“Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wicked and the Divine” offered tons of drama for the Riverdale gang. Director Rachel Talalay leaned hard and deliciously into a Goodfellas vibe while exploring Hiram Lodge’s mobster side. Veronica had the most bonkers and beautiful confirmation ceremony the world has ever seen. And of course it involved a duet of “‘Bittersweet Symphony’ from the Cruel Intentions soundtrack,” featuring a captive Josie. Meanwhile on the South Side, the Serpents are being evicted, while the Snake Charmer and Tallboy tried to oust Jughead and F.P. And thrilling news for Bugheads! Juggy and Betty reunited on The Case of The Decapitated Statue, and then seemingly went all the way. Also, Dark Betty is a webcam girl now. BUT BUT BUT the cliffhanger that’s got us gawking concerns the bloody corpse that ruined Betty’s afterglow.
In the final moments of this divinely wicked ep, Betty comes home to find a pool of blood on the Cooper home’s hardwood floor. As her face fills with panic, she spots her mother, alive and well, cleaning up the mess. Before her lies the corpse of the mystery man who interrupted Alice and Chic’s uncomfortable family dinner. All we know about the guy is that he came looking for Chic and ended up dead. So who dun it?
There’s three possibilities. The first is Chic freaked out when his “boundaries” were breached, and took this dude down. The second is Alice Cooper went full-on mama bear and killed him when he seemed a threat to her recently recovered son. The third is that this was an accident. After all, maybe there was a scuffle and he fell, cracking his skull on those pristine hardwood floors. Regardless, the trailer for next week’s episode, “Chapter Twenty-Six: The Tell-Tale Heart” suggests the Cooper family will cover-up together. Well, save for Hal, who hates Chic, and Polly, whose gone AWOL with her twinbies.
So how does the dead man know Chic?
When playing Dark Betty mentor, Chic warned his sister never to tell her webcam clients where she lives. So, it seems unlikely this mystery man was Chic’s john. But maybe he has ties to the guy who popped out of Chic’s bedroom in the middle of the episode.
Sure, Chic claimed they guy came over to interview him for a job at the Bijou theater. But 1) Who does home visits to interview aspiring popcorn jockeys? and 2) Why was Chic wearing a robe and drinking milk straight from the jar as the “interviewer” left? My guess is either that he and Chic were doing a double-act upstairs, likely for the pleasure of some online john. OR that the Bijou Theater has a darker side, like maybe a brewing Boylesque show? But none of that answers who the dead guy could be or how he found Chic.
I have a theory: What if the dead guy is the real Chic Cooper.
Think about it. What do we know about the guy who crashed into the life of the Cooper family? When she went looking for her brother, Betty found an address, not a photo. She and Alice went to the rundown rental and asked for “Charles Smith,” and were pointed to room 237 where they found Chic. But what if the angry loner she plucked from the wrong side of the tracks isn’t her long-lost brother, but just a lying opportunist?
Looking back at “Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle,” Alice walks in and addresses the only person in the room as “Charles.” He cuts her off, and says:
I know who you are. The sisters gave me your address when I turned 18, when they kicked me out. I even drove by your house once. It must be a nice place to grow up.
Notably, Chic won’t let Alice call him Charles. He knows about the family, but that doesn’t mean he’s being honest with them. Could it be that he’s a roommate or even lover of the real Charles Smith/Cooper? And he used this personal info to his advantage? He chased the Cooper’s out of room 237, saying “I have a client on the way.” What if he just wanted them gone before the real Cooper son returned? Later, when Betty came back and saw Chic getting his ass-kicked outside the apartment, he used her as an escape, and then their home as a hideout.
If I’m right, then Charles might be the dead man, who is notably blonde like the Cooper girls. Maybe he came to his biological mother’s home to out Chic’s true identity. So either Chic killed him, or tricked Alice into it. Either way, things are about to get a lot darker for the Cooper household.