Let’s Ponder Dark Circles And Riverdale’s Downward Spiral
by Erik Amaya
As Riverdale nears its end game, only one thing seems certain: chaos will reign.
Granted, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) has been saying that since the beginning — the murder of Jason Blossom leads to the town’s quiet facade breaking. But in last night’s episode, it’s clear Jason’s murder only unlocked the floodgates. Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) kicked those gates wide open. He’s been using Archie’s (KJ Apa) rage since the first Black Hood attack to aid his prison plan from the start. Now, it looks like he’ll cast aside Archie by appointing hot-headed Reggie (Charles Melton) as the head of the Dark Circle. Oh, and whispering leading ideas into his ear.
The key leading idea this week was the notion that Southside Serpent Fangs Fogarty (Drew Ray Tanner) killed Midge Klump (Emilija Baranac). As it turns out, he was hooking up with her, a fact Moose (Cody Kearsely) went to confront her about the night of Carrie: The Musical; though he was uncertain who she was seeing. Since it was a Serpent, Hiram had no problem instructing his hand-picked Sheriff to leak footage Jughead caught of the pair talking to the media and ordering Reggie to make it difficult for Fangs once the police had to cut him loose. An event which lead to a new tragedy as Fangs ended up shot with Reggie’s gun as a possible murder weapon.
Unless of course Archie stopped him in time. Considering Metlon’s recent promotion to a season three regular, it is likely his gun never fired; clearing the path for him to become Hiram high school capo next season. His actions this week definitely felt like an audition for Reggie and, perhaps, Hiram hedging his bets as both Archie and Veronica (Camila Mendes) were in open rebellion.
Veronica’s choice to plan her own “legit” casino is interesting. Even if Hiram can block it, it reflects her growing dissatisfaction with the Lodge plan and her place in it. But considering how wild Riverdale can be, will it put them at deathly odds?
Meanwhile, the show cannot offer enough Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) team-ups. Now that the show is keying in on Cheryl as a character instead of a plot device, teaming her up with Betty was one of the episode’s highlights. The two, strangely, have a lot in common and it makes absolute sense that Betty would turn to her cousin instead of Jughead with her suspicions that Hal (Lochlyn Munro) is the Black Hood. Their investigation and Cheryl’s urging that Betty play her hand even seems to yield results. After finding a copy of the Nancy Drew code book at a “ShareBNB” Hal is still paying for, he reveals it was meant to be a birthday present for her. Earlier, the two also admitted to feeling an ever-present darkness in their souls. For a moment, it seemed as though their bond was strengthened and Betty’s worries were put at ease. She even found Hal on the town hall floor when the Black Hood began shooting at the mayoral debate. Nonetheless, Betty still has her doubts and planned to present her case to Hal as the episode closed.
Oh, and the Black Hood came for Cheryl. Or it could just be another killer in a black hood.
The suspect list has shrunk some. Fangs clearly wasn’t the murderer and I’m willing to pull Moose off the list as well. Like Archie and Jughead, I’m using Archie’s memory of a middle-aged man with green eyes as the only true piece of evidence. High-schoolers are definitely out. Hal is a possibility, but it seems the show likes to use him as a red herring. Sheriff Keller (Martin Cummins) remains because of the resemblance in the eyes, as does Chic (Hart Denton) — at least as an accomplice. But as I’ve said before, the killer needs to be someone the audience knows; especially after the janitor dodge back in December. Despite this assertion, it is possible Claudius Blossom, Clifford’s twin brother, has been secret source of all this pain all along.
But let’s ponder the motives of the remaining suspects as we watch a preview of next week’s show. The Ghoulies return, as does Penny (Brit Morgan), the Serpents suspect Reggie in Fangs’ shooting and an active shooter roams the streets. Oh, also, Cheryl faces the fury of an ax-wielding maniac in a black hood.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays on The CW.