Riverdale season 4 episode 9 review: Tangerine, tangerine, tangerine

Riverdale -- "Chapter Sixty-Six: Tangerine" -- Image Number: RVD409b_0008.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): KJ Apa as Archie, Camila Mendes as Veronica, Cole Sprouse as Jughead, Lili Reinhart as Betty and Vanessa Morgan as Toni -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW-- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved.
Riverdale -- "Chapter Sixty-Six: Tangerine" -- Image Number: RVD409b_0008.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): KJ Apa as Archie, Camila Mendes as Veronica, Cole Sprouse as Jughead, Lili Reinhart as Betty and Vanessa Morgan as Toni -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW-- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved. /

After a good dose of therapy last week, this week’s episode of Riverdale sees the core four diving further into their addictions.

Last week’s episode of Riverdale saw the kids of the murder-heavy town finally getting some much needed therapy from Mrs. Burble (with a wonderful guest spot from Gina Torres). This week sees each of the core four hurtling further into their addictions and traumas (looks like they need another session).

For Archie, this means he’s fully ensconced in the El Royale vigilante justice. When FP confronts Archie with pictures of a masked vigilante with a baseball bat, Archie admits that it’s him. FP gives him some good fatherly love in lieu of Fred, telling him that Archie is going down a dark path that won’t provide any hope for Mary. However, FP is a Serpent after all, and he understands the instinct.

He and Archie team up with the promise that it’ll be the last time Archie serves up any extrajudicial vengeance. They go after some street thugs, FP taking off his Sheriff’s uniform, and putting on his Serpent jacket — it had been far too long.

After, they go for pie at Pop’s, enjoying themselves a little too much, when FP gets shot by one of Dodger’s family members. Despite the clear and present danger, and the promise he made to FP, Archie can’t help but feed his grief and go back out to look for the shooter.

As for Jughead, he dives further into his patrilineal heritage. After winning the contract to be the new Baxter Brothers ghostwriter (if he can play by the rules), Jughead goes to see his grandfather who he’s tracked down with the help of Charles.

Forsythe the First is just as grisled and rough as you’d expect. Jug tells him he’s figured out he wrote the original Baxter Brothers book, and it’s true. Forsythe the First admits that he burned out at Stonewall Prep and left with the story, not knowing what to do with it, so Dupont bought it from him for $5,000. It’s not quite as sinister as Jughead had originally imagined. He tells Jughead not to make the same mistakes he made and seize the opportunity before him, to become the next ghostwriter.

Jug goes to see FP in the hospital, telling him he saw Forsythe the First. FP grudgingly agrees to talk to his estranged dad, but when Jug goes back for him, he’s gone.

For Betty’s part this week, she continues to explore her darker side. Alice wakes Betty up and tells her that her sister Polly attacked a nurse named Betty at the treatment center. Betty goes to Shady Grove to find Polly strapped to a hospital bed, claiming she has no memory of the incident and begging Betty for her help.

Betty tells her mom that she believes Polly. Just as she’s talking about it with Alice, the phone rings and Alice answers, sending her to grab a knife and numbly go after Betty. Betty realizes it may work like hypnotism and snaps her fingers to wake up Alice.

The only people Betty knows who use mind control are the Farm. Edgar is dead, but Evelyn is in prison. Betty goes to see Evelyn in jail, who explains that when she called and delivered the trigger word, “tangerine,” Alice and Polly became Betty and wanted to kill Dark Betty.

Betty’s storyline is by far the murkiest as she and Charles try to use the trigger word to access her “dark side” and see if they can prevent Dark Betty from ever being unleashed. It’s confusing since it’s all happening in Betty’s mind, and intentionally unclear as to whether Betty is successful.

As for Veronica, her “dance to the death” with Hiram is just beginning. After turning down Hiram’s help with Harvard, Veronica finds herself having a much harder time getting into the Ivy’s.

Focusing instead on her war with Hiram, Veronica pulls a trump card and calls up her grandma to get insider information on the rum. Veronica tells her abuela everything, completely pulling her over to her side and getting the rum recipe in return, only to find out that the recipe is patented.

To make matters worse, Hiram called the Columbia recruiter and told them to come to La Bonne Nuit instead of her normal interview. Veronica “promised the crowd a floor show,” after all! In a very fun montage, Camilla Mendes does a pretty decent “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” with lots of gusto while Archie beats the holy living hell out of Dodger.

As Veronica croons, Archie tells Dodger’s mom, Darla, she’ll have to drag him away — and if they ever come back, he’ll kill them all. As he stands over Dodger’s body, dripping in blood, the community center kids come outside and catch him.

After Veronica finishes the number, with Kevin on keyboard (who by the way, is still on the show, in case you were wondering), she talks to the recruiter, assuming she’s lost her spot, but learns the recruiter is intrigued and wants to hear more about her.

The only person who seemed to have taken Mrs. Burble’s words to heart last week was Cheryl, who, through an insane scheme involving bug bombs, lured her mother out of the walls at Thistlehouse in order to confront her. Cheryl puts Penelope on trial with Toni at her side and Jason and “Julian” at her back. She recites the litany of crimes at Penelope’s feet and it’s truly astounding. Not just one murder or attempted murders, but lots!

She also admits to having been the one to gaslight Cheryl, all because she was jealous of her happiness with the Jason corpse. The Blossoms seriously need oodles of group therapy. Cheryl locks her away in the bunker for penance.

Now that her mother is dealt with, Cheryl decides it’s finally time to bury Jason. She invites Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica to the Sweetwater River where she and Toni have prepared a funeral pyre for Jason, because of course. Jason is lovingly decorated in a canoe when a sobbing Cheryl lights it on fire and the boys push it out to the water. It is theatrical and moving in only the way that Cheryl Blossom can manage.

At the end of the episode, Archie goes home to Mary, and he looks absolutely terrible covered in Dodger’s blood. We finally get to the crux of his frustration and agony as he asks why predators like Dodger get to live and Fred had to die. It’s a heartbreaking question that anyone who’s lost someone asks themselves.

Meanwhile, Jughead signs the contract (with a heretofore unseen Jughead crown signature!) and gets initiated into the Quill and Skull Society, who apparently wear Hogwarts robes.

We end on another flash forward to Spring Break, now only four weeks away. Jughead, head bleeding, lays down in the woods and Archie feels his pulse before turning back to Betty and Veronica and saying, “He’s dead. What did you do, Betty?”

It’s looking more and more like Dark Betty is here to stay and Jughead may die for real after all. With a month until our next new episode of Riverdale we have plenty of time to speculate…

Next. Riverdale season 4 episode 8 review: Riverdale goes to therapy. dark

What did you think of Riverdale’s midseason finale? Sound off in the comments below!