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Charles Smith is a recurring character on The CW's Riverdale. He is portrayed by Wyatt Nash.

Charles is the illegitimate son of Alice Cooper and FP Jones as well as the older half-brother of Jughead and Jellybean Jones and Betty and Polly Cooper, as well as the half-uncle of Polly and Jason Blossom's twin babies, Juniper and Dagwood. Unfortunately, he was initially believed to be murdered by Chic, who later stole his identity. However, this proved to be untrue, as Charles is not only alive, but an agent for the FBI, tasked with taking down The Farm.

Early Life

On the night that Hal and Alice were crowned King and Queen of their homecoming dance, the couple was witnessed fighting by FP Jones; Alice had just told Hal that she was pregnant, however, it was with another man. This revelation led to an argument as Hal wanted Alice to have an abortion, believing they were not ready to be parents, however, Alice was unwilling to do so.

The following day, Alice checked herself into the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, and five months later she gave birth to a baby boy which the sisters arranged to be adopted quietly. Alice then kept the existence of him a complete secret.

After Alice gave birth, he entered and stayed in the foster system and was never adopted as Alice had originally planned. Around 2009, Charles ran away from the institute. Upon leaving, he discovered information about his biological family and he went to the Cooper house to see his mother, though he never got the chance to meet her. Sometime later, he found himself living in Centerville where he befriended Chic and told him about his life. Their friendship increasingly deteriorated and they argued continuously until Chic lost control and allegedly killed him during a fight.

Throughout Riverdale

Season 1

The first mention of Charles

At dinner of The Cooper and Jones Family, which soon turned into a scandal, FP begins to tell the story to Betty that Fred and him were set to play around at the dance, where he was backstage dropping off their gear, when he heard these voices yelling. Telling Betty that it was her mom and dad, telling her they were fighting...about something he didn't know about, while also adding that it sounded like life-or-death. Before FP could finish his story, Alice furiously tells FP to shut up, in which FP was more than happy to oblige if she was. In which FP informs Alice that he doesn't care what she thinks of him, but warns her to not jerk him around especially in front of his son Jughead. Before things got any more intense, Betty left with Jughead and FP for the school dance.[1]
This story interested Betty and a few days later she gets the truth from Alice. The night of the Homecoming dance, where she and Hal were crowned King and Queen, it was the same night that she had told him that she was pregnant, which led to the huge fight that FP witnessed. They disagreed on how best to handle the situation, so Alice went away to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, where she gave birth five months later to a baby boy. The Sisters then arranged for a quiet adoption. As tears roll down Alice's face, she hugs Betty while expressing that it is the biggest mistake of her life. So Betty learns about the existence of her older half-brother and she decides to find him.[2]

Season 2

Charles never physically appeared in the season. At this point, it was believed that his former friend and roommate Chic murdered him prior to Betty learning about him and wanting to genuinely establish a relationship. This led Betty to seek out Charles. Although, they found Chic, who deceived the Coopers into believing that he was indeed Charles.

When the truth came out that Chic was an impostor, he taunted Alice and Betty by telling them that Charles was a junkie who overdosed. However, his former neighbor at the hostel told Betty and Jughead that Charles was most likely murdered by Chic after a violent altercation one night. This neighbor also had no knowledge of Charles' supposed drug use. To avenge the brother who she never got to know and keep the rest of her family safe, Betty turned Chic over to the Black Hood.[3]

Season 3

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Agent Smith reveals to Betty and Jughead that he's Charles

Agent Smith with the FBI knocks on the Joneses door. He is looking for Betty, who is inside with Jughead. Betty and Jughead suspect this is about the Lodges, but in actuality, it’s about Alice. Agent Smith’s team has been investigating Edgar Evernever for quite some time. They almost had him two towns ago. When they landed in Riverdale, the FBI sent in an undercover, someone tasked with getting close to Edgar to gain intel. They were waiting on her word to take him down. That someone being Alice. She’s an FBI informant. She’s been helping them build a case against Edgar and his organ harvesting program. It’s vital that they find Alice as soon as possible, which is why they’re setting up in Riverdale. Agent Smith seems vaguely familiar to Betty, and so after talking to him for a bit, Betty finally decides to ask if they know each other. Agent Smith replies that it’s no coincidence that he and Alice found each other as he’s Charles. Betty and Jughead’s half brother, who was supposedly killed by Chic.[4]

Season 4

Charles tells Betty that their mother missed her last check-in. However, this isn’t the first time Alice has been late with her report, Charles claims. Nevertheless, Betty is concerned. Charles advises Betty to worry about her academics and he promises to update her if anything changes in the investigation.

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Charles has been monitoring Kevin's phone

Betty returns to the office with takeout for her and Charles. On his desk, she finds a classified file which details the FBI’s surveillance on Kevin, which she was unaware of. Charles reveals that he’s always suspected that Kevin still had ties to the Farm. He’d been monitoring Kevin’s phone activity and it turns out he’s been texting with Fangs Fogarty. Charles wants to use Kevin’s relationship with Fangs to their advantage. In the text messages, Kevin keeps pushing to meet in person, but Fangs keeps pushing him off as he can’t risk it unless Kevin has something useful to offer. Charles wants to "accidentally" let slip some kind of fake intel about their investigation in front of Kevin to lure Fangs out of hiding.

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Betty and Charles interrogate Kevin

Betty has taken Kevin back to Charles after they tricked him into meeting with Fangs. The two of them cross-examine him. He apologizes for everything, but he wasn’t thinking clearly and just wanted to see Fangs again. Charles suspects that Kevin wanted to share information to get back in the good graces of the Farm, but he assures Charles that is not the case. Kevin explains that Fangs is all he has left after Betty ignored him all summer. Charles pulls Betty out to speak with her privately. He wants to cut Kevin loose, though Betty thinks he may still be of use as she believes Kevin can still help, Charles doesn’t agree.

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Charles learns that Edgar is gearing up for war

Betty asks Charles if he has heard from their mother, which he hasn’t. He begins to question his previous decision of cutting Kevin loose. Betty seizes the moment and tells Charles that she’s already working with Kevin. She gave him the fake name of their witness Penelope Blossom. She also told him about their mother being undercover. Charles questions how she could put their mother’s life in danger so recklessly, but Betty trusts Kevin. Kevin arrives and reveals that Betty’s plan worked. He connected with Fangs and told him about Penelope Blossom. Fangs led him to where the Farm is staying. It’s an abandoned hotel behind the maple barrens. He didn’t see Betty’s mom, but he did see Edgar, who is heavily armed. Charles realizes that Edgar is gearing up for war.[5]

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Betty and Charles listen in on an undercover agent

Charles has the derelict motel that the Farm is staying in under 24-hour surveillance. According to city records, it’s owned by one of Edgar’s followers, and they have photos of Evelyn answering the front door. The Farm has been getting pizza deliveries every day at the same time. Charles has an agent in disguise about to make the delivery, which he and Betty listen in on through a wire the agent is wearing. Evelyn answers as the undercover agent knocks on the door. She immediately makes him. A scuffle can be heard before several rounds are fired off. Edgar finds the wire on the undercover agent’s body and taunts Charles.

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Betty and Charles talk to Edgar

Charles learns from Betty that Edgar called her with a list of demands. Charles gets off the phone with Governor Dooley, who refuses to negotiate with a cult leader. Edgar calls Betty back and asks if she was able to get what he asked for. Charles coaches Betty through the call. She tells Edgar that he first has to release a hostage as a sign of good faith. In anticipation that Betty and Charles wouldn’t take his demands seriously, Edgar has already released a hostage. He hangs up, and Polly arrives moments later with a bomb strapped to her chest.

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Charles and Betty try to disarm Polly's bomb

Polly’s holding a dead man’s switch, meaning if she lets go of the detonator then the bomb will explode. Betty promises Polly they’ll figure it out. There are wires connected to the C4 on the bomb. Three are decoys that will trigger the detonator. They need to find the one that is linked to the firing circuit and battery. Betty cuts the yellow wire, which turns out to be a tripwire that causes the bomb to count down faster. Charles tells Betty that there might be a system override on the dead man’s switch. A pin connected to a chain that slides into the hole that goes underneath the trigger. However, Polly tells Betty that Edgar took the pin. With the bomb quickly counting down, Betty takes the bobby-pin out of her hair and inserts it into the switch to stop the bomb from exploding with two seconds to spare.

Betty calls Charles and tells him that she’s inside the motel. Charles instructs her to get out as Governor Dooley is prepared to send in a group of mercenaries. Betty tells Charles to tell the mercenaries to stand down as there’s a busload of civilians headed their way.[6]

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Charles, FP, Alice, Betty, and Jughead watch the VHS tape

Charles, FP, Alice, Betty, and Jughead play the VHS tape that they recovered from the doorstep. It’s six hours of the Jones house being filmed. Charles suspects that it was done to unsettle them, but Jughead wonders why a videotape specifically. FP hopes that it’s just a prank. However, over the next few weeks, more and more citizens of Riverdale received copies of similar tapes, footage of their houses being taped.

On Halloween night, Charles stops by the house to bring Betty some pizza. He knocks on the door and she answers with a poker from the fireplace. Charles offers to help Betty trace the calls of the prank caller after learning that someone had been calling the house pretending to be the Black Hood.

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Charles traces the call

Charles states that he and Betty haven’t talked much since they took down the Farm, though he understands why she may be weary of him. Betty accuses him of leading their mom to Edgar. However, Charles explains to Betty that it was Alice who approached him with the idea of going undercover to help Polly and get a story. As for Charles, he always wanted to be apart of a real family, but he knows that it takes time. The phone rings and Charles begins tracing the call as Betty answers. It’s the prankster again. Betty keeps him talking as Charles traces the call. She asks him if he remembers how on Halloween the four of them used to go trick-or-treating as a family. They’d walk up and down Elm Street, and when they got home, they’d go through their bags. Her dad wouldn’t let her or Polly eat the apples because he thought there were razor blades in them. Once Charles manages to trace the number, Betty hangs up. He traces the call to Shady Grove Treatment Center, where Polly’s been staying. Betty and Charles then call the center, pretending to be Edgar as they ask for Polly. When Polly answers, Betty confronts her for prank calling the house and pretending to be their dad. Polly hangs up soon thereafter.

Given how well Betty handled herself with the Farm, Charles thinks she’d be an excellent candidate for the Junior FBI training program. They could work together to figure out who’s sending the videotapes as Betty knows the town a lot better than Charles.

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Charles listens to Betty's call

Betty and Jughead discuss their equally terrifying Halloween nights. Jughead hates that they kept him from Betty, forcing her to endure the prank callings of Polly all alone. Betty reveals that she wasn’t alone. She was with Charles. She’s starting to warm up to him and is even considering joining the Junior FBI program. She thinks he might be the real deal. Unbeknownst to them, Charles has tapped Betty’s phone and is listening in on the entire conversation. He looks pleased when his half-siblings agree that he can be trusted.[7]

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Charles teaches the first session of his Junior FBI program

Charles holds his first session for the FBI Junior program. Betty and Kevin attend. Kevin makes mention of how attractive Charles is. They start with serial killers. He shows them a slide show of a crime scene. He pulls up three mugshots from three different individuals and asks the trainees which is the killer. Betty correctly guesses it’s the third man on screen. She again correctly guesses the next slide of serial killers. She does this one last time, much to Kevin and Charles’ surprise. The murderers all had one thing in common. A specific set of genes, MAOA and CDH13, better known as the serial killer genes, which Betty also has.

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Charles teaches another session

Betty and Kevin attend the next session. One thing seen in a lot of serial killers are instances of animal cruelty in their youth. Betty recalls her time spent at the Farm, where Polly accused her of killing their cat Caramel. Betty feels overwhelmed and excuses herself from the session, leaving both Kevin and Charles concerned.

During the latest Junior FBI program session, Betty and Kevin take notes as Charles discusses how serial killers leave clues, take trophies, and keep records via journals, dairies, and letters. They see themselves as heroes of their own stories. They struggle with distinguishing fact from fantasy. By studying childhood diaries of serial killers, they gain insight into how their minds work.

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Charles informs Betty that he has the serial killer gene

Charles learns of Betty's plans to quit the program because she’s like every killer from his slideshow, which is how she was able to identify them so easily. She reveals that she has the serial killer gene to Charles. He reasons that’s all the more reason for Betty to stay. To make sense of that side of her. Charles reveals to Betty that he too has the gene. It’s why he joined the FBI. To help control those impulses. Charles believes that like him, Betty can use a career in law enforcement to help harness the darkness.[8]

Betty approaches Charles with the information she gathered from Chic during her visit. While Betty doesn’t trust Charles, she also doesn’t trust Chic enough to go merely off his word. So, she wants to conduct a lie detector test on Charles.

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Charles hooks himself to a polygraph

Charles hooks himself up to the polygraph machine, and Betty begins her line of questioning. It’s true that Charles and Chic met on the streets when they both were at their lowest. It’s also true that someone was murdered in the room they shared at the hostel. Charles claims he came home one day to find a dead man in their bed. Chic was covered in his blood. Some trick that Chic brought home. Charles’ instincts took over. He dissolved the body with lye in the bathtub, threw out the sheets, and scrubbed the room with bleach as Chic watched. And that was the end of them. Charles left him and started over. Betty then asks if Charles is hiding anything. He reveals that he’s a recovering addict who attends weekly narcotics anonymous meetings at his gym.

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Alice and Charles tell Betty that Chic is in contact with the FBI

Alice, Charles, and FP confront Betty over visiting Chic at the prison as her visit inspired him to go to his lawyer to contact the FBI to report a murder that happened in the Black Hood’s house, which he claims was committed by Alice. Chic also claims to know the location of the shady man’s burial site. Charles takes the lead on the investigation with assistance from FP. Together, they check the burial site.

FP and Charles return. They took care of the body and ensure Betty and Alice that everything will be okay. As Charles leaves to file the report, Betty apologizes to him.

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Charles visits Chic

Charles visits Chic at the Lodge Detention Center. As it turns out, he has been playing the Jones and the Coopers. He and Chic are still very much involved. They’ve apparently constructed a plan, to what end remains unknown. Although, they predicted Betty would come to Chic, eventually forcing them to lead Charles to the body to prevent the discovery of the shady man. After he and FP took care of the body, everyone was appropriately grateful, even Betty. They press their hands against the glass separating them and express their mutual love for one another.[9]

Physical Appearance

When he was a teenager, Charles was thin with a fair complexion, curly brown hair and light eyes, as seen from the photo of his permanent record in Sisters of Quiet Mercy.

Now Charles' adult appearance is a tall, handsome white man who seems approaching 30. He has golden tawny brown hair, which he smears with gel, and grey eyes. He prefers the business style of clothes.

Personality

Charles was a boy who grew up in the foster system with the idea of being unfitting and unwanted. This may have led him to make bad life choices, such as becoming an alleged drug addict. According to Chic, he felt resentment towards his biological family. Despite his bad friendships and a poor state of life, he is remembered by his neighbors as a polite boy.

Relationships

Betty Cooper

You see, I'm Charles... Your brother.
— Charles to Betty[src]


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Charles and Betty are together

Betty is the younger maternal half-sister of Charles. Their relationship is progressing. They spent a lot of time working together over the summer while investigating The Farm with their mother Alice working undercover. As it stands, Betty believes Charles can be trusted.


Chic

Your brother was a junkie. [...] I didn't mean to hurt him.
— Chic to Betty[src]


The relationship between Charles and Chic was quite turbulent, with ups and downs ultimately leading to Charles' alleged death. Despite an initial friendship based on sharing their sad past and upbringing, they became more and more hostile to each other to the point of arguing furiously every day. According to one of their neighbors at the hostel, Charles was the "good one" while Chic was the "bad one".

Appearances

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Trivia

Notes

  • In the Archie Comics, Charles "Chic" Cooper was introduced for the first time in the 1960s Little Archie series, in which he had a plot device role when it was necessary to help the main characters, who are children in this iteration. Became a canon character in the following series, Chic Cooper is Betty's older brother, whose absence from the vast majority of the stories is justified because he is a secret agent for the US government.
    • Contrary to the TV series, Charles "Chic" Cooper is not an out-of-wedlock son in the comics and he and Chic are the same guy.


Gallery

See also: Category:Images of Charles Smith

References

  1. Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert (writer) & Sullivan, Kevin (director) (April 27, 2017). "Chapter Eleven: To Riverdale and Back Again". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 11. The CW.
  2. Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert (writer) & Toland Krieger, Lee (director) (May 11, 2017). "Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 13. The CW.
  3. Chambers, Cristine (writer) & Phang, Jennifer (director) (April 25, 2018). "Chapter Thirty-Two: Prisoners". Riverdale. Season 2. Episode 19. The CW.
  4. Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto & Grassi, Michael (writers) & Talalay, Rachel (director) (May 15, 2019). "Chapter Fifty-Seven: Survive The Night". Riverdale. Season 3. Episode 22. The CW.
  5. Grassi, Michael & Ewing, Will (writers) & Romanowsky, Pamela (director) (October 16, 2019). "Chapter Fifty-Nine: Fast Times at Riverdale High". Riverdale. Season 4. Episode 2. The CW.
  6. Hasan, Ace & Murray, Greg (writers) & Greg, Smith (director) (October 23, 2019). "Chapter Sixty: Dog Day Afternoon". Riverdale. Season 4. Episode 3. The CW.
  7. Salinas Schoenberg, Janine (writer) & Feeley, Erin (director) (October 30, 2019). "Chapter Sixty-One: Halloween". Riverdale. Season 4. Episode 4. The CW.
  8. Turner, Devon (writer) & Jierjian, Harry (director) (November 6, 2019). "Chapter Sixty-Two: Witness for the Prosecution". Riverdale. Season 4. Episode 5. The CW.
  9. DeWille, James (writer) & Correa, Gabriel (director) (November 13, 2019). "Chapter Sixty-Three: Hereditary". Riverdale. Season 4. Episode 6. The CW.
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