|“||When I deliver the activation, the receiver turns into you. [...] They become Betty. As in, Betty Cooper, as in, you. [...] When triggered, they become Betty. They try to kill dark Betty, evil Betty, other Betty. [...] Elegant, isn't it? It was Edgar's idea. When they hear the trigger word, they become you. And therefore, try to kill you.||”|
"Chapter Sixty-Six: Tangerine" is the ninth episode of the fourth season of Riverdale, and the sixty-sixth episode of the series overall. It is also the mid-season finale. It premiered on December 11, 2019.
THE SEARCH FOR FORSYTHE PENDLETON JONES I — After declaring war on Hiram, Veronica enlists a secret weapon against her father – her Abuelita. Archie and FP team up to take Dodger down for good, while Betty and Charles investigate a series of strange attacks aimed at Betty. Elsewhere, Jughead's search for his grandpa, Forsythe Pendleton Jones I, leads to more questions than answers, while Cheryl finally makes peace with the past that’s been haunting her.
Jughead, Bret, Donna, Joan, and Jonathan read their stories out loud. Jughead is crowned the next ghost writer for the Baxter Brothers by DuPont. Bret objects, but DuPont proceeds with the process nonetheless, handing Jughead his contract.
Veronica is facing difficulties being accepted into college. Hiram remarks that she should’ve accepted Harvard’s invitation. Veronica refuses to let him control her anymore. Furthermore, she still has an interview with Columbia. He sarcastically advises that Veronica enroll in Riverdale community college.
FP enters the community center and wakes Archie up from his sleep to question him about Riverdale’s latest vigilante. Archie admits that it’s him. While FP should arrest him, he won’t. Archie explains that he’s helping the only way he knows how. He set up a hotline because people are too afraid to call FP or the cops. FP advises Archie to focus on the community center, which Archie explains is difficult given that trouble too often finds its way there. Not to mention that that Dickensons are still on the loose. FP condemns Archie’s vigilante actions,but agrees to help him protect the community center.
Jughead asks Charles to use his FBI resources to help him track down their grandfather. Jughead has an important decision to make with whether he will be the next ghost writer for the Baxter Brothers. However, he has to know the truth before making that decision.
Pop Tate informs Veronica that liquor licence has been revoked and as of Sunday, La Bonne Nuit won’t be able to legally sale alcohol. Veronica concludes its payback for her vowing to fight her father’s Rum empire. Long term, she intends to fight this junction. As for now, she organizes a no-holds barred blow-out at La Bonne Nuit before they lose their licence. Pop remarks that Hiram wasn’t raised right, sparking an idea in Veronica.
Alice wakes Betty up from her sleep and informs her that Polly mutilated a nurse at Shady Grove. Betty, Alice, FP, and Charles meet in the dinning room, where Charles has actual footage of the attack. He shows it to Betty, who can’t even get through the entire video. Polly seemingly attacked the nurse for no reason. She says that she’ll only talk to Betty. Also, the nurse that Polly disfigured is named Betty.
Betty meets with Polly at Shady Grove. Polly is restrained to her bed. She claims to be unaware of her attack on the nurse. The last thing Polly remembers is being in the rec-room. Next thing she knew, she was being chained to a bed. Polly pleads with Betty to believe her.
As promised, FP helps secure the community center, installing a medal detector from Southside High and hooking up security cameras. Eddie offers to help Archie and FP find Dodger. He knows the allies that some of them used to work. However, Archie doesn't want him getting involved.
Veronica invites her grandmother to La Bonne Nuit to discuss expanding her business. Veronica aks who is it that her father learned from. Hiram learned from his mother, as it is her Rum recipe that he’s using. Veronica asks for the recipe, which her abuelita is more than willing to share, though she asks about college, questioning if Veronica heard back from Harvard. On that note, Veronica reveals to her abuelita all the trouble her father has been causing her.
Charles calls Jughead to inform him that he found their grandfather. He has a P.O. box in Seaside. He checks it once a month when he comes in from the forest.
Betty tells her mother that she believes Polly story of blacking out and having no memory of attacking the nurse. Betty recalls the doctors at Shady Grove saying that Polly received a phone call about an hour before the incident. Charles is trying to figure out the caller’s identity. The house phone rings. Alice answers. She hangs up the phone, grabs a large kitchen knife from the drawer, and lunges at Betty with the knife. Betty realizes that she’s been hypnotized. She snaps at her mother to wake her from the trance. Alice awakens and remembers nothing of attacking Betty.
Veronica and her abuelita confront Hiram at his office. Abuelita Lodge slaps him for his shameful actions in picking fights with Veronica, who then reveals that abuelita shared the Rum recipe with her.
Mary reveals to Archie that Vic, Fred’s foreman, came by. He wants to by them out of Andrews Construction. Archie refuses to sale. Taking it as far as threatening to fire Vic. He then gets a call from Toby, who tells Archie that Eddie and Malcolm went looking for Dodger and his brothers and got beat up when they found them. Eddie was beaten up so badly that he was hospitalized.
Betty and Charles discovers that the calls came from the same place. Shankshaw Prison. Something must’ve been said on those calls that made Alice and Polly enter a trance-like state that turned them into killers. As if they were hypnotized. Betty suspects this is the Farm’s doing. While Edgar is dead, Evelyn is in Shankshaw, where the calls originated from.
Jughead finds his grandfather living in a bus in the forest. Forsythe holds Jughead at gunpoint and only lowers his weapon when Jughead reveals who he is.
Cheryl pretends to commit suicide in order to lure out whoever has been gaslighting her into thinking that she's going crazy. She sets off several roach bombs, with gas potent enough to kill anything that crawls within Thistlehouse's walls. As the house is consumed with smoke, Penelope emerges from behind the hidden compartment in the wall to find Cheryl wearing a red gas mask. Penelope then passes out from the gas.
Jughead asks his grandfather about DuPont. He thinks his grandfather wrote the book, but DuPont stole it and published it under his name. However, Forsythe explains that Jughead’s facts are mixed up.
Archie informs FP at the sheriff station that Eddie and Malcolm are in the hospital after going after the Dickenson brothers. Bill and Fagan beat them up. FP reluctantly agrees to help Archie deal with them once and for all. But after that, Archie has to put an end to his vigilante business. FP changes out of his sheriff uniform and into his Serpent jacket, and together, he and Archie beat up Bill and Fagan Dickenson in an ally.
Penelope wakes up tied to a chair. In front of her sits Cheryl, Toni, Nana Rose, Jason, and Julian. Cheryl remembers when her mother used to read her Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland when she was a little girl. Penelope would ask if she was Alice. Cheryl would reply that she’s the Red Queen. As the Red Queen did to Alice, Cheryl is putting her mother on trial. She’s being charged with prolonged gaslighting to convince Cheryl that’s she’s crazy, attempting to murder Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead, and actually murdering Clifford, Claudius, and Hal Cooper.
After taking on the Dickenson brothers, Archie and FP grab a booth at Pop’s, where FP admits it felt good to get back into the fight. It had been a while since his last brawl. And his old Serpent jacket still fits like a glove. FP imagines that Fred’s looking down on them, shaking his head, but he’d be glad that Archie’s crime fighting days are over.
Forsythe always loved detective stories, so he came up with an idea to write a story about teenage detectives, specifically the Baxter Brothers. Forsythe was burning out at Stonewall Prep, so he quit. The only thing he had to show for it all was that one Baxter Brothers story. Forsythe didn’t know what to do with it, but DuPont did. He bought it from Forsythe for $5,000. A franchise that is now worth millions. Over the years, Forsythe became bitter and started drinking as the novels got popular. He took his anger out on the world, FP included. Eventually, he figured that everyone would be better off if he left and never came back. Jughead reveals that DuPont asked him to be the next ghost writer. He needed to know the truth before he accepted the opportunity. All this time, Jughead thought DuPont was killing people to keep this secret. Forsythe advises Jughead to cease the opportunities he’s given.
Betty visits Evelyn at Shankshaw and confronts her for turning her family against her by calling them and triggering post-hypnotic suggestion. Betty questions how she’s getting them to turn. Evelyn explains that when she delivers the activation, the receiver turns into Betty. They become Betty. When triggered, they try to kill Dark Betty. It was Edgar’s idea. The trigger word is "tangerine." It has to be repeated three times in a row. Betty hangs up the phone on Evelyn before she can say it a third time in fear that it will activate her to kill herself.
As Archie and FP are leaving Pop’s, a masked gunman opens fire on FP. Shooting him in his upper right body area. FP is taken to the hospital, where Archie apologizes for the shooting. FP tells him that there’s no need. It’ll take a whole lot more than a flesh wound for him to regret what they did. Archie believes it was Dodger who fired the gun. Fangs arrives and confirms his suspicion. Dodger and his mother Darla Dickenson shot FP. Fangs learned from the streets that it was parting shot before the Dickensons skipped out on town. They’re currently clearing out the arcade. FP warns Fangs to keep his mouth shut and reminds Archie of their agreement to hang up his vigilante ways. Despite their agreement, Archie goes seeking revenge on the Dickensons before they can leave town.
Betty meets with Charles and tells him about her latest encounter with Evelyn. She interrupted her before she could say tangerine three times as Betty feared that she may be activated. There’s only one way to find out. Charles wants to activate it while he’s there’s with Betty. He says tangerine three times and nothing happens. He suspects that it may be because she’s already Betty.
Despite her mother’s wicked machinations, Cheryl’s looking for a reason to spare her life. She wonders why her mother has always been so cruel to her. She was brutalized her entire life. To make matters worse, Penelope tried to kill her friends and then hid in Thistlehouse to keep torturing her. Penelope confesses that she wanted to destroy Cheryl’s happiness with Jason. How can she live knowing that Cheryl is happy with her dead son. She refuses to let Cheryl get what she can’t have. In that case, Cheryl rules that Penelope is guilty of being hateful to her rotten core. Rather than executing Penelope or sending her to jail, Cheryl has plans of sending her somewhere so vile that she’ll wish to be bricked up in Thistlehouse’s walls.
As planned, Veronica hosts one last alcohol fueled blow-out before La Bonne Nuit’s liquor license is suspended. Hiram decides to attend if only to antagonize Veronica. Reggie returns to the bar and informs Veronica that someone is asking for her. She claims it’s official. The woman in question is Shoshana Rutherford. The recruiter from Columbia. Supposedly, Veronica’s assistant called her assistant and requested that Ms. Rutherford come see her thriving business. Veronica realizes this is her father’s doing. She asks Ms. Rutherford to hold off as she promised the crowd a floor show.
Archie confronts Darla and Dodger as they attempt to leave Riverdale. Dodger proposes a good old fashion brawl, and so he throws down his gun and Archie his bat. The two trade blows as Darla watches. As Archie gains the upper hand, Dodger grabs a hubcap and smacks Archie with it before pulling out a knife. Still, Archie proves to be the superior fighter. Disarming Dodger and nearly beating him unconscious. Archie told Dodger the next time he saw him, he wouldn’t be able to walk. So, Archie tells Darla to drag Dodger away, and if any of them dare step foot in Riverdale again, Archie threatens to kill them. Unbeknownst to Archie, Toby and a few of the other kids from the community center witnessed the brawl.
Veronica and Kevin perform for the crowd. Following Veronica’s performance, Hiram reminds her that come midnight, she’ll no longer be able to serve alcohol, Rum included. While she may not be able to sell it, Veronica still intends on making it. However, Hiram reveals that he has a patent on the Rum recipe. He’ll sue Veronica for all she owns if she tries to.
Betty stops outside her doorstep. Her younger self emerges from the house and asks if Betty is there to kill her as she killed her cat, Caramel. Betty looks down to her blood covered hands as the world around her darkens. She wakes from her vision, having dug her nails so deep into the palm of her hands that she’s bleeding.
Jughead arrives at the hospital following his father being shot and reveals that he found his grandfather living in a converted bus in the forest of Seaside. With DuPont offering him the Baxter Brothers contract, Jughead wanted to talk to him before signing. Turns out that Jughead was wrong. His grandfather willingly gave DuPont the rights to the first Baxter Brothers novel. Also, Jughead tells FP that his father, Forsythe, knows what he did to him was wrong and that he was a bad father. Jughead asks his father if he would be willing to talk to his own father. Considering that FP is stuck in the hospital until morning, he replies that he would be up for it.
Penelope awakens in an underground bunker. It’s better than what she would’ve gotten at Shankshaw. Cheryl is providing her mother with time and solitude to seek penance for her crimes and cruelty. She then exits the bunker and locks her mother inside.
Betty describes the terrifying experience she had to Charles when she saw the red front door. She slipped into a trance. Charles suggests that it may be a combination of Betty hearing the trigger earlier and returning to a familiar setting. What Betty saw, her about to kill Caramel, she thinks that’s when Dark Betty was born. Charles believes that if Betty can go back and stop the birth of Dark Betty, then she’ll essentially be killing her shadow self before she’s even born. Charles says the trigger — tangerine three times. Betty instantly goes into a trance. She walks outside and finds her younger self holding a rock over Caramel. Betty grabs the rock and tells her younger self to go play. She then awakens from the trance.
Once the speakeasy clears out, Veronica takes a seat to discuss her perceived low chances of being accepted into Columbia. However, Ms. Rutherford explains that they’re always looking for people with good stories at Columbia. And while she doesn’t know Veronica, she’s certain she has a good story to tell.
Jughead returns to his grandfather’s bus to find that he has left.
Toni questions if Cheryl is having second thoughts about her mom, which she isn’t. Cheryl was in fact thinking about Jason and how it’s time to bury him. Jason, more than anyone deserves the peace that their mother spent years denying her.
Mary finds Archie sitting in the dark in the dining room. She notices the bruises on his face as she gets closer. He explains that he did it to himself. The Dickensons were done. They were leaving Riverdale, but Archie wanted revenge. It doesn’t make any sense to him how predators like Dodger get to live while his dad died doing the right thing. The worst part about it is that some of the kids from the center saw Archie standing over Dodger. Covered in blood, like a monster. He’s never felt further from his father than he does now.
Jughead explains to his father that by the time he got to the bus, his grandfather was gone. Jughead feels like a fool. FP tells him he would only be a fool if he gave up the Baxter Brothers contract. Jughead agrees, and that’s why he’s signing it.
Jughead returns to Stonewall that night and signs the contract. A note is slipped under his door requesting his presence in the north woods. Jughead finds himself cornered in the north woods by Bret, Donna, Joan, and Jonathan. They circled a clearing with torches. A tree stump podium sits in the center. Jughead initially suspects that they’ve called him there to kill him. But in fact, it’s his initiation into the Quill and Skull Society. Donna sits a skull on the stump, and Bret hands Jughead a rock. Jughead crushes the skull with the rock and finds a Quill and Skull pin inside.
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.
While eating dinner at the community center, Archie meets his father’s brother, Frank Andrews.
Betty gets up out of bed, looks in her mirror and says tangerine three times to trigger whatever hypnosis the Farm may have done to her. Glass shattering can be heard throughout the house. Alice rushes to Betty’s room to investigate. Betty explains that she was making sure the dark part of herself is gone, and it is. The loud glass shattering noise was Betty breaking her mirror.
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.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Camila Mendes and Casey Cott - Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
- The episode title references the trigger word used by Evelyn Evernever to activate the sleeper cells, and Betty's bed sheets which have tangerines on them.