Riverdale Recap: The Wicked and the Divine

Photo credit: The CW/Riverdale
Photo credit: The CW/Riverdale


Warning: Spoilers for Riverdale season two, episode 12, "The Wicked and the Divine," ahead.

I must begin this recap by expressing my disappointment that not even one glimpse of Cheryl Blossom could be found in chapter 25 of the Riverdale saga. One must assume she's off polishing her brooches. Alas, the show must go on...or go back. This episode proves nothing truly stays buried in Riverdale. Betty resurfaces that infamous black wig, your least favorite character makes her return, and Veronica is back to saying "Daddy" in polite company. Not to mention a favorite ship is finally on course once again. But let's start with V this time, shall we?

Veronica is having her confirmation at 16 (or 17?) years old. It's a whole thing, and the entire Lodge family (and their mob associates) will be in town for it. Plus, she wants all her friends to join! Any excuse for a cute dress and an after party, am I right?

Photo credit: The CW/Riverdale
Photo credit: The CW/Riverdale

But she may want to hold off on inviting Betty, who is camgirling in her favorite black wig before school hours, which must be a whole bunch of sins rolled into one. How early did she have to wake up to put on that getup?

At school, Betty and Jughead are called immediately to the principal's office and are suspended from the Blue and Gold for publishing that piece on General Pickens. Hiram's lawyer, Mr. Sourberry (of course), threatened to sue for defamation. As they commiserate over the injustice of it all, Betty FINALLY reveals she saw Jughead and Toni getting cozy at Pop's and asks if anything went down between them. I've been waiting for this moment for so long.

Jughead admits the night Archie broke up with him on Betty's behalf, Toni stayed the night and they "did stuff, but not everything." He asks if Betty, too, has "done stuff" since their breakup, and she lies. WE ALL SAW YOU KISS ARCHIE, B.

Archie is running hundreds of errands for Hiram when Worst Agent Ever (W.A.E.) shows up at his house, trawling for updates. Lucky for W.A.E., Hiram has found out about Archie's little visit to Nick St. Clair...and he's impressed. “I respect a man who will go to such extremes to send a message,” he tells Archie, right before inviting him to work a private poker game with Hiram's inner circle.

However, the hits keep coming for Jughead, whose entire community is being punished over the vandalization of the statue of General Pickens. Mayor McCoy and Sheriff Keller are out for blood and have gone so far as to serve the entire Sunnyside Trailer Park eviction notices. When Jug confronts the mayor, he realizes that she's in someone's pocket and guesses it has something to do with Hiram Lodge.

Hoping that finding the true culprit will force the mayor to back down, Jug meets with Betty at Pop's to put their detective agency back together. So begins The Case of the Decapitated Statue, and the two set off to put up flyers asking for any information on the missing head. But when Jughead goes to share his plan with the Serpents, he discovers Penny Peabody has returned and Tall Boy has filled in FP on his son's extracurricular activities. I still can't get over the fact that the young Serpents thought a short drive to Greendale would keep her away. Obviously, she is out for blood, demanding Jughead be removed from the Serpents...oh, and she wants to cut off his tattoo herself. It's only fair.

Photo credit: The CW/Riverdale
Photo credit: The CW/Riverdale

In what might be the most honest, gut-wrenching moment of the episode, FP and Jughead get into a huge blowout back at their trailer. Skeet Ulrich is the heart and soul of Riverdale, and we do not deserve him. "You think you’re a hero, Jug? Cutting up women? You will be the death of us. Not the North Side, not Penny. You." My heart hurts.

Hal is no FP. He takes off to a "Sharebnb" (LOL) because Chic is still residing with the Coopers. Betty sees Ben leaving and assumes he's a client. Chic tells her he'd never tell a client where he lives and that Ben got him a job at the Bijou. Put a mental pin in this moment - this is suspicious. If you're in the "Chic is the Black Hood" camp, what do you think about his in-person meet up with the other underage Riverdale resident who was hooking up with the late Miss Grundy?

Photo credit: The CW/Riverdale
Photo credit: The CW/Riverdale

But back to Veronica and Archie. V is very concerned that she's corrupting A. Hiram tells her she must decide if her boyfriend will join the inner circle or stay outside it forever. She goes to pray on it while he attends a poker game.

For once in his short life, Archie is not a total moron and refuses to wear a wire for W.A.E. So proud. While filling glasses and cutting cigars, Archie is introduced to Hiram's associates, the most important being Papa Poutine. (This is his alias, and I refuse to remember his real name.) Papa Poutine keeps making digs at Hiram for partnering with Fred Andrews after he slept with Hermione, so it's no surprise when Archie later overhears Poutine tell someone he's going to take Hiram out right after Veronica's confirmation.

Speaking of, this confirmation wouldn't be Veronica's without an inappropriate musical number. Mayor McCoy and a reluctant Josie showed up earlier this episode to apologize to Veronica for their behavior last week, which somehow resulted in a trippy rendition of The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" in the middle of a cathedral. (It also can't be stressed enough that when Veronica chose this song, she specifically mentioned the Cruel Intentions soundtrack. Sometimes you just have to love Riverdale.)

Photo credit: The CW/Riverdale
Photo credit: The CW/Riverdale

At the after party, Archie tells Hiram what he heard, Veronica decides she wants Archie to remain outside the family business, and Jughead makes some confessions to Betty. He tells her everything, from that time he ran drugs to cutting up Penny Peabody. Our resident camgirl is unfazed. Conveniently, this is when Betty receives a call about the flyers she's posted all over town. Dressed as Eleven from Stranger Things, Betty drags Jughead to the dump to see about a head. This is where we get this week's best line, which goes to Juggie:

Guy: You the kids looking for a head?
Jughead: If only we lived in a town where the answer could be no.

Armed with the bronze general and some new information, FP, Jug, and Betty roll up to the White Worm ready to throw down. It turns out Tall Boy was the culprit all along, hoping that by stirring up trouble, he could oust Jughead and FP from the Serpents and run the club with Penny. Oh, and it was Hiram who paid him to decapitate Pickens. It always comes down to Hiram, doesn't it?

So Tall Boy is out of the Serpents, but Jughead is still on probation. But who cares, because BUGHEAD IS BACK ON AND HOTTER THAN EVER. Jughead and Betty make out on his couch and she tells him she wants everything. Tonight. This would be the perfect end to the episode, but this is Riverdale and not one, but two major events need to unfold before we're through.

Back at Archie's, W.A.E. shows up and tells him that Papa Poutine was found in his hotel with a bullet in the back of his head. He asks Archie if he knows anything that would connect Lodge to the assassination. Archie keeps his mouth shut, and it's becoming more and more clear where his loyalties lie.

Meanwhile, a shady character shows up at the Coopers' door asking for Chic. And when Betty arrives home, it's to Alice frantically mopping up blood next to the creepy guy's unconscious body. Is he dead? Who is he? Will our core four ever pick up and move to a town with less murder? We'll have to wait until next week to find out.

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