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Riverdale Ep. 22 “Chapter Twenty-Two: Silent Night, Deadly Night”

If I had a Riverdale Christmas wishlist it would include:

  • More Alice Cooper (more parental drama overall, please).
  • Betty/Archie/Jughead/Veronica to sort their shit out. I’m so bored with the off-and-on again relationships.
  • The return of Molly Ringwald.
  • Jughead to remember that he’s a “weirdo” not a feisty gang member.
  • And a better fucking ending than we just got in episode 22.

So. This was a bit of a mixed-bag here for a mid-season finale. Apparently it’s Christmas, which means Riverdale officially has the most confusing seasons. Didn’t Archie save Cheryl from a frozen river a few weeks ago? Why isn’t there any snow on the ground in December?

Anyway, Christmas means lots of gifts and Secret Santa. It also means no one has any money.

The Blossoms are broke. And the Andrews are definitely screwed. Thanks to terrible health coverage in America, Fred receives a bill for $86,000 from the hospital. He and Archie try selling Christmas trees just to make more money, but it’s obvious that that whopper of a medical bill will make things a little more than tight this season.

But Archie has other things to worry about, namely his ex-girlfriend. Yes the two pairs are still calling it quits despite having the dumbest reasonings ever. Jughead still wants to “protect” Betty (though it’s plenty clear that every girl in Riverdale can protect themselves) by pushing her away. And well, Veronica just wants to “be there” for Archie. Of course they all still exchange gifts they got for each other before they broke up.

At Kevin’s Secret Santa exchange, things get more awkward. Veronica gets a couples message (for $20 – sure), and Betty gets a really cute gift from Archie that makes both Veronica and Jughead sweat.

Though don’t let that Christmas spirit fool you, because there’s still a serial killer on the loose! Betty and Archie both realise that Mr Svenson (aka Joseph Conway) is gone, and has been replaced by a temporary janitor. When B&A inquire about Svenson’s whereabouts, they’re told that he usually takes this time of the year off, considering he has no family.

You know, despite the fact that he was adopted and would have a family that way. But adopted families don’t count.

The two go to Mr Svenson’s house, and he doesn’t answer. All they find is a bowl of chicken soup left by the school secretary days before. Instead of calling the police about their concern, the kids just go away.

When Betty gets home that night, Alice tells her that Betty has received a Secret Santa gift, and it’s waiting in her room. But it’s something that probably wasn’t on Betty’s wishlist: Mr Sevnson’s finger.

Jughead continues this now-tedious storyline of him and his “payment” to Penny Peabody (anyone else get her and Sweet Pea confused?). FP has shouldered the blame for it in order to protect Jughead. But since Jughead has since long ditched his copy of Perks of Being a Wallflower, he’s full-on snake now.

He keeps trying to get FP to stop the drug deliveries, but FP is determined to keep the peace with Penny. After FP’s parole office stops by, Jughead realises that he needs to take matters into his own hands. To protect his dad or whatever. Obviously no one thinks any adult can handle themselves in this stupid town.

Jughead eventually rallies the young Serpents and asks them to join him in getting rid of Penny. They eventually kidnap her and take her to Greendale where they cut off her Southside Serpent tattoo. Well, if we can have Dark Betty, I guess we also get Sadistic Jughead. GREAT!

Living the free and single life, Veronica has nothing better to do than dig up dirt on her parents. She asks them for help paying Fred’s medical bills, but they insist they can’t, and don’t want to. So when you don’t get what you want, just dig through your father’s files!

Veronica learns that her parents did buy Pop’s after all, despite lying to her about their “charitable donation” earlier. In revenge, she calls the hospital and pays of Fred’s bills with her mom’s black American Excess card. When she confronts her parents, they finally tell her to grow up (kind of), and that she needs to be all in or get over it.

So Veronica finally learns the truth about Lodge Industries. Shame is, we don’t. Which really kills any interest I had in this story line.

Speaking of killing! Archie and Betty decide to go to Sisters of Quiet Mercy, where Mr Svenson lived after his family was killed. They learn that as a boy, he pointed out the wrong man who committed murder of his family. The group of people who killed the man came in only once, and all the Sister can remember is that one of the women had white hair with a red streak.

Nana Rose Blossom.

When B&A go to speak to Nana Rose, she tells them that the man wasn’t hung, but rather buried at the foot at a tree called the Devil’s hand. Oh and the man wasn’t hung – he was buried alive. Also, Betty’s grandfather was involved.

Betty becomes upset about her grandfather’s involvement, and Archie does his best to rally her. She takes this as her moment to make a move on Archie, which doesn’t seem to be either a good or bad thing. It just happens.

The two then go to the Cooper’s house where all of Betty’s grandfather’s photos are. They eventually find one of her grandfather in front of a tree, with small mound in front of them (and somehow no one has noticed that this was weird before, huh?).

They realise that the tree is the one in Pickens Park. When they arrive, they find a head stone with Conway’s name on it. They begin to dig and eventually find a coffin, only to discover no one is inside.

Then the Black Hood arrives. He holds the kids up at gunpoint, and demands that Archie get into the coffin. Archie complies, but then Betty is ordered to close the cover and start to bury Archie herself.

In the nick of time, the police arrive, successfully distracting the Black Hood long enough that Betty can hit him with the shovel. She gets Archie out, but the BH is already running away. Thankfully, the fool has dropped the gun. Archie and Betty corner the Black Hood at a bridge, that the Black Hood is about to jump off of.

Before Archie can shoot the Black Hood, Sheriff Keller does. With the Black Hood dead, Betty removes the hood, and learns that all along, the Black Hood was Mr Svenson.

Yes fucking really.

Later, then the gang is all together talking about the events, they all seem to easily believe that Mr Svenson was completely capable of being the Black Hood despite only being a character for about three episodes.

If there is one thing I have learned from reading a lot of mystery novels it’s this: never, EVER choose a small side character as your culprit – especially if they show up late in the book.

Well, you know, janitors! They’re everywhere! They see everything! He was repenting for his own sins! That totally explains away the green eyes, the Nancy Drew reference, AND EVERY OTHER CLUE GIVEN TO US ALL SEASON.

God.

There’s some shit after this about exchanging gifts, but I could care less. Veronica and Archie are together again after Veronica realises she’s jealous of Betty actually loves Archies.

Betty then burns her evidence from the case, but not her own black hood because she’s dark. Ooooh. You know what they say, “When one because a stripper, it’s a slippery path to becoming a serial killer.”

Ugh.

Cheryl has a really weird subplot this episode. But she was nuts and that’s how we like her best. She goes on a Christmas rampage, buying a tree without her mother’s permission. She then tells her mother that Mrs Blossom needs a job, probably from the Lodges by 2018. Then she catches her mom with the Christmas tree salesman. Because of course.

So the Black Hood is Mr Svenson? Well, I hardly believe it. Or maybe I just don’t want to believe it. The first season absolutely stuck the landing with the reveal of Jason’s demise, and I have complete confidence that the writers would be able to do the same thing with the Black Hood.

My theory is, is that the Black Hood has been making Mr Svenson be his puppet. We’ve never seen the BH not in total control. Why would he drop his guard now? Wouldn’t he even consider that Betty and/or Archie would have called the police?

Either way, this mystery definitely isn’t over. Whether Svenson was the Black Hood or not, there’s clearly a bigger problem on the horizon: the Riverdale Reaper.

I for one am looking forward to a break from Riverdale. The show will return in the third week of January (the 17th in the US, the 18th internationally on Netflix).

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Riverdale ep. 21 recap “Chapter Twenty-one: House of the Devil”

This week’s episode of Riverdale took a break from the intense serial-killer business to remind us that this is still, at heart, very much a teen drama.

Archie and Veronica’s relationship over the course of the seasons has been heating up. Nothing like putting a fire out like saying, “I love you, Ronnie” too early. And that’s exactly what poor Archie does. Emotionally-warped Veronica freezes, and changes the subject.

So staying apart would be ideal, other than Betty and Jughead need their friends’ help more than usual this week. Jughead was able to find a clipping about the Riverdale Reaper story. He shows the article to Betty, who realises that the killing took place in the abandoned house the Black Hood ordered to her go to.

But Betty, unable to face the house again, refuses to go back. And Jughead is out of the sleuthing game too when he gets the news that FP will be released from prison due to over-crowding. That leaves the mystery-solving to Veronica and Archie this week. Or as Veronica says, “You wants us to be you guys?”

When Veronica returns home from school, her parents tell her that they’ve received a letter from the Black Hood. Dozens of other families received identical letters, but since the Lodges are actually horrible people, they have reason to worry. Hermione and Hiram reassure Veronica that they’ll be fine, as their lobby man is trained in Jujitsu or something. But they would feel even better if Archie was around more. And, you know, that sounds fantastic when you’re setting up ending things with your ginger boyfriend.

In preparation for FP’s return, Jughead amps up his “I heart being a Serpent” shtick. When Tall Boy pushes back, it’s put up to a vote whether or not the man should shut up, he loses and Jughead earns more respect from his fellow gang members.

But when FP, Jughead, Betty and Alice go to pick up FP – the Serpent leader claims that he wants to go straight and leave the gang. He tells them that he has even joined AA to quit drinking, and applies for a job at Pop’s.

Meanwhile, Archie and Veronica continue investigating the Riverdale Reaper murders. They go to speak to Sheriff Keller, telling him the files are missing. He explains that since it was a cold case, the investigator could take the files with him. The Sheriff at the time, now dead two years, was obsessed with the case. When the call his daughter, she tells them that her father had called the house The Devil’s House, which I imagine means its always warm.

FP begins his job at Pop’s. Jughead is uncomfortable with it, especially when Cheryl Blossom purposefully knocks over a milkshake and orders FP to clean it up – like he did with her brother’s blood.

Let’s not even talk about Cheryl this week. What’s her deal anyway?

Taking things into her own hands, Betty decides to throw FP a “retirement” party. Complete with all the Serpents. She goes to ask Toni for help, who agrees. While at the Wormhole, Betty tries to learn how she can be affiliated with the Serpents herself to keep an eye on Jughead. One of the older Serpent women tell Betty that she can do “the Serpent Dance,” which is some sort of sexist strip tease. And we all know Dark Betty will be super into that.

Veronica, who is doing her best to avoid all relationship chat, and Archie go to the Devil’s House together. The flashback shows the identity of the Riverdale Reaper, and proves that it’s no one in the cast. When going through the rooms one-by-one to follow the sequence of events, they discover a clue: the initials carved into the doorframe. They realise that while four people were killed that night, there were five people in the family.

The next rule of order is discovering who the surviving son’s identity. V and A learn that the boy was adopted by a family in Riverdale, and his identity changed in order to be protected. The two go through the Riverdale year books to find a match, and Ronnie does. A Joseph Svenson, the school janitor.

When they confront him, Mr Svenson says he knew the identity of the Reaper. He had crawled out of his window and watched to see the identity of the man who killed his family. Later he pointed out the man, a conman, to some men in town. The men took it upon themselves to serve justice, and killed the man themselves.

While Veronica jumps to conclusions, Archie immediately realises that Svenson isn’t a vengeful man posing as the Black Hood. Again, the green eyes don’t match.

The night of FP’s retirement party arrives, and everyone is getting a bit freaky. Alice, upon FP’s invitation, arrives dressed in full Serpent get up. Betty takes out her ponytail.

Then the painfully uncomfortable events begin to unfold.

Why, Riverdale?

Archie finally gets his moment to confront Veronica about the whole “I love you” business. She thanks him for being understanding that she’s not ready, when that’s clearly not the case. They go onstage together and sing “Mad World” together. Which is such a weird choice for karaoke.

Veronica runs off stage mid song, and Archie follows. When the Serpents begin to boo and get rowdy, Betty hops on stage and begins to sing instead. Cute!

Then she begins to strip and do the Serpent Dance. Not cute. I mean, your mom and your boyfriend’s dad are there. YOU ARE SIXTEEN, BETTY.

In seriously one of the most excruciating scenes in television history, Betty is ushered off stage by FP. Again. YOUR BOYFRIEND’S DAD.

Alice tries to get her daughter to leave, but Betty is convinced she’s doing the right thing. Though she soon learns she really fucking didn’t.

FP, now on stage, doesn’t choose to sing “Sweet Caroline,” but instead announces that he’s going against police orders to stay with the Serpents. Off stage, FP tells Jughead that he learnt that Penny Peabody wants a lot out of Jughead (meaning more “pancake mix” deliveries). With FP staying, Jughead is off the hook.

Frustrated, Jughead pushes Betty away. In fairness, not many boyfriend would be thrilled to see their SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD girlfriend strip in front of a biker gang. He tells her that if she gets involved, he’d no longer be able to protect her. And with that, Bughead are over yet again.

Which might be okay, as it’s curtains for Veronica and Archie as well. It had been written in the stars since last season that Archie was having a sort of “Betty sexual awakening.” And he didn’t even get to watch her little show!

I’m in some sort of feminist pickle here. On one hand, ladies have every right to express their sexuality. If you want to be a stripper, be a stripper, girl! But it feels profoundly wrong putting a teenager in that situation. Even if actress Lili Reinhart is 21. Riverdale is great when its insanity is cranked up, but this probably isn’t the right direction to push it in.

It almost didn’t matter that these two relationships ended. I mean, it would be an Archie comics based show if we didn’t have Archie swapping between his favourite two ladies, so we saw this coming anyway. But those moments shouldn’t be overshadowed. They should be important. Even when you’re just a teen, these things are really profound.

I’m going to forget about this episode now. This really wan’t a good one. I’m just going to think happy thoughts of Mädchen Amick and Skeet Ulrich’s sexual tension.

Riverdale ep. 19 recap “Chapter Nineteen: Death Proof”

This episode of Riverdale is rather prophetic in a way. With the truth about Hollywood scum coming to light, many people are asking themselves: what will happen to these powerful man when they do bad things?

Well, if you’re in Riverdale, it seems you get off easy.

In last week’s episode, Betty gave Nick St Clair’s name to the black hood in order to keep him away from Polly. She goes to check up on the boy, and discovers that he’s still alive. While at his hotel, the police arrive to take him into questioning.

Cheryl’s mother meets with the Lodges and tells them that she (or Cheryl) won’t be pressing charges, and that the Lodges can continue with their business dealings with the St Clairs. Cheryl, who overhears the conversation while in Veronica’s bedroom, resigns herself to her fate. When Veronica tells Cheryl that she was also almost assaulted, Cheryl’s mood quickly changes and she tells Veronica that she’s not going to be a puppet for her.

Betty receives her next call from the Black Hood. When she questions why Nick is still alive, the Black Hood tells her that he couldn’t kill Nick because he isn’t one of Riverdale’s sons. But the Black Hood knows he’s seen the real Betty, and “the real work can begin.”

Meanwhile, poor Jughead is left picking up the pieces after his relationship ended with Betty. He seemingly finds solace in Toni, but at Pop’s she tells him that she’s actually more interested in girls – and not at all interested in being his rebound. Betty and Archie spot the two of them together, but before they can feel too sorry for themselves, they each get simultaneous calls from their parents.

Lo and behold, somehow Alice Cooper has discovered that the children took Jingle Jangle at the party in Nick’s room. Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy are in tow as well as the other children’s parents. Reggie admits that he procured the drugs under Nick’s insistence, and had got them from a dealer on the southside. When Mayor McCoy discovers that her daughter Josie, whose father has struggled with addiction, also took part, she goes full mommy monster.

The mayor and the sheriff decide to raid South Side High and wrangle some snakes. Archie arrives in time to hide Jughead away, but it doesn’t stop Juggie from seeing his friends and fellow gang members be arrested.

Later that day, Betty receives her follow-up call from the Black Hood. He tells her that her next project is to discover the identity of the Sugar Man (hint: it’s not Rodriguez). He tells Betty that the Sugar Man is responsibility for the spread of the drugs in Riverdale, and that she should seek Cheryl Blossom’s help.

Cheryl isn’t particularly helpful to Betty’s, surprise, surprise. She does divulge that it was a boogeyman her mother made up to scare her and Jason. But when Cheryl later presses her mother about it, Penelope claims to know nothing.

But while going through a memory box, she finds an old child’s drawing of her, Jason and the Sugar Man.

The bust at South Side High puts everyone in that neck of the woods on edge. FP’s right-hand-man, Tall Boy, asks Jughead to meet them. Jughead arrives and meets a mouth-piece of the rival gang the Ghoulies. He’s then told about a potential alliance between the two gangs. Considering the Ghoulies are the ones responsible for pushing the hard drugs in Riverdale, that’s not exactly please news for Juggie. But the plan can’t go ahead without Jughead’s blessing, considering he’s FP’s son.

Jughead, in a panic, is able to trust Archie again. The two decide to pay a visit to FP in prison. After telling him their news, he shares his idea: a drag race. It’s the sort of thing the flashy Ghoulies go for. The winner of the race will win control over the the southside.

When the two boys go to deliver their challenge, they’re interrupted by the arrival of Betty and Veronica, who have been caught (seemingly on purpose) by some gang members.

Yes, B&V are back together – tag-teaming their crime-solving like how things should be. At Pop’s Veronica, listens in on a conversation Betty has with Sheriff Keller about the Sugar Man. Keller tells her that the Jingle Jangle only hit streets after Clifford Blossom died.

When Veronica asks Betty, the blonde caves and tells her best friend everything about the Black Hood, which begs the question: where are the boundaries for the serial killer’s rules? But Veronica immediately agrees to help Betty track down the Sugar Man, and the two girls (after getting the name of the dealer off Reggie) stage a fake deal in order to follow the dealer to his den.

But all together again, the girls learn about the boys’ idiotic idea to have a dragrace with the Ghoulies. Betty offers to help Jughead fix up Reggie’s car. While she can explain things to Veronica, she’s still hesitant to explain why she broke up with Jughead. Seemingly keeping him at a distance is far safer than the truth.

At Pop’s, Cheryl sees Nick St Clair, who is on his way out of town with his parents. He tells Cheryl that no one will believe her story, especially since her mother took hush money from his parents, and the deal between the Lodges and the St Clairs is still going through. She confront Penelope about the money, and shows her mother that she has the check the St Clairs had written to Penelope to keep quiet.

Cheryl offers that she will give back the check if her mother gives her information on the Sugar Man. But Penelope, as stubborn as her daughter, refuses.

Not to be one to let anything go, Cheryl calls Veronica and tells her about the deal. Veronica goes to her parents and tells them that Nick nearly assaulted her. Her parents, finally acting like parents, become incredibly irate, and agree to cancel the deal.

On the day of the race, Veronica begs Archie to stay behind, but he assures her that he has a plan up his sleeve. He joins Jughead in the car, ready to face off with the Ghoulies. As they set off, they need to beat the Ghoulies over a narrow bridge, but as they approach, Archie tells Jughead to stop. The Ghoulies’ soar over the bridge, seemingly to win the race.

Jughead becomes irate at Archie, but he soon discovers that his friend had called the police to arrest the gang members in the car. The rest of the spectators scatter. Jughead tells Archie that his stupid idea only bought them a few months, where winning the race could have secured their safety. But Archie still believes he did the right thing to protect his friend.

As she arrives home that night, Cheryl finds her mother sitting by the fire. Penelope admits that the Sugar Man exists, but has in fact been several different men throughout the years. Clifford had decided to take Jason to meet the current Sugar Man, and that meeting triggered the events that led to Jason’s death.

Feeling the guilt about not protecting her daughter, Penelope throws the check into the fire. Then, she reveals the true identity of the current Sugar Man to Cheryl.

After learning the truth from Cheryl, Betty gets her call from the Black Hood. Only the girl has the upper hand. She tells the Black Hood that she has already alerted the police, leaving the drug lord’s fate in the hands of true justice.

It’s then revealed that the Sugar Man is Mr Phillips, Jughead’s English teacher that allowed him to start up the school newspaper again. He was strictly a no-drugs article kind of man. Though Betty thinks the man is in safe hands, we do see him be murdered by the Black Hood while in custody.

Again, with access to those cells, who the hell is the Black Hood?

But no, no. This isn’t the most shocking moment of the wrap-up.

Hermione receives a phone call one night, and responds to some tragic news with no emotion. She sits down with her husband and her daughter, and tells them that the St Clairs had been in a terrible car accident. Nick has suffered, and it will take months for him to full recover.

“Oh well, karma’s a bitch,” replies Veronica.

Chills. Is Veronica becoming more like her parents the more she’s dragged into Lodge Industries? She clearly knew what was going to happen. And Betty’s final exchange with the Black Hood? Which of these girls in Riverdale is the ultimate threat? I personally wouldn’t want to face any of them in a dark alley.

You know, if we were to follow using Archies’ songs as drug references, maybe the next Sugar Man could be a Candy Girl? Eh, eh? Any takers, Cheryl?

“Chapter Nineteen” is a solid follow-up to last week’s episode, which is possibly the best episode the show has produced to far. It can be tough to top a season with a murder mystery. Like Twin Peaks, the main focus is on one discovering the killer of one person. But unlike Laura Palmer, we don’t really care about Jason Blossom. Thankfully, the writers of Riverdale have been clever enough to build a mystery that I think is certainly shaping up to be far superior.

Riverdale ep. 18 recap “Chapter Eighteen: When a Stranger Calls”

Well, kids. That was dark one.

This past week, I introduced my husband to Riverdale and I had a chance to watch the entirety of season 1 for the second time.  And I have to say, season 2 is definitely shaping up to eclipse last season’s mystery.

“Chapter Seventeen” left us in suspense about what exactly the Black Hood wanted from Betty. And surprise, surprise the answer isn’t anything nice. The Black Hood begins to manipulate Betty, telling her that he will kill Polly next if she tells anyone about their contact.

So Betty tells Archie. Technically, the Black Hood only singled out Betty’s parents, the police and Jughead.

But poor Archie is dragged into a mess bigger than he’s ready for. Actually, it’s really not a nice week for him at all.

Veronica, now with an active role in Lodge Industries, is asked to show around her old friend Nick St. Clair around Riverdale. His parents are potential investors in the Lodges’ building site, so Veronica needs to treat him like a prince.

But Nick is a shadow of Veronica’s old, bad girl past. When Nick arrives, he’s clearly there to stir up trouble. Archie immediately takes a dislike to the guy, probably because he seems to bring out the worst in V.

As Veronica is distracted, Betty gets pulled down further into the darkness that is Black Hood. With his second call, he tells her to publish the article that he emails to her. If she complies, she will be rewarded with an answer to a question she asks him. When she and Archie look at the email, they see a picture of a young Shelly Johnson Alice Cooper.

Rather, it isn’t a picture, but a mugshot of Alice from her Southside Serpent days. Though Betty initially plans to not follow through, she does after her mother claims that Betty faked her letter from the Black Hood for attention. Sheriff Keller divulged that the handwriting on Alice’s letter and Betty’s do not, in fact, match.

With the information published, and Alice’s reputation essentially ruined, Betty gets her first question: “The face under the hood – would I recognise it?” To which the Black Hood replies yes. He then tells her that he wants Betty to start cutting people out of her life, starting with Veronica.

Nick goes to Riverdale High to meet the Pussycats. He invites them and Cheryl to a party at his hotel, along with Betty, who reluctantly agrees. At the party, Nick pulls out more jingle jangle. Veronica, not vocal about how boring she finds Riverdale, agrees to take the drug. And eventually, the rest of the room caves as well (including Archie).

The only kid abstaining is, Betty, who watches the party as she sits alone. When Veronica tries to coax Betty into joining in on the fun, Betty begins to call Veronica out.  She tells Veronica that she only hangs out with the kids from Riverdale because of her circumstances (which, to be fair, is probably true of most people – not just former New York socialites).

Veronica is hurt, and the B&V friendship is seemingly over and done with. In the next call, the Black Hood says he will stop his killings if Betty shows her devotion to him. And to prove that, he tells her she needs to cut Jughead out of her life.

When Archie confronts Betty, she admits that she had more phone calls from the Black Hood, which she had been hiding from him. She begs for him to break up with Juggie for her. And he does.

But while in the Southside, Archie runs into his little Serpents friends from the fight. He then learns that Jughead is in the midst of becoming initiated into the gang.

Jughead’s decision to join them came after Toni told him that his dad basically kept the peace between the North and Southside of Riverdale. Thinking he can fill his Dad’s books, Jughead completes his initiation tests and becomes a fully-fledged Southside Serpent.

With Betty out of the way, Toni makes her move on Jughead, who actually seems quite pleased.

Meanwhile, Veronica’s parents throw their soiree to raise money for their project. Unbeknownst to the St. Clairs, Veronica fought off Nick’s advances the night before. But the boy is seemingly on his best behaviour, even apologising to Veronica.

(Oh and Alice shows up in a ridiculous snake-themed outfit and I cry because she’s the actual goddess of evil and I love it.)

Though Nick proves himself to be even more poisonous than a serpent. He drugs Cheryl Blossom’s drink, and drags her away from the party. Thankfully Veronica and the Pussycats notice Cheryl’s odd behaviour and follow them.

They enter Nick’s room just in time to stop him from potentially raping Cheryl. The girls then proceed to beat the shit out of him. Betty is called to meet them, and is told about what happened.

That night, Betty gets another call from the Black Hood. She tells him that she only has one more question for him: who is he? He tells her to go to an abandoned house where she finds a box. Inside is a black hood, and over the phone the Black Hood tells her to put it on and look in the mirror. He tells Betty that they are just the same.

Later, after meeting with Veronica, Cheryl and the other girls, the Black Hood calls for a final time. He tells her that he knows she’s been confiding in Archie. Because she’s betrayed him, he is going to kill Polly. She begs for him not to, but he demands a name in return. The name she gives? Nick St. fucking Clair.

Last week I said that I thought Hal Cooper could be behind it as he fits the profile, but what if it’s actually the long-lost Cooper brother? Making Betty put on the hood might have been simply symbolic, or the killer was trying to draw attention to their matching green eyes. Last season Betty said her brother would be in his mid-twenties. But what if he’s just really, really rugged?

So, that’s probably a long shot. But I’m NOT giving up on my Cooper theory!

Riverdale really pulled something incredible with this episode. It could possibly be one of the best thus far. In the top three for me, certainly. Watching Betty’s slow, spiral into isolation is truly horrible to watch.

And really, the dynamics between the characters is getting complex. The children are for once more interesting than the parents, who absolutely stole the first season.

If things are looking this bad already, what the hell is in store for these kids for the rest of the season?

Riverdale Ep. 15 recap “Chapter Fifteen: Nighthawks”

In this week’s episode, the Lodge’s do their very best to become the new Blossoms. Also, Riverdale mades sure to shatter every theory I had made from last week’s premier.

But I can’t hold it against you, Riverdale. I like a show that’s two steps ahead of me at all times.

In the wake of Fred Andrew’s shoot, Pop’s Chock’Lit Shoppe is struggling with business. And it’s no small surprise that Betty immediately begins a campaign to save it.

But neither Archie nor Jughead are interested in being her major supports. Archie now spends most of his time staying awake at night to watch the doors in the house. He knows that the man who shot his father is still at large, leaving Archie feeling vulnerable. He even approaches Reggie for some “jingle jangle” – a drug that will help him stay up at night.

Jughead, on the other hand, is trying to save FP from agreeing to the horrible deal that the lawyer managed to get. Juggie goes to the Serpents for help again, and is even naive enough to suggest a jailbreak. But he’s told that he can see a snake handler for help.

The snake handler in question is lawyer Penny Peabody, another Southside Serpent. The gang, she claims, paid her way through law school. When Jughead goes to see her, she tells him the obvious: the deal for FP is a shit one (20 years with the deal, at least 40 if his case goes to trial). And the only way she can see FP managing a better position is by the family of the victim to forgive FP in front of a judge.

And getting the Blossoms to do something nice for you is not an easy task. Betty and Jughead go to the Blossom women to ask for their help, but are immediately turned down. But Betty isn’t one to take things lightly. She hunts down Cheryl and threatens to make the video of Clifford Blossom fatally shooting Jason public.

Cheryl reluctantly agrees, and lies in front of a judge. Cheryl also agrees to allowing the River Vixens to help out at Betty’s Retro Night event at Pop’s.

Veronica spends much of the episode running away from her father. When she receives a call from Betty that Pop’s received an offer from an anonymous buyer, she confronts her parents about it, assuming that her father made the offer. She then shows her mother the threatening letter she received from her dad, forcing Veronica to testify for him.

But Hermione waves away the letter, and claims to have written it herself. And really, if she admits to doing that, what else is this woman capable of? Though, being as shrewd as she is, Veronica decides to simply not trust either of her parents.

Archie eventually learns of Miss Grundy’s death. He immediately connects the death of his former flame with the shooting of his father. He approaches Alice Cooper and asks her to visit the coroner to find out details.

Alice, being the nosy lady she is, agrees to see the body. The coroner tells her that Miss Grundy was killed with an object from the house, and since there was no sign of forced entry – she was most likely killed by someone she knew. The coroner also divulges that Miss Grundy had been killed in a crime of passion.

With that news, Archie goes to the sheriff. He says that he believes the killer could be Miss Grundy’s ex-husband, but Sheriff Keller says that her ex had already been brought in and had an “air-tight alibi”. So…so much for that theory.

During retro night at Pop’s, a flurry of activity happens (much to Alice Cooper’s glee). The Pussycats perform (plus Cheryl!), Archie finally is able to go back into Pop’s and Pop’s announces that his Chock’lit Shoppe has been saved.

Veronica, after a heart-to-heart with Jughead, finally forgives her parents and asks them for a fresh start. The Lodges agree to their daughter’s idea, and Hiram says he will make a large “charitable contribution” to help Pop’s.

But only when Veronica is out of earshot do the secrets pour out of Hiram. He tells Hermione that they’ve bought Pop’s (exactly what Veronica said she didn’t want). He also thanks Hermione for lying for him by claiming she wrote the threatening letter.

See, Veronica? That’s what you get for being a forgiving woman without actually having a reason to be forgiving.

As the episode closes, all hell begins to break loose (as seems to be typical of a Riverdale episode this season thus far). Cheryl gets the video back from Betty, and shows her mother the video of Jason’s death. FP calls Jughead, warning him to stay away from Peabody. Archie BUYS A GUN. And after all that theorising: both Midge and Moose are murdered.

So there are are with that. With a 22-episode season this year, I think Riverdale really needs to make this a big mystery. “Chapter Fifteen” certainly does that.

Why Midge and Moose? Was Archie just being selfish? Well, probably. Considering Midge only made her first on-screen appearance this episode, it’s hard to pin down exactly what she and her boyfriend could be guilty of, if anything at all. It’s certainly a chin scratcher. But I really can’t wait to see the kids lose it over this double homicide.

But one aside: with so many dads present in this episode, where the heck is Hal Cooper (and Polly for that matter)? At least we have time to fill the gaps. Is it next week already?

Riverdale Ep. 13 recap “Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter”

After last week’s unbelievable episode, Riverdale turned much more somber for it’s final chapter in its first season.

Many of the residents are coming to terms (or rather, not coming to terms) with their new Riverdale. It’s confirmed that Clifford Blossom was using the maple syrup business as a front to smuggle heroin out of Montreal in his trucks.

The discovery of the heroin only puts more pressure on FP, as the sheriff and mayor believe that the Serpents are the ones responsible for selling the drugs in Riverdale. FP is insistent that the gang never pushed any hard drugs, but the gang are an easy scapegoat.

To further push their agenda, Mayor McCoy and Principal Weatherbee ask Betty and Archie to be the face of Riverdale’s 75th Jubilee (a cute nod to Archie comic’s 75th anniversary this year). The adults tell the two kids that they want to celebrate how they all worked together to bring peace to Riverdale. Which, as Betty points out, is not really true. But they reluctantly agree.

But devious, wonderful little Betty has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. She begins to prepare an article about Clifford Blossom and how the Southside Serpents are getting an unfair amount of blame in Jason Blossom’s death. But the Coopers refuse to publish it in their newspaper. They tell her that there is a lot more violence towards the gang and they don’t want Betty to be the next target.

Betty, who is not happy with her new-reunited family’s returned faux-happiness, confronts her mom when Alice tells her off for publishing the story about the Serpents in the Blue and Gold. Alice is angry at her daughter, who ended up getting “go to Hell Serpent Slut” painted on her locker, but Betty turns the tables and begins to question her mom instead.

Alice refuses to answer any of Betty’s questions about the argument she had with Hal on their homecoming night. But eventually, she goes to her daughter and admits that was the night she told Hal that she was pregnant, but they disagreed on how to ‘handle’ the baby. Alice eventually went away to the same place they sent Polly, and she gave the baby – a boy – up for adoption.

While Alice and Betty have their moment of reconciliation, things are not going well for Hermione and Veronica’s increasingly strained relationship. Hermione fired the Serpents from the job site, and wants to buy out Fred Andrews from his part-ownership. Fred, angry that Hermione fired his workers, refuses to sell. And Hermione has the gumption to ask Veronica to have a word with Archie about his father.

Hermione is, of course, desperate to get rid of Fred because of her husband’s return at the end of the month. The less of her relationship with Fred that’s around, the better. But Fred still refuses to sell.

Meanwhile, Fred is probably having a pretty shit week. As well as trying to be forced out of his project, he learns that he can no longer watch Jughead. The boy is sent to the Southside and has to transfer out of Riverdale High.

But Jughead actually handles things pretty well for someone who has been dramatic about every slight against him. He seems to actually fit in more with the, I dunno, ‘rugged’ kids at Southside High. But Betty is fairly convinced that things will change between them, despite her boyfriend’s insistence that it won’t.

His friends go to “save” him from his new school, but it’s completely unnecessary and dramatic. The boy, well, actually looks pretty happy. But the happiness is pretty short-lived when Veronica receives a text from Cheryl saying she’s going to be with Jason.

Poor little rich girl. After the death of her father, the girl is sick of the Blossom fortune and struggles with her relationship with her mom. She abdicates her place on the River Vixens. She gives Jughead her spider brooch (and even apologises!).

But Cheryl is not coping well. She dons her infamous white dress and goes to Sweetwater River. The gang catch her as she’s banging her fists against the ice. It doesn’t seem like the river can hold all of their weight, but when Cheryl actually falls through the ice, the race to help her. Archie busts up his hand trying to smash through the ice, and eventually breaks through – saving the girl.

Despite his damaged hand, Archie still wants to play the Jubilee with the Pussycats. But Josie says she heard about his heroic act and says she wants to play his song, an ode to his friends and what they had been through the past few months.

And Betty gives her speech in solidarity with FP and Jughead. Things look great for the kids, but a whole lot less great for the sheriff, mayor and Principal Weatherbee.

With a victory under the belt, Betty goes with Jughead to FP’s trailer while Archie and Veronica go to her place. A&V finally get it on. And while Juggie and Betty are about to get equally cozy, they’re interrupted. Outside the trailer is a slew of Southside Serpents, who say they will take care of Jughead. FP didn’t rat any of them out to get a shorter prison sentence.

The gang give Jughead one of their jackets, which he happily dons. But as soon as Betty sees him, she looks more disgusted than impressed.

The season wraps up when Archie goes to meet his dad at Pop’s. While Archie is washing his hands in the bathroom, he hears a commotion. When he re-enters the dining area, he sees a robber with a gun pointed at Pop’s head. Fred shakes his head at Archie, who clearly wants to intervene. Both men go to stop things, and a shot is fired – but it’s Fred who takes the bullet. As Jughead’s final voice-over tells us, the violence “was anything but random”.

So if Riverdale thinks they can kill of Luke Perry, they’re in a for a whole lot of angry. But what does it mean? The most obvious explanation is that Fred was a target because he doesn’t want to be bought out. But how did the ski-masked man find Fred anyway?

This show did a pretty great job at building next season’s mysteries while finally closing some doors.

Oh and Cheryl set her house on fire – the only way to “purify” things.

What a top bitch. I love Cheryl.

And that is it for Riverdale season 1! What a ride. I sure as hell had a lot of fun. See you for season 2.

Riverdale Ep. 12 recap “Chapter Twelve: Anatomy of a Murder”

Oh mother holy wow of plot twists and confessions, Riverdale.

Riverdale viewers were warned in advance that Jason’s killer would be revealed before the season finale, but what a way to wrap up this season’s biggest question.

Last week’s episode left off with the revelation that FP Jones was being framed for Jason’s murder by someone planting a gun in his trailer. But since Veronica and Archie had been digging through the trailer earlier in the evening, they know that FP is innocent (or at least Betty is incessant that he is).

Jughead tries to leave to stay with his mom in Ohio, but it told to remain in Riverdale. With nowhere else to go until the next bus leaves in the morning, Jughead goes to Pop’s where his friends track him down and tell him about the planted gun.

But FP already confessed to Jason’s murder. During questioning, he tells Sheriff Keller that he helped Jason. He gave him the money and car in exchange for delivering drugs. But after he “disappeared” on the 4th of July, FP kidnapped Jason and held him in the basement of the Southside Serpent’s bar. He then shot Jason and put his body in the freezer when Jason was about to escape. He also confesses to stealing the sheriff’s evidence from his home.

With FP’s confession made public, the rest of Riverdale react. Clifford Blossom tells Polly that morning, and says that he personally went to the station to stare Jason’s killer in the eye. Cheryl smacks Jughead around when he tries to apologise. And Alice Cooper, well, just revels in all the drama.

Jughead’s incident with Cheryl gets him kicked out of Riverdale High (or, rather, to be homeschooled). Fred agrees with Principal Weatherbee’s decision and tells Archie that he shouldn’t hang around the Jones family anymore, and implies that Archie should go with his mom to Chicago. Which is such a dickhead move, Fred Andrews.

That night, Betty and Alice hear an intruder in their house. But alas, it’s only Hal Cooper, digging out the evidence he stole from Sheriff Keller. The evidence that FP had already confessed to have stolen.

Hal tells Betty and Alice the he stole the evidence so they wouldn’t be dragged into the investigation. He tells the story again of how their great-grandfather was killed by a Blossom. But then he reveals that the man was also a Blossom. Which means many things, but most importantly: Polly and Jason are related – the real reason that Hal had wanted Polly to get an abortion.

After learning the revelation, the question becomes: If Hal went that far, how far would the Blossoms go? Then, in the middle of the night, the Coopers rush to take Polly away from the Blossoms and their little family is reunited again.

Archie and Jughead continue on their investigation for FP. Mary Andrews sits down with the boys after pretending to be FP’s lawyer. She tells them one key piece of information – that FP’s one phone call was to Joaquin.

The team, plus Kevin, go to investigate Joaquin. He admits that on July 11th, he received a phone call from FP asking for help on a “clean-up job”. He tells about how he saw Jason’s corpse, and helped FP clean up the body and store it in the freezer. But when Veronica asks about her father’s involvement, the Serpent says he heard another member of the gang, Mustang, say “something about a rich guy”.

They then go Mustang’s apartment to question him, but they find his body OD-ed in the tub. When the police arrive, they find a bag filled with cash with the initials HL on it. Which points directly to either Hermione or Hiram Lodge.

Meanwhile, Jughead takes the opportunity to visit his dad at the police station. FP does his best to convince his son that he killed Jason. But after he’s told to leave, Jughead calls Betty and tells her he knows his dad is lying.

And the group are given one more clue to keep them going. Before Joaquin leaves town, he gives Kevin a tip to check for a piece of evidence that was hidden. And they find a bag with Jason’s letterman’s jacket inside.

Betty asks Archie to put on the jacket and she searches the pocket. While the pockets are empty, she does discover a hole. And in the lining of the jacket, she discovers a USB. They plug the device into a laptop and watch the last clue fall into place. Betty immediately calls Cheryl Blossom, telling her to get out.

But Cheryl never listened to anyone. She marches down the stairs and stands next to her mother and says, “You did a bad thing, Daddy, and now everyone knows.”

The video is then revealed to the viewer: Jason Blossom is tied up in the basement of the Serpent’s bar. He’s being taunted by Mustang. But the Serpent leaves the room, and in walks Clifford Blossom. He takes the wedding ring out of Jason’s shirt pocket, and proceeds to shoot his son in the head.

Through his voice-over, Jughead tells us that his dad had agreed to admit to the murder after Clifford Blossom went to the station and threatened to kill Jughead if FP didn’t comply.

But while the main mystery of who killed Jason Blossom is solved, a whole fucking can of worms has just been opened just by asking one simple question: Why?

Cheryl knew that her father and Jason had argued before Jason died. But she hadn’t figured out what. When she asks her mother, she is taken to the barn where the maple syrup is stored. And then the police go to arrest Clifford, they discover him in the same barn. But Clifford has already hung himself, with one of the barrels of “maple syrup” opened – filled with drugs.

The questions about the Blossoms certainly aren’t over. I thought that was such a satisfying conclusion to the mystery. After reading some fan theories, I’m certainly glad the writers took it in this direction. And it’s brings things to a conclusion, all while adding more to the mystery.

There’s one more episode left of Riverdale‘s first season. And things are already promising to get worse. When Veronica returns home after learning the truth about Jason, her mother gives her the ‘good news’ that Hiram will be coming home. And if one man can cause that much trouble behind bars, what can be possible do outside of them?

Bring on all the drama, please. So far, this hasn’t left me disappointed.