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'Riverdale' recap: What's in the box, what's in the box?

Price Peterson
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Warning: This recap of the “Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wicked and the Divine” episode of Riverdale contains spoilers.

A lot of people think that the best way to ward off Satan is to verbally cast him away through prayer or incantation. But the truth is, the only foolproof way of keeping the devil out of your life is with a ceremony in which you wear a sexy white dress while singing an a cappella rendition of a song that is probably about heroin while surrounded by members of the mafia. This very thing happened in this week’s Riverdale, and though we didn’t explicitly see it on camera, I am fairly sure Satan walked into that church, saw what was going on, bit his fist, and ran out of there. “Not today, Me!”

No episode could have reached the dramatic heights of last week’s singlet-themed fiesta, but “Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wicked and the Divine” certainly had its moments. Let’s talk about it!

We began with a blue-collar boy running white-collar errands. (Picking up white collars from the dry cleaners.)

Following up on last week’s scene where Hiram Lodge asked Archie if he wanted a business tutor, we now know what he meant: Archie is Hiram’s personal assistant now! Man, the lengths you’ll go to impress your FBI overlord.

Even more fun, we got the return of Dark Betty and her wig! Yep, her brother Chic had tutored her in the ways of webcamming, and she was now exploring her, uh, sexy side for tips! How enterprising.

This was obviously a fun turn of events, but there was no further mention of Betty’s new hobby for the rest of the episode. Do we think she’ll just casually be a webcam girl from now on and it doesn’t really pay off, it’s just a reality we all accept? Or will Riverdale make things even weirder? Stay tuned.

It began to appear that Jughead had come to regret dumping Betty for no reason. In this case, they commiserated over the chaos that the headless statue had caused the town, and then segued into that classic conversation topic, “Who you been doin’?” Jughead owned up to doing “stuff, but not everything” with Toni, while Betty denied having any sexual adventures at all. (She omitted the part about kissing Archie). But yeah, they were now circling each other again, and it was pretty cute.

At this point, Sheriff Keller delivered eviction notices to everyone in the trailer park… It appeared the mayor was now cracking down on poor folks due to the statue vandalism. This was not great news for a certain street gang!

The big event this week was Veronica’s confirmation, which, sure. Yes, she is a high school student, but I guess she was never able to get the entire family to visit until now. But it was a good opportunity for her to put on a sexy white dress, hug her abuelita, and also perform a duet with a reluctant Josie in front of the Lord. Why not?

I loved when Betty came home to find a surly twink hightailing it out the door. Chic had had company!

I also loved that he was careful to emphasize that the dude had NOT been a client. Just simply a potential future boss who accepted sexual favors for jobs. Again, NOT a client. It all made sense to me.

As part of Veronica’s confirmation, she needed to do volunteer work in the community, which meant she and Archie were suddenly slinging soup down at the soup kitchen. Archie was a good sport, especially since he was supposed to be a cater waiter at that evening’s mafia-only poker game Hiram was hosting at Pop’s. An errand boy’s job is never done!

We also finally got follow-up on that time Jughead brutally attacked Penny as a way of “warning” her away from town. As it turned out, she did not appreciate being mutilated and left to bleed out in the woods, and Jughead’s dad was also not pleased about what had happened. And if I’m being honest? Yeah, Jughead really sucked in that moment. And maybe all this season? I just think that he’s not thriving in gang life.

Penny was going to help all the gang not get evicted from the trailer park, and in exchange she wanted Jughead kicked out of the Serpents and she also wanted to mutilate him with a rusty blade. FP had to think about this. There was a lot to consider. For his part, Jughead was not thrilled with the offer.

We then met the mafia heavies that Hiram surrounds himself with, including Mr. Friendly from Lost, who was now operating by the name Papa Poutine. Truly the best name of all time. The problem was, he went out for a smoke break and Archie could hear him from the bathroom window actively plotting to kill Hiram Lodge!

So now Archie was in a pickle… Should he warn Hiram of the impending hit and therefore kinda-sorta be IN the mafia with him, or should he play dumb and just record all these guys on his FBI wire? What’s an errand boy to do?

It was then time for the main event, Veronica’s ceremonial rejection of Satan! This involved singing a cover of The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” which I ASSUMED had been permanently retired as a soundtrack option by Cruel Intentions, but nope! Can’t think of a better confirmation song than one about the struggles of bohemian life in Britain to perform for a room of Catholics. Still, it was pretty.

Jughead and Betty decided that if they wanted to stop the trailer park convictions, they should probably find the severed head of the vandalized statue. And after following a tip from a local junkyard baron, they found it!

Not only that, they uncovered who’d beheaded the bronze general: Tall Boy! He’d apparently done it as a favor to Hiram Lodge, and he reasoned that it would also help him oust Jughead from the Serpents somehow. Nice try, Tall Boy! Yes, Jughead was still “on probation” for mutilating a woman, but at least Tall Boy was no longer going to be the raspy hater in his midst.

To celebrate their victory, Betty and Jughead sat awkwardly beside each other on the couch before suddenly deciding to do sex. Teens, am I right? I THINK this was supposed to be a momentous occasion, but to me it just looked like dry humping on a filthy couch. Gotta love a romance.

At this point, Alice’s one-on-one dinner with Chic was interrupted by a shady looking guy at the front door. He was here to see Chic, but WHY? Reader, stay tuned for a sec.

Because they are die-hard fans of the movie Seven, Jughead and Betty decided to deliver a head in a box to the Lodge family. Kind of as a “You know what you did” thing. Rude!

And in our final button, Betty arrived home to find her mother furiously cleaning up a huge pool of blood currently flowing out of a corpse. Wha’happen?!

That was a great ending, even if it was out of nowhere. It will be very fun to see Alice, Chic, and Betty deal with the realities of corpse disposal. “Chapter Twenty-Five” was a pretty fun if inessential episode, but that’s OK. They can’t all be wrestling episodes, you know? Also, something tells me Veronica hasn’t fully shut the door on Satan, so we’ll see how that plays out. I’m personally hoping for a full-blown demonic possession episode, fingers crossed!

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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