Home Entertainment Television RECAP: Riverdale S6E9: Chapter 104 – The Serpent Queen’s Gambit

RECAP: Riverdale S6E9: Chapter 104 – The Serpent Queen’s Gambit

Maybe that casino wasn't the best idea, Reggie.

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Archie (KJ Apa) comes home to find Percival Pickins (Chris O’Shea) having a chat with Uncle Frank (Ryan Robbins) at the table. Pickins is running a town-wide census in Riverdale. It seems like a ruse for Pickins to get in everyone’s ear one at a time. Archie literally throws Pickins out of his house like Pickins is Jazz and Archie is Uncle Phil. Uncle Frank isn’t happy about this. Sounds like Percival already got in Uncle Frank’s ear.

Abigail (Madelaine Petsch) reveals her plan to Britta (Kyra Leroux): reincarnate Thomasina’s soul and put it in Toni Topaz’s (Vanessa Morgan) body, and then they’ll slay Fangs Fogarty (Drew Ray Tanner) together, as a newly reunited couple does. After Fangs, she’d like to murder Jughead, Betty, and Archie too. It’s good to have a plan.

Reggie (Charles Melton) wants to make his dad feel like a big shot at the new casino in Riverdale. Veronica (Camila Mendes) has a plan.

At the next Riverdale town meeting, Pickins sets his sights on the ongoing gang war between the Serpents and the Ghoulies, pointing out that one of the gang’s leaders, Toni Topaz, serves on the council. Toni denies there is a gang war. Come on, Toni. When isn’t there a gang war between the Serpents and Ghoulies? Pickins suggest the idea of disbanding the Serpents, which throws Toni until Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) intercedes, saying that Toni isn’t on trial, and moves on to the next item on the agenda.

After the meeting, Kevin (Casey Cott) drops a bomb (figurative bomb, he’s not Hiram) on Toni and Fangs, saying he’s not comfortable with baby Anthony being raised around gang culture. This sounds like Pickins talking through Kevin.

Veronica shows Mr. Mantle around the casino and leaves him at a blackjack table, with instructions to the dealer to treat him well.

Archie, Betty (Lili Reinhart), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) head to Thornbrook to discuss Percival with Cheryl, not knowing she’s Abigail. Abigail barely holds in her anger towards Betty, Jughead, and Archie’s ancestors while they’re there. She quickly ends the meeting, agreeing to nothing. After they leave, Abigail tells Britta they’re going to bake arsenic-laced scones for the three who just left. Not only is it revenge, but she needs a corpse for her resurrection spell. Two birds, one stone. Never say Abigail isn’t efficient.

A drive-by shooter shoots up Pop’s Diner. It’s Twila was shooting a tommy gun while riding in an old roadster. Where do Riverdale folks find these antiques?

The next day, Tabitha calls Toni to warn her that Alice and Frank are holding a special meeting of the Riverdale town council at Percival’s request to remove Toni from the town council.

Archie, Betty, and Jughead next meet with Veronica, who fills them in that Percival has no public records anywhere before he showed up in Riverdale. She also tells them about last week’s suicide in the casino.

At the meeting, Percival submits a motion to remove Toni from the town council. Toni gets a chance to defend herself, where she says she spent her entire life in service to Riverdale, citing her work at the high school as a guidance counselor and principal, and for the town itself, serving on the town council. Alice calls a vote.

The blackjack dealer bursts into Veronica’s office to let her know that Mr. Mantle is both back and down 7 grand. Wowsa. Veronica checks in on Mr. Mantle. He doesn’t look good. He’s sweaty and pale but says he feels his luck is turning. He asks to borrow $5,000. Veronica suggests he step away from the table instead. Mr. Mantle plays the guilt card on her, saying it would embarrass him to be thrown out of his own son’s casino. Veronica, the best thing you can do right now and chuck him out the door and ban him.

Betty, Archie, and Jughead show up at the meeting just after it ends to find out that with the exception of Tabitha, it was a unanimous vote to kick Toni off the council. Percival works fast, it appears.

Abigail shows up at Riverdale High with a basket full of poisoned scones. There’s like 30 in there, Abigail! Are you planning on taking out an entire classroom? Though Archie does look like he wants to eat 25 of them. When she gets to Jughead’s desk, the basket still looks full, so maybe Archie only took one. Betty can sense the evil emanating from Abigail and her scones. When she questions Abigail, Abigail retreats. Betty rushes to Archie’s desk, but the scone is already in his belly. Looks like we’re going to find out if Archie’s insides are made of steel too. Jughead isn’t invulnerable though, so she convinces him to induce vomiting.

Over dinner, Toni suggests to Fangs that the Serpents transition from being a gang to being a political activist group. Fangs isn’t really feeling it. Before they can continue their discussion, Kevin, gun drawn, and a bunch of cops kicks down their door for a raid. Deputy Pickins and the Kellers arrest Fangs. Kevin says they got an anonymous report that weapons were being stored there. Fangs and Toni’s reaction says that can’t be true, but they find a big duffel bag of guns. Hmmm, I wonder if Kevin planted that there last time he was babysitting.

Never mind that idea, while talking in jail later, Fangs admits to Toni the weapons were his. He was stockpiling them for the eventual war with the Ghoulies.

Veronica tells Reggie about his dad’s gambling debts and asks if that’s how his dad got into debt with her dad in the first place. Reggie, living in a dream world, says his dad needed a loan to improve the car lot and banks wouldn’t lend to him. Instead of hearing Veronica tell him, “Your dad has a gambling problem!”, he instead catches an attitude, asking why she’s trying to squash his dad’s first good time in a long time. I’m no gambler, but being down thousands of dollars doesn’t exactly scream fun times.

Abigail brings Toni a bouquet of roses. When a thorn pricks Toni, Abigail dabs the cut with tissue and then goes about the opposite of nonchalantly keeping it.

Mr. Mantle tells Reggie some bad news: he lost the car lot. After losing a bunch of money at the casino, he went to a private poker game where he kept gambling until he lost the car lot. He asks Reggie to talk to Veronica to work it out for him. Instead of telling him he needs help, Reggie says he’ll talk to her.

Toni gets a visit from child services. It’s a wellness check on Baby Anthony, which triggers Toni to somehow remember Rivervale’s Toni getting the same wellness check from child services. She can’t make sense of it. Wait, is this what deja vu really is? Am I remembering the life of some pocket dimension version of myself? Janet, the councilor, wants to see baby Anthony. One problem, he’s been kidnapped!

Abigail, dressed as a Ghoulie, intercepts Archie on his way out of work, throwing a Molotov cocktail at him. But Archie doesn’t burn, Abby!

Betty and Tabitha lead the townsfolk in a search for Baby Anthony. Jughead reads a range of thoughts at Pop’s, many of them negative about Toni and the town. But nothing leads to a kidnapper.

Reggie asks Veronica what they can do to get the car lot back. She asks if Reggie can now admit his dad has a problem and needs to be cut off, but he just deflects. Reggie then says he’ll handle his dad’s mess. This doesn’t sound like it’s going to end well.

Toni gets a call from Twila. She’s with Pickins and they have Baby Anthony. Twila calls for a battle between the Serpents and the Ghoulies. Toni agrees, as long as Twila brings Baby Anthony to Pops first.

Reggie stops by the local Italian restaurant to talk to the wise guys. He wants to buy back the car lot, but they’re not interested unless he pays not only the $100,000 (!!!) in gambling debts Mr. Mantle owed but also their next 5 years projected income off the car lot. Reggie pitches them a deal where he runs whatever illicit operation they have planned for the car lot.

Jughead stops by Thornhill. Britta answers the door and tries to get him away. Britta tells Jughead all of Abigail’s plans in her mind, and he takes off.

At Pop’s, Tabitha overhears a cop lamenting to Kevin about the fact they’re not going to be part of Sheriff Keller’s bloodbath of the Serpents tonight. Tabitha wants answers from Kevin. He talks, and she calls Toni to warn her. Toni is waiting on the Ghoulies and asks if Baby Anthony was dropped off yet. Wait, wasn’t Baby Anthony supposed to be delivered before Toni and the Serpents walked into this trap? Toni tells the Serpents to run, but it’s too late the police are there. Toni tells all the Serpents to surrender. Pickins yells out, “You heard her! The Serpents are resisting arrest!” The only thing that saves Toni and the Serpents from getting gunned down is that she says she’s live-streaming this right now.

Reggie tells Veronica that he cleaned up Mr. Mantle’s mess and got the dealership back. He doesn’t give her any details on how he did it though.

Jughead fills Betty and Archie in on what’s going on with Cheryl. Betty heads to Thornhill in tears, telling Abigail that Archie was burned alive by a Ghoulie. Abigail invites her in, and Betty drugs her, knocking her unconscious.

Deputy Pickins visits Toni in jail. Her bail’s been posted by Tabitha. She’ll be released in the morning. Pickins tells her that they retrieved Baby Anthony from the Ghoulies, even wiping them all out except for Twila Twist, who escaped. Baby Anthony is with his father, Kevin.

Archie, Betty, and Jughead tie Abigail to a stake, ready to burn her out of Cheryl’s body. They all recite an incantation to make Abigail leave. Abigail blows out the fire on her way out of Cheryl. The doll Nana Rose was holding “twitched in my hands.” Cheryl is back. Where’s Abigail? In the doll! Looks like the Riverdale writing team has been watching What We Do In The Shadows.

Alice nominates Pickins to the town council. Everyone in attendance except for Tabitha votes for him.

Kevin brings Baby Anthony to Toni. Kevin tells her he’s going to fight for custody. Kevin, ever the puppet. Is there any storyline involving mind control or manipulation of some sort where Kevin isn’t a pawn?

Reggie walks in on his dad gambling in the car lot, which also now has a slot machine in the office.

In a flashback, Reggie meets with a doctor, who tells Reggie that without a transplant, his dad only has a year or two to live. She tells him to make sure he enjoys what little time he has left. Well, that explains Reggie’s recent behavior.

Betty gets a call from Dr. Curdle. He says there’s something off about the bodies of the 22 dead Ghoulies. The sheriff’s report says they died in a gunfight, but he thinks they’re all self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

The Blossoms seal away the possessed doll in a cabinet. Sure, this sounds safe.

Archie doesn’t think Pickins wants to take over Riverdale. He thinks he wants to destroy Riverdale. Who is Pickins? The ghost of General Pickins in a new body? He has not past history, so it seems likely that he’s an actual descendent.

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