This episode, at least 15 minutes of which consisted of Betty crying, confirms that Riverdale is officially a series of mini horror flicks, and we’re very here for it. Sorry, not sorry B.—all that dialogue with the Black Hood (or BH, as we at FLARE fondly refer to him) was riveting as f-ck.
Episode five opens on Betty chatting it up with her ol’ buddy BH, who promptly informs her that she must do what he says or he’ll “carve” her sister Polly like “a jack-o’-lantern.” Graphic.
That same morning at the Andrews house—or should we say kitchen, since we’re pretty sure they live in that room only—Fred is happy to hear that Archie has shut down the Red Circle. The irony is Fred seems to think this change of heart is due to his fatherly wisdom and consistently heavy-handed guidance. SIGH.
Meanwhile at the Lodge lair, Hermione has an updated look: the longest effing claws painted a shimmering champagne and some heavy-duty cocktail ring bling. Her transformation to Morticia Adams 2017 is coming along swimmingly. Oh, also, the Lodges have asked their daughter to be nice to this kid Nick St. Clair she knows from her old life in NYC so that his parents will invest in their new building. #SoMuchClass
After everyone’s unrealistically busy mornings (who has this much time before school?!), #Barchie are back together for a good ol’ fashioned walk to school—except, not. Betty uses the walk as a cover to let Archie in on her secret correspondence with the Black Hood. He promises to be there for his next call, and for a sec, we shipped them real hard.
We skip Juggy’s a.m. routine (probs because it’s just him in his boxers, angrily skulking around the trailer) and cut right to his first irritated confrontation of the day with the Serpents outside of Southside High. Apparently, these lil high school dummies think they can successfully build a pipe bomb to get back at Alice Cooper and the rest of the north side for blaming everything on them, including the BH’s murders.
Jughead freaks out, as anyone would, and Sweet Pea gives him an ultimatum: he can’t be half a Serpent, so either he’s in, or he’s out. Jughead chooses to go all in after an especially annoying pep talk from Toni, wherein she says there’s no one to keep the Serpents in line and away from serious violence while FP is behind bars. Obviously Jughead thinks he has a duty to uphold while his dad is serving his time, but we’re over this. Can Toni GTFO already???
Later that day (I’m assuming after a day of learning has been enjoyed by all, but I could be extremely mistaken—these are Serpents, after all), Jughead finds Sweet Pea in that dusty bar the Serpents are always hanging out in to let him know he’s ready to do whatever it takes to become a Serpent ferreal. Toni is there. Again.
While her BF dips his toes into Serpentry, Betty receives another call from the BH. For her first task, she must publish an old article about her mom’s ride on the wild side (read: time as a Southside Serpent). L. O. L. The irony is too rich. At first, Betty won’t do it, but then, inevitably, she and Alice argue and it sends Betty into a revenge spiral. Betty prints the article in the Blue and Gold and the story obviously goes viral… because everyone reads the local high school paper.
That night, Jughead is visited by his Serpent friends—yes, this whole episode basically flips between Jughead and Betty but they are barely even in a scene together, SMH—and, for his first hazing ritual, is tasked with caring for Hot Dog. The gang’s dog.
While Jughead and Toni try out flirting some more, Archie is across town, up in his room just workin’ on his fitness (read: doing bicep curls on his bed).We are so distracted by this that we forget why it’s included in the sequence of events.
Cut back to the South side and Jughead is onto “Become a Serpent” step number two: yell the laws into Tall Boy’s face while all the other Serpents watch, and then retrieve a knife from an aquarium where a snake (sans venom glands, you should know) resides. Jughead successfully remembers the laws, gets bitten by the snake, angrily complains about the series of events and then Toni FREAKIN’ CALLS HIM JUGGY. IS SHE FOR REAL RIGHT NOW? We’re feeling secondhand rage on Betty’s behalf.
While this is all going on, the Lodges are entertaining Veronica’s old pal Nick, a.k.a. “Nicky,” and his family. Hiram and Hermione try to woe his rich potential investor parents, while Veronica fights the urge to revert to her old New Yorker self as Nicky offers her cocaine. She declines after seeing Archie’s pout/shock, and Nicky takes a bump while he simultaneously talks shit about Archie and calls Veronica hot. What a d-bag, right?
Back in Betty’s room, she receives call numero dos from the BH, and he demands that she end her friendship with Veronica. Yikes.
The next day, a totally wired Betty meets up with an equally stressed Jughead to tearfully talk about their similarities with Romeo and Juliet. Jughead lies about how he injured his hand and fails to tell Betty that he’s two-thirds Serpent. SMDH!
That night, Nicky has a ~lit~ party in his hotel room, and everyone but Betty takes Jingle Jangle. People are bouncing-off-the-walls high until Betty pulls the trig and unfriends Veronica IRL. Betty storms out of the party, and it is so much dramz that all the partygoers sober up in literal seconds.
After everyone is gone, Veronica and Nicky are chatting about old times when he tries to kiss her. When she says “WTF?” Nicky tries to use his position as son-of-the-potential-investors to leverage sex from V. All we can say is GOD DAMN. Veronica plants a fat slap on Nicky’s face.
Cut to Betty. She has not gone home but instead proceeds to cry on this sketchy bench in the middle of nowhere—at night!!!—when she receives a third call from BH, stating that she must now break up with Juggy.
Our hearts are heavy with the impending death of their luv, but we *need* to take a moment to appreciate Betty’s low bun. Such a beautiful new ‘do for our gal!!!
The next day is the big Lodge fundraiser and all are in attendance except Jughead (busy becoming a Serpent), Betty (crying because she is being controlled by a murderer), Alice Cooper (embarrassed by her daughter’s article about her ex-Serpent life) and Archie (we have no idea why). You just know something is about to go down.
PLOT TWIST: Alice Cooper has arrived, owning her status as ex-Serpent and looking fine as hell. Where can we buy this romper????
After everyone gets over Alice’s entrance (it takes awhile, because damn), Nicky apologizes to Veronica for his inappropriate behaviour the night prior. He tells V that he’s been in and out of rehab in recent months, and we are entirely unsurprised.
While the rest of Riverdale partayyyyyys at the fundraiser, Archie heads to Jughead’s on Betty’s behalf—she has enlisted Archie to dump Jughead because it’s just too much for her to bear (SAME).
While Archie is there, Sweet Pea and the crew arrive on the scene just dying for a fight. Jughead is able to mediate the tension until Archie finds out he’s joining the Serpents, at which point Archie flies into a rage and aggressively tells Jug about Betty’s “feelings” towards him. Both boys leave the confrontation seriously mad, and we are extremely pissed off about the lack of communication happening here.
Back at the Lodge’s party, Nicky roofies Cheryl and continues to surprise no one.
Sidebar: THE NECK SCARF ON HIRAM LODGE, THO.
As Nicky waits for the drugs to kick in, Jughead enters the final stage of his Serpent initiation: a punch line. Seriously—a bunch of Serpents line up and Jughead walks through them, getting punched individually until his mouth is full of blood. Quick q: did Toni have to do this shit to become a Serpent???
While Jughead enjoys his welcoming party (ugh, so here for bad boy Jug), the Pussycats entertain the fundraiser with a strange musical number that serves no purpose, plot-wise.
Post-performance, the girls notice Nicky escorting a very groggy Cheryl away from the party and towards his hotel. When the girls track the pair down, they find Nicky trying rape Cheryl and proceed to beat him to a pulp. Literally, they knock him out. While we’re impressed with the Pussycats’ many talents, we’re mostly sad that this happened to Cheryl.
That night, Betty receives her fourth call from BH inviting her to meet him. The location of choice is obviously an abandoned house with no lights in the middle of literally nowhere. When Betty arrives, no one is there. The BH calls her and tells her to locate a box, open it and put on what’s inside. It’s a black hood. W. T. F.??? BH then instructs B. Coops to turn around and she comes fac to fac with… a mirror. “‘Scuse me, but why?” she asks. “To show you that we’re the same,” the Black Hood answers.
Post-punching party, Toni is there to help Jughead with his wounds and they freakin’ kiss, god DAMNIT. Is this the final nail in the coffin for Bughead? Because we’ll die if that’s true.
The show concludes back where it began: Betty’s bedroom. She receives one final phone call from BH, who says he knows she’s been telling Archie about their talks and he’s going to carve Polly Halloween-style before the night is done… unless she can provide another name for sacrifice. Betty skips not a one single beat and says, “Nick St. Clair.” WOW.
We’re kind of here to see Nicky come face to face with the Black Hood… is that wrong?
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