Riverdale ep. 17 recap “Chapter Seventeen: The Town that Dreaded Sundown”

Archie Andrews is an idiot.

Lovable? Yes. But, this boy is really getting on my nerves here. Thank heavens he has the most level-headed teenager ever as his girlfriend or he’d truly be a level 8 psycho.

After the Red Circle’s threatening video, Archie is feeling the heat. Much of the town has become suspicious, primarily of the Southside (also in thanks to Alice Cooper’s fear mongering in her newspapers). But Archie’s little stunt gets the football program suspended. His teammates all leave the Red Circle when Archie refuses to sign a letter that will dissolve the group.

The Southside Serpents make it a point to make Archie their enemy, much to Jughead’s discomfort. That works for Archie because he believes that the Black Hood is from the Southside.

Unbeknownst to him, Betty received a letter from their little serial killer friend. In the letter, the Black Hood says that he committed the crimes after being inspired by her speech at the Riverdale Jubilee. He enjoyed it so much that he decided to create a test just for Betty (how sweet). Also included is a cipher. On the bright side, Kevin has forgiven Betty! He advises her to go to his dad with the letter, but instead she shares the letter with Alice.

Alice publishes the cipher in her newspaper, and back in the Southside, Jughead and Toni team-up to crack the code together. He ignores Betty’s calls and decides to crack it without his girlfriend. And when Betty finds out that the two have become some sort of “true crime junkies” club.

Flustered, Betty suggests that she, Kevin, Jughead and Toni gather for a bit of a code-breaking party (which sounds fun to me). The group spend much of the night trying to crack the code while Betty tries to dodge the shade thrown by the Southside girl. Toni eventually leaves, but not before she tells Betty that she’s a bit of a bitch for assuming that the Black Hood is a Soutsider, especially since Jughead has been sitting with the Serpents at lunch.

And Betty isn’t the only one harboring unnecessary animosity towards the Southside. Archie, now a lone wolf, takes the advice of Dilton Doiley and goes to a shady gun shop where he buys all the “necessities” he needs. The red-headed idiot goes to the Southside alone to tag a red circle everywhere. But the boy is caught by Jughead’s Serpent friends. To ward them off, Archie pulls out his gun and threatens them with it.

Even with a gun, Arch, you are not a very intimidating little boy.

Poor Veronica is living blissfully unaware of the dark path Archie has gone down. Her parents tell her that she needs to break up with him after the Red Circle video. In pure spite, she decides to make Red Circle t-shirts and open up the group to all the other students at the school.

So when Archie gets called into the hallway by Mr Weatherbee and Sheriff Keller, she’s surprised that the t-shirts are not the thing that got him into trouble. Rather, the fool was spotted in the Southside brandishing a gun around in the middle of the street. Weatherbee and the sheriff search Archie’s locker. They don’t find the gun, but they do find the black hood that Reggie had worn while playing a prank on Archie.

Why was Archie keeping this stupid hood in locker? Lord knows, but someone please get some sense into this boy.

Archie’s dark spiral is ultimately why Betty doesn’t want to tell everyone about her letter. When Jughead finds the Black Hood’s letter to Betty, he confronts her. When she admits why she’s afraid, he reminds her that Archie truly knows who the good and bad guys are. That, poor Jughead, is seriously debatable.

Archie, now barred from school property, calls Veronica and asks her to get his gun for him, which is hidden in the school toilets. She arrives at his house, telling him that she threw it into Sweetwater River. But the two are interrupted by the football team. Since Archie didn’t rat out Reggie to Weatherbee, the football team forgive him and arrive at his house with pizza.

They agree to rejoin the Circle, but before anyone can share out the bro-hugs, they’re interrupted by the pack of Serpents that Archie threatened. The two group get riled up and a rumble ensues. During the fight, Dilton is stabbed in the leg. Before anything can get much worse, Veronica fires the not-in-the-river gun.

This gem of a woman probably saved a couple of lives. While nursing Archie, she tells him that he needs to change his fighting tactic. Both agree to end the circle of violence, and go together to actually dispose of the run in the river.

But while the children are getting into their scraps, Betty finally remembers where she’s seen the cipher. The Black Hood’s clue said it was a code with her in mind, and a reminder sends her to the library where she grabs a copy of Nancy Drew’s Secret Codes. She cracks the cipher, and sees that it reads “I will strike where it all began.”

Betty and Jughead run together to the town hall, where Mayor McCoy is having her emergency meeting. The two kids manage to get everyone out of the building.

It’s questionable whether or not that’s exactly what the Black Hood wanted. Though if he truly had faith in Betty, it’s unlikely that he was really planning on striking at the town hall meeting.

After the meeting, Betty receives a call from an Unknown caller. Surprise, surprise. It’s her new BFF: the Black Hood.

The fact that the Black Hood has Betty’s number is very interesting. And with that, I’ve formed an early theory (though I’m always proved wrong). What if, what if it’s the Cooper parents. Some sort of way of showing their ultimate dedication to their daughter. Hal fits the description of the Black Hood. AND Alice seems to be enjoying these killings all a bit too much.

Also, Veronica and I have the same skirt, which makes us official soul sisters. This is important. Feel free to be jealous.

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