The CWness creeped into Riverdale this week as some trope-like drama played out in the final act. Could this really be the end of Jughead and Betty and Veronica and Archie? Will Betty and Archie rise in the back half of the season? Let’s recap what went down in “Chapter 21: House of the Devil”.
Riverdale Recap: Chapter 21: House of the Devil
Airdate: December 6, 2017
Bughead are busy helping FP reintegrate into society; he’s getting out because “reasons” that were kind of mumbled over so just don’t ask questions. Basically, fans like FP so we can’t leave him in jail, ignore the plot hole. Since they’re so engrossed in FP, they ask Varchie to take up their investigation of the Riverdale Reaper. Turns out the murders did actually take place and it was in the creepy house the Black Hood lured Betty to.
Veronica throws herself into the investigation in order to avoid the “L” word. Archie drops it on her after a sexy romp by the fire and she does not return the sentiment. At Fred’s behest, Archie tries to move past it and not let it become all consuming, but by episodes end, even though he told her it’s fine, it’s not. Veronica is in tears because she’s got “stuff” and her parents don’t do the whole ‘I Love You’ thing so she’s just not ready. Varchie was nice while it lasted.
Betty, in an attempt to become Serpent-adjacent for Jughead’s sake and because she’s worried about him, seeks advice from Toni Topaz on how to be a good Serpent girlfriend. Toni suggests the Serpent Dance which is basically a strip tease. Betty channels her inner dark side and when Varchie abandon their karaoke duet, she takes the stage and does a sultry striptease for Jug, who is not pleased.
Earlier in the episode, FP has vowed to retire from the Serpents, gets a job at Pop’s, and is even attending AA. A father/son motorcycle ride leads to a heart to heart with Jughead in which FP learns about Jug’s dealings with Penny. He wants Jug to leave the Serpents, leave Riverdale and go to college. Jug is resistant, he actually likes being a Serpent. FP abandons his dream of a better life for himself and his son when he gets word that Penny considers Jug in her debt. He proclaims he won’t be leaving the Serpents and tells Jug that he’ll be taking over the debt now, and he takes a drink. So much for a better life.
Jughead feels responsible for letting his father down and dragging Betty into this world. He breaks it off with her because he doesn’t want her getting hurt, the very thing she’s worried about for him and why she engages in all this in the first place. I’m never a fan of the “for you own good” decisions being made for other people trope in writing, so this doesn’t sit well with me, but here we are.
Alice Cooper, ever the stunning light she is, embraces her long lost Serpent, flirting with FP, swigging tequila, and dressing the part for FP’s party. She’s quickly shocked back into reality and the realization of why she left this life in the first place when she sees Betty dancing on stage. She’s shook and the Serpent-side leaves real quick. I’m certain Alice will be happy about the Bughead breakup, considering.
Oh and what about that Devil’s House Varchie investigate? Turns out the family of 4 was actually a family of 5. The surviving child was adopted, and his name changed to protect him from the horror of the incident. The second Veronica discovers the 3rd child, we all knew it was the janitor, Mr Svenson, right? It was a pretty obvious reveal and Ronnie goes in thinking he’s the Black Hood. Archie looks him in the eyes and tells her it’s not. Welp, cross that guy off the list.
The episode ends with a broken-hearted Archie looking out his window to a broken-hearted Betty accompanied by a Jughead voiceover telling the audience he “looked at her as if for the first time”.
- “You want us to be… you guys?” Veronica to Bughead
- “He’s brawny and devoted to you” Hermione about Archie
- “I’m sick of you acting like a little bitch” Jughead to Tall Boy
- “Alright Coyote Ugly, lets go” Alice to Betty