Riverdale – Chapter Forty-Eight: Requiem for a Welterweight

Riverdale – Chapter Forty-Eight: Requiem for a Welterweight | Season 3, Episode 13 | Rating: 7.5/11 |

Down the Rabbit Hole

The day has finally come for Alice Cooper. No, she’s not getting married: she’s getting baptized into the Farm.

We all know of Betty’s not so silent fight regarding everything to do with the Farm and it’s clear she’s losing the battle. After a failed attempt at pretending to be on board with everything after finding out her mother had to sign some “boilerplate” forms that exculpate the Farm should any form of harm – or even death – occur to Alice during her baptism, Betty went into overdrive. She tried and failed to recruit Kevin into helping her, but it seems that he’s been chatting with Evelyn and is starting to drink the kool-aid, as it were.

Betty does manage to track down around 30 defectors from the Farm but can’t get anyone to talk to her except for Martha. Meeting Betty in the bunker, Martha shares her story of leaving the Farm after her sister died during the baptism. She also shared this lovely tidbit about how the Farm believes that you must undergo a severe ordeal in order to achieve ascension.

Realizing her mother was in danger, Betty hauls butt to the ceremony to find her mom being held underwater by her sister Polly and unresponsive, pulls her mother out, and starts resuscitation while else just stands by. Betty manages to revive her but only in the sense that she’s breathing. Later at home with Alice – who has a glazed over look on her face – says she saw and experienced things during her baptism and it was exactly as Edgar had said it would be. And now Alice has to purge the one thing left that’s holding her back: the house. Alice is going to sell the house so she and Betty can go live with the other “Farmies” and be happy. Well, at least she didn’t say Betty was the thing holding her back despite Evelyn and Polly calling her a “detractor.

Secrets and Lies and Everything Nice

Veronica Lodge is in a tough spot: She’s working on paying her debt to Gladys for destroying the Fizzle Rocks operation while trying to keep Gladys from informing on her mother to her father. Plus Gladys wants Veronica to be her informant in order to stay one step ahead of Hiram and in return, she might reduce what Veronica owes her.

At home, the mood is tense when Hiram is reviewing his financials and having difficulty contacting the governor. He suspects that someone close to him is responsible for his recent loss of assets and he’s not really thrilled about it. In fact, since FP became sheriff and Gladys returned to town, he suspects the Joneses are behind his troubles but Veronica insists they are opportunists and not grand schemers. She also insists that this is an opportunity for Hiram to start fresh and go clean instead of being involved with drugs. Hiram concludes that Veronica is thinking too small and he wants to take control of the Ghoulies to control the trade. Veronica does inform on him to Gladys and tries to give her a shakedown, as well, when she finds out Hiram is having Gladys over for drinks. The whole thing backfires in Veronica’s face since she’s the one with the secret and if the meeting doesn’t go according to Gladys’ plan, Veronica can expect her to spill the beans.

Smartly, Veronica sits in on the sit down between the two and intervenes to insist Hiram focus on the prison. Since Veronica said it’s something she could get behind and be involved in, Hiram agrees so long as Gladys and FP can provide bodies to fill those cells. Gladys agrees and when she asks if Madame Mayor aka Hermione Lodge will be an issue, Hiram says she’s not a factor either way, but just when Veronica averts one, another falls in her lap.

Hiram spoke with the governor and is very suspicious about a campaign contribution Hermione made around the same time his assets went away. Veronica comes clean about burning the drugs and the machinery, she doesn’t regret it, and she’s tired of being involved in the drug trade. While Hiram isn’t furious about it, he does tell Veronica that she owes him $75,000 for what she did. So now Veronica is paying double duty but it’s a cost she’s willing to endure to get her family to go clean.

Control Issues

Jughead is losing his touch as Serpent King. After banishing Toni and Cheryl from the Serpents for petty theft, they formed a new gang: The Pretty Poisons. This new Toni-led girl gang is where all the Serpent ladies are defecting to. In fact, the Serpents are pretty much Sweet Pea, Fangs, Betty, and Jughead from all we can tell, at least on the teen side of things. Jughead tries and fails to get Toni back to the Serpents, but Toni is loving her new position as a leader and since Jughead won’t make her Serpent Queen, it’s a hard pass for Toni. In anger, Jughead calls the Poisons Cheryl’s vanity project, something he will later regret.

At the urging of back-at-home-mom Gladys, Jughead takes a gander at recruiting the Ghoulies, who are basically defunct and have now joined the Gargoyles then tries his hand with the Gargoyles and fails there, too. The only semblance of a leader the Gargoyles have is deluded into thinking the Gargoyle King is real, his word is law, only the worthy ascend, and all the usual rhetoric. In fact, he gets downright insulted when Jughead says he’s a game master and offers to play since G&G isn’t “just a game.” In the end, Gladys manages to work some magic to get this Gargoyle leader and Jughead to have a sit-down since the Serpents need numbers if they want to regain control of Riverdale. How she managed this feat, my bet is it has something to do with Fizzle Rocks.

Over in the Pretty Poisons territory, Cheryl has taken it upon herself to teach the ladies archery. We’ve all seen what a handy talent that is to have in your back pocket, but Cheryl takes major offense when Toni relays Jughead’s insult of the gang. So Cheryl organizes a beat down of sorts. The Pretty Poisons ambush Fangs and Sweet Pea when they leave Pop’s and, instead of being smart about what they say, the guys earn themselves some punches on Cheryl’s orders. But when Toni finds out that Cheryl went behind her back, she’s clearly upset, as she thought she had a handle on things. In fact, she asks Cheryl who’s in charge and after a pause, Cheryl admits that the gang belongs to Toni. Toni issues Cheryl a warning to never organize the girls like that again without her consent, even for an intimidation tactic. I think someone’s getting drunk on power.

Know Your Worth

Archie has been training with Tom Keller in the boxing ring and is eager for his first match. After being told he isn’t ready yet, Archie does what Archie does and agrees to fight one of Elio’s guys, even though it involves throwing the match. Archie agrees to this because it’s a way to make some fast cash and it’s an opportunity to get his name out there, but when Tom finds out, he insists Archie back out or find a new coach. Archie tries to back out but Elio refuses to take his money back and not so subtly threatens Archie.

When Archie tells his new lady, Josie, about his plans she artfully pulls out the “So you think that’s all you’re worth?” card for Archie to think about. When he points out his most recent missteps, Josie tells Archie he’s worth more than being someone’s punching bag for five grand. This very sound advice leads Archie to seek help from Tom for the fight. He cops to Elio wanting him to throw the fight, choosing to not throw the fight, and wanting to make sure he survives the fight. When fight day comes, Archie gives Elio his money back and says he’s not going to throw the match. The fight goes all 12 rounds and Archie does lose, but he held his own and one of the judges simply scored his competitor higher. Josie just might be what Archie needs to get his head on straight.