Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 212, "The Wicked and the Divine"

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Riverdale 212 Wicked and the Divine

So much happens on this episode of RIVERDALE, not the least of which is "Black" Betty (LILI REINHART) working out her new webcam business. The town is all abuzz about the decapitation of the statue of the town's founder, General Pickens, and the pressure is on the Southside Serpents as the most likely suspects. Sheriff Keller (MARTIN CUMMINS) has made numerous visits to the community, asking the same questions over and over, but when he shows up delivering eviction notices because the trailers are behind in their rent, Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) can no longer sit idle.

Unfortunately, eviction notices are a legal action, and the Southside has its own legal counsel -- or at least it did, until Jughead took it upon himself to evict Penny Peabody (BRIT MORGAN, SUPERGIRL) from the Serpents. So Tall Boy (SCOTT MCNEIL) takes it upon himself to bring her back, and Jug's dad, F.P. (SKEET ULRICH) is shocked to learn that Jughead cut off Penny's tattoo. Penny will help the Serpents, but at a cost: she wants Jughead cast out, and she wants to cut off his serpent tattoo herself. The matter will be brought to a vote.

The only thing that can take the heat off the Serpents is the recovery of the statue's head. So Jug and Betty make like detectives once again to find the bronze noggin before things go from bad to worse. Not only do they find it, they find who was responsible for the crime as well, and the Serpents will be having revenge.

The other storyline happening alongside this is that Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) is preparing for her Catholic confirmation. Usually one has these when younger, but her family wanted to have a special Monsignor perform it in front of all her family, and now that her father, Hiram (MARK CONSUELOS) is out of prison, this can be accomplished. Naturally she wants Archie (KJ APA) to be in attendance with all her friends. But she's having misgivings about having Archie brought into the family business. She's very aware of what her father does and how he operates, and she doesn't want Archie to be sullied by that.

Archie, meanwhile, continues to serve as Lodge's special assistant, running odd jobs and learning the business. And when the family comes to town for Veronica's confirmation, Archie is asked to bus tables and cut cigars at the traditional poker game. When word gets out that the family is coming to town, FBI agent Arthur Adams (JOHN BEHLMANN) shows up again, asking Archie to wear a wire. Archie says he will listen, but refuses to go in wearing a recording device.

This is where things get dicy, and I have a Riverdale Conspiracy Theory about this which I'll get to shortly. While bussing tables, one of the family members, Poppa Poutine (M.C. GAINEY), has a verbal disagreement with Hiram, and steps out for air. At the same time, another guest tells Archie the toilet is clogged, which puts Archie right under the open window where he can hear Poutine tell another family member that Lodge has lost his edge and needs to be removed after Veronica's confirmation.

At the confirmation, Veronica has an epiphany when she is asked to renounce Satan. The room goes dark to her, except for one bright beacon: Archie. And afterward, dancing with her father, she makes it clear to him that she wants Archie to be kept out of the inner circle of the family. That's when Archie takes Mr. Lodge aside and tells him what he heard. Archie leaves, and Lodge picks up the phone. Veronica is shocked that Archie is still working for her dad, and outright tells Archie that her father is... Unable to finish the sentence, Archie replies, "A mobster. I know."

Afterward, Archie is again approached by Agent Adams and told that Poppa Poutine was found with a bullet in his head--an obvious gangster-style murder. He wants to know if Archie knows anything that might lead to Lodge having been connected to the crime. And Archie denies having seen or heard anything that might have resulted in the murder.

Speaking of murders: Things haven't been too cool at the Cooper household (unless you have a credit card and a login). Since Chic Cooper (HART DENTON) moved in, Hal Cooper (LOCHLYN MUNRO) has moved out, and the house has seen the comings and goings of Chic's associates. One of these shows up while Betty is gone (apparently #Bughead is being fully consummated at this time), and Chic is having dinner with Alice (MADCHEN AMICK). He looks unsavory, and we don't know what he wants, but when Betty does come home, she finds Alice kneeling over his body, mopping up blood. Who needs the Black Hood when Alice Cooper is around?


 So it seems that Archie is not only recognizing that Lodge is a criminal, he's willingly allowing himself to be swallowed up by the dark side of it. After all, why else would he refuse to cooperate with the FBI?

Unless Agent Adams is not the FBI.

Lodge has made sure that Archie is seeing everything. He made sure that Archie saw Poutine argue with him, and it was no coincidence that Archie was then put in the exact right location for him to overhear Poutine talk about Lodge later. But we don't know who Lodge called, and we never saw Poutine's body.

I think the entire charade is a loyalty test being run by Lodge. I think that "Agent Adams" is one of his men, and if he gets any information from Archie, Lodge will know that Archie can't be trusted.

And more than that: I think Archie knows this, too. Which is why he doesn't cooperate with Adams.

It will be fun to watch this play out and see if I'm right.