Wednesday, July 6, 2022

‘Riverdale’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 16 “Chapter One Hundred and Eleven: Blue Collar”

The war between good and evil continues on this week’s Riverdale. As Archie and Tabitha try to get the workers away from Percival, Cheryl and Heather work more on the arcane arts. Meanwhile, someone from Betty’s past comes back in a surprising way, Percival and Reggie go against Jughead, and Toni and Fangs go up against Kevin as the custody battle over Anthony reveals some secrets.

Keep reading to find out what happened in “Chapter One Hundred and Eleven: Blue Collar.”

A War Between Good and Evil

Jack Rowand/The CW

“A war has been brewing in Riverdale between Percival Pickens and Archie Andrews. A conflict between good and evil, or in this incarnation, between those who work and those who exploit workers.”

Jughead Jones

Percival’s construction crew get to work, despite terms being different than what was originally discussed. Archie meets with Tabitha and Cheryl to talk about next steps. Percival is trying to break the workers’ spirits, their resolve. Archie mentions that a lot of the guys spent their lives working union jobs, and if he does some good old-fashioned agitating and reminds them about Percival’s values, he figures he might be able to get them to vote to unionize. Instead of quitting, the workers would strike.

And once again we’re in a battle for the town’s soul.

Cheryl Blossom
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Since the Blossoms and Pickens have a long history of working together, Archie asks Cheryl to dig through old family records she can raid for damning evidence they can use against Percival. Cheryl obliges. Tabitha tells Archie that she overheard one of her waitresses saying that Percival is making his crew pay for their own coffee.

Tabitha and Archie take one of the Pop’s trucks to the railroad site and give the workers free coffee, also offering 25-cent burgers at the diner’s new location. Fangs and another worker, Carlos, come to Pop’s and talk to Archie, who tries to talk to them about Percival and unionizing.

Percival meets with Archie about a proposal. He offers Archie to join his team, but Archie’s not giving in, telling Percival how corrupt and deluded he really is. Archie later gathers the entire work crew, trying to convince them that Percival is the bad guy and to unionize.

Unity

After a worker loses his leg, Archie and Tabitha gather the rest of Percival’s crew at Pop’s, giving their condolences and offering to help with medical expenses. They talk to the group about how Percival is not a good guy and, thanks to Cheryl finding some damning information, Archie reads what Percival’s great-great-grandfather wrote about unions, about how working men are mules and beneath them.

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Archie meets Percival, Frank, Kevin, and Moose at the railroad site and tells them that their crew isn’t coming. They took a unanimous vote to go on strike.

“We’ll see how strong their resolve is in the face of what’s coming.”

The Art of Arcane

Jack Rowand/The CW

Cheryl has Heather help her do some research for Archie. Heather found a letter referencing Malleus Maleficarum. One of the most powerful arcane texts in existence. A feud between the Blossoms and Pickens broke out because a Pickens ancestor stole the text from a Blossom ancestor. Heather says they have to get it back, and she suggests it could be in Percival’s curiosity shop. This also gives her the opportunity to teach Cheryl a new trick, turning invisible. It’s something Cheryl only knows from Harry Potter and Wizards of Waverly Place. Heather offers to teach her.

At the curiosity shop, Cheryl successfully turns invisible thanks to a spell Heather gave her and some advice. Cheryl goes into the back as Heather keeps Percival occupied. She looks through his things but makes a sound, and Percival leaves to go look. Cheryl turns invisible again as Percival looks around and lets out her breath after he goes to the front again, her mission a success.

Cheryl later admits to Heather that her library was all a ruse to get her to spend more time with her. Though Heather would like to stick around a little while longer.

Karma’s a Bitch

Betty gets a call from Alice and rushes home, asking her where “he” is. Upstairs in Betty’s room, she finds her serial killer brother Charles hooked up to a machine and dying in her bed. Alice tells Betty that doctors think it’s some sort of sepsis or leukemia. And the prison infirmary is full, so they sent him home. She begs her daughter to call a truce and to spend what little time he has left together.

Betty catches up with Charles, asking about Chic (whom Charles hasn’t seen since the prison escape) and if he’s afraid of what’s coming, death, and what comes after. Charles is content knowing that it’s his punishment after what he’s done.

Betty keeps asking Charles about his childhood, trying to better understand herself. Charles admits there was this one time he caught a possum in a trap at Sisters of Quiet Mercy, it was like when she killed Caramel. Betty tells him that Caramel was a mercy kill, and Charles confesses he thinks about the possum a lot. “What if” scenarios. Maybe if he did something different, he would have taken a different path.

Poison

Betty catches Archie up on everything with her brother and what Agent Drake said. She figures Charles’ evil and malignancy is what’s killing him. It’s the same darkness she has, but now he’s succumbing to it. Instead of killing people, he’s dying. It’s a poison that’s rotting inside him. She hears a sound and looks outside Archie’s bedroom window to see her mom in her room and holding a pillow. Betty rushes over and finds Alice holding a pillow over Charles’ face, suffocating him. She pulls her mom back as Charles slowly comes back to life.

Alice asks Betty why she stopped her, and Betty tells her that she will regret it however long it takes. Alice doesn’t want to let him suffer, and while Betty doesn’t know what to do, she tells Alice she’s not going to do this.

“There has been enough murder in this house.”

Betty tells Alice there might be something they can do to help Charles, as it may not be terminal. Veronica and Agent Drake come by to help Charles, trying a medical experiment. They want to hook him up to Veronica for blood dialysis since detoxification is evidently one of her powers now. Betty asks her brother if he wants them to try, and Charles admits he’s terrified of dying. If there’s even a sliver of a chance, he wants to try.

Charles is doing much better. Betty confesses when she first heard about his blood poisoning, she thought Veronica would cure him somehow, but she wasn’t sure he deserved to be saved. Betty did it for Alice and because she’s not ready to give up on herself. She needs to focus on what she’s doing in the present and in her future. When Betty mentions wanting to catch TBK, Charles offers her some advice on how to trap him.

Betty meets with Veronica and asks if she can book the casino for a fan convention. But it’s not your typical comic con — a convention for fans of serial killers.

Missing Page

Percival digs in Reggie’s mind, looking through the Reggie comic books and finding a page torn out. Percival tells Reggie about it, admitting that he underestimated Jughead’s powers. He takes out a Reggie doll, a totem, to teach him one of the oldest arts of deception. Ventriloquism. Reggie will distract Jughead while Percival sneaks into his mind and opens the floodgates, hoping to do some damage enough to incapacitate him.

During Veronica and Jughead’s show, Reggie heckles Jughead with his totem as Percival goes into Jughead’s mind. The door to his floodgates is locked, with signs warning Percival to stay out. He later tells Reggie he needs something to pry his way into Jughead’s mind, a talisman. An object of Jughead’s that is an essential part of his being. Reggie brings up Jughead’s (iconic) beanie, but that he buried it in a time capsule. Percival tells Reggie to bring him the beanie as well as other items of Jughead’s.

Reggie manages to swipe some of Jughead’s things; a picture, a copy of The Outcasts, his Southside Serpents jacket, and of course, the beanie. As Jughead does his act, Percival disguises himself as Jughead and performs a spell, opening the floodgates. Jughead begins to hear the thoughts of everyone around him, and he freaks out.

Tabitha comes home from work only to find a note on the table. Jughead says that he can’t block out people’s thoughts, and he needs to get away. He’s hoping if he goes someplace quiet or remote, they’ll calm down, and he’ll be able to close the door. Jughead is once again back in Dilton Doiley’s bunker, but now he’s hearing thoughts from Rivervale.

Stability

Toni and Fangs meet with a lawyer about the custody battle, who brings up the Serpents and their criminal records. She warns them that Kevin and his lawyers are going to bring whatever information they have to expose them as unfit parents. And he’s also asked for a paternity test for Anthony. The lawyer asks about retiring the Serpents, and while Fangs isn’t on board with it, Toni says they haven’t figured it out since they’re in a transitioning phase.

After the lawyer leaves, Toni asks Fangs if he’s thought more about her proposal. Fangs wants to make sure he’s getting married for the right reasons.

“Wouldn’t stability and Anthony’s life be the right reason? Us being a family? United?”

While working on the railroad, Kevin brings out a picture of Anthony, saying he looks just like his dad. Fangs overhears and tells Kevin that Anthony is not his son, and the two get into it. Toni later gets into an argument with Fangs after hearing about the fight.

Britta babysits Anthony while Toni is out, and when Toni comes back, Britta mentions she can’t find his pacifier. Coincidentally, Kevin was over earlier, and it was gone after he visited. Mama Bear Toni confronts Kevin and starts punching him, demanding to know where the pacifier is. He tells her where it is, and she leaves, threatening him.

Fangs gets home, noticing Toni’s Serpents jacket and brass knuckles. She tells him they’re not rebranding, it’s a sign of weakness. She also briefly mentions what Kevin did and says she thinks they should induct Baby Anthony into the Serpents ASAP. And it’s only fitting that Fangs, as his father, should pick out his Serpents name. Fangs gives Toni an answer to her earlier question.

“Yes. I’ll marry you.”

The Truth Comes Out

Kevin tells Percival that he was unable to take the pacifier to the lab in time, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Percival tells Kevin that he isn’t Baby Anthony’s biological father. Fangs is. Percival knows things, like what that baby represents. Riverdale’s greatest hope. Its spirit.

“Baby Anthony is the future, Kevin, which is a problem because I doom the future. And there can only be one.”

Riverdale is off next week but will be back on Sunday, June 12 on The CW at 8 p.m. ET/PT for the annual musical episode! Stay tuned for our continued coverage on the series, including episodic recaps and more!

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