Well, it might be a new year, but if there’s one thing you can believe, it’s that Riverdale is just as crazy as ever. This week’s midseason premiere caught us up on the state of things: Archie is living that cabin life with Vegas in Canada, and the town of Riverdale had its quarantine lifted but is experiencing a very high crime rate, mostly because Cheryl and Toni like breaking into houses together. It turns them on. Then there’s Veronica’s speakeasy — which is busier than ever — and Betty’s house, which is also … busier than ever.
Not only does Alice allow Jug to sleep over in Betty’s bed, but she allows all of the children from the Sisters of Quiet Mercy to sleep on her living room floor. But when Betty discovers that one of the kids is sneaking Fizzle Rocks — classic Tyler — Betty discovers the drugs came from a Serpent. So naturally, Jug calls a Serpent meeting to order, during which he puts an end to all illegal activity by Serpents. Break the new code and they will be exiled.
Meanwhile, Reggie is driving some beer across the border — why is his truck so old? And why isn’t Archie running a brewery by now? — when the Gargoyle Gang attacks him on behalf of Hiram. It seems Papa Lodge wants 10 percent of Veronica’s earnings, but she only wants to give him five. When the two finally meet, Hiram asks for 15, and Veronica agrees to 10, but when she tries to cook the books, things backfire. If Veronica wants his protection, he wants a full 15 percent … as well as the very fancy egg that Cheryl and Toni stole from his apartment.
That brings Veronica to Jug’s doorstep. If he can get her the egg back, she agrees to employ the Serpents as her protection, thereby eliminating the need for Hiram altogether. Of course, Jug has to exile Toni, Cheryl, and Fangs — who was the one dealing Fizzle Rocks — to make the deal, but he does it. And by the end of the episode, the Serpents make sure the Gargoyle Gang knows they’re Team Veronica.
Back at Betty’s house, Alice is sick of housing all the children, but Betty doesn’t want to send them to the Farm. She’s their Gryphon Queen! She has to take care of them! (But she can’t even find them some new clothes?) Betty’s plan is to keep them safe until they can get the nuns to testify against Hiram, but the only problem is that the nuns have taken a vow of silence. Sucks, right? BUT WAIT! WHO IS THIS NEW WOMAN IN BETTY’S HOUSE?! Wouldn’t you know it’s a super helpful social worker (whom we’ll probably never see again) with JUST the piece of knowledge Betty needs!
Apparently, the church disbanded the Sisters of Quiet Mercy for cruel and inhumane practices — can you imagine? — and they haven’t been nuns for more than 60 years. Translation: A vow of silence won’t hold up in court. And so, Sister Woodhouse agrees to testify against Hiram, though I’m not sure McCoy knows how the law works if she thinks she can tell her exactly what to say on the stand? (Next: Archie doesn’t look so good)