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THE LOST BOY — Betty takes matters into her own hands when she learns that The Farm has set their sights on someone in her inner circle. Meanwhile, when Hiram and Gladys' control over Veronica becomes too much to handle, she sets a plan in motion to turn the tables on them. Elsewhere, Archie grows concerned about a young runaway he meets at the gym, while Jughead struggles to maintain control over the Serpents.
Alice moves forward with her plans to sell the house. She shows off her home of three bedrooms and four baths to a couple of potential buyers. In an effort to block the selling of the house, Betty informs their guests that the room they’re currently standing in is where her father, the Black Hood not only showed them creepy snuff films but also where her mother knocked him out with a shovel. Betty insists that she’s telling the truth and encourages the potential buyers to google it under "Alice Cooper" instead of "Alice Smith". They can also find this under "Murder house on Elm Street".
Archie continues to put his best foot forward in boxing. While training at the gym, he is approached by its owner, Mo. He needs Archie to start paying dues. Archie can pay off this in manual labor by helping out around the gym.
Evelyn, Kevin, and the rest of the young Farmies enter their reserved classroom for the Farm meeting only to find Kurtz and the other Gargoyles turned Serpents occupying the classroom while playing Gryphons and Gargoyles. Just as Evelyn informs them that they have rights to the class every Wednesday, Cheryl, Peaches 'N Cream and the rest of the Pretty Poisons interject to lay their claim to the room. Cheryl explains that the third Wednesday of every month is reserved for monthly student council/LGBTQIA meetings. Evelyn questions the validity of Cheryl’s claims, to which Cheryl replies that she would have Evelyn beheaded in another century. It’s only when Kurtz refers to the ladies as "bitches" that the altercation turns violent, forcing Jughead and Toni to intervene.
Afterward, Jughead and Toni are reprimanded for the actions of their respective gangs by Mr. Weatherbee. They try to explain that they were simply breaking up the fight, but Weatherbee isn’t interested in their excuses. This brawl is only the last incident of gang activity at Riverdale High. Someone robbed the Chemistry lab the night before of thousands of dollars of equipment, all of which can be used to cook drugs. Jughead and Toni profess their innocence as neither of their gangs cook drugs, nevertheless, Jughead gets one more strike and then he’s out of Riverdale High.
At La Bonne Nuit, Veronica and Reggie watch helplessly from the bar as Gladys and her companions cause commotion. Reggie asks if Veronica would like for him to bounce someone out, but with their current standing with Gladys, that would be impossible. Hiram then approaches Veronica as he too is at the speakeasy. He’s courting several important perspective clients. Veronica wonders where she should charge for the expense of the drinks, however, Hiram has no intentions on paying as he believes the drinks should be comped because of the money Veronica currently owes. Gladys and her Serpent pals then proceed to make a mess of things after knocking over a table. As the night comes to an end, and Veronica and Reggie are all that’s left in La Bonne Nuit, Veronica wonders just where everything went bad. Gladys and her father are running all over the speakeasy and Veronica doesn’t have any leverage because she owes them both money. So, every dollar she makes goes straight to them. Reggie states that they need a new line on a cash cow, which reminds her of Casino night with Elio. They’d be able to pay off their debts in weeks, but Reggie is rather hesitant, however, he comes to agree.
While sweeping up the gym, Archie is approached by Josie and the two of them joke about his new gig and then plan to have dinner at Pop’s. However, before they can, the two become alert after hearing an odd sound. They open a closet to find a young boy inside. Archie comes off a bit aggressive, but Josie comes in with a more comforting approach, asking the kid for his name and if he’s hungry. The boy reveals that his name is Ricky and then Archie and Josie take him Pop’s.
While at the diner, Josie asks about Ricky’s parents, who he claims to have never known. Archie then asks about the cubby he was hiding in. Ricky explains that he’s been staying there on and off for a few weeks. Josie asks if there’s anyone they can call, but Ricky doesn’t have anyone. Short on options, Josie recommends calling Betty as she knows people at Social Services. Ricky instantly takes off and runs for the door but Archie catches up to him before he can get away. Ricky’s afraid of Social Services as they will send him back to a shelter called The Santa Lucia Shelter. While there, they branded Ricky with the same symbol branded on Archie that means sacrifice. Ricky got that brand from some of the older guys who were at the shelter. They didn’t live there, but they did crash there, and one night, Ricky woke up and they were holding him down and branding his arm. That’s when he left the shelter.
Archie brings Ricky home with him and allows him to sleep in the garage. When Ricky asks what Archie plans to tell his parents, Archie explains that it’s just him and his dad, who most of the time is at work. Also, the garage is more so Archie’s space. Tomorrow morning, Archie’s gonna take Ricky back to Pop’s and get him set up in a booth. After school, Archie’s gonna take him to the gym and teach him to defend himself. Ricky questions why Archie’s helping him, to which Archie replies that he’s been in Ricky’s shoes, alone and on the run. But he was lucky enough to have friends to help him through it, a luxury not afforded to Ricky, who then makes Archie promise that he’s not calling Social Services.
Toni and Cheryl get into a small fight over the much larger fight that took place at school between the Poisons, Serpents, and Farmies, which landed Toni in trouble with Weatherbee. Cheryl claims that she had the classroom reserved as Student Body President. While Cheryl may wear many hats, when she puts on that purple jacket, she’s representing the gang. Toni warns Cheryl to proceed with caution as she doesn’t want to suspend anyone for loose cannon behavior. Least of all her own girlfriend. Cheryl agrees as that would makes hosting Pretty Poison’s meetings at Thistlehouse incredibly awkward, she remarks. Cheryl knows that they don’t have another headquarters for use, moreover a pool, allowing her to use this as leverage.
In the student lounge, Veronica and Betty play catch up, during which time Betty tells Veronica that her 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. Jughead remarks that this sounds an awful lot like him during sophomore year. 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.
Betty finds Kevin at his locker and confronts him on joining the Farm. She doesn’t want to see him disappear like her mother did. Kevin tells Betty to back off as she is a detractor.
Jughead calls a Serpent meeting to ask about the break-in of the Chemistry lab. Kurtz admits that he did it though as a quest, stating that looting the alchemist lair was one of their more rewarding quests. But it is because of this that they’re now on Weatherbee‘s radar. Kurtz reminds Jughead that he promised them immunity, though this doesn’t apply when they fragrantly break the law. Jughead demands that he return the equipment, but Kurtz refuses. Fangs interjects, calling him a Fizzle Rocks junkie. This nearly leads to a brawl between him and Kurtz, who hasn’t forgotten about Fangs infiltrating the Gargoyle gang to spy on them. Kurtz makes a remark that he should’ve beaten Fangs over the head with the branding iron when he had the chance, angering Fangs, who grabs Kurtz by his jacket, though Jughead breaks the dispute up before it can go any further. Whatever bad blood existed between the Serpents and the Gargoyles is over as they’re all Serpents now. And it’s high time their newer members learned the Serpent laws. Jughead, Sweet Pea, and Fangs begin reciting the sixth Serpent law; "In unity, there is strength." However, the new recruits don’t fall in line. Kurtz tells Jughead that he plays by a different set of rules, to which Jughead tells him that he’s out of the gang. Though, it seems he has no plans on leaving. Kurtz reminds Jughead that both he and his mother came to him for help, leaving Kurtz to conclude that the Serpents need them more than they need the Serpents. So, if they’re rescinding what they promised, then Kurtz tells Jughead that he better come up with something better to offer before he decides to throw the original Serpents out of his gang, as the Gargoyle recruits have the numbers.
Veronica and Reggie welcome Josie along with more than half a dozen employees to the casino of La Bonne Nuit. They’ve got poker on the floor, blackjack at the bar, nickel and quarter slots along the wall, and a horse race-themed wheel of chance in the corner. Reggie already called dibs on spinning it. It goes without saying that discretion is of the upmost importance. But Josie is forced to ask the obvious question. What to do if they’re raided? Veronica and Reggie have made upgrades to the place to account for such a threat. They have a number of compartments and close-in doors to hide all the Casino paraphernalia. At which point Veronica will bat her eyelids and say "What secret casino, Officer?"
Jughead reports the break-in at the school to his father, who is already very much aware after having received a call from Weatherbee. Jughead informs FP that the Gargoyles were the culprit, which he already suspected. They’re not only starting fights and playing G&G, they outnumber the original Serpents. The problem is that they have no honor, duty, or sense of purpose. And it finally made Jughead realize in turn, the bigger issue, and it’s been that way for a while, neither do the Serpents. FP tells Jughead that he has to figure out what his version of the Serpents are going to be. He has to give them and now the Gargoyles a reason to wear that Serpent jacket with pride. When the bad guys outnumber you, FP advises Jughead to out-think them.
Archie returns to Pop’s only to find that Ricky is no longer there. Pop Tate informs him that Ricky ran away after a group of thugs came by. They saw him through the window and started banging on the glass. Ricky ran into the kitchen and out the back door. As for the thugs, they circled around and took off after him. One last thing Pop Tate tells Archie is that Ricky left something behind. He had been drawing on a placemat. The drawing in question is that of Ricky surrounded by the Gargoyle King and the Gargoyles.
As Betty is leaving the Blue and Gold, she passes by the Chemistry class, where the Farm is having their meeting. She takes a peak through the glass window. From there, she sees Evelyn watching as Kevin and the Farmies burn themselves by holding their hands over Bunsen burners.
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.
Hiram speaks with Veronica after learning that she is turning her speakeasy into a casino. It’s fortuitous for Hiram as he is in the process of courting the business of a gentleman who owns a playing card company. And Hiram’s pitching him the idea of moving the production of his factory to the prison. He gets the produce of those cards for pennies on the dollar, and Hiram’s for-profit prison earns a small wage. Veronica tells her father that this is shady, though he seems unbothered. If Veronica helps him land this client, she wants 5% of her debt wiped away.
At La bonne Nuit, Gladys reveals to Veronica and Reggie that when she was their age, she used to perform at the Whyte Wyrm. Veronica concludes that Gladys is looking to make a comeback, and should she agree to allow Gladys to perform on stage, she has to shave 5% off of the debt Veronica owes, to which Gladys agrees.
Betty asks Josie if she has noticed that Kevin has gotten very involved with the Farm at an alarming rate as Betty has become concerned. And last night, when Betty was leaving school, she saw him and a bunch of the other Farmies holding their hands over a Bunsen burner. Betty explains that cults like the Farm prey on emotionally vulnerable people like Kevin. Josie hasn't told her mother or Kevin's father, but she admits that over the last week, she had heard Kevin sneaking out at night. She assumed that he was going back to Fox Forest, but now she thinks that he’s been going to meet them.
Archie heads over to Sunnyside Trailer Park to coordinate with Jughead as he is still looking for Ricky. Archie shares with Jughead a drawing of Ricky’s which depicts him surrounded by the Gargoyle King and Gargoyle gang, as well as a well detailed sketch of Ricky himself. Pop Tate said some thugs chased him out the diner, and Archie suspects it may be the Gargoyles who Jughead recently recruited.
Jughead calls a Serpent meeting at the bunker. Sweet Pea, Fangs, and Kurtz are among those in attendance. Jughead and Archie share a sketch of Ricky, asking if anyone recognizes him, though no one does. Jughead orders a manhunt. They’re going to break the town into sections, though Kurtz isn’t up to the task, causing Archie to suspect that maybe it was him and his crew who scared Ricky off at Pop’s, though Kurtz claims to have had no involvement as they’re more interested in making drugs. However, he does reveal that there are others out there. Outliers who broke away when they joined the Serpents. Assuming that what Kurtz is saying is the truth, that’s only one more reason that they need to find Ricky, though Kurtz has no intentions on joining the search.
Veronica welcomes Gladys to the stage, making her debut at La Bonne Nuit. As Gladys performs, she is taunted by Hiram’s business associate. Reggie wants to kick him out, but Veronica won’t permit it given her agreement with her father. Hiram suggests that his associate give Gladys some tips, to which she responds by pulling out a knife and telling them that she has a sharp tip of her own to give to them. As things are getting a bit too heated, Veronica finally allows Reggie to bounce Larry, who is in disbelief that he’s being kicked out. As Reggie escorts him out, Hiram warns Veronica that there will be trouble if she just cost him a million dollar deal.
Betty follows Kevin from his house to the woods, where he has met up with Evelyn and the rest of the Farmies. Betty watches from afar, cloaked in the bushes as a ritual is about to commence. It would seem that Kevin has to cross a bed of hot coal without shoes. Evelyn tells Kevin that once he crosses the threshold, he can’t stop. He must believe that he’ll be protected and forged. Only through the fire can they be cleansed and leave their past behind. Conquer their fears, expiate their sins, and exorcise their demons. Betty jumps out the bushes telling Kevin not to go through with the ritual, but he does so regardless, seemingly without any pain or injury.
Jughead tells Archie that most of his guys are out looking for Ricky, but he has a place that the two of them can check out themselves. Gargoyle ground zero. The abandoned house that he first met Kurtz. Inside, written on the walls are the names of all those who have ascended, including Joaquin, Warden Norton, Dilton, Ben, Tall Boy, and the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Hidden inside the wall, they find Ricky. He hid there after learning that the Gargoyles moved out. He figured it would be the last place they’d look for him, but he’ll never be able to escape them as he’s marked for death, as is Archie. Archie explains that while it may mean sacrifice, neither one of them will be sacrificed.
Betty is confronted by Evelyn and Kevin while writing her Blue and Gold article detailing her encounter last night in the woods. Evelyn tells Betty that she shouldn’t have ran off afterwards. Betty asks if they’re there to go on record about what she saw. Kevin tells Betty that last night was scary, fun, and euphoric. It felt like nothing he’s ever felt. Evelyn and Kevin then tell Betty that she won’t be publishing that article because they will tell everyone about the shady man that her mother killed in the kitchen, how Betty and Jughead dumped his car in Swedlow Swamp, and how FP dissolved the body with lye in the woods. Thanks to Betty’s mom, everyone at the Farm knows her secrets.
Archie teaches Ricky how to box at the gym. While locked up, this is how Archie survived. He wonders how Ricky got sucked into this all. Ricky explains that at the shelter, some older guys were into G&G and Fizzle Rocks. They would come by and try to rope in younger kids to use them as runners because the younger you are, the less time they serve if caught. When they asked Ricky, he turned them down. That's when they branded him and he left the shelter. Ricky wants to keep running as he doesn’t want to bring them to Archie, though Archie is certain that running isn’t going to solve anything.
Jughead calls another meeting to inform the others that while they found the kid, he still in danger. So is Archie for that matter. Sweet Pea asks about their next course of action. Their next play is a classic gambit. The hunters become the hunted. Kurtz had said that there are some rogue Gargoyles, so Jughead wants the name of those outliers. And he wants sentries posted at the Gargoyle lair. Their meeting is interrupted by Toni, who tells Jughead that Kurtz is about to kill Fangs. Jughead and Sweet Pea enter the hallway to find Kurtz dangling Fangs over the staircase balcony. They’re getting back at him for infiltrating the Gargoyles. Kurtz calls Fangs a dirty Serpent spy before dropping him so that he too can ascend. However, Sweet Pea and Jughead manage to get to Fangs just in time to break his fall.
Veronica comes down the stairs of La Bonne Nuit to find Gladys serving herself at the bar. She claims that Reggie waters down her drinks. Hiram then enters the speakeasy with another one of his associates, though he tells him that he owns the speakeasy, which only further aggravates Veronica. She is near her breaking-point, telling Reggie that this must come to an end. He is in agreement, so much so that he even misses the Serpents as they could use the muscle. Veronica asks how their take has been since the casino upgrade. He replies that their profit has almost doubled. With that, Veronica devises a plan that’ll require for her to siphon some of that off.
Archie enters his room and finds Ricky wearing his bulldog jacket. Archie tells him to keep it. He then tells Ricky to come down stairs to meet his dad. Archie assures Ricky that all his dad wants to do is help as they have to find him a place to live permanently. With a good family that they’ll all meet. Archie will also continue to hang out with him and give him boxing lessons at the gym.
Jughead heads over to the Sheriff Station, where he reports the incident at school regarding Fangs to his father. If he and Sweet Pea hadn’t been there to break Fangs’ fall, he would’ve broken his neck or worse. FP advises Jughead to take drastic action as words clearly aren't enough. Jughead agrees. He has to take a big action. One that is long overdue. And not just for Kurtz, but all the Serpents. Jughead is planning on the Serpents’ next chapter. Something that will give them purpose and keep them on the right side of the law. Mobilizing the gang search for Ricky gave Jughead the idea. As did his father.
Veronica invites Toni to a sit down at Pop’s. Where she makes her a proposition. Veronica would like to offer the Pretty Poisons full time employment at La Bonne Nuit. Toni declines as her girls aren’t waitresses, though she seems to have misinterpreted Veronica’s offer. Gladys and Hiram have been swarming around the place like they own it. And Veronica fears that their presence may come at the cost of her business as well as her sanity. She needs muscle to keep them out, and that’s where Toni and her gang comes in. The gig also comes with an advance. Veronica understands if Toni has to run this buy Cheryl first, but Toni does no such thing, accepting Veronica’s offer on the spot.
Betty returns home to find her mother packing. They’ve apparently sold the house to, in typical Riverdale fashion, an anonymous buyer. Alice tells Betty to start packing.
Jughead calls for another meeting of the Serpents. This time around he invited his father. Both Kurtz and Sweet Pea questions why. Jughead recalls that Kurtz boasted that the Serpents need him more than he needs them, but Jughead disagrees. One thing is true though, and that's the Serpents are rudderless. They lack identity and focus. And they’re better and stronger when task-focused. That’s why with the help of his father, Serpent Emeritus, they’ve come up with a plan to deputize the Serpents. To become partners with the Riverdale Sheriff’s Department. They’ll work for FP. Help him with investigations. Be his eyes and ears in the community. In return, they’ll get paid and receive school credit to apply for colleges. This is about being in order and ensuring their survival. This is going to be a brand new chapter for the Serpents and they can’t be divided about it. So Jughead decides to put it to a vote. If it’s not unanimous, anyone can leave. Jughead, FP, Sweet Pea, Fangs, and the rest of the Serpents raise their hands in favor, with the exception of Kurtz, who leaves. Sweet Pea then asks if they get to carry guns, which they don’t.
Archie and Ricky spend the night playing video games until Archie gets a call from Ms. Weiss, who informs him that the administrator at Santa Lucia Shelter finally got back to her and they found a match. Ricky’s full name is Ricardo DeSantos. As it turns out, Ricky is Joaquin’s younger brother. Ricky’s files shown that he has a history of violent behavior and self-harm. Ms. Weiss then asks for Ricky’s whereabouts, and so Archie revels that Ricky’s at his house. Archie returns to the living room to continue the game, but Ricky is gone. Archie begins searching for him. It’s not long before he finds him. Ricky stands behind Archie with a large kitchen knife. He’s there to kill Archie as it’s the only way the Gargoyles are going to let him in and let him play the game with them. Ricky believes that he has to finish what his brother, Joaquin, started. Archie reveals that he knew Joaquin and that he was a good guy, but he listened to the wrong people and ended up dead because of it. However, Ricky fears if he doesn’t do this then the Gargoyles won’t protect him. Archie reminds Ricky that the Gargoyles marked him for sacrifice, but Ricky explains that he gave it to himself and at the lair, he wrote his name under Archie’s. Ricky then slashes Archie with the knife, though he can’t finish the job and takes off as Fred arrives.
Archie apologizes for his role in this, calling himself an idiot for ever believing in Ricky. Fred patches Archie up and assures him that he’s not an idiot, rather a caring person. With Archie’s luck, there’s always the chance that Ricky could come back. Probably at the worst time and with his friends. Fred then finds a card on the floor from G&G that reads "Kill the Red Paladin."
Toni gets ready for her first night at La Bonne Nuit as security, though Cheryl won’t be coming. She claims to be feeling under the weather and that she’ll be asleep by the time Toni returns.
Gladys arrives at Pop’s with intentions on heading downstairs to La Bonne Nuit though her entry is blocked by Toni, Peaches ‘N Cream, and the Pretty Poisons. Under new house rules, Gladys is no longer permitted into La Bonne Nuit without an engraved invitation. Gladys doubts they can stop her, but Veronica joins the girls and tells Gladys to step off. She hired the girls to block her admittance until Gladys learns to play by Veronica’s rules. Her father then enters the diner, hoping that Veronica saved for him his favorite booth. However, Hiram isn’t permitted into La Bonne Nuit either, at least not until he starts to show Veronica proper respect. She also warns him not to flex his financial hold over her. She’ll pay him back as they agreed. But, moving forward, she’s running her business, her way.
Betty sits in her room, and though she is supposed to be packing, she seems more interested in the candle that sits in front of her. Just as Betty is about to try the fire test that she saw Kevin and the other Farmies doing in the Chemistry class, her mother enters the room. She’s about to go out for more bubble wraps and will expect more progress in packing by the time she returns. Betty comes downstairs with the candle, looking around at her home as packed boxes fill the room.
Archie, Jughead, and the Serpents return to the Gargoyles old lair, where they begin a cleanup of the old house. A fresh coat of paint, a couple atomic bombs, and the lair will work fine as an HQ for the new and improved Serpents. Archie, staring down at the list of names still written on the wall, doesn’t know what to do as he remains marked for death. He let his guard down for a moment and people come out the woodwork to kill him. There’s no telling how long Ricky was targeting him. Jughead suggests that maybe it’s time that Archie make this thing come to a head. This Gryphons and Gargoyles game that Archie’s still apparently playing. Jughead even agrees to help Archie play. As does Betty, who has just arrived to the house. Jughead comments that Betty’s looking cheery and gives her a kiss. Betty claims that she just feels a lot better about things.
Alice returns to find the house filled with smoke. She calls out Betty, before noticing that the entire living room is on fire.
- John Altman - Cheeky Two-Step
- Parry Music - Pink Champagne
- Riverdale Cast feat. Gina Gershon - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
- Scene: Gladys performs at La Bonne Nuit.
- Peter Sivo - Band Love of No Return
- Scene: Veronica reaches her breaking-point as she finds Gladys bartending and her father showing more of his associates around La Bonne Nuit under the guise that he owns it.
- Interstate Royale - Picking up the Pieces
- Scene: Gladys and Hiram's entry to La Bonne Nuit is blocked by Veronica and the Pretty Poisons.
- The episode title comes from David Lynch and Robert Engels' 1992 psychological horror film of the same name. Riverdale actress Mädchen Amick and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina actor Ray Wise both starred in the film as well as the TV series it was based on, Twin Peaks.
- This episode was dedicated to Luke Perry, who passed away on March 4, 2019, at the age of 52.
- Cheryl is reading the 1952 novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith.