'Riverdale' recap: 'Chapter Twenty-One: House of the Devil'


On the latest episode of Riverdale, Jughead and Betty plan a party for FP, while Veronica and Archie investigate the Riverdale Reaper.

Previously on Riverdale, Jughead tried to repay Penny Peabody’s favor by picking up drugs with Archie. Betty and Veronica investigated Sheriff Keller and found out he and Mayor McCoy are having an affair. Also, Josie believed her stalker was Chuck Clayton, but it seems like Cheryl is her real stalker.

“House of the Devil” begins with Jughead writing while in the Serpent bar about how the Riverdale residents are dealing with the Black Hood. He mentions the fact that Veronica and Archie are hooking up everywhere and there is a montage of them making out and touching.

Archie and Veronica lay covered only by a blanket in Veronica’s house. They talk and he says “I love you.” Embarrassed, they both awkwardly make their excuses and Archie leaves.

Jughead and Betty meet at Pop’s to chat about research. Jughead says the Riverdale Reaper is real and was never caught, just as the old man said. The Reaper killed two children and their parents in their isolated house in Fox Forest. He shows Betty the newspaper clipping and she realizes the victim’s home is the house the Black Hood made her visit. Jughead declares the cases are connected and they should talk to Keller, but having accused Keller, Betty is reluctant. She does not want to visit the house again either.

Photo: Katie Yu/The CW © 2017 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

Jughead and Betty get the team together and tell them FP is being released from jail. Veronica questions how FP is being released and Jughead says overcrowding, though gives Archie a look. Betty asks her two friends to take over the Black Hood case while Jughead helps his dad adjust and she takes a break.

In Riverdale High’s girls' locker room, Cheryl attempts to give Josie a shoulder rub. Mr. Svenson walks in to clean, saying he did not know the locker room was occupied. Cheryl yells at him while Josie looks uncomfortably at her friend and he leaves.

Veronica arrives home to see Keller leaving. Her parents say they got a Black Hood letter. While they do not seem concerned, Veronica is saying they are all sinners. They say Andre will drive her places and recommend she keep Archie around, given his devotion and strength.

Betty has a talk with her mom about FP getting out. Betty asks her to make an effort because of her relationship with Jughead. She also admits Jughead is a Serpent now.

At the Serpent bar, Jughead tells the gang FP is being released. Tall Boy is upset that Jughead wants to talk to the Mayor. Jughead asks the Serpents to stand with him, and most agree.

Archie goes to the Lodge’s and Veronica tells him about the letter. She says she wants to investigate. Archie tries to talk about their relationship, but Veronica says to focus on the case.

The next day, the two separately talk to their parents about each other. Archie tells Fred about Veronica not saying I love you back. Veronica says she thinks it is too soon and asks if her parents agree. Fred says people need time. Hermione says Veronica might not be ready to hear those words.

Betty, Jughead, and Alice meet FP at the jail gate. Alices teases FP about being sexually frustrated and the group heads to Pop’s. Alice grills FP, who answers that he is leaving the Serpents, is in AA and wants to get a job at Pop’s.

Photo: Katie Yu/The CW © 2017 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

Veronica and Archie ask Keller about the Riverdale Reaper case, aka the Conway murders. The files are missing and he says the old Sheriff might have taken them, but he is dead. They contact the old Sheriff's daughter and she says her father was obsessed with the case with the “Devil’s House.” Veronica tells Archie they have to visit the house.

Jughead goes on a ride with his dad. He lies about Penny Peabody, saying he did one job for her and they are good. FP tells Jughead he wants him to have a better life, but Jughead says he wants to stay. He says okay, as long as Jughead continues writing.

FP gets the job at Pop’s. Josie is excited about a music gig, but Cheryl is annoyed because it involves being escorted by some guy. She takes her frustration out on FP but knocking over her milkshake and telling him to clean it up. Jughead is upset and Betty suggests they have a Serpent retirement party for FP.

Photo: Katie Yu/The CW © 2017 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

Betty goes to the Serpent bar and talks to Toni about the party. She says she wants to be part of the Serpent world to help protect Jughead. A woman says if she wants to be a part, she has to do the Serpent dance and looks at one of the women dancing on a pole. Toni says it is a gross, misogynistic tradition that she has so far been unable to outlaw.

Jughead convinces FP the party is a good idea. He gets a call from Penny and meets her at Pop’s. The two argue and Jughead says he will tell the Mayor about Penny’s drug dealing ways. He also says the other Serpents will stand behind him and FP. Penny then threatens Betty.

Archie and Veronica go to the murder house, at night for some weird reason. Archie tells Veronica the story of the Riverdale Reaper and the scene unfolds. A flashback occurs where the Riverdale Reaper arrives at the Conway’s home with a gun and shoots the parents first. He then shot the children hiding under the bed. Veronica notices three sets of initials on the doorframe height charts and they find the old Sheriff’s notes. They discover a picture showing that the Conways were a family of five, not four.

Betty organizes the party and tells Alice about it, which makes Alice scared. She goes to FP and tells him to keep Betty away from the Serpents. FP tells Alice to come to the party then and watch Betty.

Veronica and Archie tell their friends what they uncovered about the Riverdale Reaper case. They show Betty a picture of the surviving Conway child, saying his identity was protected and he was adopted by another Riverdale family. They decide the kid might have pertinent information, or that he might be the Black Hood. Veronica and Archie work on looking through Riverdale High yearbooks for the Conway kid. Archie begins to ask about their relationship, but Veronica finds the kid. The Riverdale Reaper survivor is none other than the slightly creepy resident janitor, Mr. Svenson.

The two go to talk to Svenson, who runs when they say his real name. He tells them about the night, saying he had left via the window and hid to watch the murderer leave. He says the murderer was killed by some men he told. Veronica questions Svenson, but Archie says the man does not have the Black Hood’s eyes.

Veronica talks to Hermione about Archie, saying she is unsure how to deal with the love issue. As she is talking, she realizes she has never heard her parents say I love you to each other. Meanwhile, Archie talks to Fred and says Veronica makes him feel safe and optimistic. He wants them to stay together and Fred suggests giving Veronica time.

At the party, Jughead says hi to Archie, who is waiting for Veronica to show up. Alice and Betty arrive, Alice in a full Serpent look. She takes a few shots while Betty and Jughead quietly chat. Betty tells him she has a surprise.

Archie tells Veronica he understands if she cannot say love back. She thanks him, but it is obviously not what he was hoping to hear. He signed them up for karaoke but makes a snide comment. During the song, Veronica runs off stage and Archie follows.

Photo: Katie Yu/The CW © 2017 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

The Serpents start booing and Betty jumps up on stage and starts singing. Then she starts stripping down to her lingerie and does a Serpent dance. It is an extremely uncomfortable scene, partly because Betty is underage, but also because she is doing this in a room filled with old creepy men, her boyfriend's dad, and her own mother.

After the song is done, FP goes on stage and gives a half-naked Betty his coat. He gives an impassioned speech, saying he is staying in the gang. FP then goes to Jughead and says he knows about Penny. He tells Jughead his heart is broken and Jughead is out.

Veronica and Archie discuss their relationship. She says sorry and that she cannot allow herself to feel that way for Archie.

Jughead asks Betty why she did the dance. He says if Betty stays with him, she will get hurt. He says he messed up his dad’s life, and he will not do that to Betty.

Mr. Svenson looks at a picture of a group of people as Jughead’s narration talks about old wounds.

The episode ends with Archie and Betty looking at each other through their bedroom windows, as Jughead’s narration hints Archie is seeing Betty in a new light.

Well, this episode was a mess and probably my least favorite of the entire show. I do not care much about the main four’s relationship issues, but given that this is The CW and a show focused on teenagers, the relationship drama is not surprising. I know many fans are passionate about the ships on this show. While I do think the couples have all had cute moments, I find it far more enjoyable when they are all just friends hanging out.That striptease was one of the most uncomfortable and unpleasant scenes I have ever seen on television. I cannot believe the writers thought that was a good idea. Also, Cheryl’s obsession with trying to control Josie’s life is disappointing, but unsurprising given her past behavior.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 pm on The CW. Check out the preview for the midseason finale below.

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