Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 208, "House of the Devil"

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Riverdale House of the Devil

It should be a great day for our Riverdale High students. Jughead has just received word that his dad, FP, is being released early from jail, thanks to overcrowding and Cheryl Blossom's character testimony. And Betty's going to be there for Jughead all the way, helping him with his dad. Which means neither of them can look into the "Devil House" where Betty was led earlier by the Black Hood -- which they've just discovered is the same house where the Riverdale Reaper murders occurred forty years earlier -- so they ask Archie and Veronica to look into it for them.

That will put quite the crimp in #Verchie's schedule, as they've been using every spare minute making out and hooking up. But since Archie dropped the L-word on Veronica after a bout of canoodling, they both need something to distract them. It seems Veronica wasn't able to say it back, and her introspection as to why leads her to realize that she's never heard her parents say it to each other once.

Cast Listing

Archie: KJ Apa
Jughead: Cole Sprouse
Betty: Lili Reinhart
Veronica: Camila Mendes
Cheryl: Madelaine Petsch
Josie: Ashleigh Murray
FP Jones: Skeet Ulrich
Alice Cooper: Madchen Amick
Penny Peabody: Brit Morgan
Mr. Svenson: Cameron McDonald

When I say that Betty plans to be there for Jughead "all the way," I didn't realize just how wayward that journey would be. Accepting that Jughead is now fully a South Side Serpent, she wants to be part of that clique as well. But there's an initiation for that, just as there was a gauntlet for Jughead to run through. It's intimidating, but she accepts.

FP tells everyone that he's joined AA and is retiring from the Serpents. He's even taken a job waiting tables at Pop's. He doesn't really want a retirement party, but that's exactly what Jughead and Betty are arranging -- at the White Wyrm, the den of the Serpents themselves! That ought to go well.

Archie and Veronica, meanwhile, make headway in the cold case of the Riverdale Reaper, learning that the Conway family that was murdered had a survivor -- and that survivor is Mr. Svenson, the school custodian. Svenson's been popping up the last few episodes, probably as a red-herring for the mystery of "Who is the Black Hood?" In this episode, he accidentally walks in on Cheryl Blossom giving a "planned accidental" backrub to Josie, as she continues her obvious seduction of the Pussycats lead vocalist. But Archie and Veronica soon realize that Svensen isn't the Black Hood, because Archie has looked into the Black Hood's eyes -- those green eyes. And Svensen's aren't.

Neither, by the way, are Hal Cooper's eyes, one of my previous prime suspects. But you know who does have green eyes and a big muscular build?

Tall Boy, the Serpent who's been undermining Jughead's plans to revive the South Side and make peace with the North Side. Jughead confronts Tall Boy and demands a vote of all the Serpents in attendance. To Tall Boy's chagrin, they all side with Jughead.

At the party, Archie and Veronica perform a strained duet, with Veronica walking out halfway through and Archie chasing her. But the stage doesn't stay empty. As the music continues playing, Betty takes the mic and picks up the lyrics -- as she strips down to black lace undergarments and pole dances. That is the initiation to become a Serpent-adjacent. Jughead is appalled as the other Serpents cheer. Jug doesn't want Betty to be any closer than she is, and is pushing her away, because Penny Peabody has made subtle threats against Betty to continue blackmailing Jughead into running drugs for her. So after the dance, he takes her outside and breaks up with her.

That's good timing, because Veronica is breaking up with Archie as well.

And Archie's bedroom window is right across from Betty's.

That night, eyes meet.

Get ready for #Betchie.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0