You can't go anywhere on Riverdale without stepping on the pieces of someone's broken heart after Wednesday's episode, "House of the Devil."
We'll start with Bughead — Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) — who couldn't survive the bite of the serpent. Betty took things too far by performing "the serpent dance" for Jughead's gang at FP's (Skeet Ulrich) alleged retirement party. By baring her skin in a sensual strip tease for the entire club, Betty aligned herself with the Southside outlaws, which isn't an oath that you can take back. No one knows that better than FP, who also had to re-pledge himself to the gang in order to clear Jughead's debt to the Snake Charmer Penny Peabody (Brit Morgan).
While Jughead started the episode high on life as the head of the Serpents, he tasted nothing but ash in his mouth as he watched his girlfriend and his dad sacrifice their livelihoods just to protect him. Surrounded by all that angst, Jughead did what every teenage boy on every teenage drama always does — he pushed everyone closest to him away.
The tearful Bughead breakup came moments after Archie (KJ Apa) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) also went their separate ways. Archie dropped the L-bomb on an unsuspecting Ronnie earlier in the episode, forcing the young Lodge to confront her deep-seated fears of the word head on. The ending result was that she realized she needed to do some work on herself, leaving Archie dumbfounded in the rain outside of the Whyte Wyrm.
Can we expect teenagers to just sit in their feelings and think about their choices, though? Of course not! The mid-season finale is next week, people. Sullen Archie returned home and took a longing gaze out his window at the girl next door (Betty), "as if for the very first time."
That's right. Riverdale is making a sharp pivot back to Betty and Archie before going on winter hiatus (which we predicted the Black Hood wanted all along). It's an interesting choice because the idea of Betty and Archie was shut down very hard in the show's pilot and only briefly revived in the Season 1 finale before Archie committed to Veronica. Then, the fan fervor surrounding Betty and Jughead made it seem like exploring the iconic triangle between Betty, Archie and Veronica would be a long way off in Riverdale's future.
For the minority of 'shippers out there stoked to see this turn, don't get too excited. Both Betty and Archie are fresh out of relationships and they aren't thinking clearly, so whatever happens between them next is going to feel a lot different once they are clear headed. What this really means is that things are going to get a lot messier before they get better, and everyone should buckle in for that.
Riverdale continues Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies)