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We continue our recap of the Riverdale series with episodes 19 and 20 of the second season, “Prisoners” and “Shadow of a Doubt”.

Join us for our weekly recap of the entire Riverdale series, starting with the first episode of Season 1. This will be a bi-weekly column (every Tuesday and Thursday), with two episodes reviewed each time, until we get caught up with the latest season. Catch up on everything you might have missed, including recaps for all of Season 1, using the links below — or just dive right into to our most recent recap below.

Season 1 Recaps:
Episode 1: The River’s Edge
Episodes 2 and 3: Touch of Evil and Body Double
Episodes 4 and 5: The Last Picture Show and Heart of Darkness
Episodes 6 and 7: Faster Pussycats! Kill! Kill! and In a Lonely Place
Episodes 8 and 9: The Outsiders and La Grande Illusion
Episodes 10 and 11: The Lost Weekend and To Riverdale and Back Again
Episodes 12 and 13: Anatomy of a Murder and The Sweet Hereafter

Season 2 Recaps:
Episodes 1 and 2: A Kiss Before Dying and Nighthawks
Episodes 3 and 4: The Watcher in the Woods and The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Episodes 5 and 6: When a Stranger Calls and Death Proof
Episodes 7 and 8: Tales From the Darkside and House of the Devil
Episodes 9 and 10: Silent Night, Deadly Night and The Blackboard Jungle
Episodes 11 and 12: The Wrestler and The Wicked and the Divine
Episodes 13 and 14: The Tell-Tale Heart and The Hills Have Eyes
Episodes 15 and 16: There Will Be Blood and Primary Colors
Episodes 17 and 18: The Noose Tightens and A Night to Remember


Episode 19: “Prisoners” Synopsis

Archie, still wondering who the Black Hood truly is, is kidnapped by Nick St. Clair who first wants a ransom of a million dollars and then, when the Lodges refuse to help, forces Veronica to go out with him in order to release Archie. Archie escapes on his own, running to the Four Seasons where the date is happening, and finds Veronica standing over Nick’s roofied body. She gets a million from his parents in ransom money and Hiram, after being confronted by Archie,  promises to help catch the Black Hood.

Betty and Jughead start poking around for clues about the Black Hood and Chic’s identity after Midge’s death as Alice tries to protect Chic when Sheriff Keller comes asking questions. After a trip to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, they find that Chic’s appearance at the orphanage coincided with Svenson’s time there — and a picture of Charles Smith (Chic) that doesn’t match him. When confronted, Chic attacks Alice and is knocked unconscious. After some interrogation, he admits that he knew the original Charles and that Charles had visited the Cooper house to meet his family, was turned away, and overdosed on Jingle Jangle. Alice breaks down and Betty proceeds to sacrifice Chic to the Black Hood after leading him away from the house at  gunpoint and learning Chic killed Charles himself. When she returns, Hal is gone and Alice says that he was out looking for her.

Sheriff Keller is blamed for the Black Hood still being alive, and begins considering resigning after his patrol car is vandalized and destroyed.

Observations 

— The all-black cheer uniforms were a bit over the top. Just wear normal black clothes, be normal teenagers.

— Cheryl’s singing, while not perfect, was very sweet.

— The interrogation scenes with the rotating camera was an interesting touch. A very good cinematographic choice. We don’t get shots like that often, so I enjoyed it.

— Did Betty just use her cousin’s traumatic experience in conversion therapy to get information? And then not follow up on getting a court order to get that conversion therapy shut down?

— I maintain that Hal is the Black Hood, and that maybe he was working with Mr. Svenson before he died. This was only reaffirmed for me when Alice said that Hal had been out looking for Betty at the same time the Black Hood was taking out Chic. Maybe there’s multiple Black Hoods, a whole chain of them working towards utter chaos and destruction. It’s not over, the last episode proved that much. That being said, I completely understand why Jughead thinks Chic could have done it. We already know that he was capable of murder.

— The twist with Chic not being who he said he was was expected. Neither was the fact that Charles Smith, the actual Chic, is FP and Alice’s son. I called it, and I just want to repeat that that makes Betty and Jughead’s relationship really weird because while Charles is dead, the two still share a brother.

— That being said, Alice sobbing over her dead son was actually very compelling. This show, and all of the ridiculousness with Alice’s character and in general, makes me forget sometimes how good of an actress Madchen Amick is.

— Out of all of the villains in this show, it’s people like Nick St. Clair and Chic that scare me the most. With the Black Hood and Clifford Blossom, those were people no one had any sympathy for. Everyone despised them. But Chic and Nick? In the real world, it’s people like them who win. Who get away with awful, brutal things with little more than a slap on the wrist or nothing at all. That’s what makes me terrified of them and what makes me revel in the fact that they both suffered this episode.

— So is Riverdale High going to bring in a therapist for these teenagers? I mean, they saw their friend die on stage brutally. I’m pretty sure that after a tragedy like that, it’s expected that you bring in someone to help them deal with the trauma. There’s not going to be that support system though, because Riverdale apparently doesn’t believe in the concept of therapy.

— Unless it’s conversion therapy. That’s apparently a-okay in the little town of Riverdale.

— Riverdale Parents Ranking: Fred, Tom, The Lodges, Alice, Hal.  Fred and Tom are really the only good parents in this episode.

Quotables

Top cursed lines from this episode:

Honestly? None of the lines were really cursed this episode. I still can’t take Jingle Jangle seriously as a drug though.


Episode 20: “Shadow of a Doubt” Synopsis

The mayoral race in Riverdale is heating up, culminating  in a town hall debate led by Alice Cooper. Fred tries to keep the town calm about the whole Black Hood situation, only for Hermione to rile them up by talking about Sheriff Keller’s failure and their own Sheriff, Michael Minetta’s, success in capturing a suspect in Midge’s death: Fangs Fogarty, Southside Serpent and new boyfriend at the time of Midge’s death. She also brings up Archie’s newly raised Dark Circle that’s been causing chaos around town  (depsite her husband being the one to tell Archie to bring it back). The debate ends abruptly when shooting starts and the Black Hood appears with a sniper’s rifle.

After suspecting her father for the longest time, Betty confronts him about it after she and Cheryl (working together) find a Nancy Drew book in the place where he’s staying — the same book used to create the cipher she and Jughead cracked. While placated temporarily by him saying that it was a gift for her birthday, she still asks to see the Black Hood at town hall and takes the book and Geraldine Grundy’s gun with her to the meeting. The Black Hood never shows up, instead going to Thistlehouse to confront Cheryl.

Veronica begins trying to pick options for how to improve the town with the help of mob ‘princes’ sent to court her favor. She eventually chooses one mobster’s son from a casino family, hoping to make a Sweetwater casino. Her father rejects this plan and stows the ransom money she got from Nick’s family in a trust she can’t access until she’s 21. She and Archie also have sex.

Archie is encouraged to restart the Dark Circle by Hiram, only to disband it when Moose, Hiram, and Kevin vandalize the Southside. He has sex with Veronica, only to be pulled away by Jughead (who’s been helping Fangs get out of prison alongside his fellow Serpents) and called to the police station. A crowd of angry protestors has gathered, including Reggie who’s been manipulated by Hiram into taking matters into his own hands. Archie fights with Reggie over the gun he’s carrying, only for it to go off and shoot Fangs. A fight breaks out as Sweet Pea looks at Archie and Reggie with nothing but hatred.

Observations

— Even if he does have ulterior motives, it is nice to see Archie campaigning for his dad. It’s sweet to see how much he cares about him. You know what isn’t nice to see? This Dark Circle shit coming back, with or without Archie. We don’t need the Dark Circle and I don’t care about Sheriff Minetta. Also, I can’t take the concept of ‘getting bones’ seriously.

— Also, why is Kevin getting involved in all of this? His dad is a literal cop!

— Alright, so my final theory on the Black Hood as we get into this season’s home stretch is that there’s multiple Black Hoods and one of them is Hal. Everything with the Nancy Drew book didn’t change my opinion, nor did seeing him shielding Betty during the shooting spree at town hall, Hal’s gonna be one of the Black Hoods.

— If Fred doesn’t become mayor at the end of this season, I’ll have lost complete faith in this town. I can understand people being wary because of Archie and the stupid Dark Circle, but Fred’s a good dad and a good man.

— Also, where did Mary go? Wasn’t she supposed to stay in town to support Fred during his campaign? Did she leave to escape the Black Hood?

— I loved seeing Sierra in attorney mode. She did wonderfully with Fangs’s case, despite manipulation happening from Minetta and Hiram’s side.

— Good to see Joaquin again! San Junipero did him well, he looks like he’s been taken care of and it’s nice to see him supporting his friend and trying to get him to a safe place.

— Nothing says fun like a football team fighting a gang while a teenage boy bleeds out, or a mass shooting at a town hall debate!

— Fangs is probably not going to die. I think we’re getting into the stretch of the show where death stops really having any meaning. Every show like this gets to that point eventually, but I’m surprised that it’s taken this short of an amount of time for it to happen.

— Also, Cheryl’s going to be fine. She’s one of the most popular characters despite everything, they wouldn’t be so dumb as to kill her off yet. That’s what the season finale’s for.

— I enjoyed that Cheryl was reading a book by Clive Barker, a proud gay horror icon.

— Riverdale Parents Ranking:Fred, Sierra, The Lodges, Hal, Alice.

Quotables

Top cursed lines from this episode:

“Word of my exploits serving Nick his comeuppance has seeped into the demimonde of mobsters and molls my father used to associate with, so the five families are sending their youngest and brightest, their “princes,” as it were to, well, come court the rare Mafia Princess who can belly up to the bar with the big boys.” – Veronica (This entire subplot was cursed.)

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