Riverdale Season 2 Episode 12 Review: Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wicked and the Divine

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So, it was Bart who chopped off the head of Jebediah Springfield. I knew it! Wait...that's a different show and a different statue. (Simpsons did it!)

While that case was easy to solve, Riverdale Season 2 Episode 12 had a seedier reason for the decapitation of their town's statue. Lots of deception, plotting and political deals all led to the head. But, in this case, it also led to everyone's favorite crime boss.

That's so Hiram...

Party Time - Riverdale

I'm not surprised one bit that Hiram had something to do with the decapitation of the General Pickens statue. When in doubt, all crimes lead to the criminal overlord in charge. It's almost expected at this point that he's involved somehow.

What did hook me in was the backlash caused by the decapitation.

No one was taking this vandalism lightly; everyone had a role to play and took the opportunity to strike because of it. Sheriff Keller had a hunch the Serpents were involved...and he was half right. You can't hold it against him for consistently visiting FP and Jughead to chat about the head; he was following his gut.

However, the play by Mayor McCoy with the eviction notices was a cold and calculated move.

I love the new side of the mayor because she's no longer sitting back and letting things slide anymore; she is going right for the jugular. Evicting the Southside Serpents was her way of finally standing up to them.

Jughead: Why did you do it? Did someone put you up to it?
Tall Boy: Why is the Northsider here? This is Serpent business and this is Serpent land.
Jughead: She’s here because she’s one of us.
FP: You didn’t answer my son’s question. Why did you do it?!
Tall Boy: Because I am tired of seeing the Serpents going soft under your rule. And Hiram Lodge came by and wanted to stir up some trouble, he said if I took the hit he’d get McCoy and the cops to swerve all over us and cause some chaos.
Jughead: So, Hiram Lodge asked you to start a mutiny and you helped him? Why?
Tall Boy: Figured it’d be my change to get rid of you, Sunshine.

Tall Boy was getting on my last nerve. After all the trouble he caused when he served as the leader, he had no reason to go after Jughead. He could've done worse if he had gone through with the Ghoulies deal. 

Jughead was right to stop him. Did Jughead really never expect for Penny Peabody to return to Riverdale?

We're talking about the snake charmer here. She was going to come back at some point. And, from the way Jughead and the Serpents left her in pain on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 9, she was going to get her revenge somehow.

There's a fire in Brit Morgan's acting that I love when she portrays Penny Peabody. You can tell she enjoys playing this mischievous and cunning character. The best parts are when she interacts with Jughead because these two actors feed on their characters' animosity toward each other.

When Penny offered the deal in exchange for cutting the tattoo off of Jughead herself, I was waiting for Penny to shoot fire from her eyes. The scene was almost electric.

FP: What’s your price, Penny?
Penny: Blood for blood. An eye for an eye. I want back in with the Serpents, and I want him kicked out.
[She looks to Jughead]
Penny: Oh yeah, one last thing, I want his tattoo carved off and I wanna do it myself...with a dirty knife.

Jughead coming clean to Betty and asking for her help was the right thing to do. He would've never been able to find the head by himself, and he was getting nowhere with his meetings with Mayor McCoy. Betty is the lifeline that is guaranteed to save the day.

Similar to Hiram's involvement in the plot, I wasn't surprised that Tall Boy had cut off the head.

His growing animosity toward Jughead had become more apparent throughout Riverdale Season 2. He wanted the kid gone, and when he was so close to leading the Serpents himself, it made sense that he didn't want to give up the power easily. FP, Jughead, and the younger Serpents were in his way.

Poker Night - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 12

The plan was a complex and intricate move that involved deception, accusations, and money.  Think about what could've happened if Tall Boy had succeeded: Penny would've been back in the Southside Serpents, and she would've enjoyed cutting off Jughead's tattoo.

That's a disturbing thought.

The cherry for this plot conclusion had to be the head being sent back to Hiram, Hermione, and Veronica in a fancy box. The expressions on their faces said it all; they did not ever expect to see the head again. Someone beat them at their own game...and it was perfection.

Parental Obligation - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 12

One of my favorite scenes had to be FP's argument with Jughead. There was amazing chemistry, and the dialogue was rich with great moments between for both actors.

Also, I couldn't deny that FP was kinda right. For a while now, Jughead had been making decisions that were reckless and self-serving. He would preach about the importance of the Serpent teachings, but then break the same rules to push his own agenda. In my opinion, it was a tad hypocritical.

I loved FP finally calling Jughead out on his thoughtless attitude. Jughead caused a lot of the trouble himself; someone had to say it. I'm glad it was his father who had the guts to do it.

FP: Penny’s a cobra, but mutilating her...that’s the kinda thing you don’t come back from, Jug.
Jughead: Yeah, like stuffing a teenager’s body in a freezer.
[FP gets frustrated and pushes something]
FP: Keep your mouth shut! Tall Boy was right. You brought the Northside down on us! Serpents are losing their dens because of what you what you wrote.
Jughead: [Jughead throws something] And yourself! You’re using my article, and they’re using what happened to the statue of General Pickens, as an excuse to justify something they’ve already been doing.
FP: What? You think you’re a hero, Jug?! Cutting up women, bringing the temple down right on our damn heads. You...will be the death of us. Not the Northside. Not Penny. You.

Bughead has reunited yet again. Go on, shippers, shout your love from the rooftops! (I will join you at the party when we finish discussing here.)

Seeing these two reunite warmed my heart because they clearly were not over each other. We've seen a lot of longing looks and concern over what the other was doing. Let's face it: their reunion was being teased.

What I didn't expect was how their reunion ramped up pretty quickly. After their final scene together, you can't deny the passion.

Though I'm going to be the voice of reason here, they STILL(!) have not overcome their issues. Betty and Jughead have ended things a few times now, and the reason they broke up on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 8 made a lot of sense. Their issues are not going away; we can't ignore them because they're going to come back.

I like Betty and Jughead together. They grew on me, and I changed my tune mid-way through Riverdale Season 1. However, I'm tired of this on-again-off-again relationship drama when nothing is being resolved. Can some of their issues please be discussed?

Party Girl - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 12

When I initially read the synopsis for this episode, I was curious about Veronica having her confirmation. I did mine when I was 14 years old, and by this time, Veronica would be around 15 or 16. I'm glad this timing delay was explained to help clarify things.

Her white dress moments gave off major wedding vibes.

At first, it was surprising that the costume direction went forward with a subtle bridal motif, but it had a beautiful angelic tone to it. Being haloed by the light in church contrasted the shadiness she and her family have been doing. I loved the connection, even if it did veer into the cheesy territory at times.

And we can't forget Veronica confessing in church. It's a different side to her that we haven't seen in a while, especially since the last time involved cutting remarks thrown to Hermione on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 1.

Poker Panic - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 12

Hiram inviting Archie to the poker game was a big step in earning his trust.

As we discussed in the Riverdale round table for Riverdale Season 2 Episode 11, we had thought Hiram only wanted to work with Archie to keep an eye on him. However, I don't think that's the case anymore. Hiram might have legitimately liked and respected Archie all this time, beyond just being his daughter's boyfriend.

He even mentioned bringing Archie into the fold with the Lodge business. You don't just do that to any of Veronica's boyfriends. There was a reason it was Archie, and I think we know why. It would've been better, in the long run, to get Archie in the loop from Hiram's perspective.

Still, I understand Veronica's reasoning for not wanting her boyfriend involved. The Lodge business world is a dangerous world, and you never know what secrets are being thrown around. (If only she knew what secrets Archie had with the FBI...)

Boyfriend Duties - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 12

Archie made the right decision with telling Hiram about the upcoming attack. It saved his life, and now Hiram will look at Archie in a new light as the trustworthy individual who looked out for him.

However, I'm on the fence about whether he should've told the truth to the FBI agent. Both he and Hiram still seem untrustworthy. Regardless of the option, Archie was going to hurt someone.

This whole mess is going to come back to hurt Archie. There's no way this immunity deal will still be on the table, even if it is legitimate.

Archie: The man who ordered the poutine. I overheard him at the poker game and I think he’s planning something bad. He said you’re getting sloppy and...and that action needs to be taken. I’m telling you, Mr. Lodge, so you can protect yourself in case there’s some kind of coup.
[Hiram turns around slowly]
Hiram: Thank you, Archie. You can go back to the party now. Check on my daughter. I hear she’s having a good time.
[Archie leave and Hiram sits at his desk]

Who do you think killed the late night visitor: Alice or Chic?

There was a lot of blood, and he did come over to visit Chic. I wouldn't be surprised if Chic brought over a few clients to his place while the Coopers were out of the house. He did bring Ben over, after all, and we don't know if Ben was a client.

I love an interesting murder mystery, and this one is ripe with intrigue. Let's hope Hal doesn't find out about this. We don't need him and his smug face saying, "I told you so!" His satisfaction would hurt more than Penny's tattoo removal.

Party Surprises - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 12

What did you think of "The Wicked and the Divine"? Did you love the cover of "Bittersweet Symphony" by Josie and Veronica? Will Hiram share more of the business with Archie now? Are the troubles truly over for Betty and Jughead?

If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and let us know what you think.

Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wicked and the Divine Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (36 Votes)

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

Jughead: Why did you do it? Did someone put you up to it?
Tall Boy: Why is the Northsider here? This is Serpent business and this is Serpent land.
Jughead: She’s here because she’s one of us.
FP: You didn’t answer my son’s question. Why did you do it?!
Tall Boy: Because I am tired of seeing the Serpents going soft under your rule. And Hiram Lodge came by and wanted to stir up some trouble, he said if I took the hit he’d get McCoy and the cops to swerve all over us and cause some chaos.
Jughead: So, Hiram Lodge asked you to start a mutiny and you helped him? Why?
Tall Boy: Figured it’d be my change to get rid of you, Sunshine.

FP: What’s your price, Penny?
Penny: Blood for blood. An eye for an eye. I want back in with the Serpents, and I want him kicked out.
[She looks to Jughead]
Penny: Oh yeah, one last thing, I want his tattoo carved off and I wanna do it myself...with a dirty knife.