Riverdale – Chapter Twenty-Four: The Wrestler | Season 2, Episode 11 | Rating: 8/11 |
Things seem to have settled down after the initial integration of the Southside into the Northside school, but war is brewing just beneath the surface. While we are all aware of Riverdale’s bloody history, there was an even bigger tragedy many moons ago. The wound begins to bleed afresh when Jughead interviews Toni Topaz’s grandfather for a history project at school. Toni’s grandfather is a founding Serpent who quite possibly reveals the town’s biggest secret: the original owners of the land (the Uktena) were slaughtered in a hostile takeover by General Pickens, a man who is celebrated as the founder of Riverdale. The Serpents were later formed as a way to keep the family together. Completely incensed that no one seems to care about this old tragedy, Jughead writes a story for the school paper and, understandably, it causes some major upset, namely in the form of Toni. Jughead later apologizes to her grandfather because it wasn’t Jughead’s story to tell, however, the reopening of the old wound leads the Serpents to stage a protest at the big Pickens Day party. No one gets hurt from the protest and Hiram (who helped throw the party) quickly jumps in before anything can escalate, turning the protest into publicity as only he can. The party may have been saved, but that didn’t stop someone from taking the head off of General Pickens statue sometime after the party. Who do you think did it?
Archie is getting tired of his double life. He’s tired of snooping for the FBI and wants to get back to having a normal life and the only way to do that is to speed up the process and get Hiram to trust and confide in him. According to Veronica, the best way to curry favor with her father is to take an interest in wrestling: Hiram is a former school champ who takes an active interest in the Riverdale team. But Archie is no great shakes at wrestling and flops right out of the gate. Hiram is actually pleased about this for a few reasons, but Hiram’s dislike of Archie spurs Archie to work harder. With some help from Kevin and after a persona demo session with Hiram (it was not a favor, it was to humiliate), Archie manages to stand on his own. Paired up with Chuck – someone not even in his own weight class – Archie manages to beat him using Hiram’s signature move. This has the intended effect of impressing Hiram enough for him to take Archie under his wing. Mission accomplished.
While Betty’s mom is thrilled to have someone to fill the void left by Polly, her husband Hal is very much not on board. He wants to know how long this stranger will be staying in his house and how he came to end up in the condition of being stabbed in the first place. Chic explains that he was accosted by the owner of the hostel he was staying in because the owner had brought some work Chic’s way and he wasn’t really up to it that night. Chic offered to go into more detail about what he did for work, but never really got around to sharing the details, only that he has scars on his body. Of course, Betty is intrigued by this and quickly shares that she has scars too: crescent moons on her palms. Chic aptly guesses they are from digging her nails in and says that he used to do it, as well. Not only do they share some DNA, apparently they share some proclivities, too…
Chic later asks Betty why she bothered to go back to the hostel for him and why she brought him back to her home. Betty explains that she has this darkness inside her that she doesn’t understand, it scares her and she’s just trying to find out why she is the way that she is. And if Chic has the same darkness, maybe he can help her understand it. It seems the two have a lot of things in common after all.
- Veronica had been hoping to get Josie and the Pussycats to play at the Pickens Day party but after Mayor McCoy talked Josie out of it, the show went on as Veronica and the Pussycats. Josie was understandably stung.
- Before discovering the truth about her family through the article written by Jughead, Cheryl wanted to rename Pickens Day for her great-great-great-grand Pappy who bankrolled the whole settling of Riverdale, but now she seems a little disgusted by her family’s approval of the mass slaughter. I wouldn’t be surprised if she took the head off the statue instead of a Serpent.
- We all kind of wondered what it was that Chic did at that hostel for work and it’s later revealed – thanks to Kevin – that Chic is a cyber trick. It was a bummer when the owner of the hostel got rid of all Chic’s things but, thankfully, Betty had a spare laptop and camera to give to Chic, despite knowing what he does for a living.
- Speaking of Chic and his cyber life, he opens up to Betty when he realizes that she feels alone in her home. He explains that he webcams to make money and as a way to escape and to get away from the darkness he feels inside. Eager to escape, she asks Chic to show her how to do that. We can only wonder what kind of road this will take Betty on.
- Hal found out what Chic does for a living and was more than a little pissed about the whole thing. While his wife Alice doesn’t know the full story, she threatened to throw him out of the house nonetheless. While eating a snow cone alone, Cheryl’s mother Penelope approaches and we can’t help but wonder if she gave him a different kind of dessert.
- “You see, boyfriends, they come and they go. But fathers … fathers are forever.” (Hiram Lodge)