Friday, November 17, 2017

Riverdale S2E6 Death Proof

Image result for riverdale images
Riverdale is getting quite dark this season. Last weeks episode may have been the darkest yet, with Cheryl avoiding sexual assault only because Veronica and the Pussycats were paying attention, and Betty being manipulated by the Black Hood, to the point where he asks her to give him a name to spare her sister. I'm not really sure how I feel about the darkness at this point, but it does make for compelling watching. So after last weeks events let's see whats under the hood this week.
Spoilers for this episode.

"In Riverdale everyone wears a mask, not just the Black Hood. But every so often the mask slips, and our true selves are laid bare, for all the world to see." So begins this episode with that nugget of wisdom from Jughead, and that sets a grim tone. Turns out Toni Topaz spent the night at Jughead's place, and I don't think it was a platonic sleepover. Jugs is clearly guilty looking- this doesn't bode well for his relationship with Betty- and speaking of her, we then segue into her running desperately to check on Nicholas St. Clair, the guy whose name she gave to the Black Hood. He is still alive, as it turns out, but he's not out of trouble as the sheriff shows up to investigate the sexual assault charge.

Betty then gets a call from the Hood as she's walking home, and he tells her that now that he has seen her true self the real work can begin. Creepy much? Like I said, this show is getting batshit dark. By her true self he means of course that she was willing to give him a name, someone to kill, and that is a little alarming, to be honest. Granted it was to save her sister, but still. They had indicated going into season two that we were going to get more looks into "dark Betty", and they seem to be going that way.  

Meanwhile we get another look at how screwed up the Blossoms are- specifically Penelope, who for some reason is meeting with the Lodge's and disparages the thought of Cheryl being assaulted. Her own mom- nice. She says she wants it handled discreetly, and after all nothing happened- and Cheryl and Veronica happen to be listening, so they hear that as well. Cheryl tries to pass it off as okay, but Veronica presses her, telling her that Nick St. Clair has tried this with other girls as well, including Veronica herself. Cheryl however is not moved, and tells V that if she wants to take on Nick she can but to leave her out of it.

Wait! Maybe Jugs and Toni didn't sleep together- apparently they just, you know, made out a bit? They're having some food at the diner and Toni acknowledges that Jugs isn't over Betty and she doesn't want to be a rebound. Meanwhile Archie and Betty are walking to the diner and Betty is telling Arch that she's done with the Hood's games, she's not going to play anymore. And then at the diner they see Jugs and Toni having a conversation- awkward. Speaking of awkward, Betty's mom Alice decides to have a get- together of all the players, including the mayor, to discuss Nick's party and the stuff that happened there.

That goes about as well as you might expect but it was fun to see all the characters in the room together! Reggie admits to supplying the Jingle Jangle (love that name) and Veronica wants to know why Nick isn't the one in the hot seat, given his assault on Cheryl. Josie's mom (the mayor) is furious that Josie took the drug too, and vows to get tough on the Southside. Convenient. And then the drama really starts, when the police raid Southside High and Archie gets Jughead out of there in the nick of time (although if Jugs isn't dealing why does he need to worry?).

 Betty and Veronica are still on the outs, and Betty is contacted by the Hood again. He wants her to give him the identity of the Sugar Man- the one responsible for making Jingle Jangle- and tells her to start with the deceased Clifford Blossom. Betty dutifully goes to see Cheryl, who characteristically brushes her off, saying the Sugar Man was a fantasy her mother created to scare them when they were kids. Later though as she's looking through old photos Cheryl sees a drawing of her and her dead brother with the Sugar Man. Creepy! Jughead meanwhile is being pressured to endorse an alliance between the Serpents and the Ghoulies by Tall Boy, and he wants nada to do with it.

The sheriff tells Betty that the Sugar Man was Clifford Blossom, and since Jingle Jangle hit the streets after Clifford died, the dealer could be anyone now. Betty and Vee then make up, which is nice. And Jugs and Archie go see FP in prison, who tells them to... challenge the Ghoulies to a street race? Is this show going off the rails?? And Betty and Veronica take it to the streets trying to find the Sugar Man, only to get captured and taken to where Archie and Jugs are negotiating the street race.

In the most disturbing scene of the night, Cheryl runs into Nick St. Clair at the diner, where he taunts her about what happened and informs her that her mom was paid hush money to keep it quiet. Cheryl confronts her mom and finds the check they paid her with, and she takes it, telling her mom she can have it back after her mom tells her the truth. And then... the race! I feel like I'm watching Grease or American Graffiti right now, with everyone in their 50's drag racing gear? And Cheryl as the flag girl???

 So the race goes awry when Archie pulls the brake, and Jugs is furious... but Arch had a plan. the cops have erected a roadblock, and instead of winning, the Ghoulies' are busted. Jugs and Tall Boy are pissed, and Cheryl gets home to find her mom despondent and ready to spill. Turns out the Sugar Man is real, and somehow connected with the death of Jason. Penelope throws the hush money check in the fire, and Cheryl asks- who is the Sugar Man? And... Penelope tells her, and she in turn tells Bets.

So... the dilemma? Does Betty tell the Hood what she knows? Turns out nope, and the cops arrest Jughead's teacher, Mr. Phillips- the Sugar Man. Oh, and the Hood shoots the Sugar Man.

Random Thoughts

"Roger that," says a startled Jughead when Toni tells him she likes girls more.   

I'm a little confused by the Blossom family dynamic. Earlier after Mr. Blossom's death it seemed like Cheryl was calling the shots, intimidating her mother, but here when Penelope pooh-poohs the sexual assault allegations, Cheryl clams right up. What gives? 

"Oh great, here we go. Saint Betty and Succubus Veronica," says V to Archie at Alice Cooper's little town meeting. 

"What? Hashtag Bughead is no more?" asks Kevin at the same event, after hearing about the breakup. 

I love Betty. She tells Jug just before the race that she never stopped loving him- and oh, then adds some advice. "Also remember, don't ride the clutch, and don't let it slip between gear shifts, okay?" 

"Can you feel me?" Betty asks the Hood when he calls her. You see she knows who killed Jason Blossom, and she says now she's coming for the Hood himself. 

"Karma is a bitch," Veronica tells her mom after they get a call that the St. Clairs were killed in a car accident, and while Nick survived, it will take months for him to recover. 


  1. I am loving this but I agree, way darker than I ever would have expected. Can I just say that I love Jug's narration. So wise and well written.

  2. OMG I've wanted to watch this series for awhile. I like that it seems to be getting darker. Great review, Greg. :)

  3. I am reading all of these now, since I am caught up, I won't comment on all of them because well, we've talked about most of it, but I am of course so glad to see your disdain in Episode 1 for the shower scene. It was just... icky. I mean, they had like, every other moment in time to go ahead and do that, and it would have been FINE, but nope. Writers decide to do it right then, while Fred's straight up trying to decide if he should walk toward the white light. Seems like a crappy stereotype too- like "sex more important to teen guys than dying parents"? And "only way for teen girl to show comfort is by taking off her clothes". Obviously I am reading way too much into this, but still. You're right about Alice, too- she gets fabulous lines, and to the actress's credit, she delivers them perfectly.

    OH and I am reading your episode 2 recap, and WHY is there no cheerleading COACH? Like you said about Cheryl having free reign, I was like... yeah, who left her in charge. And then... where the hell are the adults!?

    OH and another good point that you made about Nick- why DOES Hiram's friend give a crap what his douchey kid thinks!? Like, my dad never called me up from work asking for my input! The hell?

    OH and did you notice that the ringtone changed from Lollipop to some generic one in Episode 6? I wonder if it was just a mistake? Because the vibe Lollipop gave was worth the price of the royalty or whatever made them change it!

    The whole Mrs Blossom NOT wanting Cheryl to talk to the police was such crap. And I agree with you, I can't figure out if their dynamic is supposed to confuse us, or if it's just crappy writing hah. Jingle Jangles makes me chuckle every time- especially as the parents are trying to have these serious conversations bwhahah. The drag race... was dumb. OH and what was with the St. Clair car accident thing? Did Hiram do that? It was all wayyy too shady. Definitely not "karma", sorry V.

    These are great recaps, I even noticed a few quotes and such I had missed while watching!