Riverdale: Chapter Nineteen – Death Proof | Season 2, Episode 6 | Rating: 8/11
Did you think Betty was finally done with the Black Hood after she gave him Nick St. Clair’s name last week? That’s cute. In fact, not only is Nick alive and obnoxiously well, the Black Hood is still calling Betty. Thankfully, she changed her ringtone from Lollipop. Like any good terrorist or blackmailer or horrible abusive boyfriend, he promises to go away after one last thing. We all know those are “famous last words” words, but – hopefully – this time he means it. So the Black Hood wants to know the identity of the Sugar Man. This “Sugar Man” is the one responsible for producing all the Jingle Jangle that’s being sold on the street and Betty (as an investigative journalist who also happens to be friends with the last known drug lord’s daughter) should have a solid lead. Much to Betty’s surprise, Cheryl has heard of the Sugar Man, but describes him as a kind of boogeyman that her mother made up as opposed to a real person; you know, the guy who will come at night and take you away if you misbehaved too much. Since Cheryl doesn’t have a name, Betty is forced to look elsewhere. In Betty’s true spirit, she asks Sheriff Keller if he’s heard of the Sugar Man and whom he thinks the guy might be. Keller thinks The Sugar Man was Cheryl’s father, Clifford, and that he’s gone now. This doesn’t explain the continuing stream of Jingle Jangle hitting the streets that seems to have sprung up after Clifford passed, now does it?
Cheryl confronts her mother about the Sugar Man after finding a drawing that either she or Jason did where the Sugar Man was present. Cheryl insists she knows the guy was real because they had to go hide upstairs when he visited their old home, Thornhill. After much bleating from Penelope that the Sugar Man wasn’t real and she has no idea what Cheryl was talking about, she finally comes clean to her daughter. Penelope says that she chose to protect her kids by “turning an all too real monster into a child’s boogeyman.” It turns out there were many Sugar Men over the years but the current one turned out to be Robert Phillips, an English lit teacher at Southside High and the guy who was responsible for overseeing the school paper, The Red and Black. Bombshell! So how did Betty deal with the Black Hood when she found out the name of the guy? She flipped the game on him by telling Sheriff Keller his name and she wrote an exposé for her school paper, The Blue and Gold, so he couldn’t take any action. On top of that, Betty promised to hunt the Black Hood and expose him. For once, he hung up on her. But we soon discovered that the Sugar Man wasn’t safe in prison from the Black Hood. Bummer.
But Nothing Happened
There’s some fallout after that Jingle Jangle party in Nick St. Clair’s hotel room. For one, Cheryl’s mother has decided for Cheryl that she will drop the charges against Nick because “nothing really happened” anyway. Cheryl’s mom just wants the whole thing to go away and, at first, Cheryl agrees and starts compartmentalizing her life. Cheryl is also a little pissed that Veronica is pushing her to report Nick when it almost happened to Veronica, herself, and she’s not doing anything about it. Why is Veronica hesitating? First, she has no proof. Second, Veronica told Kevin that her father is worse than “The Godfather,” Nick’s head would end up in his parents bed, and she doesn’t want that kind of blood on her hands. I don’t really blame her for that. However, the issue gets forced when Cheryl runs into Nick at Pop’s for a food run before his family leaves town. Not only does Nick call Cheryl “Sharon,” he basically tells her that he wasn’t trying to rape her, she was half naked and begging for it, and she’s basically just covering up for her morning after shame. He also called her a “desperate tarte from a truck stop town.” To quote Cheryl, Nick is a “less than zero monster” and she changes her mind about pressing charges. The bummer part is that her cobra mother made a deal with his parents and they paid hush money to keep the whole thing quiet. As incredibly infuriating as that is, Cheryl finds the check and uses it as leverage to get the name of the Sugar Man from her mother and it also brings about a small amount of bonding between the two after a heartfelt plea from Cheryl for her mother’s love and honesty. As a bonus, Cheryl’s mother ends up throwing the check into the fire. Yay!
So whatever happened with Nick? Well, Veronica came clean to her parents about what Nick almost did to her after finding out that her parents were still taking money from the St. Clairs to fund the Sodale project. Unlike Cheryl’s mother, they were much more supportive and swore to never take another penny from them. In fact, they were in some kind of car accident on the way home; Nick will be fine but it will take awhile for him to recover. Understandably, Veronica was rather pleased and said, “karma’s a bitch,” which I think surprised her parents considerably.
Ghoulies and Serpents…. United?
Another bit of fallout from the Jingle Jangle party happens when Betty’s mother decides to get everyone together to talk about what happened that night. After much discussion, Mayor McCoy decides she’s going to burn Southside High to the ground because that’s where all the trouble comes from. Personally, I think she’s more pissed that her daughter participated in the festivities, but she’s true to her word and brings in a bunch of police to arrest the teen Serpents. Now, we all know that the Serpents don’t deal; that’s what the Ghoulies do, but the Serpents still get the bad rap. This arrest and heat bring about dwindling numbers for the gang and Tall Boy (current leader and former right hand man to Jughead’s dad FP) wants to merge with those nasty Ghoulies to make things better for both of them, especially since the Northside declared war. Jughead is majorly opposed and seeks the council of his father for the best way to solve the situation. It’s not easy through a glass window, but FP advises Jughead that this whole thing is about territory and the best way to keep peace is to challenge the Ghoulies to a street race to play to their pride and have some stakes to make it interesting for them. Archie is Jughead’s right hand man during the race but has an idea of his own to solve the situation and it kind of works. Archie pulls the emergency brake before a bridge and just when Jughead thinks they lost, he realizes that Archie called the cops so those nasty Ghoulies would get arrested for street racing. Thankfully, the Serpents scram before the cops find out that they were there which leaves the situation is kind of solved…for now.
- Bughead status: all is good now. Kevin was upset to find out that Bughead was no more and Betty didn’t tell him, but Betty eventually came clean to Jughead about everything and all was right with the world again.
- Toni Topaz slept over at Jughead’s but nothing happened. She could tell he wasn’t over Betty and she’s more into girls, anyway. At least we know that isn’t a thing anymore. Whew.
- Veronica and Betty repaired things over a milkshake at Pop’s. Betty finally spilled the beans with Veronica about the Black Hood. Veronica said it best, “So to recap, you’ve been talking to a serial killer on the reg and he’s been puppet mastering you?” At least they put that fight behind them and team up to get the name of the Sugar Man. They make such a good pair after all!
- FP isn’t happy Jughead joined the Serpents. You two can talk tattoo removal when you get out of jail, dad.
- Apparently Betty has some auto shop skills! She souped up Reggie’s car for the race between the gangs.
- Fun Fact: Jingle Jangle stays in your system for three days. None of the girls would make good witnesses about what happened in Nick’s hotel room because they would drug test positive. Bummer.
- Archie’s dad seems to be popping pain pills. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into a thing.
- The next time I deal with a guy who is being a jerk, I’m just going to quote Veronica, “I beg your misogynistic pardon?”
- “Not the kind of drag race I ever imagined myself going to but at least the guys are hot.” – Kevin (in reference to the street race between the Serpents and Ghoulies)