Each week, Teen Vogue will be taking you on a journey to Riverdale, a quaint little town hiding some very big secrets.
Archie has really taken to his internship with Hiram Lodge — he’s doing errands all over the dang place. Probably part of the reason he’s so busy is that the Lodges are preparing for Veronica’s confirmation — which is happening now, and not when she was 12 or 13, because her parents wanted to use the same Monsignor who baptized her (and I guess he was booked up for a few years). Veronica explains the whole confirmation process to Archie, who looks at her like he’s never heard of religion (seriously the face he makes when she says she’ll have to renounce Satan during the ceremony is ridiculous — like, yeah, Archiekins, that's supposed to be a good thing).
Meanwhile, over on the South side, Sheriff Keller has been harassing the Joneses and the other Serpents re: the whereabouts of General Pickens’ head. He later evicts everyone in the trailer park by orders of Mayor McCoy, who is really on a rampage about the statue, and the Serpents in general. And at the Cooper home, Dark Betty is back — and she's diving into webcamming, just like her big bro. (Also, reminder: Betty is 16!) She’s wearing her black bob wig and her lace bra and I smell trouble.
Now that we’re caught up with everyone’s very busy before-school lives, it’s time for actual school, where Veronica invites the gang to her confirmation. The dress code is Catholic chic. Before anyone can think more about what to wear, Principal Weatherbee summons Betty and Jughead to his office to let them know that Jughead’s article has angered the almighty Hiram Lodge and that both of them are suspended from the Blue & Gold, stat. As they’re cleaning out their stuff (like their old murderboards) from the office, they catch up and Betty fishes to find out what happened between Toni and Jughead. He admits that “she gave me…a tattoo and we did some stuff” and when he asks Betty if she’s done “some stuff” with “some one,” she says no, no she has not. That is a lie. I’m sure it’ll be fine though. Everything is always fine here! (It is not.)
Back at the Pembrooke, Veronica is horrified to discover that the St. Clairs have sent her a confirmation/reconciliation gift, which she tells Hermione to burn or re-gift. She is equally shocked to learn that her mother knows about Archie’s visit to Nick’s dorm room. Which, you’ll recall, was part of Archie’s trial run with Agent Adams, who is feeling ditched and showing up in Archie’s garage unannounced. Adams thinks Veronica’s confirmation is newsworthy because Hiram’s “crime family” is attending, and he orders Archie to double duty at the event: support your girlfriend, sure, but also be a teenage FBI agent. At least he won’t have to be by Veronica’s side the whole time, because it turns out she’ll be singing a duet with Josie — it seems their mothers have made up and are now forcing their daughters to do the same. Josie looks just thrilled to have to learn “Bittersweet Symphony from the Cruel Intentions soundtrack” for this party (read: no, she doesn't) and my heart goes out to her.
Also not in a partying mood? F.P. and all of the Serpents, who are upset about their impending evictions (understandably). There’s a lot of in-fighting going on so here’s the TL;DR of it all: Tall Boy hates Jughead and thinks he and the other young Serpents escalated everything with their protest; F.P. tries to keep the peace; Penny comes back and reveals that Jughead carved her up (which, yeah, that was messed up) — and F.P. is SUPER mad about that. As are many of the Serpents. So now there’s going to be a vote: Penny, who claims to be able to get the Serpents out of their eviction mess, vs. Jughead, who tried confronting the mayor only to be told forcefully to back down and have an epiphany that someone (Hiram?) is pulling her strings.
Speaking of Hiram, Archie’s internship continues to go just swell, because it turns out that Hiram is so on board with the beating he gave Nick. He decides to up Archie’s responsibilities to waiter at his “family” poker game the night before V’s confirmation. Sounds fun! Not. Too bad Veronica is not very pleased to hear about this new task. She doesn’t want her innocent baby Archie to be compromised, and when she tells her father as much later, he tells his daughter that one day she’ll have to make a decision: either bring Archie in on everything, or keep him on the outside forever. Sounds fun! Again, not.
You know who is having some fun? Chic. Betty comes home to find a guy named Ben (I know Ben!) on his way out, and when Chic comes down the stairs a few minutes later, he explains that Ben’s visit was his interview for a job at the Bijou. He thinks he got the gig. Chic also gives Betty some (perhaps belated) webcamming advice: boundaries are your friend — nay, they’re a lifesaver. Never, ever tell a stranger on the internet where you live. Could Chic be starting to feel big brother-y toward Betty?
Maybe he should lean into that feeling, because Betty is about to get back into her Nancy Drew-ing with her ex-boyfriend, and I — and probably Chic — don’t want this ending in capital-T trouble for Ms. Cooper. But it probably will, given that she meets Jughead at Pop's, where he explains his whole sitch to her. She’s like, ‘kay, easy solution: solve the mystery of the missing statue head and get the mayor off your back. Why didn’t Jug think of that?
Since Veronica, Hermione, and their female relatives are all not invited to the poker game, they hang at home and gossip about the things they pray for (protection, forgiveness) and Archie — the innocent “local boy,” as Hermione calls him. They speak in Spanish for part of this scene, with English subtitles, and I think that’s the first time Riverdale has done so!
Meanwhile, it's poker time! Archie is a great waiter (one who’s not wearing a wire, despite Agent Adams’ request) and impresses Hiram and his associates. The game is also very informative for Arch, as he learns a) that Hiram owns Pop’s and b) two of Hiram’s associates think he’s gone soft & sloppy and are planning to do something about it…after the confirmation…
…which has now arrived. Where is Cheryl, BTW? And Val and Melody and (let’s be real) Kevin, who is there but doesn’t do or say anything? And Ethel, who is supposedly tight with V? Anyway, Josie and Veronica sing their Cruel Intentions duet before the ceremony, which seems like an odd choice, and then Veronica is confirmed. When she’s asked to renounce Satan and reject evil, she struggles for a minute, before she finds Archie in the pews. The heavens open thanks to some nifty effects from the Riverdale lighting crew and she says "yes." Aww.
At the after party, Mayor McCoy has a gift for the Lodges: the official finalization of the sale of SSHS. Woo…hoo? Veronica introduces Archie to her abuelita (who is also her confirmation sponsor), who pinches his cheek as he smiles his adorable smile. I love Abuelita. Betty and Jug ditch the party halfway through to follow up on a Pickens head tip (LOL), but Veronica doesn’t even notice because she’s too busy telling her dad that she’s decided: she wants to protect Archie and not bring him into their life. Hiram seems chill with her choice…but he is also totally willing to have a secret meeting in his office with Archie, which is where Archie tells Hiram what he overheard at poker night. Veronica, who saw her boyfriend and dad disappear in the elevator together, confronts Archie and is shocked to hear that his internship seems to be continuing — so she starts to tell him all about the Lodge life. Archie interrupts her and says he doesn’t need to know and nothing she says will scare him away. Aww! But is he just practicing a little plausible deniability when it comes to Ronnie’s role in everything and what he’ll eventually have to tell the FBI?
Over in Mystery Science Theater 3000, Betty and Jughead meet with a scrapyard owner who has the head and describes a very…tall…man…who was hanging around recently. Hmm, could that be…Tall Boy? Yes. Cue a confrontation at the Whyte Wyrm, where, notably, Jughead refers to Betty as “one of us” AND she votes in the vote to cast Tall Boy out. Bye, Tall Boy. Can’t say I’ll miss you. Neither will Juggy or Betty, who debrief at the Jones’ trailer and decide to investigate the Hiram pulling some stuff in the South side thing quietly until they know more. Are we heading for a #Varchie vs. #Bughead showdown? We’ll have to wait and see, because Betty and Jughead are more concerned with making out than pursuing justice at the moment. Yes, that’s right: #Bughead is back together — or at least getting together tonight. She still hasn’t told him about the Archie kiss though…
Alice Cooper is also keeping secrets, as she and Chic settle in for a family dinner sans Betty and Hal (and Mama Coops “neglects” to tell Chic that Hal is staying at a ShareBNB because he didn’t get his way with his “Chic or me” ultimatum). Their bonding moment (it actually is sweet) is interrupted by some dude at the door, looking for Chic. Uh-oh.
Next door, Agent Adams and Archie have an urgent meeting because guess what? A guy named Paul was found shot in the head in his hotel room moments ago. Who is Paul? Oh, just one of the guys who was about to turn on Hiram. One of the guys Archie ratted out…to Hiram. When Adams asks if he heard anything that could implicate Hiram in Paul’s death, Archie lies and says no. Arch — is it a good idea to lie to the FBI, even if you love Veronica more than life itself?
And over at the Lodge’s, Veronica opens her last gift — which turns out to be for her parents (don’t you hate it when that happens?). It’s the statue head. Which we last saw with the Serpents.
But the red paint on the statue is nothing compared to what Betty comes home, all aglow over her #Bughead reunion, to find: her mother mopping up buckets of blood, and a very dead-looking guy-who-came-to-find-Chic on the ground next to her. Um, Betty? Did you lock the door? DID YOU? DID YOU?!?!?!?!