now officially own the South Side High land. Meanwhile, Archie's intently staring at the dudes who talked about "ending" Hiram. It's just now hitting me that Cheryl has yet to make an appearance on this episode, which is worse than the maybe-murder that's about to happen. Veronica tells Hiram she doesn't want Archie involved in their mobster lifestyle (LOL) just minutes before Archie warns him about the "hit" the poker dudes are planning. Hiram reacts coldly to this in front of Archie, but then makes a menacing call the second he leaves. Ooof. I know Hiram's a criminal, but 10/10 I'd date him.
Veronica confronts Archie about what he and Hiram talked about, and she tries to tell him everything—about the Sodale project, the statue, who her father is—but Archie stops her, presumably because he doesn't want to help the FBI incriminate Hiram. He says he loves her no matter what, and they kiss. It's cute, but Archie's such a doof.
Detectives Betty and Jughead ditch Veronica's confirmation party midway through (rude) to meet a guy who says he has the Pickens head. The guy says he saw someone near where the head was dumped: someone tall, with a Serpent jacket (that would be Tall Boy). Oh man! I wish I cared! CHERYL, WHERE ARE YOU?
P.S.: The Serpents confront Tall Boy about the head. Turns out Hiram Lodge put Tall Boy up to beheading the statue, and Tall Boy only did it because he thought the chaos would get rid of Jughead and F.P., who Tall Boy thinks are getting "weak." Tall Boy is ultimately canned from the Serpents, and then Betty and Jughead bang (but she doesn't tell him about kissing Archie…still) Also, are we just going to ignore Betty's web-camming from the beginning of this episode??? We've yet to mention it!
OK, it's mentioned a little: A creepy dude shows up to the Cooper house looking for Chic. It's presumably one of his "clients," but we pan to the Lodge drama before we learn anything else.
Papa Poutine, the man who wanted to kill Hiram, was apparently shot in the back of the head, and Special Agent Adams asks Archie if he knows anything that would incriminate Hiram. Archie lies and says no, so it's clear he's officially on Team Lodge. An anonymous person then sends the Lodge family the decapitated Pickens statue, so WTF is happening there?
And also, WTF IS HAPPENING HERE: Betty comes home and finds her mother cleaning the blood of Chic's client off the floor. She murdered this guy (I think). Like, for real!