|“||They say every town gets the hero it deserves. Riverdale's was Archie Andrews. High school athlete by day, would-be crime fighter by night. Patrolling the shadows of Sketch Alley, down by the Southside Docks, where Archie's community center is. You wouldn't want to be caught there too long after dark. That's when the rats came out. [...] All in all, not an auspicious second outing for Riverdale's dark-suited vigilante. And speaking of crime-fighting...||”|
THE TRIALS OF HIRAM AND HERMOINE — Caught between Hiram and Hermoine's double trial, Veronica grapples with what the future holds for her family. Archie finds himself the unexpected target of the town's local businesses. Betty and Kevin join the Junior FBI Training Program, and Jughead learns some surprising information about his family history.
Jughead types on his laptop in his room at Stonewall Prep. Elsewhere, Archie has taken up the mantle as Riverdale’s latest vigilante. He patrols the streets near the community center and stops a would-be purse snatcher. However, the woman who he is helping mistakes him for a criminal as well and pepper sprays him. Archie returns home and rinses his eyes.
Betty approaches Kevin by his locker and asks him to join her for the Junior FBI program. Kevin agrees to attend though only for his interest in Charles. Although, when asked about Charles sexual orientation, Betty hasn't the slightest clue, though she gives Kevin hope of meeting a gay FBI agent in training.
With her trial approaching, Hermione meets with her attorney, Mary Andrews, who informs her that the district attorney is pinning her entire case on linking Hermione to Hiram’s would-be murderer, Tall Boy. There’s also the issue of the large sum of money the police found in Hermione’s bag in Tall boy’s apartment, though Hermione swears she’s being framed. And so, FP will testify that he searched Tall Boy’s apartment after he died and that there’s wasn’t a bag of money. Veronica has a full week ahead of her between her school work and both her parents’ trials. Her goals for the week is to get her mother out of jail and ensure her father remains inside his.
Jughead reveals to Donna that he’s been continuing his research in the Stonewall Four and has uncovered a startling truth. In checking the town’s paper, Jughead learned that four people have gone missing within the last 30 years, similar to how Moose disappeared. However, Donna informs Jughead that Moose is fine. He’s been busy in basic training. She knows this because they’ve been texting.
Mr. Chipping hands out advanced copies of his latest novel to Jughead, Bret, Donna, Jonathan, and Joan. The tile of the book — Ten Little Boy Scouts. Written by Franklin P. Paxton. An alias of Mr. Chipping’s. He’s merely the latest in a long line of ghost writers. Jughead is a huge fan of the Baxter Brothers books. He has been since he was a youth. To celebrate the publication of the latest novel, Stonewall is throwing a party, which all the previous writers will attend.
Pop Tate reveals to Veronica that he’s being summoned by Hiram’s defense team for his upcoming trial. They’re likely to ask if he doctored the books to make Hiram look guilty, which he did. However, he won't place his hand on a Bible and say otherwise. And Veronica assures Pop Tate that it won't come to this.
Veronica visits her father in jail and tells him not to drag Pop Tate into the trial. Hiram tells Veronica the only way to spare Pop the troubles of going through a trial is for her to admit to the feds that she framed him. However, Veronica refuses.
Veronica meets with the federal prosecutor at La Bonne Nuit to inform her that Pop has been summoned and should he take the stand, he will tell the truth. The books Veronica provided the FBI proving Hiram’s guilt was the heart of their case, and without them, they need something else. Veronica offers her own testimony. She’ll testify that she tasked Pop will doctoring the books as a last resort because her father was extorting her.
Betty and Kevin attends Charles first Junior FBI session. Kevin makes mention of how attractive Charles is. They start with serial killers. He shows them a slide show of a crime scene. He pulls up three mugshots from three different individuals and asks the trainees which is the killer. Betty correctly guesses it’s the third man on screen. She again correctly guesses the next slide of serial killers. She does this one last time, much to Kevin and Charles’ surprise. The murderers all had one thing in common. A specific set of genes, MAOA and CDH13, better known as the serial killer genes, which Betty also has.
Jughead returns home in search of his Baxter Brothers books. He finds them in the basement. His dad used to get him one every year for his birthday. When Jughead asks why he stopped, FP replies that Jughead out grew them. However, Jughead argues that the Baxter Brothers can't be outgrown.
Jughead returns to Stonewall Prep and spends the night reading his old Baxter Brothers books. He finds that a page has been torn out of one of the books.
While painting over the graffiti alongside the community center, Archie and Munroe are approached by a store owner from within the area. He claims that he caught one of the kids from the community center, Toby, stealing from his store. Archie offers to pay for the comic book that Toby attempted to steal. The store owner accepts Archie’s money and tells him to keep his kids away from his store. Archie then instructs Toby to grab a brush.
Mr. Chipping introduces Jughead, Bret, Donna, Jonathan, and Joan to Francis DuPont. The originator of the Baxter Brothers franchise and the very first Franklin P. Paxton. Jughead expresses how much of an honor it is to meet DuPont. Mr. Chipping has written the last four Baxter Brothers books and it’s time he pass on the torch, meaning they’re on the hunt for a successor. The next ghost writer to take over the franchise, and their class is in the running. Every Baxter Brothers author beginning with DuPont has attended Stonewall. Jughead, Bret, Donna, Jonathan, and Joan tasked with writing the next three chapters of the Baxter Brothers novel and an outline for the rest of it. The theme has yet to be decided.
Betty goes to Riverdale General, where Dr. Patel confirms that she does in fact have the serial killer gene. She exits the doctor office and lies to Kevin about not having the gene though.
While leaving the community center, Archie catches two kids stealing hubcaps. He chases them away. While attempting to put the hubcap back on the car, Toby approaches him from behind with a gun. Archie disarms him with a tire iron and sends Toby back to Dodger with a message, that his days in Riverdale are numbered.
The next day, Archie and Munroe call a meeting with the kids after getting a call from FP that someone was stealing hubcaps. Anyone running with Dodger’s crew will end up dead or in juvie. If any one of them get arrested then the whole center will be shut down, and so Archie issues a new rule — anyone that runs with Dodger’s crew isn’t welcome at the community center. Toby asks what will happen to them when Archie and Munroe graduate and go to college. While that’s months away, it weighs heavy on Toby. Nonetheless, Archie tells him to pick a side. Toby and one other kid decide to leave.
Betty and Kevin attend the next session. One thing seen in a lot of serial killers are instances of animal cruelty in their youth. Betty recalls her time spent at the Farm, where Polly accused her of killing their cat Caramel. Betty feels overwhelmed and excuses herself from the session, leaving both Kevin and Charles concerned.
Veronica attends her mother’s trial. Hermosa also attends, sitting quietly in the back so not to be noticed. FP gives his testimony during Hermione’s trial, and Mary cross-examines him. FP arrived at the cabin alone. Tall Boy got violent and resisted arrest, forcing FP to shoot him. And later when FP searched Tall Boy’s motel room, he didn’t find any bag of money, meaning it was planted after the fact. The District Attorney follows up with her own line of questioning and then reveals that the cabin where FP shot Tall Boy is in Hermione's name.
While looking through past Stonewall Prep year books, Jughead discovers that DuPont was classmates with his grandfather, Forsythe Pendleton Jones I. He brings this discovery to DuPont, who tells Jughead how great of a writer his grandfather was. However, he was a brawler as well. He got into all kinds of altercations before leaving Stonewall, and with it being so long ago, DuPont can’t recall the exact circumstances behind his departure. Although, he will never forget Forsythe’s talent. He was far beyond his years. DuPont asks if Jughead’s dad writes and if he will attend the party tomorrow.
Veronica reveals to her mother that Mary is back-channeling with the DA’s office and they’re talking plea deals. Hermione tells Veronica that the cabin being under her name is false. Hiram must’ve forged the lease. However, while Hermione doesn’t own the cabin, she has been there. It’s where she killed Minetta. Veronica pleads with her mother to tell her the whole truth so that she can help her. Hermione share the whole story with Veronica and Mary. Unfortunately, Mary has no moves left. The more the prosecutor digs, the worse off Hermione will be. There’s no magic wand to make this go away, Mary explains. Veronica claims that there just might be a way to make this all go away. Her mother would have to change her plea to guilty though. She should admit to what everyone already knows before something worse comes out. Either way, Hermione is possibly facing life in prison. Although, Veronica believes she can get Governor Dooley to pardon her mother.
Betty walks up to the front door of her house. She finds a little girl in the front yard. The child is her. A much younger Betty grabs a rock and kills a cat with it. Betty then wakes from her sleep as it turns out to be a dream.
Jughead asks his his father if he knew his dad was a writer, which he did. Jughead then invites him to the reception, but FP turns down the opportunity to waste the day with a bunch to "blue bloods" that think they’re better than him. Jughead reminds his father that it was him who pressured Jughead into attending Stonewall. FP tells Jughead that his grandfather wasn’t a writer. He was a dropout. He couldn’t hold down a job, and he was a mean drunk who took all his frustrations out on FP and his mom. It was the best day of FP’s life when his father skipped out on him, so he certainly doesn’t want to hear how great of a writer he was.
Veronica meets with Governor Dooley at La Bonne Nuit and blackmails him into pardoning her mother. She promises this'll be the last time they meet should he comply.
Jughead, Bret, Donna, Jonathan, Joan, Mr. Chipping, and DuPont attend the reception along with many others. They kick the celebration off with a game of "Murder". The rules are as followed. Everyone draws a card. Whoever picks "murderer" must walk amongst them winking at their prey. If they’re winked at, they die five seconds later. Jughead is given the murderer card. The objective of the game is to identify the murderer before being killed. Donna is Jughead’s first victim. He winks at her and she falls to the ground. By the end of the game, it’s down to Jughead and Bret, who Jughead kills. Afterward, Jughead and DuPont discuss his family and his place as potentially the next ghost writer for Baxter Brothers books.
During the latest Junior FBI program session, Betty and Kevin take notes as Charles discusses how serial killers leave clues, take trophies, and keep records via journals, dairies, and letters. They see themselves as heroes of their own stories. They struggle with distinguishing fact from fantasy. By studying childhood diaries of serial killers, they gain insight into how their minds work. After the session, Betty returns home and goes through her old diaries.
Hermione’s trial resumes. Yet again, Veronica is in attendance, as well as Hermosa, who sits in the back. Mary announces that Hermione would like to change her plea. Hermione pleads guilty to all charges against her. Hermosa exits as the court erupts.
Betty meets with Kevin at Pop’s, where she reveals to him that she lied about not having the serial killer gene. Also, a repressed memory of Betty’s has recently resurfaced. When she was younger, a car hit her cat. Betty found Caramel on their front yard. She was in pain and dying. Betty went to get her dad for help. He took her back outside and told her to take care of it. He handed Betty a rock and he made her kill Caramel. Kevin tries comfort Betty, reasoning that her dad made her do it, but Betty is finding little comfort in his words. Kevin recommends withdrawing from the program if it's bringing Betty such discomfort.
Munroe give the kids boxing lessons. FP arrives to inform Archie that some of the local business owners have lodged a few complaints against the community center. Archie claims these complaints are false, which FP is already aware of. When he was a Serpent, they dealt with the same thing. Wherever they set up, complaints followed. No one wants a gang around. However, Archie explains that the kids aren’t the problem. It’s the thugs that show up after they leave. FP advises Archie to invite the neighbors over and get to know them. Hopefully then the complaints will stop.
Still sulking over his loss at the reception, Bret picks a fight with Jughead. He claims that Jughead was only accepted in because some of the school benefactors thought it would look good to take on a charity case. Bret tells Jughead that he’s nothing more than a statistic and project. Everyone year they pick someone new. Bret even claims that Jughead’s grandfather was also a charity case. Jughead grows angry. He slams Bret against the desk and grabs a stapler as if to hit Bret with it. Jughead regains his composure and leaves.
Archie and Munroe hold a press conference. They invited Alice and the media to broadcast the meeting the surrounding businesses. Archie wants to set the record straight. Despite a few bogus complaints that were made, the community center isn’t going anywhere. In fact, they’re extending their hours to 11 PM and will even be open on Sundays. Archie asks that instead of working against them, that the neighbors help out by sponsoring a baseball team or donating time. Archie and Munroe also plan to start a Big Brothers and Big Sisters program. The Riverdale Bulldogs and Vixens have already volunteered. Archie invites anyone to try and shut them down. However, they will lose as his mom is a lawyer and his best friend’s dad is the sheriff.
Following the press conference, Archie is approached by one of his neighbors, the owner of the hardware store. He admires what Archie’s trying to accomplish, however, many of the business owners are being pressured to speak out against the community center by Dodger. The local businesses have been paying him a protection fee and most recent;y he’s added a request that they protest the community center, or else risk losing his protection. Should that happen, they’re stores will get robbed or burned to the ground.
Jughead returns to Riverdale, prepared to unenroll from Stonewall Prep and return to Riverdale High with his friends, though FP refuses to allow him to throw away this opportunity. Regardless of how Jughead got in, FP concludes that the other students are threatened by him and what he can accomplish without the privilege or heritage. FP then reveals that the Baxter Brothers books weren’t from him. Jughead’s granddad sent them every year from wherever he was. FP didn’t tell him because he’s still angry at how his father treated him. Nonetheless, the books that Jughead cherishes so deeply are from him. FP doesn’t know where his father is now and he doesn’t want Jughead looking for him. What he wants from Jughead is what neither he nor his father did, and that’s to graduate high school and bring honor to their name.
Betty informs Charles of her plans to quit the program because she’s like every killer from his slideshow, which is how she was able to identify them so easily. She reveals that she has the serial killer gene to Charles. He reasons that’s all the more reason for Betty to stay. To make sense of that side of her. Charles reveals to Betty that he too has the gene. It’s why he joined the FBI. To help control those impulses. Charles believes that like him, Betty can use a career in law enforcement to help harness the darkness.
Veronica gets word from Governor Dooley that her mother is being released. Unbeknownst to Veronica, Hermosa is at the bar listening. She informs Veronica that she’s a licensed private investigator who was hired by Hiram to uncover any malfeasance against him and that she can unequivocally prove that Veronica plotted with the prosecutor to bring false evidence against Hiram. She has many recordings of them plotting. She had the speakeasy bugged. As for what happens next, the federal prosecutor has already told the judge that she’s dropping the charges against Hiram thanks to information Hermosa provided. Veronica offers to pay her double the amount that Hiram is, but Hermose declines her offer as their father needed help from someone he could trust, so he had her come up from Miami. She fixes things. It’s what’s she does. It's in that statement that Hermosa reveals that she Hiram’s other daughter. He needed her, so she came.
Jughead discovers that each of his Baxter Brothers book are missing a page. With each missing page, there's hidden message from his grandfather wishing him a happy birthday and telling him to trust few and never let anyone take anything from him.
Hiram walks out of court with Hermosa on his arm. He is interviewed by the press, Alice included. Now that Hiram’s free, he announces his candidacy for Mayor of Riverdale. Veronica watches angrily from a far.
At the Blue and Gold, Betty informs Kevin that they’re not withdrawing from Charles’ program as she wants to keep a close eye on him to determine if he’s a serial killer. The only places she’s seen him is Pop’s, her house, and the FBI office, leaving her to questions what exactly he does all day. She can’t help but wonder where he goes, where he lives, and why he’s still in Riverdale. Betty’s certain that he’s keeping secrets, so she follows him.
With his identity hidden behind a black mask, Archie confronts Dodger with a tire iron and demands that he leave Riverdale. However, Dodger has man power and the support of the people. With that, he has no intentions on leaving. Archie wants Dodger to consider this a declaration of war. He either leave town or the next time they meet, he won’t give him a chance to drive away. Dodger runs to his car and grabs his gun, but by the time he turns around, Archie is gone.
Mr. Chipping and DuPont have decided on the theme for the Baxter Brothers competition to become the next ghost writer. Bret, Joan, Jonathan, and Donna all raise their hand as they intent to participate. Jughead doesn’t raise his hand, but he’s definitely in the competition. He also requests that Mr. Chipping start calling him by his actual name of Forsythe III. Their challenge is to to devise the perfect murder.
Flash forward to Biology class, Spring semester. Archie, Betty, Veronica, Kevin, Munroe, and Reggie are in class when FP and two sheriff deputies enter the classroom and place Archie, Betty, and Veronica under arrest for Jughead’s murder.
- Joanna Jones as The Dame - Trouble Ahead
- Eels - Fresh Blood
- The episode title is a reference to the 1925 short story of the same name by Agatha Christie.
- This episode centered around a big trial for the Lodges.
- Jughead's favorite novel series The Baxter Brothers by Franklin P. Paxton are a play on The Hardy Boys by collective pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon.
- The books used to make crossovers with Tracy True, like The Hardy Boys used to have crossovers with Nancy Drew.
- Nancy Drew Mystery Stories were mentioned several times as Betty Cooper's favorite childhood books and she's been compared to the titular character many times.
- Ironically, a new Nancy Drew TV series airs after Riverdale this season.
- The title of the latest book in the series, "Ten Little Boy Scouts", is a play on Agatha Christie's bestselling novel Ten Little Soldiers.
- Charles mentions serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer during an FBI training lesson.
- Final Adjusted TV Ratings for Wednesday 6th November 2019 - SpoilerTV
- Riverdale - Episode 4.01 - 4.07 - Titles Revealed *Updated 20th September 2019* - SpoilerTV
- Riverdale - Episode 4.05 - Witness for the Prosecution - Press Release - SpoilerTV
- Trial for the Lodges Confirmation - Alex Zalben @ NYCC (@azalben) - Twitter