|“||The Angel of Death had once more come to Riverdale. Midge Klump's gruesome murder had gutted the entire town. And in grief, brought us together...||”|
THE BEGINNING OF THE END — After an incident at Riverdale High leaves the town on edge, Archie leads the charge to uncover the culprit. Meanwhile, the reveal of a devastating secret leads to a violent showdown between Chic, Jughead, Betty and Alice. Elsewhere, Veronica takes matters into her own hands when someone from her past comes to town seeking revenge. Finally, Hermoine and Cheryl conspire to take down Sheriff Keller.
The town gathers for Midge Klump's funeral. Alice, Betty, Hal, Hermione, Veronica, Hiram, Archie, Pop Tate, Cheryl, Penelope, Claudius, Ethel, Weatherbee, Reggie, Moose, Sheriff Keller, Kevin, Jughead, FP, Sweet Pea and Fangs are all in attendance to pay respect. Cheryl sings a song in Midge's honor. She and the rest of the River Vixens are dressed in all-black cheerleader uniform. Midge's death has seemingly taken a great toll of Riverdale, Mrs. Klump and Moose especially. Cheryl feels that it is her duty to say that "like the furies of Ancient Greece, who ceaselessly pursue blood atonement when a crime's been committed, the Vixens and I vow that we will not rest until those responsible for the murder of our sister.... is rightly punished."
As the service ends, Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead watch as Cheryl consoles Mrs. Klump. When Sheriff Keller approaches to offer his condolences, Mrs. Klump slaps him as he was supposed to be protecting them all from danger. Before walking off, Cheryl tells the Sheriff that his days of failing the town are numbered. Kevin runs then over to check on his father.
Afterwards, Sheriff Keller begins his investigation into Midge's murder, starting with interrogating everyone involved in the play. He questions Jughead first about the behind the scenes documentary that he was shooting. Though, Jughead has already given the Sheriff all his footage so he has no more to offer. He tells the Sheriff that everything was completely fine until Kevin got those threatening letters that were supposedly written by the Black Hood to recast the role of Carrie White. After learning more about the letter from Jughead, the Sheriff turns his attentions towards Ethel, who cries during interrogation. She admits that she was jealous as Cheryl often gets her way, but she never hurt anyone. Sheriff Keller then asks Moose if he remembers the last thing he said to Midge, but Moose claims to have no recollection, stating that his last words to her were probably something casual or stupid. Now onto Archie, who has a question of his own to ask the Sheriff. Archie asks if the Sheriff ever found any evidence that linked Joseph Svenson to any of the Black Hood attacks because he suspects that they got it wrong. He has ever since that night on the bridge. But the Sheriff recalls Svenson nearly burying Archie alive while wearing a black hood. Whoever the killer is, the Sheriff guarantees Archie that they will catch him and that Svenson was the Black Hood.
At Pop's Jughead theorizes that the latest killing is the work of a copycat. And Chic coincidentally showed up in Riverdale just after Svenson was killed. That along with the fact that he's creepy with a temper places suspicion on him in Jughead's mind. However, Betty corrects Jughead. Chic is only in Riverdale because she went searching for him. Admittedly, he is weird. But he didn't know Midge. So Betty wants to move on to a different suspect. Archie explains why he doesn't think Svenson was the Black Hood. While they were there when he died and he was wearing a hood that night, it doesn't mean he's the same guy who shot Fred and killed Midge. Betty reminds Archie that Svenson forced her to bury him alive. Not to mention that he cut off his own finger. Archie argues that maybe the real Black Hood cut Svenson's finger off because he was working with him. All Archie knows for sure is that when he looked into the Black Hood's eyes, they weren't Svenson's eyes.
While leaving the diner with Betty, Jughead questions how could they possibly know with certainty that Chic isn't the killer. Jughead recalls that he's killed someone before, the Shady Man, Dwayne. Betty explains that Chic acted in self-defense when killing Dwayne. Midge, however, he never even knew. So there is no motive. Given Chic's violent past and his association with equally violent people (Darla and Marcel), Jughead can't help but suspect him.
At the Pembrooke, Veronica asks Archie if he's alright. Whether or not the Black Hood is back, she doesn't want "Death Wish Archie" to return. Archie reminds Veronica of the message written in Midge's blood. If the Black Hood's going after victims who escaped him, that means any number of people could be next, like the two of them or Archie's dad or Moose or Betty. Which is precisely why Veronica needs Archie sane and steady. She wants him to promise her that he won't do anything crazy like patrol the streets or break into Svenson's house as she can't bear the thought of anything bad happening to him.
Sheriff Keller arrives at the Cooper house to question Chic as he has been talking to everyone who was at Riverdale High School the night of the musical. A couple people claim they saw Chic backstage just before the show. Hal tells the Sheriff that Chic no longer lives with them, but that they can bring him down to the station tomorrow. Sheriff agrees and then leaves. Once he is gone, Alice wonders why Hal threw Chic under the bus. Hal questions what Alice is worried that Chic will say. Remembering that Hal has no idea about the murder that took place within the house, Betty interjects that Alice is just overprotective of Chic.
While walking home, Archie briefly spots a man wearing all black at the end of the street. When Archie proceeds down the street to approach the man, he finds no one.
The following morning, Archie joins Fred in the kitchen after a rough night of sleep. Archie can't stop thinking about the Black Hood's message that said all those who escaped him before will die. Archie suggests that his father leave town and stay in Chicago with his mom. This of course would leave Archie all alone. Which just will not do for Fred. He informs Archie that Sheriff Keller put a deputy outside their house. But that won't be nearly enough to stop the Black Hood considering that he killed Midge in an auditorium full of people.
At the Pembrooke, with crisis comes opportunity, Hiram remarks. On that note, Hermione will be going door-to-door to ensure the residents of Riverdale that Lodges are for safety first, unlike Sheriff Keller. Hiram and Hermione then look to Veronica for assistance in one particular objective involving Cheryl given that she and Veronica are friends and that Cheryl seemed particularly devastated over Midge's death. However, Veronica wants no part of whatever schemes they're cooking up.
Betty asks her mother if maybe Chic should leave town for all of their safety. Betty worries that Sheriff Keller might press Chic, which could lead to Chic revealing what happened to the Shady Man. However, as Alice explains, Chic leaving town will only raise suspicions, which will result in law enforcement hunting him down. While talking to the Sheriff is a risk, it's one they have to take. Alice also insists that Betty relax because she'll be coaching Chic.
At school, Betty tells Jughead that maybe they should look further into Chic. While there is still no motive on why he would want to kill Midge, there might be something that connects him to Svenson since they both spent time at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Taking a moment to reconsider Archie's theory about there being multiple Black Hoods, Jughead notes that Svenson and Chic could've been in cahoots. While it's a long-shot since Svenson is older than Chic, he did however work at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy for years as a groundskeeper, meaning they might've crossed paths.
Hermione pays Cheryl an unexpected visit at Thistlehouse. Cheryl invites her in nonetheless. Hermione claims that she was moved by Cheryl's speech at Midge's funeral. Cheryl replies that it came from the core of her bosom as it is an absolute travesty what happened to Midge. If only Riverdale had more competent law enforcement. Which brings Hermione to her point. She is right in the middle of writing an editorial calling for Sheriff Keller's head, and seeing Cheryl's passion in the subject, Hermione thought that maybe Cheryl would be willing to write an op-ed. "Say no more". Cheryl replies.
At the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, Jughead and Betty speak to Sister Woodhouse about information regarding Chic. They ask if Chic's time at the group-home ever overlapped with Svenson's. Betty wants to check Chic's files to see if the time matches up. When Sister Woodhouse asks for a court order, Betty informs her of her family relation to Cheryl, who recently escaped the Sisters' secret, gay, re-education camp. So unless Sister Woodhouse cooperates, Betty threatens to return with a court order, as well as the F.B.I to shut them down. Out of fear that Betty will follow through with her threats, Sister Woodhouse provides them with the files. They discover that Chic ran away nine years ago. That means he would've overlapped with Svenson for two years. In the file, they find a photo of Charles Smith. Although, he looks nothing like Chic.
Despite promising Veronica that he wouldn't, Archie went to investigate Svenson's old house. It is now boarded up and abandoned. While trying to get a better look through the windows, Archie is ambushed by three men wearing black masks.
Betty and Jughead return to Betty's house frustrated at themselves for not figuring out sooner that Chic isn't really Betty's brother. Much to their surprise, Chic is in the kitchen with Alice. After taking him down to the Sheriff's station for questioning, she invited him back to the house for dinner. Betty and Jughead reveal that they paid the Sisters of Quiet Mercy a visit. While there, they discovered that Chic is an impostor. Betty shows her mother a pic of the real Charles Smith. Chic attempts to play it off, claiming that Betty's been out to get him from the start and that she never wanted a brother. When that fails and suspicion of Chic grows, he grabs a large kitchen knife, unintentionally cutting Alice's hand as he attempts to attack Jughead. Betty manages to disarm Chic before knocking him unconscious with a rolling pin.
At the Pembrooke, Hermione and Hiram celebrate a small victory after she managed to recruit Cheryl herself. Veronica then gets a call from Archie after having texted him all day without a response. However, it is not Archie on the other end. It is Nick St. Clair, who has attacked Archie and tied him up in some kind of warehouse. Nick's two friends hold Archie down in a chair while Nick tells Veronica that it'll cost her to get Archie back. He wants $1 million. Veronica reminds Nick what happened to him the last time he misbehaved. Nick needs no reminder as he will have a limp for the rest of his life following the car accident. So either Veronica gets Nick what he asks for or he will take his anger out on Archie.
Veronica turns to her parents with this information. Unfortunately, they refuse to pay Archie's ransom because Hiram won't be cowing down to who he describes as being a teen terrorist. With that, Veronica decides to call the police, but Hiram and Hermione warn her against it. The St. Clairs are a mob family with ties to the underworld. This entire time, Veronica was under the impression that they were only music producers. Now that she knows the truth, involving the police puts themselves at risk. Which is likely why Nick was so brazen and not even bothering to hide his identity. They ask Veronica to be patient but she can't. Not with all the terrible things Nick could be doing to Archie, like cutting his ear off. When Veronica leaves the room, Hiram tells Hermione that Archie isn't their blood. If they pay his ransom, it shows that they're vulnerable. And if that happens, Veronica will be targeted.
Kevin confronts Cheryl at River Vixens practice and demands a retraction following her published piece at the Register with Hermione Lodge that is smearing his father. Cheryl explains that Kevin's father has been incompetent for a long time and now that more bodies are dropping, he needs to step down. Lady justice will be served. Cheryl and the Vixens will see to it.
In the Coopers' basement, Alice, Betty, and Jughead tie Chic up to a chair. He wakes up not long after. He calls out to Alice, but Betty has grown tired of his games. They want answers, starting with Chic's real name. He insists that he is Chic and then calls out to Alice again for help, but she does not respond. Betty surmises that Chic must've known her real brother. When she and Alice went to the hostel and asked for Charles Smith, they were sent to Chic's room. So Betty asks why Chic was impersonating him. Chic explains that he never said he was "Charles Smith". He said he was "Chic", during their first encounter. Chic reveals that he met Charles out on the street. They then moved into the hostel together. That's where Charles told him about the Coopers. A perfect family a Riverdale who gave him up for adoption and never even came looking for him. One day, he knocked at the Coopers' door. Alice answered. She told him that they weren't interested, before slamming the door in his face. Charles went on a bender that night and overdosed on Jingle Jangle. Alice runs upstairs in tears with Betty not far behind her.
Alice finds the picture that Betty showed her of Charles. She gives it a good look and knows that Chic is telling the truth, at least about Charles stopping by the house. Alice remembers turning Charles away at the front door. He knocked and Alice asked him to leave. She begins to blame herself for killing her own son. Betty tries to calm her mother. They don't know Chic or his motives. Alice concludes that he is seeking revenge. She gave her son away and he came back to her only for her to turn him away. This, Alice believes, demands biblical punishment. However, Betty argues that Chic is the only person of guilt. Alice finally stops crying. Before leaving out the house, she requests that Betty stay at the house and watch Chic until she returns.
Back at the warehouse, Archie pleads with Nick to be released given that the Black Hood is still at large. Nick thought that the Black Hood was dead, but Archie informs him that this may no longer be true. Furthermore, Archie's dad may be in danger though Nick doesn't care. Nick explains that he's about to be disowned by his father thanks to Archie, Veronica, and the Pussycats. Nick is viewed as an embarrassment who'll never have the guts to run the family business. Which is why he grabbed Archie. He's going to "make his bones" with Archie. Nick's friends then hold Archie down as Nick assaults him.
Veronica sneaks into her father's study. She opens his safe hoping to find $1 million in cash to pay Archie's ransom. Unfortunately, it's not nearly enough. Still, Veronica calls Nick to inform him that she has his money. Nick arranges a meeting a Pop's in one hour for them to do the transaction.
At the Keller house, Kevin tells his dad that he can't take Cheryl's article attacking him to heart. As the Sheriff, Tom begs to differ. He shot Svenson on the bridge. He wanted them done with the Black Hood as much as anyone. So maybe he cut a few corners. Maybe he didn't have enough evidence to close the case. Just outside the house, a loud crash can be heard. When Kevin and Tom go out to investigate, they see that the front window of the Sheriff's vehicle has been smashed and that "Sheriff Killer" has been spray-painted onto the car.
Veronica and Nick meet at Pop's as planned. Before they do anything, Veronica wants proof that Archie's okay. Nick shows Veronica a photo he took of Archie, bruised and bleeding. Seeing that he's at least still alive, Veronica hands him over the money though he instantly realizes that it isn't the $1 million he asked for. Veronica swears that she'll get him the rest, but if not from her parents, how else would she get that kind of money, Nick asks. Unless Veronica gives Nick something else. What they started back in New York and even at the Five Seasons. Nick wants a night with Veronica. Even if Veronica does agree, what guarantee does she have that Nick will let Archie go? Nick gives her his word as a gentleman.
Alice arrives at FP's trailer distraught and in tears. No more secrets and lies, she says. She should've told him sooner as maybe things would've gone differently. Alice reveals that she had his child all those years ago. She named him Charles. But she had to give him up for adoption with the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. He came to see Alice and she turned him away. Now he's dead, and Alice blames herself. She asks if he remembers what happened between the two of them in high school. FP does. She made a mistake and she apologizes for that, but she has to get back to Betty and Jughead now. FP asks if Alice is talking about Chic, but she informs him that Chic is someone else entirely. FP hugs Alice and tells her that everything will be alright.
At the Cooper house, Betty's phone rings. It's the Black Hood. Betty instantly becomes teary-eyed. He asks if Betty missed him. Deep down, she knew it wasn't over. Betty accuses him of killing Midge and setting up Svenson. The Black Hood admits that both is true. And yet, for all he's taught her, she's been making amateur mistakes by allowing Chic, a sinner in her house. The Black Hood claims that Chic has lived in a den of sinners and that he kills as easily as he did in the house. Chic has supposedly murdered before. Jughead joins Betty in the kitchen and asks who she was talking to. She tells him it was her dad. Betty then tells Jughead that they need to go back to the hostel because she doesn't think Chic's telling the truth about what happened to Charles.
Nick tells Archie that his laptop is going to have a live feed of his suite at the Five Seasons where he and Veronica will be on a date. Archie initially believes that Nick is lying, but realizes that this is not the case when Nick reveals that he told Veronica that he would let Archie go afterwards. Archie remarks that he'll kill Nick. Which Nick takes to heart. That's why this can only end one way. When he said that he was going to make his bones, he meant it. But you have to kill someone for that. And who better than Hiram Lodge's Capo.
Betty and Jughead arrive at the hostel. They head up to the second floor to see if they can figure out what happened to Charles by talking to his neighbors. They have no such luck with the first neighbor, who tells them to go away. However, they do come across another one of Charles' neighbors, who is a bit more willing to talk. Betty shows the woman a photo of Charles. She recognizes him. She said that he was the nice one. He always spoke to her and even carried her groceries. May he rest in peace, she comments. Jughead asks did Charles have a Jingle Jangle addiction. The woman knows nothing of any addiction but Charles and Chic were constantly fighting. And then one day there was only one. "The bad one" i.e. Chic. Later, when she took her trash out, she saw bloody sheets and pillows in the dumpster.
Betty and Jughead confront Chic with the information they gained from his and Charles' neighbor. However, Chic refuses to admit anything other than the fact that Charles was a junkie. Jughead punches Chic and he begins to bleed. Despite all the blood, Chic seems rather unaffected. He tells Jughead to keep at it. They're not going to kill him because they're scared and they won't let him go because they're worried that he'll tell about the shady guy. Betty grabs Chic by his throats and demands the truth about her brother, but Chic continues one with his games.
Veronica applies her makeup before heading out for her date with Nick. She sees the necklace that Archie gave her for Christmas and seemingly comes up with an idea.
Back at the Coopers' house, Betty phone begins to ring just as she places the gun she stole from Ms. Grundy in her purse. It's the Black Hood. Betty admits that he was right about Chic being a killer, but he won't admit it. Some sinners only confess when faced with certain death. If Betty delivers Chic to the Black Hood, no one will ever know about the man who met such a gruesome end in their living room. Betty seems to be considering the Black Hood's offer, but before she can answer, FP and Alice barge into the house. FP heads downstairs to find Jughead attacking Chic. He stops the interrogation and takes Jughead out the house.
FP scolds Jughead. What goes on in the Coopers' house is none of their business. But Jughead can't just leave Alice and Betty alone in the house with a potential murderer. After what FP did to Jason Blossom, he won't have Jughead near that. It's not their house. It's not their place. Alice and Betty need to decide what they want to do with Chic, then FP and Jughead will help. Meanwhile, Alice and Betty contemplate their next move. Betty suggests driving him out of town or driving him out of town, but Alice fears that he'll only come back. In the meantime, she decides that it's time to tell Hal the truth about everything as this affects all of their lives.
Veronica arrives at the Five Seasons for her date. Nick questions why she's still in Riverdale when all of Manhattan should be kissing her feet. Nick writes it off as a phase, as well as her relationship with Archie. Unbeknownst to Veronica, Archie is watching their date via live stream. She tells Nick to have a seat as she fixes them both some drinks. Nick believes that he and Veronica could've been so much more as her relationship with Archie is beneath her. Veronica asks that he stop talking about Archie. He agrees and then takes a drink. Meanwhile, Archie grows frustrated as he is forced to watch this transpire. Still tied to the chair, Archie kicks back off the table, smashing the chair as he hits the ground, thus escaping his restraints. Archie attacks Nick's friend from behind with a pipe and knocks him unconscious before escaping.
Nick recalls that he and Veronica used to joke about ending up together one day. That stopped when Nick started roofy-ing girls, including Cheryl. Nick claims that this is all in the past, simple schoolboy mischief. He then asks Veronica for a dance. On the other side of town, Archie runs through the streets of Riverdale as fast as he can to the Five Seasons after escaping the warehouse.
After learning that Chic is an impostor and that he is tied up in the basement, Hal blows up. He demands to know what they were doing. Alice begs him to calm down, but with a psychopath in their basement, Hal is irate. When Hal decides that it's better to let the police deal with Chic, Alice says that they can't because she would go to jail as well. She reveals that Chic killed a man in the house and that she helped him cover it up by disposing of the body. Alice lies to Hal and tells him that Betty had no involvement in the cover-up. It was only her and Chic. When Betty tries to speak up, Alice tells her not to say another word and to go to her room. Instead of following her mom's instructions, Betty heads into the basement. She pulls the gun from her purse. She tells Chic that she took it from a music teacher that was a predator like him. At gunpoint, Betty cuts Chic loose and they head out the back door.
Archie finally makes it to the Five Seasons. He busts the door open only to find Nick on the floor unconscious. Veronica reveals that she roofied him, smuggled in via the necklace that Archie got her for Christmas. Now that Archie is free and Nick is tied to a chair, Veronica arranges an exchange of her own. She calls the St. Clairs and asks for ransom money.
Betty drives Chic out to the cemetery. Chic wonders who was it that called Betty with the odd lollipop song. Betty tells him that he'll find out soon enough. Now that it's just them, she wants to know if he killed her brother Charles. Chic reveals that they got into a fight and he lost control, but he never meant to hurt Charles. The Black Hood arrives. Just a few feet away. Chic doesn't believe her as she too would be running for her life if it was really him. But Betty tells Chic that the Black Hood is only interested in him. She lowers her gun and gives Chic a head start as the Black Hood slowly approaches. Chic takes off in the opposite direction. The Black Hood briefly makes eye contact with Betty before chasing after Chic.
Kevin enters his father's home office to learn that he is in jeopardy of losing his job. The deputy mayor asked that Tom step down as Sheriff and turn in his badge. And if Fred Andrews gets elected mayor, he lives to fight another day. But if Hermione Lodge is elected then he's out of a job. Kevin plans to campaign for Fred Andrews. But in the meantime, Tom can't desert his post in the middle of a crisis. Tom explains that if he resigns, they'll likely bring in somebody from outside, somebody who can hopefully catch the Black Hood.
Hiram and Hermione return home to find Veronica standing over a large sum of money. Veronica explains it's ransom money from when she turned the tables on Nick and held him for ransom instead. His parents gave Veronica $1 million for her troubles. Hiram tells Veronica that he was dealing with it, but the thing is that the St. Clairs hadn't heard a thing about Archie's kidnapping. But Veronica leaves that up to her father to explain to Archie. In the study, Hiram offers to explain why he didn't assist in Archie's ransom, but Archie doesn't want to hear it. He thought about a lot of things while Nick was torturing him. One of those things was that he feels that he's proved himself in a lot of ways, but there's one step left. He still hasn't made his bones with Hiram. There's only one man Archie's interested in bringing down — the Black Hood. Hiram tells Archie that this would earn him his bones and that he'll help in whatever way he can.
Betty returns home to find her mother sitting on the steps, drinking her troubles away. Alice asks where Betty went. Betty answers that she took Chic away. He's gone for good. Betty lies and tells her mother that she took Chic to the bus station. Betty then notices that Hal is gone. So she asks her mother where he went. Alice informs her that he went out looking for Betty.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Madelaine Petsch - You'll Never Walk Alone
- Pratt & Moody feat. Cold Diamond & Mink - Lost Lost Lost