That night, Nick St. Clair throws a party at his hotel room, where pretty much everyone but Betty partakes in a little Jingle Jangle (and Josie and Reggie make out??). As everyone dances in a drugged haze, Betty sees her opportunity and acts: She calls Veronica a privileged, shallow airhead party girl who only hangs out with them because of her circumstances. She tells V that she’s not a real friend, that she’s just using them…”like father, like daughter.” She tops it off by telling Veronica, “You’re a bad person,” before leaving the party in tears. (And believe it or not, the party actually gets worse when Veronica ends the night by fighting Nick off and slapping him in the face when he tries to kiss her.)
As for Betty, she heads straight to a VERY isolated bus station — so isolated I half believe it leads to Halloweentown or something — where the Hood calls her and she gets to ask her second question: “What will make you stop?” He tells her that she can make him stop, as long as she continues to show him her devotion. And that means cutting Jughead out of her life. “He’s not worthy of your love,” he tells her, which sets off alarm bells in my head. Is it just me, or does the Black Hood sound A LOT like Alice Cooper?? I realize Alice isn’t the one on the phone, but she could be pulling the strings! (Could it be Hal in the hood?!)
The next day, Archie finds an emotionally distraught Betty — you know it’s bad when her ponytail morphs into a sloppy bun — at school, and she tells him why she did what she did. She also tells him that Jug is next. But seeing as how the Hood hasn’t killed anyone since they started talking, she doesn’t want to stop. And with that in mind, she asks Archie if he can break up with Jug for her. And because he’s a good friend — I have missed these two! — Archie agrees.
And it turns out it’s not nearly as hard as Archie thought it would be, because when he shows up at Jug’s place, he’s greeted by the Serpents, who have arrived to put Jug through his final trial. Suddenly, Archie is more than happy to tell Jug that Betty doesn’t want to see him anymore. And it’s only fitting that Jughead then goes off to face his final trial, which is being physically beat up right after his emotional beatdown. (Spoiler: He passes and officially becomes a Serpent. He also lands a kiss from Toni!)
Back in the slightly less violent part of town — key word: slightly — the Lodges are putting on their open house, where Alice Cooper shows up despite all the mug shot drama, and based on her outfit, she certainly isn’t shying away from attention. (I’d like you all to take a second and imagine your MOTHER wearing something like Alice’s outfit to a local event. Betty really is the victim this week.)
At the open house, Nick apologizes to Veronica and reveals he’s been in and out of rehab for the past few months. Moments later, he ROOFIES CHERYL. I mean, who IS this guy?!
Thankfully, Veronica and the Pussycats are stealth vigilantes and follow Nick and Cheryl to his hotel room, where they beat the crap out of him. Honestly, if he had a leather jacket, he’d be a Serpent after that beating.
Afterward, everyone gathers around Cheryl, who WILL be pressing charges. Even Betty shows up after the Hood led her to an abandoned house and made her put on a ski mask so she could see that “we’re the same.”
The episode ends with the Hood calling Betty and revealing that he knows that she’s told Archie about their chats, and because of that, he’s going after Polly and everyone she loves…unless she gives him another name. In a moment of panic, she gives him Nick St. Clair’s name. “I told you we were the same,” he says before hanging up.
So at this point, the Black Hood is essentially a tool they’re using to push Betty to her limits and potentially bring out Dark Betty, and NOW I’m on board. I’m also on board with the return of Archie and Betty’s friendship, and you know what? I don’t hate Jug and Toni. For me, after a bit of confusion at the start of the season, this is the episode where it all clicked.