We gave it a B
Ultimately, it’s Cheryl who will clue Archie in. After Archie and Veronica attempt to welcome the Serpents to Riverdale High, Cheryl and Reggie butt in to draw a clear line between “them” and “us.” And if Archie doesn’t switch sides and join Cheryl, she threatens to tell Veronica about his kiss with Betty because apparently, Cheryl has eyes everywhere.
Meeting with Cheryl, Archie mentions Nick, and Cheryl, assuming Archie already knows, reveals that Nick got physical with Veronica. And suddenly, everything’s coming together in Archie’s mind.
While Reggie and Jughead start up a rivalry at school as Principal Weatherbee forces the Serpents to assimilate — No more Serpent jackets! (Also, stop calling your jackets your “skin” please!) — Archie meets back up with Agent Adams. Archie asks for assurance that his father won’t go to jail before he comes up with a plan to talk to Nick. His cover story is simple: He goes to Nick claiming that he’s there for a check to Cheryl to replace the one her mother threw in the fire in an act of solidarity.
And if we’re measuring success in terms of money, Archie’s trip is great! Nick writes Cheryl another check without flinching, but when he figures out that Archie didn’t just come for the check, he wonders if Archie is starting to wonder “how deep in shark-infested waters” he really is. He warns Arch to be careful, because “when Veronica Lodge smells blood, she’ll turn on you too.” And cue Archie losing his cool and beating up a guy who literally can’t get out of bed because both his legs are broken.
By the time Archie gets home, Nick has already texted Veronica about his newly broken nose. And that leads Cheryl to apologize about telling Veronica’s secret. It also leads to Archie lying and telling the truth at the same time. Allow me to explain: He doesn’t tell Veronica the REAL reason he was there — the FBI, of course — but he does ‘fess up to kissing Betty when they were broken up (for like 12 hours).
Veronica rather quickly forgives him for what she calls a “my life is in danger” kiss, and Archie continues his investigation. He asks if Veronica told anyone else about Nick, but she only mentions Kevin’s name. With that, Archie has more conditions for working with the FBI: He wants both Veronica and his father to be off limits, and he also has a question: If the FBI has been watching him, they know about the Black Hood. And no, he’s not wondering why the FBI did nothing while a serial killer went around town murdering people!!! Rather, he’d just like to know if the FBI thinks they got the right guy…because Archie doesn’t.
And before we call it quits, here’s a quick update on the whole Weatherbee versus Jughead struggle. Jug removes his jacket during school hours in exchange for starting the Swords and Serpents Club, which he claims is for LARPing, essentially, but it’s obviously an opportunity for the Serpents to hang out. “We’re not shedding our skins,” Jug says, really overdoing this whole snake analogy. “We’re lying low in the tall grass.” WE GET IT.
And we’ll end things where we started them: Cheryl gives her mom the new check from Nick in the hopes that her mother will stop comforting the lonely men of Riverdale, but guess what? Mama Blossom loves her new job, and no check in her bra will make her return to her old life.
So there you have it: Chic is in town! So is the FBI! And maybe so is the Black Hood…still?