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Who will Veronica enlist to help her win against her father? Will Cheryl find out who at Thistlehouse is trying to drive her mad? Will Jughead find out any more information about his grandfather? Let’s dive in and find out. 

Provided you play by the rules

Tonight’s episode begins with Jughead Jones becoming the next Baxter Brothers ghostwriter. Part of me knew this would happen- of course it would be Jughead, he deserves the opportunity- but his teacher, Professor DuPont, really doesn’t like him and has threatened to have him expelled several times. So…what’s the catch? 

Veronica’s father is sabotaging her future college career. We knew he would after she all but declared war in last week’s episode. She shouldn’t tell him which college she is interested in, for goodness sake! She had to have known that when she mentioned Columbia he would end up getting involved. Next up, Pop’s gets a message from the mayor (Veronica’s father) stating that their liquor license has been revoked. Guess he’s taking her desire to take over the rum empire pretty seriously. 

Mr. Jones heads over to the community center to question Archie. He is investigating the vigilante and sees a surveillance photo which is obviously Archie. Archie admits that it is him in the photo and that people in the community need his help. He explained they are afraid to contact the police, so they call his anonymous hotline instead. FP decides to help Archie instead of punishing him. Looks like the vigilante has a sidekick now, or vice versa. 

Stop trusting Chuck!

I’m not at all thrilled when Jughead asks him for help finding out the truth about his grandfather. I am still not even sure that Chuck even really works for the FBI. We know he is in a relationship with that psycho Chick, no good can come from this. 

Then Betty’s Mom wakes her in the middle of the night to tell her that her sister Polly has mutilated a Shady Grove nurse. Seriously, woman, couldn’t you have let Betty sleep until morning? Of course, the security footage showing Polly clawing someone’s face off came from… you guessed it, Chuck. Interestingly, the nurse that Polly disfigured also happens to be named Betty. Betty goes to Shady Groves and confronts Polly. No surprise here when Polly says she didn’t attack anyone and swears she is being set up. Hmmm, I wonder who would do something so twisted? Come on people, it’s CHUCK! He’s also probably the person recording people’s homes and leaving videotapes at their door. 

Here’s the kicker- Polly apparently “attacked” someone named Betty after receiving a phone call. Later, Betty’s Mom also gets a phone call and proceeds to attack Betty. Good grief! What in the world is going on? It was a 15-second phone call, what could they possibly have said to trigger a murderous rampage? The Cooper ladies reach out to Chuck to trace the phone calls and he lets them know that they came from Shankshaw Prison. Edgar’s girlfriend Evelyn claims to be the mastermind of this weird phone hypnosis. She says the trigger word that makes people want to kill Betty is…tangerine. Juicy. 

When Daddy doesn’t play fair, call in his Mom

Oh dear, Veronica has brought in the big guns. She went and called Abuelita, who tells her she will share the rum recipe. She then decides to let her Abuelita in on all the atrocious things her father has been doing to conspire against his daughter. Oh boy, I cannot even imagine how this is going to end up. I will admit that I did laugh when she slapped her son across the face when he greeted her in his mayor’s office. Bahahaha.

It is so on.

Gassing the rats out of the walls

Cheryl sits with her dead brothers after setting off dozens of roach gas traps in the house, acting as if she will be killing herself by breathing in this poison. However, the next thing we see is a secret door open and out walks Cheryl’s Mom. Looks like Cheryl was being “haunted” after all; not by a ghost, but by her own mother. Cheryl puts her mother on trial and then locks her in a bunker. I am always wondering what Toni must think of all this drama.

Jughead finds himself in the forest, at an old beat-up trailer, nose to nose with a shotgun. He doesn’t run, he puts his hand up and says that he is the gunman’s grandson. That’s right friends, I was wrong about Chuck, he is apparently good for something. He found Jughead’s grandfather and they are now reunited. His grandfather tells him to seize the opportunity and not make the same mistakes he made by growing bitter and resentful.

What is it with people getting shot at Pop’s diner? We had to know that FP helping Archie beat up people in an alley would backfire. They didn’t have their masks on and were making themselves targets. Thankfully, it seems this shot was a flesh wound. FP is okay, and now Archie is being even more reckless. He gets into an all-out brawl with Dodger, while his girlfriend Veronica puts on a floor show at her club. When Dodger is on the ground, in a bloody heap, Archie hears voices call his name. He turns around to see the kids from his community center standing there watching.

Tangerines and red doors

A fall finale cannot end with such a tame episode. I say tame because things seem to be working out. I mean FP survives the gunshot, Veronica has a successful final part at the speakeasy before her father shuts down the liquor license, and Jughead finds his grandfather. Cheryl chooses to bury Jason, admitting that he deserves the peace that her mother denied her for so many years. Frank Andrews walks into the community center, announcing that he is Archie’s uncle.

Jughead goes to find his grandfather and the trailer is empty. A mysterious note suggests he go to the north woods ASAP. He is then initiated into the Quill and Skull Society.

As the episode nears the final minutes, I just know something dreadful is about to happen. 

And then it does, or does it? The final words on the screen insinuate that four weeks have passed and the scene we are viewing is Archie looking at Jughead’s dead body. He turns to Betty and asks her what she has done, she looks down at blood hands.

And we are left to ponder.

Watch again when the show comes back with new episodes January 15 on The CW, or tune back in on The Painted Lines for our recap.