|“||One sheet of paper. That's all it took. To confirm everything that Betty had feared... That she let a dangerous stranger into her house.||”|
A HOUSE DIVIDED — In the aftermath of Hiram's newly announced plans for Riverdale, Jughead resorts to drastic measures to voice his opposition. After making her own big announcement, Hermione's friend Andy Cohen comes to town to lend a hand. Meanwhile, Veronica goes against her parent's wishes to keep a low profile when she decides to run for student council president. Elsewhere, Mary arrives in Riverdale just as tensions between Fred and Archie reach a breaking point. Finally, following a series of mysterious events, Cheryl begins to fear that someone is out to get her.
Betty explodes on Chic after confronting him with the blood test results that had confirmed everything she had feared, that she had let a dangerous stranger into her house. Chic is not come of Blossom blood, leading Betty to believe that he is an impostor. Betty runs to her mother with this startling discovery. However, Alice clarifies the matter right up. She tells Betty that Chic isn't of Blossom blood because he doesn't share the same father as her and Polly. Chic is not Hal's son. So then Betty asks who Chic biological father is, but Alice doesn't answer because Chic's actual father wants nothing to do with them. As Alice holds Chic in her arms, comforting him, Chic and Betty make eye contact as a devious smile forms on Chic's face.
Hermione sits down for an interview with Hal Cooper at the Pembrooke for their Register readers in what is her first time speaking out since her announcement for candidacy as mayor. She was also kind enough to allow Veronica and Kevin to sit-in. When Hal asks why she chose to run for Mayor of Riverdale, Hermione explains that she hopes to fix the yearly decrease in population and business closings. That is why Lodge Industries has secured a bid for a maximum security prison on the Southside. That means jobs, economic growth, and stability. It'll give Riverdale its future back. After they discuss building the prison on the bones of Southside High, adding on a new wing to Riverdale High and whether or not Veronica will be running for student council president, Andy Cohen, a family friend, comes into the room to give his endorsement of Hermione. Moving onto more official business, Hermione tells Veronica the campaign won't be easy, especially since they had to lead with Hiram's plans for the prison. Certain people will see them as the enemy. So after the endorsement, they need to keep their heads down.
The next day, Archie enters the kitchen as Fred reads the latest article from the Register detailing Hermione Lodge's candidacy for mayor and her promise that the new prison will bring forth more jobs and a safer Riverdale. Archie is confident that the prison is a good idea. Though Fred begs to differ. He is certain that a prison will rip the soul out of Riverdale, especially the Southside. So he can't support that plan or Hiram and Hermione. Which means he has to sever all ties with Lodge Industries and SoDale.
At school, Betty, Jughead, Archie and Veronica discuss the closing of Southside High and whether or not Veronica knew that the sole reason for its closing was for her parents to build a private, for-profit prison on its bones. Betty insists that Veronica had no knowledge of her parents wrongdoing. Nonetheless, Jughead plans to go on a hunger strike to protest Southside High closing and Betty supports him. Ethel then approaches the table with a milkshake from Pop's and dumps it onto Veronica in retaliation for her parents' misdeeds. Ethel, along with others, has found Veronica guilty of the crimes that she and her parents have committed against the town.
Veronica heads to the restroom to wash out the milkshake. Betty joins her to ensure that she is alright. Veronica's dad was responsible for the Muggs family losing everything they had and he still hadn't made amends. So as far as Veronica is concerned, Ethel had every right to be upset. Betty is impressed with Veronica's restraint as she would want to rip Ethel's head off. But as Veronica's mom keeps saying, this is not the time for drama and flying off the handle. Veronica simply needs to take deep breaths, keep smiling and turn the other cheek. On their way back from the restroom, Veronica and Betty run into Reggie, who begins harassing Veronica. When he asks what were the odds that her father is the first inmate in the prison he was building, Veronica grows so angry that she punches Reggie in the face and drops him.
Cheryl awakens from her sleep in the late hours of the night to the sound of someone trying to force their way into her room. Growing fearful, she slides a chair under the doorknob to prevent the door from opening. The next morning, she tells her mother, uncle and Nana of the incident. However, Penelope dismisses Cheryl's claims and insists that she is merely imagining things. Cheryl then begins to grow suspicious of her mother and uncle after they start discussing pushing Nana Rose out of her stewardship of the family business. With Claudius in town, at least for the time being, Penelope suggests that they start considering him to take the syrup business. However, Rose refuses to even entertain the notion. So Claudius offers her some of Penelope's special blended tea to calm her.
Hermione and Hiram confront Veronica after learning that she had punched Reggie Mantle in the face at school. Veronica apologizes for stepping out of line, though she is determined to get Ethel Muggs' father a job at the prison to make amends. However, Hiram refuses to oblige her request and instead demands that she keep her head buried in the sand, so to speak.
In the student lounge, Veronica announces to Archie, Betty, and Jughead that she is running for student council president against Reggie. If yesterday's dramatic events taught her anything it is that Veronica Lodge is not a victim. Nor will she ever allow herself to be one. Jughead surmises that she is simply doing her parents' bidding in trying to take over the school. However, Veronica retorts that her parents would rather she avoid the spotlight though she has other plans in mind which is also why she asks Betty to be her running mate.
With her integration into Riverdale High going so well and a newly-formed friendship with Cheryl blossoming, Toni tries-out for the River Vixens. Impressed with her routine, Cheryl grants her a spot on the squad. In honor of Toni becoming a Vixen, Cheryl invites her, Betty, Veronica and Josie to Thistlehouse for a mandatory slumber party.
At Andrews Construction, Fred tells Hermione that he wants out of his contract with SoDale. He is hoping for a quick and clean break, however, they would inevitably have to get their lawyers involved.
In the study, Hiram asks Archie about Jughead's hunger strike. Archie tells him that Jughead loved a political crusade almost as much as he loved a burger. From the contact Hiram has, Jughead seems to live in a fantasy world of ideals and theoreticals. What if Southside High were to reopen? Hiram, on the other hand, lives in the real world. He sees what needed to be done, as does Archie. Hiram announces that he is accelerating the timeline for the demolition of Southside High and is hoping that Archie can send Jughead a message by giving him a flyer notice that Southside High will be demolished within the week.
That night at Pop's, Archie tells Jughead that Hiram is preparing to demolish Southside High that week despite the fact that he is supposed to give the neighborhood a six-week notice. When Jughead begins to question who Hiram could've paid off to have demolition underway so quickly, Archie reminded him of the Black Hood shooting his dad and how the town was falling of the deep end. If Hiram's plan can make the town more secure for them and their families, then Archie sees no reason not to follow along. He questions why Jughead cares for Southside High so deeply when he attended for such a short amount of time. Jughead explains that he was raised on the Southside with his mom, dad and Jellybean. The Southside is the last tangible thing he has of them. Jughead then learns, much to his surprise, that Archie's dad is also against Hiram's plans and is in the process of pulling out of his deal with the Lodges.
Cheryl hosts the slumber party at Thistlehouse as planned. During which time she reveals her true intentions behind inviting them over. It wasn't to celebrate. In actuality, Cheryl is terrified of being alone at the house with her uncle Claudius, who is crazy and a complete stranger to her. Cheryl had overheard her mother and uncle plotting against her and her Nana. Josie asks if she is simply imagining things. But Cheryl is sure that she isn't. Later, while in bed with Toni, Cheryl shares with her that she didn't want to invite the other girls to the slumber party. Only Toni. But her mother would've never allowed it. As the two of them are about to kiss, a loud thud can be heard outside Cheryl's room. The girls run into the hallway to find Nana Rose unconscious at the bottom of the steps. It would seem she has fallen or even been pushed.
Outside Thistlehouse, Cheryl stands alongside Toni as the paramedics put Nana Rose into the ambulance. Fortunately, she has survived the fall. As her mother and uncle speak with the paramedics, who claim that Rose suffers from Sundowner's Syndrome, causing her to lose her senses at nightfall, Cheryl notices that Claudius is wearing her father's pajamas. Cheryl fears that they pushed her Nana down the stairs and that she is next.
With Fred in dire need of her professional expertise to get out of his contract with the Lodges, Mary returns to Riverdale to assist. She is greeted by Archie at the front door. The two share a hug and then they proceed into the kitchen, where she discusses Fred's contract. She wished that he had called her in sooner before he gave the Lodges 20% of Andrews Construction. However, Archie is far from concerned. He is sure that Hiram will keep his word though Mary and Fred aren't so sure given their long-standing history with Hiram and Hermione.
Betty and Archie support Veronica in her run for student body president. However, Ethel soon notices Veronica's campaign, which consists of bribing the male voters with kisses and cupcakes. However, as Ethel informs Veronica, she will have no such luck with those tactics in regards to the female voters. Veronica explains that she is only interested in one girl, that being Ethel. While it was long over due, Veronica wants to make reparations. So she tells Ethel to tell her father to expect a job offer very soon from her dad.
Jughead holds a meeting of the Swords and Serpents to discuss the demolition of Southside High. He believes that Hiram Lodge plans to take over everything that made the Southside their home, like the Whyte Wyrm. He explains to Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty and the other Serpents that Southside High is the soul of the Southside. The Uktena fought and died trying to protect the land. Their parents fought to keep it safe during the riots. Now, it is their turn to protect it. Jughead is ready to go to war. As are the others with the exception of Toni.
Archie later has lunch with Mary at Pop's. She hates to see him and his father fighting. Given that he is in his first serious relationship with Veronica, she wants to ensure that he isn't led astray to align himself with her family against his better judgment. Archie insists that this isn't the case.
Betty returns home from school to find Kevin in the kitchen chatting with Chic. Chic reveals that he and Kevin have been continuing their online chats. Eventually, Kevin told Chic about their catfishing scheme. Upset with Kevin's betrayal, Betty asks that Kevin leave. Once he is gone, Betty demands that Chic leave her friends alone. Clearly, there is something he wants. A void he is looking to fill. Like brother, like sister, Chic remarks. Recalling on how Betty mentioned that they share the same darkness though Betty counters that Chic knows nothing about her darkness but he soon will.
At practice, Veronica asks Josie about being her celebrity endorsement for her campaign for student council president. However, Josie has not forgotten Veronica had stolen the Pussycats from her. Nevertheless, before Josie can say no, Veronica informs Josie that Andy Cohen is a very close friend of the family which catches Josie's attention. Should she offer her endorsement, Veronica will get her a spot to perform on Watch What Happens Live as a special guest. And so Josie agrees.
Mary and Fred sit down with Hiram and Hermione at the Pembrooke to discuss Fred's contract. Mary claims the contract is exploitative and that Fred should be immediately released and compensated. However, before Hiram can counter, he gets a call informing him that Jughead has rallied the Serpents to chain themselves to the school in protest of the demolition. So he calls Archie to handle it. Archie arrives at Southside High to find that Jughead and the Serpents protesting despite Hiram's plan to tear it down in two days time. Unless Hiram wants the blood of eight young Serpents on his hands, Jughead has no intent on leaving.
As Chic sleeps in his bed later that night, Betty enters his room and waves a Zippo lighter across his face, waking him up from his sleep. She tells Chic that he isn't the only one who can scare people by being crazy. While he may have fooled their mother, Betty is far from fooled. She promises Chic that she is going to bring him down as she had so many bad men before him, like Clifford Blossom, The Sugarman and the Black Hood. The commonality between all three of these men is that they are dead. Essentially, Chic has been warned.
Concerned that he will be arrested for trespassing or protesting without a permit, Betty heads down to Southside High the next day to check in on Jughead as his protest of the demolition continues. However, this is the beauty of Jughead's predicament. It will look bad if Sheriff Keller tried to manhandle a group of teens who are peacefully trying to save their school. Not to mention it would probably go viral, which is publicity Jughead would welcome. Betty then gives Jughead a kiss before heading off to attend to her student council obligations with Veronica.
At the campaign rally, Josie gets on stage to give her endorsement as promised. She speaks to the student body, telling them that Veronica and Betty have her vote as Riverdale High's next president and vice president. She then reminds the woman to vote and be heard during this election. Josie, Veronica, and Archie then perform on stage. However, Ethel enters the lounge halfway through their performance with flyers that reveal, amongst other things, that Veronica knew all about her parents turning Southside High into a prison. It turns out that Josie had fed Ethel all of this information to get back at Veronica for all the lives her family has destroyed with the last year.
Learning that Veronica had lied to her, Betty storms out the lounge with Veronica not far behind hoping to explain herself. Betty recalls the day when Weatherbee announced the closing of Southside High and how Veronica pretended to have no knowledge of it. She is upset that Veronica had lied to them and gone along with her parents' plan. With this, Betty can no longer be Veronica's running mate because she can no longer trust her.
Hermione confronts Veronica as she walks through the front door from school after learning that Veronica has gone against her wishes to lay low by running for student council president. To make matters worse, there was the flyer going around school, exposing Veronica for all her lies. This is precisely why they asked that she keep a low profile. Veronica explains that she is out there every day, facing what they all have done. And maybe, if she is their President, her friends will stop looking at her like she's just the daughter of criminals. So she needed something she could use as a shield against everything that is coming their way. Protection from everybody out there who hates them and is out for their blood.
Betty returns home only to be confronted by her mother for tormenting Chic with a Zippo lighter. Even worse, Chic had gone through her belongings and found her black wig. Which Chic reveals that Betty wears when she has sex with Jughead. Alice looks to Betty in utter shock to ask if this is true. Betty clinches her fist tightly and admits to her mother that she and Jughead are sexually active.
Jughead sits alone outside Southside High that night as the others went to warm up. He is joined by FP, who comes offering burgers from Pop's despite Jughead's hunger strike. Several burgers later, Jughead learns that his dad got a call from Hiram Lodge, offering them a penthouse upon SoDale's completion should Jughead desist with his protest. However, Jughead can hardly imagine himself standing on a penthouse balcony, looking over a prison where he and his friends once attended school. And then there is Jellybean, who'd grow up in a town where her best hope, other than leaving Riverdale, would be to work in a prison. He can't see that for them.
Meanwhile, the Andrews are having dinner. The topic of discussion — Riverdale and Jughead's crusade to save it. Archie writers Jughead's protest off as an act of lunacy. However, Fred defends it. While Archie may not believe in what he was fighting for, Jughead's reasons are still valid. However, Archie disagrees, arguing that Jughead is mostly fighting against Hiram. As were a lot of people in town who are afraid of what had to be done. Mary is offended by Archie's comments. Not because they are directed at her, but because they are directed at Fred, who according to her, broke rocks in high school to support his family when his own father got sick. He saw what had to be done, and did it. Even making a business out of it. Furthermore, Fred does have a vision. One that doesn't end with everyone working in a penal colony. While it is Archie's prerogative to side with Hiram, Mary refuses to allow him to disrespect Fred.
The next day, Betty assures her mother that she and Jughead are using protection. Which counts for something since Alice didn't when she was Betty's age. Also, Alice is very well acquainted with how alluring the Jones men can be. From this, Betty surmises that Alice and FP used to be together. However, in no way is FP Chic's biological father. Like it or not, Betty needs to accept that Chic is a part of their family. While he is odd and damaged, for the past 25 years, he didn't have anyone to love him. So he needed them, Alice explains. Regardless of this, Betty insists that he is dangerous and that her mother never forget what he did.
Cheryl visits her Nana at Riverdale General Hospital, and then approaches Dr. Masters in the hallway to see if there are any updates on her. Dr. Matsers told Cheryl that there were trace amounts of a paralytic toxin called Tannis root in her Nana's bloodstream. Which Cheryl suspects is the same herb blend that her mother and uncle have been giving Nana Rose with her tea. However, Penelope had already lied to Dr. Masters and told him that they caught Nana Rose on more than one occasion chewing bits of tannis root that she grew in the greenhouse. This leaves him to conclude that the incident is nothing more than a case of Nana Rose's Sundowner's Syndrome. They'd be keeping her for observation for another day, then she would be well enough to return home. Before Cheryl can warn the doctor of her mother and uncle's dastardly deeds, Penelope pulls her away.
After talking it over with her mother, Betty proposes a truce with Chic though he has no reason to believe her since all she's wanted to do is get rid of him. Betty explains that if she really wanted to get rid of him, she would go down to the Sheriff Station and tell Sheriff Keller how he killed a man. However, Chic explain just why Betty isn't going to do that. He never touched the body, the car, the phone or went through the dead man's contacts. It wasn't his fingerprints or hair they would find, rather Betty's. Chic threatens to call the police on Betty since all the evidence will point to her. He then tells her that he is uncomfortable with being in the same room as her and that she scares him. And so Betty leaves
In the car, on their way back from the hospital, Cheryl accuses her mother of poising Nana Rose with Tannis root and pushing her down the stairs. However, Penelope writes these accusations off as a lapse in sanity. Cheryl has lost her mind which leaves Penelope with no choice.
Elsewhere, the protest persists. Every hour that passed, that Jughead is chained to the school, is bad for business. It is time to move Jughead and his fellow Serpents by force. Hiram suggests that Archie lead the Riverdale Wrestlers to stop Jughead. Archie initially refuses, but he has made an oath of loyalty to the Lodges. If he breaks it, there will be consequences. With that being said, Archie reluctantly agrees to do Hiram's bidding. But only if Hiram lets his father out of all commitments to Lodge Industries.
With the demolition just a day or so away, Jughead and the Serpents are joined outside Southside High by a crowd of Southsiders, all demanding that the school be reopened. Unfortunately, their peaceful protest is interrupted by the wrestling team with bolt cutters, who are led by Archie. Jughead had no intent on fighting because all around them are residents of Riverdale with their phones out and recording. Betty, Kevin, and Pop Tate are among those in the crowd. While it may have taken a couple days, now people know what Hiram is doing. So no matter what happens, Jughead will continue to fight. With that out the way, Archie and the wrestling team cut the Serpents' chains off of them one-by-one and escorts them of the premises.
At the trailer, Betty assures Jughead that his protest has made a difference. Every revolution has a starting point. Having already lost Southside High, Jughead doesn't want to lose Riverdale High as well. So he has decided to run for student body president and wants Betty to be his co-president. She accepts his offer while also asking that Jughead allow her to stay at the trailer with him because she can't be around Chic any longer. Jughead agrees and they then share a kiss.
Archie learns from his parents that Hiram has kept his end of the deal and freed his father of all contractual obligations to Lodge Industries. In even better news, Mary will be sticking around and Fred will be running for Mayor against the Lodges, come what may.
Toni stops by Thistlehouse to see Cheryl. However, Penelope tells her that Cheryl is gone at an all-girls boarding school in Switzerland. She claims that Cheryl had left the night before though Toni isn't buying it. Even so, Penelope requests that she never come by again before shutting the door in Toni's face. Meanwhile, little did Toni know, Cheryl has actually been admitted into the Sisters of Quiet Mercy by her own mother. Sister Woodhouse enters her room not long after her admission and tells Cheryl that she will be rid of all her demons as she pulls out a large needle. Today, Cheryl will rest. Tomorrow, the conversion will commence.
- Electric Youth - This Was Our House (From "Breathing")
- DJ OLFO - Rumbamba
- Addie Hamilton - Hell or Highwater
- Sylvan Esso - Die Young
- Låpsley - Falling Short
- Scene: Cheryl confesses to Toni that she didn't want to invite the other girls to the slumber party.
- Betty Everett - It's In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)
- Scene: Veronica campaigns for student council president with a kissing booth and cupcakes.
- Misun - Goodbye Summer
- Scene: Archie and Mary have lunch at Pop's.
- Dance With the Dead - Hell Ride
- Riverdale Cast feat. Ashleigh Murray, Camila Mendes, and Hayley Law - Sufferin' Till Suffrage
- Scene: Archie, Josie, and Veronica perform at the campaign rally before Ethel interrupts by exposing Veronica.
- Dance With the Dead - There's a Storm Coming
- Scene: Archie and the Riverdale Wrestlers cut the Serpents' chains and end the protest.
- The episode title comes from Elaine May's 1998 film of the same name.
- Jughead references Olivia Pope, the protagonist of ABC political thriller Scandal and Tracy Flick, a fictional character, subjected in the 1998 novel Election and its film adaptation of the same name.
- Cheryl references The Beguiled, either the 1971 film by Don Siegel or the 2017 remake by Sofia Coppola.
- Nana Rose was poisoned with Tannis Root, a plant created by Ira Levin in his 1967 bestseller Rosemary's Baby. Cheryl referenced it as one of the esoteric herbs Penelope cultivates in the conservatory.
- Cheryl is reading The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.