As the Search for the Black Hood Continues, Bughead Throws a Welcome Home Party for FP.
Finally, on this week’s episode of Riverdale, “Chapter Twenty-One: House of the Devil,” FP is released from prison. Meanwhile, at Pop’s Diner, Jughead and Betty figure out the location of the house from the ‘Riverdale Reaper’ tale where an entire family was murdered. They believe the Black Hood could be there. Then Jug learns FP is being released. With FP being released, Jug and Betty decide to throw him a welcome home party with the Serpents at the Whyte Wyrm, so they ask Archie and Veronica to take over on the Black Hood investigation. As Archie and Veronica’s relationship went from red hot to lukewarm and a crossroads is reached. But they must put their issues on hold to investigate the old abandoned house for clues in hopes of uncovering the Black Hood’s identity. What an episode! It was so good. Here are the top moments from “House of the Devil.”
Varchie Can’t Keep Their Hands Off One Another and Then an ‘I Love You’ Slips
“Lord, have mercy!” In the beginning of the episode, Varchie shippers must have been on cloud nine with jaws on the floor and searching for a glass of cold water. As viewers, shippers or not, are treated to a whole montage of Archie and Veronica having hooking up. Everywhere! Full on make-out sessions with lip biting in the halls of Riverdale High for everyone to see. Sex in Archie’s room and even in his garage with a break for some guitar practice. Then even doing it in front of a fire as Ronnie’s parents are out for the evening. Then basking in the afterglow as they cuddle by the fire, Archie tells Ronnie he loves her. When she lifts her head off his back and doesn’t immediately say it back or even at all, Archie sort of panics and makes an excuse to leave. Can you blame him? Poor Archiekins. He put his heart out there. I get it if Ronnie’s not ready to say it back, but say so. Say something, anything other than kiss him and assure him as always he was amazing. WTH?
FP is Finally Free! Holy Sexual Tension Batman with him and Alice.
The so-called ‘snake charmer,’ who Jughead made a deal with despite his dad’s warning, must have made good on her end of the deal and FP is finally being released. For some strange reason, Alice accompanies Betty and Jughead to the prison to pick up FP from prison. Perhaps, because Jughead only has his dad’s motorcycle, which obviously isn’t going to work for three people and Alice didn’t trust Jug to borrow her car. Or maybe she just wanted to go along. She certainly had something on her mind when he was released. Alice nonchalantly asks, “Is it true what they say about men who have just been released from prison, FP? That they’re incredibly sexually frustrated?” I almost choked on my spit. Damn Alice!
After overhearing Betty making plans for FP’s welcome home party, Alice storms into Pop’s to confront FP. Threatening his head if Betty ever puts on a Serpents’ jacket, she says they cannot let their kids make the same mistakes they did. FP suggests Alice stop by the party to keep an eye on Betty. She says Hal would never go and FP blurts out ‘leave him.’ Her eyes widen a bit and a quick glance is exchanged as FP pauses before finishing his statement. Did he mean Alice simply leave her husband at home, not for good or did he? The sexual tension between Alice and FP is undeniable. The pair’s body language suggests Mama Cooper and FP might have had a thing back in the day. And judging by recent interactions, still do. I’d totally ship it. Not adultery, but Alice and FP even if its just in flashbacks.
Cheryl Puts the Moves on Josie with an Impromptu Locker Room Massage
Fresh out of the showers in the Riverdale High girl’s locker room, Cheryl notices Josie at a nearby locker draped in a towel and seizes an opportunity. She says Josie’s back looks completely knotted and offers she help work out some of the kinks because she just picked up a new bottle of lavender essential oils. Josie sees no harm in her friend helping her out and looks to be enjoying Cheryl’s message. If only she knew Cheryl’s true feelings on their relationship, which isn’t as platonic as Josie believes. How Cheryl manipulated the situation with Chuck. Yes, he’d been a creep before, but it seemed he was making some necessary changes in how he treats women and his lifestyle. He was genuinely interested in Josie. I don’t trust Cheryl’s feelings with Josie. There is some sort of ‘Fatal Attraction’ element to her affection for Josie and thankfully the janitor interrupted.
Cheryl’s Petty Milkshake Topple.
While most of the gang is at Pop’s Diner, FP is on shift. Betty and Jug are at the counter eating as Cheryl and Josie are in a nearby booth. Josie talks about auditions and some music contest, but Cheryl isn’t really listening. Instead, she stares at FP as he’s working and I mean hate staring. Without taking her eyes off him, Cheryl knocks her milkshake onto the floor and waits to see FP respond. He remains completely professional and without hesitation, kneels at her feet and cleans up the mess. Of course, Cheryl has a smartass remark about FP being good at cleaning things up because of how he helped her dad clean up her brother’s murder. Oh, Cheryl. Jughead sees what Cheryl did and gets up to confront her, but a look from FP and Betty keep him from getting involved.
The Snake Charmer Has Jughead in Her Grips.
Jughead is about to eat Chinese with FP and he gets a call from Penny a.k.a. the ‘Snake Charmer.’ She claims they have some business and threatens to put FP back into prison if he doesn’t meet her at Pop’s immediately. Jughead will not be held hostage by her. He did the one favor she asked of him and now they’re done. According to Penny, he has debts to pay and insists their arrangement is ongoing. Jughead threatens to let Mayor McCoy know who has taken over Clifford Blossom’s business. But she’s not even phased by this and reminds him he’ll need some kind of proof for an accusation like that, which he doesn’t have. She has a video of him and Archie making that delivery for her, but Jug isn’t going to let some fuzzy tape last long and reminds her the Serpents have his back. But then just as he goes to storm out, Penny mentions Betty. “Every snake has a soft underbelly.” And Penny knows she’s Jughead’s weakness. How dare her? Jughead would do just about anything to keep his beloved Betty Cooper safe.
Varchie Takes Over the Black Hood Investigation and Visits the Creepy, Abandoned House.
Archie and Veronica put their relationship woes on hold and go to investigate the house Betty and Jughead had concluded the ‘Riverdale Reaper’ murders occurred. The very same house the Black Hood lead Betty to when promised to reveal his identity. At the house, Archie and Ronnie discover a different version of the tale. Ronnie discovers three sets of initials on a wall and wonders about the third when the story says there were only two. While an old photo in a box of files from the investigation reveals instead of the family having two children there were three. One of the children survived that horrible night, the rest of his family was killed and his initials were the unexpected set on the wall…J.S.
No one in Riverdale with those initials fit the criteria to have been the child who survived the ‘Riverdale Reaper.’ After some serious digging, Archie and Veronica learn his identity. J.S. stood for Joseph Svenson. It’s the damn janitor at Riverdale High, but he no longer goes by Joseph anymore. They question him immediately about what happened. Ronnie accuses him of being the Black Hood and berates him with question after question, but Arch stops her. He’s seen the eyes of the Black Hood and knows he’s not him. Something is definitely up with the janitor. Dude has been lurking around and popping up everywhere. He’s seen more screen time than the Pussycats lately.
Hello Cooper Ladies! Mama Coop Got Her Groove Back!
FP’s ‘Welcome Home / Retirement Party’ is filled with all sorts of drama and it begins with Alice and Betty Cooper’s entrance. Betty’s dressed a little less conservative and has let her hair down, literally. No more ponytail. What is even more shocking is Alice. Mama Coop has on a black top with mesh sleeves, a tight little black skirt with wavy hair and dramatic makeup. And after saying hello to Jug, Alice heads straight to the bar, where she seems to know the bartender, orders and does a shot. Go, Mama Coop! I would love to see more of fun Alice especially flashbacks of her Serpent days. That’d be amazing!
A Runaway Duet
At the party, Archie and Veronica perform a duet or begin to sing a duet. Archie chooses Ronnie’s favorite ‘Donnie Darko’ song, “Mad World.” The pair starts off great and sound beautiful singing together, but for some reason, Ronnie can’t continue and runs offstage. Maybe it had something to do with Archie telling her he doesn’t want to pressure her into saying I love you back. He just said what he was feeling at the moment. Perhaps the song’s somber lyrics got to her and made her realize things about herself. Or it could’ve just been a combination of everything all built up and not just one specific thing, But Archiekins telling her that he loves her certainly stirred up some feelings and it’s not that she doesn’t have feelings for him too.
Betty Channels ‘Dark Betty’ for a Serpent Strip Tease.
The stage is left empty because Archie runs after Veronica after she jets mid-song, Betty takes their place. At first, she just picks up where Archie and Veronica left off in the song, but then she slowly begins to untie the knot keeping her shirt together. Betty takes off her shirt without skipping a beat in the song revealing her black lace corset, she removes her skirt next and good-girl-next-door Betty Cooper is now on stage in front of all the Serpents as well as her mother in nothing but sexy black lingerie. She dances around the stripper pole, the ritual for women to become a member of the Southside Serpents. Jughead looks equally turned on and shocked and of course, Alice is beyond pissed. She never wanted her daughter to make the same mistakes she did. And the kicker is, it is FP who Alice shared her concerns with, that awards Betty with her Serpents jacket. Oh, the irony. Or maybe FP was just covering Betty up…
Wow, wow, wow, I never thought I’d see the day Betty Cooper would work the stripper pole, let alone become a member of the Southside Serpents. But, I did wonder how Toni became a Serpent or any woman for that matter, because there’s no way it could be like what Jughead went through. I am all for girl power, but not down for all that.
FP Turns the Bash into a Not So Retirement Party.
After FP gives Betty her newly earned Serpents jacket, he stays on stage to make a speech. Instead of announcing he’s taking a step away from the Serpents, FP riles everyone up revealing he’s decided to stay. FP is going to remain the King of the Serpents no matter what the police or anyone else for that matter has to say. Much like Jughead, many of us were a bit surprised FP had decided to stay or at least so soon. He could’ve at least attempted to stay on the straight and narrow for a while. It completely makes sense why FP throws caution to the wind and maintains his Serpent status as he reminds Jughead he should have never trusted Penny. FP tells Jughead his debt to the ‘snake charmer’ is now his and only his to worry about and lets Jug know he broke his heart. How did FP even know Penny was blackmailing Jughead to be her delivery boy? FP staying a Serpent also allows him to keep an eye on Jughead. He seems to be trying to be a good dad and look out for Jug.
Varchie Heads for a Break-Up or Does.
Archie follows Veronica out to the parking lot and he assures her it’s okay if she doesn’t want to say ‘I love you’ back to him. He’s alright with it, but she definitely does not think he should be. Veronica doesn’t want to bring Archie in on whatever deep seeded issues she thinks she has about love. She holds his face, looks him in the eyes and apologizes before getting in her town car to head home. Clearly, the decision isn’t easy for Ronnie either. She breaks into tears almost as soon as the car door closes. Poor Archie is left standing in the middle of the parking lot confused and probably blaming himself for telling Veronica he loves her. Veronica’s childhood most likely has everything to do with her fear of saying “I love you’ to Archie. In an earlier conversation with her mom, she questions how many times she heard her parents say ‘I love you’ to one another. Perhaps she’s afraid if she says it to Archie there’s a chance they could end up like her mom and dad. Hopefully, somehow Varchie can work things out. They’re just too cute.
After Jughead Breaks FP’s Heart, He Breaks Betty’s.
Now that the party’s over, Jughead meets Betty out in the parking lot of the Whyte Wyrm and it’s obvious he’s not very happy. He questions Betty about her dance to become a Serpent and she tries to explain to him how she just wants to be a part of his world. But Jug thinks he’s dragging her down just like he did with Archie going along to do a favor for the ‘snake charmer; and even his dad, who remained a Serpent. It breaks my heart. Jug thinks he’s dragging everyone down. Betty believes they’ll be fine as long as they’re together, but Jug thinks just the opposite. He thinks differently and isn’t sure if he can protect her anymore. He can’t wreck her like he did his chance to go straight. Betty asks how many times they’re going to just push each other away and didn’t expect Jughead’s response, ‘until it sticks.’ He walks away, but Betty stops him, holds his head in her hands and into his eyes with hers, tear-filled, but the only thing he has to say is; go home before walking away.
Poor Betty. Conservative, girl-next-door, just undressed in a room full of bikers to be a part of her boyfriend’s world and he dumps her. WTH? Jughead might think he’s protecting her because of Penny’s threats, but things are better when they’re together. He needs to just get over his little mood and see people love him and that’s why they help him. He doesn’t wreck people.