|“||You know how there are just some towns where bad things always seem to happen? Well, Riverdale has become one of those towns. The most recent horror? The school janitor turned out to be a serial killer. But, we were putting him away along with our Christmas decorations. Now we were back to your typical small town intrigues, clandestine meetings behind closed doors and the like. Yes, by and large, it was business as usual in Riverdale.||”|
"Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle" is the tenth episode of the second season of Riverdale, and the twenty-third episode of the series overall. It is also the midseason premiere. It premiered on January 17, 2018
NEW YEAR, NEW DRAMA — Tensions mount when the sudden shut down of Southside High forces Jughead and his fellow serpents to transfer to Riverdale High. Veronica ensures Hiram and Hermoine that she’s still on board with their plans for SoDale. Archie is conflicted when he is asked to gather some information on Hiram’s suspicious business dealings. Betty sets out on a quest to find her long-lost brother, Chic.
With Christmas behind them, the Black Hood dead and the town of Riverdale regaining a sense of normalcy, Pop Tate takes down decorations around the shoppe as Jughead sits in a booth, writing another entry to his novel. In this addition, he addresses certain towns where bad things often occurred. In light of recent events, it started to seem as if Riverdale was one of those towns, with the school janitor, Joseph Svenson, being the Black Hood. Now, they were back to typical town intrigues, such as clandestine meetings behind closed doors at the Pembrooke between Mayor McCoy and Hiram and Hermione Lodge.
At Thistlehouse, Penelope comes downstairs to announce to Cheryl that she has earned nearly enough money to pay off the Christmas tree and presents that Cheryl had purchased for herself. "Bravo!", Cheryl replies. Never mind that for the last two weeks she'd been living in a bordello with a woman of the night, she says. Penelope explains to Cheryl that her latest sexual escapades don't strange far from her youth, when she had her pick of gentlemen callers, lining up every evening. Cheryl is disturbed as she couldn't believe that her mother sounded, dare she say, proud of her promiscuous past. Penelope reminds Cheryl that it was her who suggested that she get a job. She has now found one in providing comfort and companionship to the lonely men of Riverdale.
Before she can get the chance to head off for school, Hiram and Hermione stop by Veronica's room to ensure that she's still on board with their "plan". Veronica assures them that she is. They remind her that she will be at ground zero, the eye of the potential hurricane, once their plan is put into motion, though she doesn't share their same level of concern. Veronica urges her parents to trust that she'll prevent her classmates from revolting when the news breaks.
As he is getting ready for school, Fred asks Archie if he had told anyone about his medical bills because it had been paid in full, all $86,000 of it, through an angel donation. Archie admits to telling Veronica but he didn't think anything would come of it when he did. So, he offers to ask her about it, but Fred would rather he focus on school. In Archie's hand, is his guitar, which Fred states that he has not seen recently. Archie explains that he's been busy. But after spending Christmas break on writing his songs, he is considering starting a band, like the Fred-heads, he jokes, referencing his father's and FP's old high school band. Should Archie start a band, Fred advises him to do it in the garage given that it has been sound proofed. (see: Chapter Three: Body Double)
Unbeknownst to Archie, who walks to school with his guitar in hand, he is being photographed from afar by an unknown individual. Upon arriving at school, he asks Veronica if she had told anyone about his father's hospital bills. She had. Veronica admits to mentioning it to her parents in passing. They wanted to help and had the means to do it. She wonders if Archie or his father is upset. But as it turns out, Archie is grateful. And so, they share a kiss as they head into the student lounge with Betty and Kevin. Over the intercom, Principal Weatherbee announces that effective immediately, Southside High is shutting down and that the students who attend will be transferring to other school's in the district, including Riverdale, meaning that Jughead is coming back, Betty states. It becomes apparent that this is part of the "plan" that Veronica was previously discussing with her parents. Looking to fulfill her promise, Veronica attempts to calm her classmates during the announcement. When Archie begins to wonder what caused the sudden shut down, Veronica tells him that it is likely some kind of bizarre, Byzantine town ordinance that they couldn't possibly understand. In the meantime, Veronica wants to receive the transfers as if they were their very own flesh and blood.
Reggie, who is in the gym, and Cheryl, who is in the ladies locker room with Midge and the River Vixens, both react negatively to the news of Southside transfers. Cheryl, who has had a particularity strange couple of weeks, exclaims that her home life is already a Dickensian nightmare, and that she will not allow the school to turn into a nightmare as well.
On the steps of Southside High, Jughead sits with Toni as she read over his novel, which she remarks as being "very Lovecraftian", a direct reference to the subgenre of horror fiction that emphasized the cosmic horror of the unknown more than gore or other elements of shock. Toni asks if he had written the script on a typewriter, which he had, claiming that his interest in typewriting is merely a technique to better understand H. P. Lovecraft's head space. However, Toni believes that his interest peaked with Betty giving him a typewriter for Christmas. They were then interrupted by the sound of Sweet Pea and Fogarty kicking open the school's doors. From them, Jughead and Toni learn that Southside High is closing down due to quarantine, and that they are all transferring to Riverdale High.
At the Mayor's office, after getting off the phone with Principal Weatherbee, Sierra discusses the abrupt closing of Southside High with Hiram and Hermione. She predicts that at any moment, her phone will start exploding with calls from outraged parents about the news of Southside students being relocated to Northside schools within the district. Hermione hopes to ease Sierra's concerns by telling her that the closing will only be news for a couple of days before blowing over, using the Black Hood and how quickly the town has forgotten about him as a reference. After a few weeks have passed, Hiram says they will quietly go about purchasing the land beneath Southside High. In return for her cooperation, Hermione assures Sierra that she will receive a sizable donation towards her re-election campaign. Like clockwork, Sierra's phone begins to light up with phone calls.
Betty returns home from school, immediately calling out to her mom and dad, but with no response. However, with noise coming from upstairs, she quickly discovers that she is not alone. Betty quietly and cautiously heads up the staircase, pulling out a can of pepper spray as she makes her way up. She enters the room to discover that Polly has returned home. Though, she's only back to gather her belongings. Much to Betty's surprise, Polly has given birth to the twins. This brief moment of excitement and joy turns into disappointment fairly quick as Betty realizes that their mother will be crushed when she learns that Polly gave birth without telling them. At the very least, Betty wants to call their mother to alert her of Polly's return, but Polly requests that she refrain from such action. The leaders of the Farm, who Betty accuses of being a cult, thought it best if Polly severed all ties with her family. Polly insists that the Farm isn't a cult. Furthermore, on the Farm, the twins, who are healthy and who she named Juniper and Dagwood, aren't subjected to any stigma. Betty urges Polly to reconsider her decision to leave as her actions could be perceived as cruel, selfish and vindictive. Polly apologizes as she prepares to exit the room with a box of her belongings. Nearing the doorway, Betty grabs the nightlight sitting at the top of the box, claiming that it is hers, and that Polly would probably have no use for it anyways since the Farm likely doesn't have electricity.
On his way home from school, Archie is stopped by a man claiming to be an agent of the F.B.I. He introduces himself as Special Agent Adams and he is hoping that he and Archie can talk. Agent Adams tells Archie that he too is from Riverdale, which is why he was assigned the case. Archie wonders what case he is referring to and how he could be of assistance. Agent Adams explains to him that the case in question concerns Hiram Lodge. They believe that he is conducting criminal activity in Riverdale, with ties to organized crime. Between Archie's relationship with Veronica and his father's connection to Lodge Industries, Archie is in a unique position to help the bureau take Hiram down. As far as Archie knows, Hiram Lodge is a businessman, which is a topic that Agent Adams seeks to address. A few months ago, one of Hiram's business associates came to Riverdale with his family, the St. Clairs. They were going to invest in Hiram's SoDale project, but for reasons unknown, the deal fell through. The St. Clairs went back to New York and their son, Nick, was soon after admitted to Columbia Presbyterian with life-threatening injuries. The F.B.I. believes that Hiram is responsible for this as he is an extremely dangerous man who has hurt people. Agent Adams is hoping that Archie can find out what happened to Nick. However, Archie hesitates on whether he should agree to help, questioning if Agent Adams coming to him for help is even legal, given that he's a minor. Unfortunately, as Agent Adams explains, Archie's father is working for Hiram Lodge, meaning that he could be apart of the criminal activity. Archie denies all possible allegations on his father behalf. However, Agent Adams isn't so sure that he is innocent, telling Archie that the only way they could be sure of his father's innocence is if he helped them. Admittedly, it is a lot to take in, so Agent Adams gives Archie his card and tells him to call after thinking it over.
Following his chat with Agent Adams, Archie returns home. He sits at the kitchen table until his father's arrival. Both Fred and Archie learn that the Lodges are responsible for Fred's medical bills being paid. Archie urges him to give the money back, but Fred has already accepted it after horse-trading 20% of Andrews Construction, which covers the $86,000. Even if he could give the money back, they can't afford to take another mortgage out on the house. The Lodges will allow him to buy it back, piece by piece. They will be fine, as far as Fred is concerned. Unfortunately, that only puts them in deeper with the Lodges. Given what Archie has just learned from Agent Adams, this is the last thing he hoped for. However, he can't share any of this information with his father, who questions what Archie is concerned for.
That night, Alice returns home as Betty sits at the kitchen table, distracted over her recent fall out with Polly. Much like Archie, Alice is suspicious in regards to the abrupt closing down of Southside High. She suspects that Mayor McCoy is hiding something. Just as Betty is about to tell her mother that Polly stopped by and that she has given birth to the twins, Alice asks Betty if she has talked to her sister because she wants to make sure that Polly had everything that she needs and that the nursery is painted to her liking. Within the questioning and seeing the joy that the mere mentioning of Polly brings to her mother's face, Betty decides against telling her mother the truth, claiming that she is simply wondering if anyone has heard from Polly.
In a booth at Pop's, Jughead reads aloud to FP the notice that was released of Southside High's closing. Supposedly, the school has been deemed a public health hazard by Mayor McCoy due to toxic fumes from the methamphetamine lab in the basement. Oddly enough, there aren't any meth labs to be found, merely Jingle Jangle. In that, Jughead grows suspicious given the circumstances surrounding the closing down of Southside High. Though, FP claims that his reason for not wanting to return to Riverdale High relates to Betty, who walks through the shoppe's doors just as they speak of her. Betty appreciates that he agreed to meet with her. Jughead tells her that it was not a bother given that he was going to reach out to her in an effort to avoid any awkward exchanges at school. Betty needs his help to find her long-lost brother. She is hoping that Jughead can put her in touch with his social worker, Ms. Weiss. While Jughead is more than willing to set up the exchange, he can't help but wonder why Betty suddenly wants to find her brother. Betty responds that Polly gave birth to the twins, but that she didn't even call their mother to tell her. Admittedly, her mother is crazy. But she is also very sad. Betty is hoping that having her brother in their lives will make things better. As for clearing the air, she is happy that Jughead is returning to Riverdale High.
Veronica and her parents invite Archie over for dinner that night. Archie wants to personally thank them for covering his father's medical bills, to which they assure him that they were happy to do it. In return though, Veronica is putting together a welcoming committee for the transfers and she is hoping that Archie will stand by her side. He agrees to join her. He then asks her parents about Southside High closing down. With it being as close as it is to the SoDale project, Archie asks if it is bad for business. Hiram replies that the drugs, guns, and violence is what is bad for business. Despite learning from Agent Adams that the deal has fallen through, Archie asks if investors like the St. Clairs would be fine with the construction. Veronica and Hermione inform him that they severed all ties to the St. Clairs after Nick tried to rape Cheryl. They didn't even call them after the "accident". When Archie asks what happened, Hiram claims to not know, saying that Nick either had a car accident driving back to Vail or on the slopes. Nonetheless, Nick has recovered enough to be back at Greenwich Prep.
After dinner with the Lodges, Archie restlessly lays in bed before picking up Agent Adams' card.
The next day, Jughead, Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty and the other Southside transfers arrive at Riverdale High to the sight of a welcoming committee, spearheaded by Veronica. To ease their transition to the Northside, she has set up a registration desk in the hallway for locker assignments, class schedules, and a list of sports and extracurriculars. As Veronica encourages each of them to drink deeply from the cup that is "fair Riverdale", Cheryl and Reggie interrupt. With the River Vixens and Riverdale Bulldogs in tow, Cheryl approaches the registration desk and hurls insults their way, referring to them as "Southside scum" and "raggamuffins". Cheryl refuses to allow Riverdale High's above average GPA to suffer because of overcrowded classrooms with underachievers such as themselves. So she tells them to find another school to deface with their "hardscrabble ways". In doing so, she offends Toni, who dares Cheryl to say it to her face. Just as the two are about to face off, Archie steps between them, hoping to put their Northside and Southside differences aside so that they can start over. When Reggie declines Archie's offer, Sweet Pea steps forward to finish what they had started during the rumble. The rivaling sides go back and forth until Mr. Weatherbee arrive to send them off to class. Before leaving, Reggie calls Veronica and Archie traitors, telling her that the picked the wrong sides. Meanwhile, Cheryl tells Archie to reconsider his allegiance considering that she saw him and Betty share a clandestine Christmas kiss.
In response to Cheryl blackmailing him, Archie texts her to meet him in the music room, which is unsurprising yet pleasing for Cheryl. She keeps it brief. If he didn't convince Veronica to stand with them against the Southsiders, Cheryl will tell her about the kiss with Betty. Archie explains that he and Veronica were broken up, as were Betty and Jughead. Nonetheless, that's not the reason why he messaged her, which Cheryl believes to be an attempt by Archie to out-maneuver her, though the tone of their discussion drastically changes once Archie mentions Nick St. Clair. He asks if Cheryl knew that he got into a bad car crash after he left Riverdale. Cheryl tells Archie to forgive her if she didn't shed any tears for him. She only wishes that she and her mother hadn't burned the check that his family gave them as hush money. Cheryl's sure that Archie must've been thrilled after finding out about the accident given what Nick did to Veronica on the night of his party, when he got physical with her, which Archie had no knowledge of. Archie grows angry, threatening to kill Nick. Cheryl genuinely thought he knew. It was Veronica's right to tell Archie or not, but Cheryl is positive there is a specific reason Veronica kept this from him.
Betty meets with Ms. Weiss at Pop's, who informs her that her brother's files were unsealed and made public when he turned eighteen. His name is Charles Smith. After her mother gave birth at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, he entered and stayed in the foster system, meaning that he was never adopted. The last known address they had for Charles was two towns over, in Centerville.
In the student lounge, Veronica and Toni exchange pleasantries. Veronica is fascinated with the discovery of Toni's last name, Topaz, like the purple colored gemstone, she commented. As Sweet Pea and Fogarty were becoming acquainted with Josie and Kevin, Mr. Weatherbee called them out into the hallway to find out who had defaced the school's seal with a spray-painted on Serpent. Next to Weatherbee stood Reggie, who they suspected of being the actual vandal. The Serpents were innocent, though Weatherbee believed otherwise, especially with Reggie in his ear, claiming that the Serpents were known for tagging their turf. Having fallen victim to Reggie's lies, effective immediately, Weatherbee outlawed gang behavior of any kind. As of that moment, Serpent jackets would no longer be tolerated and tattoos were expected to be covered. Possession of any gang paraphernalia would lead to immediate suspension.
Betty went home to tell her mother and father that Polly gave birth to the twins at the Farm. As Hal tries to cope with the news, Alice struggles to hold back her tears. Hal wonders why Polly didn't inform them of this. Alice concludes that Polly didn't want them to be a part of the babies' lives. Alice then asks Betty if Polly is alright and if the children are healthy. Betty reassures her, stating that Polly is fine and the babies are healthy. Betty reveals that this isn't all she has to share. After some digging, she found an address for Alice's son and her biological brother, that was given up for adoption many years before. His name is Charles Smith. With Polly gone, Betty assumes that this will better their lives, but Hal begs to differ. He scolds Betty for prying into something that has nothing to do with her or Polly. Betty exclaimed that she did it for her mother, and though Alice is clearly upset by the recent revelation, she agrees with Hal, deciding then that it is best to end the conversation.
At the Whyte Wyrm with Toni, who's having a drink, and Sweet Pea, who's playing arcade games, Jughead expresses his frustration with Weatherbee, stating that they were being profiled. He was already telling them what to wear. Jughead is worried about what might follow, possibly brain implants that can control what they think. Toni advises him to calm down as he sounded like a conspiracy nut. She and Sweet Pea go on to explain that with the closing of Southside High, they are now attending a better school with a computer lab, textbooks, and fully functioning toilets. As far as Toni and Sweet Pea are concerned, getting transferred to Riverdale High is the best thing that could've happened to them. If it means that they have to take off their Serpent jackets from 8:30 am - 3:00 pm, Monday - Friday, then so be it.
Archie and Agent Adams meet up in his garage after school. He tells the agent that according to the Lodges, Nick was hurt badly in an accident in Vail. But it may not have been an accident. Before he says anything else, Archie wants insurance, guaranteeing that no matter what happens to Hiram, his father would be protected. After Agent Adams agrees to Archie's demand, Archie reveals that Nick assaulted Veronica. If Hiram discovered this, it would give him a motive. Agent Adams wants confirmation from Veronica, who Archie refuses to get involved. He can get to Nick, however, which was a good plan considering that he would be more likely to talk to Archie than he is an agent. Although, in going to Nick, Archie runs the risk of Nick telling Veronica or his parents that he was asking about the accident. Essentially, he needs a cover story, Agent Adams says. A reason to see Nick that has nothing to do with the Lodges. It is in that moment that Archie comes up with the perfect story.
After his meeting with Agent Adams, Archie heads over to Thistlehouse, where he tells Cheryl that he can't stop thinking about what Nick did to her and Veronica. Archie asks Cheryl if wanted another check, to replace the last one that she and her mother had burned. She does. But Cheryl is afraid the ship has sailed on that. Archie begs to differ. He plans on going to see Nick and he could ask him to write another check. From Cheryl, Archie only needs to borrow one of Jason's blazers, to which she agrees.
Late that night, Betty wakes up from her sleep to see her mother sitting at the edge of her bed. While they couldn't tell Hal because he wouldn't support it, Alice wants to secretly meet her son.
The following day, despite Mr. Weatherbee explicitly prohibiting them from wearing their Serpent jackets on school property, Jughead arrives at school, jacket and all, proudly strutting throughout the halls of Riverdale High. He enters the lounge, acknowledges his friends, and then heads over to the vending machine, where he is confronted by Reggie, who demands that he remove his Serpent jacket. Jughead refuses to comply, telling Reggie that he couldn't possibly understand what the jacket meant because that would require for him to have a sense of honor, history and loyalty. This angers Reggie enough to the point of physicality, as he forcefully tries to tear Jughead's jacket from his body. Without hesitation, Sweet Pea and Fogarty come to Jughead's aid, resulting in a brawl in the center of the lounge between the Serpents and Bulldogs. As Toni stands back, watching helplessly, Veronica stumbles onto the fight, calling out to Mr. Weatherbee for assistance with breaking it up. In the office, after the fight has been brought to an end, Mr. Weatherbee gives Reggie, Fangs, Toni and Sweet Pea a week of detention. Though, he isn't quite done. He looks to Jughead, and tells him to remove his jacket or else he will be suspended. With that being the case, Jughead takes the suspension.
In the study, Veronica, Hermione, and Hiram discuss the failed integration of Riverdale and Southside High. Weatherbee told McCoy who told them about the fight and the difficulties the Serpents were facing as they tried to find their place at Riverdale. Veronica explains that Reggie is merely being Reggie, but he had made gang-wear a flashpoint. The Southsiders need to start looking the part. So Veronica propose a charitable donation to help out the fashionably misguided newcomers.
Betty and Alice drive two towns over to a Last Resort Hostel in Centerville. Charles' last known address. As they approach the counter, the manager tells them that it is $40 a night for a single bed and $20 a night for a bunk. Betty explains that they aren't looking to stay, rather they are searching for her brother by the name of Charles Smith. Room 237, the manager says. Charles tells them to come in as they knock on the door. As they prepare to introduce themselves, he admits to already knowing who they are, as he was given their address after being kicked out by the Sisters at the age of eighteen. He also admits to stopping by their house once before. "Must be a nice place to grow up", he remarks. He didn't approach them because he had the feeling that they didn't wish to have someone like him around, though Betty insists that this is not true. He looks to Betty before telling her that she is lucky that their mother sought to keep her. As the interaction carries on, they learn that he goes by the name of "Chic". Unfortunately, the longer they stay, they angrier Chic becomes. He instructs them to leave because he has a client on the way. "Fantasy Fulfillment" is his occupation.
In the car, just outside the Hostel, Betty comforts Alice as she cries her eyes out after finally meeting her son only to discover that he holds a great amount of disdain towards her.
Jughead grows frustrated while playing the Mortal Kombat arcade game at the Whyte Wyrm. In a fit of anger, he hit the side of the game. FP enters the bar, telling him that if he breaks it, he buys it. Jughead explains that he is suspended from school because Weatherbee was disrespecting the Serpents and targeting them. He even told them to take off their skins, another term for their Serpent jackets. Much like Sweet Pea and Toni, FP doesn't seem to think it was a big deal, suggesting that Jughead just wear the jacket after school. "A Serpent never sheds his skin", Jughead states. One of the Serpents' laws, which FP needs no reminder of. Jughead then admits that the real reason for his frustration stemmed from the closing of Southside High. Admittedly, it was in poor condition, but it was their home nonetheless. While FP understands his frustration, getting arrested for truancy won't solve anyone's problems. They need to be smart. Serpents hibernate in the winter. So, FP advises him to lay low for a while, but never stop being a Serpent.
After getting dressed in Jason's blazer, Archie heads down to Greenwich Prep in New York. He enters Nick's dorm room to demand that he write Cheryl another check to "cover the damages", for double the amount, after the previous one got lost. Archie notices the casts on Nick's leg. He asks what happened. Nick replies that it was a Ski accident. He broke both his legs on the slopes, asking why Archie cared. Archie doesn't. But he is curious. It is weird that Nick came to Riverdale, acted like a jackass, tried to rape Cheryl and then blew up the deal between the Lodges and his family, only to go back down to Vail for a Ski weekend. To Archie, that seems weird. Through Archie's tone and line of questioning, Nick concludes that he isn't there for Cheryl. Nick wasn't even aware that Archie and Cheryl are friends. Archie insists that he is there to ensure that Cheryl is compensated and that he and Cheryl are in fact friends, but that Nick was likely too high off Jingle Jangle to notice. In spite of all this, Nick still questions why Archie had really come to Greenwich Prep. Archie reveals that it is payback for what he did to Cheryl and Veronica. Still, Nick questions his intentions. He gathers that Archie is just a small-town hick who is beginning to realize how deep into shark-infested waters he really is. Nick advises Archie to be careful because when Veronica smells blood, she'll turn on him too. This sent Archie into a frenzy, as he attacks Nick, punching him multiple times.
On his father's advice, Jughead returns to school, without his jacket, only to find that Toni and Sweet Pea have been given standard issue uniform (navy blue collar shirts and khaki pants) by Weatherbee, who claims to understand that not every Southside student has the means to purchase Riverdale High acceptable clothing. The uniform will supposedly help them fit in. Where's Fogarty, Jughead asks. Sweet Pea tells him that Fangs was suspended after refusing to wear the uniform. Essentially, their choices are to conform or be cast out.
Veronica confronts Archie after learning that he had assaulted Nick in his dorm room. Supposedly, Archie broke his nose and was foaming at the mouth. Veronica demands to know why Archie went to New York, behind her back and attacked Nick. Archie explains that he wanted to beat the hell out of Nick when he learned that Nick had made sexual advances towards her after the party at the Five Seasons. Who told Archie about this, Veronica wonders. Cheryl interrupts their private discussion to confess that she told Archie about Nick trying to have his way with her. Cheryl also admits that she convinced Archie to pay Nick a visit. It was a classic shakedown. She wanted money from him and she figured that Archie could convince him to pay it over. Cheryl's only regret is that she betrayed Veronica's confidence. In that, she is truly sorry. As Cheryl exits, Archie apologizes to Veronica as well, as he too is sorry.
After she returns home from an ill-advised trip to Centerville, Betty goes up into Polly's room, where some of her sister's belongings have been boxed into specifically marked boxes e.g. "throw away" and "donation". In the throwaway box, is the nightlight that Betty had taken from Polly just before she left for the Farm. This, apparently, awakens a desire in Betty to see her brother once more. She rushes downstairs, grabbing the keys off the table before leaving the house. She heads back over to the Centerville Hostel by herself. Upon her arrival, she discovers that Chic is being attacked by the manager, who armed with a box cutter, sliced open Chic's arm. Fortunately, Betty comes to his rescue, pepper spraying Chic's attacker in the face before making a getaway.
At Pop's, Veronica's girlfriend intuition is telling her that Archie is hiding something from her. While Archie did want revenge for what Nick did to her, it wasn't the only reason he went there. He had left out one crucial detail. The reason he visited Nick in the first place was that Cheryl was blackmailing him. Archie confesses that on the night that they stopped the Black Hood, Cheryl saw him and Betty kiss. It was after Veronica had dumped him and Jughead had dumped Betty. Nana Rose had just told them a crazy story about Betty's grandfather and the kiss just happened. Archie says that the kiss only took place because of the crazy night. Literally, forty minutes later, he was being buried alive by the Black Hood. Archie and Betty hadn't talked about the kiss and he didn't think they'd ever talk about it again. After allowing it to sink in, Veronica grabs Archie's hands, telling him that everything is okay because she believes him. He's being honest with her and that was more important than a single "my life is in danger" kiss. After exchanging "I love yous", they share a kiss across the table.
Betty takes Chic home. She opens the front door and calls out to her parents for help as Chic is in dire need of medical attention. Betty, Alice, and Hal help Chic to the kitchen, where they grab the first aid kit and apply medical care.
In an empty classroom at school, Jughead welcomes Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty and the other Serpents to the inaugural meeting of the "Swords and Serpents" club. When Toni asks him to elaborate on the purpose of the club, Jughead explains that officially, they are a gaming group sanctioned by Mr. Weatherbee, where like-minded students can meet to concoct world building, role-playing scenarios, inhabiting fantastical heroes, and dispatching mythological creatures. Unofficially, it's a safe haven-like club for them to be Serpents during school hours and under everyone's noses. Jughead refuses to allow them to shed their skin, rather they would simply be lying low in the tall grass.
At Thistlehouse, Cheryl tells her mother that she has solved all their problems with the check that Archie had gotten from Nick. She gives Penelope her blessings to deposit it into a bank, not in the fireplace, as before. Cheryl hopes this will bring an end to her mother's days as a courtesan, though this didn't seem to be the case as Penelope took the check and put it away for safekeeping. Unfortunately for Cheryl, Penelope has no desire to stop as she was having such a good time.
Alice assures Chic, as he lies in Polly's bed, that they will sort everything out at a later time. In the meantime, she only hopes that he would get some rest. Chic then tells Alice and Hal to have a good night as they are exiting the room.
As Archie and Veronica lay in his bedroom, Archie asks Veronica why she didn't tell him the truth about Nick. Veronica says that she felt foolish for not seeing him for what he really was. Archie asks if she told anyone else besides Cheryl. Veronica admits to telling one other person, Kevin. Though, this is not entirely true since she had also told her parents.
Archie arranges another meeting in his garage with Agent Adams. The last time they met, he asked for his father to be protected. This time he is asking that Veronica is protected since she's caught up in all of it. Archie doesn't want to see her hurt or in trouble. Should Archie help them, Agent Adams agrees that he will protect Veronica and his dad. After Agent Adams agrees to put Archie's request in writing, he tells Archie not to allow himself to get emotional again, like he did with Nick. In getting emotional, he became sloppy. There was one more thing Archie wanted to add, since Agent Adams has been following him around for a while, he must've known about the Black Hood. So, in Agent Adams' expert opinion, Archie asks if he thought that they had gotten the right guy because Archie isn't so sure that they did.
While Betty sleeps in her bed, Chic quietly creeps into her room. He stands at her bedside, looming over her menacingly.
- Chuck Berry - School Days
- The North Panics - The Time Is Now
- Scene: A fight erupts in the student lounge between the Serpents and the Bulldogs after Jughead enters the school wearing his Serpent jacket despite gang paraphernalia being prohibited.
- The episode title comes from Evan Hunters' 1955 social commentary film of the same name.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Chic.
- In "Chapter Eight: The Outsiders", Nana Rose Blossom predicted that Polly would give birth to twins.
- In this episode, it would seem that her prediction came true. According to Polly, she gave birth to the twins at the Farm. She named the newborn babies Juniper and Dagwood.
- Kevin is reading The Damnation Game by Clive Barker in the school lounge.
- Barker is heavily referenced on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.