Riverdale ep. 16 recap “Chapter Sixteen: The Watcher in the Wood”

Riverdale has a lot on its plate. For one thing, its football season seems to last the entire year, which must be a lot of work, and the people seem to be bullet-proof.

Yes, both Midge and Moose are still alive after Moose was shot in the car. Kevin, who was “running in the woods”, heard Midge screaming for help and was able to get them both to the hospital. 

Moose had managed to shield Midge from the bullets, saving her from a hospital recovery like him. But the next attack is enough to push Archie even further to the edge. 

Despite buying a gun previously, Archie decides not to take a violent approach to his revenge. Rather, he’s inspired by an old comic called The Red Circle. He gathers several of the boys in his school and starts a watch group. No violence, no vigiantilism. Just watching. 

And the group works. Archie and Reggie are able to save Ethel when she’s being stalked by a van one night. Honestly, though, if anything happened to poor Barb ever again, I don’t think I could handle it. 

But Archie’s group was also inspired by something else: Hiram Lodge. 

Veronica spends much of the episode trying to win her father’s admiration and love. She and her mother, on the other hand, battle it out. 

When Hiram invites Archie over for dinner, Hermione warns Veronica that it’s dangerous. But her daughter ignores her. 

At the dinner, Hiram takes Archie into his study — the one place Veronica is desperate to be allowed in. Hiram commends Archie for his work with the Red Circle but tells him that Archie needs to start fighting fear with fear. 

And the figure casting fear over Riverdale is wearing a black hood. 

One day, the Coopers receive a package at the house and find a letter from someone calling themselves the Black Hood. The man claims responsibility for shooting Fred, Midge and Moose, and for killing Ms Grundy. He vows to cleanse Riverdale from the evils growing in it. 

The Coopers publish the letter in their newspaper, causing panic in the town. But no one is as panicked as the unmarried girl carrying the children of her cousin: Polly.

Polly vows to run away to the farm that she and Jason were planning on going to. She eventually follows through, leaving Betty behind again.

But Betty’s real problem is Kevin. The “night jogs” just happen to take place in the woods where Midge and Moose were shot.

Understandably concerned, Betty tried to warn Kevin away from the woods. Their relationship quickly deteriorates as Betty refuses to understand things from Kevin’s perspective.

Cheryl Blossom of all people steps in and explains to Betty that Kevin struggles with low self-esteem. Being gay in Riverdale isn’t easy, and there are very few options. 

But one night, Kevin approaches a man in a car, but is scared away by Betty’s warning repeating in his head. When he gets home, his father is waiting for him. 

Sheriff Keller tells Kevin that he wants his son safe, and wants to have more open talks. But while that might seem like a happy ending, it seems to be the end of Betty and Kevin’s relationship. 

Though it seems bigger problems lie in Betty’s future and it’s called Toni Topaz.

As Jughead settles in at his new school, he’s shown the ropes by Toni, who is a Serpent. 

She warns Jughead that if he doesn’t affiliate himself with the Serpents, the rival gang the Ghoulies will “make him their bitch”. 

But Juggie doesn’t listen. He answers questions in class, starts up their newspaper, makes the link between the Ghoulies and the Blossoms’ drug smuggling. 

Which, by the way, is Jingle Jangle.

Toni agrees to be Jughead’s photographer, and when she meets Betty their jealous girl haunches begin to go up. 

Jughead is eventually beaten up by the Ghoulies and he reluctantly crawls back to Toni and the other Serpents for protection. Clearly nothing Betty wants, but ignorance is bliss?

More trouble is definitely looming. But this is Riverdale. 

Archie takes Hiram’s advice and makes a video of the Red Circle threatening the Black Hood. And Veronica asks to have more involvement in Lodge Industries. 

And it all seems to be playing into Hiram’s hands. But what exactly is the man up to? He does feel like someone who is untouchable. The gang hardly seems up to taking down a white-collar criminal.

This is actually shaping up to be another good mystery for Riverdale. And this episode was by far the best looking. A show truly getting into good form. 

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One comment

  1. I just finished watching the episode! The video Archie shot with the red circle was a bit…interesting…All those guys in balaclavas with no shirts seems like the start of something else to me… Also, I’m really glad Kevin is getting more screen time! He definitely deserves it!!!

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