TV Reviews

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 8: House of the Devil Review

If you would like to read my review of last week’s episode, click here.

Synopsis: Jughead and Betty organize a welcome home party for FP’s release; Archie and Veronica must push their issues aside upon taking over the Black Hood investigation. (IMDB)

Writers: Yolonda Lawrence

Director: Kevin Sullivan

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45 mins

“House of the Devil” starts off with Jughead narrating the sexcapades of Varchie while they are seen getting intimate everywhere they possibly can. That is until Archie feels the need to drop the L-bomb on Veronica and well it doesn’t quite go the way he hoped. Poor Archiekins. Can’t believe I just typed that. Meanwhile, Jughead is looking into the tale of the trucker driver from last week and turns out the Riverdale Reaper was a real thing involving a house on the edge of town, the same house the Black Hood sent Betty to earlier in the season. But that can wait because Penny was true to her word and was able to get FP out of jail early! Oh and Cheryl continues to flirt with Josie and it’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable for this pussycat.

This episode, like some this season, divides easily into the stories the relationships follow so first up Varchie.

The residents of Riverdale receive letters from the Black Hood explaining who will be targeted for their sinful actions. This warning leads some families to panic including the Lodges, who would rather the brawny Archie around to keep Veronica safe. With the L-bomb being said, Archie and Veronica confide in their parents to ask what to do. While Fred tells Archie she’ll come around, Veronica is skeptical about if love is real given the lack of it in her parents’ relationship. Damn that’s some deep stuff right there V.

Archie and Veronica dig into the case of the Riverdale Reaper by talking to the daughter of the detective who worked on the case. Turns out she has a ton of her dad’s old stuff and in his investigation he found that one of the children escaped. I know the scene looks very Hannibal-esque, but the story reminds me a lot of the Villisca axe murders. After some more digging, Varchie are able to identify the surviving child of the Reaper’s victims: the Riverdale janitor. They confront him about his past, but he tells them that he gave the Reaper’s identity to a vigilante mob that dealt with him. I see that as very unlikely.

With FP out of prison he’s going to be in Jughead’s life and by extension the Coopers as well so Betty begs her mom to play nice and she reluctantly agrees. Jughead decides what’s best for the Serpents is to make amends with the Mayor, but Tall Boy disagrees causing two sides to form. This is not a good idea Jug. Alice and Betty meet with FP and Jughead for shakes at Pop’s where FP seems a little different. He’s leather jacket-less, looking to get a real job and even joined AA. Look at you go being a good role model! Alice decides to ask a very odd question about FP and his lack of sex in prison which really stirs up some questions about their history.

With FP seemingly done with Serpents, Jughead asks for his dad’s blessing to stay in the gang to help keep peace in Riverdale. He conveniently avoids telling his dad about Peabody’s blackmail. Jughead wants to continue to be a Serpent and Betty thinks it best to stay close to him so she asks Toni for help. She can become a Serpent ally if she does a striptease for the Serpents, which both of them see as incredibly sexist, but it’s tradition. Traditions are sometimes meant to be broken. 

Penny decides it’s time to give Jughead more incentive, because her blackmail isn’t enough, by threatening to hurt Betty if he stops delivering the drugs for her. Alice confronts FP about their children’s relationship stating she doesn’t want them making the same mistakes they did. So Alice and FP totally were a thing right? Turns out Betty is throwing FP a Serpent retirement party and he invites Alice, telling her to leave Hal at home.

At FP’s retirement, Alice shows her Serpent side, Veronica and Archie sing a duet that is cut short when things get too serious for V and Betty does her Serpent striptease to get on the good side of the gang. At the end of the party FP decides to announce he’s never leaving the Serpents to everyone’s surprise. He pulls Jughead aside and tells him he knows about Penny’s blackmail and is saddened that his son felt the need to lie to him. He promises to fix it for him and takes a shot, breaking two of his three steps to being a better role model. Dammit FP, why are you so complex.

The episode ends with Veronica explaining to Archie how she’s lost, unsure on her feelings towards him and she can’t handle their situation anymore then gets in her car and drives off. Meanwhile Jughead tells Betty he won’t let her become a Serpent and that she needs to go home and stay away from him. At the end of the night a newly single Archie looks out his bedroom window and sees a newly single Betty looking back at him bringing us back to the very first scene of season one where these two friends wanted to be more, but couldn’t find the words.

Questions

  • What is the relationship between Alice and FP?
  • How will FP make sure that Penny doesn’t go after Jughead?
  • Will Tall Boy want Jughead to apologize for his actions?
  • How long until Josie says something to Cheryl?
  • Why is “love” a difficult concept for Veronica?
  • Why does Jughead keep pushing Betty away? Don’t they know it’s easier for them to defeat the Black Hood if they work together? Maybe it’s so FP and Alice can have a romance and not make it seem too familiar.
  • Why was Alice so alright with Betty’s Serpent striptease?
  • Is the janitor lying about what happened to the Riverdale Reaper? Is there more to the story?
  • Will Barchie become a thing?

Overall, this was an okay episode. The intense and darker tone of last week’s story was substituted for the campy cliches and teen drama Riverdale has become known for and it was a bit of a let down. How many times can these relationships go back and forth without it being strung out beyond the point of entertaining? Throwing characters together like Archie and Betty would cause dynamics in the entire social circle to change which affects what makes this show so interesting. Hopefully the hinted romance is just a tease that instead pushes these characters to focus less on their drama-filled relationships and more on the real matter at hand: the Black Hood.

Score: 7/10

What did you think of “House of the Devil”? Is the mystery becoming clearer? Let me know in the comments below!

If you liked this, check out my other reviews here as well as my channel and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook.

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