“Sometimes we need to take matters into our own hands. To protect ourselves.”

After last week’s shock ending, it should be no surprise that this week’s Riverdale is pulling out all the stops to ensure that we know this town is not the sunny little suburb it pertains to be.

Kevin (Casey Cott) takes the lead this week, as the story seems to focus an awful lot on his sexploits. While ‘cruising’ the woods for guys- we’ll get back to that – the sheriff’s son comes across a horrified Midge (Emilija Baranac), covered in the blood of Moose (Cody Kearsley) – victims of the Black Hood. Of course, when the reach the hospital, Archie is there, immediately asking about the man’s eyes. Which in all likelihood, the pair wouldn’t have seen properly, given the light in their face and the darkness outside – however, this doesn’t stop Midge from describing them as ‘the Devil’s eyes’.

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The Black Hood is going full Zodiac killer now, sending an envelope to the Coopers, containing Fred Andrews’  missing wallet, and Grundy’s pink sunglasses, as well as a letter that is scarily similar to that of the infamous murderer, explaining how he’s killing those who have sinned – Fred, the adulterer, Grundy, the paedophile, and Midge and Moose, drug-taking, sexually active teens. Though of course, out of the four victims, he’s actually only managed to kill one, so his track-record is pretty poor. However, with this (now public) information on the Black Hood, terror is gripping the community.

Back to Kevin, and this week explores how he feels in being one of the few gay people in Riverdale – cruising the woods for guys while a killer is on the loose, he is putting himself in danger – something which Betty reminds him of throughout. Even suggesting that he go on the ‘Grindm’ app. Which was a pretty cringeworthy moment. But, this begins to cause something of a rift between he and Betty, as he suggests that she cannot understand what he is going through. He has listened to her debate dating Archie or Jughead, and yet her friend does not have this abundance of options, especially not in high school – although, saying this, Moose drops him a pretty big hint.

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Elsewhere, Jughead is finally attending his new high school – though apparently, he can still just hang out in Riverdale High. It’s clear on his arrival at Southside that it’s absolutely nothing like the school he has come from. With gangs everywhere, and Jingle Jangle (which is still difficult to take seriously) is being taken openly in the halls, Southside is closer to being a warzone than a high school. However, Jughead is quickly taken under the wing of fellow Serpent Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan), who shows him what to do, and what not to – though he doesn’t pay much attention until he has the message pretty firmly ‘shown’ to him – you’re with the Serpents, or you’re in danger.

Meanwhile, Archiekins is having a mixed kind of week. On the one hand, Hiram Lodge is welcoming him in with (somewhat) open arms, letting him into the inner sanctum of the Lodge home, his study, to give him a ‘talk’ – the ‘sneak into my daughter’s room again and I’ll make you disappear’ kind of talk. Though it isn’t all bad, as Papa Lodge seems to help Archie solve his problem of feeling in danger, however ‘help’ might be the wrong word, as Hiram’s help might be taking Archie to a place that will put him in enormous amount of danger.

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When Archie goes to retrieve his gun from a box of comicbooks and other sentimental young Archie items, the redhead gets an idea – to assemble his football buddies to form a team that will patrol Riverdale in order to protect the town from the killer. Establishing “The Red Circle” Archie and friends take to the streets to answer the calls of terrified townspeople who believe the killer is stalking them. And while Archie begins by preaching a message of ‘no violence’ to his teammates, by the end of this week’s episode, he makes a somewhat homoerotic, Liam Neeson-style video, threatening the killer. Not a smart move, Arch.

VERDICT:
The Black Hood has upped his game, and while we now know his motive, we’re no closer to figuring out his identity. And Archie’s fear has taken hold of him, pushing him to take more dangerous risks – will it pay off? Or will it put Archie in more danger? And how long will it be before Hiram’s nice façade begins to slip? Whatever happens, next week is sure to be tense in Riverdale.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

 

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