TV Reviews

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 12: The Wicked and the Divine Review

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

Synopsis:  An incident leads to increased tensions among the Serpents; A high-stakes poker game with Hiram’s shady inner-circle goes awry for Archie. (IMDB)

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Director: Rachel Talalay

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45 mins

“The Wicked and the Divine” starts off with Archie starting his Goodfellas internship: picking up food, doing his errands, until he walks in on Veronica trying on a tailored white dress for her confirmation. Sheriff Keller stops by to see Jughead and FP at the trailer and asks about Jug’s axe to grind against the Northside and General Pickens. Oh and Dark Betty has finally returned as she takes up a new camming hobby.

First up the minor Cooper story going on. Betty comes home to find a mysterious boy coming down from upstairs followed by Chic in only a bathrobe. Turns out Chic’s interview was done behind closed doors so he might have done some extra work to seal the deal. She suggests it was someone from his camming business and he urges her to always hide her identity while doing that. Never let them know who you are. Hal demands that Chic needs to leave or else he’s leaving and Alice essentially says don’t let the door hit you on the way out. As Chic and Alice await Betty’s return, another mysterious man comes to the house asking for Chic. He’s really popular today.

Getting ready for Veronica’s big day, the Lodges receive a confirmation gift from the St. Clairs which Veronica suggests they burn, but not before Hermione brings up Archie’s unfriendly visit to Nick. The Mayor and Josie come to the Lodges to apologize to Veronica for their behaviour. She invites them to her confirmation which Josie offers to sing at. There is obvious discomfort here. Meanwhile, Hiram confronts Archie about his visit to Nick and commemorates him on his fierce loyalty to his daughter. He offers Archie a job at Hiram’s next poker game with all his “guests” and Archie agrees. Veronica explains this group is the inner circle and she is shocked Archie was invited.

Archie is visited by Agent Adams who tells Archie he has to use Veronica’s confirmation as a way to get information on Hiram and his crime family, even suggesting he wears a wire to Hiram’s next poker game. He tries to refuse the order, but Adams is holding all the cards. Veronica goes to confession before her confirmation and explains that she feels bad about how she cannot be transparently truthful with Archie, leading him down a dark, criminal path. All the Monsignor says is recite some phrases and you will be fine. Oh yea I buy that.

At the poker game, Archie overhears Hiram’s associates take jabs at Hermione’s infidelity, but after one of them disrespect Pop Tate, Hiram stands ups for the locals and tells his friends to apologize. He later overhears one of the associates, Papa Poutine, talking about removing Hiram from the “business” saying he has gotten soft. Now to Veronica’s big day. She and Josie sing a duet of “Bittersweet Symphony” which, after a slight bout of anxiety, Veronica finishes in front of her family and friends.

After the confirmation, the Mayor comes to the Lodges with the deed to the land of Southside High congratulating them on their purchase. Archie is introduced to Veronica’s Abuelita, who does the typical grandmother thing and pinches his cheeks. Archie confronts Hiram and asks to go to his study. He explains the potential coup with Papa Poutine and he tells Archie to return to the party and put on a smile. After he leaves, Hiram picks up the phone and makes a call.

Veronica comes to Archie, asking what he talked to her father about. She warns him about her father and doesn’t want him getting close to her family. But Archie reveals he knows and he isn’t stupid. You could’ve fooled me Archie. Agents Adams tells Archie that one of Hiram’s associates was found dead and asks about the poker game, but Archie lies and has nothing to report.

And now the meatiest part of the episode: Bughead! Principal Weatherbee kicks Betty and Jughead off the newspaper after Hiram’s lawyer threatens defamation charges. After Betty asks Jughead if he decapitated the statue, she asks if anything happened between him and Toni. He explains that Toni stayed over and they did stuff, but not everything and you can see the pain in Betty’s eyes. He turns the question on her and asks if she’s seen anyone to which she immediately says no, despite her kiss with Archie AND her new bedroom business. Sheriff Keller returns to the trailer with an eviction notice for the entire park that comes directly from the mayor thanks to the statue’s decapitation.

At the Wyrm, FP talks to the Serpents about the unjust treatment of their kind and that they won’t stand for it. He asks who might have taken the head, but Tallboy interrupts suggesting it’s all Jughead’s fault. Sort of is. Jughead confronts the Mayor about her prejudice towards the Serpents, even going as far as suggesting Hiram Lodge is pulling her strings, to which she immediately says: back down. At Pop’s, Betty decides to help Jughead find the statue’s missing head in the hope of cutting off the Mayor’s biggest reason for evicting the Serpents.

Jughead brings this idea to the Wyrm, but he’s greeted by an unfriendly face: Penny Peabody. Tallboy brought her back from the grave so she can show her tattoo-less arm to FP and the rest of the Serpents. This causes the Serpents to vote on whether or not Jughead should be banished from the gang. Oh and she wants to carve his tattoo out with a dirty knife. FP confronts Jughead for what he did, saying he cannot come back from this. In the end FP realizes it won’t be the Northside or Penny that kills the Serpents, but Jughead’s righteous crusade.

At Veronica’s confirmation, Betty finds Jughead who explains his current situation. He talks about the drugs, about cutting off Penny’s tattoo and his hopelessness for the situation. He brings up the breakup explaining life has just gotten worse since then. But Betty interrupts him with a call that someone has some information on the missing head. Betty and Jughead go to the scrapyard where the manager explains a strange tall man in a Serpent jacket was fixated with the fridge freezer he found the statue’s head in.

Jughead returns to the Wyrm with the head where FP puts Tallboy on the block for him beheading the statue. He explains that Hiram Lodge asked him to help start a Serpent mutiny and that’s the last straw. The Serpents unanimously vote him out, putting Jughead’s exile on hold. Jughead and Betty sit at the trailer questioning Hiram’s motives and he realizes that he’s better with her by his side. He asks her to stay with him and they have sex. BUGHEAD. YES. Of course Betty has a moment where she wants to tell Jughead the truth, but then puts it on the back-burner for some good ole fashioned teen romance.

The episode ends with the Lodges receiving one last, large confirmation gift: the head of General Pickens. Meanwhile, Betty comes home to find Alice cleaning up a giant puddle of blood beside the body of the man who came to visit Chic. “Elizabeth, did you lock the front door?” NO HESITATION.

Questions

  • Who is Chic’s real father?
  • Will Dark Betty take over?
  • Will Jughead be banished from the Serpents?
  • How will Penny continue to be a thorn in Jughead’s side?
  • Will Tallboy return with a vengeance?
  • How will the Serpents strike back to the attacks by the Lodges?
  • How long until Archie’s immunity with the FBI runs thin?
  • What is going on with Cheryl and Josie’s underused storylines?
  • Is Hal REALLY staying at a “shareBnB” or possibly with Penelope?
  • Who is Agent Adams? Is he somehow connected to the Black Hood?
  • Is the Black Hood really gone?

Overall, this was a good episode. One of the highlight’s of this back-half of the season has been the storyline surrounding Archie’s situation with the Lodges and the FBI and this episode brings it into the foreground. Not only does it show Archie’s struggle with it, but now Veronica’s as we dive deeper into the stakes of their relationship and the true nature of her family’s business. Meanwhile, the out-of-character actions of Jughead and Betty have settled as they find themselves back together for the time being. With the increasingly suspenseful cliffhangers one can only wonder what this season still has in store for us. We are only halfway through it, but how much more can happen in this small-town before it becomes national news?

Score: 8/10

What did you think of “The Wicked and the Divine”? Are you excited for the return of Bughead? Let me know in the comments below!

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

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