Riverdale: Confirm or deny
Apologies for the late recap everyone, but this episode of Riverdale was a bit of a filler one that’s leading up to much more interesting episode next week. This week focuses on Veronica and the Lodge family and all their tacky, cheesy crime family glory.
Instead of being a fallen Upper East Side family, the writers have decided to completely re-imagine the Lodges as part of a dangerous crime syndicate. This actually makes more sense to me. I always found it strange that Veronica would go out of her way to namedrop the people, places, and designer goods she used to enjoy back in New York City. If there’s anything I learned about rich people from Gossip Girl, is that they never flaunt their wealth so obviously. With the Lodges now less like the Vanderbilts and more like the Corleones, the writers are cramming in every Mafia stereotype they can think of.
For example, Archie is running around as Hiram’s errand boy a la Goodfellas in an attempt to break into the inner circle. He comes upon Veronica getting fitted for her Confirmation dress. “Wait a minute,” you might be saying. “Aren’t Catholic confirmations supposed to take place around 12 or 13?” You are correct, but the writers wanted an excuse to put Veronica in a white dress so Archie could have this “oh wow, that’s what Veronica would look like on our wedding day” moment and then Hiram can enter and give a semi-creepy speech about how she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him and he’s so honored to be her dad.
The in-universe explanation for Veronica’s super late confirmation is that the Lodges wanted to use the same monsignor that confirms every Lodge child, but he was just, like, super busy for the last four years. Now that he can finally pencil Veronica in, all the Lodges and crime families are coming into town to pay their respects. Veronica gets a gift from the St. Clair family, which she is unhappy about considering their son tried to date rape her and a friend, but Hermione explains that the crime families exchange presents and give insincere congratulations and just secretly hate each other.
So being in a crime family is just a never-ending, passive aggressive Christmas, then?
Hermione also adds that the St. Clairs did complain about Archie beating up their son, which Veronica pretends to know nothing about.
Oh boy, with all these crime families in one place, you’d think Sheriff Keller would be doing a stakeout or something to actually police Riverdale, but instead he’s over at the Jones trailer, asking Jughead if he’s absolutely suuure he didn’t steal the head of the General Pickens statue?
Is this what Sheriff Keller calls detective work?
Jughead complains this is harassment, but Sheriff Keller points out that as the leader of the anti-General Pickens protest and writer of inflammatory articles, Jughead seems like a prime suspect. Jughead snarks that his next article will be an investigation into why Sheriff Keller cares more about catching a silly vandal than he does about the serial killer terrorizing the town.
Honestly, how does Sheriff Keller have a job? Seems like the kids in town solve the crimes for him anyway.
Meanwhile, Betty is beginning her camming career. Don’t get too excited, ladies and gentleman. Much like her lackluster stripping routine, Betty’s camming is boring. She just sits in front of her laptop in that cheap black wig and a bra, halfheartedly listening to some guy on the webcam ask if he can show her his junk. Chick would probably offer advice on how to make camming more fun, but it looks like he’s putting his sex work days behind him. Betty comes home to find him dressed only in a bathrobe and drinking milk, having finished “entertaining” the manager of the Bijou. Betty assumes the guy was a client, but Chick explains he seduced the manager in exchange for a job, and he never gives clients his address. He reminds Betty not to give her address out either, especially when camming. “Boundaries are key,” he says.
At school, Jughead and Betty are called into Principal Weatherbee’s office. As punishment for publishing that controversial Pickens Day article, Principal Weatherbee is suspending them from the paper. Hiram’s lawyer Mr. Sowerberry (yep! That’s what the closed captions say the name is!) is threatening a lawsuit because Hiram can’t handle the criticism of a sixteen year old boy. Glumly, Jughead and Betty clean out their offices at the Blue & Gold. Jughead tells Betty that he suspects their suspension is part of Sheriff Keller’s attempts to make Jughead confess to the Pickens Day crime.
Betty gets a little passive aggressive and asks why Toni doesn’t help him out, since they were awfully cozy that one time at Pop’s. Jughead explains he and Toni made out but didn’t have sex. He asks Betty if she did anything with anyone else while they were broken up. Betty says no, leaving out that Christmas kiss with Archie.
Special Agent Adams arranges another meeting with Archie. He’s sick of not getting a text back from Archie. Archie replies that there’s been nothing to report, so Special Agent Adams needs to stop being so needy. Special Agent Adams tells Archie that all the crime families are coming into town for Veronica’s confirmation, so this is a perfect opportunity to grab dirt on Hiram. Archie refuses, saying he wants to attend the confirmation for Veronica, and not for the FBI. Special Agent Adams’ left eye twitches as he remembers why the FBI doesn’t recruit teenagers.
Speaking of Veronica’s confirmation, Veronica and her family are continuing the preparations. Mayor McCoy stops by with Josie to apologize for all the shit she talked about Veronica last episode. As a gift, Mayor McCoy will let Josie sing at the confirmation.
Never mind the fact that confirmations don’t require a performance. Veronica tells Josie that they can do a duet on “Bittersweet Symphony” from the Cruel Intentions soundtrack. Yeah, a Catholic church would never let her sing that. One of the lyrics is a line about never praying!
Sheriff Keller threatens Jughead and the whole Serpent trailer park with eviction unless they turn in the statue head. Mr. Jughead rallies the Serpents at the Serpent bar, promising to fight the eviction. Tall Boy grumbles that they wouldn’t be in this mess if it weren’t for Jughead stirring up trouble. Jughead appeals to Mayor McCoy personally, but she ignores his pleas. Jughead realizes the Lodges are pulling her strings, which Mayor McCoy refuses to confirm or deny.
Jughead frets about the eviction to Betty, and she suggests they find the culprit themselves. I mean, they do solve every crime anyway. Jughead puts up signs at the Serpent Bar offering a reward for any info related to the vandalism. He’s horrified to see Penny here, and even more so when she tells Mr. Jughead how Jughead and his friends beat her up, carved off her tattoo, and dumped her in Greendale. As retribution, Penny wants Jughead out of the Serpents, and she also wants to carve off his tattoo with a dirty knife. Mr. Jughead is not happy with his son.
Back at home, Mr. Jughead yells at Jughead. “You think you’re a hero?” he challenges. “You will be the death of us. Not Penny. Not the North Side. You.” A little harsh, but maybe something that Jughead needs to hear before he goes around cutting up people.
If only Fred knew what Archie was up to so he could deliver some tough love. Instead, Hiram is rewarding Archie for his impulsive violence. He heard that Archie beat up Nick St. Clair and he’s impressed. As a reward, he wants Archie to be a waiter at his super-important poker night. Archie happily tells Veronica about this invite into her father’s inner circle (sort of), and she tries to warn him that her dad’s friends are dangerous and he needs to be careful. Veronica also talks to Hiram, asking if it’s a good idea to let Archie into the poker game. Hiram points out that if Archie ends up sticking around long-term, he’ll eventually need to be brought into the business.
Veronica is still not comfortable with Archie getting up in her family’s biz, so she goes to church to confess and get some advice. Veronica admits to gossiping and disrespecting her parents (I noticed she left out pre-martial sex), and worries she’s leading Archie down a dark path. Monsignor is like, “Whatever. Do some Hail Marys and we’ll call it even.” Disappointed, Veronica goes home to talk with her aunts. They offer her various bits of advice on how to deal with the stress of being in a crime family: take extra classes at church, light candles, donate to charity, etc. “You have to find your own thing,” an aunt advises.
Meanwhile, the poker game is held at Pop’s. Special Agent Adams is excited about the poker game invitation and wants Archie to wear a wire. Archie refuses, because every guy who wears a wire always gets shot. Pops waits on a crime boss who goes by the name “Papa Poutine”, and servers him some poutine. The guy flips, saying it’s disgusting. Of course it’s disgusting, it’s poutine. Hiram yells at the guy to apologize because he hurt Pop’s feelings.
As Archie is unclogging the toilet, he hears voices outside in the parking lot. It’s two guys from the poker game, and they’re talking bad about Hiram.
Two guys grumble that Hiram’s lost his touch, and he’s working with a guy who banged his wife and he let his daughter’s boyfriend beat up a kid from their super-important crime families. Papa Poutine says he’ll “take care” of Hiram after Veronica’s confirmation.
Veronica’s confirmation goes well enough. When the Monsignor asks her to renounce Satan and walk in the light, Veronica hesitates. She looks over the crowd, which is suddenly in the dark, and finds Archie, who’s lit up like an angel. He smiles at her encouragingly.
Finally, Veronica swears not to be a heathen, so yay! Party time! Mayor McCoy approaches the Lodges and presents them with the deed to South Side High. Also at the party, Jughead admits to Betty that he’s getting thrown out of the Serpents and why. Betty is surprisingly not troubled by the fact that her ex-boyfriend cut someone. Their heart-to-heart is interrupted by a phone call from a guy who claims to have a lead on the Pickens statue head.
They go see him, and the guy does indeed have the statue head. He also has a description of the guy who dropped it off: he was tall… and a boy. Gasp! Tall Boy was the culprit!
Mr. Jughead, Jughead, and Betty bring the statue head to the Serpent vote, where they out Tall Boy as the true traitor. Tall Boy admits that Hiram paid him off to start a mutiny so that Tall Boy could become the leader. The Serpents agree to exile him and Jughead can be on probation.
Back at the party, Archie tells Hiram about the hit and Hiram thanks him. Veronica takes Archie aside to tell him the dark truth about her family. “Yeah, I know you guys are mobsters,” says Archie. “I’m cool with it.” But it’s not just that! “SoDale is just the beginning,” warns Veronica, but Archie interrupts her (NOOOO!) to tell her that he loves her and blah blah blah. Later, Special Agent Adams tells Archie that Papa Poutine was murdered. Would Archie know anything about that? Archie says no. It seems like the double agent is picking a side and it’s not the FBI’s.
Back at his place, Betty and Jughead wonder what Hiram is doing. Jughead says they should investigate quietly, since the trailer park is still in danger. He apologizes for pushing Betty away during his gang initiation and asks her to stay. They begin kissing, and Betty almost tells Jughead about her kiss with Archie, or maybe her camgirl activities, but then changes her mind. The two keep kissing and go all the way.
After the party, Veronica receives one last confirmation gift: the head of the Pickens statue.
Back at Casa Cooper, Alice and Chick are having dinner. Hal is still at a “ShareBNB”, because he refuses to stay home when Chick is there. Alice doesn’t care, because she’d rather have her son around than the annoying man she married. A mysterious blonde knocks on the door, looking for Chick. When Betty comes home, Alice is hastily mopping up blood from the floor. When she sees Betty, all she asks of Betty is if she locked the front door on her way in.
Moms. They got their priorities.
The Real Archie’s Weird Mysteries I Want Solved:
- Why was Chick drinking milk after sex? That’s so weird.
- So Betty isn’t worried about her camming activities being seen by someone in town? Kevin recognized Chick online.
- Who sent the General Pickens head? It was last seen in Serpent custody, so did they send it as a message to Hiram?
- I really want to know which Catholic church would let someone sing “Bittersweet Symphony” at a confirmation.
Did Jughead Get a Burger?
No, but he did have sex, so not as good, but probably close.