Riverdale – Chapter Thirty: The Noose Tightens | Season 2, Episode 17 | Rating: 9/11 |
Riverdale is the town that seems to thrive on unrest. At the very least, unrest, tension, scandal, and upheaval seem to be the norm for such a small town and it’s a wonder how they manage to survive. I fear that certain occupants will soon reach a breaking point: between the election runs for both school and city and tons of other behind the scenes drama, there’s a lot to take in.
If you thought Chic wouldn’t pose any more problems for the Cooper family, you’d be so very wrong. Not only has he forced Hal – and now Betty – to leave home, in addition to the whole Alice, Betty, FP, and Jughead disposing of a dead guy and his car-thing, he brought another unwanted guest home. This all started when the aforementioned car that had been dumped in the swamp was recently pulled up thanks to Junkyard Steve looking for people’s castoffs. After a group meeting among FP, Betty, Alice, and Jughead to discuss tactics and how best to deal with the situation, in true Betty and Jughead fashion, they go against orders to leave it alone. Thankfully Betty and Jughead learn from Kevin that the car was claimed by its owner and it seems to be no big deal, but it’s too bad that the owner of the car was the girlfriend of Chic’s dead drug dealer, Dwayne.
Her name is Darla, by the way, and what do you know, just before she was about to leave town Chic called her: apparently, he was “trying to help.” I call bullshit but Darla is rather indifferent about her missing beau and is happy to scamper off and not ask questions for the sum of ten grand which Dwayne owed her. Instead of playing dumb, Betty’s mother agrees to the terms as long as Darla leaves and never comes back but they have to wait for the bank to open in the morning. Alice sends Betty to the bank to make the withdrawal and as Betty is about to head home, she gets a call from her mother. Somehow news got out and the hostel manager who tried to cut Chic with a box cutter that Betty pepper sprayed is now at their house so Alice tells Betty not to come home. It’s clear that Alice doesn’t know what to do about this wonderful situation Chic has put them in. Thankfully, Betty had some foresight…
Against her mother’s wishes, Betty returns home just as her family is being threatened by box cutter guy. Darla, Jughead and a small contingent of teen Serpents break down the door, making for a pretty impressive army, and after some posturing on both ends, the intruders decide to cut their losses, take the money and leave. To say that Alice is relieved would be an understatement. She finally comes to her senses and tells Chic he needs to leave ASAP because he’s put her family in danger twice and she’s done with it. In addition, Alice sees the loyalty of the Serpents and thanks the kids in person at school for helping her family out. She swears she will never write another bad word about them and, instead, will choose to be proud and fight for where she came from: the Southside. And if that wasn’t enough, she showed up at FP’s place looking mighty fine, FP invited her in and chucked his gum. Oh, snap!
Hiram Lodge is currently having some issues with a few of his business associates. Two guys by the name of Lenny Kowalski and Carl Martin showed up unexpectedly and requested an immediate sit down with Hiram. They seem to have some reservations about Hermione’s run for mayor and fear it will attract some unwanted attention from the authorities (after all, they don’t want them looking into their business). Instead of pulling out, they want a cut of the profit: 25% to be exact as part of the risk/reward for being involved in with Hiram. Unfortunately, Hiram’s business model can’t support a 25% cut as it would cause him to operate at a loss, so he can’t accept the terms of their wonderful deal. Sadly it seems Hiram might not have a choice because his buddies have turned everyone else against him. Now Hiram has no connections, support, or protection for his prison endeavor so it might be best for him to reconsider their offer.
While it appears that Hiram is out of options for a long-term solution, he does have Archie by his side to help. In fact, Archie is so invested in helping Hiram that he does a few very bad things. On the one hand, Archie wants to support his father, Fred, and threatens Reggie Mantle with a broken arm if he ever talks trash about his father again, but he also completely bails on his father’s mayoral run announcement while doing something for Hiram. In exchange for the Bulldog vote (which Archie originally won via an arm wrestle with Reggie) Archie will forfeit the votes for school counsel if Reggie gets the Bulldogs to help him support the Lodges. What was the show of support? Well, it involved resurrecting the Dark Circle to threaten Lenny and Carl. It worked, for now, but what will be the consequences? We can only wait and see.
We all know Cheryl is currently locked up somewhere and if you guessed she was with the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, you’d be right. Not only is this place an “orphanage” and where Betty’s sister Polly was sent while she was pregnant, they also discreetly run a conversion camp for deviant and troubled kids. Not only is Cheryl being subjected to horrible living conditions and mindless anti-gay videos, she’s doing “physical therapy” by way of hard physical labor. Thankfully, she has some friends who are worried about her sudden disappearance and Toni manages to rally Veronica and Josie to confront Cheryl’s mother, Penelope, in order to get the real story.
They are semi-successful in the sense that they get Penelope to admit that Cheryl isn’t abroad as previously stated, but is actually at a private wellness center for her deviant behavior. Penelope also uses this as an opportunity to pull out Cheryl’s drawing of Josie. In case you don’t remember, Cheryl was obsessed with Josie and doing some weird and creepy stuff, including sending Josie a pig’s heart. Penelope uses this as a motivator to get the girls to leave the matter alone.
While Josie bows out (Cheryl did threaten her, after all) Toni and Veronica still want to help. It’s because of a rather desperate (read: crawling on the floor to get to the phone) call from Nana Rose to Toni at school that Toni finds out Cheryl is close by and with the sisters. That’s all Nana Rose can get out before her charming son, Claudius, cuts the phone line. It takes a minute but Veronica and Toni discern Nana Rose meant the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Thanks to some help from the always-adorable Kevin, who has some knowledge about the facility thanks to the boys who break out and hook up with him in Fox Forrest, they successfully break Cheryl out. The crowning moment is complete with a kiss between Toni and Cheryl before they have to outrun the nuns. They’re successful and, while we don’t know where Cheryl is going to stay, we do know that revenge is on her mind.
- Despite Alice’s worst thoughts about her daughter and Jughead “shacking up,” FP has been sleeping on the pull out with Jughead so that Betty can have his room. Awww.
- School race between Reggie with Josie, Veronica with Archie, and Jughead with Betty. There was a debate that was highly amusing between all of them. Points of interest include being inclusive of the Southside, potential conflict between Veronica and Archie since their parents are opposing running mates, and what they will do to help the student body.
- All is not dissolved between the Lodges and the Andrews family. Both are waiting on papers that the other is supposed to sign.
- Betty wanted consent forms from her mom to get a snake tattoo. Really, girly?
- The Lodge’s go-to guy, Andre, got beat up by Adams (the guy who worked for the Lodges and pretended to be FBI to check on Archie’s loyalty). He seems to have switched sides.
- Do the Blossoms own nothing new? From Nana Rose’s tiny tv with Bob Ross programs to a candlestick phone, they are about as antiquated as their belief system about gay people.
- Despite Archie’s intense loyalty to the Lodges, he’s bummed that he and his dad don’t really talk anymore. This was emphasized when Jughead was over to help Fred write his announcement speech. It takes two to tango, buddy.
- Cheryl is demanding to be the lead in the school’s musical production of Carrie and has promised to burn the school. She definitely belongs in drama.
Quotes of the Week:
- “And God and Gucci willing, Cheryl’s safe, wherever she is.” (Veronica Lodge)
- “Oh, I’m done with your ultimatums, young lady. You’re coming home, now! And if you don’t back me up on this, FP, I will tear this trailer apart with my bare hands.” (Alice Cooper)