After last week’s episode, the watchers’ investment in the plot increased with new plot twists and insights. Veronica and Archie are increasingly sexually active this season. Archie decides to tell Veronica he loves her. She doesn’t say it back, which makes him freak out. And Archie freaks out because Veronica freaks out. Jughead finds some old records of the “Riverdale Reaper” in the City Hall. The Reaper killed a family of four and ran free, never to be caught. He’d be in his 60s now, so it makes it a little bit hard to connect him to the Black Hood for Jughead.
F.P. is released from prison due to overcrowding. Whether the real reason is high recidivism rates or Penny Peabody, F.P. is a free man. Betty and her mother tag along with Jughead to pick him up. F.P. decides to clean up his act, work at Pop’s and disassociate with the Serpents. Jug tells his dad he’s fine and totally not getting blackmailed by Serpents, and F.P. accepts that Jughead’s going to be a Serpent. Betty makes the poor decision to become a Serpent supporter; she tells Toni she wants to join to stay close to Jughead. Betty and Jughead ask Archie and Veronica to gather evidence on the Black Hood/Riverdale Reaper lead. They oblige, as it postpones their eventual “what are we?” conversation. They find that the files are missing, brought home by the former sheriff. They confront his daughter, who tells them that her father was very invested in the case. Could that be because he’s the Reaper and doesn’t want anyone to find out?
Archie and Veronica venture out to the “devil’s house” in the woods to search for evidence on the case. They find out that the family the Reaper killed was not four people large, but five. The last remaining Conway, Joseph, changed his name and was adopted by another family, the Svensons. It’s good to see the janitor from the comics show up in Riverdale, but it’s painful to see him twisted into a creepy old man. Alice makes a big Serpent-style debut at F.P.’s retirement party. Veronica and Archie can hold off their talk no longer, and he tells her it’s fine if she’s not ready to commit to their relationship. They go onstage to sing a duet of “Mad World,” but Veronica leaves the stage mid-song. Betty goes onstage instead, revealing her lingerie outfit and wannabe pole dancer moves.
Jughead doesn’t approve of Betty’s role as a Serpent adjacent. F.P. tells everyone that he’s rejoining the Serpents, and he tells Jughead he’s doing it to take his place. Veronica confesses to Archie that love is a tough subject for her since her parents don’t show much affection at home. Jughead tells Betty he can’t protect her anymore, so they break up too. Will this finally lead into Jughead getting a more accurate depiction of his sexuality as seen in the comics? Or will the writers plop him into another frivolous relationship? Archie glances longingly at Betty through his bedroom window. This can finally give fans of Betty a taste of what her relationship with Archie looks like in Riverdale. Despite this show’s downfalls, things might be turning up better.