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Oh, you poor child. There's nothing to be afraid of. Sister Woodhouse is going to help you. {...} Yeah, she's going to rid you of all those naughty demons. The ones making you think such awful, unnatural thoughts. Today, you must rest. Tomorrow, the real work, the conversion begins.
— Sister Woodhouse to Cheryl[src]


Sister Agatha Woodhouse is a recurring character on The CW's Riverdale. She is portrayed by Beverley Breuer.

She was a nun who oversaw the Sisters of Quiet Mercy group home. Betty often looked to her to provide answers during specific investigations that happen to involve the Sisters.

Early Life

Sister Woodhouse had spent at least the last forty years overlooking the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Her time spent there overlaps both Charles Smith's and Joseph Svenson's stay at the group home.

Throughout Riverdale

Season 2

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Sister Woodhouse explains to Betty and Archie that Svenson identified the wrong man

Sister Woodhouse receives an unexpected visit at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy group home from Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper. She 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. Betty reveals that she had learned from her sister 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. 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.[1]

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Cheryl and Sister Woodhouse at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy

Sister Woodhouse watches over Cheryl Blossom, who has been admitted into the Sisters of Quiet Mercy by her mother, Penelope Blossom. Sister Woodhouse enters Cheryl's room not long after her admission. Cheryl appears frightened. So, Sister Woodhouse tells her not to worry. She then tells Cheryl that she will be rid of all the naughty demons that are causing her to have unnatural thoughts, as she pulls out a large needle. Today, Cheryl will rest. Tomorrow, the conversion will commence.[2]

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Sister Woodhouse chases Cheryl

Sister Woodhouse enters Cheryl's room and escorts her to movie night at the Sisters for all the patients. A couple days later, Cheryl is forced to endure manual labor as she drags heavy sacks from one end of the room to the other. However, Sister Woodhouse enters the room to find that Cheryl has stacked the bags in the north-east corner instead of the north-west corner as specifically instructed. Cheryl is told to start over and listen or else she will never get better. The following night, Cheryl is broken out of the group home by her friends, Veronica Lodge, Toni Topaz and Kevin Keller. The girls escaped through a tunnel that led from the main building to Fox Forest.[3]

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Sister Woodhouse reveals more about that Charles and Svenson

Sister Woodhouse is visited by Betty and Jughead, as they wish to gain information regarding Chic. They ask if Chic's time at the group-home ever overlapped with Svenson's. Betty wants to check Chic's files to see if the time matches up. When Sister Woodhouse asks for a court order, Betty informs her of her family relation to Cheryl, who recently escaped the Sisters' secret, gay, re-education camp. So unless Sister Woodhouse cooperates, Betty threatens to return with a court order, as well as the F.B.I to shut them down. Out of fear that Betty will follow through with her threats, Sister Woodhouse provides them with the files. They discover that Chic ran away nine years ago. That means he would've overlapped with Svenson for two years. In the file, they find a photo of Charles Smith. Although, he looks nothing like Chic.[4]

Season 3

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Sister Woodhouse comes to take Betty away

Sister Woodhouse gets a call at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy from Alice Cooper, who wants her daughter, Betty Cooper, admitted into the facility as Betty's obsession with the Gargoyle King continues to grow to the point where it's putting them in danger. Sister Woodhouse enters the Cooper house with two orderlies, who take Betty away. Alice feels as if she has no other choice.

After getting situated at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, Sister Woodhouse escorts Betty to the art class. En route, she speaks of her and Betty’s past, in which Betty hasn’t always agreed with their practices. Regardless, she assures Betty that they will make her well and that she’s safe with them. Once in art class, Betty immediately realizes that everyone there is painting pictures of the Gargoyle King.[5]

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Sister Woodhouse gives Betty a test

At the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, Sister Woodhouse administers the Rorschach test to Betty, who answers in a manner that’ll make her seem sane by telling the Sisters what she believes they want to hear. The first inkblot reminds her of the Shady Man though she claims to see a teddy bear with a bow tie. The second one looks like the Black Hood, but she says monarch butterfly instead. The final inkblot resembles the Gargoyle King, but Betty says it reminds her of the old jungle-gym at Riverdale Elementary. She used to play on it every recess.

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Sister Woodhouse watches Betty take her Fizzle Rocks

Betty is now in line to receive her candy. Sister Woodhouse informs her that every patient receives Fizzle Rocks for good behavior. However, unbeknownst to most patients, they are laced with drugs. Betty smiles and takes the candy with her.

Later, Sister Woodhouse meets Hiram Lodge just outside the facility and they make an exchange. He's known around the group home as an angel donor who helps the Sisters with anything they may need.

Sister Woodhouse exits the infirmary with a frightened patient, unaware that Betty is lurking in a nearby room.

Sister Woodhouse rushes to Betty's aid after she has a seizure following an altercation with Ethel Muggs. As Betty sleeps in the infirmary, Sister Woodhouse speaks to the nurse. She wants to re-evaluate Betty’s dosage as soon as possible.

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Sister Woodhouse force-feeds Betty Fizzle Rocks

Sister Woodhouse, Ethel, and two orderlies catch Betty trying to break put through a door in the basement. Betty is held down as Sister Woodhouse force-feeds her Fizzle Rocks. As this occurs, Ethel recites a phrase. "My King. My savior. Guide me through the night. Bless me with your darkness, gift me with your flight." Sister Woodhouse then takes a barely functional Betty to see the Gargoyle King. Betty is pushed inside the chamber and the doors shut behind her. Afterward, she and Betty engage in another session of the Rorschach test. This time around, Betty is truthful about what the inkblots appear to be. The first inkblot appears to Betty as a dead body. The second one as the Black Hood. And the final one as the Gargoyle King, who stands behind Sister Woodhouse as the test is conducted.[6]

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Sister Woodhouse is attacked by Betty

Sister Woodhouse is gets snuck up on from behind by Betty, who holds a sharpened tool to her throat, threatening to hurt her unless she complies. Sister Woodhouse is tied to a chair inside the chamber by Betty and Ethel. Enraged by her entrapment, she threatens to strap them to their beds and electroshock the sin out of them. Betty’s seen real darkness, so monsters don’t scare her and neither does Woodhouse, Which is why she couldn’t break Betty. Betty reveals that she knows all about the Sisters’ scam and alignment with Hiram Lodge, how they’re using the patients as test subjects for his new drugs. Sister Woodhouse reveals that Hiram is a generous donor and believer in their mission. Ethel questions if by a mission, if Woodhouse is referring to G&G and how they use it and the Gargoyle King to scare the girls and torture children.

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Sister Woodhouse reveals that G&G was created at the asylum

According to Sister Woodhouse, the children that come in are broken and it is her duty to mix them using whatever tool necessary, including Gryphons and Gargoyles, which they created in a way. Misbehaving children have been brought down to the chamber since the asylum opened. That gargoyle statue scared them into submission. Some of the more disturbed patients created a fantasy world, a game of sorts, to cope with the fear of the one they named the Gargoyle King. The Sisters simply embraced it as a therapeutic tool. It worked because it embeds itself in the minds of the players. It makes them complacent and focuses them. If that’s true, Betty wonders how the game got out into the real world. Sister Woodhouse claims it was never meant to leave the asylum as it is too powerful. A game made of madness that the Sisters helped nurture, Ethel remarks. And now Ben and Dilton are dead. Betty insists that Woodhouse tell the police what she told them about G&G as well as Hiram Lodge’s donations. However, Sister Woodhouse only answers to one authority. With Sister Woodhouse’s keys, Betty and Ethel plan to escape and take the other patients with them. Sister Woodhouse, however, doubts they’ll leave of their own free will. She then proceeds to scream out for help as Betty and Ethel lock her inside the chamber alone.[7]

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Sister Woodhouse agrees to the deal

Sister Woodhouse is now locked up at the sheriff station awaiting trial for her actions in taking drugs from Hiram and giving them to the patients. She is confronted by Betty and attorney McCoy, who has learned her secret, that the church disbanded the Sisters of Quiet Mercy during the Vatican II over allegations of cruel and inhumane practices. The Sisters haven’t been nuns for over sixty years, which means their vow of silence won’t hold up in court. Should Sister Woodhouse agree to testify again Hiram, she’ll be granted immunity. Sister Woodhouse reluctantly agrees. Her immunity will be granted only if she swears in court that Hiram gave them money and drugs for testing.

The Sisters are released from the station after an anonymous donor posted their bail, that being Hiram of course. But they left a message on the cell wall. "We go to join thee." Betty discovers this and she rushes to the chamber within the Sisters’ asylum only to find all of them dead from cyanide poisoning, evident by their blue lips.[8]

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Sister Woodhouse holds Betty at gunpoint

Sister Woodhouse attends the gathering hosted at Thornhill's Nature Preserve for Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. She awaits alongside Penelope Blossom for Betty's arrival. Penelope explains to Betty that she bought her from Edgar Evernever just before he was about to cut her open. To Betty’s right, stands Sister Agatha Woodhouse, with a loaded gun. Apparently, she is in cahoots with Penelope. She was one of Penelope’s mentors who cared for her when she was at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. It was she who taught Penelope everything she knows about poisons. Betty pieces together that the nuns who she had previously found dead in the chamber with blue lips must’ve been Sister Woodhouse’s doing. Penelope states that the sisters were simply loose ends. Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead, on the other hand, are featured players. The sons and daughters of the original Midnight Club.[9]

Physical Appearance

Sister Woodhouse was a middle-age woman with white hair. She was often seen wearing conservative clothing and a diamond cross necklace.

Personality

Initially, she presented herself as a good-natured, virtuous woman, when in actuality, that's far from the truth. She terrorized unruly patients and locked them in the chapel for hours on end, forcing them to take Fizzle Rocks, thus inducing hallucinations of the Gargoyle King to scare them into submission.

Relationships

Appearances

Season 2

Season 3

Trivia

Notes

  • Unlike most characters introduced into the series, Sister Woodhouse is not a character from the Archie Comics.

Gallery

See also: Category:Images of Sister Woodhouse

Season 2 Screencaps

Season 3 Screencaps

References

  1. Boucher, Shepard (writer) & Seidenglanz, Rob (director) (December 13, 2017). "Chapter Twenty-Two: Silent Night, Deadly Night". Riverdale. Season 2. Episode 9. The CW.
  2. DeWille, James (writer) & Shilati, Sherwin (director) (March 21, 2018). "Chapter Twenty-Nine: Primary Colors". Riverdale. Season 2. Episode 16. The CW.
  3. Lundin, Britta & Paterson, Brian E. (writers) & Ostrander, Alexis (director) (March 28, 2018). "Chapter Thirty: The Noose Tightens". Riverdale. Season 2. Episode 17. The CW.
  4. Chambers, Cristine (writer) & Phang, Jennifer (director) (April 25, 2018). "Chapter Thirty-Two: Prisoners". Riverdale. Season 2. Episode 19. The CW.
  5. Chambers, Cristine (writer) & Talalay, Rachel (director) (November 28, 2018). "Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter". Riverdale. Season 3. Episode 6. The CW.
  6. Salinas Schoenberg, Janine (writer) & Pillai, Alex (director) (December 5, 2018). "Chapter Forty-Two: The Man in Black". Riverdale. Season 3. Episode 7. The CW.
  7. DeWille, James (writer) & Kretchmer, John (director) (December 12, 2018). "Chapter Forty-Three: Outbreak". Riverdale. Season 3. Episode 8. The CW.
  8. Anderson, Arabella (writer) & Hunt, Jeff (director) (January 16, 2019). "Chapter Forty-Four: No Exit". Riverdale. Season 3. Episode 9. The CW.
  9. 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.
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