‘Riverdale’ season 6 throws us headfirst into a world of ghosts, witches, and other supernatural creatures. In the third episode of the 5-episode event of ‘Rivervale,’ we encounter a mysterious man who is deeply aware of the insecurities of Rivervale’s residents and offers them shady deals that’ll supposedly help them with their problems.
Going by the name Lou Cypher, the man asks many, from Reggie Mantle to Pop Tate, to sell him their souls. Popular culture and religious texts from around the world have shown us that one particular diabolical character has a penchant for demanding people’s souls. Additionally, Lou is a terrifying figure obviously surrounded by an aura of evil. So, is Lou Cypher the Devil? Why is he in Rivervale? Let’s find out!
Who is Lou Cypher in Riverdale?
‘Riverdale’ season 6 episode 3 opens with narrator Jughead talking about old folktales that revolve around the “Devil’s Holiday.” Such stories see the Devil visiting small towns and collecting lost souls. Jughead believes that Rivervale is one such small town on the cusp of being targeted by evil forces.
Immediately afterward, Pop Tate makes eye contact with a devilish man in a suit outside the diner and gets a heart attack. Later, when Tabitha is keeping Pop company as he recuperates in the hospital, the mysterious devilish man appears again. He introduces himself as “Lou Cypher,” although he claims to use many names. Curtly, he informs Tabitha that he is here for her grandfather’s soul. He explains how Pop’s father sold his soul to ensure the success of his diner. Tabitha is thus given two options — to either sell the diner or let Lou take Pop’s soul. Afterward, Tabitha shows Jughead Lou’s visiting card.
At the soft opening of Veronica and Reggie’s casino, Lou shows up and immediately tempts Kevin with acting and singing fame. Kevin briefly experiences the life he can have if he agrees to sell his soul when Fangs approaches him as his agent and boyfriend, informing him about his fantastic career opportunities and eager to have sex afterward. Thus, Kevin signs Lou’s contract. Later, we see Lou present himself as an investor to Veronica when she confronts him about his gambling invitation. He tells her that he’ll come to get his due on Saturday at midnight.
Is Lou Cypher The Devil?
Yes, Lou Cypher is the Devil. His name is a reference to “Lucifer” and he collects lost souls. Reggie is the first one to openly acknowledge Lou’s identity as the Devil when he talks about how he endangered his soul to get financial assistance for the casino. He tells Veronica that she’s the only one who can outmaneuver the Devil.
Throughout the episode, we see Lou shifting between his human form and devilish form. Additionally, he has the ability to dupe people by assuming the voices and bodies of others. He maintains a list of souls that he wants in particular, and it seems as though the names he’s after possess hard-to-miss positive and negative energies.
Jughead even reaches out to Lou for an interview after examining his visiting card. The Devil agrees to the interview, and the information he provides about the world is so intense that Jughead takes a few moments to come to his senses. Lou also forces Betty to listen to the screams of her father and sister in hell as they are tortured at his command, showing the might of his evil side.
What Does the Devil Want From Rivervale?
Clearly, Lou visits Rivervale to collect the souls of its residents. He is aware of their personal, professional, and social problems and expertly manipulates them into desiring a quick solution. We see how Pop Tate, known for his kindness, considers giving up his soul in order to save his diner, which feeds many poor souls every day. Pop’s is also the soul of Rivervale itself and its possession will give the Devil a massive boost of power. However, thanks to Raphael’s vial of the tears of the Virgin Mary at the Crucifixion, which Tabitha tricks Lou into consuming, the Devil gives up on Pop and his diner.
Next, we see Jughead, a struggling writer, realizing how desperately he wants his creative juices flowing. Although initially resistant to Lou’s pressures, he eventually decides to go after fame by getting the interview published. However, his loss of writing ability hits him hard and he agrees to sell his soul to get it back. Veronica and Reggie, caught in their own toxic romantic and business relationship, trick each other to escape the Devil’s deal. Nick St. Clair, in particular, becomes a pawn’s in this couple’s high-stakes soul-selling game.
Lou uses the Trash Bag Killer (TBK) to convince Betty to give in to her dark side. Due to her serial killer genes and an occasional penchant for the evil, Lou envisions Betty as the Whore of Babylon and his own ally. Although Betty doesn’t go over to the dark side, she does kill the TBK after hearing Polly’s screams, only to realize later that it is Glen Scot under the mask. Thus, Lou succeeds partially by pushing Betty over the edge. We realize that the Devil’s charms work more strongly on those who are profoundly lost or those who are readily corruptible.
Lou, thus, is a physical embodiment of the internal and interpersonal problems being faced by Rivervale’s residents. He wisely presents himself as a businessman, making use of contracts and visiting cards, because all his interactions are essentially transactions. Weirdly, Lou is quite fair and allows people to outwit him as long as he receives his share of lost souls.
Thus, Veronica manages to save herself by striking a deal with Lou which involves a weekly selling of the souls that visit her casino. She also gives him Reggie’s soul, angered by his betrayal. All the negative energy in Rivervale thus greatly benefits Lou. However, we know that divine beings, such as Raphael, can easily counter the Devil. Lou does not even attempt to fight back after ingesting the tears.