02x10 - Chapter Twenty Three: The Blackboard Jungle

[JUGHEAD] Previously on Riverdale [MAYOR MCCOY] Bringing the Southside under control is my number one priority as mayor.

If it means arresting every single Serpent in sight, so be it.

How many times are we gonna push each other away? Until it sticks.

You tried to rape me.

You're not gonna be saying anything about that night to anyone.

There's a reason it's called hush money.

Thank you for that, Mommy.

Cheryl's telling the truth.

Nick tried to do it to me.

Nick St. Clair hurt you? The St. Clairs' had a car accident.

Karma's a bitch.

This is the part where we end this and stop the Black Hood.

But right now, I need you with me.

Arch I love you, too, Archie Andrews.


[JUGHEAD] You know how there are just some towns where bad things always seem to happen? Well, Riverdale has become one of those towns.

The most recent horror? The school janitor turned out to be a serial killer.

But, we were putting him away along with our Christmas decorations.

Now we were back to your typical small town intrigues, clandestine meetings behind closed doors and the like.

Yes, by and large, it was business as usual in Riverdale.

Good news, Cheryl.

After last night, I've earned nearly enough to pay for that tree and those ludicrous presents you bought for yourself.


Never mind that the last two weeks I've been living in a bordello with, um, woman of the night.

Oh, it's not that different from when I was younger, and I had my pick of gentlemen callers lining up every evening.

Good God.

You almost sound proud.

You wanted me to get a job, Cheryl, and I did.

Providing comfort and companionship to the lonely men of Riverdale.

[HERMIONE] Veronica, do you have a minute?

Just checking in.

See how you're feeling about things.


Checking in to make sure I'm still on board with the quote unquote plan?

Don't worry, I am.

You're gonna be at ground-zero, Veronica.

Yeah, in the eye of the potential hurricane.

That's what you said when I wanted to go shopping in SoHo during Occupy Wall Street, and I was fine.



Trust me.

I'll keep my classmates from revolting when the news breaks.

And they'll be none the wiser.

Hey, Arch.

Did you say anything to anybody about my medical bill? 'Cause it's been paid, all $86,000.

There was something called an "angel donation."


Well, I mean, Veronica, but she wouldn't Yeah, I'll ask her at No, I'll get to the bottom of it, you just focus on school.

Haven't seen that guitar for a while.

Yeah, well, I've been busy.

But I spent a lot of break writing songs and I was thinking I would maybe start a band, like the Fred Heads.

- [CHUCKLES] If you're gonna do that, do that in the garage.

That's why I soundproofed it for you.


Ronnie - Hey.

- Hey.

Did you tell anyone about my dad's hospital bill?

Hmm, did I? I may have mentioned it to my mom and dad in passing.

- Ronnie They wanted to help.

And they have the means to help.

What, is your dad upset? Are you? Upset?

Ronnie [CHUCKLES] I'm crazy about you.

[WEATHERBEE ON PA] Students of Riverdale High, this is your principal speaking. E-mails have been sent to your parents, but effective immediately, Southside High School is shut down.


- And its students will be transferred to other schools in the district, including this one.

- [MOUTHS] Oh, my God.

I believe the statement we're releasing

- Okay, guys, let's not overreact.

- Will address your concerns and theirs.

You should be receiving it shortly.

I'm sure you have many questions.

Like what the hell? But it goes without saying, we are welcoming these students with open minds, hearts and arms.

Cheryl? Hell no! My home life is a Dickensian nightmare.

I won't have school turn into one, too.

[WEATHERBEE] course schedules or locker assignments.

Thank you.

That is all.

Wait, what does that What does that mean?

It means Jughead's coming back.

Betty, are you ready for that? Of course.

We're fine.

But why is this happening now? Who knows.

It's probably some bizarre, Byzantine town ordinance we couldn't possibly understand.

And in the meantime, let's receive these exiles as if they were our own flesh and blood.

Who's in? Hmm?

[TONI] Wow, Jones.

Props to you.

It's very Lovecraftian, which I'm sure was the intention.

But I gotta ask you, did you write this on a typewriter?

I Yeah.

I wanted to get into Lovecraft's headspace.

So, it wasn't like Betty bought you a manual typewriter for Christmas or anything weird like that?

No comment.

[ALL WHOOPING] What's going on? This hellhole is officially closed! We're done! No more Southside High! What? How? They say it's dangerous and gonna be quarantined.

Who cares? We're all going to different schools.

Wait, this doesn't make sense.

Where are you guys going? Same as you and you and Fangs.

We're going to Riverdale High.

Think of all those Northside heads to knock.

[GROANS] [LAUGHS] Thank you, Principal Weatherbee.

Keep me posted.

Well, it's done.

Now watch.

Any minute my phone will start exploding with calls from outraged parents.

It'll be news for two days.

Look at how fast people stopped talking about the Black Hood.

[HIRAM] Yes, and after a few weeks, we'll quietly go about purchasing the land beneath Southside High.

[HERMIONE] And you, Madam Mayor, will get your commission.

A sizable donation to your re-election campaign.


[THUD] All right, whoever you are Betty, don't shoot.

- It's just me.

- Oh, my God! Polly, I almost pepper-sprayed you! What are you doing home? I just came to get a few things.

Oh, my God! What happened to the twins? I had them, Betty.

You did? You didn't call us? Mom'll be crushed that she wasn't there.

- We have to call her.

- No, Betty, We don't.

The leaders of the Farm think that it's best if I sever all ties.

The "leaders of the Farm" You mean the cult that you joined? It's not a cult.

And at least on the Farm, there's no stigma on my babies.

You can tell Mom and Dad if you want.

Tell them what? I don't know anything.

Are they healthy? Do they have names? Juniper and Dagwood.

Oh, my God.

Polly, please, okay? Mom and Dad hurt you, yes.

But what you're doing right now is cruel and selfish and vindictive.

I'm really sorry, Betty, but I gotta go.

That's mine, by the way.

The Farm probably doesn't have electricity, anyway.


Baby, I was getting So lonely I feel like You're breaking me down Archie Andrews?

I'm Special Agent Adams with the FBI.


Can we take a walk? I always love this park.

Came here every weekend, played ball with my dad, ran around with my dog.

You're from Riverdale? I am.

Born and raised.

That's why I was assigned this case.

What case? Why do you need to talk to me? How well do you know Hiram Lodge? I date his daughter.

We believe Hiram Lodge is conducting criminal activity here in Riverdale, with ties to organized crime.

Between your relationship with Veronica and your father's connections to Lodge Industries, you're in a unique position to help us take him down.

Once and for all.


Lodge is a business man.

Let's talk about that.

A few months ago, one of Hiram Lodge's business associates came to visit with his family.

The St. Clairs.

They were going to invest in Hiram's SoDale project, but for whatever reason, the deal fell through.

The St. Clairs went back to New York and their son, Nicholas, was soon after admitted to Columbia Presbyterian with life-threatening injuries.

You think Mr. Lodge is responsible for this? We do.

Veronica is my girlfriend And your girlfriend's father is an extremely dangerous man.

He's hurt people, maybe worse.

What do you expect me to uncover? Let's keep it simple.

Find out what happened to Nick St. Clair.

The truth.

Then, based on how you do with that assignment I have not agreed to anything.

Anyway, is this even legal, what you're asking me to do? Don't you have to talk to my dad first? He's in business with Hiram Lodge.

For all we know, he's a part of Hiram's criminal activities.

[SCOFFS] Get real, my dad is not We don't know that, not for sure.

Maybe if you helped us, we could be more certain.

Look, I know it's a lot to take in.

Why don't you think about it and call me?


- [FRED] Well, that is one mystery solved.

- What?

- It was Hiram and Hermione who paid my hospital bill.

Dad, you can't accept that money.

I already did.

I horse-traded 20% of Andrews Construction and covered the 86 grand.

It's a pretty good deal.

What? Dad, no.

Son, I can't take out another mortgage on the house.

Lodges will let me buy it back, piece by piece.

We're good.

That just puts us in deeper with them.

They just bailed me out of a jam.

What's the problem?

[ALICE] Mayor McCoy's obviously hiding something about this Southside debacle.

Sorry, what? Schools don't just close overnight.

Mom Polly Oh, have you talked to her? I've been leaving messages.

I want to make sure she has everything she needs and ask her what color she wants the nursery painted.


No, I was just wondering if you've heard from her.

No, not in a while.

"Mayor McCoy has deemed Southside High a public health hazard due to toxic fumes from the methamphetamine lab in the basement.

" There was no meth.

It was just the jingle-jangle.

So the worm turns and it's back to Riverdale High, huh? The way that all this went down, something smells fishy.

[SCOFFS] Damn straight, something smells fishy.

You not wanting to admit the real reason you don't want to go back.

What do you mean?

[DOOR BELL JINGLES] Ah, she just walked through the door.

[BETTY] Hey, thanks for meeting with me.


no problem, I I was gonna reach out and clear the air before Dr.

Beaker awkwardly pairs us up in chemistry or something.

Actually, I wanted to meet because I need help.

You remember that baby my mom put up for adoption? The Long Lost Cooper Sibling.


I was hoping you could put me in touch with your social worker, Ms.

Weiss, to see if she can help me find him.

Betty Of course, I'll help.

But why the sudden need for a brother? Polly had the twins.

And she didn't even call my mom to tell her.

I know my mom's crazy, but she's also really sad.

So, maybe if she found her son, having him in our lives I'll send you Ms. Weiss' number.

Thank you, Jug.

As for "clearing the air," I'm happy you're gonna be back at Riverdale High.

[ARCHIE] Well, thank you for inviting me up.

[HERMIONE] Not at all, Archie.

There's always room at our table.

I wanted to say thanks for helping my dad the way you did.

- We were happy to do it.

- He would've done the same for us.

In return, though, I've put together a welcoming committee for tomorrow's arrivals, and I'm hoping you'll stand by my side, Archie.

Yeah Yeah, sure.

Uh, Mr. and Mrs. Lodge, what do you think about Southside High closing down? I mean, it's so close to the SoDale project, isn't that, like, bad for business? Drugs, gangs and violence.

That's bad for business, Archie.


So investors like the St. Clairs are fine with it? Archie, um, the St. Clairs aren't investors anymore.


Not after what Nick did to Cheryl.

Yeah, whatever happened to that guy? Did he ever get charged? You know, we've severed all ties with the St. Clairs.

I don't think we even called them after the accident.

Accident? Yeah, Nick St. Clair had an accident driving in Vail.

Or was it on the slopes? You know, I'm not sure.

Is he Is he okay? Well, you know, from all reports, he's recovered enough to be back at Greenwich Prep.

[HIRAM] Yeah.


And may we never hear from him again.



Up in the mornin' And out to school The teacher is teachin' The Golden Rule American history And practical math You studyin' hard And hopin' to pass Friends.

On behalf of the students and faculty here at Riverdale High, welcome to your new school! To ease this transition, I've set up a registration desk where you can get your locker assignments, class schedules, and a list of sports and extracurriculars.

We encourage each and every one of you to drink deeply from the cup that is fair Riverdale.

[CHERYL] Stand down, Eva Peron! There's the school spirit I so fondly remember.


No one invited Fascist Barbie to the party.

Wrong, Veronica, no one invited Southside scum to our school.

Listen up, Ragamuffins.

I will not allow Riverdale High's above average GPA to suffer because of classrooms that are overcrowded with underachievers.

So please, do us all a favor, and find some other school to debase with your hardscrabble ways.

Why don't you come over here and say that to my face?

- Happily, Queen of the Buskers.

- Okay Guys, everyone, can we just put our Northside-Southside differences apart and start over? A new slate? Mmm.

You don't speak for the Bulldogs, Andrews.

And need I remind you, these greaser-snakes showed up at your place trying to kick your ass.

Happy to finish what was started.

God, I am so over the toxic masculinity in this hallway right now.

All right.

That's enough pomp and circumstance.

Everyone, let's get to class.


Nice to see you and Veronica back together.

Especially considering that clandestine Christmas kiss I spied between you and Betty Cooper.

Care to reconsider your allegiance? Cheryl I was unsurprised and quite pleased to get your text suggesting this meeting, Archie.

I'll keep it brief If you don't convince Veronica to stand with us against the Southside rabble, I'll tell her I saw you locking lips with Betty Cooper.

Veronica and I were broken up, Cheryl.

And so were Jughead and Betty.

Anyway, that's not why I texted you.

Oh, Archie.

Do you really think you're going to outmaneuver me? I want to talk about Nick St. Clair.

What on earth for? Did you know that after he left Riverdale, he got into an accident? Like, a pretty bad car crash? Forgive me if I don't shed any tears for that animal.

I only wish Mother and I wouldn't have burned the check his family gave us as hush money.

You must've been thrilled, too, when you found out about the accident.

I mean, after what Nick did to Veronica the night of his party.

- What?

- When he got physical with her.

What do you mean? I mean, if Veronica wouldn't have slapped him senseless, the same thing that happened to me might've happened to her.

I'm going to murder him.

Archie I genuinely thought you knew.

It was Veronica's right to tell you or not.

I'm sure there's a specific reason she kept it from you.

Yeah, and I think I know what it is.

As is typical in circumstances like these, your brother's files were unsealed and made public when he turned 18.

His name is Charles Smith.

After your mother gave birth at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, he entered and pretty much stayed in the foster system.

You mean he wasn't adopted? Unfortunately, no.

The last known address we have for him is two towns over.

In Centerville.

[VERONICA] I don't think we've properly met.

Veronica Lodge.

Of the Park Avenue Lodges.



Oh, like the purple-colored gemstone.

Love it.

And I'm Josie McCoy.

Formerly of the Pussycats, now just Josie.

And this is Kevin.

- What's your name?

- Fogarty.

Or you can call me Fangs.

Your last name's Keller, right? How did you know that? Joaquin and I used to hang out.

He talked about you all the time.

[WEATHERBEE] You guys! Yes, you, come with me.

Now! Which of you defaced our school seal with this graffiti? This is what they do, Principal Weatherbee.

They tag their turf.

My God, Reggie, could you be anymore transparent?

[WEATHERBEE] Effective immediately, no gang behavior of any kind will be tolerated at my school.

As of this moment, no more Serpent jackets.

- [ALL] What? - No more Serpent jackets! All tattoos are gonna be covered.

Possession of any gang paraphernalia whatsoever will lead to immediate suspension.

Are we clear? That's all.



Polly had the twins.

What? I don't understand.

- She

- I do.

I understand.

She didn't Doesn't want us to be a part of the babies' lives.

Isn't that right, Betty? Well, are they healthy?

- Is Polly all right?

- Yeah.

She is, and they are.


There's something else.

I did some digging, and I found an address for your son, my brother.

- His name is Charles.

- [HAL SIGHS] Betty, what are you talking about? I, I thought it might help, now that Polly's No! This has nothing to do with Polly, or you!

- Okay, Hal.


- I did it for Mom, Dad.

Mom? Your father's right.


[JUGHEAD] I can't believe you guys don't even see it.

Weatherbee is profiling us.

Tellin' us what to wear.

What's next? Brain implants controlling what we think? Jughead, you sound like a crazy conspiracy nut.

A school closed down.

A crappy school.

Yeah, and now we're at a better one.

The computer lab and text books And toilets that flush.

Getting transferred to Riverdale High is the best thing that could have happened.

Maybe ever.

So, if I have to take off my jacket, 8:30 to 3:00, Monday through Friday Hey, I'm down with that.

[CYMBAL CRASHING] My dad soundproofed this garage so I could practice my music.

Maybe you'll get back to it when this is over.

You said you had something for me? Yeah.

Nick was hurt badly in some kind of accident in Vail.

At least according to the Lodges.

But it may not have been an accident.

What do you mean? Before I say anything else, I need some assurance from you, that no matter what happens to Mr. Lodge, my dad is gonna be okay.

That he's not gonna go to jail.

I can protect your father.

Nick assaulted Veronica.

If Mr. Lodge found that out It would give him a motive.

He'd want payback.

Can you get confirmation from his daughter? No, no way, I am not using Veronica.

But I might be able to get to Nick.

That's smart.

He's more likely to talk to you than he is to me.

Yeah, but there's a problem.

If I go to Nick, what if he tells Veronica that I was asking about the accident? Or he tells his parents and they tell Mr. Lodge? You need a Trojan horse.

A cover story.

A reason to see Nick that has nothing to do with the Lodges.

Can you think of anything? Maybe, yeah.

What do you want, Archie? I can't stop thinking about what Nick did to Veronica, and to you.

Cheryl, that check you threw away, do you want another one from Nick? I mean, of course I'd take it, but I'm afraid the ship's sailed on that one.

Really? Because I was thinking of going to see Nick and I could ask him for you.

And I bet he'd give it to me.

I just need to borrow one of Jason's blazers.

Mom? We can't tell your father 'cause he wouldn't support it.

But I want to see him, Betty.

I wanna see my son.

You bring the thunder Turn off the bass Take the first sip If you can't keep up the pain Oh, hey, guys, what's up? Take it off.

Take off that jacket, Rat Boy.

[SIGHS] Oh, Reggie.

I don't think you know what this jacket means.

Because you have no sense of honor.

Or history, or loyalty.

- That's it.

[GRUNTS] [GRUNTS] Oh, my God.

[ALL GRUNTING] Mr. Weatherbee You all have a week's detention for fighting.

But I made myself clear to you, Mr. Jones.

Take off that jacket, right now, or you're suspended.

- Please, Jughead, just - Then I guess I'm suspended.

[TENSE MUSIC PLAYING] Weatherbee told McCoy who told us the integration is not going well.

Reggie's just being Reggie, but he has made gang-wear a flashpoint.

The Southsiders need to start looking the part.

So I propose a charitable donation to help out the fashionably misguided.


$40 a night for a single bed, $20 for a bunk.

Oh, uh, we're actually looking for someone.

His name is Charles Smith.

Do you know him? [INDISTINCT CHATTER AND LAUGHTER] [SIGHS] It's okay, Mom.

[MAN] Come in.

[ALICE] Charles? Charles, my name's Alice Cooper.

This is my daughter, Betty.

We're - I'm - I know who you are.

The Sisters gave me your address when I turned 18.

When they kicked me out.

I even went by your house once.

Must be a nice place to grow up.

[ALICE] You didn't want to come in? Meet us? Got the feeling you probably didn't want somebody like me around.

That's not true.

You're my sister? Yeah Yes.

Well, you're lucky she wanted to keep you.

Charles It's Chic.

But how would you know that? You know what, forget it.

You have to go.

I have a client on the way.

What kind of work do you do? Are you for real? Fantasy fulfillment.

Now, really, you have to go.

Come on, Mom.


Now, you break that, you buy it.

How'd you know I was here? Hog Eye called me.

- What's up, Hog Eye?

- FP.

You wanna explain to me why the hell you're not in school? Yes.

Weatherbee has been disrespecting the Serpents.

He's been targeting us.


- He told us to take off our skins.

- [LAUGHS] You mean your jackets? Wear them after school.

"A Serpent never sheds its skin.

" I know the laws, boy.

What's goin' on, Jug? Really? Southside High, we had a place.

Yeah, it was crappy, but it was ours.

We were a family.

We had a home.

I had a home.

Yeah, I hear you.

But getting arrested for truancy's not gonna help.

You gotta be smart.

Serpents hibernate during the winter.

Look at me, you think I like cleaning toilets, shoveling slop? No.

But it's what I gotta do.

Going to Riverdale High, that's what you gotta do.

So lay low for a while, but you never stop being a Serpent.


Hey, Nick.

Nice dorm room.

[STUTTERS] What are you doing here? And why are you wearing that blazer? You remember Cheryl Blossom? You wrote her a check Covering damages? Well, that check got lost.

So you're going to write it again.

Right now.

For double.

That's it? Money? Checkbook's in the desk.

[SCOFFS] I heard you got hurt pretty bad.

How'd that happen? Ski accident.

Ski accident? Wow.

You must really suck at skiing, Nick.

So, what, you wiped out on the slopes and snapped both your legs? Yeah, I wiped out on the slopes, Archie.

What the hell do you care? I don't care, I'm just curious.

You know what's weird? You come to Riverdale, act like a jackass, try to rape Cheryl, and blow up some big deal between the Lodges and your folks and then skip back down to Vail for some little ski weekend? I don't know, it seems weird.

You're not here for Cheryl.

Yes, I am.

I'm here to get what you owe her, you scumbag.

I don't even remember you being friends with Cheryl.

Probably because you were high the entire time, Nick.

Why are you really here, Archie? For Ronnie? Payback for what you did to Cheryl and Veronica.

Payback? No.

No, you know what I think? I think you're a small town hick who's beginning to realize how deep into shark-infested waters he really is.

Careful, when Veronica Lodge smells blood, she'll turn on you, too.

[GRUNTS] [JUGHEAD] What the hell? Guys Weatherbee gave them to us.

Said he understood that not every Southside student had the means to purchase Riverdale High acceptable clothes.

He thinks this will help us fit in.

Where's Fogarty? He wouldn't wear the uniform, so they got rid of him, suspended him.

So our choices are conform or be cast out.


[VERONICA] "FYI, your insane boyfriend just ambushed me in my dorm room.

He broke my nose and was foaming at the mouth.

Hope you've had your shots.

" I can explain that.

By all means, Archie, I would love to hear why you went to New York behind my back and attacked Nick St. Clair.

I wanted to beat the hell out of him after what he did to you after that stupid party! Who told you about that? Because the only people that know are me, Nick, and [CHERYL] I did.

I told him.

I told Archie the truth about that staph-infection for a human.

And I convinced him to pay Nick a visit.

Cheryl, why would you do that? Classic shake-down.

I wanted money from Nick, and I thought Archie could convince him that reparations were in order.

My only regret is that I betrayed your confidence, Veronica.

And for that, I'm sorry.

Hey I'm sorry, too.


- I should've told you.


- Let go of him!

- Ahhh! I said let go of my brother!

[SCREAMS] Come on.

[SCREAMING] Something's off with you.

- Huh? - I mean, call it girlfriend's intuition, but, you're hiding something.

I wanted revenge for what Nick did to you, that's true, okay? I swear.

But there is one thing I left out I knew it.

What? The reason I visited Nick in the first place.

Cheryl was blackmailing me.

Pardonne-moi, blackmailing you? How? On the night of the Black Hood Cheryl saw [SIGHS] Cheryl saw me and Betty kiss.

What? When? Why? And how? It was after you dumped me and Jughead just dumped Betty.

Nana Rose had just told us this crazy story about Betty's grandfather and it just happened.

You and Betty kissed? It was that crazy, out-of-control night, Ronnie.

Literally 40 minutes later, the Black Hood was burying me alive.

You and Betty kissed.

We haven't talked about it since.

I don't think either of us are ever gonna talk about it again.

It's okay.

Do you know why? Because I believe you.

You're being honest with me, and that's more important than a single, my-life's-in-danger kiss.

[SIGHS] I love you, Ronnie.

I love you, too.

Mom! Dad! I need help.

Betty, What happened? Welcome to the inaugural meeting of the Swords and Serpents Club.

Which is what, exactly? Like I told Fogarty to lure him back to dear ol' Riverdale, we are a gaming group.

Sanctioned by Mr. Weatherbee, himself.

Where like-minded students can meet and concoct world-building, role-playing scenarios, inhabiting fantastical heroes and dispatching mythological creatures.

[SCOFFS] No, but really? It's a club, for us.

A safe haven where we can be Serpents, during school hours and under everyone's noses.

We're not shedding our skins.

We're lying low, in the tall grass.

I've solved all our problems, Mommy.

Blood money from the St. Clairs.

And this time, you have my blessing to deposit it in a bank, not in the fireplace.

Aren't you glad? Your days of being a courtesan are over.

Mommy? I said you can stop.

Oh, but, Cheryl Now, why would I stop when I'm having such a good time? I know there's a lot to discuss and sort out.

But for now, try to get some rest, okay? Good night, Alice.

Good night, Hal.

Good night, Chic.

You'll be safe here.

Why didn't you say anything about what happened with you and Nick? I felt foo fsh, for not seeing him for what he really was.

Did you tell anyone else besides Cheryl? Kevin, but that's it.

[ARCHIE] Last time I asked for protection for my father.

I want it for Veronica, too.

She's caught up in this.

I don't want her hurt or in trouble.

Help us, and she, and your father, are both off-limits.


I want that in writing.


But you can't get emotional again.

Not like you did with Nick St. Clair.

You get emotional, you get sloppy.

There's one more thing.

If you've been following me around for a while, you must know about the Black Hood.

I do.

Nice job.

In your expert opinion, Agent Adams, do you think we got the right guy? I haven't told anyone about this, but I'm not so sure we did.

[JUGHEAD] And so, Archie, always trying to do the good, noble thing, took another step further into darkness.

And Betty, the girl next door, had no sooner vanquished one monster [SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC PLAYING] than she'd perhaps let another one into her family's lives.