As Hiram's plan for Riverdale starts to take action, everyone has to pick a side
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Primary Colors
Credit: Katie Yu/The CW
Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter
S2 E16
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This is exhausting. Archie and Jughead are at odds. Betty and Veronica are at odds. The Lodges and Andrews are at odds. Cheryl and her family are at odds. And for some reason, that needs to be portrayed by everyone running for some sort of political office and literally being at odds?? I am not a big fan of this plan. But, let’s get into it.

We start with Betty confronting Chic about his DNA, which leads to Alice admitting that Hal is not Chic’s father. She won’t say who is, though she claims that it isn’t FP, which was my only guess. She asks Betty to drop it, but that’s only step one in the Chic-Betty battle. Oh, did I forget to mention? They’re also at odds.

After Betty comes home to find Chic and Kevin hanging out, she learns that Kevin told Chic the truth about everything. But instead of Betty retreating from her scary half-brother, she decides the best way to handle the dangerous stranger in her house is to try to scare HIM. Her idea? Wake him up by holding a Zippo lighter close to his face and talk about how she’s going to bring Chic down because that’s what Betty does: She brings bad men down.

Not surprisingly, Chic doesn’t find the blond ponytail intimating and retaliates by showing Alice her daughter’s wig and “guessing” that she wears it during sex. First of all, no one just guesses that. He’s definitely been spying on her. But regardless, Chic forces Betty to have “the talk” with her mom, which is basically the best way to torture a teenager. Alice then asks Betty to give her brother a chance. So Betty decides to call a truce…which sounds a lot like a threat when she reminds Chic that she could tell the police about that one time Chic murdered someone. But as Chic points out, he never touched the body. If the cops found that guy, the only DNA they’d find would belong to Betty (and Alice of course).

So yeah, it’s no wonder why Betty asks Jug if she can stay with him.

Across town, Hal sits down for an interview with Hermione about her decision to run for mayor, for which family friend Andy Cohen has come into town. Yeah, he traveled all the way to Riverdale for a PRINT interview. I don’t think so. Also, the fact that Hal’s second question for Hermione is whether Veronica will run for student body president? I’m sorry, no adult cares about the inner politics of high school.

But speaking of student body president, Reggie is running, and after Veronica get a milkshake thrown in her face — that Ethel Muggs loves to ruin mugs — she decides she wants to run too. Well, that technically happens after she punches Reggie in the face for talking about how her dad will probably be the first inmate in the prison he wants to build. So just for those of you keeping track: A milkshake in the face doesn’t anger Veronica, but talk of daddy in jail will get you knocked out. At least we know where she draws the line. (Next: What’s going on with Cheryl?)

Veronica asks Betty to be her running mate and Betty agrees. Together, they join Josie and Toni at Cheryl’s house for a sleepover that’s really just a way for Cheryl not to have to be alone in the house where her mother and her uncle are the two creepiest people in town. Actually, it’s just a way for Cheryl to get some alone time with Toni, but even that is interrupted when Nana Rose falls down the stairs. It appears Penelope and Claudius paralyzed Nana Rose with tannis root and then pushed her down the stairs. At least that’s Cheryl’s thinking. But I guess they didn’t get the memo when the woman survived the fire that she’s immortal.

By episode’s end, Cheryl finds herself in a car with her mother, who tells her that she’s clearly lost her mind and says, “You leave us no choice,” at which point I’m yelling, “Jump out of the car!” at my screen. But Cheryl clearly hasn’t seen Lady Bird — she chose Love, Simon instead — and remains in the car only to find herself at what I assume is the Sisters of Quiet Mercy about to go through conversion therapy. Once again, I feel like Cheryl has the most interesting story at the moment and I’d rather not talk about who’s running for student body president when all of this is going on. And yet, this is Riverdale, so let us continue…

When Hiram moves up his timeline and wants to tear down Southside High by the end of the week, Jughead convinces seven other Serpents to join him in chaining themselves to the school. (This protest is in addition to the hunger strike Jughead is already performing.) Naturally, Hiram calls Archie for help, a fact that does not sit well with Archie’s mother. Yep, Mama Andrews is back! And she’s real disappointed in the way her son has aligned himself with the Lodges and disrespected his own father.

But Archie’s only partially corrupted. Well, I think. In exchange for helping with Jughead, Archie asks Hiram to let his father out of his contract with Lodge Industries. Calling upon the sacred bond of that weird oath they performed last week, Archie tells Hiram it’s his turn to prove his loyalty. Long story short, it works. But Archie’s mom isn’t going anywhere. After all, Fred is going to need some help with his mayoral campaign. I told you: EVERYONE IS RUNNING. And I’m not even done yet.

After Veronica decides to run, she sets a game plan: She’ll win the male votes with kisses and cupcakes — literal cupcakes, not a euphemism — and she’ll win the female votes by getting Josie to endorse her. Only what V doesn’t realize is that Josie hates her, so Josie gives Ethel the intel she needs to create a flyer that looks a lot like a page from the Mean Girls Burn Book and reveals all of V’s secrets, most importantly that she knew about her parents’ plan to turn Southside High into a prison.

And once Betty finds out the truth, she ditches V’s campaign…and replaces it by running as co-president with Jug! Yep, Jug is running too! Once his plan to chain himself to the school both succeeds and fails — Archie physically removes him from the school, but the public now knows about his plea — he decides to put his name in the race. Because hey, all the cool kids are doing it!

And there you have it: Everyone is against everyone and I just want to know more about Cheryl.

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Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter
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