The relationship between Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper, commonly referred to as "Barchie" among fans, goes far back, even before the start of the series.
Betty and Archie are childhood best friends and next door neighbors.
After Betty admitted her feelings for Archie, their friendship became strained as Archie didn't feel the same way. Things were complicated between the two initially, but they were able to return to being friends. Betty and Archie are now best friends, and she has gotten over her feelings for Archie. Betty also approved Archie and Veronica Lodge's romantic relationship.
In the second season, Betty continues her friendship with Archie by sleuthing together, in order to uncover the identity of the Black Hood killer. Later, Archie and Betty have a moment in a car after Betty finds out disturbing news about her grandfather. Archie calms her down and she kisses him. The pair pull apart and they continue on the quest of unraveling the identity of the town's killer, who they eventually discover is Betty's father, Hal Cooper.
In the fourth season, Archie signs himself up for the Variety Show, along with Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. However, after a fight with Veronica, Archie retreated to his garage, where he is joined by Betty, who much like him, had just gotten into an argument with her significant other, Jughead. The two reminisce over childhood memories before sharing a kiss.
Archie and Betty have been next-door neighbors and best friends since they were four years old, and have always been in the same school, grade, and classes together, ever since they could remember. When they were in the second grade, Archie was falling behind in reading and he would have been held back another year. Hating the idea of them being in different grades, Betty tutored Archie every day after school. He was later able to move up a grade with Betty.
Young Archie was so ecstatic that he kissed and proposed to Betty, but she turned him down as they were too young for marriage. However, she told him to ask her when they were eighteen and she would say yes.
The two best friends, Archie and Betty, had a date at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe where they reunited after spending the summer apart. Whilst Archie told her about his newfound desire to pursue music as a career, Betty hoped to reveal the romantic feelings she harbored for him. However, as she was on the brink of confessing her love for him, when they are distracted by the arrival of a new girl in town — Veronica Lodge. Veronica and her mother Hermione Lodge came to Riverdale from New York to escape the scandal of her father's arrest for fraud and embezzlement. Archie was immediately intrigued by this new arrival, who would be starting at Riverdale High School the next day, and Betty, noticing this, stayed silent about her feelings.
The next day, Veronica, upon hearing of Betty's interest in Archie, encouraged Betty to ask him to the back-to-school dance, but due to her lack of confidence, Betty ended up asking Archie to be her and Veronica's escort to the dance instead. At the Semi-formal, Betty and Archie were on the dance floor, when she confessed how she'd been imagining them as a "power couple". He didn't really give her the reply she was hoping for. This upset Betty that he couldn't even think of them being more than just friends. Archie really did like Betty, but he thought he could never live up to her expectations and believed she was too perfect for him.
Later on, at the after-party, Cheryl Blossom conspired to stir up trouble. She used a game of Spin the Bottle to force Archie and Veronica to play Seven Minutes in Heaven together, knowing it would upset Betty. Though they tried to fight their attraction for each other out of respect for Betty, they ended up kissing. When they returned to the party, Cheryl gleefully informed them that Betty had fled, so Archie went after her. When he arrived at her house, a tearful Betty walks down the narrow path toward him in tears. Betty tearfully asked Archie if he loved her at all, to which Archie replied that he does, but he would never feel worthy enough to date her. Archie eventually told Betty that he "couldn't give her the answer she wants", and Betty finally retreated inside her home, feeling destroyed.
Archie became torn when news got out about Jason Blossom's death by gunshot, as he and Miss Grundy had heard a gunshot when they were together at the Sweetwater shore. However, telling the police about it would mean that Archie would most likely have to tell them about his and Grundy's relationship. He tried to talk to Betty, but exhausted and crestfallen over his rejection, she dismissed him through text. The next morning, despite telling her mother that she would no longer seek friendship from Archie, Betty did the very opposite by asking him to walk her to school. She needed time to process the situation, to separate what she wanted from what her mom wanted, and what she wanted was to be friends with Archie. Betty eventually came around and decided that whether Archie reciprocated her feelings or not, Betty still wanted them to be friends.
However, as the gang gathered at lunch to listen to Archie play one of his songs, Betty reminisced about the events of the weekend, becoming emotional and, unable to hold it together anymore, lashed out at Archie. Archie tried to console her, but Betty once again dismissed him, as her heartbreak was too recent to handle in front of him. Betty resented both Archie for rejecting her feelings and Veronica for kissing him at the party and siding with Archie.
Later, at cheer practice, she and Veronica got into an argument over Archie, her informing Archie of her true feelings towards him, and the awkward tension now between them because of it. To get back at Veronica, Betty invited Cheryl to get manicures with her, but it backfired. At school the next day, Betty admitted that Veronica was right about what she said pertaining to Archie, sometimes it's hard to admit things to yourself, Betty said.
That night at the Pep Rally, Betty was shocked to see Archie's bruised eye after his fight in the student lounge with Reggie. Following the Pep Rally, Betty and Veronica made up and went for smoothies at Pop's. The two were later joined by Archie and Jughead, so Betty invited them to join her and Veronica at the table. 
Once Betty discovered that Archie and Grundy were in a relationship, Betty was alarmed and tried to talk Archie out of it. Betty's suspicion on Ms Grundy made her obsessed with finding out the truth about Ms Grundy's unknown past. Betty’s internet research dug up even more troubling details about Geraldine. There was no record of her life before she moved to Riverdale a year ago. Archie was nevertheless frustrated by Betty’s investigation, insisting she let it go.
Although this did not stop a determined Betty. Later on, Betty, along with Veronica, broke into Miss Grundy's tiny Volkswagen Beetle and found proof of her shady background. They found a box with Miss Grundy's driver's license with the name Jennifer Gibson and a revolver. Archie confronted Geraldine who then told him that she was in a violent, abusive marriage. When she left, she changed her name. He believed her.
When she finally stopped her searching, Alice found the gun inside Betty's drawer. She grabbed for Betty's diary, leading to her, Betty, and Fred confronting Archie and Grundy. Although the confrontation ended with Grundy being run out of town by Alice, Archie was shown to have no ill towards Betty. 
Betty appeared alongside Archie, Jughead, and Veronica in Fred Andrews' hallucinatory dreams following the shooting at Pop's. In the student lounge, Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica stood collectively in their caps and gowns, prepared for graduation and waiting for Mr. Andrews to take a photo of them. Next to him, was Archie's mother, Mary. Mr. Andrews commented that he didn't think he would live to see the day, to which Betty replied that he didn't, meaning he didn't survive the attack at Pop's. Before Fred could respond, the shooter appeared at the scene. As he entered the lounge with his weapon drawn, Fred yelled for everyone to go down, before a gunshot was heard.
Archie drove his father's to Riverdale General Hospital following the shooting at Pop's. Betty arrived soon thereafter, as did Jughead and Veronica. The three of them greeted Archie with a loving embrace as he stood in the lobby, covered in his father's blood. After settling down, they sat around him as he recounted the events at the diner — Archie came out the bathroom to find a hooded man pointing a gun at Pop Tate, then at his dad. He fired the gun, then bolted, leaving a bloody Fred on the floor. However, Archie's momentary pause left Jughead wondering if he wasn't coming forward with all that had happened. While Archie held his bleeding father, Pop Tate called the ambulance, but when they didn't come, Archie took it upon himself to drive him all the way to the hospital. However, now he was now questioning this decision as he thought he may have made matters worse. Although, the three of them insisted that Archie did the right thing, with Jughead saying that first, Archie saved Cheryl, now his father. If he kept it up, he might need a superhero name, Jughead proposed 'Pureheart the Powerful'.
When Archie returned from questioning with Sheriff Keller, he was approached by his father's doctor, Dr. Masters, who told them that the bullet had been removed and that the internal bleeding had stopped. However, Fred's inability to breathe on his own was still cause to worry. Archie requested to see his father, and he would, but only after the hospital found him a room, which could take up until two hours. Until then, Betty and Veronica recommended that Archie go home and get changed. When the nurse handed Archie his father's belongings, Betty told him that he had yet another reason to go; he needed to get his father a change of clothes.
Later that day, Archie revealed to Betty (and Jughead and Veronica) that he wasn't the hero that they believed him to be. After the masked attacker shot Fred, Archie revealed that he stood there and did nothing, as he was paralyzed with fear. He didn't move an inch, not even when the shooter held a gun to his head. He shut his eyes and kept the, shut until hearing the bell on Pop's door ring. Archie perceived his actions as cowardice, but Betty, Jughead and Veronica begged to differ as there was nothing else he could've done.
While Fred laid in the hospital bed unconscious, Archie and Betty appeared in another one of his dreams. But this time Betty was the bridesmaid at Archie and Veronica's Scottish themed wedding. She stood alongside Veronica after she approached the altar. However, the dream came to an abrupt end as the hooded assailant appeared and fired his gun.
Saving Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe
Betty, Archie and Veronica met up with Jughead at school, who told them about the vandalism at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe and how Pop's staff to quit on him. Pop Tate wasn't sure how much longer he would be able to keep the doors open. Maybe not even a week. Archie pointed out that the diner's closing was a result of his father's shooting. People were scared, not that he blamed them as he too was actively avoiding the diner. Betty couldn't believe what she was hearing; her friends accepting the fact that Pop's was closing. She wasn't going to allow one psychopath with a gun dictate what happens to their favorite hangout place. She reminded Jughead of his crusade to save the Twilight Drive-In when it was closing, though considering that he was busy with his father's upcoming, hearing, Betty, with Veronica's help, volunteered to take point on saving the diner.
Under the suspicion that Mr. Andrews' shooter and Ms. Grundy's killer was one and the same, Betty and Archie went to her mother in search of assistance in uncovering the truth. Since her mother was the first to gain exclusive details to Jason Blossom's autopsy, they were wondering if she could get details in regards to Ms. Grundy's death to see if they line up with the attack on Mr. Andrews. Alice agreed to reach out to her friend in the autopsy lab in order to put Archie's mind at ease, though not without commenting on how thin Betty was spreading herself out as the patron saint of lost causes. She was told by her mother that she can cross saving the diner off her list of crusades because it was being purchased by an anonymous buyer, which was the precise term used when Veronica's father was secretly purchasing the Drive-In.
At Retro Night, which was the event that Betty and Veronica organized to save Pop's, Betty, Archie, Veronica, and Jughead shared a booth, where they relished in their victory; a rare win for the good guys.
After learning that Moose and Midge were attacked at Lover's Lane by an black hood wearing assailant, Betty arrived at school, where she met with her friends to discuss the recent shooting. With Kevin being the person responsible for finding Moose and Midge, some wondered what he was doing in the woods, to begin with. Kevin claimed that he was night jogging, but Betty appeared unconvinced. Now that another shooting has taken place, Archie hoped that they all could finally agree that there was a killer in Riverdale. However, with so much uncertainty surrounding recent events, Betty wasn't convinced that the latest shooting was in any way tied to Ms. Grundy' murder. Veronica interrupted to invite them all over to her place to officially meet her father.
Betty, Archie, and Jughead gathered at the Pembrooke that evening to watch the Matchlerette and officially meet Veronica's father. They noticed that Archie, leading them to question if he was alright. Archie was distracted by the recent shooting. He expressed his frustration with Sheriff Keller and his inability to apprehend the shooter. He started to feel as if they were being specifically targeted by the killer. It was then that Mr and Mrs. Lodge entered the room to greet everyone before leaving for dinner. Veronica introduced each of them to her father, starting with Betty and ending with Archie. Mr. Lodge couldn't help but overhear their discussion in regards to Sheriff Keller's shortcomings. For someone who's had his own share of run-ins with the law, he could confidentially say that the police weren't always the answer.
Conspiring Against the Black Hood
Betty sent Archie a message to ask if he could walk her to school because she needed to tell him something. But, before doing so, she needed him to promise her that he wouldn't repeat this information to anyone else, Veronica, Jughead, and his father included. After Archie promised to keep her secret, Betty revealed that the Black Hood called her. She was taking a great risk by even telling Archie, but they were best friends, who lived next door to each other, so the two of them walking to school together would look perfectly normal to the Black Hood, assuming he was watching them. As crazy as it sounded, Betty was convinced that it was him. Archie insisted that she report this to the police, even if it wasn't him, but she couldn't because Polly's life depended on it. If the killer called her again, she would have to answer. And so Archie volunteered to be right there at her side to help her through it.
Archie and Betty arrived at school to find Veronica and Kevin talking about an old friend of hers from New York, Nick St. Clair. He was coming to town for the SoDale Gala Opening.
Archie went over to Betty's house that night, and the two of them waited for the Black Hood to call. Betty's phone rang. It was the killer. She answered the phone, putting him on speaker for Archie to hear. The Black Hood told Betty that through a big picture window, he could see her parents at the Register. With her mother being a thorn in both Betty's and the killer's side, he devised a plan that would keep her from looming over them. Betty was told to check her email, and publish what was sent to her, as proof of her loyalty. Before doing so, she wanted something from the killer to prove his loyalty. If Betty did as she was told, he would answer any question she asked. She had until tomorrow night to post follow through on her end. In Betty's email was an archived mugshot of her mother, who was revealed to be a member of the Southside Serpents, many years ago.
The next day, at school, Betty and Archie discussed the Black Hood and the mugshot he wanted her to publish. Her mother went after the Black Hood pretty intensely, so it came as no surprise that he sought to humiliate her, though Betty could not do it to her mother, as it would destroy her credibility. What credibility, Archie asked. Her mother was always going after them and their friends. In spite of all this, Betty refused to blindside her with a published mugshot.
Betty was approached by Archie in the hallway after he went to her house that morning to walk her to school. Her mother had told him that she had already left. Archie wondered if she got another call from the killer. Betty lied to Archie, telling him that she didn't get another call, when in fact, she did. They were then joined by Veronica and her friend from New York, Nick, who invited Betty to his party at the Five Seasons.
That night at Nick's party with Veronica, Archie, Cheryl, Kevin, Josie, Reggie, Valerie, and Melody , after being instructed by the Black Hood to cut off those closest to her, Betty commenced her plan to break up with Veronica. When Nick suggested they turn up the party with some Jingle Jangle that he scored from Reggie, Betty told them that she wasn't interested, though everyone else, Veronica included, was more than willing to indulge. As all her friends got high and partied under the influence, Veronica attempted to encourage Betty to have some fun, as she was without Jughead for the night. Betty told Veronica that she was making a fool of herself by acting like a privileged, shallow, airhead party girl. She continued, saying that Veronica was just friend of circumstance and that she wasn't who she pretended to be. Veronica may have fooled the rest of the attendees of the party, but not Betty, as she saw Veronica for who she truly is: a terrible person. In conclusion, Veronica told her to leave, if Betty truly considered her a bad person. Betty was uncharacteristically mean to Veronica. However, this was the price she had to pay to appease the Black Hood and keep her loved ones safe.
With a night of hard partying behind him, Archie confronted Betty at the Blue and Gold, over her fight with Veronica. Betty revealed that she lied to Archie when he asked if the Black Hood had called again. He did call. But she didn't want to tell Archie because she knew he would try to talk her out of it. During her conversation with the killer, he told Betty to cut Veronica out of her life. Now, he's demanding that she do the same with Jughead. On the bright side, no one has been attacked or killed since she started talking to the killer. Betty speculated that maybe this was the route to stopping it all, but Archie couldn't allow her to do that, as she was hurting the people around her. Archie asked Betty how she was going to put Jughead and herself through a break up. She couldn't. Which is why she hoped Archie would break up with Jughead for her. She wanted him to tell Jughead that they had to stay away from each other for a while. But she didn't want it to be too cruel as she planned on walking everything back once the killer was stopped. As tears filled her eyes, Betty begged Archie to do this one favor for her, as she couldn't bare to break up with Jughead herself.
Later that night, Archie and Betty rushed over to Veronica's after learning that Nick drugged and then subsequently tried to rape Cheryl at the open house. He asked where Nick was in that moment, though Cheryl told Archie that he could put his cape away because the Pussycats had already saved her. As Veronica and Josie comforted Cheryl, she announced that she wanted to press charges.
Archie met up with Betty, and the two of them discussed her on-going relationship with the Black Hood. After clearing her head, Betty realized that the Black Hood was playing a sick game of psychological torture with her. She decided then and there that she was done with him and his game. She would be ignoring any of his future calls. As for Polly, who the Black Hood threatened violence against, she was going to disappear for a while with the help of some of the people from the farm, just until Riverdale was safe again. What of Jughead and Veronica, Archie asked. They too deserved the truth. Betty agreed. But she first wanted to make sure everything was settled. As they reached the parking lot of Pop's diner, Betty and Archie noticed Jughead inside, having breakfast with Toni. Before either could react, they received simultaneous calls from their parents.
Betty had been called back home, by her mother an Archie had been called there with her by his father. At the Cooper house, Betty's mother had arranged a gathering of all those who attended Nick St. Clair's party and their parents, with the exception of Valerie and Melody. Betty's mother had learned of their drug fueled party, and thought it best if they came together to collectively deal with the "motley crew of liars, dope-fiends, and fornicators", as she put it. It was there that Archie told Veronica (and Kevin) that Betty had broken up with Jughead, and that they should go easy on her. After Reggie confessed that he was responsible for bringing the Jingle Jangle to the party, he revealed that he had a dealer on the Southside, who was supposedly a member of the Southside Serpents that attended Southside High. Archie asked what was the importance behind asking if Reggie's dealer was a Serpent, as all Serpents weren't drug dealers. While they admittedly shouldn't have taken the Jingle Jangle, Nick should be the only one under interrogation given that he asked Reggie for the drugs and pressured everyone into taking it. Not to mentioned he roofied and tried to rape Cheryl. However, given that all the witness were high, Sheriff Keller explained that prosecuting him would be difficult. After Mayor McCoy learned that Josie participated in the drug taking, she declared that her number one priority from that moment forward was taking over the Southside, even if it meant arresting every Serpent in sight.
While Archie and Jughead were on a mission to combat the Ghoulies' hostile take over of the Southside Serpents, Betty and Veronica set out on a mission of her own to discover the identity of the Jingle Jangle supplier, better known as the Sugarman. To do this, they first needed to make contact with the gang he was supplying (i.e. the Ghoulies). While Veronica and Betty chased their lead, a Ghoulies memebr named Verne, Archie and Jughead returned to the Ghoulies' lair to challenge Malachai, leader of the Ghoulies, to a race. Jughead explained that If they won, Serpents remain autonomous and Ghoulies quit dealing at Southside High. However, if the Ghoulies won, the Serpents would fold and the Ghoulies could continue polluting the Southside with their "little straws of death". But with the Ghoulies having nothing to actually gain from this arrangement, Malachai wasn't interested in the offer. Veronica and Betty were then brought into the room after they were caught by the Ghoulies, trying to sneak in through the garage. As it would turn out, their varying missions led them to the same location. Realizing that the four of them knew one another, Malachai wanted everyone out. In a last ditch effort, Jughead offered up the Whyte Wyrm should Malachai agree to the race, which he does, only after adding on the Sunnyside Trailer Park.
Leading up to the drag race, Betty stood alongside Veronica, Reggie, Kevin, and Cheryl as Archie and Jughead prepared to race Malachai and Verne from Herk Harvey bridge to Dead Man's curve. First one back to the starting point won. The race started soon thereafter, with Archie and Jughead in one car, and Malachai and Verne in another. Unfortunately, the race was interrupted by Sheriff Keller and the police department, which resulted in the arrest of the Ghoulies. Fortunately, Archie and Jughead just narrowly escaped. They returned to the starting point, where Betty and Veronica greeted them before leaving.
After learning that FP was being released from jail, Betty and Jughead called Archie and Veronica down to the Blue and Gold offices to inform them of the good news. When Veronica asked what heralded the miracle, Jughead claimed that it was the perfect storm of overcrowding at the prison and Cheryl's testimony that the Judge must've reviewed. Unbeknownst to both Betty and Veronica, this was untrue. Archie and Jughead knew the true reason for FP's release was because of the one time drug-run they made for Penny Peabody in Greendale, during which time Penny had set Jughead up to be her permanent drug-runner. With a new lead in the Black Hood case, where they had discovered a connection between the current attacks and the Riverdale Reaper, Betty and Jughead were hoping that Archie and Veronica could follow up where they left off because Jughead needed to be there to help his father readjust to society while Betty was taking a break from the case. Essentially, they wanted Archie and Veronica to be them, in the sense that they would be tackle the case as an investigative team.
The next day, in a reversal of roles, Archie and Veronica called Betty and Jughead down to the Blue and Gold offices to inform them that from Sheriff Howard's case files, they had discovered that the Conways were a family of five, and that there was third child who survived the massacre. His name was Joseph Conway. His identity was hidden and name was changed so that he could lead a normal life. According to Sheriff Howard's notes, he was adopted by another family in Riverdale, and presumably enrolled at a local high school. Fortunately, they had a photo of Joseph, meaning that all they had to do was match the photo to one of the students that would've attended Riverdale High School during those years through the school's various yearbooks. Should they find him, he could tell them how the Conway massacre was related to the recent attacks at the hands of the Black Hood. However, Jughead proposed that they proceed with caution since Joseph Conway could be the Black Hood. Considering that Joseph possibly saw the slaughter of his family, something as traumatizing as that could've effected him throughout life, which he could possibly blame Riverdale for, and is punishing the town because of it. Betty and Jughead then invited Archie and Veronica to his FP's retirement party.
After FP's retirement party, Archie returned home to find that Betty had gone home as well. He looked out his room window to see Betty. It was in that moment that feelings that had long since been buried, shook loose. Betty turned around, looking out back at him from her room. As he looked out his window to the girl next door, it was almost as if Archie had seen Betty for the very first time all over again.
Stopping the Black Hood
In the days leading up to Christmas, Archie and Betty both attended the Secret Santa gift exchange in the student lounge at school, along with Reggie, Cheryl, Kevin, Veronica, Jughead and Josie. Betty was the last exchange for the evening. Based on the wrapping of her present, she instantly knew that it was Archie who picked her name. Betty unwrapped the gift to find and old read-a-long record that she and Archie used to listen to when they were five years old, entitled "The Swiss Family Robinson". Archie informed her that he and his father found it while they were cleaning out the garage. Moose and Midge then entered the lounge to join them for the Holiday event.
Upon Moose and Midge's arrival, Archie abruptly exited the lounge, heading out into the hallway, with Betty not far behind him. Archie didn't want to be "that guy", but every time he saw Moose, all he could think about was the Black Hood and all the pain he had caused to the people that Archie cared about, Betty included. The fact that the killer was still free to wreck havoc was giving Betty anxiety nightmares and making her paranoid. It was as if everywhere she looked all she could see is the Black Hood. Betty cut her sentence short after noticing a new janitor cleaning the floors rather than Mr. Svenson. They approached the janitor, as Betty asked who he was and what happened to Mr. Svenson. The new janitor told Betty and Archie that he had no knowledge of Mr. Svenson's whereabouts, who had been out for a few days. He was merely called in as a replacement. Archie and Betty became concerned for Mr. Svenson's well being considering that he and Veronica had confronted him about his connection to the Black Hood. It was possible that in doing so, they led the Black Hood to Mr. Svenson and got him killed.
In the front office, Archie and Betty learned from Ms. Bell that Mr. Svenson had been out all week with a cold. She stated that he sounded terrible over the phone, so she dropped off some chicken soup at his front door a few days back. She went on to explain that Mr. Svenson often became depressed during the Holidays due to having no family to spend them with.
While sawing trees in the lot of Pop's shoppe, Archie got a call from Betty, who couldn't get rid of the feeling she had that something bad had happen to Mr. Svenson. So, she wanted Archie to join her in stopping by his house to ensure that he was alright. Archie told Betty to give him ten minutes and then they would go.
Archie and Betty arrived at Mr. Svenson's house, where they founded Ms. Bell's chicken soup still sitting on the front step from several days back. They knocked on the front door several times, but no one answered.
Betty returned home to discover a severed finger wrapped in a gift box. Startled by this discovery, Betty called Archie over. Along with the gift came a letter that read "Enclosed is a finger that belongs to the sinner Joseph Conway .You have one final trespass to unearth. Find the truth, reveal it to the town, and you will perhaps save his life". The letter revealed that the finger belonged to Mr. Svenson and that the Black Hood had taken him, as they suspected. Betty then got a call from the Black Hood, during which time she and Archie briefly heard Mr. Svenson's voice, begging to be saved. The Black Hood told Betty that Mr. Svenson had lost a lot of blood, though it was nothing compared to the blood on the hands of the town. The Black Hood instructed her to exhume the past and find find where the primal sin was committed. There, she could find Mr. Svenson, possibly alive. Archie then snatched the phone away to talk to the killer himself, but the Black Hood immediately hung up, leaving them to question the nature of the primal sin that the Black Hood was referring to. Before he was adopted, Svenson lived as Joseph Conway at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Betty and Archie hoped that one of the Sisters could possibly help them in figuring out the Joseph's sin.
At the Sisters of Quiet Mercy group home, Archie and Betty spoke with Sister Woodhouse, who informed them that Joseph Svenson/Conway was a troubled youth. When Betty asked if he suffered from survivor's guilt, they were interrupted by a passing Nun, who gave off a menacing look, which caused Sister Woodhouse to bring their discussion to an end. However, Betty wasn't willing to give up just yet. Much to Archie's surprise, Betty revealed that she had learned from Polly all about the corporeal punishment that the Sister handed out. Should Sister Woodhouse fail to answer their questions, Betty threatened to expose them. In fear of what would follow should that occur, Sister Woodhouse told them that after Mr. Svenson's family was massacred, he identified the man responsible, known as the Riverdale Reaper. Having outed him, a small group of men took matters into their own hands by executing the alleged killer. It wasn't until Svenson had been taken to Quiet Mercy that he admitted in his terror and shock that he accused the wrong man, meaning that his primal sin was sentencing the wrong man to death. Betty asked if Svenson ever talked about who carried out the execution. Sister Woodhouse replied that they came by to see him once. It was a group of men and one woman. While she couldn't remember their names or what they looked like, Sister Woodhouse recalled that the woman had striking white hair, save for a cherry-red stripe. With that description in mind, Betty concluded that the woman was Nana Rose Blossom.
Under the suspicion that Nana Rose was present for the execution of the innocent man, Archie and Betty unexpectedly showed up at Thistlehouse. Cheryl answered the front door, before inviting them in. She took them to see Rose, where Archie and Betty asked her about the execution of the Riverdale Reaper and if Nana Rose had accompanied the men when they killed him in the name of justice and revenge. Nana Rose revealed that she wasn't there to see the execution first hand as she was told to stay at home while the men took care of the killer. Where did they hang the Reaper, Betty asked. Rose replied that he wasn't hung. They gave him a proper burial by burying him alive. As for the location of the burial, Nana Rose, who mistook Betty for Polly, as she had done before, told Betty to ask her grandfather, who had shared in the execution. Rose had a picture of them at the burial, smiling just beneath the devil's hand, she remarked. Nana Rose then asked Cheryl to take her to her room as she had fell ill.
Archie and Betty sat in the car, just outside Thistlehouse, where they discussed how her grandfather helped murder an innocent man. Archie questioned if what Nana Rose had told them was true. Betty was certain that it was true considering that she vaguely remembered the picture Nana Rose mentioned. When her grandfather Louis died, Betty and her family packed up his house. While they donated most of his items, they kept the pictures, and later organized them. Archie advised Betty to take a breath before asking where the picture could be found. She replied that they were at her house. With her grandfather taking part in the death of an innocent man, Betty questioned if this was the reason that the Black Hood chose her to call and torture, as a way to enact revenge for something that she didn't even do. Archie grabbed Betty's hand as he explained to her that they were finally at the part of the story where they could end it all by stopping the Black Hood and saving Mr. Svenson. But in order for that to happen, Archie needed Betty with him. Tomorrow, they would wake up and everything would be back to normal. But for that night, he needed Betty at his side. They then shared a kiss before driving off, unaware that Cheryl watched from her bedroom window above.
Archie and Betty returned to her house, where they looked over her grandfather's old photos to see if they could find the picture that was previously mentioned by Nana Rose. There was one photo in particular that Betty somewhat remembered, but the story behind it, at least according to her father was that her grandpa Louis and his friends planted some trees in Picken Park. Betty then found the aforementioned picture. In it, they could see the burial site of the preacher that was falsely accused by Mr. Svenson. Archie suspected that the burial ground of the preacher is where they could find Svenson, hopefully alive. Betty then took a better look at the branches, which resembled the devil's hand, as described by Nana Rose. Betty and Archie planned to call Sheriff Keller as they headed to Picken Parks in hopes of finding Svesnon alive and well.
The two of them arrived at Pickens Park to the sight of a shallow grave labeled "here lies Joseph Conway". After Archie dug up the grave, they opened the coffin only to see that it was empty, which caused them to wonder why the Black Hood would bury an empty coffin. Though this question wouldn't go unanswered for long as the Black Hood showed up alongside them. He held them at gunpoint and demanded that Archie get into the coffin. Should he refuse, Betty would die. Once he got in, Betty shut the coffin and began to fill the grave with dirt, essentially burying Archie alive as her grandfather did to the innocent preacher. Archie laid in the grave as dirt came falling through the small cracks of the coffin. He listened on as Betty told the Black Hood that they had uncovered Mr. Svenson's wrongful accusation of the preacher and how a small group of men executed him. This was the town's sin, which Betty was willing to expose should the Black Hood allow Archie to live. No one had to die, Betty stated. The Black Hood then became distracted at the sound of police sirens ringing throughout the park. Betty took advantage of this opportunity by hitting him in the face with the shovel and disarming him. She then jumped into the grave to uncover the coffin and pull Archie out. As she did so, the Black Hood took off, leaving his gun behind. As Archie got out the grave, he grabbed the Black Hood's gun and chased after him.
Archie and Betty chased the Black Hood over a bridge, which he attempted to jump over as they started to catch up to him. Though, he was hesitant in doing so with Archie holding him at gunpoint. Betty looked on as Archie demanded the killer to get down off the edge of the bridge. Should the Black Hood try to escape, Archie threatened to shoot him. It would only be right, with Archie reasoning that the Black Hood tried to kill his father and friends. Despite having a gun pointed at him, the Black Hood attempted to jump over. However, before he could do so, he was shot down and killed by Sheriff Keller. Upon removing the hood, they discovered that the Black Hood was Mr. Svenson, who had even cut off his own finger to further along his the ruse of him being a victim in the Black Hood's twisted game. Archie and Betty then hugged as back up arrived.
Archie and Betty were taken to Pop's by the Sheriff, who spoke with their parents as they sat in a booth with Jughead and Veronica. Archie pointed out how Veronica's instincts about Svenson were right. Veronica thought he was the Black Hood, and had Archie listened to her when they confronted him at school, they could've end everything right there. But Archie didn't see the resemblance in Svenson's and the Black Hood's eyes. Taking a moment to forget about his eyes, Veronica couldn't believe that he would cut off his own finger. The finger of accusation, Betty pointed out. Now that they knew who did the killings, Jughead wondered why. Betty explained that Mr. Svenson accused an innocent man of murdering his family, and thus got the man killed. So she suspected that maybe in Mr. Svenson's own twisted way, he thought that targeting sinners would somehow balance the scale. Svenson having the knowledge that he did on their lives made perfect sense given that he was always around, lurking in the hallways. He could have seen Archie and Ms. Grundy in the music room, as well as Moose and Midge buying Jingle Jangle. While they continued to go over the killer's motives and mindset, Jughead was just grateful that Svenson was in a body bag and they weren't.
While sitting in the student lounge, Archie, Betty, Veronica and Kevin learned from Mr. Weatherbee that effective immediately, Southside High was shutting down and that the students who attend would be transferring to other school's in the district, including Riverdale. When Archie asked what this meant for them, Betty replied that Jughead was coming back, leading Kevin to wonder if Betty was ready to see him given that they had recently broken up. Betty insisted that she and Jughead were fine and perfectly capable of being in each other's presence. The reason behind the sudden closure of Southside High, Veronica suspected that it was some kind of bizarre, Byzantine town ordinance that they couldn't possibly understand.
Archie sat in the student lounge with Veronica as she invited Betty, Jughead and Kevin to her confirmation ceremony. Usually those kinds of events were strictly for the family, but since the event was all about her and they were her chosen family, she managed to pull a few strings and reserve them a pew. They were expected to adhere to a specific dress code, Catholic chic. Dresses for the girls, veils optional. And coats and ties for the boys.
Later that week, Archie, Betty, Jughead and Kevin attended Veronica's confirmation ceremony. They watched as Veronica walked down the aisle and was confirmed. Afterward, during the post-ceremony celebration, Veronica pulled Archie away from Betty to meet her Abuelita.
At school, Archie and Veronica invited Betty and Jughead to the cabin, but Veronica warned them that it was rustic. Although, it also had breath-taking views of the mountains. Betty and Jughead agreed, with the latter reasoning that it would offer a chance for him to work on his novel. Though, Veronica made sure to remind him that the point of the weekend was to relax and unwind. Cheryl then entered the student lounge after overhearing their conversation from the hallway. When she attempted to invite herself, Veronica explained that it was a couples getaway.
After school, Andre drove them out to the cabin. Veronica told them that when she was younger, her family would go out there every summer, whenever her dad could sneak away for a weekend. Veronica then told Andre that he was to return Sunday night at 7:00 pm. As Veronica headed off to show Betty the inside of the lake house, Archie grabbed the bags. While doing so, Andre told him to call if they got into any kind of trouble. As Archie prepared to take the bags to the cabin, he briefly noticed a gun holstered within Andre's jacket, though he made no mention of it. Shortly after entering the cabin, Jughead got a call from Cheryl who told him about Archie and Betty's kiss outside of Thistlehouse just before Christmas. After ending his call with Cheryl, Archie and Betty were confronted by Jughead.
Archie and Veronica were joined downstairs a little while later by Betty and Jughead who assured them that everything was fine and that they had worked everything out. Hearing this, Veronica decided to make margaritas. Afterward, they sat around the table as Jughead proposed a toast to Veronica's hospitality and to putting the past behind them. Jughead then began questioning Veronica about her parents and the SoDale project which was getting intense. Luckily, Archie's father was doing a superb on of keeping everything on schedule. When Betty asked about her lake house neighbors, Jughead pointed out that as they were driving up to the cabin, he noticed that none of the houses had mailboxes or numbers. Veronica explained that Shadow Lake was a private community., leading Jughead to wonder if they were hiding something. However, before Veronica could respond, Betty confronted him on his intrusive line of questioning, leading Veronica to conclude that they were actually still fighting over the kiss between Archie and Betty. Understanding the reason for the tension in the room, Veronica told them to change into their swimsuits.
In the hot tub, during a moment of full disclosure, Veronica revealed that when Archie told her about the kiss, she absorbed and processed it. In the end, she bore no ill will towards Betty or Archie. But the thought of it has haunted her a bit for the past few weeks. Now, as it seemed to Veronica, Jughead and Betty were caught in the aftermath. To clear the air amongst the four of them, Veronica suggested that they kiss. While Archie and Betty were reluctant, Jughead agreed to Veronica's sentiment to ease the tension as it would level the playing field. He reasoned that a "Vughead" kiss might be precisely what it takes to save future "Bughead" from imploding. With Archie and Betty in finally in agreement, Veronica and Jughead shared a kiss in the hot tub as Archie and Betty watched.
After the call with his father the following day, Jughead confronted Veronica as his suspicions had been confirmed, that Hiram Lodge was taking over the Southside, piece by piece, starting with the Twilight Drive-In, and now Sunnyside Trailer Park. With the Southsiders' debt cleared and eviction notices revoked, Archie, Betty and Veronicawondered why he was outraged. Jughead explained that Hiram's move with buying the trailer park was tactic. But Archie, Betty and Veronica insisted that he was simply being paranoid and that Hiram was trying to make amends.
A game of Monopoly was interrupted by a call from Betty's mother. As she stepped away to take the call. Betty returned from the call with her mother to announce that Hiram Lodge had just bought the Register. Veronica insisted that she had no idea her father was buying the Register though this only confirmed Jughead's suspicions that Hiram Lodge was making big plays. In wake of recent events, Betty began to question the sincerity of Veronica's inviting them to the cabin though Archie came to Veronica's defense. As the two couples went back and forth, glass breaking could be heard from inside the house. Four men wearing black ski-masks then entered the lake house with weapons in hand, demanding their valuables. After taking Veronica's wallet, one of the intruders demanded that they get down on their knees. As he grabbed a baseball bat, the phone rang as Veronica had triggered the silent alarm. With guards on their way, the intruders exited the house. However, Archie chased after them after they snatched Veronica's necklace.
Later that night, in a booth a Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead joined hands and came together as no one was hurt and they had each other.
At school, Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead discussed the closing of Southside High and whether or not Veronica knew that the sole reason for its closing was for her parents to build a private, for-profit prison on its bones. Jughead continued to press the issue, but Archie and Betty insisted that Veronica had no knowledge of her parents wrong-doing. Nonetheless, Jughead planned to go on a hunger strike to protest Southside High closing and Betty supported him. Ethel then approached the table with a milkshake from Pop's and poured it onto Veronica in retaliation for her parents' misdeeds.
The next day in the student lounge, Archie, Betty, and Jughead learned that Veronica was running for student council president against Reggie, and Archie wholeheartedly supported her. She also asked that Betty be her running mate, to which Betty agreed. And so, throughout her campaign, Archie and Betty supported Veronica in her run for student body president. They joined her by her stand as she gave out kisses and cupcakes.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Reggie and Josie squared off at the school hall meeting. The first question of the night came from Sweet Pea and Fogarty who were concerned about the Southsiders and their treatment since being transferred to Riverdale High. This was followed by Midge's question in regards to Archie and Veronica's parents being on opposite sides of the Mayoral election. She wondered if this would produce problems for their campaign. However, Archie and Veronica adhered to the old maxim that politics are never discussed at the dinner table. They were supposedly on the same page about everything. In the meantime, they were dedicated to improving the quality of life at Riverdale High.
Archie arrived at school and ran into the auditorium with Veronica, Betty, Cheryl, Toni, Josie, Ethel, Kevin Midge and Moose. They got on stage, where they continued to sing and dance before being joined by Fangs, the assistant director. The cast then began introductions, starting with Archie who portrayed "Tommy Ross", the boy next door. Betty played "Sue Snell", the good girl. Veronica portrayed "Chris Hargensen", the mean girl. And Cheryl would be playing the iconic role of "Carrie White". As for who would be portraying, "Margaret White", Carrie's mom, that role went to Alice Cooper, which came as a surprise to almost everyone. Kevin explained that while her casting was untraditional, to him, there's nothing more amateur than age-inappropriate casting. Alice was both looking forward to playing Margaret and spending more time with Betty. Chuck Clayton joined them late after mistaking that rehearsal was in the music room.
Archie remarked that it is weird for him and Betty to be playing boyfriend and girlfriend. Hearing this, Jughead advised him to take it easy as Big Brother is watching. Archie acknowledged that their relationship (Archie, Betty, Jughead and Veronica) was strained at the moment. But they were there for Kevin and to do the play. So, Archie hoped that they could do it as painless as possible. However, it was not that easy for Betty considering that Veronica lied to all of them by conspiring with her parents against the entire school. Betty added that it's fine that Archie was doing exactly what Tommy Ross would do by standing by Veronica's side. However, where Betty's standing, Veronica was just as much of a privileged, selfish, spiteful mean girl as the part she's playing.
Cheryl interrupted rehearsal after hearing whisperings that some of them, mainly Ethel and Josie, didn't think she's fit to play the role of Carrie White. So to settle the matter, she began to sing "Carrie" to prove them wrong. Her singing removed all doubt as Archie, Veronica, Betty, Ethel, Josie, Alice, Toni, Midge, Moose, Jughead, Kevin, Fangs, Chuck give Cheryl a round of applauded. As Cheryl headed back to her seat, a heavy sand bag fell from above and nearly crushed her.
Later, while Jughead recorded, Archie and Chuck performed with Betty and Veronica on stage as they sang "Do Me A Favor".
Veronica, Toni, Ethel, Betty and Chuck continued rehearsal in the auditorium, where they sang and performed "The World According to Chris". Though Betty seemed almost disgusted with Veronica's performance, Archie, Fangs, Kevin, Moose, Midge and Jughead were highly impressed as they applauded the routine from the crowd. Betty credited Veronica's performance to her being the literal embodiment of Chris, the character she's portraying. Never had a role been so perfectly type-cast, Betty remarked. Archie tried to stop it, but she continued. Betty went on to point out the similarities between Veronica and Chris. Spoiled rich girl. Major daddy issues. Bad to the bone, trying to control everyone around her, including her boyfriend and best friend.
Afterward, Archie confronted Betty for being so mean to Veronica. Betty had no idea what's going on with Veronica. There's a lot that Betty didn't know about Veronica, her family, and the intense pressure that she's under. Betty asked that Archie tell her as she wanted to let it go, but it's not Archie's place to share it. Archie did, however, remind Betty how quickly Veronica forgave her when the Black Hood made her say terrible things to Veronica at Nick St. Clair's party. Kevin then called them on stage to run Tommy and Sue's ballad. Archie took Betty's hand while singing "You Shine".
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, Kevin informed Archie, Veronica, Jughead, Fangs, Toni, Ethel, Alice, Moose, Midge, Betty, Chuck and Josie that Cheryl will no longer be playing Carrie. When they asked why, Kevin simply replied that Penelope Blossom wasn't much of a stage mom. In the meantime, Cheryl's understudy would assume the role, that being Midge, who Kevin appointed after the sand bag incident.
Opening night, in the dressing room, Archie, Betty, Veronica, Kevin, Midge, Moose, Kevin, Alice, Chuck, Toni and Ethel sang "A Night We'll Never Forget". After Archie did a bit of singing in the dressing room with Veronica, Betty and Chuck, Veronica spoke for the entire gang when she told Chuck that his behavior throughout rehearsals has been nothing short of that of a proper Victorian gentleman, meaning his pariahship was over. Chic entered the dressing room, much to Betty's surprise. He claimed that he wouldn't miss the play for the world. Betty then told him that he should get back to his seat as the play is about to begin and he wasn't supposed to be backstage.
The crowd was packed when the play began, and Alice started to sing "Evening Prayers". Archie, Betty, Veronica, Moose, and Toni watched from backstage. When Alice cued Midge, the curtains raised only to reveal that Midge had been murdered by the Black Hood. She had been stabbed with knives and scissors and pinned to the wall. On the wall, written in blood was a message. "I Am Back From The Dead. All Those Who Escaped Me Before Will Die... B.H" When Alice screamed in fear, the crowd realized that this was not part of the play and the auditorium erupted in panic and chaos.
The town gathers for Midge's funeral to pay respect. Cheryl sings a song in Midge's honor. She and the rest of the River Vixens are dressed in all-black cheerleader uniform. Midge's death has seemingly taken a great toll on Riverdale, Mrs. Klump and Moose especially. As the service ends, Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead watch as Cheryl consoles Mrs. Klump. When Sheriff Keller approached to offer his condolences, Mrs. Klump slaps him as he was supposed to be protecting them all from danger.
At Pop's, Jughead theorizes that the latest killing is the work of a copycat. And Chic coincidentally showed up in Riverdale just after Svenson was killed. That along with the fact that he's creepy with a temper places suspicion on him in Jughead's mind. However, Betty corrects Jughead. Chic is only in Riverdale because she went searching for him. Admittedly, he is weird. But he didn't know Midge. So Betty wants to move on to a different suspect. Archie explains why he doesn't think Svenson was the Black Hood. While they were there when he died and he was wearing a hood that night, it doesn't mean he's the same guy who shot Fred and killed Midge. Betty reminds Archie that Svenson forced her to bury him alive. Not to mention that he cut off his own finger. Archie argues that maybe the real Black Hood cut Svenson's finger off because he was working with him. All Archie knows for sure is that when he looked into the Black Hood's eyes, they weren't Svenson's eyes.
While the Ghoulies have been released to bring destruction upon Riverdale, the Black Hood reveals himself - Hal is the black Hood. Betty stands with her mother as Tom Keller arrives to arrest her father. He puts Hal in handcuffs and places him in the squad car before pulling off. Archie and Fred join them on the front steps. Betty reveals to Archie that her father was the Black Hood. Archie asks Betty if she saw the Black Hood leave his house after he tried to shoot his father again about an hour ago. Betty explains that this is impossible as Hal was with them during that time. Betty then gets a call from Jughead. He only called to tell her that he loves her and that he'll never stop loving her. Betty asks him where he is at, but he doesn't answer, only saying that he'll see her later, before hanging up. With that, Archie and Betty grow concerned for Jughead. Betty proceeds to call FP as she was starting to worry about Jughead after the call she got. It was almost as if he was saying goodbye.
Betty, Archie, Cheryl, Sweet Pea, Toni and the Serpents arrive at Jughead's old hangout where he sacrificed himself to Penny and the Ghoulies in order to save everyone else. FP comes out of the woods holding a lifeless Jughead in his arms. He has been beaten bloody and senseless, and his Serpent tattoo removed. Archie, Betty, Cheryl, Sweet Pea, Toni and FP are speechless.
A dream sequence takes place in the opening scene. Betty, Archie and Veronica stand over Jughead's grave. Betty falls to her knees and tears fill her eyes as she begs Jughead to come back to her as their journey has only just begun. Jughead wakes up in a hospital bed. He calls out to his father, who sleeps in the chair next to his bedside. FP jumps to his seat at the sound of Jughead's voice. It would seem that some days have passed since Jughead was attacked and left for dead by Penny, Malachai and the Ghoulies. What Jughead did brought every Serpent FP had ever known out of the woodwork and Jughead would've been proud of them. It looked like they were going to win the war with the Ghoulies, but in the end, there were just too many of them.
Betty visits Jughead in the hospital after learning that he has awaken, and is soon joined by Archie and Veronica. Jughead informs them that he'll be released from the hospital tomorrow. Until then, there's still another mystery to be solved. Betty's dad was at town hall when another Black Hood opened fire on the candidates. He was also at home with Betty and her mom when this second Black Hood attacked Archie and his dad. Jughead believes that the attacks perpetrated by the second Black Hood have a political motive, which suggests that Hiram is actually behind the attacks. They have to stop Hiram now because once he has control of the mayor's office, the Lodges will be untouchable. While they're positive that Hiram is the mastermind, none of them believe he is the man behind the hood. They're thinking that the second Black Hood could be a Serpent or Ghoulie. But Jughead suspects that Sheriff Minetta could be the second Black Hood.
Archie and Veronica head over to Betty's to convince her to come back to school, but she's hesitant. How can she? Her father killed Midge and shot Moose. Betty doesn't think she can ever show her face at school again. She asks if Archie hates her father for shooting his father. Because she does. Seeing that Betty is in need, Veronica and Archie comfort her.
Betty, Jughead, Archie, and Veronica meet at Pop's, Veronica's newest acquisition. According to Pop Tate, the basement of the diner used to be a secret speakeasy, back in the days of flapper dresses and cigarette girls. So, Veronica wants to reopen that speakeasy. A cabaret space for world-class entertainment and the most decadent cocktails. A place for North and Southsiders alike. In fact, she is hoping that FP might want to manage it to make sure the Serpents feel welcome and at home. As for Veronica's father, he's probably plotting some sort of revenge.
Both the mayoral election and student body election are held in the gymnasium of Riverdale High. The new student body president of Riverdale High is Archie Andrews. The following day, Betty, Jughead and Veronica watch proudly from the stands as Archie prepares to be inaugurated in the school gymnasium. However, the event goes awry when Sheriff Minetta and two deputies enter the gym to arrest Archie for the murder of Shadow Lake resident, Cassidy Bullick.
Three months have passed since that fateful evening in the school gymnasium where Archie was framed by Hiram Lodge and arrested for the murder of Cassidy Bullock. It's now the summer before the gang's junior year of high school and Archie's trial has started. Betty is in attendance.
Archie sits on the steps of the courthouse, all alone, reminiscing over past summers spent at Sweetwater Swimming Hole, when he is joined by Betty, Jughead, and Veronica. Archie reminds Betty and Jughead how much fun they had together every summer at the swimming hole. Coincidentally, Betty and Jughead have also been thinking about it. However, they stopped going after they got covered in leeches one summer. Unfortunately, Veronica had never been and would like to go in fact. However, that would have to wait as Kevin interrupts to inform them that it's time to return to the courtroom. The Judge reveals that the jury is still deliberating, but he's also dismissed them for the evening. They're sequestered and he's instructed them not to read anything about this case, nor to discuss it with anyone. They'll reconvene Tuesday morning after Labor Day.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead grab a booth at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe. Betty thinks they can vindicate Archie if they find the gun that Andre used to kill Cassidy, however, Veronica tore the Pembrooke apart in search of the murder weapon but failed to find it. According to Veronica, after the riots, her father erased all traces of Andre. Jughead concludes that Andre most likely ditched the weapon at Shadow Lake. They contemplate returning to Shadow woods with metal detectors in search of the gun, but Archie doesn't want to spend what could be his last weekend looking for evidence that isn't there. They see it as three extra days to save Archie from going to prison, but he would rather follow the Judge's advice by spending time with them. Enter Cheryl, who invites them to her epic End-of-Summer pool party at Thornhill. Cheryl warns them that while they're welcome to invite whomever they please, she's in the mood for some hell raising.
The following day, Archie, Betty, and Fred fix up the car they got from the junkyard in the Andrews' garage. Betty admits that watching Fred punch Hiram Lodge in the face was Incredibly cathartic, though as Fred points out, it almost got him landed in jail. Archie has the honor of starting the car. It would seem that all their efforts are successful, as the car starts without a problem. When Archie comments that they fixed the car just in time [for him to go to prison], Fred gets choked up and heads inside. This provokes Archie to ask a favor of Betty. If he does go away, Archie asks that Betty check on his dad, and occasionally invite him to dinner, as he'll be all alone once Archie's mom returns to Chicago. Betty promises to fulfill Archie's last request from her.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead drive down to Sweetwater Swimming Hole in Archie's jalopy. They get undressed and jump into the water. Afterwards, the four of them sit around a campfire. No matter what happens in court, Archie informs them that this is the best last day of summer a guy could ask for. In a one last-ditch effort to keep Archie out of prison, Jughead suggests that he make a break for it. Past that treeline, there's a road that goes through the mountains to Quebec. There are Serpents north of the border that will keep him supplied. Betty says that he doesn't deserve it, but Archie questions if he does. He's guilty. He didn't kill Cassidy, but he left him alone with Andre. Had Archie stayed, he might still be alive. More than just that, Archie blames himself for everything that went wrong last year. And he has to take responsibility for that.
Archie's trial is now in session. However, the jury could not reach a verdict. With that, the jury is dismissed. The judge will declare a mistrial and they'll have to do it all again. In lieu of another trial, the State offers a deal for a lesser sentence. Instead of prison, Archie can get time served plus two years in juvenile detention, if he will plead guilty to the crime of manslaughter. Archie takes the deal, much to the court's surprise. Archie explains that he can't put all the people he cares about through this again. The court accepts Archie's guilty plea and he is taken directly from the courthouse to the Leopold and Loeb Juvenile Detention Center.
Betty plots with Veronica, Kevin, Josie, and Reggie to break Archie out. Veronica, Kevin, Josie, and Reggie infiltrate the fight club and provide a distraction long enough for Archie to escape. Archie crawls through the drain. When he makes it to the end, he finds Betty outside the pipe, picking open the pipe. He’s bloody and covered in sludge, but Betty helps him out the pipe. She’s overjoyed having helped free him. She notices his stab wound and helps to apply pressure.
Archie is taken to Dilton's bunker. After Betty, Veronica, Josie, Kevin and Reggie arrive to regroup with the others, Toni patches Archie up and tells him not to make any sudden movements. Archie reveals that it was Joaquin who stabbed him though Archie thinks Warden Norton made him do it. He then asks where are they, to which Betty explains Dilton’s bunker. The only people who know about it are in the room and it is the safest place in Riverdale. Veronica then notices the branding on Archie’s side, courtesy of Warden Norton. Veronica then calls for everyone’s attention. Since her father saw her, she has to do some damage control on the home front. But, someone needs to stay with Archie at all times. Betty and Jughead volunteer to take the first shift. Equally important, Veronica announces that everyone in the room, herself, Betty, Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Josie, Reggie and Kevin, are all part of a pact. From this moment on, no one is to know where the bunker is. No one was involved with the breakout and no one knows where Archie is. They are all expected to take this to the grave.
Archie rests in the bunker as Betty watches over him. Before long, Jughead returns after a run-in with the Gargoyle King. Jughead followed it through a clearing only to learn that the Gargoyle King is not alone. He was accompanied by ten of his disciples around a bonfire. They were all wearing mask, and Jughead describes them as being a gang of gargoyles. Betty wants to go after them, but Jughead would rather not take the chance. When they begin to wonder who the disciples might be, Archie utters Joaquin's name. He recalls Kevin telling him that Joaquin spoke of joining a new gang. Given what they now know about Warden Norton playing G&G and Joaquin doing his bidding, this only further confirms Betty and Jughead’s suspicion that Warden Norton might be the Gargoyle King.
After Archie is mauled by a bear, he begins to hallucinate both his friends and enemies, including Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. He is sent to complete multiple challenges with quest cards in order to return to Eldervair/Riverdale. Betty asks if he’s been working on any new songs. However, Archie isn’t that person anymore, he says while teary-eyed. Archie doesn’t want to play, but it’s his only way back to Eldervair, Riverdale and innocence. Archie picks his next quest card, hoping that it is his last. His potential last quest lands him in his own bedroom, standing over himself as he sleeps. Baseball bat in hand, Archie contemplates killing himself. Archie begins swinging the bat multiple times in what appears to be him killing his sleeping self. However, as Archie throws the bat down and looks to the bed, there is no one there.
Archie Betty, Veronica, and Jughead convene at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe. As for what he missed while he was gone, Veronica informs him of the town quarantine orchestrated by her father, which resulted in Pop’s being shut down and just recently re-opening. Hiram’s also been attacking shipments to the speakeasy, but thankfully, Veronica’s hired the Serpents as her full-time protection. And that service extends to Archie. Jughead assures Archie he has no need to worry about Hiram as he has the Serpents looking out for Archie 24/7. Also, Jughead has a possible lead that may bring an end to it all. He had Fangs go undercover in the Gargoyle Gang. While he hasn’t met the Gargoyle King yet, when he does, they are going to take the him down. Jughead is certain that Hiram is the man under the mask, which would come as no surprise to Veronica. Betty then mentions the SATs, which has completely slipped Archie’s mind, and they are coming up Saturday. Betty assures Archie that they will all help him study. Pop Tate then returns to their table to inform Betty that her card has been declined, and so Veronica steps in to take care of the bill.
As planned, Archie studies for the SATs with Jughead and Betty. Unfortunately, Archie performed terribly on the practice test, scoring in the bottom ten percentile. Jughead then gets a message from Fangs, warranting his immediate attention, and so Archie and Betty stay behind to finish studying. However, Archie is starting to feel hopeless. But Betty reminds him that he said the same thing in the 2nd grade when he couldn’t read, and eventually Betty got him caught up. Archie contemplates on whether Weatherbee was right and that he has changed too much. In one respect, that may be true, but Betty knows that the Archie she knew still exists. Betty has convinced Archie to wash out the dark colored dye from his hair, restoring it to its natural fiery color. She then takes him to La Bonne Nuit, where a welcome home party awaits him. Archie, Betty, and Jughead take a seat as Veronica sings on stage for Archie. As Veronica continues to sing, Archie seems to become overwhelmed by all his grief and suffering, taking off right in the middle of Veronica’s performance.
Saturday has finally arrived and the gang must now take their SATs, this includes Archie, Betty, Jughead, Veronica, Reggie, and Kevin. Archie immediately begins to struggle with his test, so much so that he ups and leaves class without so much as a word.
The gang catches up in the student lounge, during which time Betty tells everyone that her Alice mother still intends to sell the house and Betty’s still trying to sabotage her, but it’s only a matter of time until she finds someone who wants to live in a death house. Betty then waves at Kevin as he passes with Evelyn and the Farmies, but he does not wave back. When Archie asks about Kevin’s odd behavior, Betty explains to the gang that the Farm got Kevin and soon enough her house. Jughead reminds her that his offer still stands. While his trailer is cramped, she’s more than welcome to stay. Veronica and Archie extend the same welcoming to their respective homes. Archie then tells them about Ricky, the homeless kid in his garage, who ran away from a group home and was squatting in the gym. Archie then informs them of the branding on Ricky’s arm. The same one Warden Norton gave him. Archie isn’t sure if he’s playing G&G, but he left him at Pop’s for the day. Betty recommends that he call Ms. Weiss, whose helped both Betty and Jughead in the past.
Archie and Betty meet up with Ms. Weiss at Pop’s to discuss a possible home for Ricky. Ms. Weiss explains that with runaways, they typically end up hitchhiking to Centerville and joining gangs. Often it’s because they’ve rejected the state's efforts to help. However, Betty and Archie inform Ms. Weiss that Ricky ran away from Santa Lucia Shelter, which she is familiar with. They’re one of the better homes in town. Although, Ricky claims that the people there had hurt him by branding a symbol on his arm. Ms. Weiss has been seeing that quite often as of late. G&G may not be in the news anymore, but it’s everywhere else. Ms. Weiss is accompanied by a sketch artist who draws a fairly accurate picture of Ricky to show around. If they can find a match in the database, they’ll be able to track him down. Before leaving, Archie asks if he can make copies of the drawing.
Betty later joins Archie and Jughead at the Southside Serpents' new headquarters. Archie is still a marked man, and both Betty and Jughead intend to help him.
Archie meets with Betty and Jughead at Pop’s. Jughead checked with his dad, he pulled up all the files on Warden Norton after he committed suicide, and Jughead cleared out his office and found a "Kill the Red Paladin" Quest Card. This card from Warden Norton’s office is identical to the one Ricky had. This indicates that someone printed out multiple cards and put them out into the world. And now it’s their job to find out who.
Archie, Betty, and Jughead meet up in the bunker, where Archie reveals that Hiram made 12 of the Red Paladin Quest Cards. That means there could be as many as 10 cards in play. So, they have to figure out how to track them and whoever’s holding them. Hiram, fortunately, gave Archie a list of where G&G players like to congregate, such as Sudd Laundromat, Innuendo, and the comic book shop, where Betty would like to start at to see if they can tap into Riverdale’s gaming network.
Archie, Betty, and Jughead head down to MLJ comics, where they interrupt a game of G&G. They ask if the players recognize the Quest Card. Not only do they recognize the card, they recognize Archie as the Red Paladin. Betty asks who gave them the card, to which the Game Master reveals that it was given to them by one of the King's disciples i.e. the Gargoyles. They delivered the card for him. As for what the disciple were actually delivering, Jughead presumes Fizzle Rocks. Archie asks who has the card now, but none of them in the room have it. Jughead wonders why the card handlers haven’t made a play against Archie yet. The Game Master reveals that the Red Paladin is an advanced quest. It takes time to adequately prepare for it. But they’ll act on it sooner or later.
Archie, Betty, and Jughead regroup in the bunker. Spread across the table are photos of both victims and symbols related to the game. Archie is still taking in the fact that there are stranger out there who want to kill him. Betty explains that the game makes people crazy. Jughead adds on, stating that the hardcore gamers are so obsessive that they take any message they receive from the Gargoyle King as gospel. He wants to harness that. They know the only way to complete Hiram’s quest is to kill the Red Paladin. But, no one said that the Gargoyle King can’t add on to his own quest and offer a different outcome. Jughead asks if they remember when the three of them were in elementary school and it was snowing, and they played the game "King of the Mountain". Archie remembers, but Betty does not. Archie won every time, so Jughead wants to play to his strengths. He’ll write an addendum to the quest that says the Red Paladin will defend his mountaintop for 12 hours, dusk til dawn. Anyone that has the "Kill the Red Paladin" card can try and take Archie down, but if they don’t by the time the challenge ends, the mark of the sacrifice is lifted. Archie agrees to do it. He also agrees to Betty’s terms of no weapons, hand-to-hand combat only, and one challenger at a time. With that being said, they’re going to need a space. A mountaintop that’ll increase Archie’s chances of winning. Archie knows of someone who can help provide that. He tells Jughead to get to writing and that he’ll call him when everything’s in place.
Betty, Archie, and Jughead wait at the gym for Archie’s challengers to arrive. Just as they start to question if maybe they didn’t give it enough time for word to get around, Archie’s opponents arrive. Jughead welcomes all challengers to the Iron Mountain. He instructs them to approach the hallowed battleground, submit their Quest Card, and bring the Red Paladin to his knees in three minutes to win the quest. However, should they run out of time or fall to the Paladin’s hand, then their quest is over. The first fighter enters the ring after passing Betty his Quest Card. Archie ends the first fight with a single punch. Dropping his the challenger. However, the fights that follow are not so easily won. Jughead and Betty watch as Archie goes blow for blow with each challenger.
Archie has somehow miraculously survived 9 fights. In total, including Ricky’s card and Warden Norton’s card, Betty has a count of 11, meaning one is missing. The final fighter arrives. Captain Golightly. A guard at Leopold and Loeb Juvenile Detention Center. Beaten, cut, and bruised, Archie accepts the final fight as he wants the sacrifice mark off him. Golightly enters the ring and he and Archie immediately go at it. However, in his weakened state, Archie is barely able to defend himself. He gets Archie on the ropes and as he goes in for the final blow, Archie hits him with a surprise uppercut, knocking Golightly unconscious. Betty and Jughead cheer Archie on, joining him in the ring after having ended the quest.
Archie and Betty are both cast in the school musical of Heathers. The cast breaks out in sing and dance, leading from the hallway to the auditorium, where they conclude their performance.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, Toni, Josie, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Reggie, and Peaches lay on their backs in the student lounge as Evelyn tells them that everything in their lives matter. There are universal truths within each of their experiences. In rehearsal, they’re going to explore their own personal traumas and experiences and exercise them through their art. Kevin interrupts to inform Cheryl, Veronica, and Betty that "Candy Store" set and costumes are ready.
After the cast party at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy compound, Archie, Betty, Jughead, Veronica, Cheryl, Toni, Josie, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Reggie, Peaches, Evelyn, and Kevin meet back up in the auditorium the following day. They’re each going to share something they’ve never told anyone before. Sweet Pea reveals that it hurt him to see Archie and Josie getting cozy last night. This is the first of Betty hearing about this, and so she looks to Archie and asks if he and Josie are dating, but he doesn’t answer. Under the suspicion that he may have been nothing more than a rebound, Reggie asks Veronica if she knew of Archie and Josie’s relationship. Veronica had no idea, she claims. Evelyn then asks if Veronica has anything to share. She tells the group that her parents are separating. Admittedly, her family is unconventional, but she always thought no matter what that they’d stay together. Hearing this, Betty goes over to comfort Veronica.
The night of the musical has arrived. It ends with Archie, Sweet Pea, Toni, Reggie, Josie, Veronica, Cheryl, Betty, Jughead, Kevin, Evelyn, and Fangs on stage singing "Seventeen". As the musical concludes, Edgar Evernever rises from the audience, clapping slowly and very dramatic-like. He is joined by over a dozen members of the Farm, who are all wearing white and join in on the slow clap. From the stage, Evelyn states that she knew her dad would like it. Weatherbee and Mrs. Klump appear to be one with the Farm as they too are wearing white and applaud the performance.
Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica gather outside of Pop’s to paint the 4th of July float. The four of them head inside for breakfast, where they discuss their weekend camping trip. Betty reminds the group that this may be their last chance to do something like this as next year they’ll be preparing for college. Archie then gets a call informing him that his dad has died. He drops to the ground. Betty, Veronica, and Jughead rush to check on him.
In the backyard, Betty shares her own memories of Fred. She remembers the picnic they had in Pickens Park while she and Archie were still in grade school. There was a father-daughter potato sack race. For whatever reason, Betty’s dad couldn’t make it, but Fred offered to do it with her. For that day, he was her dad.
Later that night, Betty, Jughead, Archie, and Veronica meet up outside Archie’s house, where Reggie arrives and hands Archie a set of keys to a hearse from his dad’s lot. With the keys in hand, Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead head for Cherry Creek to bring Fred home. They recover Fred from the funeral home and drive him back to Riverdale, where a funeral is held.
Archie, Veronica, Jughead, and Betty spend their last night of summer vacation drinking wine at the Pembrooke. They ponder how close they are to finishing high school. Archie and Veronica then head into the back, where they have sex as Betty and Jughead do the same on the couch. The following morning, Veronica wakes Archie, Betty, and Jughead up after accidentally sleeping in. The four rush to school, where they are confronted by the new principal, Mr. Honey for being late. He assures the gang that the school will run differently under his command and then dismisses them.
Flash forward to Spring Break, Jughead is missing. Archie and Betty join FP’s police-led search party for Jughead in the dark woods.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead assemble at Sweetwater River at Cheryl’s behest. They were all with her when she tried to take her life. It’s only fitting that they’re present as she sends Jason off. Toni is also present. Cheryl sets the funeral pyre ablaze, consuming Jason’s body with fire, and Archie and Jughead push it into Sweetwater River. Cheryl holds Toni close and says that she wishes she could’ve met Jason.
Flash forward 4 weeks — Archie, Betty, and Veronica stand over Jughead’s body. Archie pronounces him dead and asks Betty what she did. He looks to Betty, who’s holding a rock with her blood soaked hands.
After Jughead's alleged murder, Archie and Betty meet at Pop’s. Betty is struggling with the loss of Jughead. She keeps waiting for him to come back, but he doesn’t and he won’t. She doesn’t know how she’s supposed to keep going. Archie puts his hand over Betty and tells her they will get through it together, day by day.
Archie meets with Betty at Pop’s, as she's having trouble dealing with the fact that Jughead’s gone. Archie takes her hand and assures Betty that they’ll get through it together. Betty doesn’t know why everyone at school is saying that he’s still alive when he isn’t. The rumors are only making the grieving process more painful. Unbeknownst to Archie and Betty, Cheryl eavesdrops from the neighboring booth.
Archie and Betty arrive at school the following day to find Cheryl and a crowd of students standing at Jughead’s locker, where a shrine has been made. Betty runs off with Archie following closely behind. He follows her into the music room and promises her that she’s not alone. Betty just wants to feel good if only for a few moments. Archie reminds Betty that he’s always there for her. Archie and Betty then kiss. From just outside the music room, Cheryl takes several photos of Archie and Betty’s kiss and sends it out in a group chat to Toni, Kevin, and Reggie, who shows it to the football team.
Veronica then confronts Archie and Betty in the student lounge as they chat with Toni and Kevin. She comments that the music room must be his special place as it’s where he takes all his women; Veronica, Betty, Josie, and Ms. Grundy. Veronica accuses Archie of taking advantage of Betty when she was grieving and most vulnerable. Betty takes responsibility, admitting that she kissed Archie. Veronica calls her a "scheming, two-faced bitch." And tells them both to burn in hell.
Archie and Betty are making out in the bunker when Donn arrives. Betty tells her to leave, and Donna rushes out. As it turns out, Archie hooking up with Betty was merely a ploy to steer Donna in the wrong direction. He and Veronica are still together. In between the look Archie saw on Donna’s face in the bunker and Veronica’s performance at school, he’s sure that they fooled her. Veronica asks Archie if he felt anything when he was pretending to be with Betty. He assures Veronica that she’s the only girl for him.
Archie gets a text from Betty thanking him for his help. Archie responds, though not with the full message he initially intended on sending.
Alice asks Betty, Archie, Veronica why they went to such lengths to convince the Stonies and the town of Riverdale that Jughead was dead. Betty explains that they were trying to pin the murder on her and if they knew that Jughead was still alive, they would circle the wagons and lock down tight. The only way to pin the attempted murder of Jughead on them is to force them to crack.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead in the bunker, where she shares the information Hermosa gathered on Donna. Veronica reveals that Donna Sweett isn’t who they actually believed her to be. With the final piece of the puzzle in hand, Jughead knows how to take down the Stonies once and for all.
Archie and Betty continue to pretend that Jughead is dead and that they're in a relationship.
Flashback to that night. Archie checked Jughead’s pulse and said that he was dead. Betty instructed Archie to start pounding on Jughead’s chest while Veronica used the beanie to stop the bleeding. Betty performed CPR and revived Jughead. In that fleeting moment of consciousness, he told Betty not to take him to the hospital. And he wouldn’t wake up for another 36 hours after that. Betty called Charles for help. They carried Jughead through the woods, to the old postal road where Charles was waiting for them with an FBI med-van. Charles told them to go back to the scene of the crime and clean it completely. He also instructed them to get rid of their blood covered clothes and get cleaned up. So, Archie, Betty, and Veronica went back to the clearing, threw the bloody rock in the swimming hole and burned their bloody clothes, along with Jughead’s beanie in the bonfire. Veronica questioned what they would do if Jughead didn’t live. Betty responded that they’d make a pact to never speak of the night again to anyone. They’d finish their senior year, graduate, and go their separate ways. That is how it would’ve been if Jughead didn’t make it. From there, they went home.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead meet at Pop’s. Jughead notes that the one good thing that came from this Stonewall fiasco is that his dad and grandfather are talking again, for the first time in 30 years. Archie suggests that they make a vow. However, their last vow was to have a normal senior year and that didn’t go as planned. They only have at most three months left. Jughead points out that he and Archie most likely won’t be graduating with them unfortunately. However, Betty and Veronica refuse to allow that to happen. Veronica tells them that they will put aside everything else, including the mysteries and dedicate all their time to studying. Kevin arrives to remind them that tomorrow he’s posting the sign up sheet for the variety show. And they’re all expected to perform.
Archie tells Jughead, Veronica, and Betty that he signed them all up for the Variety Show. The four of them will perform as a band named "The Archies". Jughead mocks the name, but Veronica is in favor of it. Kevin gets on the intercom and orders everyone to the music room. Kevin sings as he makes his way down the hall. Once there, he joins Sweet Pea, Fangs, and Toni on stage. Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Cheryl, and Reggie cheer him on. Kevin jumps into the crowd, kisses Archie and jumps back on stage, much to Mr. Honey’s dismay. He kicks Kevin off the Variety Show and pulls the plug on his performance.
Betty shows up at Archie’s garage for rehearsal. However, it’s been canceled. Archie explains that he got into a fight with Veronica, much like with Betty and Jughead. Archie’s upset, as he wanted this week to be about the four of them having fun. Betty recalls that one time in the first grade when they ordered sea monkeys from the back of a comic book and how much fun they had. When Archie saw that signup sheet, he flashed back to sophomore year when he performed at the Variety Show. He remembers freezing up from stage fright but gaining the courage from looking out to the crowd and seeing his dad. Even though Veronica and Jughead didn’t come, Betty proposes that the two of them rehearse. They sing and lock eyes before sharing a kiss.
The Variety Show is relocated to La Bonne Nuit as planned. "The Archies" perform for the very first time. Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead take their performance outside and perform on top of Pop’s diner as the crowd below sway back and forth. Among the crowd is Principal Honey.
Betty: "Now that I'm a River Vixen, and you're gonna be on varsity football, I have this fantasy of us as a power couple. Or maybe even just a couple."