Riverdale Season 4, Episode 11 Recap: He Was a Diplomat’s Son

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riverdale episode 11

The CW

Now *this* is the Riverdale we know and love. Betty defaces a grave, Cheryl and Veronica reopen a brothel, Kevin’s making fetish videos, and Jughead challenges someone to a duel. Meanwhile, Archie is off somewhere doing something boring and noble that no one cares about. All we need is Archie’s singing career to make a reappearance, and we’re basically back on season one. Riverdale episode 11 is the type of hot mess that reminds us why we worship at the feet of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Hail, Sata— Wait, sorry, wrong show.



The CW

Let’s get the boring Archie stuff out of the way first, shall we? Uncle Frank is still here, and he won’t shut up about the Army. We get it, you served eight years, seven of them in combat. That doesn’t make it okay to punch Kevin’s dad in the face! Honestly, Frank obsessively bringing up his military service might be the most believable thing that’s happened on this show since Archie got rejected by that songwriting mentor. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Archiekins appoints Frank as the new foreman of Andrew’s Construction, replacing former Sheriff Keller, who has the beef with the once and future troublemaker. Sh*t gets real when Archie turns down a lucrative government contract, which would mean working for Mayor Hiram and his soul-sucking prison. The crew gets mad and says they’ll walk if Archie doesn’t spend more time onsite like he’s not a whole-*ss teenager who has to go to school, so Frank “borrows” $200 from the company and bets it at the racetrack to win belated Christmas bonuses for the workers. Frank probably could’ve talked his way out of this one, but when Mr. Keller confronts him, Frank responds by punching him in the face. Someone get this man into therapy, stat!

Time doesn’t exist in Riverdale. Somehow, it *just* became winter, Quiz Bowl finals are already here, and Jughead has finished writing an entire Baxter Brothers novel. The Baxter Brotherhood isn’t thrilled with Jug’s first draft and ask him to re-pitch a different idea, preferably one based around serial killers. Jughead asks Charles — who’s apparently still here — for access to FBI files on convicted killers. We get why he doesn’t want to use the Black Hood saga as inspiration, but he seems to be forgetting that other serial killer he just fought last March. Unfortunately, the Brotherhood isn’t fishing for information on the Gargoyle King, and Jug panics during his pitch meeting, agreeing to write a story about the Baxter Brothers fighting the “Brown Hood.”

Betty finds out about Jug’s Yale acceptance, and it’s totally cool because there’s literally no reason for her to be mad about it. Brett’s acceptance, however, rubs her the wrong way, and she asks Charles (twice in one episode!) to dig up some dirt on the diplomat’s son. Alexa, play Vampire Weekend. Brett apparently paid someone to take his PSATs, then bought his way into Stonewall Prep. And we’re supposed to be surprised? Pretty sure Riverdale episode 11 lifted that directly from Gossip Girl. Brett doesn’t seem to care about Betty’s accusations, but he’s annoyed enough to out Jughead’s new Baxter Brothers concept to an infuriated Betty. Anyway, Charles discovers that the only reason Betty didn’t get into her dream school is that her dad was a serial killer. We thought college recruiters would eat up a familial sob story like hers, but maybe things have changed in the five-ish years since we applied to university. Betty goes full Daenerys — aka every deranged blonde woman with daddy issues — and destroys her father’s grave. Jug comes to comfort her (fight over!) and brings a Yale recruiter to Quiz Bowl as a treat. And Alice brought… the Quiz Bowl questions and answers, LMAO. Parenting like this is why we miss Fred Andrews.

Betty doesn’t use them (bor-ring), so she only manages to win Quiz Bowl because Brett’s too rich to know what a stick shift is. Honestly, who’s the real winner here? She still gets in trouble for cheating because she left the damn answer key in her trash can. Alice gets suspended from work, Betty gets suspended from school, and Stonewall Prep wins by default. Jughead is so mad about the whole thing that he challenges Brett to a duel. To the death. We’re guessing that doesn’t end in Jug’s favor.

As always, Cheryl and Kevin get the most wackadoodle storylines. Cheryl and Veronica are now in the maple rum business, so they ask their chem teacher Mr. Microscope Mr. Beaker to analyze their new recipe and ensure that it’s not violating Hiram’s patent. Their next great idea is to bring their rum directly to Hiram and gloat. Like, yeah, you guys have your own patent now, but he has contract killers on speed dial. This is not going to go how you think it’s going to go. Ronnie decides that changing La Bonne Nuit into a club and giving away rum for free is somehow a legal loophole around not having a liquor license… You’d think her wild misunderstanding about how patent law works last episode would have given her some pause, but no. Naturally, Hiram raids the place and destroys their liquor, so Veronica and Cheryl decide to keep La Bonne Nuit running as a distraction while they open up their own members-only rum club in Penelope Blossom’s former brothel.

Kevin turns down Fang’s offer of a reconciliation to hook up with guys from Grindr, one of whom gets him into the fetish video business. Why does this stuff keep happening to Kevin? Can he never have a C Plot where he joins the basketball team or applies to Kenyon College early action? Kevin gets paid to make professional videos of himself being tickled, fully clothed, by a half-naked beefcake. Riverdale’s words, not ours. He recruits Fang to be his regular beefcake for any and all future films. Ah, young love.


Kevin getting paid $5,000 to make tickle fetish videos. Poll: Is this better or worse than his cruising storyline on season one?


riverdale episode 11

The CW

What’s more believable: This episode’s wild abuse of FBI resources or Betty getting rejected from Yale with a 4.1? We’ll give you a hint: The government is corrupt, and a 4.1 is roughly the equivalent of getting B’s in a bunch of AP classes. Seriously, we don’t know why Betty is so surprised that she didn’t get into Yale. Most students who get rejected from the Ivies have identical stellar records — she isn’t special. She’s also constantly whining about Stonewall Prep’s privilege like this rigged system is news to her. Like, we don’t *like* that this is the status quo (vote Democrat 2020!), but dear God, no one tell this woman about the College Admissions Scandal. She might demolish a mausoleum with her bare hands. Frankly, we find it hard to believe that a teen who wears Alice + Olivia to class every day couldn’t afford private school (and all of the doors it opens) herself, but whatever. It’s a corrupt system, fight the power, yadda yadda yadda.

Veronica and Cheryl running multiple thriving businesses in phenomenal sequined outfits is an inspiration, but we do have one question. Is forcing Penelope to work without pay while holding her against her will technically white slavery? Like, has Riverdale finally resorted to a white slavery storyline?! This must be a hint that the next Riverdale musical is going to be Thoroughly Modern Millie. Questionable labor practices aside, Riverdale had some major girl-power moments this week between Ronnie and Cheryl: Business B*tches and the Riverdale High School quiz team being four gorgeous women with perfect hair.

Riverdale Episode 11 FAN REACTIONS

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