Riverdale Recap With Spoilers: Darkness Returns in "Tangerine"

Most of The CW is currently dealing with the ramifications of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover, an event that united the network's DCTV shows under one roof. While the citizens of Riverdale might not be dealing with the Anti-Monitor, it's safe to say that they have a lot on their plate. Before the series takes a break for the winter hiatus, fans were treated to shocking plot twists, surprising returns, and a pretty awesome musical number. Here's what you need to know about tonight's midseason finale of Riverdale, "Chapter Sixty-Six: Tangerine".


Jughead reads his Baxter Brothers assignment in class, and DuPont immediately gives him the contract to be the next ghostwriter -- as long he plays by the rules. Jughead asks Charles to help use FBI resources to track down their grandfather, and eventually finds a P.O. box for him. Jughead visits his grandfather in his trailer, and asks him about the conspiracy tied to the Baxter Brothers books. Forsythe reveals that he was the one who came up with the Baxter Brothers, but he sold the story to DuPont and regretted it for decades since. Jughead returns to FP, and tells him about what he learned from the meeting with Forsythe. Jughead offers to reunite FP and Forsythe, but returns to find the trailer empty. Jughead tells FP as much, and that he's signing the Baxter Brothers contract. While signing the contract, Jughead gets a mysterious note leading him into the woods, where his classmates initiate him into the Quill and Skull.

FP confronts Archie about the Riverdale Hotline, and Archie argues that he's doing something honorable by moonlighting as a vigilante, even if it gets him killed. FP helps set up a metal detector at the community center, which will hopefully help them find Dodger and his family. One of the kids, Eddie, offers to find Dodger, and ultimately gets beaten up in the process. Mary tells Archie that they're trying to be bought out of their shares in Andrews Construction. FP reluctantly agrees to help Archie fight Dodger, and they do so, and celebrate with a slice of pie at Pop's. A masked man comes into Pop's and shoots FP, sending him to the hospital. Fangs confirms that it's Dodger's family, but FP tells Archie not to fight them. Archie confronts Dodger and his family, and the two of them fight. Archie nearly beats Dodger to death, but stops, telling Dodger and Darla to leave town, otherwise he'll kill them. The kids from the community center overhear Archie say this. Later, Archie tells Mary that he still feels pain from Fred's death. A man later approaches Archie at the community center -- it ends up being Frank, Fred's brother.

Alice wakes up Betty in the middle of the night, upon learning that Polly has mutilated a nurse at her mental institution. Charles pulls up the security camera footage which confirms as much -- as well as that the nurse was named Betty. Betty visits Polly, where she vehemently denies hurting the nurse. Betty later tells Alice that she believes Polly, and that the phone call she had received an hour before the accident might have put her into a sort of fugue state. Alice then gets a phone call, which hypnotizes her to grab a kitchen knife and try to attack Betty. Betty snaps her out of it, and they decide to try to trace the phone call. Charles traces the call to Shankshaw prison, and they suggest that Evelyn Evernever is the one behind them.

Betty visits Evelyn in prison, where she admits to it -- and reveals that the hypnosis makes every Farmie think they're Betty, and try to kill Dark Betty. She then reveals that the trigger word is "tangerine" repeated three times, and nearly repeats it to Betty. Betty has Charles repeat the trigger words to her, but nothing happens. Betty later has a vision of Dark Betty, who asks if she's here to kill her. Betty asks Charles to properly trigger her again, to see if this will finally end the war between herself and Dark Betty. She enters the dream state, stopping Dark Betty from killing Caramel. Later, Betty says the trigger words to herself and shatters her mirror.

In a flash-forward to Spring Break, Archie stands over Jughead's corpse and says he's dead, and asks Betty what she did. Betty looks down at her hands in shock.

Other tidbits from the episode include:

  • Veronica is denied from her safety schools, and Hiram suggests that she attend Riverdale Community College so she can run her rum empire in the meantime. Veronica later learns that Pop's liquor license is about to be expired, and suggests that they throw one final party at the speakeasy before that happens. Veronica meets with her grandmother to ask for Hiram's rum recipe, which he apparently learned from her. Veronica then hints to her grandmother about all of the bad things Hiram has been doing, which leads her to visit his mayor's office and slap him.
  • During the party, Hiram has the recruiter from Columbia visit, and she is clearly disappointed with Veronica's business. Veronica and Kevin perform "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting". After the performance, Hiram threatens to sue her if she uses the rum recipe, and argues that she won't get into Columbia now. The Columbia recruiter gives Veronica a second chance, arguing that the school is always willing to accept people with "good stories".
  • Cheryl infects the mansion with rat poison, in an attempt to draw out whoever has been tormenting her. Penelope ultimately emerges and passes out, and wakes up tied to a chair. Cheryl accuses Penelope of gaslighting her, and of attempting to murder (or actually murdering) people around her. Cheryl asks Penelope why she was cruel to her for her entire life, and Penelope admits to being jealous of Cheryl being happy with Jason's corpse. Cheryl locks Penelope in the underground bunker, and argues that this will be the beginning of her getting penance.

  • Later, Cheryl decides that it might be time to finally bury Jason. Cheryl calls Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica, and invites them to a funeral for Jason with her and Toni. They hold the funeral at Sweetwater River, where Cheryl gives Jason's corpse a Viking funeral.


Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.