|“||It was the deadliest prom night since Carrie's. Riverdale High had been overrun by the Black Hood, my girlfriend's dad. And the Gargoyle King, true identity yet to be determined. We needed answers. Starting with...||”|
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED — Veronica turns to Mary and Archie for help after uncovering a secret that Hiram had been keeping from her. Betty raises questions after witnessing some strange activities at The Farm. Jughead finds himself one step closer to uncovering the Gargoyle King’s identity.
In the aftermath of Prom, Jughead takes photos of the crime scene. Afterward, he and FP head down to the coroner’s lab, where Dr. Curdle Jr. explains just how Hal Cooper was able to fake his death. He re-examined the alleged hand they recovered from the crash site, and he discovered that the amputation of Hal’s hand was self-inflicted, meaning the Black Hood cut off his own hand and left it behind to convince everyone that he died.
Hiram goes to Hermione in hopes of gaining her support as he moves forward with his plan to buy Riverdale. However, Hermione is very much against this. Hiram reasons that Riverdale needs structure given all the drugs and gangs throughout the town. Unbeknownst to them, Veronica is eavesdropping on their discussion. Hiram believes the only way to save Riverdale is to privatize it and assume leadership. With or without Hermione’s support, Hiram intends to buy Riverdale. And Governor Dooley has already signed off on the strategy. So, Hiram’s advice to Hermione, she should clear out her office as it won’t be hers for much longer.
Veronica goes to Archie's house, where she informs both him and his mother of her father’s plan to buy Riverdale. Not to mention that he still owns Pop’s and by extension, La Bonne Nuit. Veronica then comes up with an idea to frame her father for all the illegal activity that occurs in the speakeasy as his name is on the deed, thus making him liable. Fortunately, Mary is well connected and knows of someone who might be of assistance.
Mary’s aforementioned contact, a federal agent she attended Sarah Florence with. Agent Ardelia explains that they’ve had their eyes on Hiram Lodge for quite some time. He served less than a year for embezzlement, so whatever they charge him with, it has to be big. Veronica informs her of the serving of minors, illegal casino operations, and book doctrines, but Agent Ardelia is very much aware that these are Veronica’s crimes. No worries, they only want Hiram, not Veronica. Archie asks what they’ll have to do in order to put Hiram away. She tells them that their only chance is to catch him in the act of an illegal crime.
Edgar has brought Betty, Polly, and Alice together as they have something to tell Betty. Alice reveals that when Betty was 8 years old, she spent some time in the hospital after falling off her bike and getting a concussion. While she was there, the doctors ran tests and discovered that Betty has what is commonly referred to as the serial killer gene. They tested the rest of the family, though Betty was the only one who had it. She has a predisposition to violence. But now that she knows, Edgar can help her heal. Edgar wants to start by talking. And so, he and Betty adjourn in his office for a private session. Edgar explains to Betty that the gene she was born with doesn't have to define her. Edgar then proceeds to hypnotize Betty with Newton’s Cradle. Destiny, by his account, is a false notion. Betty can either give into her proclivities or fight it. He wants to know her fears. Betty, solely focused on the clanking magnetic balls, reveals that she’s always felt like there’s another person inside of her. A person capable of doing dark, terrible things. And Betty doesn’t know how to get rid of her. Edgar tells Betty that the first step in ridding herself of this darker version is a confrontation.
Betty now finds herself in a dark, bare room, though she is not alone. Betty sits in a chair, and just a few feet ahead of her stands her darker self. She’s all the dark deeds that they did in their youth, like what they did to their old cat. Caramel ran away, Betty recalls, though her darker self claims they drowned the cat. Betty denies this, along with having ever pushed Polly down the stairs, as her darker self claims they did. Dark Betty explains that she is not apart of Betty, but that it’s the other way around and that Betty is apart of her, stating that Betty is the illusion. Betty is visibly in pain as she continues having an actual conversation with her darker self. She then finds herself back in Edgar’s office. He tells her that it’s normal to feel disoriented during the first few sessions. He wonders what else she feels. Betty tells him about the stabbing pain she feels in her forehead. Edgar says that this means her body has located her trauma. He takes her hand and tells her that together, they can heal and discharge Betty’s pain.
After her session with Edgar, Betty calls Jughead to share with him her discoveries. She still can’t wrap her head around what happened in her session with Edgar. Jughead, while working from a booth at Pop’s, reminds Betty to keep her head clear of all that Farmie nonsense. Betty recalls the magnetic balls on Edgar’s desk that clacked when they hit one another. Jughead suspects that Edgar is using sound to influence Betty. He asks if Betty needs rescuing, but she would rather stay, as she has an idea for her next session with Edgar. It’s time she figures out what the Farm is about. Meanwhile, Jughead will continue his efforts to find the connection between the Gargoyle King and the Black Hood. Betty has a thought about that. The reason she walked off alone during Prom was that someone dressed as a jester gave her a letter from the Gargoyle King.
Jughead follows Betty’s lead. It takes him all the way to the student lounge at school. He sits down next to Louie, a fellow classmate. Jughead asked around about a jester who gave Betty an envelope at Prom. The jester’s name was Jerry. Jerry got the envelope from a Druid named Luna, who got the envelope from a centaur named Louie. Jughead then proceeds to bribe Louie with $20, asking who he got the letter from. Louie reveals he got the letter from a homeless-looking kid. Jughead almost instantly realizes that Louie is referring to Ricky.
Betty joins Cheryl, Toni, Kevin, and Fangs at the table. Fangs in noticeably in pain. He reveals that he had a minor procedure done, which left him sore. Betty inquires further about the procedure. Cheryl states that it’s a purging of the pain that’s crushing them. She further elaborates that this is part of Edgar’s methods. He transforms their emotional pain into physical pain so that it’s easier to treat and banish. Toni is next in line for the procedure, followed by Cheryl. Kevin has already gotten his. The tenderness in his back lasted for a few days, but he thinks it was worth it. Betty lifts up Kevin’s shirt to see a large scar going up the left side of his rib cage. Betty notes that the scar looks far more major than Kevin is leading on. He is upset with Betty, telling her not to ever do it again, before leaving, with Fangs not far behind. While Cheryl and Toni remain at the table, they simply turn their backs to Betty.
Archie receives a surprise visit from Veronica, who has a plan to put her father being bars and stop him from buying Riverdale. It’s going to require them both to play their parts, and Archie’s is first.
Hiram is in the steam shower with several of his business associates discussing the big changes coming to Riverdale. Archie barges in and confronts Hiram after learning of his plan to privatize Riverdale. Hiram claims it’s what’s best for everyone, though Archie is tired of Hiram and his ways, which is why Archie is challenging him to a boxing match. Should Archie win, Hiram has to leave town, but if Hiram wins, Riverdale is his to have. Archie baits Hiram into accepting the fight, stating that he might be too weak to fight. With that, Hiram accepts Archie’s deal.
Not long after, Hiram is confronted by Veronica over the fight with Archie. Veronica is upset, though Hiram reasons that Archie challenged Hiram in the presence of several business associates, who he couldn’t look weak in front of. Once again, Hiram is baited, but this time by Veronica, who tells him that the odds makers are betting against him. Veronica’s been getting calls. The underworld is abuzz. They’re all wondering if she’s taking bets at La Bonne Nuit, though Veronica claims to have turned them down. Hiram advises her otherwise, as they can make money off this. All the betting will run through the speakeasy. Hiram will even call some friends. Little does he know, he has fallen into Veronica’s trap.
Polly expresses how proud she is that Betty is taking care of her demons. She then asks if Betty’s darker half mentioned how she pushed Polly down the stairs so many years ago, which Polly has since forgiven Betty for.
Jughead looks to Jellybean for answers in hope that she knows of Ricky’s whereabouts. Jughead tells her how he has been working for the Gargoyle King, which is putting a lot of people’s lives in danger. Jellybean reveals that Ricky is in Fox Forest, preparing to ascend. Hoping to get to Ricky before it’s too late, he asks that Jellybean draw him a map.
During Betty’s second session with Edgar, she uses earplugs made out of candles wax to block the sound of the clanking magnetic balls. Edgar asks why Betty has returned. She tells him that she wants to see her other half again, to gain a better understanding of what she wants. This time around, Betty is much more conscious as Edgar escorts her to the dark, bare room and sits her down in the chair. Betty’s darker self appears and tells her that soon she will be her truest self. Having bypassed Edgar’s hypnosis, Betty’s mind is clearer, and she is able to see her darker self for who it actually is, that being Polly, who is dressed in Betty’s clothes, pretending to be her. She then calls Betty a killer, just like their dad.
Jughead follows JB’s map to a clearing. He stops Ricky before he can ascend, kicking over the chalices and restraining Ricky. Jughead wants to take Ricky back into town, but he refuses. While Jughead understands that the game can make them do crazy things, he needs Ricky alive because together, they’re going to stop the Gargoyle King. As it turns out, Ricky is not alone in Fox Forest. He is accompanied by a dozen or so adventure scouts, who Ricky orders to kill Jughead, but to protect the Princess. Jughead takes off running, with the adventure scouts not far behind. Luckily, he makes it to the bunker and locks himself inside. The Princess, as previously mentioned by Ricky, turns out to be Ethel, who is in dire need of Jughead’s help.
Ethel’s been hiding in the bunker from the Gargoyle King. She's worried that he is going to kill her for failing her mission. Ethel admits that she’s the one who sent Ricky with the letter from the Gargoyle King that was addressed for Betty at Prom. Jughead is upset that Ethel led her right to the Gargoyle King and the Black Hood. He thought Ethel had quit playing after Betty saved her from the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Betty saved Ethel from the Sisters’ false King, but Ethel later rejoined the true Gargoyle King in the woods. When she came back to him, he put her in charge of his Lost Boys, i.e. the adventure scouts. Jughead demands to know who the Gargoyle King is, but Ethel can’t betray his trust, even after she just said that he’s trying to kill her. Despite it all, Ethel still loves him. Jughead calms down. He tells Ethel it’s okay. However, she and the Lost Boys aren’t safe in the woods, so Jughead wants to move them elsewhere.
Veronica calls Reggie and asks him to meet her at Pop’s because she’s about to pull off her biggest con yet, and she needs her best conman for the job. Veronica wants Reggie’s help in taking down her father, to which he agrees.
Betty has called Kevin, Fangs, Cheryl, and Toni together to share with them what she’s found, that Edgar is hypnotizing them. Cheryl doesn’t care, reasoning that hypnotherapy is a standard practice that most people have to pay good money for. Kevin and Fangs add that whatever Edgar is doing works as he’s taken their pain away. Toni can’t wait for her procedure so that Edgar can take her pain away. Betty suspects that Edgar is purposefully inflicting pain on them during hypnosis. She believes he’s doing it so that he has more power over them. However, Cheryl, Toni, Kevin, and Fangs are faithful followers of the Farm and refuse to believe that Edgar has done anything wrong without proof, which Betty does not have.
Ethel tells the Lost Boys to stand down as Jughead, the Hellcaster, is on their side and has come bearing good news. Ethel claims their quest is complete. Jughead notices that Ricky is missing, who he suspects has left to report back to the Gargoyle King and the Black Hood. When they learn that Jack, the youngest of the Lost Boys is missing, Jughead and Ethel set off the find him.
Betty confronts Evelyn as her curiosity has gotten the best of her. Evelyn tells Betty that the machine she is hooked up to is for her dialysis. Evelyn’s kidneys failed when she was younger. Upon a closer look, Betty discovers that Evelyn is on anti-rejection meds, which is what they give you when you have an organ transplant. From there, Betty begins to piece things together, like the scar of Kevin’s back and Fangs’ treatment. She concludes that Edgar is butchering his disciples, though Betty’s aware that this all can’t be just for Evelyn, who exclaims that Betty doesn’t know anything beyond her own unconfirmed suspicions. Seeking validation for her suspicions, Betty breaks into the lab. Inside the freezer, she finds blood bags and organs.
Jughead and Ethel arrive at the junkyard in search of Jack. They find him on the broken down bus. Unfortunately, they are not alone. The Black Hood arrives right behind them. Jughead covers Ethel’s mouth with his hand and tells both her and Jack to stay quiet and crouch down in between the seats, in hopes that the killer will pass them. However, the Black is already aware of their location, slamming on the hood. He then gets on the bus, forcing Jughead, Ethel, and Jack to force their way out the back door. Jughead then props something up against the door, preventing the Black Hood from getting out the back. He then races to the front door, barricading that one as well, locking the Black Hood in.
Mary confronts Archie as he is on his way out the door. Whatever it is that he and Veronica have planned, she knows that it’s going down tonight, and she wants to see it happen herself after everything Hiram did to their family and to Riverdale.
Mary takes a seat in the crowd as the fight is about to commence. Meanwhile, at La Bonne Nuit, bets are being placed, with Peaches 'N Cream working the operation. Just over at the bar, Veronica thanks Reggie for agreeing to help. He then asks how she’s holding up, to which she responds not well, but they have to keep up appearances. Veronica then takes to the stage, where she performs.
Back at El Royale, Hiram and Archie touch gloves, and the fight begins. Hiram and Archie trade blows, both landing their fair share of punches, but after Hiram starts cheating, they decide to disregard the rules and gloves altogether, resulting in a bare-knuckle brawl.
At La Bonne Nuit, just moments after Peaches gets a call from one of the spectators at the fight, the FBI raids the speakeasy. Veronica and Agent Ardelia have a rehearsed exchange of words. She asks if Veronica’s the owner of the establishment, to which Veronica says she is not and that her father is the actual owner, who is currently at El Royale participating in an illegal boxing match. Veronica and Agent Ardelia then part ways. Unfortunately, all is not good as Veronica had hoped it would be. She gets word from Reggie that some last-minute bets are coming in, and they all want odds that Hiram is going to kill Archie in the ring.
Back at the fight, Hiram delivers a massive blow to Archie's chest and several more to his face and body. The referee attempts to stop the fight, but Hiram shoves him aside and continues to come for Archie, who can barely stand. Hiram delivers blow after blow, eventually knocking Archie down to his knees. As he prepares to end Archie, he reminds him that he asked for this. Hiram goes in for the final punch, but Veronica pleads with him to stop, and so he does. Hiram looks down to Archie and tells him that he’s beaten him and that he’s the better man. However, Archie was simply keeping Hiram busy. FP arrives at the fight and places Hiram under arrest for conducting illegal activities at his establishment. Hiram can’t believe that he’s been betrayed by Veronica. As he's taken away, Mary comes down to ringside and asks Archie if he’s okay as Veronica holds him close, reassuring Archie that they finally beat her father.
Hiram has been placed in a holding cell at the sheriff station. He questions why Veronica betrayed him, suspecting that Archie may be to blame. But, Veronica did it for her. She found out that her father lied, that he still held the deeds for La Bonne Nuit and Pop’s. Hiram recommends that Veronica chalk it up to a lesson learned. Regardless, all of Hiram’s assets are being seized by the government, and Hiram’s empire will be put up for public auction. In the meantime, Veronica leaves her father with the parting thought that she won and he lost.
Archie and Mary return home. In the kitchen, as Archie holds an ice pack to his eye, Mary inquires about his relationship with Veronica, referring to them as a dynamic duo. Archie, however, doesn’t know what they are. Personally, Mary thinks they’re endgame, but what she thinks matters little, and so she suggests that Archie go ask Veronica what she thinks.
After narrowly escaping the Black Hood, Jughead and Ethel head to the sheriff station. Ethel asks about the Lost Boys, and FP informs her that they’ve been assigned a deputy until the Gargoyle King and Black Hood are caught. As FP exits, Jughead assures Ethel that everyone is safe and that they’ll find Ricky. Ethel thanks Jughead for all his help. She hugs him, and as a reward, Ethel reveals to Jughead the identity of the Gargoyle King. Jughead then calls Betty, who makes her way through the Farm with a stolen organ from the lab, and tells her that according to Ethel, Jason Blossom is the Gargoyle King. He doubts this is possible, but isn’t entirely sure. Normally, Betty would immediately say no, but there’s only one way to know with certainty, and that is to dig up Jason’s grave.
After hanging up with Jughead, Betty enters Cheryl’s room and tells her the Farm is a front. Edgar took Kevin and Fangs’ kidneys. There’s a fridge filled with harvested organs. The Farm is an organ Farm. With her, Betty has a small cooler with a harvested human organ inside as proof. Betty suspects that Edgar only takes kids in to use their organs for his human chop shop. Cheryl finally believes Betty and grows even more concerned given that the nurses just took Toni to the infirmary for her procedure. Cheryl decides to go after Toni while Betty finds Kevin and Fangs.
Cheryl barges into the infirmary, demanding that they stay away from Toni. She shoves the nurses and grabs a scalpel, keeping the nurses at bay as she and Toni escape after learning that Betty was right all along about the Farm. They make a run for the back door, though a couple orderlies are right on their tail.
Betty tells Kevin and Fangs that Edgar is harvesting their organs and that they’re all in danger, though they are too far gone. They believe that Edgar is simply removing the parts that are diseased. They suggest going to see Edgar to clear everything up. With Kevin and Fangs too deep under Edgar’s control, Betty attempts to leave, but they block her. Betty knees Kevin and punches Fangs, but they still manage to subdue her, dragging Betty by her feet and apprehending her with the help of a couple of orderlies.
Cheryl and Toni race down the hallway in search of an exit. They head down into a stairwell, where the door is locked but a tiny window, just barely large enough for them to squeeze through, is unlocked. With the two orderlies not far behind, Toni crawls out the window first, though Cheryl does not follow her, instead, she shuts the window behind her as the two of them would never make it far on foot together. Cheryl holds the orderlies off long enough for a barefoot Toni to make it into the nearby woods.
Archie stops by the Pembrooke to tell Veronica how he feels about her. However, upon his arrival, he discovers Reggie is there as well. Veronica explains that Reggie was helping her earlier at La Bonne Nuit and came by to tell her that he wanted to be with her, and she said she wanted to be with him too. Veronica hesitantly admits this is true, and so Archie decides to leave.
Betty wakes up in the infirmary, tied to a stretcher. Betty has caused too much trouble, leaving Edgar with no other choice. Betty saw the truth and knows that he’s harvesting organs. However, Edgar states that Betty doesn’t know what she saw. Regardless, Betty is certain that Jughead and his dad will come for her. Betty is then given anesthesia as she is prepped for surgery, helpless to stop Edgar as she is buckled onto the stretcher, her entire body restrained.
As planned, Jughead digs up Jason’s grave. Upon opening the casket, he discovers that the casket is empty.
- Rivedale Cast feat. Camila Mendes - Daddy Lessons
- Klergy feat. Katie Garfield - Where Your Secrets Hide
- The episode title comes from Jack Guss' and Charles E. Israel's 1978 American television thriller miniseries of the same name.
- When Jughead arrives at the bunker and finds Ethel, who is now referred to as a Princess, she says "Help me, Jughead Jones. You're my only hope." This is very similar to a line said by Princess Leia to a message to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.
- Evelyn Evernever is reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.