|“||I think many of us, maybe the entire town, had been hoping against hope that somehow Jason Blossom hadn't drowned on July 4th. That we'd come to school Monday morning, and there Jason would be. Or that we'd see him and Cheryl in a booth at Pop's. But that was before the undeniable, irrevocable fact of his bloated, water-logged body, a corpse with a bullet hole in its forehead, and terrible secrets that could only be revealed by the cold, steel blade of a coroner's autopsy scalpel, or the telltale beating of a guilty heart.||”|
|— Jughead Jones|
SECRETS UNRAVELED — As new details of Jason’s death begin to emerge, Archie pleads with Miss Grundy to come forward with what they heard at Sweetwater River. Betty makes an effort to mend her friendship with Archie but takes a different stance with Veronica, who is trying to make up for her actions. With rumors around her brother’s death running rampant, Cheryl deals with the pressure in true Queen Bee fashion, while tensions boil over when Jughead stumbles upon a secret Archie was hoping to keep hidden. Finally, plans for the annual fall pep rally move forward with a performance by Josie and the Pussycats and a special appearance by Mayor McCoy.
After the discovery of Jason's body in the previous episode, Riverdale is abuzz with rumours about who could have killed him. Archie, in particular, feels strained, persuaded that he should go to the police, but also wants to respect the wishes of Ms. Grundy, who remains adamant that they should stay silent about what they heard in order to prevent the exposure of their relationship. Meanwhile, his friendship with Betty is in a precarious state, as she is still upset about what happened at Cheryl's party, though desperately trying to suppress it.
Veronica, keen to salvage her friendship with Betty, turns up at school with conciliatory gifts: a bouquet of yellow roses (symbolizing friendship), cupcakes flown in from New York, and an appointment for the two at the spa. To the surprise of Kevin, Betty accepts her apology, but doesn't seem convinced her friendliness will last long. Mr. Weatherbee announces that Jason's death is now officially being treated as a homicide, and cooperates with Sheriff Keller, who is leading the investigation. Students speculate wildly about potential suspects; Reggie loudly declares his belief that Jughead could be the culprit, and Cheryl's fellow River Vixens question her about the holes in her story of what happened on July 4th. Jughead points out to Archie that they were supposed to go on a road trip on July 4th, but Archie canceled at the last minute.
The gang gathers at lunch to listen to Archie play one of his songs. Betty becomes emotional and, unable to hold it together anymore, lashes out at Archie. She and Veronica fight at River Vixens practice, and Betty spitefully offers to hang out with Cheryl out of revenge. Cheryl comes over to Betty's house after school and appears to have shed her viciousness, apologizing for her past treatment of Betty. However, as the conversation turns to Betty's sister, her true intentions come out: she's probing for information on Polly, who she believes killed Jason. Betty hisses at her to get out of her house before she kills her.
Jughead's suspicions are piqued when he witness Archie and Ms. Grundy in an intimate embrace at school. When he confronts Archie, he reveals that they were at Sweetwater River together on July 4th and heard a gunshot. Jughead urges him to go to the police, and it critical of Ms. Grundy's behavior, certain that she is only concerned about protecting herself. Archie finally decides at the pep rally that evening to share what he knows, and reconciles with Jughead. After a performance by Josie and the Pussycats and the River Vixens, Cheryl is triggered by memories of Jason and races off the field in tears. Veronica goes to comfort her as she sobs in the locker room, unknowingly witnessed by Betty. Cheryl tearfully confesses that Jason was supposed to come back.
The sight of Veronica's compassion for Cheryl induces Betty to make up with her, and they head off to Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe for milkshakes. They both vow never to let boys get between them again, and are joined by the also newly reconciled Archie and Jughead. The next morning, Archie heads to the principal's office to give the police information, but they are busy with other matters, having just completed the autopsy of Jason's body. The results lead them to Cheryl Blossom, who is sitting in class with her peers. She stands up and declares she's guilty.
- Hal: "We just wanted you to know, it's gonna be a bit of a late night for us."
- Alice: "It's going to be a lot of late nights for us. I mean, an accidental drowning, who cares? But the sociopathic son of the wealthiest family in town, murdered? That's a national obsession waiting to happen."
- Hal: "He's barely in his grave, Alice—"
- Alice: "Can you warm up the car, Hal? I'll be right down."
- ―Hal and Alice Cooper speaking with Betty
- Jughead: "Hi. Do you think I can use Jason Blossom's death as an excuse to get out of PE? "Sorry, Coach, I'm just too depressed and freaked-out right now to do pull-ups.""
- Archie: "Don't joke about Jason Blossom."
- Jughead: "What? Sardonic humor is just my way of relating to the world."
- ―Jughead and Archie at school
- Betty: "Speaking of bodies... Have you recovered from finding Jason's?"
- Kevin: "It was more traumatising having to explain to my dad what I was doing with Moose at the river. Yet another perk of being the sheriff's son."
- ―Betty and Kevin discuss Kevin's night before
- Sheriff Keller: "So as of the weekend, Jason's death is now being treated as a homicide. It is an open and ongoing investigation—"
- Cheryl: "And may I interject, neither I nor my parents will rest until Jason's death is avenged, and his cold-hearted killer is walking the green mile to sit in Old Sparky and fry. I, for one, have my suspicions. #RiverdaleStrong."
- ―Sherrif Keller and Cheryl Blossom over the school intercom
|“||It's not anyone's fault. It's not even stupid Archie's. It's just how it is. Most of the time the people we like don't like us back. Romeo and Juliet are the exception, not the rule.||”|
|— Veronica comforts Betty|
- Reggie: "Isn't it always some spooky, scrawny, pathetic internet troll, too busy writing his manifestos to get laid? Some smug, moody, serial killer fanboy freak, like Jughead? [laughs] What was it like, Suicide Squad? When you shot Jason? You didn't do stuff to the body, did you? Like... after?"
- Jughead: "It's called necrophilia, Reggie. Can you spell it?"
- ―Reggie ponders aloud on Jason Blossom's killer
- Archie: "I'm sorry."
- Jughead: "It's cool... We're not gonna hug in front of this whole town. [laughs] So why don't we both just do that bro thing where we nod like douches and mutually suppress our emotions?"
- Archie: "Yeah, but as friends, right?"
- Jughead: "To be discussed, over many burgers, and many days."
- ―Archie and Jughead rekindling their friendship
- Veronica: "Betty... Can we make a vow?"
- Betty: "Sure."
- Veronica: "That no matter what, no boy will ever come between us again. Deal?"
- Betty: "Deal. [clinks milkshake glasses]"
- ―Betty and Veronica at Pop's
- Kevin references "Madam Satan", whilst talking to Veronica. Traditionally in the Archie Comics, Madam Satan is a recurring character, most recently being the main villain of "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina".
- Betty's nickname for Archie when they were in the second grade, "Little Archie", is a reference to the comics as that was Archie's official nickname for when he was young. It also spanned its own separate comic series.
- This episode marks the first mention of Midge Klump.
- The title of this chapter comes from the Judas Priest song "A Touch of Evil".
- It may also derive from the 1958 film "Touch of Evil".