|“||And in one reckless moment... the lives of the Cooper women were forever changed. They were a mother wanting to protect her son and a daughter wanting to protect her mother, while less that 50 yards away...||”|
CODE OF SILENCE — Betty turns to Jughead for help when the consequences of a hasty decision come back to haunt her. Veronica organizes a face to face meeting after tensions between Hiram, FP and Jughead spiral out of control. Elsewhere, Archie is forced to make a tough decision after Agent Adams takes things one step too far.
Picking up from where the previous episode left off, Betty walks in on her mother cleaning up the blood of a dead man who's body lays on the dining room floor. When Betty asks what happened, Alice tells her that the dead man tried to hurt her, so Chic, who is sobbing in the corner, killed the attacker by seemingly bashing him over the head with a lamp. Alice then warns Betty against calling the police as she is moments away from doing so. Should the police get involved, Alice that they will take away Chic. However, Betty states that if Chic was merely acting in self-defense then everything should work out in their favor. Though, Alice disagreed. Betty offers to help but Alice prefers if she isn't involved. Betty then answers a call from her father who is on his way to the house for toiletries. With time of the essence, Alice concedes, telling Betty to grab the bleach so from under the counter.
Meanwhile, in the Andrews' garage, Agent Adams and Archie discuss the gangland slaying of Poppa Poutine. Archie claimd that he didn't hear or see Hiram Lodge say anything to or about Poppa Poutine that would indicate any kind of hostility. To Archie, it seemed like they were friends. But as Adams points out, a friend doesn't force someone to their knees and shoot them in the back of the head with a glock-34. Given that he never left the Pembrooke, Archie concludes that it wasn't Hiram that killed Poppa Poutine. Agent Adams presumes that Hiram would've sent his "Capo" to execute Poppa Poutine. A Capo, Agent Adams explains, is someone who does the boss's dirty work. So he asks if there was someone who's always hovering around Hiram, like a personal assistant or driver. However, Archie claims that he can't think of anyone that would fit that description.
Back at the Cooper residence, Alice and Betty manage to finish cleaning just as Hal walks through the front door. He asks about Chic before being overwhelmed by the powerful aroma of bleach. Alice lies to him in saying that she spilled tomato soup on the rug and she didn't want it to stain. After remarking that it must've been a lot of soup given that the house smelled like a hospital, Hal heads upstairs to get the toiletries he had come for.
Shortly after consummating his relationship with Betty, Jughead calls her from the trailer to say goodnight and that he loved her. Unfortunately for Jughead, Betty's response is not one that he had hoped for. Instead of her reciprocating that love, she abruptly hangs up the phone on him after being told by her mother that her father was gone and that it was time to dispose of the body.
While driving out onto the trail near the woods with her mother, Betty questions what would happen if someone came looking for the man considering that he likely had a family. Alice tells her that people go missing everyday and that the shady guy didn't strike her as the family man type. Wrapped in the dining room carpet, Alice and Betty dump the man in the sewer pipes the shutdown sewer pipes from decades ago, where Alice used to play as a little girl.
After retrieving the necessary toiletries, Hal didn't return to the ShareBNB where he claimed that he would be staying. Instead, Hal arrives at Thistlehouse, where Penelope massages his shoulders as he tells her about Alice and Betty's strange behavior when he stopped by the house. Hal is certain that they were hiding something. Though, Penelope tells him that everyone is always hiding something. She then asks of Chic, who she jokes was up in his room, entertaining people.
FP returns to the trailer after exiling Tall Boy. While riding back, FP had been thinking about taking a page from Jughead's playbook so to speak, and having a sit-down with Mayor McCoy. With proof that Hiram Lodge was responsible for General Pickens' statue being decapitated, FP seeks to appeal to her sense of justice. However, Jughead has already sent the head to the Lodges as a message.
With General Pickens' head sitting on their table, Hiram, Hermione and Veronica gather around to discuss the message being sent. Hiram interprets the delivery of the head as a deceleration of war. Hermione adds that they always knew that they would have to go to war eventually. But of course, there is another option. Veronica reminds them that at Spence, she was Secretary General of the Model UN, and before declaring war, they'd always try to negotiate a settlement. So if she could broker a détente between the Contras and the Sandinistas, then Hiram can surely de-escalate relations with the Southside Serpents. Veronica offers to get them to the table while all he had to do is play nice.
After dumping the body, Alice and Betty return home and the two of them proceed to wipe the house down of the man's finger prints. After wiping the house down, everything from the front door to the apples on the table, Betty headed upstairs and went to bed. She wakes up the following morning to the sound of her alarm. It seems from there that the Coopers go back to their daily routine life. Or at least they try to. That morning, Chic and Alice sit at the breakfast table, enjoying chocolate chip pancakes as if nothing had happened the night before. Betty comes downstairs to join her mother and Chic for breakfast. However, she drops her bowl of cereal as someone repeatedly knocks loudly at the front door, causing her to panic. On the other side of the door is Jughead, who wants to walk her to school.
On their way to school, Jughead asks to talk to Betty about the night before when the two of them had sex at his trailer. He thought that they had a nice night, but her hanging up on him later that night left him unnerved and worried that maybe she had regrets because it wasn't enjoyable or that she thought they were moving too fast and wanted to slow down. Betty assures him that this isn't the case and that she had an amazing night. Unfortunately, per usual, there was no shortage of drama at her house upon her arrival. Jughead presumes that the aforementioned drama was "Chic centric". Betty confirms his presumption by stating that everything will be fine as it was nothing more than typical Cooper house lunacy.
While on their way to school, Veronica asks Archie if he regretted anything they talked about at her confirmation, regarding the revelation that her father was more Al Capone than Eliot Ness. Which Archie doesn't. In that case, just to put it on his radar, Veronica tells Archie that a low-key turf-war may be brewing between Jughead's family and hers.
In the student lounge, friction between Jughead and Veronica grows as her father's pursuit to take over the Southside continues. Jughead questions if Veronica is trying to manage him. When she asks him to define manage, he moves on to the Southsiders and how they are in danger of losing their homes. Hoping to end the war before it can truly begin, Veronica suggests that both their fathers meet to settle their difference face-to-face. Jughead agrees but only on one condition, that Hiram come to Sunnyside Trailer Park so that he can see the people that he is going to be displacing. Veronica agrees to his terms. Though, she assures Jughead that no one is being displaced. Kevin then enters the lounge to tell them about the police discovering a dead body, which leaves Jughead to wonder if the Black Hood had risen from the grave. While the investigation is ongoing, it was supposedly a gangland style execution at the motel. As Kevin goes on to explain the gruesomeness of the murder, Betty excuses herself. She runs into the bathroom and vomits into the toilet. Though she is not alone in the bathroom. Cheryl finds her and offered to get her a towel, but Betty insists that she is fine.
In the wake of the murder, Veronica and Archie head into an empty classroom where they can discuss the murder in private. A bullet to the head is by all accounts a mafioso's doing. No sooner does she begin to feel like she's in a good place, something terrible happens. Somebody has died and now she's immediately back in the place of, "What if my father's behind this?" Making matters infinitely worse, she's since dragged Archie into what she describes as being a Martin Scorsese nightmare. Though Archie places no fault on her considering that he chose to be with her. Since Veronica can't handle the not knowing, Archie instructs her to choose to believe her father. His business dealings may be shady, but at heart, he is still a good guy.
Jughead approaches Mayor McCoy at her office with a map of the Southside to ask what did Sunnyside Trailer Park, Twilight Drive-In and Southside High all have in common. They were or are town land, he explains. Mayor McCoy controlled all three of them. The drive-in and Southside High were shutdown. Now the trailer park is in jeopardy. Jughead can feel the invisible hand of Hiram Lodge all over it. The Mayor stands from her seat and asks Jughead what it is that he is insinuating. If she was accepting donations from the Lodges in exchange for favors such as land deals, then Jughead advises her to take this chance to come clean to the public before it is too late.
Archie meets with Agent Adams in the park where he is handed an envelope filled with money. Agent Adams tells him that the F.B.I. always compensates their informants. Enclosed is three weeks salary. Agent Adams is hoping that payment will entice Archie to go to Hiram Lodge and engage with him directly about Poppa Poutine. The Agent suggests that he be a little aggressive, gauge his reaction to see what he says. Though in doing this, Archie worries that he will arouse Hiram's suspicions. Hoping it will encourage him to do what needs to be done, Agent Adams hands Archie a newspaper article from the Register, detailing Poppa Poutine's death. And then he asks Archie how many more people had to get hurt before he did something about it.
Archie meets up with Hiram at the Pembrooke following his meeting with Agent Adams to talk about Poppa Poutine and how he was killed in his hotel room. Hiram explains that he is gutted over this atrocity. But Poutine was rich with enemies. He was rude, and selfish, and deep into gambling debts, owing a quarter to Lenny alone, not to mention the affairs. With so many vendettas against him, it was just a matter of time. And sadly, his time came the same night as Veronica's confirmation. Speaking of which, Archie tells Hiram that when Veronica heard someone was murdered in Riverdale, the thought of Hiram, possibly being involved is making her spiral. And while Archie doesn't want to overstep, he advises Hiram to clarify things with Veronica to give her peace of mind.
Betty returns to the sewer pipes later that day to ensure that the body is just as they left it. She lifts the carpet to find the body just as she remembers. While the dead man didn't have a wallet or any kind of identification, he did have a phone, which rings just as Betty lifts the carpet. She grabs the phone to discover that the man has 47 missed calls. Betty takes the phone, covers the body back up and heads home, where she is briefly addressed by her mother and Chic, who are playing board games, before going upstairs into her room. Betty locks her door. She then begins looking through the dead man's messages on his phone. As she reads through them, Betty transcribes the text messages into her notebook, during which time, she has brief flashes of her clean up job.
The next day, Hiram approaches Veronica in her room after his chat with Archie as she is preparing for the negotiation with the Jones. He understands that certain aspects of his business are troubling, so if she wants to know something, he is more than willing to answer her. Veronica asks if he had anything to do with Poppa Poutine's death. Hiram claims that he didn't. Relieved by his answer, they share a hug.
Betty confronts Chic at the breakfast table after she discovers that the shady guy wasn't a customer of Chic's, but rather a drug dealer. In his phone, Betty found hundreds of messages from junkies looking for their next fix, including one from Chic the night of the murder. Betty explains that she went back to the dumping site to ensure that no one could see anything from the trail in broad daylight. It was there that she uncovered the phone. Considering that Chic lied to them about the shady guy, Betty begins to wonder what else he is lying to them about. Rather than owning up to his lie, Chic looks up to Betty as tears run down his face though Betty is unsympathetic and unconvinced, telling him that no one is buying the water works. Before Betty can continue her pursuit of Chic, Alice pulls her into the hallway to scold her for her recent actions. Chic listens on from the kitchen table, smiling as Betty and Alice argue out in the hall.
In the park with Agent Adams and Vegas, Archie tells the agent that he asked Hiram point-blank if he killed Poppa Poutine or had someone do it for him. He answered no. And Archie believes him. But Hiram did mention that there was bad blood between Poppa Poutine and Lenny Kowalski, who Poppa owed $86,000 in gambling debt.
Jughead and FP welcome Hiram and Veronica into their home to discuss the fate of the trailer park. Hiram thanks them for agreeing to sit down to discuss the misunderstanding. But they are aware of his actions and that it was no misunderstanding. Tall Boy told them that Hiram paid him to decapitate the Pickens Statue as an excuse to turn up the heat on the Serpents. This act had a lot of nervous people scared that they were going to lose their homes. Hiram had heard about that and though it supposedly had nothing to do with him, he had spoken to Mayor McCoy. As a gesture of good will to the Southside community, Hiram offers to settle any back rent that they or their neighbors may owe the town. In return, Hiram claims that he only wants peace. However, his true intentions are to bribe Jughead so that he won't be mentioned in the upcoming exposé that Jughead is writing. Unfortunately for Hiram, Jughead refuses to be compromised so he and FP turn down their deal.
Just outside Thistlehouse, whiling honing her archery skills, Cheryl spots Hal leaving her house. Annoyed and disgusted with Penelope's habits, Cheryl confronts her mother about her home wrecking ways. Cheryl recalls Betty literally being sick to her stomach just one day before, leaving her to believe that Betty's vomiting stemmed from her father's infidelity. Cheryl pleads with her mother to stop destroying families with her courtesan ways. However, Penelope tells her that unlike the rest, Hal isn't a client. What she had with him was real despite the fact that he had a wife. Alice Cooper was far from a victim, as far as Penelope is concerned. So she asks Cheryl to stay out of it.
Later that night, Veronica returns to the Pembrooke to a shouting match between her parents and Mayor McCoy. She eavesdrops outside her father's study as the arguing persists. Before long, Mayor McCoy exits the study, but not before telling them that she is fairly close to telling Jughead everything and that it would be a lot worse for them than it would be for her. With the Mayor gone, Veronica looks to her parents for answers. They explain that given the hatchet-job that Jughead is writing about them, they decided it was best to accelerate the timetable. So they told Sierra they might have to announce their plans for Southside High, but Sierra refused and demanded that they wait until after she's reelected. Should they proceed without her, she threatened to expose them. If this isn't handled properly, the whole town would be out for their blood. However, if they get her out of the Mayor's office, under a cloud of scandal, the damage she could do to them would be minimized. They will go about doing that by revealing her affair with Sheriff Keller.
Archie returns home that night to find Agent Adams in his house, talking to his father.
Meanwhile, in a booth at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, Betty looks through the dead man's phone, calling several of his contacts, claiming that she found the phone in the parking lot and is looking for the person who it belonged to. However, each person she calls hangs up on her. Just as it seemed all hope is lost, the phone rings. Betty answers. On the other is was a woman who accused Betty of sleeping around with the dead man and for being the reason why he is missing. Unbeknownst to the female caller that the shady man was dead, she tells Betty to tell him not come home and that he is dead to her.
After leaving Pop's, Betty calls Jughead and tells him to meet her. He arrives outside the Cooper residence to find Betty sitting on the front steps. She expresses her inner turmoil and how everything is falling apart. She then tells Jughead about the dead man, everything from the moments leading up to his death to her and her mother disposing of the body. While Betty is stressing out, her mother on the other hand is acting as if nothing had happened. Despite their attempt to dispose of the body and evidence, Jughead believes that they can still call the police but Betty has her doubts. A parking enforcer then pulls up to ask if either of them knew the owner of car parked right across from Betty's house, which belongs to the dead man though neither Betty nor her mother had noticed it before that moment. In covering their tracks for them, Jughead tells the parking enforcer that the car belongs to him and that he couldn't find his keys. With the street being clean, the enforcer gives him five minutes to move the car. In that time, he and Betty hot-wire the vehicle and drive off.
Archie sits in his room, waiting for Agent Adams to finish up with his father and leave. Apparently, Agent Adams had told Fred that the FBI was assisting in a crackdown on undocumented labor from Canada. They think that maybe over the years that Fred had hired some of these guys and paid them cash under the table. Which he had on a few occasions. Even worse, they're requesting his files for the last seven years.
Just outside his house, Archie approaches Agent Adams and warns him to stay away from his father. Archie reminds Adams of their contract which states that Fred would be safe. However, that was before Archie began feeding Agent Adams false information as he had learned that Poutine didn't owe Lenny anything close to $86,000. This led the agent to believe that Archie is both compromised and protecting Hiram Lodge. Basically, the only thing Archie could offer now is access. He needed Archie to plant a bug in Hiram's study. Then Hiram would slip up by saying something incriminating, which will allow Agent Adams to arrest him. However, before leaving with the bug, Archie points out that he doesn't believe the agent when he say that Archie and his father will be safe. Agent Adams will do anything he can to destroy Hiram Lodge, even if it meant Archie and his father being destroyed in the process.
At Thistlehouse, Cheryl sits in the darkness as she waits for Hal to make his exit after paying her mother another visit. Back so soon? Cheryl asks as he heads for the door. She tells him that her mother is a harlot, more specifically a modern-day Moll Flanders. Hal's actions can destroy his family, and for Betty's sake, Cheryl didn't want to see that happen. Which is why she has decided against telling her. But Cheryl suggests that he hurry home to his family before she changed her mind.
Later that night, Sierra is warned by Veronica about her parents' plan to expose her. Veronica knows that whatever questionable arrangement they had was imploding, and that she was trying to go after them in some way. But Veronica reveals that they are planning to discredit her, to get her out of the office and neutralize her by exposing her affair with the Sheriff. Veronica tells Sierra that she can still get out of it by taking control of the narrative and inoculating herself.
After hot-wiring the care, Betty and Jughead drive the vehicle out into the woods at Swedlow Swamp, push it into the river and hold each other closely as they watch while it slowly becomes submerged in the water, along with the dead man's phone, which Betty also throws into the river.
Taking Veronica's advice and warning to heart, the very next day, on live broadcast, with Josie at her side, Sierra resigns from office. As Mayor, she had seen them through a triumphant Jubilee and the terrors of the Black Hood killer. But it had taken a personal toll, so she claims. She has decided to step down as Mayor, to spend more time with her family and to return to her own legal career right in Riverdale. Hiram and Hermione watch from the Pembrooke with great surprise by Sierra's sudden decision to resign since they hadn't even made their play yet. Veronica tells them that this is good news since now they don't have to. If they did, it would be cruel. Shortly after Sierra's resignation, Hiram approaches Veronica under the suspicion that she warned Sierra of their plan to expose her. However, despite doing just that, Veronica claims that she did no such thing.
Hal unexpectedly stops by the house that day. Annoyed by his arrival, with a fake smile on his face, Chic opens the door to tell Hal that neither Betty nor Alice were home at the moment. Nonetheless, Hal pushes his way through the door to remind Chic that it is still his house after all. Alone with Hal at the house, Chic calls Betty to alert her of his arrival.
At school, Cheryl approaches Betty by her locker to tell her the truth about her father. Despite telling Hal that she was going to keep his secret to herself, Cheryl had changed her mind after she kept tossing and turning in her canopy sleigh bed all night long, thinking that she'd want to know. While she takes no pleasure in what she is sharing with Betty, she thinks its best if Betty knows that her father is having an affair with Cheryl's mother. Betty then receives the message from Chic that her father is at the house. By the time Betty arrives, Chic is frantically pacing back and forth in the dining room as Hal verbally attacks him and accuses him of stealing his grandfather's watch and running some kind of scheme. Hal tells her that he had a change of heart and he was feeling that it was time for him to move back in and more importantly, get some answers from Chic, who wouldn't even look Hal in the eyes. Hal begins to question everyone's strange behavior as of late. He asks why the house smelled of bleach, what happened to the dining room rug and where the lamp went. He is certain that something is going on in the house and that it involves Chic, who is possibly turning tricks and pawning their valuables. Betty demands that her father get away from Chic and leave the house or else she'd tell her mother about his affair with Penelope Blossom. Out of fear that Betty will follow through with her threats, Hal leaves the house. With Hal gone, Chic thanks Betty and asks what they should do next if Hal came back or called the police.
After checking in on his father, who i sorting through his work files for the last seven years, Archie grabs the bug that was given to him and contemplates his next move. After thinking it over, he heads over to the Pembrooke and tells Hiram that he was approached by the FBI a few weeks ago to be an informant. But Archie assures him that he didn't tell them anything. Though, Hiram wonders what Archie would've told them. Archie reveals that he was instructed to plant a bug in Hiram's study, but instead, he smashed it with a hammer. The agent had been threatening Archie's father because Archie hadn't given up any information, and Archie didn't think he was going to stop until he did. He was telling Hiram all of this because he liked him and because he loved Veronica. Furthermore, Archie though that Agent Arthur Adams was a lot more dangerous than Hiram at that point. In coming clean, Archie is hoping that Hiram will help him and his father out of the mess they are in. Hiram agrees to deal with Agent Adams since it isn't his first encounter with the FBI. He assures Archie that the agent wouldn't be harmed and that he did the right thing in coming him. Hiram then asks for 24 hours so that he can make some calls. Afterward, he will get back to Archie.
At the Cooper house, Betty tells her mother about her father stopping by the house and asking a lot of questions. Although, Betty insists that he won't be back given that he didn't want to risk his affair with Penelope Blossom being exposed. Considering that they could barely handle keeping her father at bay, Betty begins to think that they are in way over their heads. The shady man's car was even parked outside of their house for two days without either of them noticing it. Fortunately, she and Jughead took care of it. However, Betty can't stop thinking about the body and who might come looking for it and how many loose ends there are that they weren't even aware of. They need help, but not from the police. Betty suggests that they go to FP. And so, Alice and Betty arrive at Sunnyside Trailer Park to learn that Jughead had just told FP everything and that he is willing to help because he didn't want the three of them to make the same mistake he made with Jason Blossom.
Hoping to prevent another fiasco similar to the Jason Blossom murder case, FP took care of the body on his own while Alice, Jughead and Betty awaited his return at Pop's. After digging a large grave, FP laid the body in the dirt and covered it with sodium hydroxide. He then climbed out the grave and proceeded to bury the body.
Archie answers the door to find Andre on the other side. He is there on the boss's behalf. He tells Archie that they are going for a drive as the boss wanted to see him. In the car, Archie grows concerned as they pass the Pembrooke. Andre informs him that the boss had requested somewhere more private and scenic to meet.
Alice, Betty and Jughead sit quietly in a booth at Pop's as FP returns from taking care of the body. FP tells them that the smell they are smelling is sodium hydroxide, and in covering the body with it, within a week's time, there will be nothing left of the body, not even his teeth. Hearing this, Alice thanks FP for his assistance. She is sorry for pulling Betty in, who then pulled Jughead in. Though, FP reminds her that they always take care of their own. The circle ends with them. No more loose ends.
While alone at the house, Chic sits in front of the fireplace, looking through the old Cooper family photo album. One photo in particular of Alice, Hal, Betty and Polly catches his attention. Chic proceeds to remove the photo from the album, and with a pair of scissors, he cuts Hal out of the photo.
With Archie in the backseat, Andre pulls up alongside a cliff, where down below is a long and deadly drop to the ocean. Much to Archie's surprise, 'the boss' is not Hiram, rather Hermione. Do you know what "Omertà" is, she asks Archie. It's their code of silence. It states there is no worse, no more cowardly crime than snitching. Archie promises her that he would never do anything to betray her family. Which he'd unknowingly proven to her in those last few weeks. She and Hiram, unbeknownst to Veronica, enlisted one of their closest associates to approach Archie and say that he was an FBI agent investigating Hiram. Agent Adams isn't real. He works for Hermione as one of her Capos. She asked him to apply a lot of pressure to Archie by threatening his father to see if he would crack. As it turned out, he didn't. It was all a test, which Archie passed. With that, Hermione welcomes him to the family.
- Nouvellas - Don't Count On Me
- The episode title comes from Edgar Allan Poe's 1843 short story of the same name.
- Similar to how the narrator in the above mentioned story constantly worries about someone finding the body that he has hidden, Betty in the episode constantly worries about someone finding the body that she helped hide. She also checks up on the body at least once, shining a light on it just like the narrator in Poe's tale at the height of their paranoia. The episode also has her constantly bothered by the guilt of being part of that crime just as in the story.