Tonight, Riverdale seems to be revisiting classical literature with their take on Doctor Faustus. I think though we should honor all the previous “missing persons” with a review. We lost Archie Andrews in a ritual sacrifice (like ancient times) by having his heart and blood used to bring back the maple trees. Last week, we lost Toni Topaz as she gave her life for her son. By the way production, what gives? The original Lady Llornora suffered due to drowning her child. Toni gave her life for her son. Does this mean the spirit will save children??
But I digress, let’s get to the heart of what may happen tonight. We’ve been promised more death but I’m not sure how the devil will play into this. Like in the song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” this devil comes to RiverVale with deals and contract for the souls of those left. Are these soulless death. Will we go comic book classic and have Betty and Veronica get the same promise (no — Archie is dead)? Will Reggie sign for his dearest wish (money)? Will Jughead sign for a bestselling book? Will Betty sign for her child? And did I see a trash bag person on the limited preview. Somehow, I think this will be a bumpy night.
Our Rod Sterling “want to be” is back in the form of Jughead Jones. Jughead is telling us a story about a small town which the devil visits that is filled with despair and destruction. Now honest, I didn’t get the title he gave but I’ll go back to Doctor Faustus. Jughead tells us that the Devil that visits RiverVale will take many disguises. So let’s get to the breakdown.
Tabitha, Pop, Jughead and Pop’s Diner
At Pop’s restaurant, he’s good-heartedly given a free meal away. Just as he looks up, the diner lights flicker and Mr. Cypher (let’s just say Devil) is there and causes Pop to have a heart attack. Tabitha finds him on the floor and rushes him to the hospital. While sitting beside her grandfather, the devil appears with the story. Pop’s father traded his soul to save the diner. Pop traded his soul so his father wouldn’t be in hell alone. The devil promises that he’ll give Pop his life in exchange for the dinner. Tabitha is to think it over and give the answer soon (but will she).
Later, after talking to Jughead who has a handle on what is happening, she goes back to the hospital. Pop is awake and tells her that the diner can’t go to the devil. The reason the devil wants the diner is because it is the soul of RiverVale. It’s where the lost come. Wait, if the diner is the soul of RiverVale that the lost search for, why did Cheryl kill Archie?
Jughead calls the devil for an interview but will not sign away his soul. Mr. Cypher agrees but makes a counteroffer. Jughead can have the story and never print it. For this he lives out his life as an unknown writer. If he likes Jughead can print the story and have fame and fortune (and no soul). Out comes the recorder and Jughead starts the interview which he writes and publishes. All of a sudden, the Associated Press and others call. His agent wants to know what he’s writing next and Pultizer Prize is mentioned. Meanwhile Rod “Jughead” appears but says nothing. How comes I think there will be a multitude of people heading to “hell” tonight.
At the diner, one of the regulars comes in and asks for a meal. He’ll pay by washing dishes but Tabitha tells him that won’t be necessary. She tells him that that isn’t how Pop’s operates. A strange listens and calls Tabitha over. He respects what Pop’s stands for and has his own mission – to repay the good. Seems his boss is “good” (let’s say God) and his name is Rapheal (like the angel). Pop’s is going to play an important role in the battle coming. He hands her a vial.
Jughead wants the fame and accepts the agreement for his soul. Jughead starts typing and gets a novel started that he loves. Tabitha meanwhile saves herself, Pop Tate and the diner by first signing the contract and then taking it back by giving the devil and milk shake containing the vial from Raphael. It has the tears of the Virgin Mary at the crucifixion so she, Pop, and the diner are protected from the evil (that’s Mr. Cypher brings and that is coming). Pop throws the devil down the steps and tells him to leave town. (Much better than Doctor Faustus and the other novels like this from my English classes). Jughead’s wish comes true though he still owes his soul. He didn’t drink one of the milkshakes. No deaths yet but they’re coming.
Reggie, Veronica, Kevin and the Casino
Veronica and Reggie watch as Alice does a newscast about the evil that the casino brings. Veronica meets with Alice and tells her that the club will be run legit and nothing unfair will happens. She invites Alice to the soft opening. Little does she know that Reggie plans to run a “crime” casino, skimming money and destroying lives. He tells the crew what to do and not tell Ronnie.
At the soft opening, Mr. Cypher (let’s just say the devil from now on) shows up and Ronnie doesn’t recognize him. She can’t find Reggie and ends up talking to him herself. Little does Ronnie know that Kevin has met the devil who promises him fame, money and stardom. Kevin accepts after an amazing performance. (another soul gone). Kevin finds himself with Fangs as a manager and going places. THe devil marks Kevin’s name off the list (which includes Veronica, Betty, Jughead, the diner, and evidently Reggie’s). (Ronnie puts two and two together and realizes that Louis Cypher is really Lucifer.)
When Ronnie sees Reggie he tells her everything. Needing money, the devil has approached Reggie with an investment deal. Reggie knows that Ronnie will save him (little does he know what is coming). Ronnie realizes that she has a soul to offer Lucifer and we get Nick back (really, do we need him). Ronnie gets Nick to admit to all his sins and say he will give his soul for Ronnie. The devil appears and agree that that is a valid agreement. Bye, bye Nick. Death number one! Nick’s soul (and body) goes. Yet, that’s not enough. To protect herself and get out of the deal, Ronnie must get Alice to sign a contract with the Devil’s pen. Alice is offered one-third of the profit and asked to sign a contract stating that. Before Alice can put pen to paper (with the Devil gets her soul), Ronnie pulls the paper back. Alice declares war. Well, Ronnie still owes her soul and set to disappear at midnight.
Ronnie takes her swan song (literally) at midnight on Saturday. She goes upstairs to talk to Reggie and spills that she made a counteroffer to the Devil. He will get a soul a week plus profits and guess who the first soul is? Reggie is now gone (dead) in this episode. I’ll have the end of this at the end of the article.
Betty and the Trash Can Killer
Just as we hoped the Trash Can Killer didn’t come to RiverVale, we find out we are wrong. Betty gets a call (supposedly) from Brent. The Killer will only talk to Betty. In the meeting the Killer is asked if absolute evil exists. The Killer says that he will admit all if she makes a deal with him but she refuses. No one cares about the Killer but he counters that she is 100% evil herself. They are drawn to each other. Betty immediately goes to take a shower and calls Brent to say that the Killer is toying with her. Brent tells her that the Killer hasn’t been caught and isn’t in custody.
In questioning, Betty asks who he is and he admits to being the devil. She asks to see his face and wants proof. The Killer produces Betty’s dad voice asking for her to release him from Hades. He also tells her that Polly’s in Hades also. The Devil has a vision of a woman on a horse (think Revelations and the Whore of Babylon) and that the woman is Betty. Betty recognizes the reference and still refuses. She walks away, sees scissors and picks them up. She stabs the Killer then removes the trash can makes only to find Brent. Later at home, she gets a call asking if she knows where Brent is. His wife has reported him missing. The body is behind the couch so Betty evidently hasn’t signed a contract with the devil yet.
.And the Ending
Rod “Jughead” appears with at Ronnie’s and tells us that Ronnie is now chasing the next big deal and willing to do anything for it. For Ronnie, a soul isn’t a great loss. And he questions that if RiverVale is the final battlefield between good and evil, are any souls safe. Well Jughead, it looks like Tabitha and Pop are safe. My question is: why RiverVale and is this all going to be used to explain the loss of Archie and Toni? With the death of Reggie (I really don’t want to put Nick and Brent but will) and the loss of Jughead and Ronnie’s soul, will Betty turn evil and be the devil’s partner. The casino appears to be a site of the battle as does Pop’s. I’ll be at Pop’s myself!
Sabrina shows up at Cheryl’s. Now why is the contracts of the Devil out and in view but my question is why are so many wearing period costumes.