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There's this old folk tale I think would make for a good story. It's called "The Devil's Holiday." And in it the devil visits a small town in order to collect lost souls and sow the seeds of destruction and despair. Yeah, here it is. Now, there are many different versions of this folk tale, but in the one I'm imagining, the name of the town is Rivervale, and the devil that visits it can take any number of guises.

"Chapter Ninety-Eight: Mr. Cypher" is the third episode of the sixth season of Riverdale and the ninety-eighth episode of the series overall.[2] It premiered on November 30, 2021.

Synopsis

THE DEVIL COMES TO TOWN - After being visited by a mysterious figure who arrives in Rivervale, the gang find themselves faced with unexpected ultimatums.

Plot

SPOILERS AHEAD


The Devil arrives in Rivervale

Pop tells Jim, a regular at the diner, to keep what little money he has and pay him next time, as Jim is struggling just to get by. Tabitha takes notice and remarks that Pop has the biggest heart she knows. Just then, Pop Tate glances outside the window of the diner, where he sees the Devil glaring back at him. His true form manifests, and Pop Tate collapses to the floor from a heart attack.

Reggie is having trouble sleeping, likely due to the opening of his and Veronica's casino, Babylonium. Veronica assures him that all will go as planned, and he tells her that he loves her.

Betty gets a call from Glen

Betty gets a call from Glen, who reports that they have the Trash Bag Killer in custody and that he's being transported to Rivervale in hopes that Betty can get a confession, as he's refusing to speak to anyone else.

Veronica and Reggie watch Alice's live news report, trashing their casino just before opening night, referring to it as an abomination and house of sin, which will damn the town of Rivervale.

Veronica invites Alice to her casino

Veronica attempts to ease Alice's concerns, but Alice is certain that her casino will only bring trouble, primarily gamblers, harlots, and whore mongers. However, Veronica assures Alice that her and Reggie's business is entirely legitimate and being run as a corporation, though in actuality, she and Reggie have gone out their way to cheat and break every regulation possible. Despite this, Veronica invites Alice to attend their soft opening to check out the casino for herself.

The Devil makes Tabitha an offer

The Devil appears at the hospital as Pop Tate lies unconscious in bed, introducing himself as Mr. Louis Cypher. He's come to claim Pop's soul. Tabitha doubts her grandfather would ever sell his soul, which the Devil admits is true. However, his father, Tabitha's great-grandfather, was less principled and sold his eternal soul to ensure the success of the chock'lit shoppe. When Pop Tate learned of what his father had done, he couldn't bear the thought of him spending eternity in hell, so he offered his soul in exchange. That said, the Devil is willing to make Tabitha a deal. In exchange for Pop keeping his soul, the Devil simply wants the diner and even gives Tabitha some time to think it over.

Tabitha tells Jughead about the Devil

Tabitha returns home and informs Jughead of her unsettling encounter with the Devil. He's willing to release Pop's soul, though only if they give over the rights to the diner, but neither she nor Jughead can begin to fathom why. So, Jughead is hoping to ask the Devil himself.

Veronica and Reggie prep the crew for their soft opening, reminding them how everyone needs to be on point. The duo then proceed to open the doors to the public. Alice has accepted Veronica's invitation and arrives at the casino hoping to sniff out any potential evil. Still, Veronica remains hospitable and invites Alice to a seat near the stage.

Kevin sells his soul to the Devil

The Devil approaches Kevin, claiming to have caught a performance of his years back in New York City. He remarks that Kevin should be on Broadway and offers him a deal, more specifically a shot at fame. He even gives Kevin a taste of the better life before further discussing the deal. Kevin gets on stage and sings It's Not Unusual, gaining the attention of the entire casino. Afterwards, he is approached by his manager and boyfriend, Fangs, who now goes by Finn and is in the process of arranging Kevin's schedule, which includes a six-week run in New York alongside Hugh Jackman. Kevin is enthralled with the life the Devil can grant him and accepts his deal: fame and fortune in exchange for his soul. Kevin is merely the first of the souls Mr. Cypher intends to claim. He also has Betty, Jughead, Tabitha, and Reggie's name written in a little black book.

Veronica kicks Mr. Cypher out

Veronica gets word from the floor manager that Mr. Cypher has won the last 20 hands. Veronica confronts him and informs him that the casino is invite-only. However, he claims he's an investor, having put money into the casino through Reggie. Nevertheless, Veronica still intends to shut the table down, which is fine by Mr. Cypher, who informs her that he'll have his due by Saturday midnight. When Veronica inquires about his due, he replies that he's the Devil and that he's owed a soul.

Rwggie tells Veronica about the Devil

Veronica informs Reggie that there was a shark at the casino, bleeding them dry the entire night. He claimed to be the Devil, looking to claim a soul. Reggie confirms that the man she encountered was in fact the Devil. When they were looking for investors, Reggie got a call from him, and he said he could provide them with the rest of the money they needed in exchange for Reggie's soul. And now, he's in Rivervale to collect Reggie's soul on Saturday night, at midnight. Reggie, however, is looking to Veronica to help him outwit the Devil.

Betty interrogates the Trash Bag Killer

Betty interrogates the Trash Bag Killer from the FBI field office. She explains that her boss wants a confession, but TBK is more concerned about what Betty wants. Betty questions if absolute evil exists and if he's it. He's initially reluctant to answer, but as she gets up to leave, TBK replies that absolute evil does in fact exists and that there's also a part of Betty that's evil. It's what draws them together.

Betty rushes home and scrubs herself clean in the shower. She then calls Glen and tells him that he has to take TBK away from, as he's toying with her, but Glen claims to have no idea what Betty's referring to, as TBK isn't in custody.

Pop tells Tabitha not to give the diner away

Pop awakens and asks if Tabitha saw the Devil, which she did. Additionally, she reveals to Pop Tate that she intends to make a new deal: his soul in exchange for the diner, but Pop refuses to allow Tabitha to sell the diner. Over the years, it's become a refuge for the lost and persecuted, which is why the Devil wants it. Pop's is the soul of Rivervale, which is why he refuses to give it up.

Veronica calls the Devil with a counterproposal. There's an old friend of hers, who she's invited to the casino tonight, and Veronica suspects that Mr. Cypher will find his soul much more worthy of damnation than Reggie's. The Devil accepts her deal.

Jughead sells his soul

Mr. Cypher answers Jughead's call and meets with him at the Blue and Gold. Jughead's been trying to get his creative juices flowing, and he figures an interview with the Devil will accomplish just that, but he has no intentions of selling his soul for it. That said, Mr. Cypher grants Jughead an exclusive, but only if he agrees to one of two terms: Jughead can either publish the interview and receive all the fame and notoriety that comes with it, but afterwards, he'll never be able to write again, or Mr. Cypher can give him a raw, mind-blowing tell-all, but everything he says has to remain between them, and Jughead can never publish a word of it, but it will indeed get his creative juices flowing. Jughead agrees to the Devil's term, but won't pick an option until after the interview.

Reggie alerts Veronica of Nick St. Clair's arrival. "All grown up, but still a sleazeball," Veronica remarks.

Jughead is left speechless and absolutely amazed by the Devil's life story and all the universe's mysteries revealed. So now, Jughead has a choice to make: publish what he's learned and never write again or file it away forever and scribble away in obscurity. Jughead chooses the first option, which consists of fame and fortunes.

Veronica tricks Nick

Now a senator and married man, Nick is grateful for Veronica's invite. She pulls him away from the crowd and asks him to catch her up on everything he's been up to, particularly the bad stuff. Nick reveals that he hasn't paid taxes in years and often drinks and drive, which has resulted in a total of three hit and runs. Additionally, he's lost count of how many NDAs his lawyers have had to arrange due to various harassment claims. Cutting to the chase, Veronica asks if he would sell his soul to the Devil for her. "Whatever it takes," Nick replies. The Devil accepts Nick's verbal and binding agreement and drags him to hell. With that, Mr. Cypher assures Veronica that no harm will come to Reggie. However, he reveals that Reggie's soul was never on the table. It was Veronica's soul that he was promised.

Jughead contemplates whether or not he should publish his tell-all interview with the Devil. Ultimately, he decides to publish it.

Betty speaks with her father

Betty questions the man claiming to be TBK. He reveals that he's actually the Devil. Betty asks for proof, questioning if her father is in hell, which he is, and as proof, the Devil summons him and allows for Hal to speak with Betty. He pleads with Betty for help, telling her just how much pain he's in. To ensure her father's identity, Betty asks where he would always take her after her little league games. He correctly replies "Chaz E. Cheddar's" on route 18, confirming that Betty is indeed speaking with the Devil and that her father is in hell.

Mr. Cypher makes Veronica a new deal

Veronica confronts Reggie for selling her soul to the Devil. Reggie initially offered his own soul, but Mr. Cypher declined, so he offered up Veronica's instead. She questions how this happened when she didn't even sign a contract. Reggie informs Veronica that he slipped a contract in with the weekly invoices that Veronica signs, along with Mr. Cypher's pen. Veronica throws a vase at Reggie in a fit of rage, but he pleads for forgiveness, reasoning that he only gave her away because he believed she could figure a way out. Veronica simply tells Reggie to leave. And following his exit, the Devil arrives, willing to renegotiate with Veronica, a new soul in exchange for her own, specifically Alice's. Should Veronica acquire her signature with Mr. Cypher's pen, then she can keep her soul.

By morning, calls are coming in from all over regarding Jughead's interview with the Devil, including his old agent Samm Pansky, who regrets ever dropping Jughead and is willing to take him back on as a client but needs to know what Jughead plans on writing next.

Raphael offers Tabitha protection

Jim Hubbard returns to the diner with no money. He is hoping that in exchange for a bowl of soup, he could wash some dishes. However, Tabitha tells him that such labor isn't needed and that she will bring him a bowl of soup, free of charge. A man at the counter is impressed with her kindness, even while facing the most dire of circumstances. He believes that such virtue should be rewarded. The man is a great admirer of Pop Tate and all his good deeds, introducing himself as Raphael, a holy angel. His boss likes what the Tates have been doing and wants to make sure they're prepared for an impending battle, one in which the diner will play an important role. Raphael then hands Tabitha a vile.

Alice almost sells her soul

Veronica calls Alice into her office and reveals that she would like to donate a portion of the casino's weekly earnings to the town, to be allocated at Alice's discretion. She has a direct deposit ready. All that's needed is Alice's signature. Alice is pleasantly surprised and just as she's about to sign the paper, with the Devil's hand inching closer towards her, Veronica has second thoughts on sacrificing her and takes back the contract, telling Alice to leave. However, Alice warns Veronica to get ready for the what's coming next, unaware of how she's just been spared an eternity in hell.

Jughead attempts to write his next piece of work on his duct taped typewriter, but he quite literally can't write.

Betty kills Glen

Betty returns to speak with the Devil, who continues to disguise himself as TBK. He's come to claim Betty's loyalty, rather than just her soul. He warns her that there's a war brewing between good and evil, and he'd like for her to pledge her allegiance to him. In return, he'll release Betty's father from endless suffering. It's been foretold that a woman will sit upon a scarlet-colored beat, full of blasphemy. And that woman was Babylon the Great, mother of all destruction and abomination. This is meant to be Betty, the Devil claims, but she isn't convinced and doesn't care about her father's suffering either. Hoping to further persuade Betty, the Devil tells her that Polly is also suffering in hell. He summons her, and Polly pleads with a Betty for help, exclaiming that her skin burns. Betty pulls away at the unbearable sounds of her sister's screams and demands that he stop torturing her, but when he continues, she grabs a sharp pair of scissors and stabs him repeatedly until he stops breathing. Betty then removes the mask to discover that she has in fact killed Glen. The Devil lured him to Rivervale and set up Betty to kill him.

Veronica tells Reggie about her plans

Reggie informs Veronica that the weekly skim guys have come to collect their cut. Veronica instructs Reggie to let them in, as she wants to thank them personally for giving her hope. She also tells Reggie to tell Kevin to take the night off, as she'll be performing at 11:00 PM tonight, with her swansong, ending at the stroke of midnight.

Jughead has called the Devil once more to renegotiate. Jughead is in complete despair due to his inability to write. He wants Mr. Cypher to take it back, which he will only do in exchange for Jughead's soul, a deal which Jughead eagerly agrees to, signing on the dotted line to regain his ability to write.

Veronica performs on stage as planned, singing Marry the Night.

Pop Tate and Tabitha consecrate the diner

The Devil arrives at Pop's diner, under the impression that Tabitha and Pop Tate have accepted his offer to sell him the diner in return for Pop keeping his soul. After they both sign on the dotted line, they ask what he intends to do with the shoppe. Mr. Cypher reveals his plans to tear it down. The bulldozer will be arriving in the morning. Considering this is Pop's final night, Tabitha proposes they drink one final milkshake. However, the Devil's milkshake has been poisoned with the tears that the Virgin Mary shed at the Crucifixion. Mr. Cypher begins to spew blood, questioning where Tabitha got the tears. She reveals that she got it from her guardian angel, and since she and Pop have also consumed the tears, they're protected from his demonic properties and proceed to throw the Devil out of the diner before consecrating the shoppe and protecting it from all evil with the tears of Mary.

Jughead returns home and begins typing on his typewriter, where his ability to write has returned. His first sentence: "Jughead Jones is damned for all eternity."

Betty is at home, near the fireplace, when she gets a call from Glen's office. They ask if she's heard from him, but Betty claims that she hasn't, when in actuality he's buried underneath the Cooper house.

Veronica watches as Reggie is taken away

It is past midnight, but Veronica remains among the land of the living. Reggie questions how that is. Veronica reveals that she met with Mr. Cypher, with whom she brokered a better deal. Essentially, the Devil will be joining their skim at the casino, only instead of collecting cash, Veronica will be supplying him with one lost soul a week for the rest of her natural life. Suddenly, a loud knocking can be heard at the door. It's for Reggie, as payback for double-crossing Veronica. She tricked him into signing one of the Devil's deal during the latest liquor delivery. Veronica encourages him to be a man about it and answer the door, which he does and is dragged to hell. Afterwards, she has a drink to celebrate.

Cast

Starring

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

Soundtrack

  • Deap Vally feat. Jennie Vee - I Like Crime
    • Scene: Veronica welcomes Alice to the soft opening of her casino.
  • Riverdale Cast feat. Casey Cott - It's Not Unusual
    • Scene: Kevin performs on stage during the soft opening.
  • Riverdale Cast feat. Camila Mendes - Marry the Night
    • Scene: Veronica's swansong performance.

Trivia

  • Fangs references Australian actor Hugh Jackman.
  • Fangs goes by "Finn". In the comics, his first name was either Edward or Fred depending on the story.
  • Pop Tate's deal with the Devil is a storyline from Riverdale #6 of the tie-in comics.
  • The town welcome sign shows Mr. Inferno, the devil that Betty and Veronica met in Betty & Veronica #75.[3]

Gallery

Promotional Images

Screencaps

Videos

References

Episode Guide

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