Veronica defies her parents’ wishes to lay low–with disastrous consequences.
In The CW’s Riverdale 2×16, the Lodges deal with the blowback regarding their business plan. Veronica (Camila Mendes) loses her cool and punches Reggie (Charles Melton) when he implies that their business dealings are shady. Hermione (Marisol Nichols) asks Veronica to stay out of the spotlight while the town cools off from the reveal of their business plans, but instead, Veronica runs for student body president with Betty (Lili Reinhart). Several students oppose Veronica running for president, including Ethel Muggs (Shannon Purser), who receives help to expose Veronica’s secrets. This ultimately leads to tension between Betty and Veronica. This leaves the audience wondering if their friendship can be repaired, or if too much damage has been done to salvage the iconic B and V friendship. Betty also confronts her mother Alice (Mädchen Amick) about Chic’s (Hart Denton) identity from the DNA results and it’s discovered that Hal isn’t Chic’s father!
Archie (KJ Apa) and Fred (Luke Perry) have differing views on Hiram’s (Mark Consuelos) business plan. Archie sides with Hiram while Fred tries to get out of his contract with Lodge Industries. Mary Andrews (Molly Ringwald) arrives in Riverdale to assist Fred in the legal dealings so he’s not taken advantage of. Archie has a similar disagreement with Jughead (Cole Sprouse) which affects their friendship. Nearly everyone can see that the Lodge family isn’t on the straight and narrow with their business plan, and the difference of opinions might cause irreparable damage to the friendship between Betty, Veronica, Archie, and Jughead. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) admits to her close friends that she doesn’t feel safe in her own home. Tragedy strikes the Blossom family, and it might be the scheming of Penelope (Nathalie Boltt) and Claudius (Barclay Hope).
Here to discuss the newest ship on the show (aka Cheryl x Toni), the damage done to friendships from this episode, and the new sneaky side to Ethel and her accomplice is our Riverdale roundtable:
Linda (@linda_toven) – Student, coffee addict, binge watcher and workout super fan!
Yari (@msluvchocolate) – Fangirl before it was cool. My favorite quote is “Live long and prosper… Peace and long life.”
Maggie (@jugsangel) – wannabe Veronica Lodge with a passion for fictional character analysis.
Bre (@NancyRiverDrew) – Almost graduate, journo, Team Bughead, likes to say she’s a Betty, but she’s probably more of an Ethel.
Jeanette (@Twirl4meK) – Sales associate, Howard alum, Disney fanatic, television aficionado.
1. Alice dodged Betty’s questions regarding Chic’s father. We now know it isn’t Hal, although she denied that it was FP. Who do you think Chic’s father is?
Linda (@linda_toven): For the whole episode I wondered who Chic’s father might be. I doubt it is FP but maybe another Serpent. Maybe a completely different man is the reason that Alice left the Serpents and a possible relationship with FP behind. Chic is so creepy so FP cannot be his father.
Yari (@msluvchocolate): Oh Alice. Her telling Betty that F.P. isn’t the father isn’t true at all. He has to be. No other Serpent has tried to even bother with Alice. No one else has come to her aid. Even though she hasn’t called anyone else. It doesn’t matter. It’s F.P.
Maggie (@jugsangel): I’m thinking Alice might have had a past she’s not too proud of since she was involved with the Serpents back then and maybe she messed around with random guys, that’s why she’s so uptight with Betty. She doesn’t want the same thing happening to her. In that case, it could be anyone really, we probably haven’t seen him on the show yet.
Bre (@NancyRiverDrew): I was glad she denied it was FP, and I’m still hoping it is not FP, though I would not be surprised if it was him. Maybe his dad is another Serpent. Or maybe he got his creepy from Clifford Blossom. Or maybe Hiram Lodge. Last episode Hiram alleged Hermione and Mary Andrews were getting involved in shenanigans, but Hermione said it was actually Alice. Suspicious, no?
Jeanette (@Twirl4meK): Was that a dodge? Whether it was the truth or not, it sounded like a hard and fast answer to me. Under the assumption she’s telling the truth, my closest guess is that it’s someone we don’t know of yet, possibly another former Serpent, and he may not even live in or around Riverdale anymore. And obviously, there’s more to the story that hasn’t been revealed yet.
2. Ethel adamantly opposed Veronica running for student body president. What did you think of this new, scheming side to Ethel?
Linda: I do not believe that Ethel is scheming but she just does not want to be a victim anymore. She wants to fight against being used by the Lodges once again. This side of Ethel is very interesting and I would like to see more of it.
Yari: The sins of the parents are not the sins of the child. We can all get where Ethel is coming from. The Lodges have destroyed her family’s livelihood. But going after Veronica like that was harsh.
Maggie: I was expecting it, ever since season 1. I’ve always felt like there was a different side to her and it really did show this episode. I think she had a good reason to act the way she did after all the Lodges drove her dad to attempt suicide. I liked it, it was entertaining to watch and it was about time she put her foot down. Veronica is being a bit blind when it comes to her parent’s manipulation so I think it might have been a good wake up call.
Bre: Well, I’ve always favored the theory that Ethel is one of the people behind the Black Hood, so this side of hers does not surprise me at all. I mean did you see the way she smiled while Betty tortured Chic in the hot tub in 1×03? Yikes! Initially, however, I thought her actions with the milkshake, though, was odd because she and Veronica had made amends in 1×09, but I suppose if Josie told her that Veronica knew about the plans, then it would make sense for her to react negatively. Maybe start up The Blue & Gold again instead of making flyers and throwing milkshakes, though, Ethel.
Jeanette: I feel like it kind of came out of nowhere, to be honest. Last time we saw Ethel and V, they were on perfectly good terms, and Ethel made a point of not blaming Veronica for her parents’ wrongdoings. That being said though, it’s probably become increasingly clear for anyone paying attention that Veronica is no longer the innocent little “mafia princess”, totally ignorant of what her parents do and how they do it. She was adamant at the beginning of the season about becoming actively involved in her family’s business, and she has, knowing full well what it entails. As for Ethel’s scheming, all I have to say is, has she been watching Cruel Intentions? Because she and Josie almost literally took a page right out of that movie’s book of payback. Pun Intended.
3. We have to talk about the new, developing ship on the show. What did you think of Cheryl and Toni growing closer this episode?
Linda: I love that Cheryl and Toni are spending time together. You can see that Cheryl trusts Toni. She tells her about her thoughts and fears. And Toni also cares about Cheryl. They have a good chemistry together. This episode was definitely a good one for Choni! I hope we get more content between them.
Yari: Cheryl needs someone In her corner to fight for her. We all know her mother won’t. Toni passes no judgment towards Cheryl. That’s why Cheryl has opened up to Toni the way she has.
Maggie: I really like Choni, I think Cheryl deserves someone that’s always there for her and Toni is a pretty good candidate for that. I only wish their connection hadn’t been so sudden, besides that I think it’s really amazing. They’re so different yet managed to get around it and find things they can relate on and Toni seems to be really supportive of Cheryl so that makes me really happy.
Bre: I’m glad that Toni cares and is looking out for Cheryl. With everything that is going on in Cheryl’s life, she definitely needs someone to be supportive and love her.
Jeanette: That they’re still very cute and sweet, as usual, and I’m glad Cheryl is finally developing another healthy relationship with someone who genuinely cares about her.
4. Jughead led the charge to prevent Southside High from being torn down, but Archie sided with Hiram. It ultimately led to a disagreement on fundamental principles. Do you think Archie and Jughead can repair this rift in their relationship?
Linda: I hope so! It hurt to see them go away from each other because they have different opinions, no matter what is right or wrong. I love their friendship because they are different people with different personalities. I think they can fix it.
Yari: I was hoping that Jughead would have punched Archie. Archie is just trying to do right. He was able to get his father out from under the Lodges’ thumb. But putting his friendship online is wrong. Jughead has forgiven Archie in the past. However, this won’t be so easy to forgive.
Maggie: I think they can and I think they will, after all, it’s Jughead and Archie. They’ll always find a way back to each other from whatever is thrown at them. My heart broke a little when Archie was cutting Jughead’s chains. I really truly hope their friendship can go back to the way it was after this, although I’m siding with Jughead here so hopefully Archie sees the light and finds a way out of Hiram’s schemes.
Bre: Yes, mostly because there is no sense to Archie being so invested in Hiram’s side, the same way there is no chance that Southside High will reopen. Some sort of compromise will have to be worked out, and I hope these two can be the ones to work it out.
Jeanette: Yes, of course. I don’t know how that would come about yet because we’re at the point where it’s just getting really bad. But I believe in the Jarchie bromance, they’re the brothers they each never had.
5. The Andrews household has differing views on working with Hiram, and now Fred decided to run for mayor against Hermione. Who do you think will win the election?
Linda: It will be a close race. One side struggles with unfair means and seems overpowering. The other side is honest and innocent. But I think Hermione will win the election.
Yari: Can we have a moment for Mama Andrews putting Archie in his place? Best moment of the night. I had a feeling that Fred would probably want to run. He doesn’t like what Hiram is trying to do his town, his home. So will he win? I hope so. I just wish I could vote.
Maggie: Probably Fred, at least I hope so. I think people trust Fred, he’s that guy everyone likes so maybe that gets him enough votes, I don’t doubt it’ll be a tough competition though since the Lodges seem to always have something up their sleeve. I wouldn’t trust anyone else besides Fred to be the mayor, he’s the embodiment of goodness in a town full of secrets and lies.
Bre: I hope Fred Andrews will win. I think he has the best interest of the town at heart, while the Lodges have proven that they will do horrible things to get what they want. Fred has some sort of moral standards. If he were to become mayor, I think the ensuing conflicts by the wealthy Lodges and the politically in-charge Andrews would be an interesting dynamic with which Riverdale could play.
Jeanette: I don’t really know. If the show wants to go for more of a clear-cut and hopeful “happy ending” to this storyline, it will be Fred. There would still be the conflicts from the Lodges trying to pull strings and manipulate in the shadows, but at least they wouldn’t be “in charge.” But if the show wants to go even darker, create more of an uphill battle against Riverdale getting transformed into a prison town, and show how far the Lodges can go once they have official legal power, it will be Hermione.
6. Cheryl most definitely did not go to a boarding school in Switzerland. Who is your guess for solving the mystery of Cheryl being sent off to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy?
Linda: This will be a team effort. Toni starts looking for Cheryl and will ask Jughead and Betty for help.
Yari: Toni will figure It out with some unlikely allies.
Maggie: I think maybe Toni and Veronica, from the promo for the next episode it looked they were teaming up and I can see them being the ones who save her since they’re the closest people to her and sadly probably the only ones who would care to find out what’s going on with her. We saw Toni showing up at Cheryl’s house and she didn’t seem to believe Penelope (who can blame her right) so that’s my bet, maybe Josie will help them too.
Bre: It looks like Toni, Veronica, and Josie are going to investigate Cheryl’s sudden disappearance next week. Penelope clearly sent her away so that she and Claudius can take down the Lodges. Still waiting on why they want to do that.
Jeanette: I think it would be really cute if Toni enlisted the help of cousin Betty to help her. It already looks like Toni might be the first one to figure out something’s amiss after that last encounter with Penelope. Betty understood where Cheryl was coming from when she said she was scared in her own house. And if he’s not too busy trying to save the Southside, I’m sure Jughead wouldn’t mind helping his two favorite girls out. He and Betty do make a good sleuthing duo.
7. Team Bughead for student council! What was your reaction to them running? And do you think they’ll win?
Linda: I am so Team Bughead!!! I love them! I am so excited and I think this is a very good idea. They work so well together. I think they will win.
Yari: Another election I wish I could vote in. The hatred for Veronica is real. So Betty and Jug have a chance.
Maggie: I was surprised! It was such a weird thing for Jughead to say like he pointed out himself, but I was also happy because I think they’d be great presidents. Maybe I’m a little biased but I’d say Bughead have a pretty good chance of winning, many people don’t think too highly of Veronica right now and I’m assuming Jughead has all of the Serpents’ votes, because of their loyalty and everything so unless there’s a huge plot twist and Reggie ends up winning I’d say Bughead could pull through.
Bre: I always like seeing Jughead and Betty work together as a team, so I’m excited to see them running together. Given Jughead’s peaceful resistance to Hiram in contrast to Veronica’s lies being revealed and her violence against Reggie, I could see Bughead coming out on top, but it’s just too early to tell. If Veronica is able to find Cheryl, that would be a big victory, too.
Jeanette: I didn’t have MUCH of a reaction to them running because I was already spoiled on that from Mädchen Amick’s Instagram. But otherwise, I think them running together makes a lot of sense. Like I mentioned before, they make a great duo, especially when it comes to fighting for things they believe in or righting wrongs. As for them winning, if a good portion of the student body continues to hate Veronica, it could be a landslide in Team Bughead’s favor. But, Veronica is a Lodge, and they know how to wield power, influence, and political spin. I don’t know how it’ll turn out, but the race itself has the potential to get pretty ugly because it’s so personal between them. They’re the Core Four.
Final Verdict: The Lodge family’s business plan causes friendships and families to disagree, potentially causing irreversible damage
The friendships between Betty and Veronica, and Archie and Jughead are in a precarious balance after this week’s episode. Archie sides with Hiram, causing damage to the Andrews household. Mary defends Fred and his vision for Riverdale as he announces he’s running against Hermione for mayor. Even Veronica deals with the fallout from her parents. Ethel and Josie (Ashleigh Murray) form an alliance against the Lodge family and they expose all of Veronica’s secrets. Having kept the knowledge of the prison a secret, Betty withdraws from running with Veronica for student body council. Jughead leads the charge opposing Hiram and protests peacefully with the Serpents at Southside High School. Archie breaks up their protest for the blatant disregard for Hiram (as they should) and recruits the Riverdale police to remove the Serpents from the premise. Jughead and Betty lean on each other, finding that their respective friends have sided with Hiram. Betty even declares, “There is no me and Veronica,” breaking our hearts for their iconic friendship in Riverdale. Nana Blossom (Barbara Wallace) barely survives a deadly fall under mysterious circumstances, only for Cheryl to be committed by her mother.
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Cheryl could benefit from professional help, as she’s never fully dealt with her suicide attempt and her stalker tendencies. However, this is not the way to go. Her mother committed her to convert out the impure thoughts she has for Toni (Vanessa Morgan) because her mother is narrow-minded. The Sisters of Quiet Mercy is probably the worst place to send Cheryl and we can only hope that her friends discover the truth sooner rather than later.
Next week’s episode of Riverdale addresses some cliffhangers from this episode, as well as bring up old secrets. Toni leads the charge to find out what happened to Cheryl. The Andrews family deals with the impact of Archie siding with Hiram over his father. The car surfaces from the lake of the mysterious dead man in the Cooper household. Alice and FP desperately try to come up with a strategy to deal with and hopefully avoid, their involvement in the car’s reappearance. Is it only a matter of time before they find the owner of the car? Or what’s left of him? One thing’s for sure, secrets don’t stay buried for long on Riverdale. Make sure to tune in to Riverdale when it returns in one week!