|“||Used to be, in ye olden days, every December, a Lord of Misrule presided over the winter holidays, called back then the Feast of Fools. [...] So Christmas was happening, even though this year's Lord of Misrule was none other than the Black Hood.||”|
"Chapter Twenty-Two: Silent Night, Deadly Night" is the ninth episode of the second season of Riverdale, and the twenty-second episode of the series overall. It is also the series' first-ever Christmas episode, as well as the mid-season finale of the second season. It premiered on December 13, 2017.
A SHOWDOWN WITH THE BLACK HOOD — After snooping around for Christmas gifts, Veronica uncovers a major secret Hiram has been keeping from her. Fallout from Jughead's encounter with Penny Peabody creates tension between him and FP. Meanwhile, a defiant Cheryl takes matters into her own hands after Penelope tells her they cannot afford Christmas this year. Finally, Betty and Archie's vow to take down the Black Hood once and for all leads to a dangerous showdown.
In the days leading up to Christmas, Jughead works on his novel from Pop's, Archie and Fred enter the diner with a Christmas tree for Pop Tate. After setting it up, Archie joins Jughead in his booth, where the two of them discuss Holiday plans. Despite initial plans to visit his mother in Chicago, Archie and Fred were staying in town for Christmas, as his mother had booked a singles cruise. When Jughead asked about Archie's current relationship troubles with Veronica, he tells Jughead that they weren't in the best place. If it was any conciliation, Jughead and Betty weren't on the greatest of terms either. Fred interrupts to ask Jughead if he and FP wanted a Christmas tree, free of charge. Jughead accepts his offer, though it would have to be a small tree given that they live in a trailer. Before leaving, Archie checks with Jughead to ensure that he is still attending Kevin's Secret Santa gift exchange.
Betty is awakened from her sleep by Polly, who came into her bedroom to tell her that "he's here". "Who's here?" Betty asks. She heads downstairs to find Polly standing alongside their mother and father. To Betty's right, where the Christmas tree stood, Betty sees who she initially believes to be Santa Claus, putting down gifts. Betty calls out to him. However, she is quite surprised to learn that the man in red is actually the Black Hood dressed in a Santa suit. Holding a large knife, the Black Hood started to crawl towards her. As he does so, Betty looks back over to her family, to see that they have been slaughtered. All she can do is stand there speechless and motionless as the Black Hood inches closer towards her. Fortunately, Betty wakes up in her room, thus revealing that it was merely a nightmare. After coming to this realization, Betty looks outside her room window to the sight of falling snow.
At Thistlehouse, Cheryl joins her Penelope and Nana Rose in the dining room, where she discovers that her mother hadn't put Jason's stocking on the table. Penelope explains that she couldn't find it, not that it mattered considering that they have nothing to put in it. Cheryl then notices the candy canes that align the table. She is told by her mother that it would be a "hard candy Christmas this year" and that they have to face the fact that they have no more money.
On his way out for school, Archie catches Fred reading what he initially presumes is a letter from the Black Hood. Unfortunately, it is something much worse; medical bills from Riverdale General Hospital. The total expense comes down to $86,000, leaving Archie to suspect that something went wrong given that they had insurance. Fred agreed that a mistake must've been made, stating that he would call them in the morning.
Betty joins Veronica at the Pembrooke as she prepares for Kevin's Secret Santa gift exchange, which had a strict $20 gift purchasing limit. Noticeably, Veronica's purchased items have far exceeded Kevin's pre-established limit. However, all the gifts on the table aren't for Secret Santa. She got a Hermes scarf for her mother, a leather passport case for her father and even a gift for Betty. Much to Betty's surprise, in Veronica's possession, was also a gift for Archie, even though they had broken up. Betty asked if the gift was meant to reunite the two lovers. However, Veronica reveals this is not the case. Her gift for Archie was purchased before their break up. Furthermore, they are still friends, and friends are allowed to purchase each other gifts.
At the trailer, Jughead hopes to talk to his father about the predicament they are in with Penny. However, as far as FP is concerned, Penny is not Jughead's problem, despite the fact that she has Jughead and Archie on camera, delivering drugs to a warehouse in Greendale. It was because of this that FP wants to keep Jughead out of her grasp, even if it meant as Jughead puts it "pimping the Serpents out as drug-runners". This comment infuriates FP, who warns Jughead to stop while he is ahead. The conversation is then interrupted by Tall Boy arriving at their trailer with a bag that FP instructs him to leave in the other room. When Jughead asks Tall Boy what is in the bag, FP raises his voice at Jughead, telling him to mind his own business and go to school.
Archie, Betty, Reggie, Cheryl, Kevin, Veronica, Jughead and Josie gather in the student lounge at school for Kevin's Secret Santa gift exchange. Veronica opens her gift from Josie, which awkwardly enough, is a certificate for a couples massage. Archie and Veronica were still together when Josie purchased the gift. Hoping to make up for the awkward exchange, Josie suggests that Veronica use the certificate to take someone other than Archie, such as Betty or her mother. If that isn't able to be arranged, Reggie jokes that he can use the gift certificate with Veronica's mother. Thankfully, Betty is the last exchange of the evening. Based on the wrapping of her present, Betty can instantly tell that it was Archie who picked her name. She unwraps the gift to find and old read-a-long record that she and Archie used to listen to when they were five years old, entitled "The Swiss Family Robinson". Archie and Fred found it while they were cleaning out the garage. Moose and Midge then surprise the group as they enter the lounge unexpectedly.
As Archie abruptly exits the lounge, Betty follows him out to ask why he is rushing off. Archie didn't want to be "that guy", but every time he sees Moose, all he can think about is the Black Hood and all the pain he had caused to the people that Archie cared about, Betty included. The fact that the killer is still free to wreak havoc was giving Betty anxiety nightmares and making her paranoid. It was as if everywhere she looked all she could see is the Black Hood. Betty cut her sentence short after noticing a new janitor cleaning the floors rather than Mr. Svenson. After approaching the janitor, Betty asks him who he was and what happened to Mr. Svenson. The new janitor tells Archie and Betty that he had no knowledge of Mr. Svenson's whereabouts, who had been out for a few days. He was merely called in as a replacement. Hearing this, Archie and Betty become concerned for Mr. Svenson's well being considering that Archie and Veronica had confronted Svenson about his connection to the Black Hood. It was possible that in doing so, they led the Black Hood to Mr. Svenson and got him killed.
In the front office, Betty and Archie speak with Ms. Bell, who tells them that Mr. Svenson had been out all week with a cold. He sounded terrible over the phone, when she spoke with him, so she dropped off some chicken soup at his front door a few days prior. Ms. Bell goes on to explain that Mr. Svenson often became depressed during the Holidays due to having no family to spend them with.
After parting ways with Archie, Betty enters the Blue and Gold offices to find Jughead awaiting her arrival. He had stayed behind to personally deliver her gift. Jughead apologizes for their sudden break-up. As Serpents, he and his father were specifically in a precarious place, and he didn't want to see Betty get caught in the cross-hairs. However, that isn't his decision to make, Betty states. Even if he thought his recent actions were to protect her, what she risked and for whom was her choice. While Jughead agreed with what was being said, he decides that it is best that he leave. As he is heading out, Betty reveals that she had gotten him a gift as well. He smiles as she hands him the large present.
After class, Veronica stops Archie to present him with the gift she had purchased, which is a bit unfortunate and uncomfortable for Archie since he hadn't gotten her a gift. Though, this is fine with Veronica. The gift is an expensive watch that she had gotten engraved. She tells Archie that she got it before their break up. Veronica explains that she didn't want things to be forced between the two of them. Archie sighs, which concerns Veronica, who begins to get the impression that giving Archie a gift only further complicated their relationship or lack thereof. Although, according to Archie, it wasn't the gift, rather his home life, which isn't going too well. Veronica asks if there is anything she can do to help. Archie is hesitant in revealing that his father owes $86,000 in hospital bills, but he does so regardless. They were already selling Christmas trees for extra money, just to scrape by. Veronica is saddened to hear this. She wants to hug Archie, as well as help him, but she doesn't know how. Archie tells her that it is alright as his problems aren't something he should've dumped on her to begin with.
Jughead leaves Riverdale High and heads down to the Whyte Wyrm, where he finds the Serpents wrapping gifts and putting forth an effort to help their community of Southsiders. Toni and Fogarty explain that they give back to the Southside every year. It has become a Serpent tradition to look after the young and the elderly of the Southside during the holiday season and to help out through Toys for Tots and Meals on Wheels. Jughead states that he is always down for charitable works. He then runs into his father, who questions why he isn't in school. Jughead tells him that it was a half day due to Christmas break. In that case, FP requests that Jughead look after the Wyrm while he and Tall Boy make another delivery for Penny. Jughead asks to join them, but FP refused to allow him to accompany them. Instead, calling on Sweet Pea to assist them in the delivery.
While sawing trees in the parking lot of Pop's diner, Archie gets a call from Betty, who is still at the Blue and Gold offices. She can't let go of the feeling she has of something bad having happened to Mr. Svenson. So, she wants Archie to join her in stopping by his house to check up on him. Archie tells Betty to give him ten minutes and then they would go. Before he can tell his father that he is taking off, Archie is approached by Cheryl, who is looking to purchase a tree. Given that he is in route to meet Betty, Archie points Cheryl to Vic, who is assisting with tree sales.
Archie and Betty arrive at Mr. Svenson's house, where they find Ms. Bell's chicken soup still sitting on the front step from several days back. They knock on the front door several times, but no one answers.
At the trailer, Jughead answers the door to find his father's parole officer, Jack Walsh, on the other side. Jughead informs Mr. Walsh that his father isn't home, though he didn't need to be, Mr. Walsh stated. He is merely issuing a warning, which Jughead is to pass along to FP.
With the recent revelation of the Andrews' struggle still fresh on her mind, Veronica grows aggravated with her parents at the dinner table, as they discuss expensive Christmas presents, such as Glamerge eggs from Spiffany's. Hiram advises her not to worry because they have her Christmas list as well. Although, he asks that Veronica not go snooping around in search of the gifts like she does every year. But for all Veronica cared, they can rip up her list. She wishes that her parents would take a look at themselves and realize how fortunate and wasteful they were, spending money on bejeweled eggs like they were a family of Russian oligarchs when there were people in Riverdale who couldn't even afford to pay their own medical bills, such as Fred, who was drowning in expense to the tune of $86,000. Which is why Veronica is hoping that her parents can pay the bill. Unfortunately, the Lodge Charitable Trust had made its donations for the fiscal year. Fred will have to tighten his belt, so to speak. Little did Hiram know, Fred has been doing just that by selling Christmas trees for extra money. That's the kind of father he is, Veronica surmises. However, Hiram wants to hear no more on the matter, storming off to his study afterward.
After purchasing the finest tree she could find, Cheryl took it home and decorated it with ornaments, which pleased Nana Rose. However, the same could not be said for her an outraged Penelope, who refers to Cheryl as a spoiled and wretched brat upon returning to Thistlehouse. How are we supposed to pay for it all, Penelope wonders. Cheryl suggests that Penelope ask Hiram for a job, though that would force her to admit that the only skills she possesses is being a terrible mother. So, Cheryl advises her to get creative in the new year. As Cheryl exits the room, Rose tells Penelope that she should've drowned Jason and Cheryl at birth, "like a basket of kittens".
Betty returns home after failing to find Mr. Svenson, where she discovers her mother making gingerbread cookies in the kitchen, just in case there was a Christmas miracle, and Polly decided to return home, as they are her favorite. Betty learns that another gift was left for her on the steps, which was supposedly from her Secret Santa. Betty opens the gift in her room to find a severed finger inside. She throws the box down in terror before calling Archie over. With the gift came a letter that read "Enclosed is a finger that belongs to the sinner Joseph Conway .You have one final trespass to unearth. Find the truth, reveal it to the town, and you will perhaps save his life". Betty then receives a call from the Black Hood, during which time she and Archie could briefly hear Mr. Svenson's voice, begging to be saved. Mr. Svenson had lost a lot of blood, though it is nothing compared to the blood on the hands of the town. The Black Hood instructs her to exhume the past and find where the primal sin was committed. There, she could possibly find Mr. Svenson alive. Archie snatches the phone away to talk to the killer himself, but the Black Hood immediately hangs up, leaving Betty to question the primal sin that the Black Hood was referring to. Before he was adopted, Svenson lived as Joseph Conway at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Betty and Archie hope that one of the Sisters could possibly help them in figuring out Svenson's sin.
Veronica creeps into her father's study while he is away to look through the drawers of his desk. She scrambles through his belongings until finding documented files which reveal that Lodge Industries had secretly purchased Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe. Along with the documents, Veronica also finds her father's gift for her mother; a Glamerge egg.
Jughead awaits his father's return home before telling him about Mr. Walsh's unexpected visit. While he managed to get rid of Mr. Walsh, the Serpents moving into "Narcos territory" had already spread. Tired of listening to Jughead's concerns in regard to the Serpents trafficking drugs for Penny, FP opens the duffel bag on the table, revealing Christmas presents, which Jughead initially assume to be drugs disguised as gifts, but FP clarifies they are presents for Jughead, his mom and his sister, Jellybean. FP hopes that on Christmas Day, he and Jughead can drive up to Toledo, where they can deliver the gifts in person. Despite his good intentions, Jughead continues to ask him questions about Penny and how her increasingly dangerous favors could mean trouble for the Serpents. Enraged by the non-stop questioning, FP raises his voice, telling Jughead that them living together isn't working out and that it was probably best if Jughead went back living with the Andrews or even Betty, who Jughead had broken up with, unbeknownst to FP. Jughead attempts to explain that he only wants to help fix the mess he made, but FP claims that they are trapped and that they had no leverage, meaning he will have to do anything Penny ordered him to do, for as long as necessary, even being her dancing monkey for the time being. The discussion ends with FP going to get some rest, as a long night of work awaits him.
Upon making the discovery that her parents had purchased Pop's without telling her, Veronica calls Riverdale General to settle an account in Fred Andrews' name. She claims that she is his business partner, Hermione Apollonia Lodge. Veronica wishes to pay the bill in full and to keep the payment anonymous. An angel donation, she says. She'd be paying with a Black American Excess card. Number 2-9-5-7-2-3-0.
Later that evening, Jughead rallies Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty, and many of the younger Serpents to reveal that Penny has forced his father into dealing drugs. He knows this because he was dealing Penny's drug before his father's release from prison. Since then, she has dragged in Tall Boy and Sweet Pea. Jughead fears that the Serpents will eventually end up like the Ghoulies. Furthermore, he doubts that any of them became Serpents merely to be at the beck and call of a drug Queenpin like Penny. The path that the Serpents are currently headed down only ends in two ways, jail or death. Which is why in the interest of self-preservation, Jughead wants to take out Penny before she can take out the Serpents. Unfortunately, Sweet Pea is hesitant in joining Jughead's cause given that the Snake Charmer had helped some of them in the past. Though this admittedly came at a price, several favors to be exact. If they didn't stop Penny that night, Jughead promises that she was going to drag every single one of them into the business of drug trafficking. The only remaining question is whether or not they are willing to risk their lives in order to his father's life. "What is the first law", Toni asks. "No Serpent stands alone", Sweet Pea replies. Having said that, Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty, and the others agree to assist Jughead in stopping the Snake Charmer.
At the Sisters of Quiet Mercy group home, Archie and Betty speak to Sister Woodhouse, who informs them that Joseph Svenson/Conway was a troubled youth. Archie takes this to mean that he was a sinner, but this is incorrect. Did he suffer from survivor's guilt, Betty asks. But before Sister Woodhouse can answer, another Nun passes the window, giving off a menacing look, which results in Sister Woodhouse bringing their discussion to an end. However, Betty isn't willing to give up just yet. Much to Archie's surprise, Betty reveals that she had learned from Polly all about the corporal punishment that the Sister handed out. Should Sister Woodhouse fail to answer their questions, Betty threatens to expose them. In fear of what will follow should that occur, Sister Woodhouse tells them that after Mr. Svenson's family was massacred, he identified the man responsible, known as the Riverdale Reaper. Having outed him, a small group of citizens took matters into their own hands by executing the alleged killer. It wasn't until Svenson had been taken to Quiet Mercy that he admitted in his terror and shock that he accused the wrong man, meaning that his primal sin was sentencing the wrong man to death. Betty asks if Svenson ever talked about who carried out the execution. Sister Woodhouse says that they came by to see him once. It was a group of men and one woman. While she can't remember their names or what they looked like, Sister Woodhouse recalls that the woman had striking white hair, save for a cherry-red stripe. With that description, Betty concludes that the woman was Nana Rose Blossom.
At a warehouse in Riverdale, Penny hears a knock at the door while loading drugs into a crate for FP to later deliver. She assumes it is FP, arriving early. However, she is surprised to see that it is Jughead on the other side of the door. She looks down, noticing the crowbar he has in his possession. Jughead explains that he was going to use it in case he had to pry the door open. With FP on his way, Penny asks him to give her a hand with the drugs, which she assumes FP won't be too happy about considering that he had taken Jughead's place because he didn't want him involved in drug trafficking. However, Jughead isn't concerned with what his father will have to say given that neither of them will be at the warehouse when FP arrives. Penny turns around to the sight of at least half a dozen Serpents wearing snake masks. "Is this supposed to scare me?", she asks. As they advance towards her, she warns the young Serpents to stop what they were doing at once. However, under Jughead's command, they place a black hood over her head and carrying her away.
Hermione and Hiram return to the Pembrooke from last minute Christmas shopping after receiving a call from the bank, confirming a charge that was made from Hermione's credit card, in the amount of $86,000. They realized that it was Veronica's doing and came home to confront her. Veronica had decided that her parents would cover Fred's medical expenses considering that they have the money to buy Pop's and then lie to her face about it. Veronica asks how it is that they can afford an entire diner. Hiram addresses the fact that she wanted a more active role in Lodge Industries, which they gave to her. In response, she breaks into his office and tries to use whatever she can find as leverage against them. While Hiram admits there is a lot Veronica doesn't know, he says that this is intentional. Veronica questions how she can be apart of the family if they continue to hide things from her. With her name being on all of the documents in Hiram's desk, Veronica believes that she has the right to know the truth. Hermione agrees. However, this will also mean that the time for being "Daddy's little girl" is over. It is now time for all of them to work in lockstep. Hiram agrees, telling Veronica to follow him to the study.
The Serpents drove Penny out to Greendale, her new place of residence, as she has been banned from returning to Riverdale. While they don't care where she sets up shop, it isn't going to be on the Southside or with the Serpents. If she sought to deal drugs and extort people, that would be done elsewhere. Penny laughs at them, then pulling up the sleeve of her leather jacket to reveal her Serpents tattoo, stating that Serpent law prohibited them from hurting one of their own. With that being said, it was time that she learns that her tattoo doesn't make her a Serpent considering that she hasn't been honoring their ways. Sweet Pea and Toni hold Penny down as Jughead pulls out a knife, and forcefully removes her tattoo with said knife, which is an excruciatingly painful process.
Under the suspicion that Nana Rose was present for the execution of an innocent man that they suspected of being the Riverdale Reaper, Archie and Betty show up unannounced at Thistlehouse, where Cheryl answers the front door. She invites them in and takes them to see Rose. Archie and Betty ask her about the execution of the Riverdale Reaper and if Nana Rose had accompanied the group of citizens when they killed him in the name of justice and revenge. Nana Rose reveals that she wasn't there to see the execution first hand, as she was told to stay at home while the men took care of the rest. Where did they hang the Reaper, Betty asks. Rose replies that he wasn't hung. They gave him a proper burial, by burying him alive. As for the location of the burial, Nana Rose, who mistakes Betty for Polly, as she had done before, tells Betty to ask her grandfather, who had participated in the execution. Rose had a picture of them at the burial, smiling just beneath the devil's hand. Feeling ill, Nana Rose then calls out to Cheryl, asking that she be taken up to her room
In the car, just outside Thistlehouse, Archie and Betty discuss how her grandfather helped murder an innocent man. Archie questions if what Nana Rose had told them was true. Betty is pretty certain that it is true considering that she vaguely remembers the picture Nana Rose mentioned. When her grandfather Louis died, Betty and her family packed up his house. While they donated most of his belongings, they kept the pictures, which they later organized at her house. Since her grandfather had a hand to play in the death of an innocent man, Betty wonders if this is the reason that the Black Hood chose her to call and torture, as a way to enact revenge for something that she didn't even do. Archie grabs Betty's hand while he explains to her that they are finally at the part of the story where they could end it all by stopping the Black Hood and saving Mr. Svenson. But in order for that to happen, Archie needs Betty with him. Tomorrow, they would wake up and everything would be back to normal. But for that night, Archie needed Betty at his side. They then share a kiss before driving off, unaware that Cheryl is watching from her bedroom window above.
In her father's study, Veronica learns the truth behind everything. She agrees to join her parents in running the family business, though she has one ground rule; she refuses to do anything illegal. Which is fine considering that her parents denounced any illegal activity on their behalf as well. Her mother shares with her two words to live by; plausible deniability. In regards to the charge that Veronica made towards Fred's medical bills, she wants that to stick. While Hiram was initially against such action as it would only further complicate matters, Hermione agrees to Veronica's demand, stating that they can smooth it over. Furthermore, they need Fred for what would come next. Assuming that they could finesse the situation over with Fred, Veronica agrees to the deal with her parents.
After getting his pound of flesh from Penny, Jughead stopped at Pop's on his way home. Back at the trailer, he greets his father with a celebratory dinner, telling him that Penny is gone because he had rallied the younger Serpents to help drive her out of Riverdale. Despite Jughead's best efforts to right his wrongs, FP is furious. He is positive that Penny would return with a vengeance, though Jughead begs to differ because he was very persuasive. However, should she return, they will take care of her together. Jughead recites the sixth law to his father, "In unity, there is strength", which was the very same law he recited every day while his father was in jail. He lives by this specific law. Jughead is fine with his father taking his Serpents jacket and relegating him to Toys for Tots because no matter what, he would still be a Serpent, which he is proud of. It is something that no one can take away from him, not even his father.
Betty and Archie return to her house, where they look over her grandfather's old photos to see if they can find the picture that was previously mentioned by Nana Rose. There was one photo in particular that Betty can somewhat remember, but the story behind it, at least according to her father, was that her grandpa Louis and his friends planted some trees in Picken Park. Betty finds the aforementioned picture. In the photo, they can see the burial site of the preacher that was falsely accused by Mr. Svenson. Archie suspects that the burial ground of the preacher is where they can find Svenson, hopefully alive. Betty then takes a better look at the branches, which resemble the devil's hand, as described by Nana Rose. Betty and Archie plan to call Sheriff Keller as they head to Picken Parks in hopes of finding Svenson alive and well.
Betty and Archie arrive at Pickens Park to find a shallow grave labeled "here lies Joseph Conway". After Archie digs up the grave, he and Betty open the coffin only to learn that it is empty. They start to wonder why the Black Hood would bury an empty coffin. Though this question wouldn't go unanswered for long, as the Black Hood shows up alongside them soon thereafter. He holds them at gunpoint and demands that Archie get into the coffin. Should he refuse, Betty will die. Once Archie gets in, the Black Hood instructs Betty to close the top on him and fill the grave with dirt, essentially burying Archie alive, as her grandfather did to the innocent preacher. While burying Archie, she tells the Black Hood that they had uncovered Mr. Svenson's wrongful accusation of the preacher and how a small group of men executed him. This is the town's sin, which Betty is willing to expose should the Black Hood allow Archie and Mr. Svenson to live. As police sirens begin to ring throughout the park, the Black Hood briefly becomes distracted, allowing Betty to take advantage of the opportunity by hitting him in the face with a shovel and disarming him. She then jumps into the grave to uncover the coffin and save Archie. While she does so, the Black Hood takes off, leaving his gun behind. Once Archie is out the coffin, he grabs the killer's gun before chasing after him with Betty.
They chase the Black Hood over a bridge above Sweetwater River, which he attempts to jump over as Betty and Archie begin to catch up to him. The Black Hood comes to a stop as Archie shouts at him just as he is about to jump into the water below. Archie threatens to shoot him, should he do so. It would only be right, with Archie reasoning that the Black Hood tried to kill his father and friends. Despite having a gun pointed at him, the Black Hood attempts to jump over anyways but is stopped in his tracks when he is shot and killed by Sheriff Keller, who then instructs Archie to drop his gun. Upon removing the hood, they discover that the Black Hood is Mr. Svenson, notably with a missing finger, which he cut off to further along his ruse of him being a victim in the Black Hood's twisted game. After handing over the gun to Sheriff Keller, Archie and Betty hug as back up arrive.
Archie and Betty are taken to Pop's by the Sheriff, who speaks with their parents as they sit in a booth with Jughead and Veronica. Archie points out how Veronica's instincts about Svenson were right. Veronica thought he was the Black Hood and had Archie listened to her when they confronted him at school, they could've ended everything right there. But Archie didn't see the resemblance in Svenson's and the Black Hood's eyes. Taking a moment to forget about his eyes, Veronica can't believe that he would cut off his own finger. The finger of accusation, Betty says. Now that they knew who did the killings, Jughead wonders why. Betty explains that Mr. Svenson accused an innocent man of murdering his family and thus got the man killed. So, she suspected that maybe in Mr. Svenson's own twisted way, he thought that targeting sinners would somehow balance the scale. Svenson having the knowledge that he did on their lives made perfect sense given that he was always around, lurking in the hallways. He could have seen Archie and Ms. Grundy in the music room, as well as Moose and Midge buying Jingle Jangle. While they continue to go over the killer's motives and mindset, Jughead is just grateful that Svenson is in a body bag and they aren't.
Christmas morning, Fred tends to the trees as Josie and Kevin sing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" outside of Pop's.
Meanwhile, at Thistlehouse, Cheryl comes down the steps, calling out to her mother and Nana, excited to open her presents. Though, she receives an unwelcomed surprise when she catches her mother in the middle of making out with Vic, the very same man who had sold her the Christmas tree.
At the Pembrooke, Veronica wakes up to find a gift for her under the Christmas tree from Archie, who had dropped it off the day before. The gift is a heart-shaped necklace with her picture on one side and Archie's picture on the other. Veronica smiles at the site of it.
Back at the trailer, Jughead unwraps his present from Betty. She had purchased him a Vintage Underwood, which is the typewriter of champions. FP asks if he wished to swing by the Cooper house to thank Betty in person, but he would rather call or text her.
Betty opens her present from Jughead, which is a 1987 novel entitled "Beloved", by Betty's literary hero, Toni Morrison. With the novel came a note from Jughead that read "A signed first edition for my beloved. Thanks for introducing me to your favorite writer. Love Jug".
Archie and Fred talk to Mary over the phone, during which time, Archie lies to her about the town being quiet despite a killer previously being on the loose. He then hands the phone over to his father just before getting a message from Veronica, telling him to come outside. He joins Veronica on his front porch, where they stand under a mistletoe that was hung by her. "Now we have no choice but to kiss", she remarked. After sharing a kiss, Veronica addresses Archie's good nature, as if he was filled with it. Having said that, she knows that she needed Archie in her life. In others words, she loved him too. Hearing this for the first time pleased Archie, so much so that they share another kiss on the porch, unbeknownst to the two young lovers that they are being secretly photographed.
After retrieving a box from under her bed, containing all her evidence in the Black Hood investigation, Betty headed downstairs by the fireplace, where she tosses the files and newspapers clippings into the fire. When it came time to burn the black hood, she couldn't bring herself to do it after having stared into the blackest of voids. While she initially tossed the hood in the fire, she pulls it back out. The hood is the place where Joseph Conway's soul had once existed. It was in that void that Betty had seen a dark reflection, a truth that could not be burned away. A truth that whispers to her, "This isn't over".
- Fascinations Grand Chorus - This Christmas (Underneath the Christmas Tree)
- SHEL - I Know You’re Real St. Nicholas
- Emily Wells - O Holy Night
- Traditional - O Come All Ye Faithful
- Pomplamoose - Up On the Housetop
- Scene: Betty calls Archie while he's working in the Christmas tree lot to suggest that they go looking for Mr. Svenson. Cheryl then shows up to buy a tree.
- Richard Hayman and His Symphony Orchestra - Carol of the Bells
- Scene: Cheryl decorates the Christmas tree she bought as Penelope returns home, who then berates Cheryl for spending money that they didn't have. Cheryl remarks that maybe her mother should ask Hiram for a job. Nana Rose then comments that Penelope should have drowned Cheryl and Jason when they were born, like a basket of kittens.
- Doris Day - Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)
- Traditional - Silent Night
- Scene: Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica sit in a booth at Pop's, where they discuss the Black Hood.
- Riverdale Cast feat. Ashleigh Murray and Casey Cott - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
- Scene: Josie and Kevin sing outside Pop's / Cheryl rushes downstairs to find her mother making out with Vic / Veronica finds a present from Archie under her Christmas tree / Jughead and FP open gifts / Archie and Fred talk to Mary over the phone / Betty opens her gift from Jughead / Veronica opens her gift from Archie. She then heads over the Andrews house to meet Archie.
- Bing Crosby - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
- Scene: Jughead's closing monologue / Betty burns evidence from the Black Hood investigation except the black hood.
- The episode title comes from Charles Sellier's 1984 American slasher film of the same name.
- Betty's dream about the Black Hood crawling over the couch is a clear reference to the iconic Twin Peaks' scene where Maddy Ferguson had a vision of BOB doing exactly the same thing.
- This episode marks the first kiss between Betty Cooper and Archie Andrews in the series.
- Vanessa Morgan appeared on Entertainment Tonight's "Sweetwater Secrets" with Leanne Aguilera and revealed that, originally, her character, Toni Topaz, was supposed to cut off Penny Peabody's tattoo. However, it was changed to Jughead Jones because it made more sense for his character to do it.
- Marion Eisman, who portrays Doris Bell, also portrayed Mrs. Phillips, in the second episode of the first season: Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil.
- Jughead's gift for Betty is a first edition of Beloved by Toni Morrison, her favorite writer.