Dean Buscher/The CW
Samantha Highfill
November 08, 2017 AT 09:00 PM EST

Riverdale

type
TV Show
genre
Drama
run date
01/26/17
performer
K.J. Apa, Cole Sprouse, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, Madelaine Petsch, Luke Perry, Madchen Amick, Marisol Nichols
broadcaster
The CW
seasons
2
Current Status
In Season

We gave it an A-

Welcome to my favorite episode of Riverdale this season. Coming off a week when I was very confused about my feelings surrounding this season and its extreme ways, there’s something about connecting the killer to Betty — and giving the killer a voice — that has grounded things for me. I believe the stakes now. And I also feel like some of my issues with the story are starting to be resolved at this point. But before I say too much…

The episode picks up right where last week left off: Betty’s on the phone with the Black Hood, who reveals he was at the town hall but didn’t hurt anyone because tonight was all about Betty. He tells her that he wants to cleanse Riverdale of its sinners…and that includes Polly. And he knows she’s at the farm. So, with that threat very clearly laid out for Betty, the Hood tells her not to tell the police or Jughead about their conversation. If she does, he’ll kill Polly.

So, working within those guidelines, Betty gets Archie to walk her to school. After all, the Hood said nothing about Archie (who, by the way, wrote Principal Weatherbee an apology letter and disbanded the Red Circle). Betty swears her bestie to secrecy, and Archie vows not to let her go through this alone. That’s why, the next time the Hood calls, Archie is there, in Betty’s room, listening in. This time, the Hood has a request from Betty: She needs to make sure her mother stays out of their way, and in order to do that, Betty has to publish her mom’s old mug shot from her days on the South Side. If she does this and proves her loyalty, Betty will get to ask the Hood one question that he has to answer. Betty’s hesitant at first, but after her mother accuses her of forging the “Black Hood” letter, Betty publishes the mug shot.

Speaking of Alice Cooper, the Lodges aren’t too happy with her latest write-up. It seems their big development on the South Side is running out of capital, so they’ve invited the St. Clair family in from New York to potentially invest. And with them comes Nick St. Clair, Veronica’s “will-they-won’t-they” from the Big Apple. In other words, this is her chance to prove her value to the family company. So, Veronica is the first person to welcome the St. Clair family to Riverdale’s Five Seasons hotel before introducing Nick to her beloved Archie, at which point Nick offers Veronica some cocaine and then proceeds to call her sexy in front of her boyfriend. Because that’s not awkward.

Over on the South Side, Jughead learns that the Serpents are planning to build a pipe bomb and blow up The Register. You know, normal teenager stuff. And when Toni reminds Jug that his father was the one who helped maintain peace between the North and South, Jug gets an idea: He’s ready to join the Serpents for real. That is, if he survives the initiation.

Step 1 of initiation? Jughead gets woken up by a bunch of Serpents in creepy snake masks who are there to…deliver Hot Dog. So far, joining this gang means dogsitting and studying, because step 2 is memorizing the Serpents’ laws and yelling them at a bar. But step 3 is where we break away from the boring: Jug has to retrieve a knife from a rattlesnake cage. Yes, the snake bites him. But considering it’s had its venom glands removed, it’s really just a little blood. So I’m not going to lie, joining the Serpents doesn’t seem that hard. But there’s still one final trial remaining.

We’ll get back to that. First, Betty receives another call from the Black Hood, and she asks him her first question: “The face under the hood, would I recognize it?” He says yes. And now that he feels like they’re friends, he wants Betty to start cutting her other friends out of her life, starting with Veronica.

Before she handles that, Betty heads to Pop’s to meet up with Jug. The two haven’t seen each other in a while, and as both of them sit there keeping secrets from each other, it’s evident they know things aren’t working. Both of them in tears, they talk about how they wish they could run away from all this, but they know they can’t. And for now, that’s all they can say. (Next: Nick St. Clair shows his true colors)

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