‘Riverdale’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 3 “Chapter Ninety-Eight: Mr. Cypher”

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Kailey Schwerman/The CW

The devil has come to town in the newest episode of Riverdale and he is making deals with residents for their souls. Read on to find out everything that happened in the third part of the “Rivervale” event, “Chapter Ninety-Eight: Mr. Cypher.”

The Devil’s Holiday

Kailey Schwerman/The CW

What seems like a normal night at Pop’s turns into something much bigger, and tragic. Pop Tate is his usual self, helping customers who don’t have enough money at the moment for food and Tabitha admires her grandpa. He sees a man standing outside and for a moment, his face turns into something straight out of a horror movie. Pop Tate has a heart attack and collapses. Tabitha rushes to her grandfather’s side.

The same man shows up in Pop’s hospital room, where Tabitha is by her grandpa’s bedside. He introduces himself as Mr. Cypher, an old family friend. He tells Tabitha he’s there for her grandfather’s soul, showing her his true face. The Prince of Darkness. Tabitha tells Mr. Cypher that Pop Tate would never sell his soul and he tells her that while that is true, his father, Tabitha’s great-grandfather, was “less principled.” He sold his soul to ensure the success of the family diner. Pop offered his soul to save his father’s. And now Mr. Cypher wants the diner for Pop’s soul. That’s it.

Jughead’s Ultimatum

Jughead calls Mr. Cypher and meets with him. He tells him he’s been looking for something to inspire his writing and he figured an interview with the devil would do just that. Jughead, though, makes it very clear he’s not going to sell his soul. Mr. Cypher grants him an exclusive, if he agrees one on condition. They’ll do the interview, publish it, Jughead receives all the fame and notoriety they all yearn for. But he’ll never be able to write again. Or Mr. Cypher will give him this raw, mind-blowing tell-all, but everything he says remains between them. Jughead agrees, only on the condition he’ll be able to choose his option after they conclude the interview. Mr. Cypher agrees.

Following the interview, Jughead chooses option one, as he needs to have it published. Meaning he gets all the fame and glory, but will never be able to write another word.

The next day, Jughead gets a call from The Associated Press, and they tell him they’d love to pick up his article. The entire world needs to read what he wrote. His phone wouldn’t stop ringing after the AP picked up his story. He even got a call from his former agent.

Jughead calls back Mr. Cypher and tells him he doesn’t want any of it. He needs to be able to write again. Mr. Cypher understands, he could do that but it will cost him. Jughead obliges and signs away his soul.

A War is Raging

Just like her grandfather, Tabitha is an angel to the customers. And one person sitting at the counter takes notice. She asks the man if she knows him and he says he’s a great admirer of her grandfather and all his good deeds. He’s one of the good guys, from up there. Rafael, the angel. His boss likes what her and her family are doing and He wants to make sure they’re prepared for a battle that’s coming. And the diner will play an important role. Rafael gives Tabitha an angelic item of some sorts, a gift from Him.

Mr. Cypher shows up at Pop’s and Pop Tate and Tabitha sign the contract. Tabitha makes milkshakes for the three of them and after taking a sip, Mr. Cypher says the taste is a bit off. Tabitha admits that she added a secret ingredient. Tears that the Virgin Mary shed at the Crucifixion. Tabitha and Pop Tate are protected by their holy properties since they drank it as well and they kick out Mr. Cypher. Pop’s is now consecrated, protected from him and any other force of evil.

TBK is Back… Or Is He?

TBK, the Trash Bag Killer, has been haunting Betty for a while now. And it seems like things are finally going her way as Glen calls her to let her know that they got him. He’s being transported to Rivervale and Glen wants her and TBK in the same room together for a confession. Betty is the only one he’ll speak to.

Betty meets with TBK, who is still just taunting her. She tells him that her boss wants him to admit to all of the atrocious things in the files. TBK asks her what she wants.

“I just want to know… does evil, absolute evil… exist?”

TBK tells Betty to ask the real question and then he’ll admit to his sins. Betty, however, says she doesn’t have to play these mind games with him. No one cares that he’s there. He can just sit there in his filth and she’ll come back tomorrow. Betty starts to leave and TBK admits that absolute evil does exist. There’s a part of her that is absolutely 100% evil. It’s what draws them to each other.

Betty later takes a shower to try to wash the evil away. After getting out of the shower, she calls Glen and tells him she’s not getting any information out of TBK. He’s toying with her and she won’t be his plaything again. Glen doesn’t know what she’s talking about and when Betty tells him about TBK, he tells her that the Trash Bag Killer is not in their custody.

The Devil Behind the Mask

Betty meets with TBK again, who is definitely not TBK. He tells her he’s the devil and Betty wonders if Hell is a real place. TBK tells her it is and her dad is there. Betty asks to speak to her father and TBK is soon possessed by Hal Cooper. He pleads with his daughter to get him out of there and Betty asks him a question to prove to her that he is real. And real he is.

TBK tells Betty that he wants her loyalty as there is a war brewing. The one between good and evil. Betty is the Whore of Babylon from the Book of Revelation. He tells her that Polly is in Hell and even has Polly possess him to prove to Betty that he’s telling the truth. Polly is screaming, pleading with Betty to make it stop. Betty takes a pair of scissors and stabs TBK multiple times until he’s dead. She takes off the mask and the face of evil is Glen.

As if on cue, Mr. Cypher shows up. He called Glen using Betty’s voice and he couldn’t come any faster.

Kevin’s Dream Come True

Kailey Schwerman/The CW

Mr. Cypher shows up to the soft opening of Veronica and Reggie’s long-awaited Babylonium casino, and finds Kevin. He mentions he caught a performance of his in New York a few years back and that he should be on Broadway or Vegas. Kevin doesn’t even have an agent and Mr. Cypher suggests he could make that happen for him. Fame, money, being a star. He gives Kevin a taste and they shake on it. People can’t stop watching Kevin during his performance and Fangs later tells him his schedule, which includes a six-week run in a Broadway show opposite Hugh Jackman. Fangs is no longer Fangs, as he is now Finn, Kevin’s manager and boyfriend. Kevin finds Mr. Cypher and signs over his soul.

Soul for a Soul

Kailey Schwerman/The CW

After being told that Mr. Cypher has won the last 20 hands of Blackjack, Veronica walks up to the table to confront him. He tells her he’s an investor, Reggie’s investor. Veronica begins to shut his table down and Mr. Cypher obliges, noting that he has much work to do around town and he’ll be back to collect his dues on Saturday. A soul.

Veronica later confronts Reggie about Mr. Cypher and Reggie admits when they were looking for investors, he got an incoming call from him. He said he could provide them with the rest of the money they needed in exchange for a soul. Reggie’s soul, Saturday night at midnight.

“If anyone can outwit the devil, Ronnie, it’s you.”

Veronica calls Mr. Cypher with a counter proposal, an old friend of hers with a soul much more deserving of a damnation than Reggie’s. The old friend? None other than Nick St. Clair.

Kailey Schwerman/The CW

Nick St. Clair, all grown up, but still a sleaze ball who is surprisingly married and now a Senator. Veronica catches up with her ex, turning on the act to turn him on. Nick confesses to plenty of sins from hit-and-runs, harassment, tax frauds, affairs. Veronica asks if he deserves a place in Hell and if he would sell his soul for her. “Whatever it takes,” he says. Which is just enough of a verbal binding agreement for Mr. Cypher and he takes Nick St. Clair down to Hell.

The Real Prize

Mr. Cypher tells Veronica that while he will not touch a hair on Reggie’s head, she and him are still on for tomorrow. Reggie’s soul was never on the table. It was Veronica’s that was promised.

Veronica storms into the office to confront Reggie and he tells her that he offered his soul to Mr. Cypher and he didn’t want it. It was a “miserable, paltry thing.” Mr. Cypher asked for Veronica’s as it would be the real prize. Reggie slipped a contract in one of the stacks of weekly invoices for her to sign and gave her Mr. Cypher’s pen to use. He only agreed to it because he knew she’d figure a way out. Veronica demands Reggie to leave and Mr. Cypher shows up, willing to renegotiate. A soul in exchange for hers. Alice.

Just as Veronica is about to have Alice sign the contract by lying, she stops her.

“You’re a pain in the ass. But you don’t deserve to burn in Hell.”

Veronica managed to broker another deal with Mr. Cypher in exchange for her soul. He is now joining the casino and Veronica will be supplying him with one lost soul from the floor each week for the rest of her natural life. The first soul? Reggie’s.

“If Rivervale really is going to be the final battleground between good and evil… is anybody’s soul safe?”

That is yet another soul that Rivervale has claimed, but just who will be next? And what is this battle between good and evil? Kiernan Shipka is reprising her role of Sabrina Spellman in next week’s episode, so don’t miss it on Tuesday, December 7 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW!

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By Megan
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.
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