At this point, what soul in Rivervale hasn't been corrupted? It was easy pickings for Mr. Cypher.
The devil made his way to town on Riverdale Season 6 Episode 3 with plenty of tempting offers. Some chaos, some shady deals, and some promises of big success.
No one held back when the evil deals were dangled in front of them. The third chapter of Rivervale's five-part event embraced its devilishly fun dark side!
It was only a matter of time before the devil arrived in Rivervale. Cheryl had previously toyed with "Faustian" deals on Riverdale Season 6 Episode 1, so we got an early tease of what it could be like with his presence.
Mr. Cypher was an interesting villain. He had the same sophistication and swagger as Lucifer Morningstar from Netflix's Lucifer, but he wasn't as involved or charismatic. This "devil" always seemed to be at arm's length from everyone.
I liked the contrast because it made this character more like the classic trope. Plus, Mr. Cypher's style left all the power in the hands of the cast; Lucifer would've gotten involved throughout.
Everything bad that happened in "Chapter Ninety-Eight: Mr. Cypher" was due to the characters making their own mistakes and deals. Mr. Cypher didn't force them to do anything; he offered them deals or negotiated ideas.
The temptation cursed them all, which was a pleasant surprise and difference from the earlier maple festival.
Case in point: Reggie. Every decision he made dug him into a deeper hole straight to hell.
Did he not realize Veronica would find out that he stole her soul? And that his lie would backfire?
His first excuse seemed like a genuine mistake he would make. Reggie was desperate to make the casino a success, so his soul-selling lined up with his character development. I believed Reggie would make that type of deal.
Veronica: Cutting to the chase, would you say that you deserve the hot burning fires of hell?
Nick: As long as you’re holding the pitchfork.
Veronica: Would you sell your soul to the devil for me?
Nick: Whatever it takes.
Manipulating Veronica, on the other hand, was a surprise that caught everything off-guard.
He didn't seem like he cared at all that Veronica would burn in hell; it's a sharp change from their earlier "love yous." Reggie deserved everything bad that came to him.
Veronica going full Emily Thorne showcased her rise like a phoenix yet again, embracing the boss energy we love to see. She's an icon, she's a legend, and she is the moment.
Taking down Nick St. Clair was the cherry on the revenge sundae. Nick always deserves his just desserts, regardless if it's been years since his last appearance. He's still the same slimeball as always.
And she wasn't a complete villain, so we still have the conflicted Veronica, who would choose the good side when needed.
Alice didn't deserve the same betrayal that Reggie inflicted on her. It's great that Veronica saw the light and directed her energy to someone who needed payback.
The twist of Veronica betraying Reggie was a chef's kiss moment.
He didn't even realize she turned the tables on him. Like, did he expect she wouldn't do anything to save her life?
He manipulated her into signing a document, so all was fair in love and war. Reggie should've checked the pen before signing anything; it was his fault for starting all this mess in the first place. Veronica merely seized the opportunity.
Mr. Cypher: Hey, superstar! How’s it all feeling?
Kevin: If this is what my life would like from now on, I’m all in.
[Mr. Cypher brings out the deal]
Mr. Cypher: Read it over if you like. Essentially, it’s all…
Kevin: Yeah, no, we’re all good!
[Kevin signs the deal]
Kevin: I’ll catch you later. Cool?
[Kevin pats Mr. Cypher’s shoulder and leaves]
Though, Veronica betraying Nick and Reggie should've been enough of a deal to save herself.
Spending the rest of her life luring people to sign Mr. Cypher's contracts seemed too heavy compared to everything else he offered. Especially since she didn't knowingly sign his first deal, Veronica should've gotten some leeway.
Just like Reggie, Jughead was a victim of his own mistakes. We've spent the last six seasons focusing on his passion for being a writer; giving up that ability would no doubt come back to haunt him.
Jughead would've been better choosing the second option.
Jughead: My soul? Take it. Take it.
[Jughead signs the deal]
Jughead: I’m nothing if I’m not a writer.
Mr. Cypher said he couldn't write about their interview. However, he didn't say Jughead couldn't write anything inspired by it. He could've milked the inspiration to create similar stories for movies, TV, and books with the hopes of it being successful.
Mr. Cypher played him like a fiddle. And it proved yet again that Jughead cared more about the notoriety of being a writer than writing for its passion. He is as power-hungry as the rest of them.
At least Kevin owns up to the truth that he wants success and fame.
I laughed at how easily Mr. Cypher convinced Kevin into signing the deal. He barely had to do anything before Kevin signed on the dotted line.
Kevin should get out of Riverdale/Rivervale. He's not happy living in the small town, and he dreams of bigger things on Broadway.
As we previously chatted about on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 19, Kevin should leave for New York City. It's the best move for his character and a great way to give him purpose. Plus, this new Mr. Cypher deal will provide him with the success he wants.
Betty's storyline continued her fears of being Dark Betty and her connection to The Trash Bag Killer. It's a tad surprising because Riverdale made it seem like she had overcome her fears and found peace within herself.
Is Rivervale's Betty still afraid of her inner darkness?
Whenever TBK spoke to Betty, something didn't feel right. Like, the FBI wouldn't have left a prolific serial killer alone with his victim in a small-town like Rivervale. TBK would be at the FBI headquarters.
Don’t you want to see my real face?The Trash Bag Killer
Plus, the mask would've been removed before he spoke with Betty.
She should've called out all the doubts and strangeness from this meeting. And after Glenn revealed they didn't capture TBK, it was clear Betty was being manipulated.
Did your jaw drop when she killed Glenn?
The twist was shocking, but it poked a few holes into Mr. Cypher's plans. He came across more as a manipulator and tempter instead of someone who actively caused harm.
Kidnapping Glenn and forcing him behind the mask was a significant shift compared to everything else that happened.
He put someone's life in danger for the chance at Betty's soul. He probably could've achieved his goal by using her family instead of toying with TBK.
It's great that Tabitha and Pop survived their encounter with Mr. Cypher. Pop is genuinely a nice guy, so it would've been sad for him to be the next victim.
And Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe is a beacon of hope for the town. Much of the series focused on why the diner is a must-have for the story; losing it this way would've been a letdown.
Now that angel tears protect them, they can rise and save Rivervale!
I'm hoping any future angel/demon plots don't become too overly complicated. Supernatural suffered this problem in later seasons, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dug themselves too much into a hole about demon lore.
Let's keep it light and embrace all the paranormal shenanigans.
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
I had a huge smile when I figured out "Lou" and "Cypher" was a pun on Lucifer. I got there before Veronica handed us the joke.
Both musical numbers were fine; they fit into the aesthetic of singing on a casino floor. Though, maybe a little too elaborate with the "Marry The Night" number.
- The bounce between Veronica telling Alice that her casino was legit and Reggie talking about the crooked casino made it a cheeky and clever scene.
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans.
What did you think of "Chapter Ninety-Eight: Mr. Cypher"?
Will the premonition about Betty come true? How long will it take before Mr. Cypher claims the remaining souls? Who will be the next to die?
If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments below.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.