The Riverdale Season Five continuation of Riverdale Season Four moves forward. I’ll be honest with you, I’m ready for a new season and putting away the whole Stonewall Prep and Auteur storylines. But I’m not ready for Skeet to leave Riverdale. Don’t leave us, Skeet!
Archie (KJ Apa) hits the heavy bag in his room, thinking about the day at the diner when The Black Hood almost executed him. This wakes his mom. She offers to make him some chamomile, but Captain Bad Decision decides to go for a 3 AM run instead. Archie is a walking cry for help.
Bret (Sean Depner) calls Betty (Lili Reinhart) from jail at 3 AM. He has an offer for her: he wants to be transferred to solitary in exchange for some juicy info. How juicy? Meet him the next day and find out!
Archie runs to his dad’s grave. Archie’s pissed, because he feel the Auteur is mocking his father with his latest video of that Black Hood diner scene.
The next day, Betty and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) visit Bret at prison, but are told by the guard at the desk that he’s “no longer here.” Where is he? He’s dead. This guard is like the bad news doctor from Arrested Development but in reverse, underselling everything instead of overselling it. Is Bret really dead? I’m not believing it until I see a body!
Veronica (Camila Mendes) kisses Archie on the lips when she sees him at school. For some reason, she really wants to pretend they’re still together. High school is weird; Riverdale High especially so. Everyone is picking up their graduation gowns. Archie announces he isn’t walking at graduation if he isn’t graduating. He’s in a bit of a mood, and is as confused as I am as to why Veronica wants to pretend they’re still a couple. Veronica’s explanation is that if people know they broke up, they’ll have to come clean as to why, and either tell Jughead about Betty and Archie’s kiss or lie, which she doesn’t want to do, so instead she’s lying about them still being together. Lying is bad, kids, except when it isn’t. Meanwhile, nearby, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) does what Cheryl does best and throws a tantrum over the color of her graduation gown.
Dr. Curdle is doing the autopsy on Bret and gives Betty and Jughead front row seats. Bret’s eyes were gouged out! We don’t see this, but Betty and Jughead do. I guess Bret really is dead!
Hiram (Mark Consuelos) puts Archie in a chokehold at his gym. Archie breaks free and is ready to throw down. The deceased Fred Andrews gets insulted a second time this episode when Hiram says, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” when referencing Archie cheating on Veronica. Archie goes into a rage, but is held back by Mr. Keller. Does anyone else think it’s weird that Hiram showed up in his gym clothes? Sure, this is a boxing gym, and Hiram is a member, but Hiram isn’t here to work out. He could have worn anything. Archie bans Hiram from the gym. I feel like this is fair: attack the owner, get banned. Hiram spits on the floor on his way out. Aww, these two were bff mere weeks ago.
Hermosa tries to pry into Veronica’s life at Pops. Some thugs show up when Veronica steps outside to take out the trash. It’s the Malloys! One pumps a shotgun and aims it at Veronica. Lucky for Veronica, Hermosa carries a silenced pistol. She kills all three Malloys. I’m suddenly getting the feeling this isn’t Hermosa’s first killing. She barely shrugged after taking down all three Malloys.
Betty is putting together the dots. The Auteur left them a sign saying “God is watching” and then Bret’s eyes are cut out. Is that to let everyone know Bret isn’t God? Seem like overkill on that point. But Agent Charles Cooper (Wyatt Nash) thinks Betty has good instincts. He points Betty and Jughead down the road that maybe Bret was trying to tell them that David was the Auteur. Remember, dear reader, we can’t trust a thing Charles tells these two. We know he’s in league with Chic. When Betty wonders how David could have possibly killed Bret in prison, Charles says that all he would need is the right connections. Funny, Charles has a prison connection in Chic. I wonder if he and Bret were in the same prison. And if it was Chic who cut out Bret’s eyes.
Cheryl has a family meeting over Zoom. How 2020! I thought it was Cheryl thing to wear mainly red, not a Blossom thing. I clearly thought wrong.
Cheryl wants to reopen the factory and rebrand Blossom Maple Syrup with herself in charge. Her family isn’t interested. Something about “You killed Bedford Blossom, so we’re not going along with any plan of yours.” Fair. Cheryl looks honestly surprised by this outcome, while Granny has a look on her face that says “Told you so.”
Hermosa and Veronica sit down with Hermione (Marisol Nichols) to talk about Hiram. They’re worried that he’s sliding back into a life of crime and that they’re all going to pay for it. Veronica and Hermosa have an idea that starts with Hermione selling them all her shares of Lodge Industries and getting them a copy of his little black book, which has all his mafioso connections. Hermione thinks this plan is so crazy that it just might work!
At a cabin in the woods on the outskirts of Riverdale, Charles has Betty and Jughead meet up with him. Why? So that they can see a body hanging from the rafters. Charles theorizes that David is tying up loose ends. Or is Charles the one doing that? And who is the body? It’s David! He’s his own loose end!
Or at least we assume it’s David. Whoever it is still has an owl mask on. Is it even a person? It might be a store mannequin underneath there! Well, he’s not wearing gloves, so it’s definitely a person under that mask. Betty isn’t convinced that David committed suicide. Frankly, neither am I.
Mary Andrews sits down with Archie to talk about his dad’s killer’s hit and run court case. The defense attorney would like them to make a statement asking for leniency. Archie isn’t interested. I don’t blame him.
It’s Hiram’s turn to sit down with his two daughters. They’ve had a busy day: calling his associates with false threats about the FBI, taking control of Lodge Industries board, you know, a normal Wednesday. They tell him it’s time to step aside. He credits his return to criminality with his miraculous recovery. If they take away crime from him, he might get sick again! Whatever you think of Hiram, his excuses are top notch.
Jughead gets a text that shakes him, but in a good way. He was accepted into the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. Skeet gives his son a nice hug. This is my weekly “I’m going to miss Skeet when he leaves” moment. The family (families?) head to Pops to celebrate. Jelly Bean is eerily quiet during this scene, and the camera lingers on her at the end. What’s going on there?
Cheryl meets with her mom at mom’s brothel and updates her on the family. Penelope calls the Blossom board a bunch of “hateful bitches.” She tells Cheryl to go away, but not to go alone; she’ll need an alibi. Sounds like Penelope has an even more hostile takeover in mind than the Lodge sisters did. Cheryl pitches to Toni that they head out of Riverdale together for the weekend.
Archie tries writing a letter to the judge, but just keeps reliving the scene in his head where he confronted the hit and run driver.
Betty gets another call in the middle of the night, this time from Donna, who calls from a payphone on what looks like a fisherman’s wharf. Donna is worried that someone is killing off the prep school crew. First Bret, then Joan and maybe her next! Betty isn’t in the mood for Donna’s mindgames and tells her not to call her again.
The next day, Betty calls Joan but is told by a female voice on the phone that Joan passed away. The lady thinks it’s Donna, and tells Betty that Joan was murdered, hit in the head with a rock, the same way the preppies tired to kill Jughead!
Hermosa has a new plan. It involves Veronica not helping her dad next time he asks for it. She gets her chance pretty quickly. Hiram is bloodied pretty badly. Amazingly, he’s much more dressed up for this altercation than for the one at the gym. Veronica has a tough love talk for him to give up the violence. She tells him he’s heading to a quick grave in the gutter if he keeps this up. Later, it’s revealed that Hermosa’s men did this to Hiram. She might be the most dangerous Lodge of all.
The hit and run driver’s dad visits Archie at the gym. His son confessed to the crime that the dad was originally taking the all for. They’re trying him as an adult. The dad wants Archie to write a letter for his son. Oh boy. I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to write that letter. Archie says he can forgive him for the accident but not for driving off, leaving his dad to die on the side of the road.
On their way out of the house, Betty and Jughead find another tape. It’s their house at night, except the person is inside the house. The Auteur taped them all sleeping in bed, and even slides a knife against Jellybean’s face. Skeet books them all into a hotel.
The Blossom board all committed suicide! Well, more like “committed” “suicide.” Penelope calls it an early graduation gift for Cheryl. Cheryl is way to too cool with knowing her mom is a murderer when it works to her advantage.
Betty theorizes to Jughead that if the Auteur got into the house once, he may have got in more than once. And may have been doing more than watching. They both get on the same page quickly that only one person they know likes to bug phones and has the connections to kill people both inside and outside prison. I mean, Hiram fits this bill too, but yeah, Charles totally. Betty and Jughead spring a trap for Charles, inviting him over the house late at night. They found his bug in their house phone. It feels weird that two high school kids would confront a trained FBI agent who may or may not also be a serial killer. At least bring Skeet along too! Or a dozen Serpents! Charles immediately confesses to killing Joan and Bret. Jughead figured out that Chic killed Bret. Charles says he only kills people who deserve it, who hurt people he loves. Oh, and that was David hanging from the rafters. Charles killed him. Betty calls him a serial killer, and he basically says, “Yup. Got me.” One thing though, Charles claims to not be the Auteur. He says he knows who it is, but he isn’t saying. He calls Jughead “Baby Brother” here, and I suddenly am forced to remember that he’s both Betty and Jughead’s brother, and they’re a couple, and while there’s nothing awful about them being a couple, Betty and Jughead aren’t related themselves, I still throw up in my mouth a little bit.
Hiram holds a family meeting. The plan is for Hiram to step down and go on an extended break to the Cayman Islands while Veronica attends Barnard and Hermosa takes over the day to day of Lodge Industries. One fly in the ointment, Hermione is out. She’s leaving Hiram and Riverdale…to become a Real Housewife of New York??
Archie comes home to find Mary crying, watching the VHS tape of the Black Hood diner robbery reenactment. Archie immediately turns it off. Mary wants to give the tape to the police. Archie doesn’t want anyone to watch the tape and rips it in two instead. That’s right, he ripped a VHS tape in two. Archie smash! He then takes a baseball bat to the family TV. Well, now we can’t watch anything, Archie! Nice going! Archie, it’s time to admit you’ve got some anger issues and find someone to talk to.
Betty and Jughead are hanging out in bed…but what happened with Charles? The parents are coming home from the hotel, but again, what happened with Charles? Did he turn himself in? Just walk out the door?
Betty and Jughead ponder who else could have been the Auteur besides Charles while I ponder WHAT HAPPENED TO CHARLES? And Jughead has a realization.
But we’re not privy to that realization because instead we get to watch angry Archie pummel his heavy bag. Uncle Frank walks in on him. Archie pushes him and Frank pushes back. Frank gives him some free shots, serving as his new punching bag. Archie hits Frank enough times to finally break down crying.
Jughead confronts Jelly Bean…is she the Auteur? She is! Wow, she copped to that immediately. Why? Jughead wants to know. So do I. And who recorded the tape of her in bed? One of her raver friends?
Frank didn’t comes back just to help Archie. He also wants to turn himself in for his mercenary days, and asks Mary to represent him.
In what might be Skeet’s final scene in the series, Jughead walks through for him how Jellybean is the one behind the videotapes. He calls Jughead, “Boy.” Yessssss. Apparently Jellybean’s whole reasoning for doing this was to create a mystery to keep Jughead in Riverdale. She was working with Ricky, her weird G&G friend from seasons past. They and some other friends were the ones in the old timey Riverdale gang masks. These kids are sick, but Jughead also calls them “impressive.” David was even in on it, playing himself in the prom massacre video before Charles killed him for real. JB crazy, y’all. Crazy talented! Get this girl into Tisch! What a reel!
In the end, Archie writes a nice letter asking for leniency. It’s what his dad would have wanted him to do.
Is that the end of Riverdale Season Four? Are we onto Season Five? No, wait, we need to have a Riverdale graduation episode. You can’t have a high school show without a graduation episode. Yes, one more episode of Riverdale with Skeet! But what the heck happened to Charles? He didn’t just turn himself in because two high kids told him to, did he? If so, this is the weakest resolution to any Riverdale season thus far! He’s just like, “Yup, you got me. I’m a serial killer,” and then either walks away or walks to jail? Give me a break, Riverdale!