Riverdale: Indecent proposals and truths
Rest in peace, Midge. We hardly knew ye.
I really thought Midge was gonna come out of this alive. I mean, the Black Hood once shot her and her boyfriend at point blank range and she survived without a scratch. Alas, the Black Hood returned to finish what he started.
The episode begins with a send-off to Midge, featuring Cheryl singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at Midge’s funeral. As usual, Cheryl’s funeral wardrobe does not disappoint. She and the Vixens wear black cheerleader uniforms, complete with black pom-poms. As with all of Cheryl’s funeral wardrobe choices, I have many questions. Do the Vixens just have “funeral” versions of their uniforms on hand for somber occasions or goth moods? Did no one speak up and say, “Hey, maybe a miniskirt isn’t appropriate for a funeral?”
Speaking of inappropriate behavior at a funeral, Kevin keeps shooting furtive glances at Moose. I know he and Moose had a little thing going on, but come on, Kevin! His girlfriend just died! Wait a little bit longer before trying to “comfort the widow,” so to speak.
With the Black Hood case re-opened, Sheriff Keller interviews all of the cast of the Carrie musical. As I suspected, the Black Hood and Black Hood of the Opera are two separate people. However, I was wrong about Midge and Moose being the culprits, but I was right that the Black Hood of the Opera was trying to alter the casting for their own benefit. During questioning, Ethel admits to sending the Black Hood letters in hopes of getting the role of Carrie for herself.
During his interview, Archie asks Sheriff Keller if he actually found any evidence that tied Mr. Svenson to the Black Hood murders. Sheriff Keller dodges the question by pointing out that Mr. Svenson was found with a black hood and tried to kill Archie and Betty, so the case pretty much wrapped itself up. Plus, the guy died, so why bother looking into things? God, Sheriff Keller is the worst at this job.
No wonder Cheryl makes a public proclamation vowing that “like the Furies of ancient Greece,” she and the Vixens will not rest until the murderer has been brought to justice, while shooting Sheriff Keller dirty looks. Mrs. Klump also expresses her dissatisfaction with Sheriff Keller by slapping him in the face when he tries to make empty promises about being on the case. “Your days of failing this town over and over are numbered,” warns Cheryl.
At Pop’s diner, Jughead announces to the group that he thinks this is a copycat Black Hood, and he suspects Chick. Betty defends Chick, acknowledging that he’s creepy but he isn’t a murderer. I mean, she knows from personal experience that Chick will just hang back and let other people do the actual dirty work.
After his talk with Sheriff Keller, Archie becomes convinced that they never caught the real Black Hood and he’s still out there. Veronica begs Archie not to be consumed by the unresolved case, and not to do anything stupid in an attempt to solve it.
Archie is disturbed by the Black Hood’s message to come back for those he missed, and he thinks this means Fred’s life is in danger again. He wants Fred to leave town for his safety, but Fred points out that this isn’t feasible with Archie’s schooling and whatnot. Even with the mayoral election, Fred puts family first. Meanwhile, the Lodges hope to use the Black Hood case and Sheriff Keller’s incompetence to boost their campaign. Hiram asks Veronica to stir up Cheryl’s antagonism more, but she refuses. So Hermione approaches Cheryl herself and asks her to write an op-ed on the sad state of local law enforcement. Cheryl is all too happy to do so. Kevin is upset about the editorial and comforts his dad about it. Sheriff Keller is hanging in there, but barely. His only hope of keeping his job is if Fred wins the mayoral election. Or you know, he could do his job and catch the local serial killer instead of cutting corners.
At Casa Cooper, Sheriff Keller comes by asking for Chick, since Chick was spotted backstage before the musical started. Privately, Betty asks Alice if maybe Chick should leave town. Betty is worried that if Chick talks to the police, he’ll blab about Alice killing his friend. Alice points out that running away will just make Chick look guilty. She promises to coach Chick not to say anything, but Betty is unsure. She tells Jughead that she agrees with his “Chick is the copycat Black Hood” theory, and suggests that since he and Mr. Svenson were given up at the same convent, maybe they knew each other. Evidently, Betty plans to connect Chick to the Black Hood murders to make sure Alice will never be implicated in his crimes.
Jughead and Betty go back to the Sisters of Mercy and ask to look at their records. The nun refuses to do so without a court order. Betty shoots back that if the nun doesn’t give them the records, then Betty and Jughead will tell everyone about their secret gay conversion program. Wait, Betty and Co. went through all the effort to rescue Cheryl from gay conversion therapy and did nothing to report the program or Penelope Blossom?
Jughead and Betty find that Chick and Mr. Svenson did overlap when they were at the convent, but the Chick from the nun’s files is not the same Chick that Betty and the rest of Riverdale know. I knew it! I knew this Chick wasn’t a real Cooper!
Betty and Jughead go back to Casa Cooper and find Chick there, baking chocolate chip cookies with Alice. Betty reveals that he’s not the real Chick. Chick tries to claim Betty is just out to get him, but Jughead and Betty show Alice the photo of the real Chick and demand the truth.
Chick panics and grabs a knife from the table. Alice tries to stop him, but her hand gets slashed. Chick blindly stabs at Jughead and luckily, Betty knocks him out with a rolling pin.
Meanwhile, Archie gets kidnapped by Nick St. Clair, who wants revenge for the beat-down Archie gave him. Nick calls Veronica, demanding a ransom of one million dollars. Veronica tells her parents to hand over the cash, but Hiram refuses to bow down to a “teen terrorist” like Nick. The Lodges also tell Veronica that Nick’s family is also a “family” (AKA, mobsters) so the Lodges can’t go to the police to report the kidnapping, lest their own nefarious activities be exposed. He tells Veronica to be patient, but says to Hermione that he won’t be paying the ransom. “Archie’s not blood,” he says. “He’s not my son.” So much for that blood bond he’s got with Archie.
Archie’s not the only one in a hostage situation. Alice, Betty, and Jughead have tied up Chick in the basement after knocking him out, and when he regains consciousness, they have questions. Thankfully, Chick is happy to give answers. He admits that he’s not the Cooper kid, but he did know the real one. He says Charles talked about his family and tried to see Alice, but she rejected him. Afterwards, Charles went on a bender and OD’d on jingle-jangle. Everyone is shocked.
Alice runs away crying, with Betty following. Alice admits that Chick’s story is true: she did turn away her son. She blames herself for his death, despite Betty’s assurances that it’s not her fault. Betty points out that Chick is an impostor who may not even be telling the truth about Charles. Alice leaves the house and tells Betty to keep Chick in the basement until she comes back, much to Betty’s confusion.
Alice goes to Mr. Jughead’s and tearfully confesses the whole thing with Imposter!Chick, and also reveals to the audience that Charles was the baby she had with Mr. Jughead in high school.
WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?
But Alice said that Chick wasn’t Mr. Jughead’s son! She lied! Oh my God, Jughead and Betty shared a half-sibling this whole time! Man, incest runs strong in the Cooper line.
Back at Casa Cooper, Betty gets a call from the Black Hood. He taunts her about killing Midge and setting up Mr. Svenson. He’s particularly focused on Chick, complaining how Betty let a man from a “den of sinners” who killed into her house. Betty takes notes on the call and when she hangs up, she tells Jughead that they need to go back to the motel where she met Chick.
They knock on a room neighboring the one Chick lived in, and the neighbor confirms that Charles, who was a nice guy, is dead. However, the neighbor also says she suspects his roommate killed him. She reports hearing them have nasty fights, and seeing Chick throw out bloody sheets in the morning after a particularly nasty one.
Jughead and Betty go back to Casa Cooper and confront Chick with this information. Chick refuses to confirm or deny the neighbor’s claims and Jughead beating him up won’t do any good. He points out that they’re not going to kill him because they’re incapable of murder. However, they won’t let him go because they’re afraid of him snitching on Alice.
The Black Hood calls Betty again, and she admits he was right about Chick being a killer, even if he won’t admit it. Still, she refuses to deliver Chick to the Black Hood for “justice”, even though the Black Hood promises no one will know about “the man who met a gruesome end in your living room.” Their phone call is interrupted when Alice and Mr. Jughead return. Mr. Jughead stops his son from beating up Chick and takes him away. Jughead protests, but Mr. Jughead refuses to let Jughead become a thug. “It’s not our house, Jug. It’s not our place,” he says. So, no blood bonds for Mr. Jughead either.
Back at Casa Cooper, Alice decides that they need to tell Hal, and get his help for what to do with Chick next.
Meanwhile, Veronica has been trying to figure out how to rescue Archie. She breaks into her father’s safe to get the ransom money herself, but it’s not enough. Nevertheless, she meets Nick at Pop’s and pretends that what she has is only a deposit. Nick doesn’t believe Veronica will hand over the rest of the money, so he offers another way for her to pay the ransom: with her body.
Yep, Nick is indecent proposal-ing her. He says he wants to finish what they started, and Veronica “owes” him. Ugh, Nick is the absolute worst. Veronica reluctantly agrees and Nick gloats about this to Archie. He tells Archie that he’s set up a live feed from his hotel room, so Archie will see Nick have sex with Veronica. And then afterwards, Nick will kill Archie anyway to prove to his family that he’s ready to be a mob king.
Veronica shows up at the hotel room and Archie watches helplessly as Nick snuggles up on her. Archie starts angrily struggling against his bonds even harder, which makes him realize that the chair he’s sitting on is actually weak. He breaks the chair and knocks out one of his captors. He sneaks away from the other and escapes. He races to the hotel room to stop Nick, but as it turns out, Veronica has stopped him herself.
After the lovebirds reunite, Veronica explains that she roofied Nick. They tie him up and Veronica calls the St. Clairs to say they’re now holding Nick for ransom. Justice is served.
Speaking of justice, Betty delivers some of hers at home. While Alice explains the Chick situation to Hal, she takes a gun and sneaks down to the basement. She sneaks Imposter!Chick out the back and takes him to the local graveyard. She asks Chick if he killed her brother, and he admits that he did, although it was an accident.
The Black Hood arrives and Betty says he’s here to kill Chick. However, she’s going to give Chick a head start instead of just handing him over. Chick takes her up on it and runs, although it’s not clear if he gets away.
Veronica confronts her parents about their poor handling of the Archie kidnapping, and tells Hiram that Archie is waiting for him in the study. Instead of being pissed for being left behind after all he’s done for Hiram, Archie tells Hiram that he understands that he hasn’t “made his bones” yet. Archie is willing to kill, but only the Black Hood. Hiram agrees to help him on his quest.
Back at Casa Cooper, Betty tells Alice that she dropped Chick off at the bus station, but notices Hal is gone. Betty begins to suspect her own father is the Black Hood.
The Real Archie’s Weird Mysteries I Want Solved:
- Why is Archie so dumb? I realize I ask this every episode, but come on, Archie! Hiram was going to leave you for dead, but you still think he didn’t help you because you haven’t “made your bones” yet?
- Why haven’t Jughead, Betty, or Cheryl reported the gay conversion program? It’s not a legal program, and God knows how many kids are suffering in there.
- Oh, did Fred never notice his own son went missing? I think this may explain why Archie seeks a father figure in Hiram.