*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
The midseason finale of Riverdale left us with loads of questions (and very few answers). Not only did Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Ethyl (Shannon Purser) help the patients escape from the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, but Hiram (Mark Consuelos) also somehow convinced the governor to quarantine the entire town of Riverdale.
Well, the popular series returned to the CW tonight after a month-long hiatus, and while we still don’t know what’s causing the mass seizures, one thing’s for sure: Veronica (Camila Mendes) has yet to cool down, and we’re all for it. Here’s what went down in Chapter Forty-Four of Riverdale, titled “No Exit.”
It’s been five weeks since Hiram’s takeover, and things are…tense. While Archie (K.J. Apa) and his dog are holed up in an isolated cabin, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) and Toni (Vanessa Morgan) are up to no good back in town. (Think burglarizing homes in cat costumes. Seriously.)
Meanwhile, Betty is hosting the group of patients at her house, and it looks like a scene straight out of Annie. When she confronts one boy, Tyler, for having a pack of Fizzle Rocks, he reveals that it came from a Serpent, who we later learn is Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner).
In turn, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) threaten to kick him out of the Serpents. After some deliberation, they decide to let Fangs off with a warning. Womp, womp.
At Pops Diner, Veronica’s speakeasy La Bonne Nuit is thriving. However, things aren’t going so great in her personal life, considering both Reggie (Charles Melton) and Josie (Ashleigh Murray) were attacked by masked men, who claim to be after her.
“Veronica Lodge hasn’t paid what she owes,” the man said.
Later on, Hiram pays a visit to La Bonne Nuit, and Veronica gets roped into asking paying for protection from her dad because, well, times are tough.
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of, Mija,” Hiram says before bargaining himself a percentage of La Bonne Nuit. Barf.
Of course, there’s a catch. Hiram wants Veronica to retrieve a missing Fabergé egg, which—you guessed it—was stolen by Cheryl and Toni.
So, Veronica turns to Jughead, demanding he take care of the deed. He agrees, but only if she’ll let the Serpents come work for her. (Because you can never have too much security detail.)
After speaking with a social worker, Betty teams up with the mayor, Sierra (Robin Givens), to get back at the sisters for feeding the patients Fizzle Rocks. They visit one of the sisters in jail and threaten to charge her with multiple accounts. The catch? She’ll need to appear in court and say that Hiram Lodge gave her drugs for illegal testing on patients.
At the Coopers, Tyler is high on Fizzle Rocks (again). He claims to have seen the Gargoyle King and refuses to obey the Griffin Queen (aka Betty). When Betty leaves to find help, her mom pulls a total Alice (Mädchen Amick) move and sends the, er, tenants to “the farm.” You know, the one with Betty’s sister, Polly (Tiera Skovbye).
When Jughead gathers the Serpents, he tells them the good (sorta) news: Veronica is now their boss. He then confronts Cheryl and Toni for stealing the egg, claiming they “broke the code” and need to turn in their jackets.
But the Serpents aren’t having it with Jughead. They demand Fangs turn in his jacket, too, since he broke “the code.” Jughead obliges. *Sigh*
“We’ll go, but we’re keeping our jackets,” Cheryl says. Gotta love her.
Cut to Jughead sitting in Pops with Reggie, Veronica and the beloved egg.
The next day, Reggie returns to the location where he got jumped earlier in the episode. When the masked men appear, the Serpents file out of Reggie’s truck with baseball bats and capture one of the men. Jughead lets him go but not before reminding him that “Veronica Lodge is now under the protection of the Serpents.”
Elsewhere, Archie is working as a park ranger, clearing trails and getting attacked by bears in his spare time. No, really. During a hike, he veers off the path to avoid a group of hikers only to be confronted by claws. Lots and lots of claws. So, he staggers home, douses himself in alcohol and passes out for God knows how long.
In a hallucination, Archie wakes in his bed to find the ghost of Cassidy (Harrison MacDonald), the one who was murdered at Shadow Lake, and a few other boys sitting in a circle, demanding he play Griffins & Gargoyles.
“Time to play,” Cassidy says.
In a series of dreams, Archie finally comes face-to-face with Hiram (sorta).
“Gargoyle King, Man in Black, how many names do you have, Hiram?” Archie asks before stabbing him in the stomach.
Suddenly, Archie is back in his cabin, sitting in front of Betty, Veronica, Jughead and the game board.
“Just one last round to play,” Betty says.
Cut to Archie walking into his old bedroom and holding a baseball bat. As he approaches his sleeping self on the bed, his dad, Fred (Luke Perry), whispers from behind, “You don’t have to do this, son.”
“It’s the only way,” Archie says before beating himself with the bat.
The episode concludes with a montage set to Veronica singing at La Bonne Nuit. Here’s what you need to know:
Veronica and Reggie are an item.
Jughead and F.P. ask Fangs to go undercover and join the Gargoyle gang.
Betty discovers that an anonymous donor (aka Hiram) bailed the sisters out of jail, leading her to discover their bodies. (Blue lips, included.)
At Archie’s cabin, the police arrive only to find him unresponsive, lying in a pool of his own blood.
Will Archie survive? (Duh.) And will Betty’s story line stop boring us? (Unlikely.) Guess we’ll have to wait until Riverdale returns next Wednesday at 8 p.m. on The CW.