This week’s episode of Riverdale had the apt title of “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” (a phrase that Jughead actually says in the episode as well) and the similarity to the 1976 film of the same name is pretty obvious. In that movie (and the sequel/remake of 2014) a small town is terrorized by a hooded killer known as the Phantom Killer who murdered eight people in Texarkana, Texas. It was also based on a true story and the killer was never captured. So will Riverdale leave us hanging as well. Probably not.
And with a killer roaming the streets of Riverdale, each of our core characters had their own issues to deal with. Archie had to deal with the fallout from his Red Circle video. The Lodges told Veronica she had to break up with Archie — even though it was Hiram who planted the idea to form this group in Archie’s head (so what kind of mind games is he playing?) — but she went one step further and handed out Red Circle T-shirts to everyone in school. What she didn’t know was that Principal Weatherbee had given Archie until the end of the week to submit an apology letter to the school and to disband his group. Until that letter was delivered, the entire football team was disbanded, putting Archie’s group at odds with him. Reggie and the rest disbanded themselves, leaving Archie to go it alone.
Fred wasn’t too happy about the video either and demanded he take it down, which Archie had already done but when something is on the internet it’s there forever. But he swore that it was just meant as a message to “scare” the killer, and he protected the other guys’ identities by having them in hoods while only his face was exposed. Making him a prime target and more determined to draw out the killer, even if it meant heading to the South Side to tag various locations with a red circle. That didn’t sit well with the Serpents and Archie didn’t do himself any favors by pulling a gun on Sweetpea.
Seeing that he was falling apart emotionally, Veronica rallied to Archie’s side as did Reggie and the football team. Just in time too because Sweetpea and his Serpents decided to pay Archie a visit to settle the score of trespassing on Serpents territory and embarrassing Sweetpea in front of his boys by waving a gun in his face. But if they were going to rumble, Veronica insisted it be done fairly: no knives, no gun (she claimed she threw the gun which Archie had hidden in a toilet tank at school and asked her to retrieve earlier — and does the school not lock its doors at night? — in the Sweetwater River), just good old fashioned hand-to-hand combat. It was a brawl to be sure, but someone still decided to bring out a knife and Dilton Doiley got stabbed in the leg. That prompted Ronnie to pull out the gun and fire it into the air, putting an end to the fight. And in the end, Archie seemed to have snapped out of this thirst for revenge he’s had since Fred was shot.
While Archie and Veronica were dealing with matters of the Red Circle, Betty and Jughead were getting deep into trying to figure out who the Black Hood is. And he handed Betty a clue himself with a note and a cypher that he said only she could figure out. But Betty was taken aback by what the Black Hood wrote in the letter — stating that he was inspired by the speech she gave at the town’s anniversary celebration. Which meant that the killer was among the crowd at that time, and now Betty feels guilt for helping inspire a killer.
Betty’s also got some jealousy issues bubbling up as Juggie seems to be getting a little too close to Serpent Toni Topaz, but he swears that he’s just haning with her and the Serpents as a means of survival at his new school. Betty also got some good news from Kevin that he’s done cruising the woods and has re-upped his member ship to redstatemeat.com (a URL which Warner Brothers apparently purchased because if you type it into your browser, it goes to an empty page on the warnerbros.com website). So at least that’s one thing she doesn’t have to worry about anymore.
But even after a night of she, Jughead, Kevin and Toni attempting to figure out the symbols, they come to a dead end. The next morning, Jughead makes a comment about Betty being like Nancy Drew and BINGO!, she figures it all out. Heading to the library to get the Nancy Drew secret code book, she is able to quickly decipher the symbols and determine that the killer is going to strike next where it all started – City Hall, where there just happened to be a community meeting taking place. Betty and Jughead got the mayor and sheriff to clear the building and then showed everyone the note that had come with the cypher. Her parents and the sheriff weren’t too happy that she withheld this evidence.
But it now begs the question: Who would know Betty so well that he would know she would figure out that it was Nancy Drew that would help her solve the puzzle? At this point, I can only think of one person — her father. So is Hal Cooper the Black Hood? If that’s the case, then Polly made the right move by getting out of town (and joining the cast of Once Upon a Time).
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8:00 PM on The CW.
What did you think of this episode? Could Hal Cooper be the Black Hood? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.