Riverdale Recap: Witness for the Prosecution

After the events of last week’s episode and Veronica’s suggestion that the streets of Riverdale need to be cleaned up Archie said he’d need a mask. We joked that he was going to be Riverdale’s answer to Batman, and apparently that’s exactly what he’s become.

Lindsey: Oh nooooo not a return of vigilante Archie noooooooo

Hils: OMG Archie is literally a masked vigilante now. He’s Batman. Only without the money and the gadgets. Haha! And then he got maced.

Things are apparently back to normal between Betty and Kevin despite the whole trying to have her lobotomised, then pretending to be her friend while reporting back to his former cult. She invites him to come to Junior FBI training like none of it ever happened.

Hils: So Charles has gone from ‘you’d be a great Junior FBI candidate’ to ‘everyone is welcome’. Is this a legit thing? I’m thinking not.


Since Archie’s mother has decided to stick around she is now representing Hermione Lodge in the murder charges that have been filed against her. Veronica is seemingly now on her mother’s side, although just a couple of weeks ago she said she was on neither of her parents sides. It’s hard to keep up.

Back at Stonewall Prep and after the Halloween ‘prank’ Jughead is still researching the Stonewall Four urban legend. He finds out that four students actually did go missing, and suggests that maybe the same thing has happened to Moose. Donna assures Jughead that she and Moose have been texting and that he joined the army as he said he was going to do.

Hils: Yeah, I don’t believe anything she says at this point. Those texts could have been sent from anyone with Moose’s phone.

The creepy book club reconvenes and Mr Chipping announces he is the ghost writer of what looks like the Hardy Boys equivalent in Riverdale. Jughead delightedly says he grew up reading those books so, of course, Bret is dismissive of them even though his teacher is the author.

Chipping says they are having a wine and cheese evening for all the authors of the series, and that the kids are invited. Presumably he’s forgotten none of them are old enough to drink.

I have to say that it’s always a delight when Hiram is on screen. Mark Consuelos is just the perfect blend of sinister and ham and you can tell just by watching him that he’s having so much fun with the role.

Lindey: Oh Hiram is full on leaning into villain and I love it

After Betty told Kevin there were kids coming from all over to attend Junior FBI training there is a grand total of 8 of them in the room including Betty and Kevin. Charles dives straight in on the first session by talking about serial killers. Well, he would be the expert I suppose given that his mother was married to one.

Lindsey: The baby fbi agents have a UNIFORM

Betty demonstrates she had some sort of intuition that allows her to identify serial killers without knowing anything about them. Again, impressive considering her father was one and she had no idea.

I have no idea what Charles is up to, but he is clearly more than he seems after he was shown listening to Betty’s phone calls. The fact that he’s starting Junior FBI training with the ‘Serial Killer Genes’ that Betty was told she had last season is definitely not a coincidence.

Lindsey: Oh nooo not the serial killer gene again. I CANNOT

Hils: Okay, serial killer genes is stupid. Is it bad that I laughed? Also, I’m back to thinking it was Charles who made those calls pretending to be Betty’s dad in the last episode.

Jughead digs out his old Baxter Brothers books, and it turns out they were tied in with a female kid detective named Tracy Trew. So nothing like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

Hils: FP is acting shifty

Jughead takes his old books back to school and finds one of the pages has been torn out. Coupled with FP’s shiftiness something is clearly afoot.

The original Baxter Brothers author visits Mr Chipping’s book club and announces that they are looking for a successor to take over the franchise, and that all of the previous authors were Stonewall Prep students.

Hils: All the authors went to Stonewall Prep? Well, that’s what privilege gets you I guess. Something tells me as the biggest fan of the books Jughead isn’t going to get the job. Because he’s poor or something.

Betty confirms with her doctor that she has the serial killer genes, then lies to Kevin about it.

Hils: Well, I’m sure this won’t come back to bite her later

Archie fends off some of the kids who are stealing for Dodger and recognises one of them as one of the kids from his community centre. He and Mad Dog impose a new rule that anyone who works for Dodger isn’t welcome. The kid Archie caught stealing raises a valid point. Who is going to run the place when Archie and Mad Dog graduate and go to college. Surely they thought of that when they were putting together their business plan.

Lindsey: Oh my god, Archie and Mad Dog are like youth pastors or something. ‘Hugs not hubcaps’

Jughead finds a photo of his grandfather in one of the Stonewall Prep yearbooks.

Hils: Oh, yeah, I forgot FP told Jughead that his grandfather went to Stonewall to get him to go too

It transpires that the original author of the Baxter Brothers books knew Jughead’s grandfather. He asked Jughead to invite FP to the wine and cheese evening so he can meet him.

Hils: FP at a snooty wine and cheese evening. I’m sure that’s going to go well.

FP declines the party, which turns out to be a totally normal affair where they play a game of Wink Murder to get things started.

Hils: Oh god I used to play this when I was a kid in the Brownies

Jughead wins the game, despite Bret’s efforts to cheat, and is encouraged to enter the writing contest to take over the Baxter Boys series.

Lindsey: One things I’m enjoying is the parallel between Jughead and his relationship with fictional crime, and Betty learning about real murderers

Hils: I realise that that’s how it works a lot of the time but Jughead doesn’t seem to be phased at all by the fact that he’s getting places because of who his grandfather is. You’d think coming from a less than privileged background he’d be madder about this.

Meanwhile, back in serial killer world, Betty has started having disturbing dreams about murdering her cat when she was a child. When Charles mentions that serial killers often like to keep journals Betty starts trawling through all her old diaries and finds something she clearly doesn’t like.

Hils: I mean don’t most serial killers not care about being serial killers? The fact that Betty is freaking out about this means she’s probably fine, right?

She comes clean to Kevin about having the genes and admits that when she was a kid her cat was hit by a car and her dad made her end the cat’s suffering by hitting it with a rock.

Hils: Betty, repressing memories of killing animals is not what you are doing. You killed one animal, because your dad made you. That was traumatic no wonder you repressed it.

Kevin suggests they withdraw from the FBI training programme

Hils: Ooh, I bet Charles isn’t going to like that.

Lindsey: I also expect that Charles has the serial killer gene

FP tells Archie that some local business have complained about his kids and suggests inviting them over to get to know each other. He says the Serpents used to do the same thing

Lindsey: Oh i do like that FP is drawing on his Serpent experience to help Archie

Hils: Aww, FP is a good guy

Bret, apparently not having learned from last time, pushes Jughead’s buttons again. Only this time he’s not scared when Jughead slams him into a desk and threatens to hit him with a stapler.

Hils: I mean Bret totally had that coming.

Archie holds a press conference. Because, apparently in Riverdale anyone can do that. He invites local businesses to be part of the community centre and help out. He then makes veiled threat, mentioning that his best friend’s father is the sheriff and his mother is very good lawyer.

Lindsey: And of course Archie completely disregarded him

Hils: Uh, Archie. I’m pretty sure threatening local business owners is not what FP had in mind.

One of the business owners tells Archie that they pay protection money to Dodger and part of the deal is they have to make complaints about the community centre.

Hils: Ohhhhh! I wonder if Archie is going to get Hiram out of jail. Dodger’s only there because Hiram left a space when he went to jail. At least with Hiram his kids and centre will be safe.

Jughead returns home and says he’s dropping out of Stonewall Prep and going back to Riverdale High. FP won’t let him.

Hils: I’m glad Jughead said he’s getting whiplash from all the mixed messages because I am too.

FP confesses that the Baxter Brothers books were actually a gift from Jughead’s grandfather, and that’s why the first page was missing. As mysteries go it’s not as exciting as I was imagining.

Betty tries to quit the FBI training and Charles admits that he had the same genes she does. He encourages her to stay and learn to harness her impulses, which now that we know the story of the cat aren’t really impulses, but okay.

Lindsey: Fuck I CALLED it about Charles having the serial killer gene
Except I expect he’s actually a serial killer

Well, Riverdale wouldn’t be Riverdale without another secret sibling storyline. A woman who has been sitting in on Hermione’s trial tells Veronica that she is a private investigator who has proof that Hiram was framed. She then drops the bombshell that she is also Hiram’s daughter.


Jughead finds a cryptic message from his grandfather when he traces over the marks left by the torn out page in one of his books. Never mind wanting to be a Baxter Brother he’s already one.

Hiram, thanks to his newly revealed daughter Hermosa, is aquitted and released. He announces that he plans on running for mayor with that wonderful smirk that we have all been missing.

Archie threatens Dodger and, in true Batman style, disappears into the night while Dodger is reaching for his gun.

Hils: Well, at least the gun was in his car this time and not between his legs like last week

Jughead announces he wants to go by Forsythe now, after his grandfather. The class is told their challenge is to write the perfect murder.

Hils: Is this like How To Get Away With Murder, Riverdale style?

Lindsey: Ohhhh this makes SO MUCH SENSE now. Jughead is writing about his own fictional murder ?

Hils: OHHHHHH! I didn’t think of that!

This week’s flashforward is particularly dramatic with FP bursting into the school and announcing Betty, Veronica and Archie are all under arrest for Jughead’s murder.

Hils: Ooooh! Well, that ties in with the end of last season where they were all covered in blood and burning Archie’s clothes.

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