— Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart) November 14, 2017
Riverdale has the ‘50s vibe down, but no homage to the decade would be complete without a nod to Grease. That’s exactly what we got in the Wednesday, November 15, episode, titled “Chapter Nineteen: Death Proof,” when Jughead took on the Ghoulies. Plus, Betty gained control of The Black Hood’s game, while Cheryl and Veronica focused on making Nick St. Clair pay.
Fast and Furious
Jughead (Cole Sprouse) woke up to Toni in his trailer, but Bughead fans can breathe easy! Nothing more than “PG-13 groping” took place after the two shared a kiss in last week’s episode. Toni later told Jughead she didn’t want to be his rebound and she’s more into girls anyway. Crisis averted … for now, at least.
Not having to worry about a new romantic entanglement freed Jughead up to prevent the Serpents from joining forces with the Ghoulies. Tall Boy, FP’s (Skeet Ulrich) former right-hand man, had declared himself the Serpents’ leader in FP’s absence. He just needed Jughead to endorse the merger, though he wasn’t asking so much as telling.
Mayor McCoy raided Southside High after discovering Reggie had gotten jingle jangle from a gang member. Toni and Sweet Pea were arrested, so Jughead wanted to stall until they were released. Archie (KJ Apa) suggested Jughead consult his dad for advice. FP thought Jughead should challenge the Ghoulies to a street race. The terms? If Jughead won, the Serpents would remain autonomous and the Ghoulies would stop dealing at Southside High. If the Ghoulies won, they’d not only get to keep selling their “straws of death,” but they could also expand their operations to the Serpents’ White Worm bar and Sunnyside Trailer Park.
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) November 14, 2017
The street race was the perfect mash-up of The Fast and the Furious and Grease, with Archie riding shotgun with Jughead and Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) starting the race by waving her scarf in true Cha-Cha fashion. The Ghoulies obviously drove dirty, trying to run Jughead off the road. As they approached a narrow bridge, Archie warned Jughead they couldn’t both cross. Jughead was determined to win, so he proceeded, but Archie pulled the emergency brake, stopping the car in its tracks. The Ghoulies made it over the bridge but were met by Sheriff Keller and a barricade of cops. Archie had called Keller so the Ghoulies would be arrested, in his mind solving all Jughead’s problems. Jughead didn’t exactly see it that way, though.
After Betty (Lili Reinhart) gave Nick’s name to The Black Hood, she rushed to Nick’s hotel room to find him still alive and sleazy. Betty asked the killer why he didn’t off Nick, and he said Betty giving him his name was enough. It showed him the true Betty, so the real work could begin. Also, he reasoned that Nick wasn’t “one of Riverdale’s sons.” Neither was Ms. Grundy, but we digress.
Betty met up with Archie and told him she wasn’t playing into The Black Hood’s sick game anymore. Polly was safe, thanks to the disappearing act she’d arranged from her previous location. But when the caller rang Betty again, she couldn’t resist getting wrapped up in his request. He asked Betty to find The Sugar Man, Clifford Blossom’s former supplier and the current jingle jangle head honcho.
The Black Hood pointed her in the direction of Cheryl, and Betty complied by questioning her. Cheryl insisted The Sugar Man was a boogeyman type her mother made up to scare her and Jason when they were little. Betty moved on to Sheriff Keller, but all he could tell her was that The Sugar Man used to be Clifford Blossom. Since jingle jangle had only appeared after his death, anyone could be the supplier.
Eventually Betty asked Veronica (Camila Mendes) for help, after she fessed up about her involvement with The Black Hood. Veronica organized a buy from Reggie’s dealer, and Betty followed him back to the Ghoulies’ headquarters. Sadly, B and V were caught and run off before they could nail down The Sugar Man’s identity.
Cheryl kept pressing her mother for information after she discovered she’d taken hush money from the St. Clairs. She threatened to withhold the check until her mother told her who The Sugar Man was. Penelope finally told Cheryl what she wanted to know, and Cheryl relayed the information to Betty.
The Black Hood called again, but Betty told him she’d already given The Sugar Man’s name over to the police. She said the drug supplier deserved justice, not execution. She also told The Black Hood, “It’s my game now … A game that ends with me catching you.” Hauntingly, she warned him, “I’m breathing down your neck. Can you feel it? Can you feel me?” before he hung up.
(Theory time: We’re starting to think Betty’s secret admirer isn’t The Black Hood at all, but a copycat toying with her. Perhaps her brother?)
Not to bury the lede, but The Sugar Man turned out to be Jughead’s English teacher and school newspaper advisor Robert Phillips, who had previously cautioned Jughead to stay away from Southside High’s gangs and drugs. The police carted Phillips away, but in jail, The Black Hood showed up and shot him.
In the midst of Betty’s hunt for The Sugar Man, she found time to help Jughead fix up his car for the street race and tell him all about her dealings with The Black Hood. Though we don’t know if this counts as an official reconciliation, Bughead looked pretty cozy as the episode ended. But we’re just waiting until Betty finds out about Jug’s sleepover with Toni, which he didn’t bother to fill her in on.
As mentioned above, Cheryl spent much of her time investigating The Sugar Man, but she also tried to make sure Nick would be punished for attempting to rape her. Cheryl told Veronica’s parents about her run-in with Nick, so Hermione (Marisol Nichols) and Hiram (Mark Consuelos) called Penelope over to chat. Although Veronica and Cheryl had already given a statement to the police, Penelope wanted the matter to be handled discreetly and insisted “nothing really happened to Cheryl.”
Hearing this, Cheryl told Veronica she was fine, but when she ran into Nick later at Pop’s, he claimed she was “begging for it.” Cheryl once again threatened to press charges, but that’s when Nick told Cheryl about his parents giving her mother hush money.
After Penelope told Cheryl the truth about The Sugar Man and Cheryl handed over the check as promised, her mother threw it in the fireplace.
‘Karma’s a Bitch’
If you’re worried that Nick didn’t get his comeuppance, we’re here to assure you he did. Veronica was hesitant to tell her father that Nick had tried something with her too, but once she discovered her parents were still taking money from the St. Clairs for their SoDale development, Veronica came clean. Hermione promised they wouldn’t take a dime from the family. The matriarch later informed Hiram and Veronica that the St. Clairs had been in a car accident and Nick would be recovering for several months. To which Veronica responded, “Oh well. Karma’s a bitch.”
Riverdale airs on The CW Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.