Riverdale recap: 'Chapter Thirty-Three: Shadow of a Doubt'
A mayoral debate ends in gunfire, and Cheryl comes face-to-face with the Black Hood
Well, I give up. Riverdale has gone full Riverdale and I’ve finally decided that it’s never coming back. Papa Poutine has a son named Small Fry! Reggie is angry enough to shoot someone! Veronica is opening a casino! The teens are unstoppable at this point, and in this hour, it’s all just too much for me.
We start with Archie “campaigning” for his father by going door to door and handing out fliers. But what he’s really doing is looking into the eyes of every old white dude in Riverdale to see which of them has the Black Hood’s unforgettable green eyes that are burned into Archie’s very small brain. So far, no luck.
Then there’s Betty, who’s pretty sure she’s sitting across from the Black Hood during breakfast. I know what you’re thinking: Why doesn’t she just call Arch and have him look into her father’s eyes because that’s the only way to know 100 percent if he’s the Black Hood?! But silly Betty hasn’t thought of that yet, so instead, she confides in Cheryl, seeing as how Cheryl knows what it’s like to have a murderer for a father. Cheryl tells her that she’s going to need concrete proof, a confession, or both to get her dad locked up. Betty doesn’t seem worried that her father will hurt her but as Cheryl warns her, she never thought her dad would shoot her brother in the forehead. But, as Cheryl puts it, “That’s the world we live in.” Let’s all take that in for a second: THAT is the world that they live in.
Also part of the world they live in? A mobster family version of The Bachelorette. It seems Veronica holding Nick St. Clair for ransom impressed some of the underground families, so now, they’ve sent their young sons to Riverdale to court her with fancy business propositions. And there’s one that stands out: Veronica decides she wants to open a casino in Riverdale, because that seems plausible for a teenager.
While Veronica works on her new plan, Archie reunites the Dark Circle as Hiram’s request — he plans to have Hermione use it against Fred in the debate. And apparently Kevin has now joined the Dark Circle and everything that was once good is rotten. At the meeting, Moose confesses that before Midge died, she told him that she’d been seeing a Serpent behind his back. And cue the Bulldogs barging in on a Serpent meeting and throwing around accusations.
Jughead quickly finds out that it’s all true: It seems Fangs wasn’t just giving Midge notes in her dressing room when Jughead saw them together. But Fangs swears he didn’t kill her. Jug, desperately wanting to get the footage of Fangs and Midge back from the cops, goes to talk to the new sheriff in town, who was hired by the Lodges so you know that won’t end well. Meanwhile, Arch tells Reggie to lay off the Serpents before he heads to Pop’s to meet up with Veronica. She’s discussing the Sweetwater Casino with one of her suitors — Elio — but when she goes to the bathroom we learn that people seem to think that Archie “made his bones” with Hiram by killing Papa Poutine. And rumor has it Poutine’s son Small Fry is looking for revenge. (Well, based on that name, I’d say Archie is perfectly safe.)
Elsewhere, Betty and Alice go back to work at the Register as part of Betty’s plan to find out what her father’s hiding. After her parents head out one night, she uses a bobby pin to break into his desk drawer. She steals her father’s planner and makes a copy, at which point she cross-references the dates of every Black Hood attack. And each one matches up perfectly. Just as Betty explains this to Cheryl, the Register‘s phone rings. It’s the coroner’s office, saying a sentence no one ever wants to hear: “I have a warm corpse for you.” Apparently an unidentified male turned up off the highway and for a price, Betty can see him. The good/bad news? It’s not Chic. (Next: Betty confronts her father)
Seeing the dead body makes Betty take a good long look in the mirror and she doesn’t like what she sees. The Black Hood might’ve been right. Maybe they are the same. But Cheryl tells her to focus on her father. It’s time to confront him with as much of the truth as Betty wants. Then, she can wait and see how he reacts.
So when Betty gets home that night, she makes a confession to her parents. She tells them about her phone conversations with the Black Hood and the fact that she delivered Chic to the Hood. “If he’s dead, that makes me an accomplice to murder,” she says, adding, “I think I’m okay with that. Truth is there’s always been this darkness in me.” She tells them that the Black Hood helped her understand that. Damn Betty! Cheryl said to confront them with some of the truth. That was A LOT.
Alice is rightfully speechless, but Hal explains that he, too, understands darkness. But fighting that darkness is why they need each other. And cut to a close-up on his eyes! Ugh, if only Arch were here to solve the mystery with one glance!
Speaking of Archie, he’s sitting guard in his living room, bat in hand, despite the fact that there’s a trained deputy outside the house. Earlier, Fred got a letter that read “You’re next sinner” — really could’ve used a comma, Black Hood — but Fred refused to cancel the debate. Politics waits for no threat.
Back to the Fangs of it all, someone released the footage of him in Midge’s dressing room to the Register, at which point he was arrested. And seeing as how he had a pocketknife on him, things aren’t looking great.
But Fangs getting arrested isn’t enough for Reggie, who’s now leading the Dark Circle it seems, so the Bulldogs head to the Whyte Wyrm and slash Serpent tires (and then light a dumpster on fire for some added flair). Arch tries to disband the circle, but Reggie won’t hear it. That’s when Reg lets it slip that Hiram’s paying them now. Not only that, it was also Hiram’s idea to attack the Whyte Wyrm.
Across town, Betty and Cheryl break into Hal’s B&B, where he still has a room. There, they find the Nancy Drew book that the Black Hood used to make the cipher. Things aren’t looking good for Hal. (Or they are because he just became far more interesting as a character.)
Now, it’s debate time, where Hiram’s Dark Circle plan comes into play when Hermione uses the Circle against Fred on stage. But her victory is short-lived when the Black Hood shows up and starts shooting. No one is hit, but when Hal grabs Betty, things get a bit confusing.
After the debate, Hermione’s a bit shaken, but Hiram refuses to let her withdraw from the race. Angry at her father, Veronica announces that she will go through with the casino on her own…except that he took the money she got from Nick’s parents and put it in a trust that she can’t open until she’s 21. So I guess Hiram wins that round. Although Veronica just threw her support behind Fred’s candidacy, so we’ll see. (LOL that a teen’s support could mean so much.)
But will Betty defeat her father? After Hal claims the book was a birthday gift that he was saving for her, she decides she wants to settle this once and for all. She calls her father and tells him to meet her where this all started: town hall. But we’ll have to wait until next week to see if he shows.
As for Fangs, Joaquin is back to help him disappear, but first they have to get him out of jail…literally. He’s free to go, but there’s an angry mob outside demanding blood. Part of that mob is Hiram’s new favorite pet, Reggie, who somehow is even dumber than Archie.
For some reason, the actual police are doing NOTHING to subdue the crowd. Instead, they leave the Serpents to walk Fangs out, and they leave Archie to try and stop Reggie, who shows up with a gun in his pocket. In what might the most overly dramatic scene ever, Archie tackles Reggie but the gun goes off AND SOMEHOW HITS FANGS. Teens are shooting teens outside a literal sheriff’s station, and this might be where this show loses me.
But wait, the Black Hood just showed up at Cheryl’s door, so did I just get sucked back in?! Damn.